"And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself."
“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can't cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It's just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”
"We learn to fly not by being fearless, but by the daily practice of courage."
I am so grateful to have spent a most beautiful evening with two incredible women. Female kinship is the heart of my life, and makes my spirit feel so content even in the midst of chaos.
My friend cooked a delicious meal for us in her cozy home, including this perfect challah bread, which she accompanied with the traditional, Hebrew Shabbat blessing. It translates to...
Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
This is what is necessary in times of internal struggle, I think.
Say a prayer, bless your life, and break bread with your sisters.
Start there, and then be still. Notice, follow clues. Do the next right thing in small, manageable doses.
Be still again.
All will be well.
This book was part of my Haiti themed Christmas stocking from sister and Frank. Apparently, it is "required reading" for anyone headed to the country. I only began reading it 2 nights ago, but am already in love. The true story of Dr. Farmer is so deeply inspiring, if not wholly heart expanding. Your perspective on life, giving, service, and humanity will never be the same after reading this book. It is engaging on every level: mental, emotional, spiritual.
I'm a sucker for a good quote. This mini collection houses the best of Cheryl Strayed's powerful Food for Thought messages (from all of her work), and is my current go-to for an instant shift in perspective.
This is a monster of a book to get through, I'm not going to lie. As a collection of stories revolving around the ancient Wild Woman Archetype, it can feel a bit like a women's lit + folklore course. But, there are precious nuggets of wisdom and guidance to be found in it's pages. My recommendation (and what I'm currently doing) is to take your time reading. Unpack its layers with patience, and let the messages sink in slowly.
I am currently enrolled in Brene Brown's CourageWorks program (all three classes) so am continuously referencing her work. Right now we are focused more on Daring Greatly, but Rising Strong is a tool I regularly keep on hand for my coaching sessions. My clients have benefitted greatly from her insights and years of research into human behaviors!
My favorite reads from 2015 (not necessarily when they were published, just when I happened to get my hands on them!):
Far and away my most favorite book of 2015. This WWII story manages to be funny, daring, racy, and eye opening of true, nightmarish horrors happening in Russia during that time. I had no idea how little I knew about Russia during this war, and even though this is a work of fiction, it is inspired by true accounts...which, as you'll see, makes it even easier to devour. I can see that quite a few of my recommendations fall in a more "female" category, but if you are a dude -- this story is absolutely for you. I freaking loved this book.
This was a book club choice of mine, and it agreed with all 7 members...so, that's a pretty good sign! In order to not give anything away, just expect a lovely, mystical mystery that will absolutely make you fall in love with elephants. Or, since we all already know elephants are awesome, it will widen your heart for them even more. (Hint: the elephant facts in this piece of fiction are all true!)