It’s a pretty exciting week in Tiny Buddha world. Several months back, I decided to have Tiny Buddha redesigned.
Well, we decided. There is an amazing man named Joshua Denney who has done a lot of work on the site.
It’s through his passion, expertise, and hard work that we’ll have a completely new design at the end of this week.
One of the reasons I’m excited to launch the new site this week is that Thursday is the site’s one-year anniversary.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to do a few things:
1. Conduct a series of book giveaways …
“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” ~Buddha
A teacher of mine once said, “Don’t show up as the person you think you are. Show up as the person you want to be.”
A powerful statement, but I didn’t know who I wanted to be. Even if I did, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off.
I knew who I didn’t want to be: self-critical, self-conscious, and always focusing on my shortcomings. I wanted to learn how to get out of my own way.
For a long time, I …
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” ~Thomas Merton
The yoga class I attended yesterday included a number of balance posts, from simple tree pose to a “floating” ardha chandrasana. I am not certain why, but I was struggling to find a steady balance on one side.
I arrived late feeling flustered, and my mind was spinning and worrying as we worked our way into the flow. I had to struggle to make my gaze steady, and I was starting to beat myself up for the wobbling on my left leg.
Then I …
“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown
There are two basic human emotions that are the driving force behind each thought, each daily inspiration, and that rare but pivotal new-chapter, life-changing decision. Those things are fear and love.
The funny thing, however, is that they are intertwining forces. In order to feel passionately about something, fear and love must coexist.
One year ago I made what some people would consider an irrational decision. I had a great job, …
“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” ~Buddha
I went camping recently, something that I was really looking forward to, but I didn’t last long. Due to health conditions, my friend and I had to abandon camp at three in the morning because the cold got to me in a big way.
This awful experience has left me feeling dejected and rather ashamed of myself. Who the hell can’t manage a couple of nights camping? I’m being too hard on myself, but the point is I’m feeling angry.
You know what that …
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” ~Benjamin Spock
I was talking to a friend of mine a couple weeks ago. I was telling her how I always know when it’s time for me to move. She asked me, “How do you know? What makes you aware that you ‘know’ this?”
It was a reasonable question: What is the actual sign that indicates that you “know” to do anything?
“You just know,” I told her.
“But how?” she asked, curiously.
I didn’t really have a good answer for her at the time, but it stuck with me.…
“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos
In three weeks, my boyfriend and I might move from the Bay area to LA, or we might move in here with roommates if he decides not pursue a film career.
I am starting a new work-from-home writing gig to pay my bills while I write my book. It might be something I can do in under two days a week, or it may require more time. It may provide enough money, or I might need to get some …
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.” ~Rumi
I have been working on Tiny Buddha for over two years, and yet I’ve rarely written about my experiences running it.
I haven’t told you anything about my own challenges, opportunities, and lessons in maintaining the site, and it occurred to me today that that might be valuable information.
You probably have a Tiny Buddha in your own life—something you created that you’re absolutely in love with. Or maybe you haven’t found it yet, but you want to build something that drives you like nothing …
“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~Pema Chodron
This past year has been one of tremendous self-discovery. One day, I suddenly realized after nine years of a very straight finance-paved path that I no longer wanted to be a corporate banker.
Instead, I wanted to wake up each morning with a bigger purpose—an idea of who I was and what I stood for outside of this corporate lifestyle.
Since that day, I seemed to be in tiresome pursuit in finding my story. I even seriously debated moving out of the country to build …
“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.” ~Jean Kerr
I’ve just given up smoking. Again. It’s a bad habit that I can’t seem to shake because I’m likely to relapse when I’m stressed.
I try to rationalize my destructive behavior—I don’t smoke heavily, I don’t smoke that much since I stick to rolling tobacco which makes thinner cigarettes, it’s fifteen minutes to myself where nobody will question why I’m taking time to do and think about nothing.
No matter how much I justify my bad habit, I can’t deny that I’m dependent on a bad thing …
“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes I can be a prisoner to my own thoughts and forget that I have the freedom to choose. Choose a different thought. Choose a different experience. Choose a different interpretation.
I remember having a coach that used to listen to me rant. I would be sure I was the victim of something that was happening to me, and I would tell her all about it expecting sympathy.
She would listen patiently and then say, “Yeah? And …
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu
If you’d asked me about money five years ago, I would’ve said, “Oh I’m never going to have money.” On the surface, this sentiment didn’t bother me. I have a job I love and a great marriage, so who needs money?
Over the years I’ve realized, however, that everyone needs money. You have to have a place to live, food, clothes, and a chance to have fun.
So one day I decided that just enough wasn’t enough anymore. I wanted more money but I’d …
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown
My daughter Nava suffered a medical crisis and was hospitalized for one year. She was in a drug-induced, paralyzed coma on a ventilator for three months, teetering on the seesaw of life and death, much closer to the death side.
Miraculously surviving, she moved on to a rehab hospital for the next nine months where she had to relearn each and every body and motor function. Two miracles occurred: one, she survived; and two, she had a complete recovery, with her life back as before.
Because I have my daughter back, whole and …
“No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork, and determination, a person can do anything.” ~Unknown
Some problems seem far too overwhelming to solve. When you’re buried in debt or trying to bounce back from a huge error in judgment, it can feel like there’s no way out.
I remember when I first learned about my fibroids last year. Since I didn’t have health insurance at the time, I feared I wouldn’t be able to afford treatment, and I was tempted to beat myself up for allowing myself to be uninsured.
On top of that, I worried about my …
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Last night I did something I rarely do. Drum roll please…
…last night I cooked.
Okay, to be fair, I more prepped than cooked. But my willingness to participate in this domestic ritual, with my boyfriend at the helm, was certainly not the norm. Neurotic as I may be with organizing and cleaning, cooking has never been my thing.
For starters, I’m cheap with food. I’d rather spend money on books and pedicures than saffron and truffles. I realize I could channel my inner Rachael Ray and learn to make budget-friendly meals, …
“After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear, open skies.” ~Samuel Rutherford
I was talking to someone this week about his feeling that things weren’t happening fast enough. That with all he was doing, intending, and putting out there more should be happening, and faster.
My question to him was, “Really? Should things really be happening faster? Or are you exactly where you’re supposed to be?”
We have a tendency to think we have it all figured out. When it should happen, how it should happen, who it should happen with—and …
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~Pema Chodron
I’m arachnophobic. Last night, a large spider took up residence on the wall in my room. The shock of seeing its dark mass seated comfortably against the stark white of the paint made the blood drain from my head.
I have ways of dealing with my fears. Sometimes I ignore them and plunge in head-first without thinking; sometimes I avoid them altogether and run for the hills. When it comes to spiders though, I humanize the situation.
I gave Richie, as I named my new roommate, the …
“If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.” ~Bob Basso
A couple weeks back, my boyfriend and I went to our local county fair. I love—love—fairs.
Forget for a minute that adult-me now gets vertigo just looking at a roller coaster; and that my thirty-year-old digestive track nearly explodes when I catch a whiff of carnie food. When you factor in my increasing interest in crafts and farm animals, it somewhat evens out.
If you’re the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, thrill-seeker type, that might sound as exciting as watching paint dry. But I really do love petting furry little creatures …
“Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?” ~Unknown
I celebrated an anniversary recently. It was the night I experienced my first, and hopefully last, earthquake.
My husband and I had retired for the evening as usual—said our goodnights and went to sleep. I was jarred awake at 2:30 AM by him trying to pull me from our bed. At the same moment I heard the most deafening roar. Could a freight train be barrelling through our loft?
Our attempts to escape the upper level were hampered by …
“Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.” ~Unknown
A reader recently wrote to me:
“I struggle with making decisions and always second-guess myself… I recently had to make a decision about something and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided. Now, months later, my decision is eating me up and I can’t stop thinking I made the wrong decision. So I guess my point is once you decide, how do you stop yourself from second guessing?”
I know I’ve been there, having made a decision I not only second-guessed but wish I hadn’t made …