“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” ~Jonathan Safron Foer
Are you aware that we all make unconscious vows early on, and they become our internal blueprint for life? These vows dictate who we can be and are often deeply engrained.
Our vows are attached to a deeper need we’re trying to meet—the need for love, acceptance, safety, connection, and security. They’re not bad or wrong, and neither are we for having them; they come from a smart part of us that’s trying to help us feel safe.
Vows are more than a belief; vows are …
“We are hard-wired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it, there is suffering.” ~Brené Brown
I was inducted into diet culture in my early teens and then into the health and fitness industry in my early thirties, when my “fitness journey” had finally really taken off, and I ultimately became a personal trainer and nutrition and wellness coach.
Once we’ve given enough years of our life to diet culture, many of us begin to recognize the ways that it’s harming us and all the things it’s stealing from us.
Peace of …
“What we see is only a fractional part of what really is.” ~Unknown
On the surface, in the public eye, it can seem trivial. It might look like the seemingly harmless teasing of a child or romantic partner, joking about words they have mispronounced or silly mistakes they have made. Inane mistakes like putting on a shirt backward, burning something in the oven, or losing their keys. Mistakes that everyone makes.
Abuse might sound like judgmental comments that appear to come from a place of compassion. Comments like:
My daughter doesn’t apply herself; she’s lazy, and I wish she …
“Maybe it’s time for the fighter to be fought for, the holder to be held, and the lover to be loved.” ~Unknown
I was breastfeeding my infant son when he bit me. That bite set the stage for a deeper unraveling then I could have ever imagined.
I unlatched him, handed him to my husband, and got in my car. As I was driving I began to lose the feeling in my hands and feet. My vision started to blur, and my breathing was fast and shallow. I was terrified I was not going to make it back home. …
“Feeling safe in someone’s energy is a different kind of intimacy. That feeling of peace and protection is really underrated.” ~Vanessa Klas
I’m now fourteen months into my recovery from complex post-traumatic stress syndrome (c-PTSD aka complex trauma). I’d been in therapy for a number of years before I was diagnosed. I’d been struggling with interpersonal relationships and suffered from severe anxiety and depression, although you wouldn’t have guessed it from looking at me.
There are so many misconceptions about trauma, and before my diagnosis in 2020 I wasn’t very trauma aware.
I was your typical millennial thirty-something woman, …
“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside and hustle for your worthiness.” Brene Brown
I was shaking and sweating with fear as I stood in front of my graduate professor for the final test of the semester. I was twenty-two years old at the time and felt like a fish out of water in my graduate program. I dreamed of being a professor, studying, and writing, but deep down I thought, “I’m not smart enough. I don’t fit in here. No one likes me.”
When my religion professor announced that the final wasn’t a …
When you think of the teachers who’ve had the greatest impact on your life, who comes to mind?
For me, it’s the calm, the humble, the patient—the people who not only imparted useful life lessons but also embodied their message with their grace and equanimity. People I was fortunate enough to know personally, like my grandmother, and others I never met that brought me clarity and peace from afar, like the inimitable Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thay, as his students called him, was a Vietnamese Zen monk, author, poet, peacemaker, and founder of the “engaged Buddhism” movement—the act of leveraging our …
“No matter what kind of stuff you tell the world, or tell yourself, your actions reveal your real values. Your actions show you what you actually want.” ~Derek Sivers
I need to be a productivity rockstar if I stand a chance of accomplishing everything important to me.
There’s a book I want to write, a course I want to create, and a chance to work with an award-winning author that has given me endless projects I want to pursue.
These are exciting, but they’re creating a ton of anxiety in my life.
Because they’re at odds with being the …
People-pleasing, overhelping, overgiving—we can give it lots of different names, but the consequences to putting yourself last all the time are generally the same.
You may have been raised to see giving and helping as virtuous things. And hear me say, they are. I believe wholeheartedly that it’s a beautiful thing to serve, support, and help others. However, people-pleasers don’t always know when to draw the line; they give and give almost as if they have an endless supply of time, energy, and resources.
Surprisingly, people-pleasing is often about control. It’s rooted in your need to try and boost your …
“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
As a Lyft driver, I once spent significant time out on the road—a setting rife with provocations and stressors.
Driving can feel like a constant challenge to employ mindfulness instead of giving way to destructive emotions like impatience and frustration. Meditation can be difficult to practice when you’re navigating a vehicle (demanding as both activities are of your full attention)—try channeling all your senses into it, and you’ll likely plow over a pedestrian or end with your car in a ditch.
Navigating the road mindfully, though, doesn’t have to mean closing your …
“Sometimes you’ve got to look straight into the tired eyes of the woman staring back at you in the mirror and tell her that she deserves the best kind of love, the best kind of life, and devote yourself to giving it to her all over again.” ~S.C. Lourie
Self-care. An important concept that has become a buzzword. What does it mean? The answer… that depends on you. Google and you will find lists, articles, and suggestions for self-care tasks. These can be helpful as inspiration, but self-care is something that’s unique to you.
I work in suicide prevention and …
“Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.” ~Langston Hughes
Nine years ago, I was sitting mindlessly in my office cubicle in Omaha, Nebraska, when the receptionist called to inform me that my dad was in the lobby.
I walked out to greet him: He was happy, smiling, and donning one of his favorite double-breasted suits. He was there because he needed my signature on some tax preparation forms before he handed them over to his accountant. My dad always took care of things like that.
It was …
“Sometimes, you need to be alone. Not to be lonely, but to enjoy your free time being yourself.” ~Unknown
First, let’s be clear, being alone is different than feeling lonely. The feeling of loneliness can arise even if you are not alone, or you can be alone and not feel lonely. It all comes down to the meaning your mind creates at that moment in time.
In my twenties being alone was something so triggering that I would find any distractions I could come up with to avoid it: partying, unhealthy relationships, constantly being on the go and busy… …
“Today I want you to think about all that you are instead of all that you are not.” ~Unknown
“Love the pinecones!”
This was a comment from a friend on one of my Facebook photos from a beautiful seaside hike filled with wildflowers and other natural wonders.
When I responded with “It was a puzzle figuring out how to best photograph them” (not what I originally planned to write), she wrote, “Gregg, that’s such a fun part, isn’t it?” That comment was the brightening of a bulb that had already been going off in my head. It led to deeper …
“The reality is that you will grieve forever.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
March is always hard for me. Has been since March 21, 2017. That’s the day my eldest son, then twenty-seven, found his father hanging in our basement. I apologize for being so brutal. But it was.
What no one tells you about grief, what catches you by surprise, is the fact that you can be five years out and still, when March comes around, you can find yourself in a fetal position on the ceramic floor of your kitchen—howling like a wounded dog because a memory …
Click here to register for a free webinar around launching and growing your business.
Over the years I’ve received countless emails from people asking for advice to help them start a heart-led business, as I’ve done with Tiny Buddha. Many of you have expressed frustration with your jobs—the constant grind, the low pay; for some, a toxic work culture—and a desire to do something more fulfilling with your time.
I get it. I’m someone who needs to feel a sense of purpose with my work, and I never felt I was made for a 9-5; I’ve always wanted …
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~Pablo Picasso
Twenty years is a long time when you know you’re meant to be doing something, but you don’t quite know what it is or how to go about doing it.
To cut a two-decade story very short, I found the seeds of my purpose when volunteering in a hospital playroom with pediatric cancer patients in Romania one summer when I was twenty years old. And, though I have made many an attempt over the years, I am only now beginning …