“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” ~Benjamin Spock
My confidence is a delicate thing. I’ve had more disturbances in my life than I’ve had reassurances, a handful of betrayals, and enough playground cruelty to last me until the day I die.
I am still living with some difficult health conditions that I wake up and go to bed with every day, with no respite. I’m an introvert to the core, no matter how eloquent I am with the written word, or articulate with the spoken word.
Some of us are more fragile than others, but that’s …
“Everything flows and nothing abides, everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.” ~Heraclitus
I’m reclining on a pebble beach, my bag tucked under my head, a can of Fanta to the right of me, above me, the sky and before me, the sea. It’s a few miles out.
I came here alone. Friends had no time for me today. I’ve been reading instead, the cast of Anna Karenina filling the places where friends should be, and eating rich Italian ice cream, fudge flavored, even though it’ll give me an upset stomach later.
The sun is scorching everything today, partner-in-crime with …
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
I have just eaten enough pizza to satisfy three people and I’m feeling awful for having done it. Awful because my stomach can only hold so much, awful because I know I’m going to pay for eating it (dairy and I have a difficult relationship), and awful because I know I shouldn’t have done it.
This is what my internal monologue looks like:
Me: I feel so sick.
Inner Me: You shouldn’t have eaten so much then!
Me: I know but I really fancied …
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese
I’m trying to meditate but I find myself overcome by sadness; I’m still grieving after all this time.
I’ve gone through phases of forgiveness recently that have shown me how to acknowledge the painful relationship I had with my mother, the anger and resentment we shared, and the loss of each other that we both went through the older we grew. Maybe it’s not as bad as that, but it feels like it.
My reflections have brought me closer to the woman who I never took …
“People who urge you to be realistic generally want you to accept their version of reality.” ~Unknown
I’m often open to suggestion. I like to gather opinions and feedback about my writing so that I can use it to improve the impact and make it a better read.
The thing I’ve learned about listening to other people’s thoughts on my writing is that sometimes what seems like good advice is little more than personal preference; changing an image or an entire scene to suit one person isn’t always the right path, especially if my gut is saying, “You know you …
“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.” ~Astrid Alauda
I don’t believe in the mind/body divide. I can see the gap between them, the one that we put there, but I have little faith in it. In the past month, I’ve learned that in order to live fully, I need to overcome that self-imposed gap.
We all have different mental, emotional, and physical capacities. You could probably run a 5k race, but I’d struggle to even walk it. I know I can work through some of the most difficult decisions, …
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~Proverb
It’s been a year since I stumbled upon Tiny Buddha. At the time I was in a difficult place, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
I felt as if life was pointless and that there was nothing for me in the world: no room, no hope, no opportunity, no relief from the chronic tiredness and pain, and no love. I’d given up.
I spent my days staring at the walls and at my computer, trying to find something to make me feel better, to …
“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown
We all have problems, don’t we? There isn’t a single person on this planet who doesn’t have one, even if they’re the Buddhist monk living their life peacefully. Everyone has something to overcome.
There’s nothing wrong with having a problem. Life would be pretty dull if they weren’t around, and we’d never learn anything new or grow from our mistakes.
Sometimes, though, we create problems that have no real foundations. These are the ones that can cause us the most suffering because it seems …
“Life is a choice.” ~Unknown
I’ve recently realized that life is a never-ending stream of choices, even when you think you don’t have many options.
Some look insignificant on their own but somehow manage to contribute to a massive whole. Others can feel overwhelming, and you don’t always realize when you make them what the consequences will be—how they’ll shape your life story.
The biggest decision I’ve made in the past six months is to return to university and complete the MA Creative Writing course I began two years ago. It’s almost a choice I never made—a life I never …
“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha
Our bodies are not indestructible, and there is only so far we can push them before they start to fail. I should know.
Roughly three years have passed since my body became unwell, for whatever reasons. Despite suffering from extreme exhaustion and constant joint and muscle pains, like those you get when you have the flu, I’ve only just started to listen.
I guess the reason it’s taken me so long to do this is because I’m still holding onto the life I had before …
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of his dreams.” ~Proverb
Something beautiful just occurred to me.
I spend so much time stressing over my future adult achievements—a good career, a home for life, getting published, an adult relationship, possibly a kid and a large dog—that I don’t often revel in the things that seven-year-old me would have been stoked about.
How many of us do?
I try to treat my inner child with something every week, like painting, playing with my cat, or indulging in some candy—a very rare thing! But I don’t often think of …
“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” ~Buddha
I went camping recently, something that I was really looking forward to, but I didn’t last long. Due to health conditions, my friend and I had to abandon camp at three in the morning because the cold got to me in a big way.
This awful experience has left me feeling dejected and rather ashamed of myself. Who the hell can’t manage a couple of nights camping? I’m being too hard on myself, but the point is I’m feeling angry.
You know what that …
“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.” ~Jean Kerr
I’ve just given up smoking. Again. It’s a bad habit that I can’t seem to shake because I’m likely to relapse when I’m stressed.
I try to rationalize my destructive behavior—I don’t smoke heavily, I don’t smoke that much since I stick to rolling tobacco which makes thinner cigarettes, it’s fifteen minutes to myself where nobody will question why I’m taking time to do and think about nothing.
No matter how much I justify my bad habit, I can’t deny that I’m dependent on a bad thing …
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~Pema Chodron
I’m arachnophobic. Last night, a large spider took up residence on the wall in my room. The shock of seeing its dark mass seated comfortably against the stark white of the paint made the blood drain from my head.
I have ways of dealing with my fears. Sometimes I ignore them and plunge in head-first without thinking; sometimes I avoid them altogether and run for the hills. When it comes to spiders though, I humanize the situation.
I gave Richie, as I named my new roommate, the …
“Compassion and happiness are not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.” ~Dalai Lama
Showing compassion is one of the best ways to make the world a better place.
It isn’t always easy to have compassion for people, if they’ve hurt you, don’t see things the way you do, or seem to cause many of their own problems. It’s also easy to forget about certain people—people who live on the street, people who don’t have the voice to speak out, and sometimes even ourselves.
I freely admit that my compassion levels plummet in some of those cases, and …
“Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.” ~Steve Goodier
Sometimes my head is in the clouds on a massive scale.
This isn’t always a bad thing for me. When I am blissfully ignorant of reality, it can feel beautiful and exhilarating—shiny, I call it. It can be a welcome respite from the days when life feels dark and painfully uncertain.
But this can also be dangerous. When you’re not connected to your body and surrounding environment, you don’t have a strong sense of direction or purpose; you’re just floating. Also, the smallest thing can …
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown
I grew up believing that nothing I did was ever good enough, and this is something that I still carry with me.
It affects every aspect of my life: my hobbies, skills, my relationships, and even the understanding I have of my body, physical appearance, and my mental health. I often think that I must have done something quite terrible in a past life to go through any of this, to not be good enough.
As certain as I’ve been of this, I’ve been sure I wasn’t responsible for these attitudes …
“Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it.” ~Unknown
I fell apart a couple of years ago, unable to cope with the strain I was under—a change in my lifestyle, loss of job security, a less-than-perfect relationship with a parent, bereavement, a painful physical injury, and slowly, through all of that, the blossoming of serious mental illness.
All the while, right up until this month in fact, I’ve been thinking and wishing: “I want all of this to go away, to have never been.”
I shut myself away—terrified of people’s …