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Blog Posts

Man sitting on pier

An Ode to Solitude: The Beauty of Just Sitting

“I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Meditation makes you realize it’s not so much the silence as it is the not being around people that’s so profound. No human interaction, a human break if you will, is its own simple kind of joy.… Read More

Woman at the Beach

How to Start Setting Boundaries and Prioritizing Your Needs

“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” ~Tony Gaskins

I highly value being loyal, honest, empathetic, and supportive. I am also partial to advocating for the underdog. As a result, I have historically attempted to be a ‘hero’ in situations of difficulty, tension, conflict, or stress.… Read More

Sad man

How to Regain Confidence After Someone Puts You Down

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” ~Maya Angelou 

Have you ever been the recipient of put-downs, snide remarks, or hostile language?

If you have, your confidence may have suffered a significant nosedive.

I once attended a summer music camp for young musicians. I was studying the piano and enjoyed playing classical music, but I always had a deep fear of performing in front of others, especially other highly skilled musicians.… Read More

Stargazing woman

Stop Looking for Signs and Trust Yourself

“Always try to remember that most of the things that happen in this world aren’t signs. They happen because they happen, and their only real significance lies in normal cause and effect. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you start trying to pry the meaning out of every gust of wind or rainsquall.Read More

Love Your Body

The Real Secret to Loving Your Body and Yourself

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay

Years ago, I had this friend. She was gorgeous and fit—and she ate whatever she wanted. A burger with the bread. A burrito, if she wanted it. She even ate (gasp!) pizza whenever she felt like it.… Read More

Couple Silhouette

3 Steps to Making an Intimate Relationship Work

“True closeness respects each other’s space.” ~Angelica Hopes

It was a Friday, the workweek had ended, and I was excited for my boyfriend to come home. (Okay, I’m talking about an ex-boyfriend—these steps took me time to implement…)

I’d gone grocery shopping and had two steaks to grill, with asparagus and a bottle of wine chilled.… Read More

Power Posing

A Simple Trick to Feel Less Anxious and More Confident

“Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.” ~Plato

A few weeks ago, I was standing in front of a mirror in the women’s bathroom at work.

I could feel the cold sweat down my spine and was angry for not being able to gain a better control of myself.… Read More

Man at a Crossroads

Changing Directions: 6 Tips to Help You Do What’s Right for You

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” ~Lao Tzu

One month before my girlfriend, Sara, gave birth to our first child, we decided to move back to my small hometown to be close to my family.

This was a great moment for my family, especially for my mom and dad, who had given up hope of me moving back a decade ago.… Read More

Mountain Silhouette

The Pain Won’t Stop Until You Do This

“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.” ~Sonia Ricotti

Life is sometimes ridiculously hard. It sucks. It rips out your heart and your entrails, spins them around the room, and stuffs them back in unceremoniously through the hole from which they were ripped.… Read More

Concerned Woman

How to Get Better at Something New Without Beating Yourself Up

“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress, which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” ~Unknown

I love learning. I am fueled by acquiring new skills, understanding human behavior, and observing the beautiful gifts that the universe has for all of us, hopefully all in service of feeding my own curiosity as well as being a better contributor to the world.… Read More

Happy Woman

25 Loving, Supportive Things to Tell Yourself Today

“Identify one supportive phrase you wish you heard more growing up. Every time you pass by a mirror today, look at yourself and say that.” ~from Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges

When I was a kid, an authority figure once told me, “If I was your age, I wouldn’t be your friend.”

I tried to act like I didn’t care so I wouldn’t give that person the satisfaction of knowing how deeply they hurt me.… Read More

Positive and Negative Thinking

7 Ways to Learn from Your Negative Thoughts

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” ~Plutarch

I remember when I first learned about “positive thinking.” I was to observe my thoughts, then sort them into “useful” and “not useful.”

This made sense to me, and it surprised me how many “not useful” thoughts I encountered.… Read More

Quarreling Couple

When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou

I remember first hearing these words in my early twenties. I heard them. I just didn’t follow them. Hence, I brought myself a whole lot of painful lessons and needless suffering because I always wanted to give people a second chance, and a third, and a fourth … You get the picture.… Read More


10 Thinking Patterns That Can Lead to Depression

“Every bad feeling you have is the result of your distorted negative thinking.” ~David D. Burns 

You know the feeling …

When out of the blue your mood switches.

One moment you’re feeling upbeat and optimistic; next you’re feeling down in the dumps.

You can’t think clearly and struggle to put things into perspective.… Read More

Its Not Selfish

How to Meet Your Needs and Make Others Happy at the Same Time

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~Buddha

We all want to be liked. It’s programmed into our DNA and throughout our lives the message is drummed into us loud and clear: put other people first, don’t blow your own horn, and above all, never be selfish.… Read More

Friends Making Heart Symbol

Now Is the Time to Appreciate Each Other and Enjoy Life

“If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don’t be afraid. Be alive.” ~Sarah Dessen

It was beginning to get dark. Lightning streaked across the cloudy sky above the ocean.… Read More

Sad Woman

Why We Can’t Be Happy All the Time

“Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.” ~Ram Dass

Suffering by definition: the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship. As humans we typically strive for what we perceive the opposite of suffering, happiness: the state of being happy. Of course why wouldn’t you? Nobody wants to suffer.… Read More


Why Self-Help Might Not Help, and What Will (Interview & Book Giveaway)

Update: The winners for this giveaway have been chosen. They are:

When I first found what looked like a self-help book called The End of Self-Help, I thought it was a tad ironic. And I wondered if perhaps the author was suggesting that self-help is inherently harmful.… Read More

Girl Skipping at the Surf

Forget “Should” and Live the Life You Want to Live

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

There was a time when I “had it all.”

I was in my tenth year of teaching in a small, rural school. I lived with my husband and daughter in a four-bedroom house in a subdivision in the woods.… Read More

Love My Job

The Key to Creating More Joy in Your Work

“Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.” ~Sarah Bernhardt                      

Ten years ago, when I first moved to China, I came as an English teacher at a university. I hadn’t the faintest clue as to how I would teach and I only had one year of experience as a teaching assistant in graduate school.… Read More

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