I read a lot of articles. Every once in a while I come across one that really makes me think, that challenges me in a new way.
In the last few months I've come across these five that have really set my brain working. Some have changed me in indescribable ways, others have challenged me to stay the course.
Each of these articles touched a different area of my life, a different part of who I strive to be. Some are graphic, some are silly. Some may be old news to you and some may make you uncomfortable or not be appropriate for this point in your life.
As a quote on the fridge at my dear grandparents house says:
"...keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” -George Eliot
by Shemsi Prinzivalli
"There is an ancient and well-kept secret to happiness which the Great Ones have known for centuries. They rarely talk about it, but they use it all the time, and it is fundamental to good mental health. This secret is called The Fine Art of Not Being Offended."
There was nothing in the article I didn't already "know." Putting it into practice was something that had slipped out of my awareness, and regularly does. Something about how the article was written gave me new perspective and resolve, similar to:
24.)"Know your number one job is to hold the balance when your child cannot hold it for themselves - be able to be a calm rock with a ho-hum attitude toward their emotional excess to help the child learn." -Carrie of The Parenting Passageway
If we are able to be still amidst the storm around us, something magical happens and we may be able to allow the other person's emotion to pass through and away.
by Brett and Kate McKay for The Art of Manliness
I'm guilty of "wandlust" as much as the next person. I went on my first solo overseas adventure when I was a senior in high school, having decided in first-grade French that I would go to France. Since then I've been back to France and have visited five additional countries.
The article talks about how J.R.R. Tolkien's life was quiet and ordinary, and that he preferred it that way.
"Between serving in WWI as a 20-something and the success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in middle-age, nothing major or really exciting happened to Tolkien, and even after his books became international bestsellers, his lifestyle remained almost entirely the same. 'I am in fact a Hobbit,' he admitted, 'in all but size'"
This article challenged me to look deeply into my life as it is, to find the exotic and the magical that surround us, rather than long for the magic elsewhere. That, even from our comfortable chairs in front of the hearth fires, we can have a deep, rich, and expansive life.
My life is not lacking because I am not traveling the world, my life is lacking when I do not look deeply at the world around me.
Intro by Geoffrey Ingersoll for Business Insider
In 2010, four days following the death of his own son in combat, General John Kelly wrote a speech about the sacrifice of two young marines. WARNING graphic descriptions of war events resulting in injured and dead persons, skip article if necessary.
As a military wife, "the bad fights" (as we've started calling them with our children) are a little closer to home than anything I was accustomed to, prior to meeting my husband. I purposefully do not discuss my political affiliations and am opposed to violence and war in all forms. I will not go into any opinions about the nuances of "necessary violence," martial training, or willingness to sacrifice oneself so that others may live.
What struck me most deeply is that they leaned in to the danger. They, well trained, knew exactly what happens next, they acted to the best of their ability and did not waver in the job at hand.
While my endeavors are much smaller in scale, I can steer into the skid. Rather than questioning my lot, balking at the task at hand, I can lean in.
Toddlers screaming, callous comments from loved ones, someone or something peed on the floor...AGAIN, I can't remember the last time I had five minutes to myself, I'm the only one not crying on the floor, I haven't seen an adult other than my exhausted husband (only for the hour before I put the girls to bed at night) all week, or everyone is hungry, I can lean in.
On a lighter note:
by Lea Grover for The Huffington Post
If you have kids or if your friends have kids, this is a great look into real, age-appropriate, honest, healthy, shame-free, consent-based conversations about one of the big, historically unspoken topics of being human.
From the article:
"...that’s what sex-positive parenting really is. Not telling my kids lies about sex to keep them from behaviors I don’t think are healthy. It’s telling them the truth, the whole truth, and letting it sink in so they can make their own good choices."
And yes, I've said similar things more time than I can count - because we don't play with our vulvas at the table.
To end with sweetness and light:
by Kiri Westby for The Huffington Post
The Dalai Lama answers the question: “How can we raise children with compassion, while also striving for non-attachment?”
I originally clicked the link out of curiosity and a great respect for the wisdom and love taught by the prominent Tibetan Buddhist monk.
The article tells of his advice - a profoundly relatable, deeply true, article talking about breastmilk, nourishing the world around us, turning to each other, and how we know more than we think.
If you have a mom, are mom, or know any moms, I recommend this one.