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Category “change & challenges”

Standing at a Crossroad

How to Be Sure External Factors Aren’t Affecting Your Decision

“Don’t make a permanent decision for your temporary emotion.” ~Unknown

It was a beautiful day today. The sun shone brightly, kissing my face and warming my bones, the sky was as blue as a lover’s eyes, and there were those little fluffy clouds that seem like aimless but happy sheep floating gently in the sky.… Read More

Embrace Change

5 Practices to Help You Let Go and Embrace Change

“Letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.” ~Unknown

The summer I turned twenty, I worked as a camp counselor at an educational camp with strict rules. As one of my responsibilities, I escorted groups of fifteen to twenty students, ranging in age from middle school to high school, to and from their classes and activities across a large urban campus.… Read More

Take Action

Taking Action Toward a New Life and Moving Through Resistance

“Your actions are your only true belongings.” ~Allan Lokos

This is not a piece about a person who has already finished her journey. I am not here to tell you that I’ve emerged from a dark place into a place of ease, or that I’ve discovered a profound new way of being that shields me from daily stresses.… Read More

Worried Man

When You Want to Make a Change but Feel Confused and Scared

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever had an inner knowing that it was time to make some life changes, but you felt too confused to make them?

I’ve certainly felt that way a time or two. After I graduated college years ago, I felt completely confused about what I was going to do with my life.… Read More

Pace Yourself

Pacing Yourself When You Want the Pain to Stop

“The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I was in pain.

My legs hurt, I felt nauseated, my heart thumped hard and fast, and I labored for every breath.

I was halfway up a steep, three-mile hill, and I was so exhausted I could barely keep my bike upright.… Read More

Free Yourself

Freeing Yourself from the Prison of Depression

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

I was diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed anti-depressants when I was twenty-one years old. I refer to this point in my life as the “Dark Ages.”

Leading up to grad school, I’d suddenly become afflicted with incomprehensible despair.… Read More

Facing a Fear

Facing a Fear When It Seems Like No Big Deal to Everyone Else

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” ~Nelson Mandela

Of all my fears, there are many that I imagine others would consider to be a little silly, and no big deal to tackle.

What they may not realize, and what I sometimes forget, is that many of these little, silly fears are really raindrops from a massive, ominous cloud: the fear that I will seriously injure myself, and maybe cause my own death.… Read More

Woman Breathing Deeply

How to Use Your Anger to Help Yourself

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

I’ve experienced many degrees of anger throughout my life.

There’s the fleeting and mild kind of anger that hit me when I realized I forgot to pack my toothbrush, or when a friend was tardy again for our morning hike.… Read More

Man Running

Working on Impatience and Appreciating Its Gifts

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust  

It’s taken me a while, but I have finally learned to appreciate aspects of my own impatience.

For a long time I did not like this quality about myself. I am still working on becoming more patient, because impatience and I go way back.… Read More

Disappointed

When Life Doesn’t Meet Our Hopes and Expectations

“Anger always comes from frustrated expectations.” ~Elliott Larson

I was recently watching my younger son play in a golf tournament. We had extensively prepared for this tournament over a period of several days. His technique was finely tuned. The game plan for attacking the course was in place.

The first two holes went wonderfully.… Read More

Man Walking

You Can Change Your Life with Tiny Daily Improvements

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Karen Kaiser Clark

Of all the people who have passed through my life over the years, the one person I remember the most was this old, ornery man who seemed to have the personality of a mule. Stubborn to the core, with a straightforward approach to everything, Phil was a difficult man to like, yet I learned to love him.… Read More

Bold Man

The First Thing You Need to Do to Change Your Life

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.” ~Steven Pressfield

Altering your life in the smallest or grandest way is so simple, but it requires you to do something you likely are already doing all of the time.… Read More

Man Silhouette

Try Not to Become Bitter: There Is More Good Than Bad

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

A few years ago, when my younger son was about ten, the reality of the losses that go with living in this beautiful but flawed world suddenly hit him.

I’ll never forget the conversation. This was a child born two months before 9/11, and since we live in a New York suburb and my husband worked across the street from the Twin Towers, what was a loss for so many has been my son’s reality his whole life.… Read More

Man searching

How You Can Find Yourself By Losing Yourself

“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” ~Walter Anderson

Growing up in a small town in Western Canada, I was known as the kid who accomplished things.

I was the well-mannered and conscientious child who skipped grade two, was at the top of her class, played three musical instruments, took ballet lessons, French lessons, swimming lessons, and any other lesson in which I expressed an interest.… Read More

Calm Woman

Managing Anxiety: 5 Steps to Open Your Mind and Calm Your Heart

“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take action. Take action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron

I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. From the time I was very young, I would worry about things—my life, my parents, my house, the state of the world.… Read More

Rain Cloud Over Head

When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Help

“The best way out is always through.” ~Robert Frost

Earlier this year my partner, our son, and I all moved to Santa Barbara from Oregon. People move all the time, but for us it was a huge step.

My partner had a new exciting dream job and we were eager to experience the sunshine of California.… Read More

Help

You’re Not Bad; You’re Crying Out for Help

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” ~Steve Maraboli

My fourth grade teacher was named Mrs. King, and she was a no-nonsense, fairly stern presence who enforced the rules and kept us kids in line. I was a timid kid who wouldn’t have dared to break rules anyway, and I assumed that Mrs.… Read More

Open Heart

Overcoming the Fear of Vulnerability and Unlocking Your Power

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” ~Criss Jami

Wanting to avoid pain and shield ourselves from it is natural—and, by the way, completely not possible, because as we close up to protect ourselves against pain, we also block out the light that reflects from it.… Read More

Healing

Mind Over Melodrama: 5 Lessons on Self-Awareness and Healing

“Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.” ~Julius Charles Hare

In a few months it will be the two and a half year anniversary of my mental breakdown.

I don’t really celebrate the date, partially because I don’t know it—it’s not the sort of thing that you remember to mark on your calendar—and partially because my entire life since then has been a celebration of what I began to learn that night.… Read More

Reach for the stars

Overcoming the Worst Part of Finding Your Passion

“You gain courage, strength and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Finding my passion made me fat.

Not fat in an “I have to wear a Homer Simpson Mumu” kind of way, but in an “I eat cookies and chocolate all the time and I’m not sure what happened to my muscle.… Read More

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