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To All the Highly Sensitive Souls Out There – The World Needs You

“Highly sensitive beings suffer more but they also love harder, dream wider and experience deeper horizons and bliss. When you’re sensitive, you’re alive in every sense of this word in this wildly beautiful world. Sensitivity is your strength. Keep soaking in the light and spreading it to others.” ~Victoria Erickson

I am lying next to my son in his bed before turning the light off one night, in that relaxed space between awake and asleep where he allows himself to feel and share. He tells me that he feels very lonely at school.

He shares his loneliness in the middle …

One Thing We Need to Survive Crisis, Loss, and Trauma

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.” ~Viktor Frankl

A couple of years ago, I was sitting in my little mountain cottage, writing away on a new novel. It was a cold and dark February afternoon. So, first, I felt pleasantly surprised when I saw something bright lighting up behind me: I thought it was the sun coming out. But when I turned around, I noticed that my porch was on fire!

Before I knew what was happening, I was standing out in the …

9 Self-Guided Meditation Courses to Deepen Your Practice and Supercharge Your Spiritual Growth

In a culture that teaches us we need to prove our worth through achievements, it can be challenging to prioritize peace, well-being, and spiritual growth.

We’re bombarded by marketing messages that tell us we’ll be enough, if only we “buy this—do this—look like this,” making it difficult to simply relax in who we are and feel a sense of contentment in our lives. But there is a way out of this cycle of discontent, anxiety, and constant striving.

If you’re yearning to connect with life more deeply and feel a sense of greater peace and acceptance, I highly recommend developing …

How I Learned That My Pain is Valid and Worthy of My Own Empathy and Love

“Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Even though you want to run. Even when it’s heavy and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.” ~Dr. Rebecca Ray

It’s July 2022 and I’m in the middle of a red tent at Shambala Music Festival in British Columbia.

I sit elbow to elbow, knee to knee, heart to heart with a group of women who I am meeting for the first time.

It’s hot and we’re sweaty.

A teacher is leading a healing womb meditation, and she prompts …

One Missing Ingredient in My Recovery and Why I Relapsed

“The Phoenix must burn to emerge.” ~Janet Fitch

Many people were shocked when I relapsed after twenty-three years of recovery. After all, I was the model of doing it right. I did everything I was told: went to treatment, followed instructions, prayed for help, and completed the assignments.

After returning home from treatment, I joined a recovery program and went to therapy. Once again, I followed all the suggestions, which worked when it came to staying sober. I had no desire to drink or do drugs—well, at least for a long while.

When I went to treatment, I was …

3 Life-Changing Insights for Control Freaks (Lessons from an Ant Infestation)

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.”  ~Jean-Paul Sartre

“So did you figure out what your shadow totem is?”

This was the first thing out of my husband’s friend’s mouth as I sat down to dinner at a local downtown restaurant, across from my husband and a couple friends we were meeting up with.

I laughed at the choice of question but then paused with wide eyes and replied, “YES, I DID! Oh my gosh. It’s an ant!”

The backstory is that we had previously had a conversation about animal symbolism, and how figuring out …

How I Found Forgiveness and Compassion When I Felt Hurt and Betrayed

“I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning.” ~Haruki Murakami

I’ve always felt like someone on the outside. Despite having these feelings I’ve been relatively successful at playing the game of life, and have survived through school, university, and the workplace—although, at times, working so hard to ’survive’ has impacted my emotional well-being.

I have been lucky enough to have healthy and supportive relationships with a few loved ones who have accepted me as I am (quirks and all). To anyone else I’ve come across, I suspect I’ve been perceived as inexplicably normal and inoffensive.

Like many …

I Don’t Know Who I Am: How I’m Finding Myself Again After the Abuse

“When you turn the corner / And you run into yourself / Then you know that you have turned / All the corners that are left.” ~Langston Hughes

Nearly two years ago I left a long-term controlling and abusive relationship.

I didn’t know that I was in one. I just knew that I was desperate.

Abusers take everything away from you. I don’t just mean your money or your home or your children, although they take those as well. I mean everything, including your sense of self.

Toward the end of the relationship, I wrote in my journal: “I …

7 Things You Need to Do If You Want to Enjoy Life More

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? Like you’re adulting too hard, enjoying too little, and wondering why life isn’t more fun?

I think we all feel this way at times, and not just because we have busy lives and overwhelming responsibilities. We also have busy minds and overwhelming thoughts that keep us stressed, insecure and anxious. And we unintentionally sabotage our own happiness, thinking we need to make big changes to finally love our lives—or do something big to earn the right to enjoy it.

The tragedy is that months and years can go by …

How I Claimed My Right to Belong While Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

TRIGGER WARNING: This post briefly references sexual abuse.

“Never hold yourself back from trying something new just because you’re afraid you won’t be good enough. You’ll never get the opportunity to do your best work if you’re not willing to first do your worst and then let yourself learn and grow.” ~Lori Deschene

The year 2022 was the hardest of my life. And I survived a brain tumor before that.

My thirtieth year started off innocently enough. I was living with my then-boyfriend in Long Beach and had a nice ring on my finger. The relationship had developed quickly, but …

Thinner is Not Better – Healthy, Connected, and Happy Is

“Standards of beauty are arbitrary. Body shame exists only to the extent that our physiques don’t match our own beliefs about how we should look.” ~Martha Beck

I have so many women around me right now—friends, mothers, clients that are on a diet—constantly talking about their weight and how their bodies look, struggling with body image.

I am profoundly sad about the frequency and theme of those discussions.

At the same time, I deeply get it; it is hard to detach from our conditioning.

I too struggled with body image at one point in my life, and for a very …

Why Life Felt Hard for Me for Years (and 7 Lessons That Have Helped)

“You’re so hard on yourself. But remember, everybody has a chapter they don’t read out loud. Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life; at the mistakes that gave you wisdom, at the suffering that gave you strength. Despite everything, you still move forward, be proud of this. Continue to endure. Continue to persevere. And remember, no matter how dark it gets, the sun will rise again.” ~Unknown

All my life I knew I was different. If I didn’t look so much like my mom, I would have believed the jokes my brother told me about how I was …

How I Feel the Best I Can Despite My Struggles with Depression and Anxiety

“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” ~John Green

I remember being fifteen. I was a high school freshman who loved drawing, books, Harry Potter, and Taylor Swift. I hated math class with a passion. I had a loving family and a small white dog named Maddie. I wanted to be a writer, and to have a boyfriend. I also wanted to die.

It started in seventh grade, when my best friend, Meghan, dumped me. You hear about romantic breakups all the time, but no one seems to talk about friendship breakups. They hurt a …

You’re Never Too Old To Feel Inspired, Excited, and Alive

“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~Diane Ackerman 

I’m in the business of watching people take risks. I observe them tackling challenges, fear, and discomfort, and sometimes, “making firsts” in their life.

I observe a lot as a flight attendant, and sometimes wonder if my official title should rather be “Human Observer,” or “Social Experimenter.” It feels more accurate, or at least it’s the part that I typically enjoy the most. I’m …

Why Relationships Matter Most: We’re All Just Walking Each Other Home

“We’re all just walking each other home.” ~Ram Dass

Living in the hyper-individualist society that we do, it’s easy to forget our obligation to those around us. Often in the West, we are taught to prioritize ourselves in the unhealthiest ways, to ‘grind’ as hard as we can to achieve wealth and status.

We are taught, between the lines, that our first responsibility is to create a ‘perfected‘ version of ourselves to such an extreme that it is alright to forsake our relationships with others to accomplish it.

From day one, it is embedded in us that it …

How to Ease the Pain of Being Human: From Breakdown to Breakthrough

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know” ~Pema Chödrön

We are all works in progress.

We all have skeletons in our closets that we may wish to never come out. We have all made mistakes. We will all make mistakes in future. We all have our scars.

None of us are close to reaching that mythical ‘perfect’ status. Never will be.

None of us should consider ourselves fully evolved. Not even close. There will always be space for improving an area of our lives.

Truth be told, most of us are a contradictory …

How Yoga Helped Heal My Anxiety and Quiet My Overactive Mind

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are” ~Carl Jung

Yoga is often celebrated for its physical benefits: greater flexibility, increased strength, improved circulation, and so on. But nothing could have prepared me for the transformational effect that yoga has had on my mental health and well-being.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was fourteen, and I have struggled with both for most of my life. My mind was my worst enemy, constantly worrying and criticizing to the point where it became hard to do anything. Even the things I really wanted to …

Rediscover Your True Self with “Are You on the Right Track?”

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions in life, unsure of what your true purpose is? I know I’ve been there before, back in my twenties when I felt lost in the world, desperate to do something that mattered, and afraid I was wasting time.

I think these feelings are fairly common, but the good news is that you have the power within you to create a meaningful life. And Tiny Buddha contributor Antasha Durbin Solomon has just the tool to help you get there!

Introducing Are You on the Right Track?—a 101-day guided journal …

8 Ways You Can Help Fight the Loneliness Epidemic

“The antidote to loneliness isn’t just being around random people indiscriminately, the antidote to loneliness is emotional security.” ~Benedict Wells

Emotional security. The feeling of being at home in the presence of another. Safe to be who you are, good times or bad. Feeling seen and seeing the other clearly, accepting the other’s whole lovely mess. It’s good stuff, and it can be hard to find.

In fact, ever-increasing loneliness stats have led many experts to describe the problem as epidemic. You might assume it was caused by the pandemic, but it was a crisis long before lockdowns and …

Trust Restored: Why I’m Letting Go of Preconceived Ideas About People

“The problems around us are only compounding. We will need to rediscover our trust in other people, to restore some of our lost faith—all that’s been shaken out of us in recent years. None of it gets done alone. Little of it will happen if we isolate inside our pockets of sameness, communing only with others who share our exact views, talking more than we listen.” ~Michelle Obama

I’m up at the American River, one of my favorite summertime spots. I have a ritual of floating down it, then hiking back up the hill to my clothes. I love how …