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How to Accomplish Anything Leveraging Collective Energy

“Success will never be a big step in the future; success is a small step taken just now.” ~Jonatan Mårtensson

I love Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance program that has become a worldwide fitness phenomenon. At the three minute mark of every class, I am alive with how much I enjoy the workout: the rhythm, the moves, the music, the collective energy.

The room is filled with non-stop music pounding against the walls and ceiling, as over fifty bodies of all ages and sizes come together in synchronized movement.

At the 12-minute mark, the music is louder and faster. My focus …

Why We Sometimes Choose Judgment Instead of Compassion

“In separateness lies the world’s great misery, in compassion lies the world’s true strength.” ~Buddha

We talk about boys these days at our dinner table.

Boys are sneaking into our home now—or at least the idea of boys. Although I love watching my daughters grow up—it’s much more fun (and much more challenging) than I ever could have imagined—I sometimes feel a certain sadness as their days of early childhood innocence slip behind us.

Their battalion of stuffed animals, for example, who were accustomed to a life of travel and adventure—and a well-dressed one at that—often live in boredom …

11 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Time in the Now

“To be alive is to totally and openly participate in the simplicity and elegance of here and now.” ~Donald Altman

Five years ago my life was a mess. I was anxious, worried, afraid, and running away from my feelings. I was running away from the present moment.

So, what happened?

I started applying what I knew, which were really simple things such as breathing, visualization, and being aware of my thought patterns.

I haven’t found the Holy Grail; I simply took action. I had no idea how much my life was about to change, I just knew something had …

Lost Love: What It Means to Move On

“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” ~Alfred Lord Tennyson

I met a special someone. It was my first taste of love and I was sheepishly drunk with it. His were eyes I could look into forever, and he had a voice I could hear till the end of time. It was absolutely frightening.

We were colleagues. I unwittingly got involved in his life and eventually found myself wanting to get even more involved.

After a period of ambiguous yes-no-maybes, he exited the picture for good. He never wanted to talk about it, …

11 Ways to Turn Strangers into Friends

“Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.” ~Shirley Maclaine

Up until a year ago, I saw the world as a place where very few doors opened for me. At first I thought it was due to being extremely introverted. But as time went on, I started to struggle with making friends.

I didn’t have many of them—and opportunities only knocked a few times a year. That’s when I realized my problems stemmed from my passivity and fear of actually going out and talking to people.

My few closest friends always told me to join a club …

How to Achieve Unexpected Success

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Success.

A word defined by you and me.

Do not be manipulated by the definitions applied to that word by others. Choose your own definition.

Though I believe we all have the potential to succeed in reaching our dreams, I have found that success reaches to a far greater depth in our lives.

Whenever I hug my wife of 28 years and tell her that I love her, …

4 Simple Ways to Experience Great Happiness and True Freedom

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”  ~E.E. Cummings

I love to write. For years I wrote in journals and kept them stacked in piles on my shelves.

One rainy winter evening when I was 25, I walked into the Bourgeois Pig bookshop on Franklin Boulevard in Los Angeles and saw a book next to the cash register written by Natalie Goldberg called Wild Mind. I bought it and my life change forever.

Natalie’s book was about writing practice. A Zen monk practitioner, she brings the fundamentals of Zen to the …

Giveaway and Interview: Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

Editor’s Note: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. They are:

Several years ago, when I lived in New York City, I developed a love for yoga that started in a studio previously owned by Jonathan Fields. I didn’t know it then, but I would eventually look to Jonathan as a role model, mentor, and friend.

Author of Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love, Jonathan Fields is (in his own words) a dad, husband, New Yorker, author and speaker, serial wellness-industry entrepreneur, recovering S.E.C./mega-firm hedge-fund lawyer, slightly-warped, …

You Can Control What You Do Today

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” ~Pericles

Life is full of challenges. These obstacles are the greatest teachers we can have.

As I’m sure is true for all of us, I have struggled with many things throughout my life. I used to feel a sense of “woe is me,” but I’ve learned to leverage these experiences to make positive changes in life.

Don’t let your history dominate your life. We have a choice. You can let your past be the ruler of your life—or

Love is a Choice: 30 Ways to Love in Action

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen

I recently went with girlfriends to hear one of our favorite beach bands play. Since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, I talked a friend into taking me home early.

While walking to our car, we witnessed a couple fighting. There was no pushing or shoving.  Fists weren’t involved.  Bizarrely enough, this couple was on opposite sides of the parking lot having their fight over their cell phones.

Due to the volume of their voices, the fight was …

Living in Extremes: Releasing the Need for Chaos and Control

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Gandhi

The next time I feel it urgent to text someone off Craigslist after 11pm, I may think twice.

I was obsessed with attaining the body of a fitness model. I had recently been laid off and when life gets tough, I go to work—on my abs. It’s hard to accept that I can’t sweat away my troubles or make my problems magically disappear by tightening my thighs.

I tend to be a little high-strung, and excessive exercise helps me cope. Or, it possibly just adds more fuel to the fire. …

Simplify Your Life by Eliminating These 7 Problems

Life has a tendency to become overly complicated and stressful, particularly because things change so quickly. I’ve identified seven problems that you can eliminate to make your life a whole lot simpler (which doesn’t mean boring or less interesting).

Problem #1 – Too Much Responsibility

Think back to a year or two ago. How much extra responsibility has come into your life since then? You may have too much stuff, too many possessions, too many projects, and too many commitments.

Spreading yourself too thin reduces focus, increases stress, and lowers overall performance.

Too much stuff could include anything from a …

Taking Risks: 5 Things to Know Before Leaping without a Net

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” ~Unknown

It was the perfect storm.

In 2009 my best friend got married. At 48, having never been married, I once again caught the bouquet. Two months later, my mother’s home burned to the ground. At 70 years old, she lost everything, including a pet. Three months later, her husband died.

During the process of negotiating my mom’s temporary stay at a cabin resort, I fell in love with the cabin developer. To complicate matters, I was already living with a man who I had lived with, inconsistently, for 14 years.

To summarize, …

It’s Time to Make a Change: If Not Now, When?

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”  ~Buddha

These words resonate for me in a deeply personal way. The importance of being in the here and now, of recognizing that every moment is an opportunity to wake up to what is happening and what is possible, saved my life.

I was a compulsive eater out of my mother’s womb. The youngest of eight children in an abusive home, I used food to feel safe. I overate every day, hated myself for it, and yet could not stop.

I started addicted to …

Book Giveaway and Interview: One Minute Mindfulness

Update: The winners for this giveaway have been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha to learn about future giveaways!

The winners:

As you can likely tell from the number of author interviews/giveaways I’ve posted during these last few weeks, I’ve been receiving and reading a wide selection of books lately. One-Minute Mindfulness is now sitting on my coffee table, where I know I will refer it often.

The full title reads One-Minute Mindfulness: 50 Simple Ways to Find Peace, Clarity, and New Possibilities in a Stressed-Out World. It delivers on its promise.

From the Amazon Description:…

Realizing You Have Everything You Need

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.” ~Thomas Carlyle

I grew up in a small town, Maysville, Kentucky, where I led the perfect, sheltered life. After graduating from high school, I pursued higher education at a local community college, and from there transferred to The University of Kentucky in Lexington.

I had an interest in art, music, and media, pursuing a double major in journalism and communications. I dreamed about either working behind the scenes of a television studio, or becoming a certified systems engineer and working for my father’s employer.

Then a week

5 Reasons It’s OK to Not Know What the Future Holds

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins

We spend a lot of time in life not knowing.

There are a lot of things that we’re comfortable not knowing. Not knowing a stranger’s name. Not knowing our credit card number or a friend’s address. Not knowing the capital of Vermont.

We’re comfortable with these things because we know there are answers. Even if we have to get on our smartphones for few minutes to find them, we know these things are all facts that actually exist.…

How to Move through Shame, Fear, and Regret

“If you are never scared, embarrassed, or hurt, it means you never take chances.” ~Julia Soul

The moment comes when you are on your knees.

You are filled with a knowing that there is something better. There is a life for you that you are not living and you are ready to live it.

I call this the moment of awakening—the moment when you hear your soul’s cry for the next step in its evolution. You are ready to live your fullest expression.

Anais Nin said it best, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a …

The Art of Ambivalence: Not Knowing Can Be a Good Thing

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins                              

I drive my wife nuts. She has absolutely no trouble deciding how she feels or what she likes and dislikes. For me, those decisions don’t come easily.

She loves comparing notes with people about their favorite movie, favorite dessert, you name it. I can never pick just one. When someone asks me what I think, the answer’s almost always some version of “It all depends.”

This puts me at a disadvantage when my wife and I argue. Not …

Giveaway and Interview: Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

Update: The winners have already been chosen for this giveaway. They are:

Have you ever met someone, and then instantly felt a sense of rapport and respect? That’s how I felt earlier this year when I met best-selling author and speaker Gabrielle Bernstein.

After a stellar introduction from a mutual friend, I felt intrigued to meet this woman, known as a “happiness guru” in the mainstream media. Much to my dismay, I woke up that day feeling slightly under the weather and far less, well, happy, than usual.

It was just one of …