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The Gift Of Unsoothable Pain: Darkness Can Lead to Light

“Blessed are the cracked for they shall let in the light.” ~Groucho Marx

In 2008, after ten years of marriage, my former husband and I decided to divorce.

It came as a shock to those who knew us. We were living what most would consider the American dream: two healthy children, beautiful home, great friends, strong careers, two incomes—the works.

Though my ex-husband and I got along well, the marriage was missing an intimate, heartfelt connection.

Loneliness and longing grew with each passing year until I could no longer ignore them. I knew the kind of intimacy for which I …

5 Questions That Will Help You Focus On What Matters

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver

Let’s get things done.

If you’ve ever read any books or articles about productivity, you’ve heard this phrase. It’s one I used and made a part of my life for a long time. More recently, I’ve discovered there’s a better and more disciplined way to work and to live.

It’s called essentialism, and it means getting more of the right things done.

According to Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, an essentialist removes the trivial and focuses …

There’s No WiFi in the Forest, but You’ll Get a Stronger Connection

“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” ~Ram Dass

We live our lives at such a fast pace. We seem to be working more hours and juggling more tasks both at work and home, with no relenting.

As part of the technological age, we are connected 24/7, and we find it difficult to switch off.

It has changed the face of how we live and work. Expectations are higher, the pace of life is quickening, and we’re struggling to keep up.

In a world that encourages noise and busy-ness, we find it hard to be quiet and still.

You Can Still Trust Even If You’ve Been Deceived

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” ~Frank Crane

“Ah, it is difficult to trust people nowadays!” Heard that one lately?

The implication is that trust is something you receive and that everyone else controls it and can give it. Do you believe that?

Just before Christmas I was hired by a contractor to do a renovation job. The work was in a pharmacy, and we agreed on an hourly rate.

It was not difficult to trust him; after all, it was clearly a working business …

Why People Who Feel Complete on Their Own Have Stronger Relationships

“Self-love, self-respect, self-worth: There’s a reason they all start with ‘self.’ You can’t find them in anyone else.” ~Unknown

One day, somewhere around the age of twenty-seven, with a rich background of long-term relationships, dating, alone time, and searching for the man who would complete me, it hit me.

Why was I looking for someone to complete me when I believed that every person could be whole by him or herself? Why did I feel like something was missing, and why was I building my hopes on someone I had never even met?

I realized I had been looking for …

How To Let Go Of Self-Doubt and Find Long-Lasting Happiness

Its never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. Theres no time limit.  Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same.”  ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Have you ever let your doubts get in the way of feeling happy?

I have.

I left my soul-sucking corporate job to live my dream, teaching yoga in Thailand.

I was the happiest woman on earth—or was I?

It looked that way from the outside. But each time I opened my mouth to teach a class, …

When Your Dream Dies and You’re Not Sure What to Do Next

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

My wake-up call came at a friend’s wedding about seven years ago. Somebody asked me what I did for a living, and I answered truthfully: I’m a singer in a rock band. She thought it was cool, but I went into a rant about why it wasn’t.

“Creative work is definitely more perspiration than inspiration. The constant travelling and playing late night gigs is exhausting. The ‘business’ side of ‘music business’ is a joke,” I fumed.

On and on I went. As …

How to Handle Life: Get Out of Your Critical Head

“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There was a time when I lived almost completely inside myself. I couldn’t handle much of the outside world.

Yes, I am an introvert, but back then, I had such low self-esteem that the only place I felt safe was inside my own head. I had a low tolerance for problems and mistakes. I was life intolerant.

Yet, my inner world wasn’t exactly a peaceful sanctuary; it was a cold, discomforting, and harsh place to be. Mainly because I was fat. Or so I thought. I …

Change Your Patterns and Stop Sabotaging Relationships

“Jealousy is nothing more than a fear of abandonment.” ~Unknown

My biggest relationship fear used to be getting dumped for another woman.

If it actually happened, it was going to be the ultimate proof of my worthlessness.

It wasn’t easy to live with that fear. When it came to conjuring up scenarios of loss and pain, I was like a rag doll in the hands of my imagination.

Even if my partner did not leave me or intend to cheat on me, the fear of being abandoned turned me into a person the man I was with no longer recognized.…

Stop Living on Autopilot: 5 Ways to Live an Amazing Life

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ~ Stephen Covey

I used to be a zombie.

I don’t mean that I died and was brought back to life; I mean I used to live on autopilot. Diligently doing the right thing.

Following one opportunity to the next, onward and upward.

Until I found myself boxed into a cubicle, earning a six-figure income while my soul slowly died.

I didn’t even realize it. I just thought this was what people did.

Everyone around me was the same. They weren’t happy, but like

Get Mindful in May and Pause for a Great Cause

When your mind is scattered, your head full of worries, and your heart full of fears and doubts, the world is a stressful, sometimes terrifying place.

When you take time to clear your mental space, suddenly everything feels easier. Without the heavy burden of anxiety and rumination, you’re free to simply be—and to see.

It’s like cleaning a dirty window; all of a sudden, the light comes in, light you didn’t even realize was there.

What provides this cleaning, clarifying magic? Meditation, and even just ten minutes a day.

My whole life transformed when I learned that I could free

How Fear Melts Away When We Stop Resisting the Present

“Whatever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it yourself.” ~Eckhart Tolle

The second hand on the clock ticked to 12 like a base runner returning home. It was 9:00AM on Monday morning.

Anxiety set in as I stared at the stack of papers on my desk. Budgets needed to be balanced, new clients needed to be obtained, and advertising campaigns needed to be launched for high-profile brands.

Everybody needed something. It was my first day as an Advertising Executive and I already knew I was in trouble.

In a few hours I was scheduled to …

Gaining Freedom from Our Obsession with Possessions

“How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them.” ~Barbara Kingsolver

Approximately one month after graduating from a privileged institution on the East Coast, I was standing knee deep in rainforest on the Big Island of Hawaii cutting weeds with a small kama.

Here I was, with a brand new Master’s degree in Education Policy, genuinely confused as to whether I was cutting the right plant because my entire life before that had been about sitting on the computer doing mind work.

Despite my lack of experience, the …

Saying Yes When We Mean No: How to Break the Habit

“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” ~Josh Billings

Have you ever encountered a situation where you found yourself agreeing to do something that you had no interest in actually doing?

When we find ourselves saying yes when we mean no, we are essentially saying no to ourselves and giving our personal power away. The classic archetype of the People Pleaser.

So why do we do it?

I believe it is learned behavior. I have yet to see a toddler hold themselves back from the brink …

When People Judge: Why It’s Not Really About You

“Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.” ~Nancy Lopez

You and I, we judge others. And they judge us. We all do it. Sometimes we judge with positive or non-harming intentions.

Unfortunately, our judgment often comes from a negative place, with darker intent.

Why Do We Judge?

Though we judge for many reasons, we often do it when:

  • We don’t know a person well (yet)
  • We cannot identify with

When You’re Restless Because Every Day Feels the Same

“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Years ago I found my self at a low point. It wasn’t a big, life-changing event that got me there; just a sudden realization that life sucked. Every day of that horrible summer, this question nagged at me: “Is this as good as it gets?”

My sons were very young then and always happy, a joy to be around. My marriage was healthy and my husband was doing great. The problem was …

7 Lessons to Learn If You Want to Thrive in Life

“Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation.” ~Bernie S. Siegel

I’d been having mild pain for about a week—a consistent, dull ache in the center of my chest.

I’m thirty-nine years old with no personal history of heart disease, or of anything else for that matter. Worry hadn’t yet consumed me, but I was keeping an eye on the pain to see if it got better or worse.

Once a week I drive ninety Los Angeles miles round trip for work. I say “Los Angeles” miles because I should theoretically be able to make the journey …

How to Stop Believing You’re Not Good Enough

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha

Have you ever heard the phrase “your thoughts create your reality”? Have you ever wondered what this means?

Go back to your childhood and recall a time when you got into trouble. I am sure you have at least one of these memories. This doesn’t have to be a major event. It can just be a time where you were scolded for knocking over your drink.

Now remember your parents’ reaction. Were they angry or frustrated? Did they …

Always Hungry? How to Feel Full in Every Aspect of Your Life

“The danger is not that the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but that, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry.” ~Simone Weil

For most of my life, I was hungry all the time. My belly only ever felt full for a few precious seconds while eating the last few bites on my plate.

One night after having dinner with friends, we stood outside the restaurant on the sidewalk, chatting and saying our goodbyes. I launched into an enthusiastic description of the next restaurant where we should eat, how fantastic their desserts were, …

Breaking Free from the Pain of Heartbreak

“Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” ~Unknown

Heartbreak. I have never felt anything as torturous.

It’s been just over a year since my first real heartbreak, and finally, after more pain and tears than I can describe, I have started to move on.

The loss of a love you believed to be true can leave you feeling shattered. No matter how independent you believed you were, and how many positive things everyone else believes about you, you may feel like the better half of everything you know has …