“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” -Mary Engelbreit
In a recent response to my blog post about dealing with difficult people, an anonymous commenter mentioned that she has a negative team member, an irrational supervisor, and an ineffective HR manager. Since she feels that leaving her job isn’t an option, she asked for advice about what she should do.
I could relate to that feeling of being stuck–when you’re in a situation you don’t like, but you feel powerless to change it.
When I’ve been in …
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” -Tim Cahill
Not too long ago, someone asked me how scalable Tiny Buddha is, and how I plan to expand the site to reach millions of people and generate substantial revenue.
My answer was (and is) that I don’t. I have absolutely no concrete plans to reach certain benchmarks for readers or dollars. I do, however, have plans for the site’s growth–but they’re focused more on creating new features than attracting new people to use them.
It’s not about expanding Tiny Buddha’s reach; it’s about how deeply we can all …
“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” ~Māori Proverb
People often comment that the Tiny Buddha emails come at just the right time for them, and I think there’s a simple explanation for that. They all address universal challenges–things we all deal with, and often. They’re the things we sometimes forget connect us.
We all deal with pain, heartache, disappointment, frustration, fear, anxiety, and loss. We don’t deal with it at the same times, in the same ways, or for the same reasons, but we all experience the same emotions–over and over again.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” -Gandhi
If only tomorrow were here.
You’d have that promotion you feel you’ve earned. Your bank account would have an extra zero or two. You’d be finished with the improvements on your house, and ready for new ones to make it even more comfortable.
Your kids would be in that school you can’t yet afford. Closer to graduation. Closer to adulthood. Closer to leaving your home.
You could plan that vacation you’ve wanted to take. And take it. And come back. And want for another.
If only tomorrow were here.
“To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.” -Unknown
It’s one of life’s greatest challenges: learning to constantly evolve without undermining the beauty of who you are in this moment. In fact, it seems like a bit of a contradiction. If you’re committed to becoming who you could be, how can you simultaneously value and honor who you are?
I suspect it’s all about perspective.
You honor who you are when you know you have more to learn but appreciate that, right now, you are someone who is capable of doing …
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~Buddha
Whenever I write or publish a post about following your heart professionally, inevitably someone comments that it’s far easier said than done. I completely understand this instinct. After all, most of us don’t start with a massive nest egg that allows us to explore our passions without concern for financial security.
I also understand when people get frustrated by articles that suggest making a living with your passion is a simple step-by-step process.
It’s not always easy to do what you love …
“Pleasure can be supported by an illusion; but happiness rests upon truth.” -Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort
So many times in life we hop from illusion to illusion.
We imagine that we’re finally getting closer to happiness, when the very fact that we’re looking for it in the future makes it unlikely we’ll experience it in the present.
We interpret what we experience based on our pasts and fears, instead of seeing people and things with fresh eyes.
We attach to ideas of right and wrong, as if things are black and white, and in doing so convince ourselves that we …
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.” -Marcus Aurelius
Yesterday I read an article that described how several hundred people got together to kick off the summer season by practicing yoga in the middle of Times Square. I felt a bit nostalgic in reading this because I did the very same thing exactly five years ago.
We were all crammed together, mat to mat, raised 10 feet off the ground. It’s a surreal feeling to ease into downward dog within such a chaotic, electric, commercial environment. It’s the ultimate challenge in centering yourself–with thousands …
“Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.” -Jim Rohn
The other day, my boyfriend and I started brainstorming for a screenplay we’re going to write. As we kept finding new details about the characters and events, I found myself fully visualizing it in my head.
I saw what the actors would look like. I imagined the trailer. I could hear the soundtrack. I was laughing at jokes that we didn’t yet write. The movie felt like a living, breathing organism, and in that moment, even at the very beginning …
“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” -Unknown
There’s a reason we often take the path most traveled: Seeing all the footprints on the well-trodden road creates the illusion of certainty, especially when many are your own.
When it’s familiar, it feels safe. You know what’s at the end; you’ve been there before. You know how to get there, so you don’t need to pay too much attention to your steps or the details along the way. You can just kind of put yourself on auto-pilot and go.
But there’s something kind of …
“Never apologize for showing feelings. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” -Benjamin Disraeli
As I’ve been preparing my presentation for the Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival, I’ve been watching a lot of powerful speeches related to my topics of authenticity and connection. I found my way to Dr. Brené Brown, who researches vulnerability.
In her inspiring talk, Brené explains how shame can be one of the biggest barriers to connection. If you believe there is something wrong with you—that you are somehow unworthy—you may hide who you are in fear of being judged and rejected.
“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” -H. Jackson Browne
It’s safe. Familiar. Comfortable. Effortless. It doesn’t make waves. It’s what other people think you should do. You’re less likely to fail. Less likely to feel vulnerable. Less likely to question if it was worth the risk.
Whether you realize it now or not, it is. We tend to regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did.
On my first date with my boyfriend, I told him over dinner that I’d always wanted to go skydiving, even though …
“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.” -Eckhart Tolle
In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explores how people attach their happiness to achievements in the future. A perfect relationship. A promotion. A salary increase.
Since all of these things exist somewhere other than now–and they’re all impermanent, even if you do achieve them–this thinking creates pain on multiple levels.
First, in the present, when you’ve yet to achieve what you think you need. Next in the acquisition, when you realize even though you’ve …
“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” ~Swedish Proverb
Helping yourself is telling people what you need, even though you’re afraid to acknowledge it.
It’s forgiving yourself for your mistakes, even though you feel like dwelling.
It’s taking responsibility for your problems, even though someone else may have played a large part in them.
It’s breaking a problem into tiny, manageable pieces, even though you feel overwhelmed.
It’s living in accordance with your values, even when they stand in the way of something you think you want.
It’s allowing yourself to …
“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” -Unknown
Before I started this site, I found myself in a horrible financial situation. I lost two well-paying jobs within the same week, and I quickly realized my unemployment benefits would just barely cover my rent. At 28 years old, I felt like I should have been a lot more established and financially secure.
But something kind of beautiful happened. I began forming close relationships with people who also got laid off due to the economic meltdown. Since we were in the …
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” -Havelock Ellis
Sometimes it’s difficult to know when to keep plowing ahead and when to accept that it’s time to move on.
You don’t want to give up on someone you love if you can make a positive difference in their life; but sometimes you need to let go and let them learn their own lessons.
You don’t want to give up on a dream when you’ve put your heart and soul into it; but sometimes you need to let go of the …
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” -Helen Keller
Gratitude. Kindness. Joy. Vulnerability. Passion. Hope. Inspiration. Motivation. Loyalty. Awe. Authenticity. Selflessness. Thoughtfulness. Patience. Understanding. Trust. Simplicity. Serenity. Relaxation. Purpose. Peace. Generosity. Honesty. Integrity. Balance. Bravery. Love.
Look around. It’s a beautiful day, and because of all the good you do and create, you’re a beautiful part of it.
Photo by AlicePopkorn
“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” -Frank Crane
I had one of the most disheartening experiences of my life when I was 24. Some people I trusted conned me out of a huge chunk of my savings and then dropped off the face of the earth.
Later, I questioned if I was being naive whenever an incident looked slightly similar. I instinctively mistrusted a lot of people, projecting past hurts onto them before they even had a chance to show their good intentions.
It was like …
“Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money, power, and influence.” ~Henry Chester
Influence has become a huge buzz word, particularly now that social media has taken the world by storm. There are sites to measure it. Blog posts that dissect it. Books that analyze the psychology of it. Collectively, we’re obsessed with the ability to persuade other people.
It’s not just about driving consumer behavior, although clearly that’s a big part of it–everyone needs to earn a living. It’s also not all about the ego–having the most followers, the most retweets, or the most influential friends. …
“If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us.” -Daisaku Ikeda
Whenever I visit my family in Massachusetts, I notice changes all around me. Sometimes it’s something major, like a Rite Aid where a Mom and Pop shop used to be. Sometimes it’s something less noticeable, like a new door on my parents’ neighbor’s house.
Other times, these changes take place in my family. My mother’s changed her hair color, or my sister looks completely different after weeks on a new diet, or my father’s decided to embrace bright-colored clothes–despite …