How to Slay Finals Without Losing Your Zen

Disclaimer: I write this as someone who already lost my zen during this lovely finals season (can you smell the sarcasm?). As a result, I’ve had to consciously find ways to reclaim my calm during the chaos. This is very much so similar to how I came to yoga. I was stressed out and the kind of person that needed yoga, not the kind of person who would seem to just naturally drift on into an asana / meditation combo. I tend to find that those are the people who get the most out of the practices.

  • Find an accountability buddy and commit study time to them. Text them when you are going to start studying and when you are going to finish studying. Research shows that accountability increases productivity and the likelihood that sh*t will get done.
  • Keep your spaces clean and de-cluttered. My boss makes sure that her desk is gorgeously decluttered before she leaves work every day. I admire that so much…the ability to leave with clarity and begin again with clarity. When it comes to any space, that’s what high-quality work demands, and it makes it that much more pleasurable.
  • Have an exercise plan (a challenge, even!) that is a #treatyoself for this period of time. I started doing SoulCycle’s Turn It Up 10 challenge when finals first started to hit. The endorphins help with the focus, calm and levity. The 45-minute classes make the timing doable and the lack of a commute makes the exercise totally conducive to studying. It’s a great release for the stress and I’m making the exercise work for me during this time, not the other way around.
  • Practice studying in a hygge way. As you know from the blog, I’ve been a big fan of hygge this year (who hasn’t, really?). This is all to say…get COZY when you study. Drape a blanket over you. Grab a cup of tea. Wear your comfiest PJ’s or yoga clothes.
  • Bask in how fun using a planner can be. I absolutely adore my planner. Lately, I’ve started using bullet journaling techniques in it. This allows me to schedule in time to have fun and practice self-care. In my planner for this weekend, for example, are all of my assignments, and a manicure / pedicure appointment.
  • Do at least one de-stressing activity a week; #treatyoself. Maybe this is said mani / pedi. Maybe this is a special restorative yoga class. Maybe this is a massage or a walk through the park. Whatever it is, schedule it as a way of making time for it. That way, when you return to your work, you’ll do so with a fresh and refreshed perspective.
  • Create a mise-en-place every time you sit down to work. A mise-en-place is a culinary strategy: laying out all the ingredients and tools so that it’s all within reach. I first learned about using the mise-en-place as a strategy for doing work from Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast. It’s by far the best strategy I’ve gleaned from that show. Having everything in one spot makes doing the work so much easier and the distractions much fewer.

My #the100dayproject

One of the first blogs that I read the entire archives of was Kimberly Wilson’s Tranquility Du Jour. This month on her blog, she is stressing the importance of a passion project through pursing a #the100dayproject challenge. The idea of the challenge is simple: for 100 days, you commit yourself to doing a little something of a creative act each day. Wilson writes,

Elle Luna, author of The Crossroads of Should and Must, hosts a 100-Day Project encouraging participants to commit to 100 days of doing a creative project for 5-10 minutes. No fancy tools or training needed. Just a desire to try  and commit to something for 100 days.

unnamed-2.jpgIMG_4323.JPGI have wanted to to take this blog more seriously (in a #livelightly way, of course) for quite some time now. This #the100dayproject feels like an ideal way to commit, in a manageable way, to honing my blogging skills through consistent practice. My goal is to, for the next 99 days (I started yesterday) work on my blog for ten minutes a day. As is my belief with my yoga practice, consistency matters so much more than quantity in the formation of meaningful habits. Because I started four days after the above start date, I will end four days after it as well and will track my progress through a chart I set up in my new bullet journal (post on that forthcoming!).

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Here is what I would like to accomplish through this project (because writing it down is the first step in making it happen in my book):

  • I want to develop my photography skills on social media and through incorporating original photographs into blog posts.
  • I want to curate content that inspires people to lead meaningful lives. I want to blend in all aspects of my own life into the posts.
  • I want to grow my readership…by a lot, if possible, and start to form virtual relationships with this blog’s audience.
  • I want to update the overall look, style, and layout of Growing Up On OM as a brand for 20-somethings who are trying to lead balanced, nourishing, holistic and sustainable lives with yoga in mind.

Do you have an idea for a passion project you can do consistently for one hundred days, for only 5-10 minutes each day? 

Blog Updates

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illustration by the amazing julia drachman for yoga u

Hi all! Long time no blogging – trust me, I know! In the past month or so since I last posted (sorry about that!), I’ve started up the new school year – both in graduate school and as a third grade teacher again. I also went back to blogging school; I took advantage of a massive Gala Darling sale and purchased The Blogcademy Online. My intention in taking this fabulous course is to be able to serve my readers even more. Not only that, I want to expand Growing Up on OM in all sorts of ways; I believe that growing up with mindfulness is more than a blog, more than these posts, and most of all, something that 20-somethings deserve to have reach them from multiple channels.

The blogging landscape looks totally different than it did a few years ago, and that’s great, but it’s also tricky. This is the crux of the online word: you gotta adapt, you have to keep evolving. For me, that constant sensation of transformation is what keeps things interesting. – Gala Darling

header.pngI spent a lot of time this weekend taking the online course, and I’m not even halfway through. I realized that not only does this blog need to be more than a blog – I wanted to make it easier to access. So, I took some time and created a few new social media accounts. Here’s how to get connected:

Facebook Page

Instagram: @GrowingUpOnOM

Twitter: @GrowingUpOnOM

Pinterest

I also majorly updated the About Page on this blog.

What are your waiting for?! Follow for some extra mindful inspiration!

Namaste,
Shira

P.S. I’m working to post more frequently so hopefully, I won’t go this long without posting in the foreseeable future – expect another later this week!

6 States, 12 Yoga Studios: My Summer of Wellness

I’m having a real first teacher summer…and am loving it! Besides producing online courses, working on a grant, and doing grad school online (I don’t like to be bored, okay?!), I’ve been traveling a bunch to see loved ones + friends. I’ve prioritized doing yoga or some form of yogic-like exercise every day this summer and the results are in in the form of all the studios I’ve visited across the country. That, and I’ve even re-discovered and just plain discovered some studios in New York that are, well, not Laughing Lotus. Here’s where I’ve been practicing this summer. It’s a long post because I am very aware that it has been a very long time since I’ve posted! Let’s go East to West, shall we?

New York, New York 

5 Pillars Yoga

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  • Location: 92nd St + Madison Ave
  • Vibe: Upper East Side
  • Phenomenal Teacher(s): David Regelin
  • Asana Style: straightforward slow flow
  • Intention: Move with intention, steadiness, strength, and from a place of light-heartedness too.

 

Yoga Vida

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  • Location: 11th St + University Place
  • Vibe: NYU (a great locale for students to go to)
  • Phenomenal Teacher(s): Domenic Savino
  • Asana Style: straightup vinyasa
  • Intention: A safe environment to explore the tried-and-true practices of yoga.

Laughing Lotus

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  • Location: 19th St between 5th + 6th Avenues
  • Vibe: GLITTER
  • Phenomenal Teacher(s): Sheri Celantano, Deb Langley, Kenneth Frisby
  • Asana Style: Lotus Flow
  • Intention: Move like yourself…and sprinkle glitter all over!

 

Katonah Yoga

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  • Location: 17th St + 8th Avenue
  • Vibe: Hard.Core.
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Abby Galvin
  • Asana Style: Katonah
  • Intention: Fuse Taoism with the bodily practices of yoga to open everything up in an extremely intentional way.

 

New Haven, Connecticut

Fresh Yoga

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  • Location: 49 Orange St
  • Vibe: Get Your Yoga, No Strings Attached
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Kami + Ed Mikelis
  • Asana Style: Vinyasa Flow
  • Intention: Come in, get your yoga, open up your body, get a workout, and then move on with your day feeling refreshed.

Nantucket, Massachussetts 

Sconset Yoga Club

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  • Location: 18 Baxter Road
  • Vibe: Move + Be Still in the Sun
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Jenavieve Varga
  • Asana Style: YogaWorks
  • Intention: Practice yoga in the beauty of the sunlight, scenery, peace + quite of Nantucket, MA. It’s evident that the whole operation was created with a lot of heart by ladies who grew up spending summers on the island and now teach yoga in NYC most of the time.

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen Shakti Shala

  • img_3256Location: 422 E Cooper Avenue
  • Vibe: Movement = Pleasure
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Jamie Butemeyer
  • Asana Style: Vinyasa
  • Intention: Take practice seriously + lightly at the same time.

 

Seattle, Washington

Grinning Yogi

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  • Location: 345 15th Avenue E
  • Vibe: Fast + Fierce
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Nancy Hwang
  • Asana Style: Lotus Flow
  • Intention: Lose + find yourself at the same time…through movement.

 

Portland, Oregon

People’s Yoga

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  • Location: 44th + Belmont
  • Vibe: Dedicated + Full
  • Phenomenal Teachers: This time around, I took class with Linnea Solveig.
  • Asana Style: vinyasa with heart
  • Intention: Feel a sense of complete spiritual flow + fullness while practicing in a room filled to the brim with like-minded people.

 

YoYo Yogi

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  • Location: 13th + NW Hoyt
  • Vibe: Sheer Awesomeness
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Alex + Kristi Cole (yes, they’re a father-daughter pair)
  • Asana Style: joyful flowing cathartic vinyasa flow (yes, I am being redundant on purpose – it’s just that good!)
  • Intention: Move so fast and with such flow that you forget what you’re feeling when you walk in the door and walk out with those feelings processed + feeling good!

Love Hive Yoga

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  • Location: 1847 E Burnside St
  • Vibe: Yoga w. Heart
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Jessica Garay, Audra Carmine + Roger McKeever
  • Asana Style: Vinyasa + Hatha
  • Intention: Move straight from your heartspace + while doing so, stay in touch with what your body needs + wants.

 

Grinning Yogi

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  • Location: 30th + Division
  • Vibe: Fierce + Kickasana
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Chase Connolly + Tori Greising
  • Asana Style: lotus flow
  • Intention: Provide a dance-like flow that allows students to lose themselves in movement + the themes it’s paired with.

 

Written on the subway on my way to Laughing Lotus because hey, hOMe is where the glitteriest OM is!

Aspen Ideas Festival: Highlights

Hello from the Aspen airport, an adorable set of cozy cabins that apparently facilitate flights. As I mentioned in my last post about ideas on a macro scale, I’ve spent the past four days immersed in quite literally a land of ideas: the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival. The festival, which took place on this breathtakingly gorgeous campus, hosted both national and international leaders, artists, activists, academics, and more, to give talks on the ideas that make them tick.

Upon walking into the registration tent on Wednesday, I went straight to the Scholars booth…because a huge part of this festival, for me, was having the privilege to be amongst a cohort of awesome people who came from a wide variety of fields to experience the magic of Aspen courtesy of donors and the Institute itself. At the Scholars booth, I thankfully received a large tote bag that I used to carry my laptop and notebooks during the duration of my time. When everything is so inspiring all at once, it is so important to be prepared to integrate that inspiration into one’s own work…or so I’ve learned. I filled my notebook with notes from these phenomenal talks. Below are the highlights, as well as the titles of my favorite events. Enjoy!

Afternoon of Conversation: Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative

The festival started off with a BANG. Bryan Stevenson is my new activism idol. Here are some of his genius beliefs.

  • We need to get proximate. If we stay far from the problem, we lose the nuances.
  • In proximity, there is power. We have to change the narratives underneath the politics.
  • We’ve allowed narratives in this country that say some children aren’t children.
  • As educators, we need to start talking about how we got where we are.
  • HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD:
    1. Get proximate.
    2. Change the narrative.
    3. Stay hopeful.
    4. Choose to do the uncomfortable.
  • It take courage to be hopeful in a complex world.
  • Each of us is more than the worst thing we are.
  • The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth, it’s justice.

Academic Freedom, Safe Spaces, Dissent + Dignity 

I feel like I had just the right amount of distance from my undergraduate experience to truly listen to a diverse variety of panels on academic freedom on leading college campuses across the country (including my own alma mater). The conversation made me a) reflect a lot on the university I graduated from, which I love so freaking much, but also realize has many problems, and b) realize that one day I might actually love to work in higher education, to help students channel free speech on campus into activism off campus. Here are some excellent points that were brought up.

  • Academic freedom is a central tenet to the university yet it is often one we take for granted.
  • A core responsibility of universities is to prepare our students to be in the real world.
  • The problem of academic freedom goes beyond the First Amendment because the First Amendment covers public, but not private, universities.
  • College free speech is a microcosm of a larger national challenge.
  • Schools can’t be afraid of their students.
  • We need to come together, learn from one another, and question. The status quo should always be, “Be challenged.”

Job as Vocation: David Brooks + Arthur Brooks

Though not related, these two leading intellectuals share a last name and a purpose: to view work as a fueling force for a life well-lived. Here are some of their thoughts on job as vocation…

  • Always have something you’re writing (I’ve been feeling this one big time lately).
  • Serve ideals in your work that push the conversation away from the political and more toward the moral and personal.
  • Every day we are working to serve others.
  • Ask these questions:
    1. Who can I serve?
    2. What am I pouring my love into?
    3. Am I all in?
  • Pick the four best moments in your life. Do they have anything in common?
  • In your 20s and 30s, you should be exploring your new ideas (flashes of insight). Widen your horizon of risk in your 20s.
  • Shift ground continually.
  • What are you doing in your job when you’re the happiest? What are your circumstances asking you to do?
  • The happiest people feel like they’re needed. We need a society of people that put moral worth on who’s necessary.
  • A portfolio of life is comprised of:
    1. Faith
    2. Family
    3. Community
    4. Work

These are the talks and panels that dealt with the most universal themes of what it means to “grow up on OM.” I also went to some other really cool panels on podcasts (like the Slate Political Gabfest Live – !!! – and “Understanding the Podcast Explosion”) which were phenomenal. After all the ideas, though, I made sure the fuel up with a yoga hOMe practice, and a total treat of a class at Aspen Shakti Shala…ya gotta nourish the body too! 

Friday-ING: Week of February 21

df81660a9d208d880973616da07027d0.jpgAbout a year ago, I attempted to do a monthly “Link Love” column on the blog. It worked for a while until it got a bit too daunting. Instead, I am moving to a weekly format at Growing Up On OM to share all that I am readING, writING, listenING to, watchING, and teachING. It is my hope that this will help me document these things not only for my own reference, but as a source for constant entertainment and inspiration for all the readers of the blog. So here goes: my first FridayING post. Enjoy!

readING

  • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
    • This is my “after-work” read. In the morning, when I’m motivated, I devour my graduate school textbooks. But, after a long day of work, I need something a bit more mindless and this book is exactly that: a novel on New York City love and scandal.
  • Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg
    • I started this gem this morning after a challenging day not feeling my best at work yesterday. And here’s a nice takeaway gem for some Friday inspiration:

We can reignite the revolution by internalizing the revolution.

listenING

With the 1 Train going out of order over the weekend, I’ve been devouring podcasts like it’s nobody’s business.

watchING

This week, I really developed a much greater understanding of how television and popular culture have a magical way of strengthening interpersonal relationships through providing common ground and fodder for thoughtful conversation. I spent a lot of the week having incredibly conversations about Downton and Transparent. So highly recommended!

teachING

  • Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade by A.B.K Bruno
    • I’ve written about this book before and I am overjoyed that I have the opportunity to teach this book again as part of my main curriculum, and to include within it a project on what my third graders can do to help with climate change!
  • Rosa Parks and Black History Month
  • Confessions of Former Bully
  • The Secret School by AVI
    • The highlight of teaching this book has been having the students teach their own lessons to figure out what it would be like for them to be the teacher, even if just for ten minutes.
  • Bhakti (at my other job over at Harlem Yoga Studio): the yoga of devotion!

June Link Love: Presidential Possibilities, Privates + Practical Self-Care

Introduction to the monthly Link Love column: One of my favorite blogs (and a total blogger role model of mine) is Gala Darling. Every month, Gala Darling publishes a link roundup in a narrative form of what she’s been reading. Lounging in bed on lazy Friday mornings (when I was in college) or Sunday mornings (now that I’m a working lady), I open up the links Gala posts like presents on Chanukah evenings. I want to create a similar experience for my readers…with the added bonus of documenting these reading gems so I no longer have 17 tabs open on Google Chrome. So, without further adieu, thank you Gala for the inspiration. Here is a delightful (Central Park) link carousel of my own.

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June was filled with early mornings and late nights out and about. I filled myself up this month with smoothies, heaps of yoga at YoYoYogi in Northwest Portland, time with friends and long walks in this sweltering heat Portland’s been getting. I started a fiction-writing class at The Attic Institute and returned to my NaNoWriMo novel. As a result, this Link Love is shorter than usual…because I’ve also been busy writing and doing the things we write about in the first place. Enjoy!

Gala Darling shares these really amazing, tangible, and do-it-now goal-setting tips she learned from her dad.

HerCampus shares 15 things you should know how to do before you turn 25 (I’d say I have a year and a half and 10 things on that list left to do!).

A dear student of mine is profiled in SONIMA, on how is brain injury led him to his truest self. It is vital to remember that we all come to the mat for different reasons, some of them critical and chronic and deep experiences of healing and expansion of life.

I just don’t know who to vote for in the primary! In an effort to show that I haven’t been basing my personal political preferences on binge-watching The West Wing, I’ve done some research on Bernie and Hillary Clinton’s 20-something campaign workers had just as hard a time as I did finding an affordable apartment in New York. Here’s Hillary Clinton on the issues…and here’s Bernie Sanders. (#conflicted)

This month, I discovered the amazing-ness of Tommy Rosen and his thoughts on recovery.

My own personal authorial guru on most things, Meg Cabot, shares 12 ways to improve your love life and if I’m going to take advice on any of that from anyone, it’d be from her.

Well + Good shares low-sugar cocktail recipes!

Watch Obama’s eulogy. Let the feelings flow through you.

The Examiner profiles Heather Shrock on the intersection of nutrition and mental health – a necessary and innovative examination.

I am so excited to check out these bar specials near Columbia when I move to the area!

Apparently, the right dose of exercise for a longer life will surprise us.

The Abundant Yogi has some great teachings on lifestyle design!

Teachasana helped me out big time this month by sharing pricing strategies for yoga privates.

A nutritionist from The Chalkboard shares her thoughts and concrete tips on self-care. There are some serious gems in this piece:

Self-care is prioritizing and engaging in things that help us function well in our lives; things that make us feel balanced and allow us meet the inevitable stressors of daily life with energy and (ideally) perspective.

Self-care is not just the occasional pedicure or afterwork cocktail. It’s about identifying your own needs and building a repertoire of habits that make you feel grounded and like your best self.

For more super concrete (can you tell how much I love the practical?!) tips from The Chalkboard, check out this Ayurveda article on balancing Kapha. Proud to be drinking a cardamom latte while reading this one!

written from my bed

On Blogging, Portland + Vulnerability

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This morning, I did something that reminded me of why I moved to Portland in the first place. I went to a positively chic and adorable blogger meet up brunch at a publishing headquarters in an industrial district of the city that was only 20 minutes away from my house. At ten past ten, I walked in with my DIY “business cards” (i.e. strips of paper where I wrote the URL to this blog), tinted Burt’s Bees on my lips, wide-rimmed glasses and WordPress pulled up on my iPhone. A fabulous food platter was out with New York bagels (oh, how worlds collide) and Black Rock coffee.

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I filled up my plate, chatted with these fabulous bloggers and got down to the highly enjoyable business of speed networking (i.e. speed dating, but – I assume – way less awkward because there are set questions to help everyone identify and fine-tune their passions). I learned so much from this event in much more of a qualitative way than – and this was what I had initially expected to get out of it – a quantitative way. We didn’t discuss the information you could find online on how to boost numbers or ratings or followers. No, we discussed the heart of why we do what we do and what about what we do makes others’ hearts tick.

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Here are five lessons I learned and realizations I had while in good company:

1. Vulnerability, which was the dharma talk theme of the yoga class I took yesterday, is what makes our messages powerful. One of the networking questions we were asked to answer was on which posts surprised us by being so successful. One woman shared that she didn’t expect her most successful blog post to be about depression yet it was. Another shared on writing about her struggles to find time. My answer was about all those blog posts about me and my broken leg. Vulnerability…it’s the connective tissue between all us humans.

2. Focus your time on where you get the most traffic. This little tip will, I believe, prove to be a large time-saver in the long run.

3. Networking – meeting people in person – is where the online work is done. It is all about that personal connection.

4. Instagram, baby.

5. The beautiful thing about blogging is that it encourages self-expression in an informal yet inspirational way.

This post was written at The Dragonfly Coffee House, an utterly blissful new find in NW Portland that has poems by Rumi on the wall, energy bars made with almond butter and no-sugar goodness and classical music playing in the background.

March Link Love: Powerful Women, Loving Differently + Body Acceptance

Introduction to the monthly Link Love column: One of my favorite blogs (and a total blogger role model of mine) is Gala Darling. Every month, Gala Darling publishes a link roundup in a narrative form of what she’s been reading. Lounging in bed on lazy Friday mornings (when I was in college) or Sunday mornings (now that I’m a working lady), I open up the links Gala posts like presents on Chanukah evenings. I want to create a similar experience for my readers…with the added bonus of documenting these reading gems so I no longer have 17 tabs open on Google Chrome. So, without further adieu, thank you Gala for the inspiration. Here is a delightful (Central Park) link carousel of my own.

my preferred mode of reading this month

my preferred mode of reading this month

This month has been full…of work, of travel and of reading about strong, powerful women in honor of women’s history month. It felt great, during this month, to honor women who will make history – the modern as well as the historical. Anyways, without further adieu, here is what I read this month!

* I really want to go to Europe with this card that will give me a working pass for that awesome continent.

* Lauren Conrad recommends three busy girl breakfasts. Meanwhile, Glamour lists the best (healthy) foods to eat when stressed.

* I’ve been saying this since the beginning! Mindy Kaling is the walking contradiction feminist hero of my generation!

* Welp, someone beat me to it…an article in The Atlantic on how the Cuban literacy campaigns are relating to our current US-American education situation.

* Words cannot describe how much I identify with this article on being a yoga teacher + body image. There has been so much press lately on yoga + body image, but taking it to the teaching level is so important. I’ve had so much healing body image wise through having yoga teachers that have shown me what their “unconventional” bodies are capable of. That, above all, is what has shown me what my own body is capable of.

* A competition for wellness startup ideas, via Well + Good.

* Here’s my Living Yoga Yogathon Fundraising Page! (See how I snuck that in there for a good cause?!)

* Glamour presents dating challenges you should try.

* These are the things happy people do before they get out of bed every morning.

The New York Times shares that fat talk is bad for us. No sh** Sherlock, but since the NYT says it, it must be true! And on a lighter – and better note – here are the 10 celebrities with the best responses to fat shaming (Mindy Kaling’s is – of course – my fave).

* Bustle shares what 15 esteemed female writers did before publishing.

* The Generator School Network seems cool (#jobhunt2015).

* I’ve been all up on reading that Danielle LaPorte.

* A new celeb fitness fashion line that has a great deal if you get it now!

* We had QUITE the New Moon this month!

* After so much physical therapy before I go into work, I definitely needed to read this Well + Good article about how to clean up…fast and without a shower.

* This is the most beautiful article I think I’ve ever read on the ways children of divorce love differently. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for simply reading this beautiful piece. Here are my faves:

7. Love means questioning everything. We ask why over and over, even if we already know the answer. We need to reaffirm your love sometimes, just to make sure it’s still there. We need to make sure you have no ulterior motives, which we learned from our parents’ post-divorce paranoia.

8. Loving one person for the rest of our life seems terrifying. Not because we want to cheat, just because we are incredibly unsure if two people can stay married forever and actually be happy.

* Oh, and most recently, my roommate turned me onto this fantastic Tumblr about love, life, heartbreak + everywhere in between.

I think I’ll end on that note.

Love,
Shira

January Link Love: Selma, Style + Safe Sex

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Introduction to the monthly Link Love column: One of my favorite blogs (and a total blogger role model of mine) is Gala Darling. Every month, Gala Darling publishes a link roundup in a narrative form of what she’s been reading. Lounging in bed on lazy Friday mornings (when I was in college) or Sunday mornings (now that I’m a working lady), I open up the links Gala posts like presents on Chanukah evenings. I want to create a similar experience for my readers…with the added bonus of documenting these reading gems so I no longer have 17 tabs open on Google Chrome. So, without further adieu, thank you Gala for the inspiration. Here is a delightful (Central Park) link carousel of my own.

January has been another month of lots of reading…but this time, mostly reading on the go, which has been a pleasant change from December’s broken-legged stationary ways. Reading on the go has been aided largely by my (relatively new…at least in terms of use) Twitter account, Pinterest and The Skimm, my daily news email. The above image, created (also on the go) with the app Kanvas, has to do with a large fraction of the articles I mention in this Link Love column: articles from the New York Times Styles section, which I devoured like the ritual devouring the New York Times is when paired with tea and a couch one Saturday afternoon. Taking the time and spaciousness to read large portions of a newspaper…even on an iPad…has the potential to be a profound act of ritualizing life, something all us busy souls could use a bit more of in our days, weeks + months.

Well…here goes!

* Last weekend, I saw Selma, which broke my heart in dozens of ways. Here is what Common Dreams says you should know about the historical event…that feels all too current.

* Which made me think about Solutions Journalism and the importance of all of us – especially writers – to never stop imagining political possibilities (in fact, possibilities should be inherent in the word political).

* Glamour Magazine shares 7 ways to be happier right now and 5 signs of happy, healthy relationships.

* Now that I live in Portland, I really, really want to go to the World Domination Summit!

* The Left Brain Buddha shares 40 ways to bring mindfulness into your life!

* From my entire afternoon of devouring the NYT:

Ours was the kind of accelerated intimacy I remembered from summer camp, staying up all night with a new friend, exchanging the details of our short lives. At 13, away from home for the first time, it felt natural to get to know someone quickly. But rarely does adult life present us with such circumstances.

It’s astounding, really, to hear what someone admires in you. I don’t know why we don’t go around thoughtfully complimenting one another all the time.

Most of us think about love as something that happens to us. We fall. We get crushed.

But what I like about this study is how it assumes that love is an action. It assumes that what matters to my partner matters to me because we have at least three things in common, because we have close relationships with our mothers, and because he let me look at him.

I’ve begun to think love is a more pliable thing than we make it out to be.

We spent weeks in the intimate space we created that night, waiting to see what it could become.

Love didn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each made the choice to be.

* Thank goodness Glamour recapped the Golden Globes because I was too busy watching the GIRLS premiere.

* Forbes’ 30 Under 30 came out…lovin the young people power. These young entrepreneurs started businesses like Bloglovin + The Toast.

* Remember when I wrote a novel in a month? NaNoWriMo calls what comes after the Now What months and here’s how to bump up that manuscript.

* My dear, dear friend and former roommate EmK is truly gifted at making GIFs of our most beloved president.

* Yes, January was the start of the New Year, but it was also the 15th anniversary of The Princess Diaries! And at this point, the Link Love column has got to know how much I adore Mia Thermopolis as a fabulous role model of a three-dimensional female character.

* Gala Darling’s Blogcademy went online!!! And I’ve been devouring the free videos on bettering blogs with style!

* Peppermint Mag interviewed Gala Darling on being a business babe + radical self-love.

* I really need to re-read this. Fellow Lotus Flow teacher, based in Austin, wrote this article about finding your focus as a yoga teacher.

* Speaking of Austin, they’re having a TV festival!

* My high school writing mentor and her hubby who’s also a YA author (if that wasn’t cute enough, they got married on the roof of Scholastic HQ) started a podcast: Writing in Real Life.

* This Is What A Yogi Looks Like tees!!! Can you say Wish List ten times fast?

* Right now, what a yogi looks like for me is being broken-legged and attending yoga classes anyway. That means I have to pay particular attention to my alignment and integrate physical therapy into my asana practice.

* Be You Media Group asks a yoga and Ayurveda teacher some intelligent questions.

* The Guardian brilliantly does an expose on exploitation in the wellness industry. A must-read for wellness professionals.

* BUST Magazine bows down to the last-living women of the 1800s. BUST has also been busy reviewing Tina Fey’s new Netflix show starring Ellie Kemper of The Mindy Project. BUST also interviewed the GIRLS girls on life, love + that amazing show of theirs.

* In looking to revive my thesis, I’m loving HuffPo’s thesis project.

* Brene Brown was interviewed on NPR’s On Being podcast on (you guessed it!) vulnerability.

* The monthly newsletter The Balance has a list of new PDX healthy food companies.

* Yet again, fellow FGSS major Ella rocked it with writing about writing the Other Love and safe sex in hookup culture and erotica.

* As an avid journaler, I am grateful to the NYT blog Well for advocating writing as a path to happiness.

* Gretchen Rubin explains happiness using the best literary example ever…Little Women!

It’s Meg’s wedding day, and she and Laurie start talking about drinking wine. Laurie explains, “I don’t care for it; but when a pretty girl offers it, one doesn’t like to refuse, you see.”

Meg answers, “But you will, for the sake of others, if not for your own. Come, Laurie, promise, and give me one more reason to call this the happiest day of my life.”