Favorite Things, Vol. XXVI

Between being out of town and playing catch-up on some projects, time has again slipped out of my understanding. (I mean, not that I ever really had it, but we can all dream.) I originally started this with the intention of blogging every week, and I’m hoping to continue that, but I also am not holding myself to a standard of PERFECTION OR ELSE, so these posts will happen exactly when they are supposed to. 

TO READ

I’m Good With Whatever: The High Price Of People Pleasing: For a long time, I never thought I was a people pleaser - I thought I was easy going and willing to go with the flow and good with whatever. It was probably in the last few years that I realized that while sometimes this is true - that I really am good with whatever - there are times when I do care, and it’s not an inherently bad thing to want to do what I want to do. There is often so much guilt around doing your own thing and it can at times be seen as selfish or unbending, but IT IS OKAY. Be who you are. I’m working through it, as we all probably are.

Listening To The Voices From Hijabi World: Our world looks at times, like an increasingly scary place for anyone who is different in any way, shape, or form. And other times, the goodness of people and the boldness of people to stand up for who they are and what they are about bursts through all the ignorance in the most stunning way. This video and the accompanying article are two very lovely pieces showing parts of the Muslim world that is not often portrayed by the media. The video is stunning in so many ways, and is such a powerful reminder that we all ought to do a lot more listening. 

 

TO LISTEN

First Listen: Joseph, “I’m Alone, No You’re Not”: Joseph has been one of my very favorites the last few years - their songs, their harmonies, their camaraderie as a band of sisters, seeing them live - and their sophomore album is just as dreamy as the first. NPR has it on their First Listen and I’m ready to have it in my own music library now. 

And Then Like Lions by Blind Pilot: Similarly, Blind Pilot has been another long-time favorite, and I’m not sure I even knew they had a new album coming out. If so, it’s my favorite secret/surprise. It is full of all the feels, delightful music, lovely harmonies, and lyrics that are beautiful and heartbreaking and true and real - go check it out now. 

 

TO INSPIRE

“The Gap” by Ira Glass: I’ve heard these words before, and have maybe even seen this video before, but was recently inspired by them, and in awe of the creativity of this piece. The art, the words, the combination - whether you’re in a creative field or not, whether you call yourself a creative or not (which, by the way, you ARE - you are a human and therefore you are creative), whether you’re having great success or you don’t know if you can go on with your art - this is for you. 

22, A Million: A few weekends ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Eaux Claires, the music festival Justin Vernon of Bon Iver has put on for the last two years, and what a glorious time it was. Full of some of the best live music I’ve yet seen, amazing art, beautifully curated grounds, and wonderful people, I couldn’t recommend it more. Bon Iver live debuted their new album, which comes out at the end of September (I CANNOT stop listening to this one), and recently added this to their website. It is from a good friend of Justin’s, and is some of the most beautiful writing I’ve read recently. “It is not the perceived power of money and fame that will change the course of events in one’s life, but empathy. Music is a pathway that allows us to listen to ourselves and the people that surround us. It is a pathway to understanding that actively creates change in real-time. Music, even in its most intimate moments, is a pathway between us all. It is the nuts and bolts of humanity as well as its totality. It is made sacred between people and in return makes those relationships sacred. It is the buoyant substance that we grab onto when the water rises above our heads. The answer has been here the entire time: just music, always.”

Leslie Jones On Basically Everything: It started with her Olympic commentary, but now it’s just an incredible show of positivity and unfiltered amazement at pretty much everything. Leslie Jones is absolutely wonderful and powerful and hilarious, and now I am ready to become her protege and/or ask if she can just be a constant narrator for my life. 

Elizabeth Gilbert On The Wrong Emotion: Again, Elizabeth Gilbert does all the most wonderful things. Please know there will likely be something from her on here nearly every post. I’ve taken Amy Poehler’s mantra of “Good for her, not for me,” as one of my mantras, and Liz takes that to emotions here in a straightforward, eloquently, comforting way. So often we’re taught we should feel _____ when ______ happens, but what happens when we don’t feel that way? Usually I go down the path of “there must be something wrong with ME,” but how does that change when we instead accept our own feelings and go from there? As she puts it, 

“I will not inflict upon myself anymore the shame and suffering of questioning my own reactions to life, or burying my own true feelings because I am not feeling what I’m allegedly supposed to feel.

If I feel joy, than that joy is right and real…for me.

If I feel grief, than that grief is right and real….for me.

If I love someone, then that love is right and real…for me.

If I feel mistrust or aversion to people I am supposed to trust and admire, then that feeling of mistrust is right and real…for me. And if I feel admiration for people I’m not supposed to admire, than that feeling of admiration is right and real…for me.

Nobody benefits when I try to make myself feel ways that I do not feel, and nobody benefits when I try to make myself NOT feel ways that I do feel…and nobody benefits when you do that, either.

Feel what you feel, allow your emotions to be legitimate, fearlessly examine your own reactions to your own life, and live your absolute truth — there is no other pathway to integrity than that.

Anything short of that is truly WRONG. (For you.)”

 

May your weeks be full of listening to people both similar and different than you may be, great new music from old favorite bands, and grace on grace on grace towards you, yourself, and your emotions.

 

xoxo

H