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4 Tips to Live a Balanced, Happy Life with Fewer Regrets

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” ~Thomas Merton

Balance has become an ever-elusive thing these days. The onslaught of technological breakthroughs, aimed at making life easier, has given way to a societal expectation that we are available around the clock.

This has bled into our careers, where our employers have ever increasing expectations that we can do more in less time. We have 168 hours in our week to sleep, work, rest, be with our loved ones, and pursue personal interests.

Unfortunately, the majority of people in the world today …

How to Change Your Life by Changing the Stories You Tell Yourself

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

I used to watch people on the streets and in restaurants and think that their boisterous conversations and broad smiles were evidence that they lived a life much better than mine.

I assumed that they were happier than me, smarter than me, and worth more than me. All around me was evidence that this was true: my meager bank account, my junky car, my thrift store clothes.

I would sit in my apartment and try to imagine what it would be like to be someone else.

I wondered what …

How to Intentionally Embrace Change in the New Year

“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” ~Glenda Cloud

What do you do when you come to the end of a calendar year as it approaches the start of another one? Do you get caught up in the festive season hype and then, as you roll into the new year, find it all a bit anticlimactic? Or, are you a bit like me and prefer to keep it a quieter, reflective time?

We know that calendar time is really artificial, for true time is simply an infinite and continuous cycle of day and night, seasons, birth and death, and change.…

Why We Feel Stuck in Life and the Secret to Dealing with It

It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings.” ~Dale Carnegie

We’ve all felt like we’re drowning in mud.

You feel stuck, worthless, and confused.

You want to move. You should. You have to. But you can’t.

And then it evolves into anxiety, fear, and overwhelm.

But what if—just what if—being stuck isn’t the problem, but how we perceive it?

The Truth About Being Stuck

Every year, I have periods where I feel “stuck.”

Yet when I look closer, I see that “being stuck” is a label I give to a natural part of …

Your Worth Is Not Dependent on What You Do or Accomplish

“A life’s worth, in the end, isn’t measured in hours or money. It’s measured by the amount of love exchanged along the way.” ~Unknown

I’ve had a go-go-go personality for as long as I can remember. I think I was born with it.

Both of my parents were small business owners who truly believed that with enough hard work and heart-and-soul dedication, you can accomplish anything.

By the age of three, I was a gymnast; by early elementary school, a competitive one, with a coach who was constantly (and sometimes aggressively) pushing me to the next level.

Therein began the …

4 Simple Ways to Slow Down So You Don’t Rush Through Life

“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Throughout my life, a deep voice within has constantly asked me to slow down.

Don’t get me wrong; I thrive when I have deadlines, when I have to push myself to get somewhere. I love being quick in what I do.

However, over the last ten years of living like a workaholic and then having to find a semblance of quiet after the birth of two adorable babies, I have begun to realize that being quick in what we do …

How to Know If You’re with the Right Person

“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” ~Walter Anderson

I’m not actually interested in telling you if you’re with the right person. I’m interested in you discovering who you really are. If you’re not in the right relationship, you probably shouldn’t try so hard to make it “work.” Sometimes the right thing to do is walk away.

But the big gap here is in the knowing. The knowing if it’s right or not. The truth is that you don’t actually need somebody …

9 Things to Tell Yourself When You’re Afraid to End a Relationship

“F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” ~Zig Ziglar

No matter how old I get, no matter how experienced I become, ending a relationship is agonizing.

It represents a loss, and losses hurt.

Deep down, I know if I go through with it, I’ll feel freer—well, not right away, but in a little while anyway—but I’d rather crawl under a rock and ignore the whole thing.

When I was a teen, I went out with a guy who had a major crush on me, although I wasn’t attracted to him. …

Releasing Labels: Be What You Love, Not What You Do

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” ~Brené Brown

I thought I was supposed to have a shiny job, the kind that makes people envious at cocktail parties.

We had moved with my husband’s job again. I think it was move number six out of nine and we were over at a friend’s house. There were people I didn’t know there, and I could feel myself avoiding them in case they asked “the question.”

The question was “So,” (pause to look at drink), “what do

6 Things to Do Instead of Comparing Yourself to Others

“Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.” ~Scottish Proverb

I grew up believing I was never enough. Ever. Not when I got all A’s in school. Not when I was in the talented and gifted program. Not when my father made more than enough money for me to buy whatever I wanted.

I became an adult who compared herself to others too, always wondering why I didn’t have what they had or why I wasn’t as pretty or as cool.

I brought this behavior into my relationships and my business. I would get …

70 Ways to Make Others Feel Special

“Be the person that makes others feel special. Be known for your kindness and grace.” ~Unknown

There is someone in my life that has an extraordinary talent for making people feel special. I would call him out by name, but he’s a fairly private person, so we’ll just call him “E.”

It’s not that E makes people feel that they are somehow greater than others. He recognizes what’s special about everyone he encounters, and through his attention, kindness, and generosity, brings out the best in them.

He doesn’t do this through grand gestures, and not with expectations of receiving anything …

Practicing Loving-Kindness Even When (Especially When) You Are Hurting

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ~Charles Dickens   

All of us have been hurt or angered by someone’s words at some point. Some words are blatantly cruel, and others are deceptive, appearing to be in our best interest but only ever leading us astray. These are the messages that leave us questioning who we are or how we should be.

I’ve been labeled timid and stuck-up. Speak up more, but stop interrupting. Be more assertive, but don’t complain. Be more outgoing, but be authentic.

I’ve been called …

Transforming Shame Into Love, One Good Deed At A Time

“No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~Charles Dickens

A few years back, I saw a sticker that read, “Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Gandhi.”

My knee-jerk reaction was annoyance because the sticker was affixed to the bumper of a car that turned left in front of me. I was in the middle of a long stretch of bad days, so pretty much anything would have set me off.

My search for happiness during that bleak period seemed fruitless, most likely because I didn’t know that happiness is not …

How To Be The Best Version Of You A Lot More Often

“In chaos, there is fertility.” ~Anaïs Nin

Are you a calm creature in your yoga class, then you get home and yell at your kids?

Do you ever read a really inspirational book or blog and think, “Yes! That makes total sense, and I’m going to start doing that!” Then life gets busy and it never quite happens?

Do you ever feel like you’re two different people living in the same body? Saying one thing, doing another?

Me too.

For the past fifteen years I’ve been a self-development junkie.

I’ve read tons of books and I’ve attended courses and …

How to Love Your Life at Every Age

“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~Pema Chodron

When I was twenty-seven, a wave of dread swept over my life.

As I looked to the future, all I could see was the beginning of the end. Pretty soon, it would all be downhill.

Why the doom and gloom? I was approaching thirty!

Like many young people in their teens and twenties, I regarded “The Big 3-0” as the end of the party.

I would become uncool (or perhaps more accurately, even less cool than I already was). I feared turning into my parents.…

How to Stop Feeling Inadequate and Let Go of Heavy Expectations

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~Charles Dickens

When I was seven years old, my parents had me take an IQ test for an application to a private school near our new home.

I vaguely remember sitting with the proctor, answering question after question about vocabulary and spatial recognition. To seven-year-old me, the test was nothing more than a fun logic puzzle, and I delighted at each question I knew the answer to, bright eyed and enthusiastic.

While I don’t recall my exact score, the numbers were unusually high—in fact, so high that …

4 Questions to Help You Let Go And Allow Life to Happen

“If you let go a little you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely you will be free.” ~Ajahn Chah 

I’m a smart woman. And being smart gets me in trouble. I know how to cross my “T’s” and dot my “I’s”—to prepare for what might come. I know how to plan, to pack, to book tickets, to be the perfect tour guide.

I know how to make lists—very well. I know how to calendar myself and how to produce events. I know how …

Why People Who Embrace Their Imperfections Go Far

“A beautiful thing is never perfect.” ~Proverb

I was having a conversation with a group of friends that I meet up with occasionally, and my friend—let’s call her Sarah—started talking about perfectionism.

She said that people used to describe her as a perfectionist and she’d wonder what they were talking about because, according to Sarah, she couldn’t do anything right.

And then one day it dawned on her that her perfectionism was rooted within the idea that if she couldn’t do something perfectly, she wasn’t doing it right. So she had best not do it at all.

I

How to Free Yourself from Bitterness by Forgiving Others

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

“Stop the world, I want to get off!” I felt like screaming this phrase at the top of my lungs during a difficult period of my life. Obviously, stepping off terra firma into outer space was not an option; what I desperately needed was to be free of chronic fatigue, stress, anxiety, and negative emotions and behaviors.

Sleepless nights spent rehashing painful events past and present also needed to end.

Leading up to this period, I had struggled through a lengthy and emotional divorce …

You Have the Strength and Wisdom to Thrive Through Hard Times

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Nothing can ever really prepare you for a cancer diagnosis, but it can quickly turn your life into an unplanned story.

Diagnosed at the age of twenty-eight with ocular melanoma, I was treated with surgery and proton beam therapy, and gratefully continued on with my life (though certainly a changed person).

But every year I went for a MRI of my liver/abdomen because if ocular melanoma spreads, it most likely goes to the liver. And every year when I …