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 Impermanence

“No feeling is final.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Most of the time, when we feel something overwhelming, it’s not just the feeling that weighs on us; it’s also the fear that it may persist.

That the deep sense of loss or longing will burrow a permanent hole in our hearts and we’ll never feel loved again. Or the disappointment will harden into an aching regret and we’ll never feel proud and excited again. Or the sadness will etch itself into our being and we’ll never feel happy again.

But everything eventually transforms. Happiness gives way to sadness gives way to happiness …

Tiny Wisdom: On Seeking Answers

“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu

Sometimes, when we feel stressed, frustrated, annoyed, confused, overwhelmed, or anything uncomfortable, it can seem tremendously helpful to talk about it incessantly.

But I’ve noticed that venting is often far less effective than I assume it will be. If you’ve ever talked yourself in circles instead of communicating and letting go, you know precisely what I mean.

All the words in the world can’t change the fact that sometimes we just need to sit with our feelings. No amount of validation, advice, or external support will change that we alone need …

Tiny Wisdom: On Where You’re Headed

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins

One of life’s biggest challenges, I believe, is how to continually motivate yourself to keep going when you don’t yet know where your efforts are leading.

You need to write part of the book to even open the path to getting it published, but you don’t know for certain that you’ll get a deal. You need to push yourself to work toward profitability with your business, especially when the odds feel insurmountable, but you can never know for certain …

Tiny Wisdom: On Finding Your Purpose

“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.” ~Anais Nin

Someone asked me recently if I feel as though my life has changed since I found my purpose and started living it. This struck me as odd because it seems to imply before I discovered a professional path that felt meaningful to me, my life was meaningless.

It’s a logical conclusion: The opposite of having a purpose is being purposeless, doing without intent …

How to Discover Your Super Powers to Find Meaningful Work

“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.” ~Buddha

It seems like the vast majority of people compartmentalize themselves.

There are the people they show to family and friends, built upon authenticity and genuine passions, and the people who wear work-appropriate masks to make a living from day to day.

I understand how this happens. It’s not easy to identify the work that would feel meaningful for you, discover how you can get on that path, and then consistently take action to create the life you visualize.

Recognizing what you want to do can …

25 Ways to Be a True Friend

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown

The other night I called an old friend I hadn’t talked to in a while. As we caught up, shared stories, and laughed over private jokes that would sound ridiculous had the phone been tapped, I wondered why I let so much time go by since I’d last given her a call.

We don’t live close to each other, so grabbing a drink or hitting up a yoga class isn’t an option. But really connecting with her, sharing pieces of my life  and receiving the pieces she wants to …

Tiny Wisdom: On Being Vulnerable

“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” ~Brené Brown

To be vulnerable is to be free.

It gives you a break from trying to pretend you’re always right and you don’t have any flaws. It gives you permission to show your authentic self and stop taking responsibility for the way other people perceive you. It allows you to try new things and take the risk of feeling awkward or uncomfortable.

It also opens you up to the possibility of pain. We never know when we let our guard down that other people won’t hurt us, unintentionally or otherwise.

We can

Tiny Wisdom: On Runaway Thoughts

“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.” ~Buddha

For the vast majority of my life, I took pride in being a fighter–which meant I was always ready for an attack so no one else could hurt me. The irony is that because of this mindset, I frequently hurt myself.

I was too busy guarding myself against other people’s negative intentions to create positive intentions of my own. I was too preoccupied judging and doubting people to connect with them on a meaningful level.

The people and things I fought weren’t the problem; my thoughts …

Tiny Wisdom: On the Future

“Whatever the past has been, you have a spotless future.” ~Unknown

Everyone has something in their past they wish they could change. Whether it’s a mistake, a regret, a disappointment, or a deep pain, we’ve all had moments that can feel overwhelming if we try to hold onto them while building tomorrow.

We can never change what’s come and gone, but we can always choose instead to focus on what’s coming and where we’re going.

The future is never set in stone, no matter how limiting the past may have been. The only thing standing between us and new possibilities …

Tiny Wisdom: On Living with Honor

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” ~Socrates

Most of us live the majority of our lives for other people—trying to do what they want us to do, aiming to meet their expectations, and hoping to be seen as we’d like them to see us.

Trying to sway perception is exhausting and oftentimes fruitless because we can never dictate what other people think. We don’t get to control our reputation; we only get to shape our character.

Today, if you find yourself fixating on other people’s perceptions and judgments, …

4 Tips to Create Meaningful, Authentic Connections Online

“The most important things in life are the connections you make with others.” ~Tom Ford

Three years ago I was living in the Bay Area, working for a start-up website as a community and content and manager. Every day, I signed online and wrote for hours about a topic that meant absolutely nothing to me.

I accepted the position because it was a dramatic pay increase from my previous temp and freelance lifestyle, and it afforded me my first solo apartment. I’d held dozens of different jobs in my time as I searched for meaningful work, and I certainly …

Tiny Wisdom: On Becoming Again

“To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” ~Pema Chodron

A lot of times we say we want to expand our world, but without realizing it we attach to the way things are.

We attach to our feelings, relationships, and circumstances, and then fight to hold onto them for dear life. It’s scary to let go of what is and what works, and sometimes even what doesn’t work. Familiar and bearable can be a lot more comforting than the unknown and potentially dissatisfying.

And yet tomorrow is always unknown. No matter how secure we may feel …

Tiny Wisdom: On Being Fully What You Are

“By accepting yourself and being fully what you are, your presence can make others happy.” ~Jane Roberts

I suspect we all want permission to be exactly who we are—to accept ourselves instead of feeling unsure of ourselves, and then somehow find a balance between being and improving.

When we see someone else who appears to do that, despite their weaknesses and flaws, it’s immensely inspiring and gratifying. Why? Because we all want to believe that even if we can be better, there’s nothing wrong with being exactly who we are.

Yet only we can give that feeling to ourselves. No …

Tiny Wisdom: On Perfect Plans

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” -Proverb

Tomorrow always seems like a safe bet for action. Then you’ll be ready to get started, or get serious, or get over it, or get on with it. Tomorrow you’ll finally set your plan in motion instead of shaping it into something just right. You’ll take the offer, the plunge, or the road less taken tomorrow, when you feel sure.

Tomorrow can become a moving target while todays pile up and expire.

Sometimes we need to be patient, but oftentimes we use it as an excuse to wait …

Tiny Wisdom: On Enthusiasm


“Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money, power, and influence.” ~Henry Chester

Money can leave you feeling emptier than you were before you had it; it can buy you everything yet give you none of the feelings you hoped it would provide.

Power gives the illusion of control, when in all reality, everyone must come to terms with our universal vulnerability. And influence—well, it might make people follow you, but it doesn’t guarantee you have something worth following.

Enthusiasm, when directed toward something healthy, gives you the power to imagine, create, and enjoy, all rooted …

How You Made Tiny Buddha Beautiful This Year: Our 2010 in Review

“We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.” ~Anonymous

Before September 2009, I thought I wanted to run a personal development blog—a place to share the lessons I’ve learned and generally build a community around the idea of teaching people to improve their lives. Then I realized that wasn’t my vision.

There were a couple reasons for that.

I feel the biggest challenge isn’t gaining new information; it’s learning to apply it.

Instead of trying to build authority, I wanted to embrace my humanity—to be both strong and vulnerable, willing to share what I’ve learned …

Tiny Wisdom: On Everyday Change

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” ~Flora Whittemore

Some decisions seem so inconsequential when you make them.

You choose not to go to lunch with your coworkers. You decide against making that call about taking a class. You reconsider your plans to go out with your friends and instead sit alone, in a familiar space, with a familiar level of comfort.

Every small decision affects the next decision you get to make.

If you don’t go to lunch, you might not learn about a new position at your company. If you don’t …

The One New Year’s Resolution That Creates Lasting Change

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” ~Jack Dixon

I originally started to write a post offering tons of different New Year’s resolutions and tips to stick to them to create lasting change.

After all, that’s what we bloggers do around the end of the year: share our best practices for improving our lives as December rolls into January; compile well-researched suggestions to change, and do it consistently, despite knowing most people give up on resolutions within weeks of setting them.

Then I realized that didn’t feel authentic to …

Tiny Wisdom: On Flaws

“A beautiful thing is never perfect.” ~Proverb

The vintage couch pillows that don’t even slightly match. The homemade scarf that’s a little too long and yet just the right size. The worn T-shirt that looks like trash but holds too much nostalgia to toss. The hand-made card depicting a child’s version of a happy family—not even slightly realistic and yet precise in all the right ways.

Imperfect beauty surrounds us, and without realizing it, we also own it, with our diverse colors, shapes, sizes, and smiles; in our varying tastes, skills, perceptions, and quirks.

All those little things that make …

Review & Giveaway: The Power of Receiving

Sometimes in the name of being good we forget to be good to ourselves. We put so much energy into meeting other people’s needs that we fail to meet our own. And yet that doesn’t change that we have needs; it just pushes us to deny them or to find manipulative ways of getting them met.

For the longest time, I felt certain that good people put everyone else first. They stretch themselves, bend over backward, and even completely exhaust themselves if it means making everyone else happy.

I also thought giving would naturally invite reciprocity. Inevitably, after months of …