“If you learn from a loss you have not lost.” ~Austin O’Malley
Two years ago I lost my grandfather. He’d been ill the last time I saw him and I knew it was coming. And yet, I was still not prepared for the depth of my grief.
I had lost loved ones before, but while I had loved them, they weren’t him.… Read More
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown
Maybe someone hurt you physically or emotionally. Maybe you’ve survived something else traumatic—a natural disaster, a fire, an armed robbery. Or maybe you’ve just come out of a trying situation, and though you know you’ll eventually recover, you still feel pain that seems unbearable.… Read More
“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha
My life has been one big hate-fest of my body.
I don’t know when or how it developed, but I have been comparing my body to others’ for as long as I can remember. I was never happy, never good enough.… Read More
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I began this New Year as a single woman, something I had not experienced for the past five.
In July 2012, my boyfriend of nearly three years dropped this bomb on my world:
“Carmen, I know you want to spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t give that to you, because I’m gay.”
My entire future I’d created for us in my mind disappeared all at once.… Read More
“We find comfort among those who agree with us—growth among those who don’t.” ~Frank A. Clark
This post is for anyone who has ever disagreed with those whom they love the most, to remind them that these disagreements do not have to lead to regret.
Indeed, they can lead to our deepest growth if we so choose.… Read More
“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” ~Buddha
When babies cry everyone rushes to find what’s wrong and alleviate their stress. It’s a bit of an instinct to do this in our culture.
We understand that the only way that a baby can communicate a need to us, whether it’s hunger, a necessary diaper change, fatigue, or discomfort, is to cry out.… Read More
“Praise is like sunlight to the human spirit. We cannot flower and grow without it.” ~Jess lair
One of the more important lessons I learned as a child came from my father.
One day a beggar knocked on our door looking for a giving hand. Though I was a small child, I still remember how he looked.… Read More
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~William S. Burroughs
One of the best life lessons I learned was from my beloved grandmother. She taught me to never be afraid to ask questions.
She would often look at me with her warm, almond-colored eyes and say, “The best way to learn, to gain clarity is to ask questions.… Read More
“Happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors.” ~Dalai Lama
If you get married today, there is a 60% chance that your relationship won’t last. Is finding true love really that hard or is there something else going on?
A research group from the Heriot-Watt University found that many people have a “warped sense of the perfect relationship” and “unrealistic expectations from their romantic partner.” They concluded that they got these unrealistic expectations from Hollywood love stories.… Read More
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“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of love.” ~Ann Herbert
An unsolicited financial donation right when you need it.… Read More
“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” ~Dr. Robert Anthony
On March 18th, 2011, I received an email that forever changed my life.
“You got me—I’m seeing someone else.”
That’s the only line I remember. I had noticed that my boyfriend at the time had been acting “strange” and confronted him on it.… Read More
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy
Are you judgmental? Not many people would be aware if they were, let alone admit to being so, but it’s so easy to form an opinion about a person or situation without knowing all the facts.… Read More
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde
I remember clearly and will never forget the golden moment when I revealed my truth. Out through the locked up and suppressed little voice hidden deep down within, I allowed myself to say, “I always feel as if I need to give people what they want.”
It was almost as if lighting struck and the clouds parted at the same time.… Read More
“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown
Sometimes I stop to think about how in the world I ended up where I have. I started off with very little, and somehow along the way I have ended up generally happy and on my own two feet.
My adolescence up to my early twenties had its share of dark days.… Read More
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ~Ernest Hemingway
In love and in life, our vulnerability is one of our greatest strengths. We often believe that we risk too much by being vulnerable, but, in fact, the opposite is true. When we build a wall around us to protect ourselves from our big, bad fears, we miss out on so much.… Read More
“It’s one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
During my freshman year of college, my group of friends would always hang out in my room.
For the most part, I enjoyed playing host.
Then certain things started to bother me.… Read More
“Pain is not a sign of weakness, but bearing it alone is a choice to grow weak.” ~Lori Deschene
In February of 2011, I went to see my doctor because I was suffering from severe headaches that I figured were associated with using computers all day at my law job. After having a few tests, the doctor said that I wasn’t doing well and he suggested that I take a leave from work to focus on my health.… Read More
“Your actions are your only true belongings.” ~Allan Lokos
I used to be the kind of girl who relished in stable and perfect surroundings. I fanned my magazines. I scrubbed the inside of the refrigerator.
I worked tirelessly to cultivate the external environment that I was lacking inside.
Externally, things were in order.… Read More
“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ~Marianne Williamson
Our 12th floor apartment overlooks Cape Town’s city bowl and harbor. The view is such that even on overcast days I’m drawn to the window each morning to breathe it in.… Read More
“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” ~Francois Gautier
Pain was my norm; not physical pain, but emotional pain compounded with mental self-torture. I was an introvert without introspection, painfully shy and unable to make eye contact. I caved to all manners of peer pressure.
I was a doormat and didn’t stand up for myself, although I would fight tooth and nail for someone else.… Read More