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Liberated

Why Your Problems Are Not Nearly as Permanent as They Seem

“When we…go back into the past and rake up all the troubles we’ve had, we end up reeling and staggering through life. Stability and peace of mind come by living in the moment.” ~Pam Vredevelt

There is a way in which we tend to view issues in our lives that makes it seem like the issue is a big, scary monster that chases us around everywhere we go.… Read More

Freedom

How to Redefine Yourself by Letting Go of the Past

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou

When I was eight years old, my mom had her first mental breakdown. The illusion of a typical suburban family shattered as the household descended into chaos. When the counselors and child protective services stepped in, I knew: I was undeniably different.… Read More

Be

How Self-Acceptance Enables Us to Connect with Others and the Moment

“By accepting yourself and being fully what you are, your presence can make others happy.” ~Jane Roberts

I recently received one of the nicest compliments from a co-worker.

As nice as it was to hear someone validate all of the hard work I do and recognize my passionate desire to use music as a way empower people, I found that the compliment was just one, all-too-brief moment in a day dominated by schedules, meetings, and not nearly enough time for me to enjoy what was happening around me.… Read More

Jumping for Joy

Take Back Control: 4 Toxic Habits to Break

“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” ~Charles C. Noble

Until recently, I firmly believed that a classic set of toxic habits consisted of nail biting, smoking cigarettes, and abusing alcohol and drugs.

I completely forgot that there are some behavior patterns that can do equally bad damage to our vital and creative energy, claiming control over our lives and holding us back.… Read More

Trust Yourself

Trusting Yourself to Make Decisions Instead of Always Seeking Advice

“To thine own self be true.” ~William Shakespeare

No one knows the real you but you. Sometimes it is true that we don’t know ourselves. That’s because we have lost ourselves, or maybe because we never knew ourselves to begin with.

I grew up a long time ago on a hill on Bentley road in Puyallup, Washington.… Read More

Orange Sky

How to Be Okay When You Have More Questions Than Answers

“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.” ~Nancy Willard

I love the color organge. It makes me think of a beautiful ripe papaya, the calming shade of a monk’s robe, and the tapered candles my grandfather held in his hands to pray.

I don’t know if it’s simply this or the prayer chants that rose from temples along the rural Lao countryside, but when I think on these things from my childhood, I feel peace.… Read More

Arguing

Dealing with Difficult People: 5 Effective, Compassionate Practices

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

It’s morning; you’re in a great mood. You’re relaxed and have plenty of time to practice your morning routine. After a delicious breakfast you head out to start your day. Then it happens: you encounter a difficult person and your calm turns to calamity.… Read More

Cute Couple

How to Love More and Hurt Less in Relationships

“Our interactions with one another reflect a dance between love and fear.” ~Ram Dass

In my personal experience, I’ve learned that it is sometimes easier to dance this journey of life solo rather than in partnership. Many of us have experienced life both in relationships and outside of them. Both are just as sweet.… Read More

Garden Buddha

Tending to Your Garden of Thoughts and Keeping Your Mind Weed-Free

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha

Imagine your mind as a garden. Positive thoughts are the beautiful flowers that brighten your life. Negative thoughts are the ugly weeds that spread and suffocate the flowers.

Tending to my garden is an ongoing process.… Read More

Dark Clouds

How to Keep Our Thoughts from Making Us Miserable

“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare

I thought I knew what happiness was. I experienced it, and did so for a while—that is, what I thought was happiness.

What I was calling happiness was merely an emotion. Emotions, feelings that arise in the body, come into existence when we have thoughts related to them.… Read More

Happy

What We Can Control and What We Can Do to Be Happier

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” ~Jim Rohn

My mother had possibly the worst temper I have ever witnessed. She screamed at me constantly.

There is a difference between yelling and screaming. Yelling is when one simply raises one’s voice.… Read More

Parents

Learning to Forgive Our Imperfect Parents for Their Mistakes

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” ~Oscar Wilde

I couldn’t tell you if Oscar Wilde’s quote is entirely accurate. You see, my biological parents abandoned me and left me with my grandparents at birth.

Growing up with grandma and grandpa was the best childhood I could have ever imagined, and I didn’t miss my biological parents at all.… Read More

Broken Heart

The Blessing of a Broken Heart: How Pain Can Lead to Healing

“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.” ~Ruth E. Renkel

My last break-up was on April 16th, 2012.

I remember the date because on the evening of April 17th, as I sat with a blotchy red face and tears in my eyes, my dad told me I soon would remember that day and be glad I was no longer sad.… Read More

Crying Man

7 Steps to Move Through Sadness (and What We Can Learn from It)

“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” ~Buddha 

He had been ignoring the symptoms for months, possibly even a year.When my husband came home from the doctors, he told me his PSA score was high and he needed to have a biopsy. That date came and went, and we were waiting for the pathology report.… Read More

Holding Hands

We’re Not Against Each Other: Choosing Cooperation Over Competition

“If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” ~Buddha

It’s long been declared that the nature of life is based on survival of the fittest; that we all must constantly compete to survive.

And maybe, in some ways this is true.

But what if there were another truth, something that is even more powerful than competition?… Read More

Bungee Jumping

How to Tackle the Top 6 Fears That Keep Us Stuck

“Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me.” ~Isabel Allende

When you think of a fearless person, you might imagine a real-life James Bond who performs death-defying stunts knowing he could die at any second.

But for most of us living “normal” lives, fear operates at a subconscious level and prevents us from being the best we can be.… Read More

Happy

Let Go of Shoulds and Stress and Let Yourself Do Nothing

“When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.” ~Unknown

I am a recovering doing addict. My whole life I have been committed to getting things done. I do, do, do until I can’t do no more.… Read More

Friends

Disconnect to Get More Connected: Lessons from a Phone-Free Month

“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.” ~Jose Ortega y Gasset

I used to live in San Francisco, a city celebrated for its carnivals, free music festivals, thriving bar culture, Mexican food markets, beautiful parks, fantastic literary events, thrift stores, and… (Can you tell I miss it?]

The effect of having all this culture available is that quite often, we spend more time around the doing of an event than the doing itself.… Read More

Friends at Peace

Why Forgiveness Is a Gift to Yourself and How to Release the Past

“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese

On a snowy winter day in the dark month of January, I got hit by a car. My left leg was immediately amputated. A darkness started growing in my seventeen-year-old heart that day.

Harvey was the man driving the car that hit me.… Read More

Happy Guy

3 Things You Can Do To Feel Happier, Right Now

“The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now.” ~Robert G. Ingersoll

In The Four Noble Truths, the Dalai Lama wrote, “It is a fact—a natural fact of life—that each one of us has an innate desire to seek happiness and to overcome suffering.”

Regardless of religion or creed or upbringing, I think we can all agree on this most universal of statements.… Read More

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