start small, but start.

A Facebook friend, Heidi Nord, posted this status a few days ago: “Some things I’ve done to change my life: 1. Got rid of my TV 5.5 years ago. 2. Quit a job I didn’t like. 3. Stopped overeating. 4. Did things to make me intensely happy. 5. Wrote a gratitude list, daily. 6. Bikram yoga. 7. Learned how to sleep easily through the night. 8. Taught myself to love the weather, no matter what it was, rain, heat, not to resist it. 9. Smiled often. 10. Started taking care of myself. 11. Meditated. The more I change my inner world, the more my outer world reflects what is inside. Everything I do is for my health, happiness and desire of enlightenment. The list continues…” I was inspired by Heidi’s list. What a fantastic expression of self-care, over time. A practice of self-care. That’s what this is. Over time. Not just for one day, but over time. That’s what makes it a “practice.” As choreographer Martha Graham has said so beautifully: “Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” Over and over again in the face of all obstacles. Some act of vision. Of faith. Of desire. What’s your list? What would you like to have on that list of inner changes in a year’s time? What’s the first thing you can commit to practicing? What’s something you can do or change today? Not tomorrow, but today. Over and over again in the face of all...

thinking thursday.

MIND That is one smart (and fast talking) 20-year-old. My friend Chi posted this on my Facebook page for Tess, who has a big brain crush on Albert Einstein. The photos and especially the captions made me very happy. BODY I used to drink it every afternoon at Penland, too. I am a big fan of the gingerade. Holy cow, someone make this for me, stat. There is so, so much I don’t know. SPIRIT A wonderful, helpful list of what not to do when your friend is depressed. Self-compassion fosters mental health: “Being kind to yourself is a surefire way to improve your mental health and reach your goals, a growing body of work suggests. Now research has revealed an easy way to boost this self-compassion—by showing kindness to others.” The Boy Scouts have disappointed me. And saddened me. To this headline, I would respond: This is why it’s so ironic that you’ve made it a part of the Boy Scouts. Every straight Boy Scout also has a sexuality and a sexual orientation, just for the record. Sally Ride, I love that you are now up in the stars. VOICE “The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you are feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. That’s basically the instruction that Dzigar Kongtrul gave me. And now I pass it on to you. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not...

on gentleness, and being vulnerable

I’ve had this video on replay all day. The song starts at 1:00. Listen. There is a quality to his performance that is mesmerizing, magical. It is a quietness, a knowing, a vulnerability that opens up all kinds of space for me, any listener, inside the song. This is worth knowing, exploring. In a world hellbent on performing and showing and demonstrating and wowing, here is a quiet voice that stuns us. I love the quiet in the hall as he sings. There is no sound. And when he ends, a full five seconds elapses before the large audience can bring themselves to break the spell. What if we spoke our truths like this? Quietly, without moving our feet, taking up just a little space, not a large space. Not shouting, no pop-ups, nothing to distract from the sheer quality of the voice itself. What keeps us from this? What moves us toward flash and powerpoint slides and booming music and dry ice fog and diversions? Why must we deflect ourselves from our one true voice? What would happen if we just showed up? It is magic,...

peace to a trailblazer

I like to think that Sally Ride is now among the stars. May you rest in peace, trailblazer. (Photo: Located 1,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Perseus, a reflection nebula called NGC 1333 epitomizes the beautiful chaos of a dense group of stars being born. Photo from...

in which tess writes a 3-page book.

There are a few parts to this story: Tess wrote a book yesterday, sitting at the table where I am writing. With Perry beside her, of course. She really wanted to publish it, and so we made a PDF of it. A local group is gathering resources to provide school supplies (backpacks full of crayons, paper, folders, all the things kids need for school) for kids whose parents can’t afford them, and we thought this would be a good way to offer Tess’ story about Vicky the Happy Miniature Rainbow and do good at the same time. If you’d like to get her story and support what we’re calling The Backpack Project, you can download it by clicking the title below and you can offer a donation by clicking the donation button below if you are so inclined. Donate what you’d like – $1.00 or so is great! – as it’s a tiny, but beautiful story. Vicky the Happy Miniature...