“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” ~Ayn Rand
For too many years, I played the part of the perfect little southern girl: I kept my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. I dressed properly, including panty hose, slips, and girdles. I didn’t laugh too loudly in public. … Read More
“Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.” ~Unknown
Lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV and massive machines, I seriously considered the possibility that I was having a nightmare. Everything felt so surreal.
At 22 years old, my life was full of promise and potential. I had recently graduated from college and it was a time of beginnings.… Read More
“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” ~Theodore Rubin
Growing up I was a thoughtful and happy kid—carefree, easy going, not afraid to make mistakes and take on challenges.
Just before I turned 13, my parents moved our family halfway across the world where we knew no one.… Read More
“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 began this New Year as a single woman, something I had not experienced for the past five.
In July 2012, my boyfriend of nearly three years dropped this bomb on my world:
“Carmen, I know you want to spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t give that to you, because I’m gay.”
My entire future I’d created for us in my mind disappeared all at once.… Read More
“We find comfort among those who agree with us—growth among those who don’t.” ~Frank A. Clark
This post is for anyone who has ever disagreed with those whom they love the most, to remind them that these disagreements do not have to lead to regret.
Indeed, they can lead to our deepest growth if we so choose.… Read More
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” ~Rodin
When I was in college, I knew what to do and everything clicked along.
But as graduation approached, I got nervous.
I’d always assumed that some “good job” would turn up when I got out of school. But now it was in my face that I had no idea where I was going.… Read More
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.” ~Anne Lamott
I had planned to write this post a month ago. The topic was interesting, and it was one that I was sure most people could relate to. I mean, who hasn’t wrestled at some point with the issue of perfectionism?
One after another, notions and examples of perfectionism flowed steadily from my mind onto my notepad.… Read More
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~Pema Chodron
Are you as scared as I am?
I’m not talking horror movie terrified either. This isn’t the kind of scared where you jump, but then realize it’s just your friend who’s surprised you. This isn’t even the kind of scared when you realize you left your iPhone in a public bathroom.… Read More
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
Right now I am in a tight squeeze. I am in the process of making some big changes, and it’s bringing quite a bit of chaos, uncertainties, insecurities, and fears into my life, as changes will do.… Read More
I’ve recently fallen in love with a company called Buddha Doodles, run by cartoonist and illustrator Molly Hahn.
Buddha Doodles are whimsically illustrated affirmations. Molly’s mission is to inspire others to lead more mindful and positive lives, while shedding light on the inherent wisdom and joy that is available to each and every one of us at any moment.… Read More
“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” ~Buddha
When babies cry everyone rushes to find what’s wrong and alleviate their stress. It’s a bit of an instinct to do this in our culture.
We understand that the only way that a baby can communicate a need to us, whether it’s hunger, a necessary diaper change, fatigue, or discomfort, is to cry out.… Read More
“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah
I made it my New Year’s resolution to forgive someone for his past actions. Unfortunately, the person I forgave is not here to know.… Read More
“Happiness is really a deep inner satisfaction and approval” ~Francis Wiltshire
At the start of the year many of us make resolutions about what we want to give up, what we need to let go—from quitting smoking (did that 20+ years ago), to cutting back on alcohol (a work in progress), to cutting back on not-so-healthy foods (also in progress), to letting go of past “demons.”
There’s a lot to be gained by letting go of past pain, by breaking bad habits.… Read More
“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Recently, I had one of those flashes of insight that burn away the illusions I learned as a child in a dysfunctional family and help me see myself in a new light.… Read More
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” ~Theophrastus
Don’t we all wish we had more time? Time to spend with loved ones. Time to finish solving a problem. Time to eat, pray, love. Time to exercise more. Time to travel to all the continents on the globe.
Time to finish that project.… Read More
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~C.S. Lewis
Growing up, people always saw me as the over-achiever and said, “That girl is really going to make something of herself one day.”
I often felt the pressure of having to live up to these expectations.… Read More
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only saps today of its joy.” ~Leo Buscaglia
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the worrywart extraordinaire.
Worry: verb: To give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
Fret, be anxious, brood, stress, panic.… Read More
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
My partner, Ruth, and I were not happy.
The inside of her mouth was covered in sores, she couldn’t swallow well, and she was exhausted. The chemotherapy was ravaging her body.… Read More
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Another day, another class missed, another alarm turned off. No motivation but to turn the pillow over to its colder side and lay there half asleep, unanswered questions gliding in and out of my mind.
This was how most of my mornings went in my last days of college.… Read More
“If you’re not terrified of the next step, you eyes are still closed. A caged bird in a boundless sky.” ~Jed McKenna
It was day two of living at the Zen Center. Sitting on the side of the dirt path, I had my head buried in my knees.
“I can’t do this babe,” I cried to my husband.… Read More