“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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