Posts by Leslie Jordan Clary

Leslie Clary is a writer, photographer and online college instructor who believes it’s never too late to create a life we will love living. She writes a monthly newsletter, Our Daily Zen, and is working on a book about healing from child sexual abuse.

Leslie Jordan Clary's Website

Healing Through Service: 20 Ways to Help Others (and Yourself)

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” ~Abraham Lincoln

A feral cat tempered my most recent bout with depression. I wasn’t seriously depressed, nothing like the debilitating times in my past, but I had a fairly strong case of the blues.

It was just before Thanksgiving, that time of year when people across America break bread with family and friends, and I was feeling sorry for myself.

I missed the gatherings we used to have when I was married. My ex-husband and I both loved to cook and every year we put together a gourmet feast for a …

We Deserve Love Even When We Do Things We Regret

“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~Brené Brown

Do you have parts of yourself that you’d like to change? Maybe even parts of your personality you’re a little embarrassed by?

I do.

And if I started to list them I probably wouldn’t know where to stop.

I can be a complainer and whiner. Even worse, I sometimes turn into a martyr and feel sorry for myself. Other times I’m overly impulsive and have been known to have a really erratic temper.

But the thing is, we’re not our behavior. Often …

Our Proudest Accomplishments Are Often the Quiet Ones

“…I kept trying to run away. And I almost did. But it seems that reality compels you to live properly when you live in the real world.” ~Kenzaburō Ōe, A Personal Matter

Recently I listened to an interview with author Kenzaburō Ōe, who won the 1994 Nobel Prize for literature. Ōe, who is now eighty-one, is a major figure in Japanese contemporary literature as well as playing an active role in the Pacifist and anti-nuclear movements.

When asked what accomplishment he was most proud of over his long and distinguished career, he answered, without hesitation, that for the past forty …

Stop Looking for Signs and Trust Yourself

“Always try to remember that most of the things that happen in this world aren’t signs. They happen because they happen, and their only real significance lies in normal cause and effect. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you start trying to pry the meaning out of every gust of wind or rainsquall. I’m not denying that there might actually be a few signs that you won’t want to miss. Knowing the difference is the tricky part.” ~David Eddings

A few years ago I took the Buddhist precepts at a Zen monastery in northern California. At the end of the ceremony …

Healing from Abuse and Feeling Happy and Whole Again

TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with an account of sexual abuse and may be triggering to some people.

“Scars tell us where we’ve been. They don’t have to dictate where we’re going.” ~David Rossi, Criminal Minds

When I was in my mid-fifties, I ordered cable television for the first time in my life.

My husband and I had raised our two sons mostly without TV, but now they were grown and on their own. My husband and I were divorced, and I had moved to a secluded place on the high desert to pursue a writing career.

My Internet service …