“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” -Pema Chodron
We all have stories we tell ourselves about the events in our lives. Many of them are negative: My boyfriend left me because I’m not good enough. I didn’t get that job because people think I’m incompetent. My parents were too hard on me because they don’t really love me.
We often give far more meaning to events than they actually had, allowing them to control us and our actions.
Your stories can either leave you feeling helpless …
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~Gandhi
It’s awfully difficult to be happy when you don’t love or respect yourself, and let’s face it: A big part of self love has to do with operating with integrity.
When you commit to making a positive change–like meditating or cutting back on work–but don’t follow through, you’re basically telling yourself that your commitments to yourself aren’t valuable enough to keep.
When you decide you believe in something strongly, like honesty, and then contradict it in your actions by lying, you’re telling yourself …
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~ Pema Chodron
Nine out of ten times when I feel paralyzed, it’s because I doubt myself.
Sometimes I doubt my knowledge—whether I truly know enough to move forward. Sometimes I doubt the choices I’ve already made, as if I can somehow find a sense of control in rehashing what I’ve done and deciding how to do it better in the future.
Other times I doubt my instincts. I think I know what’s right for me, but my mind decides to split …
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” -Honore de Balzac
When you think that you don’t know, know that somewhere inside you, you do. When you think you can’t go on, know that you absolutely can and will. When you aren’t sure that you can make a difference, know that you already do, and you will continue to if you just keep going.
It’s not about having all the answers. It’s about how boldly you’re willing to act, knowing full there’s a lot you don’t know.
Today if you doubt yourself, remember: You are far more …
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” ~William Faulkner
Let’s face it: In a world where work is a requirement, a lot of us will end up spending at least some time doing things we wouldn’t choose to do. If we’re passionate and determined, we can create a world where we work is enjoyable, and maybe even create the conditions to work fewer hours.
But what’s important is what we do with the time we have on any given day.
You might not be able to travel internationally right now, but you can …
“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~Marianne Williamson
Sometimes I look at people who appear to be confident, successful, and happy and imagine that they always feel that way—that they never feel insecure or afraid, and they always operate from a place of trusting love.
Then I remember that every person who has a pulse deals with human emotions. What confident, successful, happy people have going for them is that they feel fears, but they make decisions from a place underneath them.
They push through discomfort, fully aware that it’s impermanent, and …
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” ~Gandhi
When I was younger, I thought of winning in terms of revenge. I thought that if I felt hurt by bullies, they won. Or if I sat around feeling sad about an ex-boyfriend, he won. On the flip side, if I grew up to be successful, that would be the best revenge against anyone who hurt me.
In being happy, confident, and successful, I would have won.
What a sad way to think, that it’s all one giant score card of them against us. That we’re …
As you may have noticed, there’s been a Tiny Buddha YouTube channel up for months now. There have been nearly 3,000 views on the page but, thus far, there aren’t any videos on there.
Today is the day that changes!
Since I launched this website in the fall of 2009, Tiny Buddha has been all about community.
Each week, I publish 4 blog posts from Tiny Buddha readers. I’ve published nearly a dozen posts that incorporated wisdom from members of the Tiny Buddha Facebook page. I even included tweets from Tiny Buddha Twitter followers in my upcoming book (available …
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
They say that love is a verb, and that’s not only true for our friends and family. If we want to be strong, confident people who can benefit others and the world, we need to make time to love ourselves in action.
We need to do the things that we know nourish our hearts and spirits, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or walking on the beach. Even if we’re overwhelmed—especially if we’re overwhelmed—we need to prioritize taking care of minds and bodies.
When I was 24 years old, I learned that some dreams are actually avoidance tactics, and some discouragement is a very good thing.
I was relatively new in New York City, and I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of failing if I tried to pursue my passions. I’d learned a lot about failure in the six years prior, and the only thing I knew for certain anymore was that I had to become someone important.
When I arrived at my interview for marketing job—as it was so descriptively advertised on Craigslist—I was surprised to find a room full of …
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” -George Sheehan
I don’t know that I believe we were “meant to be” anything specifically, but I know that we all have greater intentions that often get suffocated under the weight of our daily responsibilities.
We all want to make the world a better place. We all want to mean something to other people. What that looks like differs for all of us, and sometimes it changes from one day, one month, and one year to the next.
“Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius
While I have always piled a lot on my plate professionally, I’ve recently introduced more varied elements. Formerly, I may have devoted a long workweek to freelance writing, but I’m now juggling writing, consulting, editing my upcoming book, and promoting my recent eBook.
I’ve noticed that the biggest complication to my life isn’t necessarily the full, varied schedule; it’s how I think about that busy schedule.
Sometimes I let my to-do list overwhelm me, carrying the weight of the whole through all of the parts.
“He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” –Proverb
We all go through phases when we feel hopeless. When everything gets overwhelming. Your bills, your responsibilities, your relationships, the dreams you put on hold—sometimes it all seems like too much.
In those moments the last thing you want to hear is that you’re lucky you can still walk or use all your senses. Those are things we all take for granted. Things that just are.
Except none of them are a given. The legs that allow you to practice yoga may one day be …
“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.” -Dalai Lama
Most of the time when I feel overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, or angry, it’s because I’m obsessing about my circumstances–everything that feels unfair or insurmountable and all the ways I feel powerless to change them.
In this state of mind, I inevitably stress other people out, whether I talk about my challenges or not.
It’s there, spoken or unsaid. It gets in the way of my ability to really be present with the people I love, and it affects their state of mind.
I’ve realized that the surest path …
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen
There’s a popular musical that explores a common approach to love, titled I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
It happens all the time: We meet someone, we fall for all their strengths and quirks, and then soon start identifying ways they could change to better meet our needs.
I suspect we do this partly because we tend to blame the person we’re with when we’re feeling something we don’t want to fix on our own. But also, we …
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop
Recently I read about a research study that suggested kindness is literally contagious. According to Science Daily:
“When people benefit from kindness they ‘pay it forward’ by helping others who were not originally involved, and this creates a cascade of cooperation that influences dozens more in a social network.”
One simple act of generosity, consideration, or thoughtfulness can literally have a domino affect, eventually touching people you may never meet. In a very real way, a simple act of kindness can expand your positive impact on the world …
“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” -Gerry Spence
Many of the beliefs we consider facts are really just things we wish were true–comforting ideas that we’re scared to release.
The world and people feel a lot safer when you think you have them pegged, but the truth is that there’s far more we don’t know than do know, and that will likely always be the case.
If we can let go of our need to know and be right, we can be amazed, inspired, motivated, challenged, and filled with wonder every day.…
“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
In his book Wisdom 2.0, Soren Gordhamer explores a concept he calls cup mind.
The mind, he explains, can be like a cup or the ocean. When you place a drop of blue dye in a cup, the entire contents may change color, whereas when you place that same drop in the ocean, it barely has an impact.
Our thoughts and feelings can affect our minds similarly. They can completely consume us and alter our entire experience of a given day; or, if …
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot
I’ve talked to a lot of people who say that this is a lot easier to believe when you’re young–that it’s near impossible to believe anything is possible when there appears to be a lot less time left.
But do we ever really know how much time we have? When we’re young, we’re not as conscious of our mortality and the unpredictability of life, but that doesn’t mean we’re immune from unexpected hardships. It just means that we don’t yet know to focus on them.
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” -Mary Lou Cook
To be fully alive is to always be creating, whether it’s love, joy, connection, purpose, passion, or possibilities. What are you creating today?
Photo by gfpeck