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5 Ways to Create Random Acts of Love

“Practice random beauty and senseless acts of love.” ~Unknown

I recently decided to reverse the order of common sense, and senselessly follow my heart through an unplanned acts of kindness. After I made the choice, it was amazing how the world changed before my very eyes.

No longer was I fixated on how quickly I move through the events of my day. With my new focus, people began to shape shift from task zombies to loving beings.

One situation in particular really humbled me to the true power of random acts of love.

I was riding a train from LA

Pema Chodron Retreat Giveaway

Update: The winners have already been chosen for this giveaway. Subscribe to the Tiny Buddha List to learn about future contests!

Last week, I received an email from the marketing team at Shambhala Publications informing me about the upcoming “Smile-at-Fear” retreat, to be hosted by Pema Chödrön.

This three-day event, focused on wisdom from Pema’s teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, will take place in Richmond, California from October 15–17. Since Pema rarely hosts events of this nature, it sold out pretty quickly, but there’s still a chance to learn what she has to share.

Shambhala Publishing has decided to bring the retreat …

4 Active Choices for Success & Happiness

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

These last few months I’ve been digging myself out of a hole, which ironically enough, I had put myself into. I spent so much time in the last two years constantly being negative, and I could tell by the people surrounding me that it had been enough.

People were starting to leave my life; they were tiring of same repetitive mantra. And come to think of it, I was tiring of it also. It was becoming more and more exhausting to try and get people …

Finding Joy in Frustrating, Routine Activities

“The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment.” ~Pema Chodron

Today, I hopped in the company van for a trip I make once a week with one of two primary clients. In the mental health division of my company, driving is a requirement. Most of the clients don’t drive, and they need coordinated transportation to and from their appointments and leisure activities.

This particular woman goes to visit her husband weekly because she hopes to live with him when recovering from her mental health diagnosis. I’ve been taking her on this trip for several months now, and it’s …

Mindful Technology: Simplify Email & Reduce Inbox Stress

Up until recently, I received communication online in ten different places.

In addition to getting messages through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon, I got emails through six different email accounts. I have not always managed this ever-flowing stream of information in the most mindful and productive way.

Studies show that we actually get a little endorphin rush when something new pops up in the inbox. It’s almost as if an email, direct message, or blog comment confirms that we’re important—that someone somewhere values us and needs our attention, expertise, or approval.

I’ll admit it: I enjoy seeing there’s a new …

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

“The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown

This is a phrase that had become a central theme in my life. One night, during one of my all too frequent bouts of insomnia, I sat at my computer and decided to write about my discontent, my middle aged angst.

I have no idea where the words came from, but once I typed the first sentence it was like a river overflowing its banks. Turns out, this was the key, the cure for my crisis. Yes, I am forty-two and a walking cliché, …

5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Take Care of Your Body

“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha

Our bodies are not indestructible, and there is only so far we can push them before they start to fail. I should know.

Roughly three years have passed since my body became unwell, for whatever reasons. Despite suffering from extreme exhaustion and constant joint and muscle pains, like those you get when you have the flu, I’ve only just started to listen.

I guess the reason it’s taken me so long to do this is because I’m still holding onto the life I had before …

Zen Business: the Eightfold Path to Peace and Productivity at Work

“We must never forget that it is through our actions, words, and thoughts that we have a choice.” ~Sogyal Rinpoche

Our work lives are made up of a million tasks, relationships, deadlines, duties, commitment, and goals. We are often at a loss as to how to communicate difficult news, create consistency, or even just feel less stressed during the day.

When we work with teams, we can find ourselves trying to be the best to the detriment of the whole or we start gossiping in the break room, even when we don’t want to do those things.

In my years …

How to Regain Control of Your Time & Your Life

“Life is a choice.” ~Unknown

I’m virtually broke, but I’m still enjoying life. How is this possible, you ask?

True happiness comes from having much less than you think you need. Growing up, I wouldn’t say that I had an abundance of toys. By normal standards, my family was just getting by with what we had. The bills weren’t just going to disappear, and there were three other young mouths to feed. It was either use my imagination to escape my reality or die of boredom. Which choice do you think I made?

When You Separate from Your Stuff

In …

25 Awesome Things We Take for Granted Most Days

“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” ~Evan Davis

Some mornings I open my eyes and immediately start thinking about everything I have to do.

I don’t notice the sun shining through my blinds.

I don’t imagine all the things that could go right in my day, as Srinivas Rao suggested in his awesome post How to Wake up Every Morning on Top of the World.

Instead, I immediately home in on my to-do list and all the mini fires I plan to avoid.

On …

16 Ways to Get Unstuck

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” ~Mandy Hale

We all get stuck: paralyzed about a decision, unsure what choice to make. Stuck in resentment or disappointment we can’t quite recover from. Stuck in a plan that’s not working as anticipated. Stuck in a destructive, repetitive dynamic with family members, coworkers, or friends.

When we’re stuck, things feel immovable, entrenched, even hopeless. The good news is, they aren’t.

We human beings are actually extremely adept at getting unstuck, at seeing the same thing in new ways, discovering new …

LOVE Versus Fear

LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL (fear is conditional)

LOVE IS STRONG (fear is weak)

LOVE RELEASES (fear obligates)

LOVE SURRENDERS (fear binds)

LOVE IS HONEST (fear is deceitful)

LOVE TRUSTS (fear suspects)

LOVE ALLOWS (fear dictates)

LOVE GIVES (fear resists)

LOVE FORGIVES (fear blames)

LOVE IS COMPASSIONATE (fear pities)

Childhood Dreams That Are Attainable Now

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of his dreams.” ~Proverb

Something beautiful just occurred to me.

I spend so much time stressing over my future adult achievements—a good career, a home for life, getting published, an adult relationship, possibly a kid and a large dog—that I don’t often revel in the things that seven-year-old me would have been stoked about.

How many of us do?

I try to treat my inner child with something every week, like painting, playing with my cat, or indulging in some candy—a very rare thing! But I don’t often think of …

Embracing the Moment When it Sucks: Dealing with Death

“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.”  ~Joan Kerr

A year ago I lost my best friend of forty-eight years to a pulmonary embolism. It came quickly and unannounced, and it took him instantly.

I found out about his death on Twitter. Because of the length and depth of our friendship I had never known life without him. As often happens when we lose someone dear, I didn’t know how I would move forward.

We’re taught that peace and happiness come from embracing and living fully in the moment, but I often wonder what should we

Do, Adjust, Do: A Journey to Meaningful, Satisfying Work

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~Proverb

I couldn’t drive, drink, vote, or stay out after nine, and yet I had two jobs.

I started working just before I turned twelve. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, so I knew early on I’d need to work if I wanted to do fun things, like go to music camp.

After school, I went to a program for kids where I led them in creative activities, like singing and arts and crafts. On the weekends, I ran the dozen …

How to Help Someone Without Saying a Thing

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”  Benjamin Disraeli

Listening. It’s a very powerful tool but unfortunately not well utilized.

I propose that if we all learned to listen better, there would be less of a need for therapists. I myself am a social worker and have been providing counseling to clients for years.

I have often felt that I was working as a well-paid or glorified listener; that if “lay” people could just listen better, there would be less of a need for professional …

A Year of Tiny Buddha and a New Design!

Happy day! As you can see, tinybuddha.com has a new design.

Earlier this week, I mentioned I was excited to launch this new site in conjunction with the one-year anniversary.

In that somewhat long post, I announced three book giveaways I planned to conduct in celebration, outlined the milestones from Tiny Buddha’s journey thus far, and listed the most popular posts in multiple categories, including:

  • Happiness
  • Fun
  • Relationships
  • Mindfulness
  • Passion and Purpose
  • Being Good to Yourself
  • Change
  • The Beauty of Life
  • Peace of Mind

If you haven’t already, you can read that post here.

If you have already …

The Magic of Making Mistakes: 3 Tips to Lead an Exciting Life

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard

This year has been a massive change for me. I had enough of the lameness that was freezing my previous life. Always experiencing the same days, meeting the same people, and doing the same things. Over and over again. Enough!

I did a complete 180-turn.

I changed the way I perceive mistakes and that made all the difference. My life is now more exciting than ever. I meet awesome people and do awesome things.

Making mistakes has been the life changing …

Book Review & Giveaway: Hand Wash Cold

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

  • KimCanDoIt
  • Shonda Scarborough
  • The Sunrise Project
  • Emily Meerstra

When I first saw the title of Karen Maezen Miller’s book, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life, I wondered how many people might feel hesitant to define their lives that way.

Most of us don’t want to be ordinary. We want to be special. We want to live bold, extraordinary lives punctuated by moments of passion, excitement, and adventure.

We want to fill our days with people, things, and activities that make us feel vibrant, and …

Approaching the Site’s 1-Year Anniversary (Giveaways!)

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