Posts by Karen Mead

Karen Mead is an alchemist, an explorer and a fellow traveler on this journey of life. Visit her blog, The Peaceful Journey , or check out her website, A Peaceful Path .

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Renovate Your Life: 5 Key Truths About Creating Change

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron

We are currently in the midst of home improvement—what we thought would be a small “touch-up.”  Nothing seemed too threatening on the surface, just a scratch here, a nick there. It would be a simple fix.

But when we began the project and uncovered the areas we were going to address, we saw there was much more than met the eye, as often happens in life. We could no longer ignore what we had sealed over and painted, covered with lovely flowers, and ignored …

Why We Often Fail with Goals and Resolutions

“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~Pema Chodron

Statistically, a lot of people have given up on their resolutions by now. The definition of a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

When I examine the firm decisions I’ve made, I can’t help but notice that we all have the same lists. Why is that?

Could it be that the same media, the same books, and the same friends have written all of our lists? I’m not making a value judgment of these shared desires—I just find it …

Learning to Receive: 5 Steps to Opening Up

“We must never forget that it is through our actions, words, and thoughts that we have a choice.” ~Sogyal Rinpoche

I grew up deep in the “Bible Belt” in Texas, and along with that came the teaching that certain beliefs were never to be questioned. This kept life simple and reduced choices, but it also left me with the baggage of dogmas I no longer accept.

One of the mainstay beliefs was “It is better to give than to receive.”

Somehow, this one has held on in my head, in my heart, deep in my innermost belief system. Never mind …

Overcoming Perfectionism: The Joy of Just Okay

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Yesterday I was talking to my dear friend Erin about all the pressures to be perfect—to be more than just enough. To always be striving to be 100%.

I realized later that this has been going on all my life. Haven’t we all felt it?

In grade school, the importance of getting those A’s, being on the teacher’s list, always getting the gold star.

In high school, being popular, being smart, being a jock—whichever lane we chose to fit …

Starting a New Life: The Courage of a Seed

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu

At lunch the other day, a new friend and I were discussing changes in our lives and how everything feels very new and different.

I remembered the most beautiful description Mark Nepo wrote in The Book of Awakening. Mark is a poet, and he sees the world through such a lovely light. His work opens my heart to images I’ve never thought about that are so compelling.

I can see the way Mark describes the process of change in my own life. He …

Desperate to Be Seen: Learning to Shine a Steady Beam

“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

While in the process of “re-branding” my business, I’ve been reading a lot about business marketing. One of the articles that I really loved contains an analogy of a lighthouse for a business model, but to me, it speaks of so much more. It’s really a life model.

The example highlights how a lighthouse doesn’t run up and down the coast, anxiously seeking any boats in the water. It doesn’t cast its beam north and south, right and left, desperate to be seen. …

Letting Go and Moving On: Lessons from an Orange Tree

“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown

For the past few days, I have been thinking about my orange tree. Every year, we ignore it completely, and it generously gives us bounteous amounts of sweet oranges. It is so very forgiving of our utter lack of support.

Yet this year, the oranges are bitter; even the squirrels toss them away.

Right now, the tree has oranges on the branches and fresh new blooms all over it, as well. I guess we should pick the oranges to make room for the new, but it hasn’t been on …

Compassionate Boundaries: Saying No Without Guilt

“Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong–sometimes it’s letting go.” ~Unknown

Today I’ve been thinking about fences, I guess as a metaphor for boundaries in life. There are many different kinds of fences, but that they all have the same purpose: creating a boundary.

Whether it’s a sweet white picket fence with roses or the electrified chain fencing at a federal prison, what it signifies is a line drawn in the sand. This is either a starting place or a stopping point, depending on your point of view.

Creating boundaries has always been a challenge for me. Until