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Reach to the Sky

Overcoming Shyness: How to Feel More Confident

“Each time we face a fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” ~Unknown

I’m 25 years old and I’m currently in Minsk, Belarus, but that’s not where I’m from. In my relatively short life I’ve lived in many cities and countries all around the world, including Amsterdam, Cape Town (South Africa), Prague, Budapest, and Paris, to name a few.… Read More

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Waking Up to Live Fully and Passionately

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

Have you ever hit the snooze button? I’m guessing you have at least once. And when you hit it— if you were awake enough to even think about it—you were probably happy knowing that you’d be getting a few more minutes of sleep, right?… Read More

Open Your Heart

Emotionally Closed Off: Healing Pain and Learning to Love

“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.” ~ Buddha

There’s only one way to survive life. Shut down, or get hurt and die.

Well, that’s what I once believed.… Read More

Butterfly

Changing Roles and Allowing Yourself to Evolve

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. “ –William S. Burroughs

I have worked for many years as a shelter and spay neuter veterinary technician. Earlier this year, I had the misfortune of losing the job at the shelter where I had worked for many years.… Read More

Mourning

Facing the Fear of Death and Really Living Now

“He who doesn’t fear death only dies once.” ~Giovanni Falcone

“None of us get out of here alive…” My sweet friend spoke those words, a few months before she lost her battle with Stage IV Brain Cancer at the tender age of 33.

She had a sense of humor, always, and even in the midst of her intense radiation treatments, was able to make light of a fact that is so obviously true—yet is so inherently avoided by Western culture.… Read More

Personal Growth

Growth Isn’t Always Linear: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

“If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a time of great personal growth ahead.” ~Oswald Chambers

If I were to look back at my life thus far, as I often do, I’d notice a pattern of events and feelings resembling the activity on an EKG monitor.

For every peak, there’s been a valley.… Read More

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5 Tips to Overcome a Major Setback

“Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together.” ~Unknown.

Just when I thought I was ready to get some of my ideas into motion and action, I have a setback.

Previously setbacks involved finances (unexpected bills, for example), time delays, and an unresponsive partner or friend when I wanted to make changes.… Read More

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Embracing Our Darkness: We Don’t Always Have to Be Happy

It is better to be whole than to be good.” ~John Middleton Murray

Discouragement is usually an unwelcome guest. Every time it comes knocking on my door, I try to shoo it away or sweep it under the rug.

In fact, many of us want nothing more than for happiness to be our constant state of being, and have a hard time forgiving ourselves when we falter.Read More

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Make It a Great Day or Not, the Choice is Yours

“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” ~W.M. Lewis

Throughout my high school career, I kind of wandered around the school, trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be afterward.

I was that kid you’d see walking as fast as humanly possible through the hallways with my books under my arms, trying to avoid all human contact, but I tried to stay active anyhow.… Read More

Holding Hands

Develop Self-Awareness and Improve Your Relationships

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” -Gandhi

The other day I got upset over something silly that triggered difficult feelings with deep roots from my past.

In short, someone I love made a reasonable request that, for various reasons, I didn’t want to honor, partly because I felt this person wasn’t taking my feelings into account.… Read More

Non Dual Thinking

Non-Dual Thinking: There Are Things We Don’t Know

“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” ~Shakespeare

It is not possible to grasp the infinite from a position that is finite. Seems like a good place to start.

“Dual” thinking, as I understand it, is the idea that something has to be “either/or.” That it’s either good or bad.Read More

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Constructive Criticism Is a Sign of Your Potential

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle

Like a lot of kids, I grew up watching sports. Every Sunday afternoon, our family would gather around the big screen TV to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers play.

As a result, I began to idolize some of my favorite players and wanted to play the sport that brought them such fame, but little did I know that the coaching would be so brutal.… Read More

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Extraordinary Passion: Making a Dream Come True

Just as much as we see in others we have in ourselves.” ~William Hazlitt

As an American living and working abroad in Barcelona with only local Spanish and Catalan television, I often look to the Internet for entertainment when I have downtime. I particularly enjoy looking up songs I’ve heard on the radio.… Read More

Closed Eyes

Amp Up Your Self-Love: 7 Tools to Feel Great about You

“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” ~Maxwell Maltz

I’ve always been a rebel—independent, and a bit of a loner. I’ve prided myself on self-sufficiency. I like to do things my own way, and I don’t care for unrequested input (to put it mildly!).

I’ve been self-employed since I was 22 in a profession it can be tough to make a living in.… Read More

Woman at Sunrise

The Transformative Powers of Pain: Healing from Abuse

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~Jean Paul Sartre

We all have our stories of how people have wronged us and caused pain. Allow me to tell you mine.

I’m a survivor of abuse: mental, emotional, physical, and sexual. I was born into a family of abusers and witnessed it from the day I was born until age 16.

Read More
Sitting Outside

How to Deal with Unfairness and Change the Things You Can

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit

Many times in the past, I’ve complained that things weren’t fair.

Sometimes, I was legitimately wronged—like when I was a kid and an adult in my life regularly told people lies about me, seemingly to justify her disdain and mistreatment.… Read More

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Keeping Our Hearts Open at Work and at Home

“A person’s world is only as big as their heart.” ~Tanya A. Moore

I had a great boss. He was a creative spirit, just like me. He gave me total autonomy and creative license, and honestly, I did the best work of my career under his leadership.

I can remember coming to him with outlandish ideas—never-been-done-before ideas—and he would listen, and then we’d spend hours brainstorming on how to bring them to life.… Read More

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Shifting Suffering into Gratitude: Go Upside Down

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

They sound so cliché, sayings like, “There’s always a silver lining” or “Look on the bright side” or “there’s a positive to every negative.” Whenever struggle or suffering showed up in my life, those key expressions seemed to flow out of the mouths of family and friends.… Read More

Man and the Sky

Appreciate or Change the Game Instead of Blaming It

“Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” ~Jack Kornfield

Imagine these three scenarios:

Scenario 1: You wake up in the middle of the night and your baby is crying. You feel annoyed that you have to wake up in the middle of your sleep.… Read More

Lights

Make Your Life a Mission Not an Intermission

“Make your life a mission, not an intermission.” ~Arnold H. Glasgow

My eyes fluttered open. I could see the sunshine pouring through my rose-colored curtains. For a few golden seconds, there was quiet, there was peace. Then I remembered, “You have an audition today. Two hours away from where you live!”

I spun around so quickly that I made myself into a human burrito stuck in my blankets.… Read More

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