“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations.” ~Jodi Picoult
I grew up with a lot of expectations—from other people in my life and from myself. I had to finish school, do my best, finish college, get married, have children, and be a success in everything I did.… Read More
“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” ~Osho
Once, during an AmeriCorps leadership retreat, I was asked to create a motto for my life, a mission statement for my future. I was handed a blank piece of paper and I was terrified.
At the time, my life was filled with uncertainty.… Read More
“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.” ~Mencius
I have an amazing sister who is currently in kindergarten. I wrote her a letter summarizing everything I’d like her to know as she goes through life. It occurred to me that these lessons are things we could all stand to remember, so I’ve decided to share it here.… Read More
“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.” ~Unknown
I got on that twelve-hour flight thinking I was ready. Yet during the travel from my house to the airport to Belgium, my feelings were suspiciously neutral.
I neither hated where I was nor felt strong emotional attachment.… Read More
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E. Cummings
For a long time, I felt disconnected from my life. I’d spent most of it on autopilot, either regretting the past or dreaming about the future.
I regretted being too afraid to read an essay at the monthly open mic near me for all those years.… Read More
“It is the way that we react to circumstances that determines our feelings.” ~Dale Carnegie
I can remember the incident so clearly.
A few years ago, my friends and I were all sitting around a table in a restaurant. It was the holiday season, and I was in good spirits. It was nice to see everyone again.… Read More
“What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.” ~Dalai Lama
Five years ago I had a brilliant idea. Since I was pretty good with social media, I decided to start my own business helping companies develop their online presence.
My goal was to work for myself, and the plan was that I’d quit my job, travel the world, create my own schedule, and earn a living doing something I’d seen others have a great deal of success doing.… Read More
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
Stress and my own expectations were killing me. I was taking care of my physical health with exercise four to five days a week, eating right with lots of plants and vegetables, and sleeping enough—but my health was getting bad.… 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
I’ve been practicing yoga, on and off, for fifteen years.
It’s helped me through and out the other side of infertility, kept me company on the long and winding road of adoption, and helped walk me out of the shadows of depression.… Read More
“There is no need to reach high for the stars. They are already within you. Just reach deep into yourself!” ~Unknown
Bucket lists. One hundred things to do before you die. Twenty-five-before-twenty-five. Thirty-before-thirty. New Year’s Resolutions.
You name a goal-setting list, I’ve written it.
In fact, I can remember writing a list of yearly goals in my journal as young as nine years old.… Read More
“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace, and love.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
In January, what I desire most is to slow down.
My heart wants to use the New Year as a time to reflect on the year that has passed by—what felt right, what didn’t feel right, and areas of potential growth.… Read More
“Doing your best means never stop trying.” ~Unknown
As a teacher, the summer season is special, sacred time when I recover from a busy school year and prepare for the next one. The bonus is that I also use the time as a personal blank slate to be as productive as I can be in the other areas of my life that got neglected when all of my energy went into teaching.… Read More
“The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.” ~Shunryu Suzuki
When I was younger, I am sure I was a little bit arrogant. I had high expectations about life. They haven’t come to pass. I haven’t achieved whatever I thought I would achieve. It turns out that I’m an ordinary human being struggling with ordinary things.… Read More
“Come, even if you have broken your vow one thousand times, come, yet again, come, come.” ~Rumi
I read these words on a plaque in the middle of climbing a small mountain, in the middle of northern Spain, in the middle of a hot summer, at the end of my thirty-third year.… Read More
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath
Singing professionally has always been something I have wanted to do. Always. The home I grew up in wasn’t a particularly musical household, unless you count playing the radio as playing an instrument.
To my benefit, there was a lot of music in our home ranging from gospel to the Beach Boys; but really nothing beyond the sixties was allowed unless it was a spiritual song of some kind.… Read More
“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” ~Alan Cohen
Last year I was suddenly made redundant along with half of my colleagues, as our company was being taken over. It was swift and severe. It was also a blessing.
I didn’t want to work for the new company whose values conflicted with my own.… Read More
“The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” ~Unknown
Envy is such an overpowering and overwhelming feeling, often something hidden, or masked by a smiley face, or fuelled into rage and resentment. I’ve experienced all of these emotions in my life, and as I neared my fortieth birthday, I felt that I could not go on.… Read More
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” ~Steve Jobs
One of the best ways I’ve found to develop wisdom is through reflection. While reflection might look like a quiet session of daydreaming, it’s actually an active process during which you enrich your life and encourage personal growth by reviewing parts of your day or your life.… Read More
“Do the best you can, from where you are, with what you have, now.” ~African-American proverb
When I first started on my spiritual path, I desperately wanted to live in a more connected and satisfying way. I had a secret longing to know who I truly was and to finally reach my creative potential—not only as a writer, but also as a person.… Read More
“Letting go of the past means that you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz
I grew up on a small cattle farm in the very small farming town of Savannah, Missouri with my grandfather and great grandparents.
My great grandmother used to sit outside on the back porch and string green beans or peel apples when the weather was mild, a worn dish towel over her knee and an ancient paring knife moving with practiced ease.… Read More