five things

  Here’s the song I’ve been listening to on repeat in the car. I’ve loved his rendition of it ever since I saw this. Want to form new habits? Here’s the app I love for that. There is a mesmerizing, beautiful, and zen-like game I love to play. I’m loving this for bringing more mindfulness to my day, no matter what I’m doing. Are you a weather geek? This app is fantastic for knowing hyperlocal weather...

How to love unconditionally.

I’ll admit it. I have a rough track record on this one, loving unconditionally. I expect more from people sometimes, and sometimes I have been betrayed or lost enormous amounts of money because of loving (and trusting) unconditionally. But I still try. I’m trying. I’m learning. Who was my best teacher? A little rescue dog named Perry, with tiny legs that barely lifted him off the ground, they were so short. We adopted him from an animal shelter five years ago, and he was intended to be our then 8-year-old’s dog. It didn’t work out that way. From the beginning, Perry had decided that I was his human. Felix was distraught over this, and then resigned to the fact that wherever I went, Perry came bouncing along after me. If I went to the bathroom, he followed me and sat outside the door until I came back out. If I sat in a chair in the living room, he would sit right beside it. When I walked out to my office, he was always behind me, but if he didn’t hear me go, he would figure it out and sit on a little step just outside the door to my office until I opened it. When I was away on business trips, John would report that Perry stayed in his crate or on that little step outside my office, looking for me. When I got home, he would always bound out the door to greet me. He would sleep on his bed next to my side of the bed. He only barked at strangers or bears who came to...

thinking thursday : racism edition

  There is an epidemic in the U.S. It’s called racism. And it results in lower graduation rates, greater poverty, less access to medical care, greater mortality rates for diseases that are treatable, lower salaries, death, and much more. The killings of two black men this week – Alton Sterling  and Philando Castile – were the result of racism, whether conscious or unconscious; it doesn’t really matter because they are now dead for no reason. A white, wealthy Stanford swimmer rapes an unconscious woman and gets 6 months in jail. A black man who works in a school cafeteria is stopped for a broken tail light and is shot dead. This happens. Please don’t just say you will pray over this. Please don’t extend condolences to your black friends. Do something about it. Get out in the streets. Last summer when the Charleston massacre took place, I needed to do something other than be incensed, so I created an online class called “Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism” which has enrolled over 3500 people so far, and is still continuing. It is changing lives. But it isn’t enough. There is a Facebook group for the course here, where a lot of resources are shared. Join us. But that’s not enough either. Don’t turn into a click-to-support activist. Below are some curated resources for you to read. Take note of the specific actions you will take on behalf of all the black men and women who have been murdered by police officers, and all the mothers and fathers of young black adults who fear for their lives, and with good reason....

Hide and seek

“KEEPING QUIET” BY PABLO NERUDA Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fisherman in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I’ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go. —from Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid, pp. 27-29, 1974) A game of hide and seek turned upside down. I have started a meditation practice. I am committed to 45 minutes every day for 8 weeks to see how it changes me. It has come up now because I’ve decided to stop the medications I have been taking for PTSD and ADD. I have a feeling that in the...

thinking thursday : deep and light subjects you need to know about all in one

MIND This is a long read, and so worth it. A woman is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Think you’ve read stories like this before? You haven’t. This is why I started taking mandolin lessons. BODY So close. So damn close to being saved. In case you’re having a rough time of it. I might be in love with these Frida boxes and these mugs. Grain bowls, for dinner’s win. SOUL The best obituaries yet. Go to the limits of your longing. SPEAKING UP Explore race with NY Times journalists. WORD “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” ― Robert...