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Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!

Welcome Cosmo Readers!

Green Buddha

You may have found your way here after reading the May 2013 issue of Cosmopolitan.

If so, welcome! My name is Lori Deschene and I’m the founder of Tiny Buddha. I’m excited to introduce you to the site and share a little about myself, the community, and Tiny Buddha’s mission.

A Tiny Story About This Site

Tiny Buddha began on Twitter in 2008, where early followers received one daily quote. The website launched in September 2009 with one mission: to provide a space where we can all share our stories and lessons to help each other and ourselves.

I wanted to run Tiny Buddha as a community blog because I believe we all have something to teach and something to learn. None of us needs a guru; we all need support and reminders to trust ourselves, empower ourselves, and use the insight we’ve gained to make wiser choices each day.

I’m honored that this has become a space that helps millions of people do just that.

The stories and tips you’ll find on this site cover a wide range of topics related to personal growth, including pain, happiness, change, motivation, inspiration, relationships, mindfulness, and letting go. 

In addition to reading through some of the archives, you can find support through:

If you’d like to receive free email updates, including two daily blog posts from community members, you can join the Tiny Buddha list here. Alternatively, you can opt to receive one weekly digest on Fridays.

If reading through the archives inspires you to share your experiences and lessons, you can contribute a post to blog after checking out the submission guidelines.

A Tiny Story About the Founder

Lori Deschene

I can best introduce myself through the piece I wrote for Cosmo, which editors paraphrased for the Lean In spread (promoting the book about women and leadership by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg). I wrote this in answer to the question: Have you had any experiences that pushed you to lean into your dream career?

I graduated from college in the fall of 2001, three months after the rest of my class, because I spent most of my senior year recovering from depression and a serious eating disorder—struggles I’d been dealing with since I was 12 years old.

I’d studied acting and writing, and I felt confident I’d be happiest if I devoted my life to one of those career paths; but the process of dealing with my physical and emotional issues distracted me from my intentions and shook my confidence in my abilities.

I felt paralyzed from even trying to act or write. I figured lots of people wanted to do those things, and I didn’t want to spend any more of my life struggling.

I just wanted things to be easy. It’s an ironic thing about looking for an easy path; it never feels easy—not when you know you’re denying yourself the possibility of feeling alive. 

I spent years trying jobs to see what felt right. I worked in social services, sales, telemarketing, and mobile marketing. I felt drawn to that last one because my life resembled an actor’s. It was similar to traveling with a play, since I got to follow promotional campaigns around the country, but I never had to audition and risk failing.

On the outside, it looked exciting and glamorous, but I was still living a life driven by fear.

Even when hopping from city to city, I frequently isolated myself, feeling ashamed of who I’d been and unsure who I could be. I never felt like I belonged—not in a city, not in a career, and not in a community. 

On one of my final tours, I got into a silly fight with a friend over the meaning of a word. (For the record, she was right.) She argued that she would know—she was a writer, after all. I said that I was too. To that she responded, “Not really.” Then she pointed out that blogging on MySpace was really just a hobby.

At the moment, I couldn’t have felt more hurt. I got so much satisfaction from sharing myself in my private blog, even if only Tom and a select few friends got to see it! But that moment awoke something inside of me. It made me realize I was a writer, and it was time to do something about it.

One month later, I responded to a Craigslist ad and got my first freelance job, writing articles for a brand new ‘tween magazine—something that meant the world to me, since I’d first begun struggling with self-esteem as an adolescent. I leveraged that to get a copywriting job for a website about senior care.

Three years later, I got a job offer as a Content Manager for a different website, but still, something wasn’t right. I was writing daily, and climbing the ladder with responsibilities and pay, but I was so infrequently writing about things I really cared about.

While promoting the company blog using StumbleUpon, I found a self-help site that explored many of the big personal issues that I’d formerly tackled in my MySpace writing—personal responsibility, happiness, and overcoming internal and external limitations. When I saw it, I knew what I wanted to do.

Right then, all the pieces of my past experiences, personal and professional, came together, pointing toward one clear path: I wanted to start a website where I could write about letting go of pain and empowering yourself to be happy.

And I wanted to run it as a community blog, where anyone could share their experiences and insights to help others dealing with something similar. In this way, we’d know that we are never alone in the world, and we never need to feel limited by who and where we’ve been.

It’s been three years since I started tinybuddha.com. More than 550 people have shared their stories; more than 900,000 people visit the site monthly, and more than 1 million people follow the Tiny Buddha social media pages for daily wisdom.

It’s an engaged community of men and women who share themselves bravely and authentically to help themselves and each other. I am honored and grateful to finally be in a place where I belong.

My Wanderlust Presentation: Authentic Connections in a Networked World

 

Some Popular Posts by Me

Some Popular Posts by Site Contributors

 

If you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to send me an email here. Thank you for joining the Tiny Buddha community!

Lori Deschene, Founder of Tiny Buddha
Author of Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions and the Tiny Wisdom eBook Series

Photo by Joshua Denney of Think Web Strategy