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Yoga

How Do You Motivate Yourself: With Love or Fear?

“The heart is like a garden: it can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?” ~ Jack Kornfield

My whole life has been a story of discipline. I started exercising and eating healthier in eighth grade. I planned out my studies meticulously so I would finish school assignments exactly on time.… Read More

Facing a Fear

5 Tips to Help You Take Action to Overcome Your Fear

“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.” ~W. Clement Stone

I made it all the way to my thirtieth birthday without learning how to drive. After I turned twenty-one, people often asked me why I hadn’t learned yet. My go-to story was that I lived in a place with abundant public transportation options and never had any intention of buying a car.… Read More

Parting Ways

3 Things to Do When a Friendship Starts to Fade

“When we can no longer change a situation, we must change ourselves.” ~Victor Frankl

There are a million reasons why a friendship may change over time. You grow older, relocate for a job, have a fight, or start having kids.

It is an inevitable fact that life takes people in new directions; growing apart from old friends becomes a part of our lives.… Read More

Running

Keep Moving Toward Success, One Failure at a Time

“If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.” ~Chinese Proverb

I remember clearly the day in March 2003 when I would receive the kind of news that no aspiring musician wants to hear.

“Sorry, but you aren’t currently at the level needed to enter our school.”

Five years of blood, sweat, and tears for what?… Read More

Sitting in Nature

We All Need Alone Time: Do You Allow Yourself to Recharge?

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.” ~Marcus Aurelius

At the end of August I moved to Madison, Wisconsin. This was my second major move in a year.

In both cases, I was separated from almost my entire prior social network. After college, making friends seems like a totally different ball game.… Read More

Sitting in Silence

20 Ways Sitting in Silence Can Completely Transform Your Life

“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu

For over two years I spent one out of every four weeks in silence. At the time I was living at a Zen Monastery and every month we would have a week-long silent retreat.

During this retreat we sat meditation in silence, ate in silence, worked in silence, and only communicated through hand gestures and written notes.… Read More

Free Hugs

Why Giving to Others Is Also Giving to Ourselves

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities.  Seize common occasions and make them great.” ~Orison Swett Marde

I stood at the library counter waiting to check out a stack of books when I overheard an overworked woman explain to the librarian why her books were late.

“My boss has me running his errands after hours.… Read More

Couple

5 Simple but Often Forgotten Ways to Keep a Relationship Strong

“Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time, patience, and two people who truly want to be together.” ~Unknown

Out of our six loving years together, my partner and I spent two and a half years in a long-distance relationship. During these years there were times we communicated nearly daily, but there were also times when we couldn’t even email or text for a month at a time while I was living in an African village.… Read More

Man behind a fence

The Difference Between Setting Boundaries and Shutting People Out

“The most important distinction anyone can ever make in their life is between who they are as an individual and their connection with others.” ~Anne Linden

After growing up in a household with extremely loose emotional boundaries, I soon learned the importance of establishing my own personal boundaries as quickly and clearly as possible.… Read More

Mindful

Let It Be: Using Mindfulness to Overcome Anxiety and Depression

“Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

When I was twelve years old, I figured out how to get out of things.

It was a rainy Saturday morning and I was supposed to be getting ready for choir practice—an eight-hour rehearsal before a big concert.… Read More

Heart

Forgiving and Letting Go When You Feel Resentful

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Ghandi

My childhood was in many ways a nice childhood. I feel like a complete twit to complain about it.  I know other people have gone through so much worse. I’ve read really difficult childhood stories and my heart literally bleeds for these people.… Read More

Walking

Life Happens Now, and Other Lessons from a 500-Mile Walk

“If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens.” ~Fay Weldon

In September of 2012, I flew from Idaho to Spain and began a 500-mile pilgrimage walk on the Camino de Santiago. I arrived in St. Jean Pied-de-Port without any expectations and a blank canvas in my mind. I will treasure the imaginary painting that developed over the next thirty-five days until my last breath.… Read More

Like Flying

5 Tips to Help You Stop Limiting Your Potential

“Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” ~Jack Kornfield

I learned one of my biggest lessons in life when I ran into a high school bully many years ago. He was totally different from the last time I saw him. He was now passionate about life and adventure, and he looked very happy.… Read More

Running

How To Keep Yourself Motivated When You’re Not Feeling It

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” ~Unknown

I’m great with short-term goals. In fact, I prefer them. Work my butt off for a few months to reach a goal? I’m down with that. I’ll give up a social life, down time, spending money, eating yummy food (read: sugar), drinking alcohol—whatever it takes, for the short-term.… Read More

Holding Heart

Following Your Internal Compass and Making Your Own Decisions

“Believe nothing no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.” ~Buddha

Dad, who at the time was a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps, taught me how to navigate using a compass.… Read More

SONY DSC

7 Tips for Pursuing Your Passion, Even If You Feel Behind

“Don’t worry about what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

From center stage I looked out into the crowd as the stage lights warmed my face and did their best to obscure my vision.… Read More

Smiling

Stop Comparing: No One Can Do a Better Job of Being You

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

For fifteen years I gave up on art.

I’d been an “artistic” kid, always drawing and painting, but by first or second grade I was already comparing my work to that of other kids and judging it as inferior.… Read More

Fear

Building Confidence to Face a Fear Instead of Hiding from It

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I was very shy growing up, especially in lower and middle school. I moved from the US to London when I was five. Although I don’t remember a lot of my experience in lower school in London, I do know that when I first started I refused to speak or read aloud.… Read More

Strength

3 Choices for Dealing with Pain or Abuse: Strength Is in the Healing

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown

When I was twenty-four, leaving my ex was my “something bad.” It was about as bad as it could get.

After four years of dating, I was certain marriage was right around the corner.… Read More

Enlightenment

Dealing with Loss: 3 Uplifting Truths About Death and Grief

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever; you just have to live.” ~Natalie Babbitt

I stared at my reflection in the mirror as my face contorted into a painful grimace, tears streaming down my cheeks. My throat constricted to keep the sobbing at bay.… Read More

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