“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
In my youth, I strived to be “nice.” I tolerated a lot from others. I forgave easily and learned to “turn the other cheek.”
I made myself constantly available to other people and asked nothing in return. I remained loyal even if people mistreated me. I helped friends even when my need for help was greater. When friends started calling me their “angel,” I was proud at first.
But soon I became resentful of what that implied.
If my purpose was solely to help them, then who would help me?…
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~Pema Chodron
When working toward a goal becomes difficult, it’s hard to know whether to push or take a rest.
In my early twenties, living 3,000 miles away from home as a live-in nanny in a very different lifestyle became very stressful. I quit. I felt I couldn’t adjust to it, and I also couldn’t tolerate feeling out of my element every day for months.
It was a decision I quickly regretted. The family I worked for was amazing, and as soon as I moved home I missed them—and …
“If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.” ~Bob Basso
I spend a lot of time contemplating and philosophizing about life. According to my mother, I spent the first year of my life silently observing the events around me with a serious stare and a furrowed brow.
I’ve always leaned toward reverent acts of self-discovery and introspection. In high school I studied Buddhist texts and on Sunday mornings. At age eighteen, when my college classmates were nursing hangovers, I was shopping around for a spiritual home, which I found in the form of my Unitarian-Universalist church.
For most of …
“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” ~Winston Churchill
A little over two years ago, I wrote these hopeless words in my journal:
“All around me, I’m noticing people perpetuate patterns they claim to hate or end up in situations they’ve always dreaded. And I can’t seem to break free. When I take steps to make a new life or forge a new path, barriers pop up left and right. I don’t know what to do differently.”
At the time, it felt as if my repeated attempts at changing the trajectory of my life toward joy and expansion …
“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down but the staying down.” ~Mary Pickford
Well, the little blue line was undeniable, and the circumstances unforgettable.
It was Black Friday 2007, after a full day of work during which my nausea rendered me so useless that my coworkers insisted I buy a pregnancy test on my way home.
And there was a line.
But no spouse. No ring. No house. Just a freshly-issued Master’s Degree and …
“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” ~Hermann Hesse
We’ve all had moments when life’s demands left us feeling stressed and scattered. In these moments, it’s helpful to have some simple tools to help us gain composure and come back to our center.
Let me paint a picture for you of a scene from my daily life at its most overwhelming.
On a recent Tuesday, I drafted my evening’s “to-do” list, which contained the following items: Go clothes shopping for my son, get groceries, cook up some …
“Put your future in good hands—your own.” ~Unknown
They say that in life, we are never given more than we can handle.
But sometimes it’s a matter of not accepting more than we can handle. Putting your foot down. Proclaiming, “That’s enough!”
Recently, a number of stressors confronted me simultaneously. This jolted me out of my comfort zone and forced me to take action toward transforming my life.
On one fateful Tuesday, I felt so much pressure from the culmination of professional demands, relational conflicts, parenting duties, and financial stressors that I found myself at a familiar crossroads. …