“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~EE Cummings
For many years I felt like a fish out of water, but I desperately wanted to belong in the pond. I grew up wanting to be ‘normal,’ to fit in and be like everyone else. As a result, I was not in touch with who I was because I didn’t think there was another choice.
The blueprint was clear: find a …
Charles Darwin is believed to have said that in nature, it’s not the strongest or most intelligent that survives but those who are most adaptable to change.
No matter what kind of life we live, we all need to learn to adapt, because everything changes. Good and bad come and go in everybody’s life. It’s one of the reasons resilience is so critical.
We plan our lives expecting good to come our way, to get what we want, and for things to work out how we planned. At the same time we’re chasing the good, we try to avoid …
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~Leo Buscaglia
Many of us are brought up today to look after number one, to go out and get what we want—and the more of it we can have, the better.
Our society preaches survival of the fittest and often encourages us to succeed at the expense of others.
I was no different, and while I noticed a tendency to feel sorry for …
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Unknown
We are all on a mission to be the best we can be, to be happy, to have the perfect house, family, partner, and job. To complete our to-do list, to complete out bucket list, to make our parents proud, to get promoted, earn more money, and be successful.
Life can often feel like a never-ending treadmill, going quickly in the wrong direction. As we run faster to try to progress down this path, the goal becomes more elusive.
Are we …
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” ~Jim Rohn
We spend so much of our days at work, it makes sense that we should enjoy it, but many of us are not that lucky.
Too many people work in jobs they dislike or for people who make them unhappy.
Perhaps we don’t get the meaning of our jobs or are caught up in the corporate rat race. So quit, our friends say, but it’s not that easy. I have bills to pay, kids to feed, or things I need …
“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Life seems complicated these days.
We’re all busy pursuing happiness, yet how many of us ever reach that goal?
Success, money, and busyness are top of our priority list, yet deep in our hearts we’d prefer time, love, and security.
It’s the age of making a living, but perhaps at the cost of making a life.
What really makes us happy, and how do we find it?
I spent many years trying to fit in, to be someone else, to pursue the dream of success, in …
“You can’t calm the storm so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself and the storm will pass.” ~Timber Hawkeye
After another driver pulled out in front of me and narrowly missed a collision, I put on my brakes and waited for the car to stop. As the other driver sailed off ahead of me, my hysterical passenger screamed, “What an idiot! Didn’t you see him? Why didn’t you blast the horn? These people shouldn’t be on the road!”
I realized my reaction, or lack of reaction, was out of the ordinary, and I also noticed that despite …
“The hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve been into mindfulness for a long time but having never been much of an artist, the mindfulness coloring craze had bypassed me until recently.
I brought a book and some colored pencils to keep me amused during a recent train trip but enjoyed it so much I’ve continued the habit—and to my surprise, the work I’ve done looks quite good!
I’d heard that mindful coloring is good for reducing stress levels and being more present, but I found even more benefits. For example, …
“Forget what hurt you, but never forget what taught you.” ~Unknown
I read a tribute Elizabeth Gilbert wrote for Richard from Texas who features in her book Eat, Pray, Love. It got me thinking that our teachers in life can take many forms and not always an obvious ‘traditional’ teacher.
In Eat, Pray, Love Liz went looking for a guru in India but learned a whole host of lessons from Richard, who was probably there seeking out the same guru for his own answers.
We can go through life looking for gurus, trying to learn from the experts, and …
“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Unknown
It’s the question we’re all trying to answer: What is happiness and how do we get it? We fill our lives with the busyness of searching for happiness in many things, yet it’s possible that the very pursuit is taking us further away from the goal.
I spent many years following society’s recipe for happiness.
I was settled with my partner, climbing the career ladder, dining out, buying clothes, and planning nice holidays, but I was so busy chasing happiness, I missed out …
“Don’t change so people will like you; be yourself and the right people will love you.” ~Unknown
I’ve always felt the pressure to fit in. There’s always been a gap between what I want to be and what I think the world thinks I should be.
I was a tomboy growing up. I climbed trees when other girls played with dolls, I played soccer in my teenage years when other girls wore dresses and went to parties, and even as an adult I preferred to watch the Saturday afternoon game rather than go shopping.
But the pressure to fit in…
“Instead of wondering when our next vacation is we should set up a life we don’t need to escape from.” ~Seth Godin
I was a senior human resources professional at the biggest company in New Zealand. I had a great team of people, a flash company car, and got to stay at the posh hotels and dine at the nicest restaurants.
I was paid more than I thought I’d ever earn, I had a house overlooking the beach, and got to vacation at some fantastic destinations. My life had all the hallmarks of success from the outside, but inside there …
“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” ~Ram Dass
We live our lives at such a fast pace. We seem to be working more hours and juggling more tasks both at work and home, with no relenting.
As part of the technological age, we are connected 24/7, and we find it difficult to switch off.
It has changed the face of how we live and work. Expectations are higher, the pace of life is quickening, and we’re struggling to keep up.
In a world that encourages noise and busy-ness, we find it hard to be quiet and still.…