“Happiness is not a goal. It’s a by-product of a life well lived.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
I don’t care what you do or what you become as long as you’re happy. Just be happy.
This has been my mother’s well-intentioned maxim throughout my life. As much as it is an example of her unconditional love, it is also a pretty massive request if you think about it, and something I could not seem to be.… Read More
“When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” ~Henry Ford
We all have this image of how depression looks. It’s a person looking all sullen and grim. Rain is usually involved. It’s dark. It’s cloudy. It’s depressing.
But what about the sunny depression, the one that almost never shows its face in public, the one that looks just…normal.… Read More
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” ~John Wooden
“Why don’t you just take up swimming?” the doctor asked.
I was twenty years old, single-minded in my pursuit of a dance career, visiting yet another doctor about the vicious tendinitis that had forced me to give up my spot at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City.… Read More
“Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” ~Unknown
For most of my life, I’ve seen the world in black and white, and I’ve felt constricted and pained as a result.
When I was a young girl, I believed there were good people and bad people, and I believed I was bad.… Read More
“Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.” ~Unknown
For most of us the average day includes a mix of things we both look forward to and things we don’t look forward to. We look forward to coffee in the morning, we regret that we have to go to work; we look forward to coming home at the end of the day, we dislike that we have to do laundry.… Read More
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~Pema Chodron
I have a confession: I was really scared of trying yoga for the first time.
I know, I know, it’s not exactly bungee jumping or skydiving, activities that warrant a certain amount of fear.… Read More
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen
“Oh, my god,” she said, “I forgot to shave my left leg!”
That may not sound like a particularly dramatic announcement, but Jenny and I were sharing a seat on the chartered bus taking our senior class to the beach for “Senior Cut Day” a few weeks before graduation, and her discovery horrified me.… Read More
“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” ~Henry David Thoreau
I was slipping deeper into a dark spiral after my fortieth birthday, looking for anything to grab onto and pull myself out of the darkness. Some said I was having a midlife crisis, but I believe it was actually the beginning of an awakening for me.… Read More
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.” ~Unknown
For almost all my life, I have lived in my head.
In my head, there was a utopia. And that utopia was named “someday.”
“Someday” I would have my degree, have the perfect relationship, become successful in business, own a beautiful home near the beach, be more athletic, and of course, be completely fulfilled with every aspect of my life.… Read More
“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.” ~Robert Pirsig
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by unpleasant thoughts and feelings? Do they show up like an uninvited guest when you’re least expecting them?
About eight months ago, I quit a lucrative corporate job in finance to follow my passion, writing.… Read More
“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
“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.” ~Bessie Anderson Stanley
Love. Purpose. Selflessness.
That’s it. Everything I’ve learned about happiness lies in those three words.
Why those words?
Because in their absence it’s hard to be happy. Your mind wanders and sets upon trying to fill that void, leaving little room for joy and happiness elsewhere.… Read More
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” ~Unknown
A mother was walking down the street with her two little sons. A man stopped to admire them and he asked, “You must be so proud of them! How old are they?” The mother answered, “Who?… Read More
“Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation, then deciding what you’re going to do about it.” ~Kathleen Casey Thiesen
I think many of us get caught in a vicious cycle of thinking that would lead us to believe the only way we can be happy is to gain acceptance from others.… Read More
“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
“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
“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle
At the end of the day, when I feel completely exhausted, it often has nothing to do with all the things I’ve done.
It’s not a consequence of juggling multiple responsibilities and projects. It’s not my body’s way of punishing me for becoming a late-life jogger after a period of laziness.… Read More
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ~Marcus Aurelius
I remember attending a lecture by the Tibetan monk Sogyam Rimpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, in which, smiling all the while, he confessed, “So many people, they say, ‘I’m not afraid of death.’I tell you, they’re lying!… Read More