“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” ~Unknown
A few weeks ago, I walked into my studio apartment and found it quite messy, which isn’t that hard to do with 325 square feet shared by a couple.
I’m talking clothes on the floor, dishes on the couch, and paper strewn everywhere.… Read More
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” ~Basho
For over three years, I’ve been living out of a suitcase and traveling around the world doing a combination of volunteering, housesitting, and couch surfing.
This journey started after I decided to drastically change my life. In the span of a week, I filed for divorce, quit my high-paying job in New York, left my PhD program at an Ivy League school, sold all my stuff, and flew to South America.… Read More
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ~Kahlil Gibran
A few years shy of my fiftieth birthday, I went on a road trip with one of my best friends from high school. We’d taken some version of this trip many times during our teens and twenties, but as we started raising young children, we didn’t have much time for getaways.… Read More
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Just about everyone experiences sorrow at times. I know I do.
The other morning, in fact, I was caught off guard by a very particular sorrow. Nothing happened, per se; but from the moment I awoke, I felt an aching sense of sadness and loss at the fact that my career path has taken me away from the field of mental health counseling.… Read More
“Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” ~Jack Kornfield
Several years ago, within a matter of months, I experienced the death of a parent, the breakdown of a committed relationship, and the death of a treasured animal companion.
I’d been doing okay with “normal” life tension, but when all that crap hit the fan… Wow.… Read More
“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” ~Unknown
Ten years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I wasn’t really my own best friend.
I was in college and although things were going okay with my studies, I wasn’t very happy.… Read More
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Here I am, huddled up close to the wood burner, my only source of heat, sitting on an old recliner chair that was given to me, in a rented apartment with windows soaked with condensation.… Read More
“Remember that happiness is a way of travel—not a destination.” ~Roy M. Goodman
After graduating from college I took off to explore Europe for four months with one of my best friends.
We backpacked through fourteen different countries and learned things about the world and ourselves that we never expected. We often joked that we learned more about life and ourselves traveling abroad for four months than we did going to school for four years in college.… Read More
“It’s not the events of our lives that shape us but our beliefs as to what those events mean.” ~Tony Robbins
Daughter of an alcoholic. Welfare recipient. Teenage mother. Non-college attendee. Poor decision maker. Unhealthy relationship participant. Financial disaster. Evictee.
All of these statements described me. They also propelled me into action, transforming me into an over-achieving perfectionist.… Read More
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” ~Ralph Marston
Have you ever been stuck and felt like you’re spiraling around the same space over and over? It’s just like Groundhog Day.
Every day, you have new intentions about how it will be different only to be left with the same hollow feelings at the end of the day.… Read More
“Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.” ~Ben Okri
Somehow I’d gathered my courage and volunteered from the audience during a local improvisational theater show. And before I knew it, I was up on stage with the troupe, being welcomed, supported, and seamlessly gathered into the scene in a way that only professional improvisers can do.… Read More
“If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~Oprah Winfrey
Seven years ago I discovered a world of healing, energy, and spirituality. It came at a particularly hard time in my life. Everything that could go wrong seemed to have.
First, I picked up a bug while travelling, which left me unable to hold down food for over eight weeks, and doctors told me there was nothing more they could do.… Read More
“When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.” ~Unknown
Recently I went to an annual fall retreat for my graduate program. This was exactly what my heart was longing for up until this point. I felt overworked by school and overwhelmed by the busyness of the city and suburban life.… Read More
“Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.” ~Kahlil Gibran
I had to learn the hard way that you don’t have to walk across hot coals or move to the desert and eat locusts and honey in order to have a mystical, life-changing experience.… Read More
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.” ~Marcus Aurelius
At the end of August I moved to Madison, Wisconsin. This was my second major move in a year.
In both cases, I was separated from almost my entire prior social network. After college, making friends seems like a totally different ball game.… Read More
“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu
For over two years I spent one out of every four weeks in silence. At the time I was living at a Zen Monastery and every month we would have a week-long silent retreat.
During this retreat we sat meditation in silence, ate in silence, worked in silence, and only communicated through hand gestures and written notes.… Read More
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.” ~Orison Swett Marde
I stood at the library counter waiting to check out a stack of books when I overheard an overworked woman explain to the librarian why her books were late.
“My boss has me running his errands after hours.… Read More
“Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
When I was twelve years old, I figured out how to get out of things.
It was a rainy Saturday morning and I was supposed to be getting ready for choir practice—an eight-hour rehearsal before a big concert.… Read More
“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
In my late thirties, I attended a workshop that was led by a group of coaches. One of the exercises we did was called the “future self-exercise,” a visualization that took me twenty years into my future.… Read More
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.” ~Walt Whitman
I take stuff for granted. I suspect you take stuff for granted.
It’s almost as if it can’t be helped. When things—family, friends, health, amenities, or money—occupy a place in our lives for years, we naturally begin to view them as commonplace; we assume they’ll forever be, just as they’ve always been.… Read More