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Happily Imperfect

How to Stop Feeling Inadequate and Embrace Your Imperfect Self

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen

As I sit in bed typing this, all cozied up with a hot cup of tea and my fuzz ball Maestro relaxing at my feet, I feel happy and at ease.… Read More

Friends

5 Ways to Find Your People (The Ones Who Really Get You)

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” ~Unknown

For probably over thirty years—since I was old enough to know I needed them—I’ve been looking for my people.

You know the ones—the people who get you, somehow; who are on the same wavelength.… Read More

Sad Woman

Pain is Part of Being Human: 4 Lessons to Help Reduce Suffering

“Suffering is not caused by pain but by resisting pain.” ~Unknown

Pain is everywhere. Whether through heartbreak or a broken bone, we all struggle with unavoidable hurt at some point in our lives. Often, even the suggestion of suffering is enough to send us running for cover.

One of our most basic instincts is to avoid being hurt, and for good reason.… Read More

Loneliness

8 Solutions for Loneliness That Don’t Require a Romantic Relationship

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” ~Joseph F. Newton

The epiphany has finally occurred. Why on earth has it taken so long? I ask myself this as I look back on the last nine years I have spent trying to cover up the real issue. Loneliness.

After getting married at twenty and then leaving nineteen years later, it took another two years before I met another man that I fell in love with almost instantly. … Read More

Surrender

Release Your Anger by Choosing to Lose

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” ~Alice Miller

I was quietly watching a documentary with my wife when the phone rang. An icy voice informed me that I was supposed to be at work at 6:00; it was already 7:00 PM. It was my boss.

Great, that’s all I needed—an unexpected night shift with a resented supervisor.… Read More

Puppet

Stop Over-Depending on Others: Cut the Puppet Strings and Be Real

“Some people think it’s holding tight that makes one strong, but sometimes, it’s letting go.” ~Unknown

I got a week off of work recently to spend with myself, which is always a wonderfully centering experience for me. I’m an introvert, so I love my alone time. But as I took the time to introspect about some relationships in my life, my Zen-like vacation mindset disappeared.… Read More

Walking in the Fog

How to Find Your Path When Life Suddenly Changes

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

As an ocean lover, I frequently visit the shore, even during the winter. Encouraged by a day with blue skies and forecasted temperatures above freezing, I hopped in the car and headed for the coast.

The beautiful view of the ocean is the best part of the six-mile walk I intended to do.… Read More

Happy Face

Finding Contentment in the Rhythms of an Everyday Life

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” ~Paulo Coelho

As the day of my daughter’s second birthday approaches, I have found myself reflecting more and more on the first few months of her life.

She arrived on a Sunday morning as winter gave way to spring, full of life and ready to embrace her humanness as only a brand new human can.… Read More

Happy Woman

Addicted to Approval: Reclaim Your Self-Esteem

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

The past few years have been full of hard but necessary lessons I needed to learn about my relationships with others—their limits, boundaries, what healthy relationships are and are not.… Read More

Couple

Transform Your Relationship by Assuming the Best Intentions

“Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.” ~Mildred Barthel

I used to think he was out to get me. The man of my dreams was continually plotting to undermine my happiness in countless ways, all for some mysterious reason I couldn’t comprehend.

Can you give me a ride to work today?Read More

Two Dancing Girls

How to Use Comparisons for Growth Instead of Feeling Inferior

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

Comparison is something we all struggle with at one point or another. Although it’s something that conventional self-help wisdom urges us to avoid, it’s also a way of gauging where we fit in the world.… Read More

Reflection

Be Who You Want to Be by Realizing You’re Not Who You Think

“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ~ James Allen

We all have a picture of ourselves in our minds. A picture of what we believe we are like. A picture we choose to believe no matter what.

We can cling to this idea about ourselves all we want, but that will not make it true.… Read More

Conversation

The Most Important Thing to Do Before a Difficult Conversation

“You are your choices.” ~Seneca

After four years of radio silence, a former flame appeared in my inbox.

We set up a time to talk later that week. And when the day came, right on time, he called.

We talked. I had many questions. He explained the best he could. The conversation eased into Taoism and Twitter.… Read More

Happy

Taking a Chance on Happiness and Knowing We Deserve It

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” ~Denis Waitley

I like to tell the story of how I changed my mind about myself and what I was worthy of, and how that change almost immediately led me to my husband—or, rather, how it led him to me.… Read More

Held Back

How Our Addiction to Struggle Holds Us Back

“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu

Do you feel, on some level, that your life is hard work? That you need to struggle in order to improve things in your world? Do you feel that you even need to struggle to reach a desired goal, to overcome adversity before achieving something worthy?… Read More

Happy

Why Life Is More Joyful When We Let Go of “Good” and “Bad”

“Love is the absence of judgment.” ~Dalai Lama

If judgment is the act of labeling something as good or bad, then it seems we humans do it thousands of times a day. Those of us on a spiritual path even label judgment as a bad thing. We know that pain comes from judgment, but it’s such a part of our culture that there seems to be no way around it.… Read More

Love and Enthusiasm

We Have the Power to Choose

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” ~Wayne Dyer

When I was twelve years old I got back from a weekend at my aunt’s house with my mom. We came home to find my father dead in bed. I remember my mom’s screams causing many of our neighbors to come over to see what had happened.… Read More

Walking into the Sunset

Dealing with Regret: 8 Ways to Benefit and Move Forward

“Stay away from what might have been and look at what can be.” ~Marsha Petrie Sue

When I look back at some of the most painful moments of my life, I see myself sitting alone, feeling either immense shame or regret.

It’s bizarre how we can get so offended and angry when other people hurt us and yet repeatedly choose to torture ourselves—far worse than they possibly could—through repeated mental rehashing.… Read More

Arms Outstretched

Why Self-Compassion Is the Key to Being Our Authentic Selves

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I was raised in a family where outward appearance and reputation were important. Standing out was only encouraged if it was within the bounds of what was considered “normal.”

No one ever explicitly told me, “What other people think of you is more important than being your true self,” yet that’s what I learned to believe.… Read More

Man on a Bridge

6 Ways to Triumph Over Self-Pity and Defeat Self-Loathing

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb

Glancing at the ceiling, I waited for the prick as the nurse began to draw blood from my vein.

My mother, patiently sitting in the chair next to my hospital bed, looked at me with comforting and hopeful eyes.… Read More

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