“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~Diane Ackerman
I’m in the business of watching people take risks. I observe them tackling challenges, fear, and discomfort, and sometimes, “making firsts” in their life.
I observe a lot as a flight attendant, and sometimes wonder if my official title should rather be “Human Observer,” or “Social Experimenter.” It feels more accurate, or at least it’s the part that I typically enjoy the most. I’m …
“Creating means living.” ~Dejan Stojanovic
We live in a consumer culture. We love to eat, drink, and be merry—while binge watching whatever’s trending on Netflix and getting a dopamine hit for every item added to our cart on Amazon Prime.
We love to take it all in—information, entertainment, status updates, news reports, substances, and an endless array of stuff. There’s never a shortage of things we can consume, often to keep our minds distracted and our feelings silenced.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love a good meal, a Jim Beam or two, and an afternoon spent zoned out on …
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain ability to function.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ever been inspired by a quote or an article you read on a self-improvement site like Tiny Buddha?
I mean so inspired that you instantly and wholeheartedly started to apply the advice—no questions asked.
Not only that, but in your inspiration, you started to brag about your newfound wisdom to all your friends.
You just couldn’t shut up about this new piece of wisdom!
If a friend was going through …
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” ~Christopher Reeve
It all happened so suddenly that it felt just like a flash flood. One minute the road was clear and drivable, and the next it was a raging river. Before I knew what happened, my life went from being only slightly a mess to being a complete mess, my car teetering on the edge of the water, ready to go for a swim at any minute.
I had left a job I liked and found a job I thought …
Ten months ago when I launched the Tiny Buddha community forums, I hoped they would better enable us all to connect with and support each other.
Since then, I’ve been amazed and inspired to see the love and compassion people extend there, without any agenda beyond helping others feel less alone and more at ease in our uncertain, often confusing world.
There are now over 10,000 active forum members, and there have been more than 1,600 conversations on a wide range of topics related to spirituality, self-esteem, relationships, purpose, parenting, health and fitness, and more.
Whether you’re an active …
“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell
There are seemingly small events in life that, in retrospect, turn out to be the catalyst for cataclysmic transformation. Such was the case for me when my oldest child left home to pursue her passion as a ballet dancer.
Little did I know at the time that this event would lead me to a brand new passion, a new business, and a new life.
My Life Passion Story
Prior to my daughter leaving home, I’d …
“What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” ~Unknown
When you take cash out of your wallet to give to someone, you surely expect something of equal or greater value in return. Do you treat your time the same way?
At one of my first jobs, I found myself spending a massive amount of time on tasks that didn’t really add value to me or my purpose.
“Ah well, at least I got something done today,” I would often mutter to rationalize wasting time on just busy work. Or even better: …
“Beauty doesn’t come from physical perfection. It comes from the light in our eyes, the spark in our hearts, and the radiance we exude when we’re comfortable enough in our skin to focus less on how we look and more on how we love.” ~Lori Deschene
For as long as I can remember, my mom had long shiny silky black hair down to her knees. It was magical in the way that it attracted people and inspired curiosity and connection.
Everywhere we went, strangers approached her, usually timidly at first with a brief compliment, and then, after receiving her signature …
“Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.” ~Unknown
It’s been almost six months now. Half of a year without my brother and the grief still visits. I’m pretty sure grief doesn’t actually go away; its visits just get further and further apart.
People continue to ask me how I am so “strong” through all of this, mistaking my happy moments as the full picture.
I continue to tell them strength comes because I feel it all.
The story in itself is my …
“It’s the hard things that break; soft things don’t break…You can waste so many years of your life trying to become something hard in order not to break; but it’s the soft things that can’t break! The hard things are the ones that shatter into a million pieces!” ~C Joybell C
Language is a powerful thing. Though often dismissed as “semantics,” the imagery our words and terminology impart often adds unintended or even misguided connotations onto what we intend to say.
This is why it is so difficult to speak about spirituality. When we say “God” or “salvation” or even …
“Change is the end result of all true learning.” ~Leo Buscaglia
I cringe writing this. I have eaten so much humble pie that my pants don’t fit. This was a really hard lesson to learn.
I had a forgiveness problem.
When I was a kid, I learned to say sorry when I messed up and forgive other people when they did. With three sisters all two years apart, I got plenty of practice in as a kid (we all did).
It was a pretty standard routine:
1. Someone would mess up—say something horrible, lose something, break something, or hit someone.…
UPDATE – The winners for this giveaway are:
When I think of minimalism, I think of two things: freedom and Joshua Becker’s blog, Becoming Minimalist.
I think of freedom because downsizing has enabled me to afford more experiences with people I love, travel more often, and do it all without the burden of storing and maintaining possessions I don’t really need.
I think of Joshua Becker’s blog because I’ve turned to it many times over the years for insights and tips to help me simplify and declutter.
For this reason, I was thrilled when Joshua reached …
“Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.” ~John Petit-Senn
I love the tiny house movement because it embraces simple living and diminishes the spiritual and financial burdens of materialism. However, I don’t really want to trade in the 1,700 square foot house I love for something that’s 200 square feet!
If you’re like me, you may have felt the same pleasure watching shows like Tiny House Nation, but not known how to apply the ideas they present to life in your larger house.
Well, I’ve found you really can “live tiny” in a not-so-literal way, …
“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on what I was like when I was kid.
Back then, what I didn’t know seemed magical. It gave me room to imagine, to fill in the blanks with my own creative inspiration, and to live with a sense of wonder and awe.
I loved fantasizing and daydreaming and imagining what magical situation might be brewing in my life.
As children, curiosity was a natural and automatic part of us, and what we didn’t know didn’t scare us. …
Update: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen:
Be inspired. Be strong. Be happy.
These words pop from the peaceful imagery on the back cover of Dodinsky’s In the Garden of Happiness, nicely summarizing the benefits of perusing this uplifting illustrated book.
If you’ve read his first book, In the Garden of Thoughts, you know what to expect from this bestselling author: whimsical imagery and powerful wisdom in a deceptively tiny package.
His work provides encouragement when you’re feeling hopeless or helpless; reassurance when you’re feeling insecure or insignificant; and comfort when you’re …
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” ~Victor Hugo
A year-and-a-half ago, I was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Every day, I felt like I was travelling through an endless tunnel. The only way I could fall asleep was by pretending that I was dying.
My life felt pointless. I felt like I was on the wrong path. The combination of my two mental illnesses made me feel like I was a prisoner in my own body, like I could not control my brain.
Since this point in time, a lot …
“Stay away from what might have been and look at what can be.” ~Marsha Petrie Sue
When I look back at some of the most painful moments of my life, I see myself sitting alone, feeling either immense shame or regret.
It’s bizarre how we can get so offended and angry when other people hurt us, and yet repeatedly choose to torture ourselves, far worse than they possibly could, through repeated mental rehashing.
For the longest time, my biggest regret revolved around missing out on life.
From a distance, people always thought I had everything going for me. Up close, …
“Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.” ~Unknown
For years I felt nothing.
Nothing, that is, except bored at work, trapped in my marriage, uninspired in my educational pursuits, misunderstood by friends and family, and stuck in my hometown. I’d lay awake at night wondering what was wrong with me.
How did I manage to manifest the exact scenario I’d been trying so desperately to avoid?
As I reflected upon all the major decisions I’d made up until that point, it didn’t take long to realize what had happened: I’d spent so much time focusing on …
“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown
For fifteen years I gave up on art.
I’d been an “artistic” kid, always drawing and painting, but by first or second grade I was already comparing my work to that of other kids and judging it as inferior.
At thirteen I quit making art altogether. There were other kids who could draw so much more realistically than I could—kids to whom anything artistic just seemed to come naturally—and I jumped to the conclusion that their superior skills …