“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Unknown
When someone asks, “Are you happy?” we tend to look around at our peers and see how they are living.
If we’re better off than our peers, it’s likely that we decide to be happy. Therefore, one of the tricks of being happy is to change the group we compare ourselves to.
Silicon Valley gossip columns enjoy pointing out that Oracle’s software titan Larry Ellison, whose $40 billion net worth makes him one of the top ten richest people in …
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese
I have been heart-broken far longer than I think anyone should ever be. When my relationship ended, like a rock star, I blazed through the “mourning period” and bypassed the “become a new person” phase, then promptly got completely lost.
I kept busy; went out with friends, watched movies, learned to cook, and invested in retail therapy. But I never actually let go. I felt it was impossible to move on. It’s been three years.
At my worst, I’d remember moments with vivid intensity. …
“Letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.” ~Unknown
As we welcomed the Spring Equinox on March 20th, with it came a sense of lightness in the air—in our bodies with healthier food options, in our minds as we flirt with the idea of summer on the horizon, and in our spirits as we are able to enjoy later sunsets with loved ones.
Spring also welcomes change and renewal, creating an opportunity to cleanse ourselves of hibernating winter habits and find inspiration in nature as wildflowers bloom all around us.
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron
If there’s one thing that has led me the greatest amount of re-invention, it’s anxiety. By anxiety I don’t mean worry or concern. Anxiety is a different animal that grabs a hold of you and halts you in your tracks.
We tend to reject its milder forms and are really terrified by its intense moments, like with panic attacks. It’s difficult to see when we’re fighting with anxiety that it can have any benefit, but it does.
Anxiety comes with some great treasures hidden …
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~ Pema Chodron
Nine out of ten times when I feel paralyzed, it’s because I doubt myself.
Sometimes I doubt my knowledge—whether I truly know enough to move forward. Sometimes I doubt the choices I’ve already made, as if I can somehow find a sense of control in rehashing what I’ve done and deciding how to do it better in the future.
Other times I doubt my instincts. I think I know what’s right for me, but my mind decides to split …
“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown
For me, disappointment is one of life’s most uncomfortable feelings. It’s complex, containing a subset of other emotions like anger, hurt, sadness, and probably many others too subtle to identify.
Sometimes, those emotions by themselves are easier to deal with, but disappointment can leave me at a loose end.
I might not be sure whether I should feel angry, or just impatiently wish that I would hurry up and get over it. Disappointment can hover at the front of your mind and niggle at the back, bringing you …
“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind” –Buddha
Last week my twenty-year-old friend, Dustin, called me out when I was talking negatively about someone to a group of people.
We were sitting around a dinner table at what should have been a really good planning meeting for an upcoming yoga workshop our group was holding.
While we were excited about the out-of-town teachers who were coming to share their incredible knowledge with us for a week, we were stuck on a topic that was both irrelevant and unproductive. That topic …
“The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.” ~Eckhart Tolle
For a very long time fear has controlled me. It has paralyzed me, kept me living in desperate situations, and stopped me from living the life of my dreams.
It has only been with age and the practice of mindfulness these last few years that I have come to recognize the fear within me, having finally begun the process of facing it.
By facing fear, I don’t mean that I’ve started base-jumping, purposely trapped myself in elevators, or …
I love the word loser. I enjoy playing with it, feeling into it, and feeling my own gut reaction to the idea of allowing myself to be one. Some of the time.
Our culture is obsessed with winning.
At school we learn that we have to compete to get what we want. Many of us grow up internalizing this idea and subtly infusing it into our relationships, friendships, career, and even spiritual path.
If this is strong in us, there can be a pervading sense of alienation, disconnectedness, or even mistrust that we carry around.
In my early days as …
As you may have noticed, there’s been a Tiny Buddha YouTube channel up for months now. There have been nearly 3,000 views on the page but, thus far, there aren’t any videos on there.
Today is the day that changes!
Since I launched this website in the fall of 2009, Tiny Buddha has been all about community.
Each week, I publish 4 blog posts from Tiny Buddha readers. I’ve published nearly a dozen posts that incorporated wisdom from members of the Tiny Buddha Facebook page. I even included tweets from Tiny Buddha Twitter followers in my upcoming book (available …
“Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.” ~Unknown
It was a few months into my semester abroad during my sophomore year in college when I realized how special the experience had become.
On the way to class, I strolled past the Pantheon and snacked on homemade gelato.
Preparing dinner consisted of purchasing fresh-picked produce and a fresh-cooked baguette. As my homemade pasta sauce slowly came to a pleasant boil, my roommates and I would sip the finest Chianti 5 euros could buy while eating salami and formaggio (cheese) so delicious it makes your mouth water just thinking about …
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E. Cummings
It seems like everywhere I look, I don’t measure up.
I was giving a presentation recently and noticed that several people seemed bored or distracted. I looked around the room to gauge my audience’s response to something I said and found myself thinking, “Am I good enough? Am I providing what this group needs?”
Suddenly, I felt sure that another, more talented presenter would have done a better job.
Later, with a friend, casually flipping through old photos, we both lamented that we were younger and …
When I was 24 years old, I learned that some dreams are actually avoidance tactics, and some discouragement is a very good thing.
I was relatively new in New York City, and I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of failing if I tried to pursue my passions. I’d learned a lot about failure in the six years prior, and the only thing I knew for certain anymore was that I had to become someone important.
When I arrived at my interview for marketing job—as it was so descriptively advertised on Craigslist—I was surprised to find a room full of …
“He is able who thinks he is able.” ~Buddha
How would you answer the question: “Are you successful in life?”
I know many people who would say that they are not successful; at least they have not reached success in the areas that feel important to them. I have been one of those people.
One day I asked myself “What keeps me from being successful?” It took me a while to come up with the answer but I realized that I was holding myself back.
Why? Well, maybe I was afraid that when I started something I would fail. …
“Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius
While I have always piled a lot on my plate professionally, I’ve recently introduced more varied elements. Formerly, I may have devoted a long workweek to freelance writing, but I’m now juggling writing, consulting, editing my upcoming book, and promoting my recent eBook.
I’ve noticed that the biggest complication to my life isn’t necessarily the full, varied schedule; it’s how I think about that busy schedule.
Sometimes I let my to-do list overwhelm me, carrying the weight of the whole through all of the parts.
“You only lose what you cling to.” ~Buddha
I used to cling to my identity as a person who didn’t eat donuts. To me, donuts represent all that is tempting and yet forbidden. Any self-respecting natural health doctor is not supposed to like donuts, right?
This image I held of myself almost cost me one of the important realizations of my life.
Twenty years ago I was in the midst of my training to become an Ayurvedic health practitioner. I held tightly and proudly to my dietary restrictions like a fundamentalist’s religion.
This ancient medical system of India dictated that …
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” ~Thomas Merton
“If you have aspirin, please take it now. It might be bitter, but if you’re having a heart attack, it will help.”
If I wasn’t already anxious, hearing this advice the nurse gave me certainly didn’t help. Fifteen minutes later, I was in the emergency room—a 34-year-old, physically-fit, overachieving, workaholic, enabling control freak—having the classic symptoms of a heart attack.
As I sat on the hospital bed, breathing as deeply as I could into what was happening, my mind started to race: Was …
“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~Pema Chodron
Statistically, a lot of people have given up on their resolutions by now. The definition of a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”
When I examine the firm decisions I’ve made, I can’t help but notice that we all have the same lists. Why is that?
Could it be that the same media, the same books, and the same friends have written all of our lists? I’m not making a value judgment of these shared desires—I just find it …
“Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.” ~Julius Charles Hare
A few weeks ago, I made a mistake.
I wrote a newsletter about my relationship with money, explaining that I used to get worried about money, but I feel differently now. I wrote that I’d realized that doing what I love is the most important thing.
As long as I am doing what I loved, I don’t have to feel anxious. I trust that the money will appear, without me having to chase it.
After I sent the newsletter out to …
“There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate.” ~Robert Brault
A few years ago it happened, and it couldn’t have come at a better moment.
At the time I was involved in a monthly get together with my cousins. We were a group of eight cousins getting together to talk about family and life in general.
It had started off when my sister was going through a nasty divorce, and one of the cousins came up with the idea of getting together to celebrate my sister’s birthday to bring some cheer into her life.…