“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
A woman with whom I once worked seemed to talk non-stop and loudly, interrupt incessantly, gossip about whomever wasn’t in the room, constantly complain, and live quite happily in martyrdom.
It seemed nothing and no one escaped her negative spin.… 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
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
I have struggled with lack of self-love for most of my life. I experienced feelings of guilt and shame on a regular basis and constantly sought the approval of others. My father committed suicide when I was 14 years old, and that played a huge role in these feelings that I had about myself.… Read More
“Never underestimate the desire to bolt.” ~ Pema Chodron
So I have been trying this present moment awareness thing for a while now, about two years, and I have to say, it’s not going quite like I expected.
Somehow I got it in to my silly little head that after a while I would stop bolting from reality and I would just be present all the time, with complete effortlessness.… Read More
“When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself.” ~Wayne Dyer
I have a tendency to want to show off what I know, and in the worst cases, correct other people.
Instead of listening and connecting I unconsciously try to sell to others an image of myself that I wish to project.… Read More
“Our sorrows and wounds are only healed when we touch them with compassion.” ~Buddha
I have always struggled with self-compassion. In fact, I’m not even sure I have been aware of it all that much throughout my life.
I’ve always thought the only way to truly grow was to push myself, both physically and mentally, so without even realizing it, I set myself up for that.… Read More
“Once you have learned to love, you will have learned to live.” ~Unknown
We are powerful, vivacious, brilliant creatures. Our thoughts and ideas create the very world around us. We constantly, and often unconsciously, exude and radiate palpable energy that permeates through every crack and crevasse of our lives.
Our words hold especially powerful energy and the ability to uplift and inspire others and ourselves, or send us spiraling down the ladder to Bummersville.… Read More
“The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” ~Ralph Blum
I think we all have this issue: guilt, followed by its sister, regret.
I didn’t realize how dark a blemish it was on my heart until I fully felt the anguish of my mother’s death.… Read More
“In separateness lies the world’s great misery, in compassion lies the world’s true strength.” ~Buddha
When asked why I write fiction, I used to say, “Because I enjoy writing and revising sentences” or “Because I like practicing an art I’ll never perfect” or “Because I love to read.” All those reasons remain true, but my answer has changed.… 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
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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
“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
“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
From time to time I read my old journals. When the moment strikes me, I choose a journal at random from my bookshelf.
This time it was the beautiful green and gold one my mom had given me in what must have been September of 2010, because the writing chronicles my life from September 20, 2010 to January 1, 2011.… 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
“You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~The Buddha
Bodhicitta. Metta. Loving-kindness. Compassion. Whatever you call it, this is what spiritual practice is all about, right? Long story short, the teachings instruct us to generate these vast motivations and wishes that all sentient beings be free from suffering and experience true and lasting happiness.… Read More
“When you live on a round planet, there’s no choosing sides.” ~Wayne Dyer
Te holiday season is a time to connect with others, to celebrate our common humanity, even if the holidays we celebrate are different.
Instead sadly people all over the world are still taking sides. They seek to identify with one “side” or another (tribe, culture, religion, politics, nationality).… Read More
“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
A lot of people I know who have had chronic illness, including myself, have had a hard time letting go of the feeling of “wrongness” that arises with it, in the mind.
I sometimes wonder where this comes from.… Read More
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~Dalai Lama
I thought I understood compassion. Having spent ten years of my life training to be a psychiatrist, I knew how to define it, describe it, and think about it. I thought I got it.
A few years ago, my brother was diagnosed with a serious mental illness.… Read More
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” ~Karl Barth
We were lying in bed. I said, “We can’t do it.” She said, “I don’t see what else we can do.” We lay there in silence, trying to figure it out.
It was the third big decision of our relationship. The first was when I asked Nicole to marry me.… Read More
“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” ~Lama Yeshe
Several months ago, I sat in a large workshop audience being led by Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research.
She directed us to divide up into pairs for a self-compassion exercise.… Read More