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Tiny Wisdom Posts

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Tiny Wisdom: Sometimes No One Is Wrong

“Love is saying, ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘you’re wrong.’” -Unknown I’ve written a lot of posts about compassion these past few years, challenging both myself and readers to be open-minded and see things from others’ points of view. On almost every post, someone has commented that there are times when other people are, in fact, wrong–when the person who cut you off in traffic really is a jerk, not just having a bad day; when the friend who hurt you actually had cruel intentions, and didn’t just make an innocent mistake; or when the person who sees things differently

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Tiny Wisdom: Certainty Is an Illusion

“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” -Francois Gautier Last week, I wrote a post about making difficult decisions, which incorporated 30 ideas from the Tiny Buddha Facebook community. The experience of writing it and reading the comments reminded me how certainty can sometimes silence our strongest instincts–when, ironically, certainty is always an illusion. The secure job could become obsolete. The dependable friend could move away. The stable relationship could run its course. None of the things that seem secure and safe are guaranteed to endure–not forever, or for any length of time, for that

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Tiny Wisdom: Stop Over-Apologizing

“We must remember that an apology isn’t an apology unless it’s meaningful.” -Unknown An old friend of mine used to apologize almost once during every sentence. If she interrupted me, she apologized. If I interrupted her, she apologized. If she asked me for the time, she apologized. If I tripped on her shoe, she apologized. I found this somewhat annoying, and I realized quickly why: I did this, too, and I didn’t enjoy recognizing that. I’ve noticed that many of us say we’re sorry when it isn’t actually necessary. In my case, it was mostly a people-pleasing tendency–I wanted to

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Tiny Wisdom: How to Give People the Gift of Possibility

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Buddha When I first moved to San Francisco, the only friend I knew there told me she hoped I didn’t get too close to her other friends. At first she told me that it was better for our friendship if we didn’t completely overlap our lives—and then later, she confessed that she was afraid they’d grow closer to me than they were to her. It was an honest, vulnerable admission, and I empathized with

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Tiny Wisdom: Letting Go of Painful Memories

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown Recently, I’ve been listening to a guided healing meditation I found online. I searched for it because I sensed something was wrong with my body, a couple weeks before a doctor confirmed it. I didn’t expect it would bring up old wounds, but it has. There’s one part where the soothing voice instructs the listener to think back to the confidence of childhood. When I hear this, it reminds me that I wasn’t confident then, and that many painful events chipped away at my self-esteem. At this point in the meditation, I usually

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Tiny Wisdom: You Can Do More Than You Think

“If you’re going to doubt something, doubt your own limits.” -Don Ward There’s a Saturday Night Live sketch that features Kenan Thompson as a middle school student with a broken knee. Scarlett Johansson and his other classmates repeatedly convince him to attempt walking, quoting a teacher who frequently lectures on the power of positive thinking. Despite their promises that anything is possible, he repeatedly falls flat on his face. I loved this sketch, not because of some schadenfreude-induced need to see children crying. I love it because it reminds me of the many times I’ve seen comments on blog posts

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Tiny Wisdom: On Choosing for Yourself

“Believe nothing no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.” ~Buddha Every now and then, someone writes to me to inform me that something I’ve written doesn’t align with Buddhism. I can understand this instinct. After all, the site is called Tiny Buddha, and Buddhists who come here likely expect to find information that will reinforce their beliefs and strengthen their practice. My response is always the same: I don’t write to help people become better Buddhists; I write about ideas

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Tiny Wisdom: The Principles of Fun

“If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.” -Bob Basso Yesterday as I was searching for fun videos to lift my spirits, I found “The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun.” It’s from 2010 and a little long, at just under 9 minutes long, but it’s chock-full of great reminders and bright colors. Enjoy. =)

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Tiny Wisdom: How to Say You’re Sorry

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” -Kimberly Howard Yesterday I wrote about realizing that we don’t need to justify our feelings–but there is another side to that coin: we need to realize that having difficult feelings does not justify poor choices. This is something I have often struggled with. Though I have made massive improvements through the years, when I feel overwhelmed by fear, grief, stress, or anything else that hurts, my instinct is often to numb it or do something with it. Most times I consciously ignore that instinct and simply sit in the messiness of my emotions.

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Tiny Wisdom: Stop Justifying Your Feelings

“What other people think of me is none of my business.” -Wayne Dyer You’re visibly anxious before a performance evaluation, but you don’t want your coworker to think you’re neurotic—so you tell her about everything that’s riding on this promotion. You feel subdued at a party, but you don’t want your new girlfriend to think you’re antisocial—so you tell her you have a lot on your mind. You feel frazzled after a stressful day at work, but you don’t want your friend to think you’re a negative person—so you tell him it’s highly unlike you to let things get to

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Tiny Wisdom: Doing What You Actually Enjoy

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.” -Goethe This weekend, I attended the Wanderlust Yoga & Music Festival where I gave a presentation on Saturday afternoon. That evening, my friend and I went to the Girl Talk concert. In case you’re not familiar, Girl Talk is a musician specializing in mash-ups. Within five minutes of getting there, we folded ourselves into a crowded, rave-like environment, complete with frantic dancing, pushing, and claustrophobia-inducing chaos. Surrounded by smoke and free-spirited joy, I felt a deep sense of inner conflict. I wanted to want to be there–to be the kind of

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Tiny Wisdom: Judging by First Impressions

“When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself.” -Wayne Dyer The other day, I reached out to someone I admire, and felt disappointed by the experience. I perceived her response to be somewhat curt and even condescending, which surprised me. Based on my earnest enthusiasm and admiration—and what I thought I knew about her—I expected more. For a minute I thought, “She’s not who I thought she was at all.” While this was clearly a lesson in releasing expectations, it also got me thinking about (what I call) the judgment/assumption principle: when we judge someone based

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Tiny Wisdom: When Good Times Come to an End

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss The other night, I saw Jersey Boys, the play that chronicles Frankie Valli’s rise to fame with the band The Four Seasons. I wasn’t previously familiar with the group’s story, so I was even more enthralled by the journey that led them to international success–particularly because they had so many catchy songs that I’ve known and loved for years. In the second act, there’s a scene when the other members all decide they want out, despite the years they struggled to reach that level of success. It’s a real

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Tiny Wisdom: How We Pit People Against Us

“When you live on a round planet, there’s no choosing sides.” -Wayne Dyer I’ve read a lot of articles about achieving your dreams and creating the life you want. There is a common message that always creates a disconnect in me: Many otherwise empowering articles lose me when the authors suggest we should “tune out our haters.” This seems to imply that there are people out there who want us to fail–who purposely act hateful with the intention of pulling us down. I know the world is a lot simpler when we view things in black and white terms–good and bad;

Tiny Wisdom: Learning to Be Alone

“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” -Maxwell Maltz I’ve written a lot about letting other people in. As a recovering loner, this has been a huge issue in my life, but everything is about balance. As much as we need to nurture our relationships with other people, we need to nurture our relationships with ourselves. It’s only when we’re fully comfortable being alone that we’re able to be comfortable with other people. As a society, we tend to look at being alone as something sad and pitiable. Songs like “One is the Loneliest Number” and

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Tiny Wisdom: Knowing What You Stand For

“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” -Henry David Thoreau An old friend of mine used to say she hated when people pushed their causes on her. She saw this as pestering and judgment–that she somehow wasn’t good enough because she ate meat, or didn’t help preserve endangered species, or didn’t send money to starving children in third-world countries. She later told me that she felt disconnected from it all because she hadn’t found something that really moved her personally. Whenever someone told her about a fundraiser, she realized that she didn’t have an intrinsic motivation

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Tiny Wisdom: Why We’re Not Honest with Friends

“An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.” -Proverb Have you ever had a lengthy conversation with someone without acknowledging a single thing you were really thinking or feeling? Maybe someone asked, “How are you?” And, instinctively, you said, “Fine.” Or someone asked, “What’s new?” And your knee-jerk response was, “Not much.” Or someone asked your opinion, and you glossed over what you really think to avoid making waves. I suspect we do this because we don’t want to burden people with what’s really on our minds, open ourselves up to judgment, or somehow upset them. The end result

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Tiny Wisdom: When You Don’t Feel Like Being Patient

“Patience is passion tamed.” -Lyman Abbott Running a site about wisdom can be an exercise in massive irony when you don’t feel like applying what you’ve learned. For me, this is most relevant when it comes to patience. For the past three months, I’ve been planning a new feature for this site, and I’ve devoted a lot of my time, energy, and resources to creating it. Since I am not a designer or coder, much of this has little to do with me. It’s simply a matter of paying people, communicating my vision, offering feedback as they work on it,

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Tiny Wisdom: When Things Feel out of Control

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll “I can’t wait to leave LA. Seriously, we should consider moving within a year.” I said this to my boyfriend as we were sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic a few streets away from our apartment, anticipating at least 10 more minutes of chaos. All around us, drivers were weaving in and out of lanes, honking at each other, and, in some cases, hurling swears at each other. Despite just meditating, I felt agitated. Since we moved here just recently so my boyfriend can pursue film,

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Tiny Wisdom: How You Know You’re on the Right Track

“If you are never scared, embarrassed, or hurt, it means you never take chances.” -Julia Soul If you think you may have made mistakes, you are probably on the right track. That means you’re doing things even though you’re not perfect at them, which is the only way to learn and grow. If you think you may have looked stupid, you are probably on the right track. That means you’re letting yourself be vulnerable, which is the only way to fully experience something new. If you think you may have said the wrong thing, you are probably on the right

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