Happy almost 2013!
It seems like just yesterday I wrote “Happy almost 2012!” before summarizing the top lessons from 2011.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, as I like to think that any moment is an ideal time to make a change, but I always appreciate looking back and recognizing progress and growth.
The site grew by leaps and bounds this year, surpassing two million monthly page views. However, what I’ve found most exciting is the increased interest in contributing to the blog.
Each month, I’ve received more submissions than the month before, but what inspires me isn’t the number of posts that people have submitted; it’s the honesty and passion that people have put into them.
Ultimately, I think we all want more than knowledge; we want to know that we’re not alone, and we want not just to be helped, but also to help others.
I’m proud and grateful that this is a space where we can all do both—where we can connect with each other based on our shared experiences and feelings, and can both learn from each other and share what we’ve learned.
The top ten insights from posts written this year (based on page views and comments) include:
1. We can decide on any day to feel more alive.
To feel more alive, you don’t need to achieve anything specific. You simply need to choose to do something today that makes you feel exhilarated and excited, whether that means reaching out to someone you admire or facing a fear.
From my post, 40 Ways to Feel More Alive: “That’s what it means to really feel alive—to be so immersed in the passionate bliss of this moment that you don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. You just enjoy what you’re doing and love every piece of it.”
2. If you’re dealing with a break-up, the best thing you can do is to focus on your thoughts, your attitude, and your reaction.
As Ana S. wrote, “Dealing with a break up requires immense strength from us. We need to be strong to control our thoughts, to stop the crying, to find happiness in the present moment, and to let go of that person we love so much.”
Some of her suggestions to move on: Stop dwelling on what you could have done differently, stop dwelling on what the other person’s thinking and doing, and allow yourself to feel and grieve.
3. There are a number of reasons to be okay with being disliked.
We all want to feel accepted, respected, and appreciated, but there’s nothing more stressful than trying to be liked by everyone. There are lots of reasons to become comfortable with being disliked, and I listed 10 of them earlier this.
Some of them include: It allows you to be your true self, it gives you the power to say no (since you’re less worried about people pleasing), and it allows you the freedom to explore your feelings (since you stress less about people’s opinions).
4. You can change your life by identifying what’s important to you.
In his post 6 Questions That Will Change Your Life Forever, James McWhinney shared how he formerly felt lost and stuck in a dead-end job and offered 6 questions to help us get unstuck.
Some of them include: What do I absolutely love in life? What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far? What would I stand for if I knew no one would judge me?
5. There’s a lot to appreciate about being single.
As C. De Lima wrote in her post The Art of Being Happily Single, when you’re not in a relationship you have an opportunity to spend time with yourself and focus on your own needs. It’s a call not just to be open to a new love, but also to be open to life.
6. Your instincts will tell you if you’re in a toxic relationship—if you stay open to the signs.
At one point or another, most of us have stayed in an unhealthy relationship after our instincts told us it might be time to leave. When emotions are involved, it can be hard to hear the small voice within that says, “Something’s not right.”
In her post 5 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship, Yvette Bowlin presented a few signals it’s time to move on, including: It seems like you can’t do anything right, and everything is about them and never about you.
7. We can feel more loved by opening our hearts, our minds, and our eyes.
We all want to feel loved and connected to other people, but sometimes we struggle with opening up and letting others in.
In my post How to Feel More Loved: 9 Tips for Deep Connection, I offered a collection of tips to do just that, including: initiate meaningful conversations, consider that love might look different than you visualized it, and value the people who are already in your life.
8. If you’re being nice automatically, without reflecting on your own thoughts and values, you’re not being good to yourself.
Do you find yourself being overly agreeable and avoiding confrontation? Do you pride yourself of never being mad? Nisha Balaram shared how she used to resent her accommodating nature and explained how we can be kind and good to ourselves.
Some of her suggestions include: Avoid victimizing yourself and blaming others; and recognize your feelings are valid instead of making excuses for them.
9. We can change our feelings by changing our thoughts.
In his post 20 Thoughts to Relieve Anxiety and Depression, Dorian Innes shared a variety of thoughts that can change our perspective and help us feel more positive.
Some empowering thoughts include: You can’t control everyone and everything; you are where you are right now because that’s where you need to be; and, success has no standard definition.
10. Love often looks different than we expect it will.
On Valentine’s Day, I wrote a short post describing what love isn’t, at least from my perspective. My intention was to break down our idealistic expectations to open us up to a more compassionate kind of love—the kind that’s not based on perfection, but mutual understanding, forgiveness, and growth.
I have some exciting plans for 2013! Some time in either January or February, the site will have a new design, and I hope to launch forums at the same time.
In the fall, I plan to launch my second print book, Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Self-Love, which will include 40 posts from the Tiny Buddha community.
Most importantly, the site will continue facilitating conversations about the universal challenges we all face.
Thank you for being part of those conversations. You make a difference, and you’re appreciated.
Wishing you a peaceful, healthy, happy 2013 friends!
*Just a note: I’m running another Tiny Wisdom eBook Buy-One-Give-One sale to celebrate the New Year. If you haven’t seen that post already, you can read more about that here.
Photo by AlicePopkorn