Posts by Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

Lori Deschene's Website

Tiny Wisdom: On Being Bold When You’re Scared

“Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.” -Horace

Have you ever heard the phrase “Feel the fear and do it anyway”? The first time I heard this, I immediately thought, “How?” How exactly do you push yourself to do something when everything in your body tells you not to do it?

If I practiced blind allegiance to corporate slogans, I might tell myself to “just do it.” But I’ve noticed that this is not sufficient for me. What helps me is to understand and chip away at the mental barriers in my way.

It’s only when we break down …

Tiny Wisdom: On Being Happy with What You Have

“Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.” -Doris Mortman

When I was a little girl, before I learned to question myself or my abilities, I decided that one day I would have it all.

I imagined I’d be a famous actress, I’d marry the man of my dreams, and we’d have and adopt lots of children that we’d take around the world, à la Brad and Angelina.

As I got older and allowed my failures to chisel away at my self-confidence, I slowly stopped believing I could have anything I …

Tiny Wisdom: It’s Not All About You

“When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” -Miguel Ruiz

Years back, in a group therapy circle, I met a man who provided an interesting definition for paranoia: It’s when you’re sitting in the bleachers at a football game, watching the players in a huddle, convinced they’re talking about you.

While I’ve never suspected professional athletes were secretly laughing at me between plays, I have taken responsibility for a lot of things that likely had nothing to do with me.

Just recently, I emailed a friend of mine from …

Tiny Wisdom: On the Power of Attention

“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” -Jim Rohn

We all get busy. We have responsibilities to meet. We have coworkers and superiors expecting things from us. We have ambitions and goals, things we want to improve in ourselves and our lives. I suspect that underneath it all, what we really want is to make a difference for other people.

And yet, ironically, in that pursuit, we often fail to make a difference for the people we know and love.

My mother gets out of work every day between 6:00 and 7:00, …

Tiny Wisdom: When Beliefs Are Not Facts

“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” -Pema Chodron

Most people have areas where they’re willing to accept new information and others where they just won’t budge.

An overweight friend of mine used to believe she needed a relationship to be happy, but that no one could love someone her size. She also believed she was too mentally weak to stick to a diet. The sum of her beliefs: She was stuck in a situation she couldn’t change, and, therefore, would always be alone–and as a consequence, unhappy.

Because she believed all those …

Tiny Wisdom: On Making Peace with Time

“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” -Joan Borysenko

The other day, as I approached the street I needed to cross to visit the Coffee Bean near my apartment, I noticed there were only 5 seconds left on the walk signal. Instinctively, I ran. With a laptop. And a purse. In the heat. And why?

If I missed the walk signal, there would be another one in a little over a minute. The president wasn’t waiting on me with lattes getting cold. And there wasn’t a baby in the middle of the road who needed …

Tiny Wisdom: On Being Honest in Relationships

“Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” ~Unknown

The other day, a friend told me how his previous relationship fell apart. His girlfriend failed to disclose a major resentment based on a misconception, and instead initiated a series of arguments over little things until their relationship eventually collapsed under the weight of all that confrontation.

I explained how I practice radical honesty with my boyfriend. Essentially, I disclose everything I think and feel about him that I have trouble resolving in my head, knowing full well most of it has more to do …

Tiny Wisdom: On Letting Go of Painful Stories

“The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that.” -Eckhart Tolle

Today I read that Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped in 2002, is going to join ABC as a correspondent, covering missing persons.

In case you haven’t followed this case, Elizabeth was only 14 when Brian David Mitchell abducted her from her Salt Lake City home. Her parents had previously hired the homeless man for a day’s work, something they did often to help people who were down on their luck. And yet for nine months he …

Tiny Wisdom: On Creating Beautiful Moments

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

The other day, I was looking through friends’ Facebook albums–and by friends, I mean teenage cousins, readers I’ve yet to meet, and acquaintances from high school.

It all started so innocently, clicking on a recently added photo on my wall, and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in the lives of people I rarely see, have never seen, or haven’t seen in years.

There were, of course, hundreds of photos of each person in different exciting destinations–kind like that garden gnome that shows up in pictures from …

51 Things That Will Make You Smile

Some days, it’s easy to smile. You wake up to the sounds of birds chirping, with the warm glow of the morning sun cradling your face. You take several deep, cleansing breaths standing beneath a perfectly cascading shower, just before drawing a smiley face on the steamed-up glass with your index finger.

Your roommate or significant other makes your coffee, just the way you like it. You hit every traffic light. You sing to your favorite tunes. And you arrive at work refreshed, excited, and anxious to create and collaborate.

But not every day starts this way. Sometimes you wake …

Tiny Wisdom: How Criticism Helps You Excel

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” -Aristotle

No matter what you’re trying to do, someone somewhere has a harsh opinion.

Maybe it’s a virtual stranger. Since the advent of the Internet, people can easily vent their judgments behind a cloak of anonymity. Most of the world’s successful people have a Google trail laced with negativity.

Or maybe it’s someone who’s supposed to have faith in you—your father doubts your aptitude for the legal profession, or your friend thinks your singing belongs in the shower.

Either way, it hurts. And you may …

Tiny Wisdom: On Changing How You See Problems

“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 …

Tiny Wisdom: On Where We’re Going and Why

“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 …

Tiny Wisdom: On Realizing It’s Never All Dark

“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.

Just …

Tiny Wisdom: On the Illusion of Tomorrow

“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.

You’d …

Tiny Wisdom: On Dreaming of a Better You

“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 …

Tiny Wisdom: On Doing What You Love for Work

“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 …

Tiny Wisdom: On What We Really Want

“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 …

Tiny Wisdom: On Living in Peace

“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 …

Tiny Wisdom: On Believing in Your Ideas

“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 …