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Letting Go of Stories About Other People

“The biggest problem for humanity, not only on a global level, but even for individuals, is misunderstanding.” ~Rinpoche

Someone cuts you off in traffic.

What a jerk!

A date stands you up.

She obviously doesn’t like you.

Your colleague gives you a dirty look across the room.

Your last email must have really pissed him off!

In so many places in our lives, we see a behavior and automatically make a meaning out of it. Everything from a glance to an email gets snappily run through our minds and attached to a reaction or feeling.

Part of this is biological. …

Take a Small Step

“I could never make a living while traveling the world; it’s just not realistic.”

“My guitar won’t pay the bills. People think I’m crazy for trying.”

“I don’t have the money to go back to school. I’m stuck in this dead-end temp job.”

Most people dream of doing something that gives them a sense of excitement and purpose. Only some people believe in the possibility of that meaningful, exciting reality. Even fewer people pursue those goals in the face of adversity and discouragement.

Belief in possibility and the willingness to try can mean the difference between feeling alive and feeling

Living Life at Full Throttle

“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” ~H. Jackson Browne

When I was fifteen, I “died” for about a minute or so and then came back to life. A very severe case of bronchitis that lasted for over a week caused my brush with death. What complicated the situation was my allergic reaction to one type of medicine.

I had what’s known as a near death experience, and it was typical of all other near death experiences.

There was bright light, lots of love, and a huge reluctance to come back. I tried

7 Reasons to Be Happy Even if Things Aren’t Perfect Now

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Unknown

Even though I couldn’t possibly care less about oil-based raincoats, I listened to him talk for about fifteen minutes one rainy morning last week.

This little guy, with his colorful button-down shirt and funny-looking hat makes my day most mornings. He works at the 7-11 where I get my coffee. And he always seems happy.

At first I thought he was just putting on a good face, making the best of a tough situation. After all, he couldn’t possibly enjoy working at …

See and Tell

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~Voltaire

There are a lot of impressive people in the world. Some innovate and invent things that help masses of people. Some use art to tell powerful stories that move viewers to action.

Others make the world a better place by being helpful within their own sphere of influence, however small or large it may be.

Those little things define people.

The way your neighbor asks how you’re doing and really listens for the answer. How your coworker supports your ideas and gives …

Say No

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

As children we’re taught to just say no, and we do it with abandon.

Want to come inside and get ready for dinner? No! Want to shut off the TV and go grocery shopping? No! Want to wear the glittery holiday sweater grandma bought you last year? You know where this is going.

Then we get older and learn about etiquette. We get that sometimes we need to do things that we don’t want to. We understand …

Need Less, Have More: Life Expands When We Eliminate the Excess

“Knowledge is learning something new every day.  Wisdom is letting go of something every day” ~Zen Saying

Simplicity, at its heart, comes down to eliminating the excess in our lives.

Excess needs, wants, possessions. The list goes on.

Society tries to sell us on the idea that having more in our lives should be the goal and is the answer. But is more really improving the quality of our lives?

Do more possessions beyond a certain point really add value to our lives?

Do more commitments in our diaries really help us feel less stressed and rushed?

Does always wanting …

Be Your Purpose Now

“The secret to success is constancy to purpose.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

Most of us want to be successful, if not in monetary terms, then by our own definitions.

We want to feel a sense of meaning, to do something worthwhile that we can be proud of. Something that matters to people. Something that will live on after we do.

We often get so caught up in becoming who we want to be that we miss on being those people right now.

We get so focused on striving—getting things done, crossing items off the to-do list—that we forget to simply enjoy that …

Interpret Differently

“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare

Research indicates lottery winners are no happier than people who didn’t win, and in many cases, become depressed in the years following their win.

Scientists have surmised that we all have a baseline level of happiness—a range of joy we’ll stay within regardless of our external circumstances. The greatest factor in determining this joy is our mental attitude.

If you’d like to alter your baseline, instead of trying to change your circumstances, change the way you interpret them.

It sounds much easier said than done because it

10 Ways I Know There’s Nothing Wrong with You (or Me)

“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a joyous energy behind what you do.” ~Eckhart Tolle

At seventeen I had it all. I made straight As, was the vice president of the Honor Society, held two jobs, took the lead in four community theater performances, and joined Donnie Osmond onstage as part of the children’s chorus in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I was busy. I did things well. I got attention. I was ready to snap.

I was so hungry for success and approval I’d do anything to get it, …

Act Your Shoe Size

“A three-year-old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.” ~Bill Vaughn

You have bills, obligations, and responsibilities.

And there are people who mean something to you: people who believe in you who you’d like to make proud, people who don’t believe in you who you’d like to prove wrong.

You have things you want to accomplish, both for you and your family. Things you want to experience to feel you’ve lived a full life. Things that keep you caught …

Log Changes

“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice.” ~R.D.Laing

Have you ever noticed a new business on your route to work only to later learn it’s been there for weeks?

Somehow in the hustle and bustle of your morning routine, you missed an obvious change to your environment. It happens—and often on a much smaller scale.

As we do what we always do, we tend to focus on things we always see and as a result, think the way we always think. Even if you’re the most interesting person in the universe,

Unstrange a Stranger

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend, or a meaningful day.” ~Dalai Lama

Some sociologists argue that weak ties, the type you form with colleagues and online friends, for example, are the bane of modern life.

Instead of having meaningful conversations that bring us closer to people, we spend much of our time networking with a vast sea of strangers. We keep many interactions peripheral, failing to form the type of intimacy that benefits us …

11 Ways to Laugh it Off

“If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.” ~Proverb

Last night a few of my friends and I went to see Chelsea Handler perform stand-up comedy. Whether you’re a fan of her show on E! or not, most would have found her pretty hilarious. I laughed. And laughed. And laughed some more. And you know what? It felt pretty awesome.

Every time I go to a comedy show, probably once or twice a year, I ask myself “Why don’t I do that more often?”

I always have a great time and leave feeling so relaxed and refreshed. …

Tiny Buddha Launch Contest Winners

It’s been an exciting couple of days since we first launched! Without further ado, here are the winners of the launch contest:

Amanda Ryan will receive:

-How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life, the Dalai  Lama
-The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
-Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Every Day Life, Thich Nhat Hanh
-A yoga mat
-A tiny buddha statue
-Tea Starter Kit by Kevin Rose, sold at Samovar Tea Lounge

Suzy Arbet, Mark Dell, Chelsea Tatum, Michael Stanziano and Erica Torres will each receive:

-How to Practice:

Worry Serves No Useful Purpose

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Tomorrow is my thirtieth birthday. For two hours earlier this evening, I felt certain I’d start the day hooked up to an IV in intensive care.

It all started two weeks ago when I visited my family. Shortly after I arrived home I began feeling chest pains, something I experienced frequently in my youth.

Back in the day, I spent hours in the high school nurse’s office while my peers were in lunch, study hall, or gym class. Though it was intense and frightening, I wonder, in retrospect,

The Kindest Thing You Can Do for Someone Else

“The kindest thing you can do for someone else is listen without forming an opinion.” ~Lori Deschene

I was standing on Tremont St. looking for a cab, feeling euphoric after a fun night on the town. I had a couple glasses of wine—okay, several glasses of wine—so I was a little buzzed on top of that.

This guy walked by me with a dog, both looking scraggly and unfortunate. He asked me if I could spare some change.

I immediately said, “Sorry I can’t.” He’d probably just spend it on booze, I figured. That’s what they all do, right? Then …