Blog Posts

How to Release the Fear That Holds You Back and Keeps You Small

“The purpose of fear is to raise your awareness, not to stop your progress.” ~Steve Maraboli

I used to hate my fear because it scared me. It terrified me that when fear arose, it often felt like it was driving me at full speed toward the edge of a cliff.

And if I were driven off a cliff, I would lose all control, all function, perhaps I would collapse, perhaps I would shatter into a million pieces. I was never totally clear on the details of what would happen if I let the fear get out of control. That’s …

My Second Mother: When Someone Steps Up Like Family Never Did

We are all blessed with two birth parents, and if we are lucky one or two of those are positive role models and on board for at least some portion of our lives. If we are really lucky, we may have the good fortune to score another mom or dad figure, someone who appears virtually out of nowhere, as fate or serendipity might have it, and takes us under their propitious wing.

Such a thing happened to me in the form of a bright, spunky, and emotionally generous woman named Joanie Arnesty, who helped me through the veil of darkness …

Coping with the Grief of a Layoff: 5 Tips If You’re Looking for a Job

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” ~Seneca

We are in such a hard season of the economy, and the implications of people getting laid off are so real and unfortunately painful.

No matter how competent or qualified you are, the job search process is hard. And even when you know your layoff was due to reasons completely outside your control, it still hurts.

The fear, instability, and uncertainty about what your next job will be or when it will come to fruition are emotionally unsettling, and our collective toxic positivity conditioning isn’t always helpful.

Yes, it’s true …

“Old” Isn’t a Bad Word: The Beauty of Aging (Gracefully or Not)

“Mrs. Miniver suddenly understood why she was enjoying the forties so much better than she had enjoyed the thirties: it was the difference between August and October, between the heaviness of late summer and the sparkle of early autumn, between the ending of an old phase and the beginning of a fresh one.” ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver

As an adolescent, I was always keen on looking and acting older than my age.

As the youngest amongst three, I always felt that my siblings held more power and their grown up lives seemed more glamorous to me. They would prance off …

What Happiness Means and How I’m Boosting My Day-to-Day Joy

“Don’t let this silly world trick you into starving your soul for material things. Cause someday you’re gonna be sitting out under the sun and realize how little you actually need to be truly happy.” ~Brooke Hampton

Three years ago, at the height of pandemic, I made many pitchers of lemonade from scratch. This newfound ritual was one of the better things about being on lockdown.

I’d hand squeeze a big bag of lemons for about one-third cup of juice, and experiment by adding vanilla extract, mint, and tablespoons of honey. I’d bring my drink outside, where I sat for …

Dear Parent of an Estranged Adult: What Might Repair Your Relationship

Dear estranged parent,

I know it’s not easy to feel cut off from your child when you still feel love and maybe even remorse. I know you might feel confused about why your adult child is so upset, and you might even feel angry and wrongly accused.
Perhaps there’s some truth to that. I don’t know why your child cut ties with you, but I can share a little of my own experience and then offer some tips that might help, regardless of your unique situation.

So why did your son or daughter cut you out of their life?

I …

5 Powerful Mindset Shifts to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” ~Lao Tzu

We carefully pick out what we wear to the gym to make sure we look good in the eyes of the other gym goers.

We beat ourselves up after meetings running through everything we said (or didn’t say), worried that coworkers will think we aren’t smart or talented enough.

We post only the best picture out of the twenty-seven selfies we took and add a flattering filter to get the most likes to prove to ourselves that we are pretty and likable.

We live in

FREE 30-Day Take Your Power Back Challenge

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a pattern of waiting?

Waiting on things to change or people to change.

Waiting for closure or clarity or certainty.

Waiting for life to get easier. Waiting for your heart to feel better.

Waiting for an opportunity or a relationship or something you think you need to finally feel happy and at peace.

I suspect most of us spend years and even decades waiting, feeling powerless over some, if not all, aspects of our lives.

I know I’ve been there before. This is when I was the most depressed. When I felt …

Don’t Wait to Open Your Heart: There Is Only Time For Love

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.” ~Iain Thomas

Looking back, my most cherished childhood memories can be traced back to my rosy mother.

Intricate forts in the backyard with Spice Girls playing in the background. Sleepovers using Limited Too’s finest sparkly lotion, eyeshadow, and lip gloss. Rainy afternoons filled with friendship bracelets and Lisa Frank activity sheets. Children and teachers showing off their wild side at my mothers’ signature talent shows at the local theatre. Arts and crafts in a …

Last Day for FREE eBook with New Inner Strength

I know I don’t know you, but I see you. I get you. And I know you’re a survivor.

You’ve been through so much your life could be a movie, though you don’t always feel like the hero of your story, or always want to be.

Because sometimes you feel tired of being strong. Tired of wounds to heal, problems to solve, and crises to avert.

Sometimes you wish that it was all easier. That the ups and downs of life would stop so you could finally breathe, relax, and be.

I get that; I’ve wished that many times, …

How I Stopped Chasing Men Who Hurt Me and Found Healthy Love

“There are two things you should never waste your time on: things that don’t matter and people who think that you don’t matter.” ~Ziad K. Abdelnour  

“What is wrong with me?” I asked myself. Crying in the dark of the night. “Why doesn’t he love me?”

I’d tried to fold myself in all the ways I could to be loved and accepted, but it was never enough. I found myself repeating patterns of chasing men who just didn’t want me. Same cry in the night, different men.

The more I chased them, the more they ran away, and the deeper

4 Anxiety-Calming Techniques I Wish I Used When I Freaked Out on a Plane

“When thinking about life, remember this: No amount of guilt can solve the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future.” ~Unknown

I was buckled in on a small, twenty-person airplane, and we were heading toward the runway, when I looked out the window and saw the airplane wheel was wobbling.

I gathered my courage, unbuckled my seatbelt, and approached the flight attendant, who told me to sit back down.

“I think there’s something wrong with the wheel,” I said.

He looked out the window and said, “It’s fine.” But then he radioed the pilot, who turned the …

Why People-Pleasers Lie and What We Gain When We Share Our Truth

“You’re a liar. People-pleasers are liars,” a friend said to me. I felt like I was punched in the gut. “You say yes when you mean no. You say it’s okay when it’s not okay.” My friend challenged me, “In your gentle way, begin to be more honest.”

I believed the lie that pleasing people would make my relationships better. It didn’t.

I decided to take my friend’s challenge to tell the truth. People didn’t have a relationship with me; they had a relationship with another version of someone else. They didn’t know me.

People-pleasing was safe; it was how …

How to Deal With Low Moods: A 4-Step Plan to Help You Feel Better

“And some days life is just hard. And some days are just rough. And some days you just gotta cry before you move forward. And all of that is okay.” ~Unknown

I have always struggled with low moods. I guess that considering that I spent close to twenty years of my life inactive and depressed, this could be seen as progress. But that still didn’t feel good enough.

I wanted to feel more balanced, light, and happy, and I wanted to achieve it in natural ways without having to take any kind of medication since that hadn’t worked for …

5 Simple Yet Essential Self-Care Tips That Can Change Your Life

“Never be ashamed to say, ‘I’m worn out. I’ve had enough. I need some time for myself.’ That isn’t being selfish. That isn’t being weak. That’s being human.” ~Topher Kearby

Years ago, my extended family, who I am very close with, migrated from Vietnam to America as permanent residents. Four separate families had a couple of kids in each family. They are nice, kind, and loving people, and their kids were super cute and respectful.

My relationship with my extended family has taught me a lot of lessons throughout my life so far, but this was one of the most …

No One Was Coming to Save Me: The Insignificance I Felt as a Kid

Never make the mistake of thinking you are alone—or inconsequential.” ~ Rebecca McKinsey

I can still remember it as vividly as if it happened yesterday.

Our kitchen was small. Only enough room for a few people, and there were four of us kids scrounging to get our hands on the rest of the leftovers. It wasn’t a fight, but I can say with certainty that there was an underlying assumption that whoever got their hands on it first was able to claim it, so there was competition.

I grabbed my spoon first and then went to the fridge to …

5 Ways to Start Valuing Your Time and Making the Most of It

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Oh, how I loved sleeping when I was a teenager. I would sleep for twelve hours, just as babies do.

And guess what else?

Another favorite activity of mine was taking selfies until I finally had a perfect one, editing it, posting it on social media, and waiting for likes. And scrolling through the feed.

Wow. So unusual nowadays.

I didn’t care what I was doing with my life. I chose a university degree just for fun and …

It’s Okay to Have No Purpose Beyond Being and Enjoying This Moment

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell

I was sitting on my yoga mat with my legs stretched out in front of me. I bent forward into a fold, puffing and clenching my jaw as I extended my fingertips toward my toes. I was growing angrier by the second.

A slew of sour thoughts marched through my brain.

This is stupid. I thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing. I’m so out of shape. Other people have no trouble with this pose.

Take Your Power Back: 15 Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore

There’s little more frustrating than feeling stuck or trapped—like you have to accept things that aren’t good for you and can’t do the things you need to do to feel and be your best.

I think we all feel this way at times, and sometimes we do have to accept things that aren’t ideal, at least in the short term while we figure out a plan to make things better. Until we address our health issues, or find a less stressful job, or slowly unravel layers of grief or trauma to find some modicum of peace and healing.

But when

When You’re Ready for Change: You Need to Believe in Your Future Self

“Growth is uncomfortable because you’ve never been here before. You’ve never seen this version of you. So give yourself a little grace and breathe through it.” ~Kristin Lohr

I was kinda sorta showing up.

To the outside world, it looked like I was doing all of the things. I was smiling. I was talking about exercise and eating well. I was posting happy, positive vibe quotes, but I wasn’t really showing up for myself.

I had experienced a miscarriage at thirteen weeks. This was supposed to be the safe zone. I had told family and friends. My husband and I …