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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

Learning and Unlearning: A Journey of Self-Acceptance

“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 …

5 Ways to Find Your Balance

“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

On Fearing Change: When It’s Time to Take a Leap of Faith

“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,

Punished By Anger

“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 …

Why It’s Hard to Trust Our Instincts and How to Start

“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.…

7 Ways to Deal with Uncertainty So You Can Be Happier and Less Anxious

“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 …

4 Life-Changing Lessons I’ve Learned from Running Tiny Buddha

“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 …

Writing Your Story: 5 Ways to Discover Your World

“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 …

4 Tips to Get in Touch with Your Feelings Instead of Burying Them

“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 …

How to Experience True Freedom to Live a Life with Fewer Limits

“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 …

Mindful Money: How to Erase Credit Card Debt & Spend Consciously

“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 …

Make Now Count: How to Live a Fun Life Full of Possibilities

“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 …

25 Questions to Help Solve Problems That Seem Insurmountable

“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 …