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Woman on a Road

We Don’t Need to Change to Please Other People

“One of the most freeing things we learn in life is that we don’t have to like everyone, everyone doesn’t have to like us, and it’s perfectly OK.” ~Unknown

I am thankful from the bottom of my heart to that relative who dislikes me.

As Mother Teresa famously said, “Some people come in our life as blessings.… Read More

Couple Hugging

4 Ways to Have More Affectionate, Loving Relationships

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” ~Simone Weil

This morning I was busy French pressing coffee for my husband and me. Everything was going great; I was happily humming along, looking forward to starting my day. My lovely husband came up behind me and bear hugged me gently.… Read More

Happy Woman on Grass

Don’t Let the Outside World Control Your Happiness

“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.” ~Eckhart Tolle

We have this strange need or conditioning to not take responsibility for our own happiness. We expect it to come from an outside source.

It can happen, but it’s fleeting.… Read More

Man and Pink Sky

Why Joy Trumps Happiness (and 3 Ways to Coax It Into Your Life)

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ~Henri Nouwen

Once upon a time I was on a relentless hunt for happiness. I’d root around for it in romantic relationships, search for it in visits to exotic locales, and scour self-help sections of bookstores, hoping to run across a volume that, once and for all, would reveal its thorny secrets.… Read More

Ashamed

Taking the Shame and Fear Out of Mistakes

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing that you’ll make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard

There have been times in my life when I knew I was stuck, but instead of dealing with it I chose to backpedal to the “safest bet” for me at the time, whether it was the steady paycheck from a soul-crushing job or an abusive relationship.… Read More

Give Yourself a Break

When You’re Hurting and Healing: Give Yourself a Break

“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” ~Unknown

Often these days, I would like nothing more than to move forward. If I could only figure out which way was forward, I would definitely start heading in that direction.… Read More

Unhappy Couple

Nothing You Do Will Be Enough If the Relationship Isn’t Right

“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than hurt yourself trying to put them back together.” ~Unknown

A couple of months ago my dear friend and I were chatting over coffee.

The subject turned into past relationships and the reasons why they didn’t work. My friend shared a story about her ex-fiancé—one of those this-clearly-isn’t-going-to-work-but-I-sure-will-try-my-hardest-since-I-don’t-give-up ones.… Read More

Alone in the Woods

When You Fear Emotional Abandonment: Do You Know Your Worth?

“Your value doesn’t decrease by someone’s inability to see your worth.” ~Unknown

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…says Lady Liberty. She was speaking to immigrants wanting to start a new promised life in America, but those words could be my tagline for the men I have had my most intimate relationships with.… Read More

Woman with suitcase

Stop Holding Yourself Back and Start Proving What You Can Do

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath

Singing professionally has always been something I have wanted to do. Always. The home I grew up in wasn’t a particularly musical household, unless you count playing the radio as playing an instrument.

To my benefit, there was a lot of music in our home ranging from gospel to the Beach Boys; but really nothing beyond the sixties was allowed unless it was a spiritual song of some kind.… Read More

Man at sunset

Why You Don’t Need to Eliminate Self-Doubt and Fear

“The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” ~Unknown

Self-doubt has been a companion that has followed me around like a trained dog follows his master. Every step I’ve made outside of my comfort zone, it’s been there, right beside me.… Read More

Happy Woman

You’re Not Broken

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” ~Marianne Williamson

I used to have this secret habit of flipping through the DSM—The Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders—and diagnosing myself with every disorder in the book.

Reading over the criteria for borderline personality disorder, cigarette in hand and eyes wide open, I scanned the diagnosis criteria.… Read More

Man and Sky

5 Choices to Help You Overcome Your Demons and Be Happy

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles.” ~Wayne Dyer

I sat, exhausted and alone after a long night, on the stairs outside the train station.

It was 3:00AM, and it was raining. I’d been drinking all night and I wanted nothing more than the warmth of my bed.… Read More

Happy Woman

3 Tips to Embrace Imperfections and Bounce Back from Mistakes

“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” ~Conrad Hall

Back when I was a teenager, I was kind of a perfectionist. Or, well, I wasn’t really a perfectionist—I was actually a “fake” perfectionist.

Allow me to explain: I put on the perfectionist persona. I acted and behaved in a certain way so that everyone (including both my fellow classmates and teachers) thought and believed that I was the perfect student when I wasn’t.… Read More

Zen Man

Releasing Painful Memories to Live More Fully in the Present

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.” ~Eckhart Tolle

For thirteen years I’ve lived a high-risk lifestyle that focuses very much on the here and now, because I’m an entrepreneur, and that means making lots of fast decisions that affect the future.… Read More

Closure

Redefining Closure in Order to Move On and Get Living Again

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” ~Unknown

I would love to identify as someone who, when her relationships crumble either gradually or all at once, is able to wipe her hands clean and go about her life without any closure.

I fantasize about the tears, time, and energy I would save if I didn’t feel the need for closure and if I didn’t agonize about trying to have these heartfelt and “necessary” conversations with the people with whom I’ve had falling outs.… Read More

Frustrated Woman

5 Ways to Cope with Family Bullies

“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Viktor Frankl

Bullies are everywhere. One of the most insidious and destructive forms of bullying is family bullying, because it’s often done in the name of love.

As someone who was bullied by family members for more years than I care to count, I spent a lot of time learning that most of the bullying going on was not about me or my failings—it was more about what other people needed to unload.… Read More

Unattached

Nothing Is Permanent: Letting Go of Attachment to People

“Impermanence is not something to be afraid of. It’s the evolution, a never-ending horizon.” ~Deepak Chopra

I have been reading a lot lately on attachment and impermanence. It’s a big topic, one that is often hard to wrap your head and heart around. How can I live a life without attachment?… Read More

Depressed Man

5 Lessons from a Breakdown: How to Make Hard Times Easier

“Never apologize for showing feelings. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

Three years ago, at twenty-five, I had a breakdown that stole over two years of my life and almost killed me.

People often think of breakdowns like car accidents—one almighty crash that results in the dissolution of that person’s being.… Read More

Different

3 Surefire Ways to Embrace Being Different

“To be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting.” ~e.e. cummings

I’m gay. I’m married to a woman and we have a beautiful daughter together. I also have an ex–boyfriend that I was with for quite a significant time.… Read More

Workaholic

We Are More Than What We Do for Work

“I’ve learned that making a living is not the same things as making a life.” ~Maya Angelou

My friend Nick and I were talking one day about our plans for after graduation. We talked about marriage and whether our religious beliefs would factor into our weddings when the time came, or whether our mothers would just run the whole show.… Read More

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