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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

Start Late

“It is never too late. Even if you are going to die tomorrow, keep yourself straight and clear and be a happy human being today.” ~Lama Yeshe

There’s a common misconception that there comes a point when it’s too late to do things you want to do. Maybe one of these statements sounds familiar to you:

“I can’t become a designer. I’m far too old to change my career path.”

“I’ll never get married. It’s too late in the game for that.”

“I couldn’t possibly start yoga. That’s for people much younger than me.”

We choose arbitrary windows of time

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving Up on Your Dream

“Commitment in the face of conflict produces character.” ~Unknown

We all face obstacles in pursuing our goals, whether they’re professional or personal.

We think we’re on the right track but realize we’ve chosen the wrong approach. We’re enthusiastic and hard-working, but our support system disintegrates when we need them the most. We’re just about to make significant progress when we run out of time or funding.

Tenacious as we may be, we all have our breaking points—that moment when the potential rewards stop justifying the effort. Usually, that’s the hump that separates your best shot and your best reality.

Before …

Un-side for a While

“When you live on a round planet, there’s no choosing sides.” ~Wayne Dyer

Research shows that rooting for a team, identifying with a group and enjoying the camaraderie you feel with other fans, can increase your sense of personal happiness.

While it’s satisfying to feel a sense of belonging, it can be dangerous to carry this us-against-them philosophy into other areas of your life. We do it all the time.

A man connects so deeply to his heritage that he puts up walls with people from different backgrounds.

Or a woman believes something with so much conviction that people who …

Connect Without Complaining

“Instead of complaining the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.”~Proverb

Complaining can be a bonding experience.

You meet up with your friends after work and immediately start rehashing frustrations with your boss. You have dinner with your siblings and commiserate about confrontations with your black-sheep uncle. Or you release tension on a blind date by noticing the wait staff’s shortcomings.

Commiserating is a great way to immediately establish rapport. In that moment you feel connected—you  both have grievances, problems, and wishes for a better world.

It’s even easier to do in a challenging …

Choose to Lose

“Being right is highly overrated. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” ~Unknown

We all know someone who always needs to be right.

She turns everything into an argument worthy of a courtroom, complete with counter arguments and below-the-belt accusations. She finds holes in everything you say, even if you were actually agreeing with her. And in the end she needs the last word, even if means belittling you or ignoring your feelings.

Not everyone acts this righteous all the time, but we’ve likely all tried to win in an argument at least once before.

Maybe it’s the

5 Rules for Life

When I first sat down to write this piece for 5 Rules for Life, I wrote “Live without rules” five times, each followed by a reason to keep your approach to life flexible.

The way you live is largely a reflection of where you’ve been, who you’ve been, and the beliefs you’ve formed. Who am I to create a cookie-cutter hard-and-fast code that makes sense for everyone?

That’s when I realized I’d need to make a sixth rule to introduce these ideas: judge my words, and anyone else’s, against your own reason and moral code.

Buddha said, “Believe …

Assume the Best

“We must never assume that which is incapable of proof.” ~Unknown

You can never truly know someone else’s intentions.

If a coworker offers to cover your shift, she may be trying to ease your stress—or she could be vying for your job. If your sister-in-law offers to pay for your meal, she may want to help you out during tough times—of she could be trying to remind you that you’re inferior.

You can always find a negative assumption that allows you to believe the worst in people. Or you can give that person the benefit of the doubt and believe

Review and Giveaway: The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World

Update: The winners have already been chosen for this giveaway:

  • Cynthia Atkins
  • Kevin Costillo
  • Tracey Sullivan
  • Stephanie (@Omgitsafox)
  • Brenda Sue

Is it possible to be happy in a world marred by prejudice, violence, and global disharmony—in a time when people often feel isolated from their communities, even in the most heavily populated places?

That’s the main question presented in The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World; and the answer is a resounding yes.

The fourteenth Dalai Lama has known tremendous adversity in his lifetime—having been exiled from his homeland of Tibet when communist China invaded in 1959—and yet …

40 Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Pain

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah

Eckhart Tolle believes we create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity. Perhaps this explains why we often hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us.

We replay past mistakes over and over again in our head, allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape our actions in the present. We cling to frustration and worry about the future, as if the act of fixation somehow …

Let Go

Some people think it’s holding on that makes one strong—sometimes it’s letting go.” ~Unknown

Maybe your life doesn’t look like you want it but you’re not sure how to change it or even if you can, so you feel hopeless, frustrated, and even a little bitter.

Or maybe someone hurt you so deeply that you don’t know if you can trust them anymore, so you feel angry, defensive, and indignant.

Every day we can find a million and one reasons to feel discouraged, or incompetent, or vulnerable, or harried—all things that hurt when we hold them inside like a …

Project Happiness: Believing in the Good in People

“Make finding the good in others a priority.” ~Zig Ziglar

One of the most exciting parts of writing about happiness is getting the opportunity to connect with people who make sharing joy a priority.

If you’re looking for it, you’ll find positive people everywhere—in your office, along your morning commute, on blogs you follow, and within your Twitter stream. They won’t be the only type of person you see; there are plenty of people out there who walk around holding onto a lot of pain, and knowingly or unknowingly spread it.

But an uplifting person—someone who believes in the good …

Take a Small Step

“I could never make a living while traveling the world; it’s just not realistic.”

“My guitar won’t pay the bills. People think I’m crazy for trying.”

“I don’t have the money to go back to school. I’m stuck in this dead-end temp job.”

Most people dream of doing something that gives them a sense of excitement and purpose. Only some people believe in the possibility of that meaningful, exciting reality. Even fewer people pursue those goals in the face of adversity and discouragement.

Belief in possibility and the willingness to try can mean the difference between feeling alive and feeling

7 Reasons to Be Happy Even if Things Aren’t Perfect Now

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Unknown

Even though I couldn’t possibly care less about oil-based raincoats, I listened to him talk for about fifteen minutes one rainy morning last week.

This little guy, with his colorful button-down shirt and funny-looking hat makes my day most mornings. He works at the 7-11 where I get my coffee. And he always seems happy.

At first I thought he was just putting on a good face, making the best of a tough situation. After all, he couldn’t possibly enjoy working at …

See and Tell

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~Voltaire

There are a lot of impressive people in the world. Some innovate and invent things that help masses of people. Some use art to tell powerful stories that move viewers to action.

Others make the world a better place by being helpful within their own sphere of influence, however small or large it may be.

Those little things define people.

The way your neighbor asks how you’re doing and really listens for the answer. How your coworker supports your ideas and gives …

Say No

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

As children we’re taught to just say no, and we do it with abandon.

Want to come inside and get ready for dinner? No! Want to shut off the TV and go grocery shopping? No! Want to wear the glittery holiday sweater grandma bought you last year? You know where this is going.

Then we get older and learn about etiquette. We get that sometimes we need to do things that we don’t want to. We understand …

Be Your Purpose Now

“The secret to success is constancy to purpose.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

Most of us want to be successful, if not in monetary terms, then by our own definitions.

We want to feel a sense of meaning, to do something worthwhile that we can be proud of. Something that matters to people. Something that will live on after we do.

We often get so caught up in becoming who we want to be that we miss on being those people right now.

We get so focused on striving—getting things done, crossing items off the to-do list—that we forget to simply enjoy that …

Interpret Differently

“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare

Research indicates lottery winners are no happier than people who didn’t win, and in many cases, become depressed in the years following their win.

Scientists have surmised that we all have a baseline level of happiness—a range of joy we’ll stay within regardless of our external circumstances. The greatest factor in determining this joy is our mental attitude.

If you’d like to alter your baseline, instead of trying to change your circumstances, change the way you interpret them.

It sounds much easier said than done because it

10 Ways I Know There’s Nothing Wrong with You (or Me)

“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a joyous energy behind what you do.” ~Eckhart Tolle

At seventeen I had it all. I made straight As, was the vice president of the Honor Society, held two jobs, took the lead in four community theater performances, and joined Donnie Osmond onstage as part of the children’s chorus in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I was busy. I did things well. I got attention. I was ready to snap.

I was so hungry for success and approval I’d do anything to get it, …

Act Your Shoe Size

“A three-year-old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.” ~Bill Vaughn

You have bills, obligations, and responsibilities.

And there are people who mean something to you: people who believe in you who you’d like to make proud, people who don’t believe in you who you’d like to prove wrong.

You have things you want to accomplish, both for you and your family. Things you want to experience to feel you’ve lived a full life. Things that keep you caught …

Log Changes

“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice.” ~R.D.Laing

Have you ever noticed a new business on your route to work only to later learn it’s been there for weeks?

Somehow in the hustle and bustle of your morning routine, you missed an obvious change to your environment. It happens—and often on a much smaller scale.

As we do what we always do, we tend to focus on things we always see and as a result, think the way we always think. Even if you’re the most interesting person in the universe,