“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
“When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lau Tzu
In the spring of last year, a number of events challenged my sense of self and my sense of direction.
In March I realized my tax liability would be much larger than I’d anticipated, effectively depleting my entire savings account.… Read More
“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.” ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie
We often think of quitting as failure. We commend people for carrying on when times get rough. The heroes in our action movies don’t just give up when things get difficult. When was the last time you saw Steven Seagal walk away from a fight?… Read More
“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I never thought I’d want to kill myself.
All my life, I’d been a strong, independent woman, building a business from home, raising two wonderful sons, and staying happy and positive throughout.
If you’d told me I’d one day consider taking my own life, I’d have laughed and said, “You’ve got me confused with someone else!”
But after twenty years and two sons together, my husband and I decided to split up.… Read More
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy
I hated myself when I was a kid.
I was overweight and starting to really like girls, but they didn’t like me.
I didn’t want to take my shirt off in front of them, so I didn’t go to the pool.… Read More
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” ~Denis Waitley
I remember dreaming for years about living abroad. First it was Italy so that I could discover my roots. Then it was Fiji because it seemed like the furthest place from Los Angeles (which I actually did, but only for two months during the summer of 2003).… Read More
“The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.” ~Unknown
In this society of ours, parents teach their children to do, to perform, to produce. We learn that to be adult, we need to be “productive members of society.” At social gatherings, more often than not, the first question among strangers is “What do you do?”
My first memories include identifying so deeply with my movie director father that when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always replied, “A writer and director.”
Then life happened, and I spent decades acting out the painful and abusive relationship I had with my mother.… Read More
“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.” ~Eckhart Tolle
The first rain after a long draught gets people talking about cozy things. Being with others, being physically close to others, going out in groups, staying in with someone.… Read More
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~Mother Theresa
Last year, I was on the CTA (Chicago’s public transit) heading to class to take an exam. Rather, I should say that I was rushing to class. I wasn’t running late, but I often got caught up in the hustle and bustle of Chicago during morning rush hour.… Read More
“Freedom is instantaneous the moment we accept things as they are.” ~Karen Maezen Miller
The world is filled with people who work hard at being positive, peaceful, and more spiritual and who then feel bad when they don’t measure up. I know because I used to be one of them. And I still am from time to time.… Read More
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~Chinese Proverb
Yes, I had reached the age of 25. Still, I doubted this letter from my past would make it to me, all these years later. It was a simple creative writing assignment from when I was 15.… Read More
“Do something now that will make the person you’ll be tomorrow proud.” ~Unknown
A while back someone asked me to list my greatest accomplishments for 2012.
As I racked my brain, I thought of a few professional achievements that made me feel proud, but as for the top accomplishment, I kept coming back to the same thing: my sister’s wedding.… Read More
“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos
I was in shock for about 10 minutes after hearing the news, afraid while lying on the procedure table, and relieved when it was over.
Six months ago I had a mammogram.… Read More
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
Every day I meet with people who are stressed and want things to be different. I also encounter people who are so distressed they’ve accepted suffering’s dominion over their life. Almost all, however, are interested in the concept of change.… Read More
“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
My ex used to stomp out of the house every time we had an argument.
Literally, he would leave. And usually before he left he’d smash something.… Read More
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
Some might say that their past haunts them like old ghosts. As for me, my ghost is my childhood.
I was raised in a moderately traditional family, as opposed to some overly traditional Chinese families where everyone lived by a thick rulebook.… Read More
“Envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness.” ~Bertrand Russell
Everyone feels it. Envy is universal. I can trace my first feelings of envy to my childhood. I grew up with six sisters, each one taller and thinner than I was. On top of that, they all had pretty, long, thick hair.… Read More
“Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time.” ~Shunryu Suzuki
Two years ago, I reached a breaking point. I was miserable in my job, unhappy in my marriage, disinterested in my graduate school program, and struggling with multiple medical issues.
One night, while fighting with my husband, a deep sense of dread overcame me.… Read More
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.… Read More