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Man Reading

3 Ways to Embrace Your Need for Solitude and Quiet Time

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

Flashback: it’s my sophomore year of high school. I’m standing in the cafeteria, clutching my lunch tray, and wondering where to sit.

The cool kids sit at one table—athletes, cheerleaders, and girls with perfect hair.… Read More

Smiling Woman

51 Ways to Feel Happy in 5 Minutes

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~Buddha

For the longest time I lived in the future.

I had a grand list of all the big things I wanted to do…

Build a multinational company, become a philanthropist, go on long vacations all over the world with my wife, have a big house with a lovely garden…the list goes on!… Read More

Man on Suitcase

A Message for Those Who Feel Lost and Are Looking for Answers

“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

On June 24th I got in a cab at the corner of 72nd and Broadway headed to JFK, hauling two huge suitcases full of medications, bug spray, sunscreen, gluten free foods, a bug tent (really), and cheap cotton clothing.

I checked in, made my way to the gate, and embarked on a 24-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.… Read More

Woman in a Waiting Room

Letting Go and Enjoying Annoying Situations

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.” ~Steven Pressfield

This week I had the pleasure of waiting in a queue. Now, that is not normally something that I would be able to say, as I’m not the most patient woman.… Read More

Woman with Hands Raised

Being Grateful for the Ordinary: The Life We Have Is Enough

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” ~Unknown

From time to time during my schooling years I’d be asked to identify my role models. I always chose someone who’d changed the world in a big way—Martin Luther King Jnr, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi.… Read More

Woman in Tree Pose

Living Right Now: You Are Not Your Thoughts and Feelings

“Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. ” ~Reinhold Niebuhr

Think about the future! Don’t do something you’ll regret! You need to plan for tomorrow! I wish I hadn’t done that! Will things ever work out?… Read More

Smiling Woman

A Surprising Way to Get Through Hard Times

“Almost everything comes from nothing.” ~Henri F. Amiel

There are uncountable ways to deal with difficult times in life. Some people turn to prayer or meditation, others open their hearts in therapy or to friends, and many choose to hide from the pain by eating their weight in chocolate or purchasing expensive bags; to each their own.… Read More

Kids Playing

Rekindle Your Joy by Harnessing the Power of Play

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was one of those weeks that felt like I was dragging my feet through mud. Everything seemed like an effort and nothing seemed to be flowing.

I was caught up in conflicts from the past—a miscommunication with my boyfriend, which resulted in hurt feelings on both sides, and a professional crisis that plunged me into fear and self-doubt.… Read More

Man Behind Curtain

We Are All People Who Need People

“But first be a person who needs people. People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” ~Bob Merrill, lyricist, Barbra Streisand, artist

Act 1: Babs and Me

Barbra Streisand and I could be twins.

For starters, we were born on the same day.

Sure, she got here a couple of decades earlier, but except the part where she’s a rich, famous, writer-director-actress married to James Brolin, and oh, that singing thing, we could have been separated at birth.… Read More

Mourner

When the People We Love No Longer Exist

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” ~Steve Jobs

A week ago a woman I loved died. She was a member of my family and had been dying for a while from bone cancer, so her death did not come as a surprise.… Read More

Man Jumping

Learning to Let Go and Trusting That We Will Be Okay

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” ~Steve Maraboli

While going through some major life changes, I am finally learning to let go. I am learning to relinquish control. And I am learning that everything will be okay in the end.

I am in the middle of my first pregnancy.… Read More

Woman Looking into the Distance

Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize When Your Goal Seems Far Off

“Doing your best means never stop trying.” ~Unknown

As a teacher, the summer season is special, sacred time when I recover from a busy school year and prepare for the next one. The bonus is that I also use the time as a personal blank slate to be as productive as I can be in the other areas of my life that got neglected when all of my energy went into teaching.… Read More

Light at the end of the tunnel

How a Major Crisis Can Sometimes Be a Blessing in Disguise

“Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that pain and turn it into wisdom.” ~Unknown

Ten years ago my life changed in a dramatic way. While at first what I experienced in 2004 seemed like a major disaster, it turns out that sometimes what seems like the worst life experience can actually be one of our biggest blessings.… Read More

Happy Woman

8 Great Habits That Hold You Back from Actual Happiness

“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” ~John Dryden

This may look good, sound good, and maybe even feel good at first, but it’s not serving you well in the end!

I’d hear this thought in my head over and over and still not believe it. But it had persisted ever since I started questioning the status quo in my life.… Read More

Peaceful Woman

How to Stop Fearing the Worst and Worrying About “What Ifs”

“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.” ~Charles H. Spurgeon

There’s nothing like a real health emergency for putting insignificant worries into perspective.

By the time I was pregnant the second time, I had left my struggles with anxiety largely behind me.… Read More

Peaceful Man

7 Ways to Live a Less Fearful, More Peaceful Life

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light.” ~Adapted from Plato

I was digging in my half-empty refrigerator one day, searching for leftovers, when my phone rang. I glared at it wondering who the hell had the nerve to interrupt my hunt for sustenance.… Read More

People holding hands

How to Give Yourself and Others the Gift of Happiness

“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” ~Albert Einstein

My son recently returned home from college with a new demeanor.

He was helpful, considerate, interested in others, and genuinely happy. The change was a far cry from the boy who had left for college just a few short months before.… Read More

Free Man

Releasing Expectations: It’s Okay to Be Right Where You Are

“The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.” ~Shunryu Suzuki

When I was younger, I am sure I was a little bit arrogant. I had high expectations about life. They haven’t come to pass. I haven’t achieved whatever I thought I would achieve. It turns out that I’m an ordinary human being struggling with ordinary things.… Read More

Zen Woman

How to KISS Your Way to A Less Stressful, Overwhelming Life

“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” ~John Maeda

The past few months of my life were a myriad of things, to say the least: busy, chaotic, overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating, and stressful. I felt like my fuel tank was on zero, but I had to get up and do it all over again the next day.… Read More

Loving Couple

Stop Keeping Score in Relationships and Start Taking Care of Each Other

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~Desmond Tutu

I was recently at the grocery store, and not once, but twice, I encountered couples practically duking it out in the aisles. I mean, full on snit-fits happening here.… Read More

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