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Category “change & challenges”

Man on a Dark Night

How Pain Can Lead to Pleasure & Why We Should Embrace It

“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.” ~Unknown

We all hate to suffer, and avoid suffering at all costs. I’ve gone through great lengths to avoid discomfort, pain, and sorrow.

I stayed with the wrong people to avoid the suffering of letting go; I indulged in tasty, fatty snacks to avoid the suffering of not eating them; and I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day to avoid the suffering involved with quitting.… Read More

Reborn

5 Steps to Coming Back To Life After Hitting Rock Bottom

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~Nelson Mandela

Living through the past several years of my life has been a humbling experience. I guess I shouldn’t say I lived through those years. I existed.

Through those years, life threw me punch after punch.… Read More

Time for Change

A Simple Yet Powerful Method for Making Big Changes

“Whenever I go on a ride, Im always thinking of whats wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.” ~Walt Disney

As a kid, I never realized how lucky I was to grow up less than an hour away from Disneyland.

I was spoiled by how often I would visit the park and get the whole Disney. … Read More

Imprisoned

How to Free Yourself from the Pain of High Expectations

“Suffering is traumatic and awful and we get angry and we shake our fists at the heavens and we vent and rage and weep. But in the process we discover a new tomorrow, one we never would have imagined otherwise.”  ~Rob Bell

During my pregnancy, I was the poster child for prenatal health.… Read More

Little Monks Laughing

Why It’s Essential To Find Humor During Your Darkest Hours

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

During my pregnancy with my second daughter, Grace, a routine scan showed that the baby had a rare and serious heart defect.

From that moment onward, my husband and I started walking along the most challenging, heart-breaking, and gruelling road either of us has ever traveled.… Read More

Emotions Talking

Your Feelings Have Messages for You (So Stop Ignoring Them)

“But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.” ~Anne Frank

As a sensitive person, I have a complicated relationship with my feelings. They are the sensors I extend out into the world, to pull it in. They are the guides that help me decide what works or doesn’t work for me.… Read More

Strong Man

7 Habits That Keep You Strong (Even When Things Go Wrong)

“I’m stronger because of the hard times, wiser because of my mistakes, and happier because I have known sadness.” ~Unknown

It’s happened to most of us.

Despite our best intentions, something goes dreadfully wrong.

You suffer a heartbreaking loss, make a terrible mistake, or get blindsided by an injury.

In disbelief your mind cries, “Wait.… Read More

Woman with raised hand

How Taking No Action Can Help You Change Your Life

“If you’re still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.” ~Roman Price

For years and years I was in denial. I denied the obvious dysfunction in my marriage, and how terribly unhappy I was in it.

I told myself over and over that things would change and get better, that it wouldn’t be this way forever, and that I could find a way to be happy with how things were.… Read More

Panicked Woman

What to Do When You’re Panicking Because You Can’t Make a Decision

“No one saves us but ourselves. We alone must walk the path.” ~Buddha

I got a frantic message from a friend last night.

Everything was going wrong—her job, her relationship, her life—and she didn’t know what to do.

“Help me, please,” she kept saying. “I don’t know what to do.”

I tried hard to stifle a giggle.… Read More

Crushed by Criticism Vector Image

Why You May Feel Crushed by Criticism (and What to Do About It)

“If you keep your feathers well oiled the water of criticism will run off as from a duck’s back.” ~Ellen Swallow Richards

We all seek love, approval, and appreciation, don’t we? We sometimes obsess over what people think of us. When we receive feedback that seems less than favorable, we speculate for days about what it might mean.… Read More

Floating Man

How to Maintain Peace and Joy Despite Your Everyday Struggles

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~Deepak Chopra

For years I allowed everyday struggles, like slight disturbances from schedule, to steal my happiness, peace, and energy. Whenever something disrupted my plan, I got negative and started complaining.

When I realized this, I began taking steps to accept the daily chaos.… Read More

Man Purple Sky

Healing from Buried Pain: You Must Go Through It

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost

When I was a child my friends and I often played a game called “Going on a Bear Hunt.” Each of the verses told of a different challenge, but offered the same advice—that you must go through it.… Read More

Sad Woman

What to Do When Things Go Wrong and You Feel Sorry for Yourself

“We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what’s wrong in our life, or we can focus on what’s right.” ~Marianne Williamson

I was down in the dumps the other day and was feeling sorry for myself.

For some reason everything was just off. You know when you have one of those days when nothing seems to go right?… Read More

Woman Waving Goodbye

If It’s Hard to Say Goodbye, Your Life’s Been Truly Blessed

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

On the evening of my high school graduation it hit me—the familiar faces and places I’d grown so accustomed to over the last twelve years would soon be changing.

The anxiety of that reality had started to creep into my psyche weeks ago, when I was being fitted for my cap and gown.… Read More

Dont Give Up

6 Reasons Why We Can’t Give Up

“The minute you think of giving up, think of the reason why you held on so long.” ~Unknown

I was a serial “giver upper” for so much of my youth.

I tried gymnastics when I was about six until I discovered the teacher smoked. I’m not sure why I had an aversion to smoking at the time, but I can remember frowning and stamping my foot a lot about it.… Read More

Scared Boy

Fear Can Only Hurt Us If We Let It

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I lay in bed staring into the darkness feeling physically ill with an acute sense of anxiety the like of which I hadn’t experienced in quite some time.… Read More

Man with Arms Up

Bounce Back and Thrive: The Secret to Turning Adversity into Opportunity

“Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” ~William Shakespeare                                                                        

It’s hard for me to write about this. I suppose it stems from being a mutt of Italian and Irish ancestry, two cultures famous for intense pride and keeping personal things “in the family.”

I wonder if my parents ever loved each other.… Read More

Come Alive

Come ALIVE: Appreciate, Love, Imagine, Validate, and Enjoy Yourself

“To be awake is to be alive.” ~Henry David Thoreau

I am back to reality and civilization after a ten-day silent meditation in nature.

No talking. No cell phones. No technology of any kind. It was so peaceful. Exactly what I needed.

Last year was one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced.… Read More

Kneeling Silhouette

How Losing All Hope Can Be Freedom

“Losing all hope was freedom.” ~Edward Norton in Fight Club

We naturally think of hope as a positive thing, as we do freedom, but this quote says that losing hope brings freedom. It may seem contradictory, but losing hope has been my most unexpected lifesaver.

My Mental Breakdown

I struggled with severe anxiety four years ago. … Read More

Man in a Storm

How to Cope and Keep Going When Times Get Tough

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~Winston Churchill

The day started out beautifully. My friends Shaun, Tina, and I decided to take advantage of a sunny Saturday afternoon with a hike along Ontario’s Bruce Trail. We parked our cars at the trail access, laced up our boots, and headed out for a day of wandering through sun-dappled fields and forests.… Read More

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