“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.” ~Robert Tew
Everyone has fears. It is not an emotion that is only for a chosen few. One’s fear may seem irrational to the outside world, but I guarantee to that person it is debilitating. So much so, that it shapes their perspective and how they see the world. My fear is of success.
I know what you’re thinking. “That doesn’t make sense at all. Who doesn’t want to be successful?” Well, let me explain what I mean.
You see, I am an …
“The master leads by weakening their ambition and toughening their resolve.” ~Tao Te Ching
How much of productivity advice is ableist? Sure, there are lots of good ideas and concepts in there, but most of it is healthy-body-focused.
“Be sure to exercise in the morning.”
“Get up early before anyone else.”
“Keep a consistent morning routine of meditation, journaling.”
“Set aside fixed times in the day to do deep work.”
“Get dressed and do your hair even if you work from home.”
“Set goals and stick to them.”
“Work harder than anyone else around you.”
I have built …
“If I had the chance I’d ask the world to dance, but I’d be dancing with myself.” ~Billy idol
Spending long periods of time alone—as I’ve done while traveling solo over the past year—is an eye-opening experience.
Without the distractions of my normal routine and relationships, I’ve been able to take a good look around inside my very own head. And the more I do this, the more I realize that what I experience as my world is just a reflection of my own psyche. In reality, I’m dancing with myself all the time.
This crucial awareness is usually hidden …
“Overthinking ruins you. It ruins the situation. And it twists things around. It makes you worry. Plus, it just makes everything worse than it actually is.” ~Karen Salmansohn
I grew up with parents who believed a kid shouldn’t have friends and should be indoors always. Because of that, I never had real friends in my childhood, except those I met in school and church.
Since my early teenage years, loneliness has been my forte, and I have learned to pay too much attention to details. When people talk, I look at them, how they react, their facial expressions, etc. I …
I’m sorry we ever met. Remind me where I made your acquaintance? Oh, yes—on my February trip to Death Valley, where I assumed long days of hiking had caused a rock bruise. Instead of healing, you got worse and jumped to the other foot, too.
Thanks for the reminder. It helps. Because I was there in the Valley to grieve my dead sweetheart, Tony, with rituals and tears and a personal funeral. I hate being forced to walk this earth without him. So I see you now for what you really are—grief and longing and fury that my …
“Love is loving things that sometimes you don’t like.” ~Ajahn Brahm
You’ve probably heard the saying “You can’t find love until you learn to love yourself.” What this really means is that when you love yourself, you’re also fully able to accept another’s love for you because you know that you deserve it.
Unfortunately, some people misunderstand this saying to mean that you’re basically not worthy of love unless you love yourself. And that’s a load of toxic rubbish.
If it were true, any number of people with trauma or certain mental illnesses would never stand a chance of finding …
Over the last thirteen years of running this site, I’ve read comments and emails from thousands of people with varied wants and struggles, but it seems to me it all boils down to the following two things:
We all want to feel good and avoid feeling bad, and we all need to connect with other people on a meaningful level and feel that we make a difference.
I can think of no better way to accomplish these goals than to meditate regularly and share the gift of meditation with others.
Whether you practice cross-legged or through a movement practice, like …
“Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” ~Brené Brown
Sitting there watching The Greatest Showman, with tears pouring down my face, I asked myself why does this song, in fact this whole film, make me cry so much? Why does it evoke so much emotion in me?
“I am brave,
I am bruised,
I am who I’m meant to be.
This is ME.”
“Look out cos here I come,
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum,
I’m not scared to be seen,
I make no apologies.
This is ME.”
“It’s one of the great paradoxes of the human condition—we ask some variation of the question ‘How are you feeling?’ over and over, which would lead one to assume that we attach some importance to it. And yet we never expect or desire—or provide—an honest answer.” ~Mark Brackett, Ph.D., Permission to Feel
I used to feel so satisfied if I had made them cry.
Not in a twisted, sadistic way.
I just knew once things went quiet and they felt safe, we could peel back enough layers, the tears would flow, and we could finally get to the truth. The …
“It’s okay to let go of those who couldn’t love you. Those who didn’t know how to. Those who failed to even try. It’s okay to outgrow them, because that means you filled the empty space in you with self-love instead. You’re outgrowing them because you’re growing into you. And that’s more than okay, that’s something to celebrate.” ~Angelica Moone
Once upon a time, I met and fell in love with the man of my dreams. He was the most romantic, loving, amazing person I had ever met and for some reason, he wanted to be with me.
I was …
“Have a little faith in your ability to handle whatever’s coming down the road. Believe that you have the strength and resourcefulness required to tackle whatever challenges come your way. And know that you always have the capacity to make the best of anything. Even if you didn’t want it or ask for it, even if seems scary or hard or unfair, you can make something good of any loss or hardship. You can learn from it, grow from it, help others through it, and maybe even thrive because of it. The future is unknown, but you can know this …
“Self-care equals success. You’re going to be more successful if you take care of yourself and you’re healthy.” ~Beth Behrs
Does your job ever seem to take over your life?
Mine has, more than once, despite some drastic changes to stop it each time.
For twelve years I worked a sixty-hour-a-week consulting job in London, UK. I loved my team, and much of my work, but I wasn’t good at switching off.
Whiplash from a minor car accident initiated a chronic pain condition that grew worse and worse with each passing day.
I didn’t think I was allowed to take …
“Beauty doesn’t come from physical perfection. It comes from the light in our eyes, the spark in our hearts, and the radiance we exude when we’re comfortable enough in our skin to focus less on how we look and more on how we love.” ~Lori Deschene
For as long as I can remember, my mom had long shiny silky black hair down to her knees. It was magical in the way that it attracted people and inspired curiosity and connection.
Everywhere we went, strangers approached her, usually timidly at first with a brief compliment, and then, after receiving her signature …
“I really believe in the philosophy that you create your own universe. I’m just trying to create a good one for myself.” ~Jim Carrey
If someone had told me years ago I’d one day be serving mushroom mafalda to a former VIP client, I’d have laughed in their face. Not an “I wouldn’t be caught dead doing this” type of cackle; more with an “I haven’t waited tables in twenty-five years, why would I start now?” kind of incredulity.
But it’s true. I’ve gone from defining myself as “Career Girl Sam”—toiling in an industry that was killing me—to a far …
“The way we treat our children directly impacts what they believe about themselves.” ~Ariadne Brill
Growing up, I always felt odd. I often wondered what was wrong with me. I compared myself to my friends and always thought they had a better life than me. They had both parents still together, went on family vacations. It was not that I was jealous or bitter, it was just that they seemed to be ‘normal’ and happy. Whatever that means.
I never remember my parents being together. My parents divorced when I was two. I lived with my mother and older …
“Your anger? It’s telling you where you feel powerless. Your anxiety? It’s telling you that something in your life is off balance. Your fear? It’s telling you what you care about. Your apathy? It’s telling you where you’re overextended and burnt out. Your feelings aren’t random, they are messengers. And if you want to get anywhere, you need to be able to let them speak to you and tell you what you really need.” ~Brianna Wiest
Overcoming depression was one of the hardest yet most rewarding experiences of my life. I didn’t understand it when I first started struggling at …
“You are not too old and it is not too late.” ~Unknown
In less than a month, I’ll be hitting a major “milestone” birthday. I quit my full-time job six months ago, ending a twenty-plus year career in education, and have spent time thinking about what I want the next chapter of my life to look like. I found myself thinking back to a drawing exercise I did a few years ago that has made such an impact on my being willing to make major changes in my life.
Entering my mid-forties, I had come to a point where something …
“Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Even though you want to run. Even when it’s heavy and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.” ~Dr. Rebecca Ray
When my husband died from terminal brain cancer in 2014, I learned all about deep grief. The kind of grief that plunges you into a valley of pain so vast it takes years to claw your way out. In the beginning, I didn’t want to deal with grief because the pain was too intense. So, I dodged grief …
“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.” ~Samuel Smiles
I am a recovering multitasker.
I’m sure you know what multitasking is—it is the performance of more than one task at a time. For me it can look like this: “Watching TV” might include scanning social media on my phone, playing a game on my laptop, and/or doing some knitting or embroidery. Sometimes I switch back and forth between all of those things.
“Writing a blog post” might include doing a load of laundry, including moving it from washer to dryer, or folding …
“Happiness is like being cool, the harder you try, the less it is going to happen. So stop trying. Start living.” ~Mark Manson
I am a lucky person. In this crazy pandemic, my entire family and I have made it through in one piece. My husband has been out of work for half of a year and my son’s school has been closed. But I still have a job that can support my family.
I am grateful.
Every day after dealing with crazy deadlines and pressure at work, I go home and see my son’s sweet, cute face.
I am …