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Open Arms

3 Questions to Help You Access Your Intuition

“Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.” ~Horace

During my second year at an arts conservatory, I took a detailed, diagnostic test to determine the hemispheric dominance of my left and right brain. People who tend to lean toward the left are logical, reality-based, practical, and intellectual, when people who tend to lean toward the right are artistic, intuitive, feeling, and imaginative.… Read More

Friends

21 Ways to Build Strong Friendships

“To have a friend and be a friend is what makes life worthwhile.” ~Unknown

I lost my beloved husband from complications following a routine surgery. His sudden death changed every facet of my life and rocked me to my knees. Now, more than a year after his passing, I am openly speaking of my grief experience with others and sharing how I’ve coped being a young widow.… Read More

Bike

One Experience, Two Stories: Interpretation Is Everything

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” -Pema Chodron

I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.… Read More

Emotional Hurricane

What Annoying Situations Teach Us about Ourselves

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.” ~Carl Jung

He was shorter than me with a mustache, and he was positioning himself in front of me, but just off to the side of the line. He was traveling with a young teen, probably his son.… Read More

Look Within

Dealing with Conflict: Knowing When the Battle Is Internal

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” ~African Proverb

Sometimes, we all need to ascertain whether we’re inadvertently contributing to the struggles and challenges we face.

When we have to deal with a tough issue, it can be hard to decipher whether it is truly an objective problem, or if we have (at least some) subconscious ownership of it.… Read More

Happiness

How to Sustain Happiness

“If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. And if you let go completely, you will be completely happy.”  ~Ajahn Chah

After accomplishing three lists of tasks from three different buckets—professional, personal, and entrepreneurial—I felt accomplished and content.… Read More

Broken Heart

How to Deal with a Break Up

“No feeling is final.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

I met him the last semester of college and was instantly attracted to him.  I was definitely attracted to him physically, but it was the way he sat in class with such quiet confidence and mystery that made me long to know him.

I practically drooled all over my desk whenever he spoke, but couldn’t even bring myself to say, “Hello.”  One night out, I saw him standing by the bar.… Read More

Peaceful

4 Simple Mantras to Help You Stay Positive and Happy

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” ~Swedish Proverb

Mantra, according to the dictionary:

Any sacred word or syllable used as an object of concentration and embodying some aspect of spiritual power.

Mantra, according to Sirena:

Things I say to myself to help me deal.… Read More

Boundaries1

How to Set Healthy Boundaries: 3 Crucial First Steps

“You change for two reasons: Either you learn enough that you want to, or you’ve been hurt enough that you have to.” ~Unknown

I learned about boundary work when I was teaching in the NYC jails with male prisoners.

After driving onto a maximum security island of electric, clanging gates, I encountered metal detectors, hallways filled with yelling, chaotic inmates, and tension and anxiety in the air that was almost tangible.… Read More

Kindness

Being Kind When It’s Seen as a Weakness

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” ~Samuel Johnson

When I worked in the corporate world, I didn’t focus on a race to the top. I enjoyed the day-to-day work of running a product line, finding opportunities for new markets, and helping managers in other countries launch similar lines tailored to their markets.… Read More

Friends Hugging

10 Ways to Love the People in Your Life

“At the end of life, our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?” ~Jack Kornfield

We all grow up with some healthy stories about love and some unhealthy ones. I learned some beautiful, life-giving ideas about love, ideas like these:

  • Loving people means believing in their potential.… Read More
  • Uncertainty

    5 Questions: When You Aren’t Sure What You Want in Life

    “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins

    There are times in life when we just don’t know what we want. These are the awkward in-between places where we feel uncertain and unsure, and perhaps even question our purpose.… Read More

    Calm

    Improving Your Reactions to Mishaps from the Inside Out

    “Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it.” ~Unknown

    I am confident. I am content. I am complete. I am calm.

    I decided that this was going to be my new mantra. I decided this at 8:26 a.m. I repeated it to myself over and over while showering, getting dressed, and driving to work.… Read More

    Zipline

    Stop Waiting to Live: Scare Yourself Alive

    “It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” ~Eckhart Tolle

    Whenever I’m tempted to play it safe with my life, whenever I start talking myself out of the risks I really want to take, I think about something my friend Jesse said years ago, when we were on a work-sponsored retreat.… Read More

    Risk

    Leaving a Secure Job When the Risk Feels Scary

    “It’s not who you are that holds you back. It’s who you think you’re not.” ~Unknown

    Over the past four years, I followed a career path that felt soulless.

    As I moved from city to city, climbing the corporate ladder, I noticed that, ironically, the bigger my paycheck, the emptier I felt.… Read More

    Green with Envy

    4 Reasons to Let Go of Jealousy and Celebrate Your Greatness

    “Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

    When I arrived home after a brief stint living in another state, I was anxious to reconnect with places from my childhood and the friends I’d left behind.

    But while I was healing from a heart-wrenching break-up, suffering through sleepless nights on my parents rock-hard couch, and mulling over where all my freelance writing work had gone, my friends seemed to be successful, happy, and right on track.… Read More

    Watermelon

    13 Tips for Eating More Compassionately

    “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~Dalai Lama

    As a child, I had no idea that such a concept as vegetarianism even existed, let alone veganism.

    Since I grew up on a sheep farm, raising animals and eating them were just what we did.… Read More

    Love Bomb

    Love Bomb: Take Five Minutes to Share Some Love

    A while back, when a friend of mine lost her best friend in a car accident, I found a site called Love Bomb that inspired and moved me.

    Every week, the Love Bomb community comes together to leave uplifting comments on a blog post written by someone who’s going through a hard time.Read More

    Peaceful and Confident

    Overcoming the Power of Suggestion: Make Your Own Choices

    “People who urge you to be realistic generally want you to accept their version of reality.” ~Unknown

    I’m often open to suggestion. I like to gather opinions and feedback about my writing so that I can use it to improve the impact and make it a better read.

    The thing I’ve learned about listening to other people’s thoughts on my writing is that sometimes what seems like good advice is little more than personal preference; changing an image or an entire scene to suit one person isn’t always the right path, especially if my gut is saying, “You know you don’t want to do that.”

    Now that I am working on a novel, I realize how easy it’s been to sway me, not just in my decisions but also in my thoughts.Read More

    Flying

    How to Be Fully Awake Instead of Living on Autopilot

    “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”  ~Pema Chodron

    It’s tempting. Staying in the nest means life feels safe and we are protected. If we get thrown out of the nest we either stretch our new wings and fly or plummet to the ground.… Read More

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