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Posts by Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, and Tiny Buddha's Inner Strength Journal and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Lori Deschene's Website

8 Ways to Turn Disappointment into Meaningful Success

“Don’t let today’s disappointment cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dream.” ~Unknown

Have you ever looked back on your life, exactly a year ago, and felt amazed by how much has changed?

Last year at this time, I’d only just started this site and I was competing in a blogging contest. Ignite Social Media, the marketing company behind the mood supplement SAM-e, had come up with a clever crowdsourcing campaign to generate awareness for the product.

In the beginning of the fall, they advertised a contest to win a dream blogging job. The winner would get a six-month contract to write …

30 Things to Appreciate About You

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

Depending on where you’re from, you may celebrate Thanksgiving today. You might get together with your family over a massive gravy-drenched feast. You might celebrate with a chosen family of friends, with traditional food, vegan fare, or a nontraditional fast food spread.

Regardless of who surrounds you today or what meal you all share together, you’ll likely reflect upon your blessings, as we tend to do at this time of year.

You might announce them elocution style as you all take turns at the …

Tiny Wisdom: On What We Create

“Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.” ~Milton Erickson

It’s inevitable we’ll hurt in life, and in it’s inevitable we’ll want more of the good times, less of the bad, and more control over the distribution.

We can’t change that pain is a part of life, but we can choose to  be responsible for joy instead of sitting around waiting for it, wondering when someone will change or something will change and happiness will seem less elusive.

We can do the things we love a little every day. And tell the people we …

Tiny Wisdom: On Being Aware

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” ~James Thurber

When you focus your attention on what’s in front of you, yesterday’s problems feel a lot less catastrophic and tomorrow’s uncertainty seems a lot less scary.

It’s not easy to live in the now because obsessing over yesterday and stressing about tomorrow can seem like gaining control. If only you can analyze yesterday enough, maybe you can make sense of it. If only you can plan for tomorrow enough, maybe you can decide what will happen.

Except neither of those things are universally …

Tiny Wisdom: On Choosing

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them.” ~Denis Waitley

Sometimes complaining, stressing, analyzing, and fantasizing can seem proactive, but they don’t actually change anything. Visualizing or planning may help you take action, but nothing changes unless you actually do.

Today if you feel aggravated with your circumstances ask yourself these questions: Am I willing to do something to change them? And if not, what can I do to enjoy today instead of dwelling and letting it slip away?

Photo by joiseyshowaa

Tiny Wisdom: On Envy

“You can’t be envious and happy at the same time.” ~Frank Tyger

When you’re fixated on everything someone else has that you lack, it’s near impossible to notice and appreciate everything that’s working in your favor. There’s always something, even if you’re not where you’d like to be professionally, romantically, socially, or personally.

You’ll get there–that doesn’t change that now is a perfect time to be happy.

Envy is a disease of resentful dissatisfaction. Gratitude is not only the antidote–it’s also a choice to accept and enjoy your world as it is.

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Tiny Wisdom: On Being You

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” -E.E. Cummings

It can be difficult to be true to yourself if you have no idea who you are.

So often we identify with who we’ve been in the past, holding onto bad memories and assuming they have to define us. Or we think about who we should be—things we want to have, how to we want to be perceived, and how we want to be remembered.

We attach to things and people, as if they are a part of us, and then feel disjointed when someone leaves …

Tiny Wisdom: On Ends & Beginnings

“Letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.” -Unknown

When you’ve loved every moment of an experience, it can feel like a death to watch it fade into yesterday.

When a relationship ends, it might feel like you’ll never love or smile again. When a job ends, you might think you’ll never feel fulfilled in your work again.

You will. Just like every experience is impermanent, every feeling eventually fades and morphs into something else. Happiness becomes sadness becomes happiness again.

If you’re willing to let go of yesterday and stay open to

10 Happiness Tips for Busy People: How to Reclaim Your Joy

“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” ~John Lennon

I am someone who enjoys doing a lot of different things, and yet I don’t always enjoy being busy. Sometimes when my schedule gets full, I feel almost as if I’ve lost a part of me.

Just like some people become codependent in relationships, I can be codependent with work. When it has my attention, everything else can easily fall to the wayside—my social life, my hobbies, you name it.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in a riptide of doing without ever evaluating what you’re …

Tiny Wisdom: On Forgiving

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.” -Lewis B. Smedes

Nothing hurts more than resentment. When you sit around reliving painful stories, feeling angry and justified, it doesn’t right past wrongs. It doesn’t teach people how to treat you. It doesn’t in any way heal you.

All anger does is force you to relive a moment that’s come and gone. And all that dwelling can actually cause you emotional and physical disease—stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and even heart attack.

Every day we have a choice as to what we …

How to Forgive Someone When It’s Hard: 30 Tips to Let Go of Anger

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Up until my early twenties, I carried around a lot of anger toward someone in my life. I’d been hurt by a person I trusted, and for a long time in my adolescence I wanted to hurt them back.

I lived in painful stories and in visions of what could have been if I hadn’t been wronged. I blamed someone else for the life I didn’t have, and felt vindicated in the soul-sucking resentment I carried around from day to day.

I realize it makes less …

Tiny Wisdom: On Being at Peace

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” -Peace Pilgrim

We often think it’s the other way around—that if people around us were more peaceful, we’d be able to let go of many of our anxieties, fears, and struggles.

No one else causes our emotions. We are the ones deciding how to respond to the world we experience. We are the ones who choose what goes on in our heads and hearts. And we are the ones who decide whether we focus on all the obstacles to peace or …

5 Ways to Push Through Discomfort to Make Positive Change

“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown

One of the most difficult parts of reaching your goals or making positive change is pushing through discomfort.

This is where a lot of people give up—when the process inspires all kinds of challenging feelings.

If you’ve quit your day job to pursue your passion and after six months you need to sell your car to keep going, a cubicle may appeal to your need for security.

If you’d like to get your masters degree but received rejection letters for the fall, your ego might tell you not to …

Tiny Wisdom: On Carrying Stress

“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.” ~Astrid Alauda

It’s an easy thing to do. Our bodies and minds are so connected that stress and worry can actually cause disease.

We don’t have to be the victims of our anxieties. At any time, we can choose to alleviate the pressure.

We can take a break at any time. We can disconnect at any time. We can call a friend at any time. We can cry at any time. We can move at any time. We can hug at any time.

Pema Chodron Retreat Giveaway

Update: The winners have already been chosen for this giveaway. Subscribe to the Tiny Buddha List to learn about future contests!

Last week, I received an email from the marketing team at Shambhala Publications informing me about the upcoming “Smile-at-Fear” retreat, to be hosted by Pema Chödrön.

This three-day event, focused on wisdom from Pema’s teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, will take place in Richmond, California from October 15–17. Since Pema rarely hosts events of this nature, it sold out pretty quickly, but there’s still a chance to learn what she has to share.

Shambhala Publishing has decided to bring the retreat …

Mindful Technology: Simplify Email & Reduce Inbox Stress

Up until recently, I received communication online in ten different places.

In addition to getting messages through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon, I got emails through six different email accounts. I have not always managed this ever-flowing stream of information in the most mindful and productive way.

Studies show that we actually get a little endorphin rush when something new pops up in the inbox. It’s almost as if an email, direct message, or blog comment confirms that we’re important—that someone somewhere values us and needs our attention, expertise, or approval.

I’ll admit it: I enjoy seeing there’s a new …

Tiny Wisdom: On Anxiety

“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Only we can choose the way we feel, no one else.

We don’t have to be the victim of our circumstances, the people around us, or the things we can’t control. Some things may hurt us and we’ll have feelings to deal with. But whenever we’re ready, we can choose to move on.

Want to feel happier? Spend some time doing something you enjoy. Want to feel peaceful? Take a break and breathe deeply or meditate. Don’t worry about the …

25 Awesome Things We Take for Granted Most Days

“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” ~Evan Davis

Some mornings I open my eyes and immediately start thinking about everything I have to do.

I don’t notice the sun shining through my blinds.

I don’t imagine all the things that could go right in my day, as Srinivas Rao suggested in his awesome post How to Wake up Every Morning on Top of the World.

Instead, I immediately home in on my to-do list and all the mini fires I plan to avoid.

On …

Tiny Wisdom: On What’s Past

“Stay away from what might have been and look at what will be.” ~Marsha Petrie Sue

Everyone has something they might do differently if they could back in time. It’s a natural consequence of learning and growing.

The happiest people focus not on what they should have done if only they knew then, but instead on what they can do right now with the knowledge they have gained. No matter how helpless you may feel, you can do more than you think.

Today you will make hundreds of mini-decisions that will create what will be. You’ll have people to meet, …

Tiny Wisdom: On Planning

“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” -John Lennon

Take a deep breath, feel your feet on the ground, exhale, look around, repeat. What would you do with your life if you knew today was part of it, not a means to it?

photo by mindfulness