“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” ~Buddha
It happens all the time…
You’re driving, listening to music, just enjoying life and the feel of the road. Then a car roars past you and the driver promptly swerves and cuts you off, seemingly oblivious to anything but his own destination.
Or, you come to a full stop at a stop sign and the driver behind you lays on the horn, impatient for you to get moving. Glancing in your rear view mirror, you see him flailing his arms and punching a raised …
“Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong–sometimes it’s letting go.” ~Unknown
I’m the divorced mother of two teenage girls. Holidays are split; the girls have Thanksgiving with their dad and Christmas with me on even-numbered years, and vice versa on odd number years. It’s hard on all of us, but it has been especially hard on me this year.
This year I had Thanksgiving with my girls the weekend before Thanksgiving and asked if they wanted come over on Black Friday to set up the Christmas tree, as was the tradition before. They said sure.
I called them …
“Life is what happens when you are making other plans.” ~John Lennon
There have been times in my life when I believed all my happiness revolved around how busy I was. If I was busy, I was using time wisely. If I was busy, I was proving to myself that I was valuable. If I was busy, I was creating the possibility of a better life in the future. Any threat to my productivity was a threat to my sense of hope.
Being busy didn’t make me feel happy, but it created the illusion that I was somehow …
“You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Don’t doubt yourself. You are more than enough.
You are good enough. If no one else tells you that, I will reaffirm that you are good enough to do whatever you want in life. Life is too short for you to paralyze yourself with doubts.
I used to doubt my capabilities, and I was so unhappy and frustrated with life. I tried to bury myself in self-help books to find the answers to achieve success and happiness. One …
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu
At lunch the other day, a new friend and I were discussing changes in our lives and how everything feels very new and different.
I remembered the most beautiful description Mark Nepo wrote in The Book of Awakening. Mark is a poet, and he sees the world through such a lovely light. His work opens my heart to images I’ve never thought about that are so compelling.
I can see the way Mark describes the process of change in my own life. He …
“You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.” ~Unknown
There’s something magical about this time of year, and it has nothing to do with the Santas posted like soldiers at various points throughout the globe or the million volts of electricity that light up Main Streets the world over.
I’ve always loved Christmastime because the season inspires people to focus on everything that’s important in life.
The usually harried slow down just a little to stop and smell the mistletoe, while humming along to redundant Christmas songs they secretly enjoy. Fighting relatives …
“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown
We all have problems, don’t we? There isn’t a single person on this planet who doesn’t have one, even if they’re the Buddhist monk living their life peacefully. Everyone has something to overcome.
There’s nothing wrong with having a problem. Life would be pretty dull if they weren’t around, and we’d never learn anything new or grow from our mistakes.
Sometimes, though, we create problems that have no real foundations. These are the ones that can cause us the most suffering because it seems …
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”~Dalai Lama
Some days I wake up with rocket fuel in my veins, ready to take the day by storm. Happiness comes totally natural. But on others it can feel like I have lead weights strapped to my shoes.
Have you ever been there?
We all have.
Happiness is a practice. It’s on us to learn it.
While some days are easier to find a smile than others, happiness is a daily choice. It’s a mindset we can nurture and train. That doesn’t mean it’s there every second, but …
“Life is a process of becoming. A combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~Anais Nin
Five months ago, my partner Mike and I were offered jobs as English teachers in a school in China. Excitedly, we moved everything we owned into storage, organized our passports and visas, said farewell to our loved ones, and left our home in Melbourne within a month, not to be home again for a year.
We had just started to settle in …
“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
After writing my last post for Tiny Buddha, 5 Steps to Accept your Weaknesses, I had an intense few days involving an extremely spiritually and emotionally significant relationship that has recently ended, or at least ended in one form.
I found myself sobbing so uncontrollably in my kitchen that I was choking. Each day, there seemed to be another upwelling of grief. When I saw that my beloved ex-partner was potentially interested in someone else, that grief broke through with renewed intensity. These feelings are all normal and to …
“I urge you to try not to get hung up in the mentality that says ‘I hope I don’t lose him (or her),’ but foster the attitude that says ‘He should be appreciative of having me in his life.'”
I read these words in the midst of a downward emotional spiral, and they grounded me almost immediately.
I was fifty-three when I read Marie’s words. I was in the eighth year of my relationship with my husband and realized that I had become a shell of the woman I was when I first met him. Amidst all the compromises I’d …
“Don’t let today’s disappointment cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dream.” ~Unknown
Have you ever looked back on your life, exactly a year ago, and felt amazed by how much has changed?
Last year at this time, I’d only just started this site and I was competing in a blogging contest. Ignite Social Media, the marketing company behind the mood supplement SAM-e, had come up with a clever crowdsourcing campaign to generate awareness for the product.
In the beginning of the fall, they advertised a contest to win a dream blogging job. The winner would get a six-month contract to write …
“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Let’s think for a second about emptiness. Why is a cup of tea useful? For its decorations? No—it’s useful for its emptiness, for the space where we can pour tea.
When we let go of all the things that are cluttering our minds, we become like that tea cup, and we are able to use that space to focus on what matters: giving attention to people, here and now.
Society considers money, praise, and rewards important. However, attention speaks clearer than everything else. Why does …
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
Depending on where you’re from, you may celebrate Thanksgiving today. You might get together with your family over a massive gravy-drenched feast. You might celebrate with a chosen family of friends, with traditional food, vegan fare, or a nontraditional fast food spread.
Regardless of who surrounds you today or what meal you all share together, you’ll likely reflect upon your blessings, as we tend to do at this time of year.
You might announce them elocution style as you all take turns at the …
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.” ~Unknown
Tomorrow as many people celebrate Thanksgiving Day with their loved ones, fully enjoy the day and take it all in.
This day is traditionally a time to be with families, friends, and loved ones. It focuses around sharing a meal and enjoying precious time together.
Here in London, I have never been to a Thanksgiving dinner, but I just love the whole concept behind this day of appreciation, sharing, and togetherness. Maybe in time, notwithstanding all the …
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Frazzled! Doesn’t that word seem to apply to how we feel so much of the time? Take this morning for example.
I’m dashing about the flat and running late for work. I’m drinking a cup of tea while drying my hair. I have to put the washing away and hang a new load out. I mustn’t forget to feed the cat and pick up lunch before I get to the office.
Then I see him—the cat sleeping contentedly on the bed.
Once I …
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
While in the process of “re-branding” my business, I’ve been reading a lot about business marketing. One of the articles that I really loved contains an analogy of a lighthouse for a business model, but to me, it speaks of so much more. It’s really a life model.
The example highlights how a lighthouse doesn’t run up and down the coast, anxiously seeking any boats in the water. It doesn’t cast its beam north and south, right and left, desperate to be seen. …
“Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me.” ~Isabel Allende
In life, we experience two kinds of fear: real fear and psychological fear. Or, as I prefer to think of the latter, ego-fear.
In the words of Immanuel Kant, the ego is “our precious little self.” Or as Eckhart Tolle calls it, “the voice in the head.” It isn’t who you really are, but the you that you think you are.
Each day, what you see in the mirror is the reflection of your physical being, and within, you may get glimpses …
“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Your mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. We all know this. If you get off to a bad start, oftentimes the rest of your day follows suit.
The best way to combat this is to come up with a meaningful morning practice that acts as a buffer between getting up and starting your day, and puts you in the right headspace to go out and face the world. (Or do whatever it is you do, on a day-to-day basis.)
It gives you a space in the morning where …
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~Pema Chodron
In my twenties I had dreams that I could fly. Literally. In my mind’s eye, I had a vision of myself dancing in the air. I thought if I were an animal, I would be a graceful eagle soaring through the skies.
Never mind I am just shy of six feet tall and aerodynamically inept. I had a dream and I was going to follow it. Hence, I called the local circus teacher to pursue the hobby of aerial acrobatics.…