Blog Posts

Healing from the Conflicting Loss of a Difficult Parent

“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

I had a tumultuous and interesting relationship with my father. He was a strong, proud man in his spirit as well as in his physical appearance. In my younger years, I …

If You Expect a Lot and You’re Tired of Being Disappointed

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, anxiety, or possessions—we cannot be free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Almost universally, many of the problems we face in life are tied to our own expectations.  Expectations of ourselves. Expectations of others. Expectations of situations. Expectations of the world at large.

We may expect ourselves to be perfect and successful in all our pursuits. We may expect to feel constantly happy with our lives. We may expect others to think and react like we do. We may expect …

20 Powerful Self-Care Quotes to Help You Feel and Be Your Best

Hi friends! I decided over this long holiday weekend to give myself a break for some much-needed self-care, which I imagine we could all use right now.

We’ve all been pushed, stretched, and challenged this year. We’ve all given our all, done our best, and perhaps wondered at times if it was good enough.

That’s the thing about difficult times—we often make them so much harder by expecting a lot from ourselves, pushing ourselves, and beating ourselves up when we fall short.

We expect ourselves to always be happy. Or productive. Or confident. Or present. Or there for other …

4 Reasons to Let Go of the Need to Plan Your Future

“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living in the now.” ~Alan Watts

I went to college a little bit later in life. Because of that, people often mistakenly believed I was operating on a specific (and somewhat urgent) timetable—as though I was running to catch up with the rest of the people my age.

However, I was already in a career I loved (teaching yoga) that supported me financially. For me, going back to school was mainly about enjoying the process of getting an education without any pressure to get …

What If Your “Overthinking” Is Actually Good for You?

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Overthinking is common. And everyone is asking us to stop it. Articles like these are abundant:

“7 Signs You Are an Overthinker”

“13 Strategies to Stop Overthinking”

“9 Tips to Overcome Overthinking”

The overthinker in me is starting to question the effectiveness of all this well-meaning advice. If it were that easy to stop, there can’t be so much of it still.

I can’t help but wonder if we are looking at overthinking too negatively. Could overthinking be a part of human nature that actually has …

Tips from a Former Addict: How I Made a Change for Good

I was a drug addict. Yes, I did it all. No, my childhood was not full of abuse, I was actually a pretty lucky kid, and I had it no worse and no better than anyone else, except for maybe some “daddy issues.”

I am not much for blame. I know who was smoking, sniffing, and popping, and it wasn’t the bad angel on my shoulder who made me do it, it was just me.

I can give you the exact reason why I started doing drugs. I was afraid to just be myself, simple enough. Everyone else’s thoughts …

How to Make Someone Smile: 10 Mindful Acts of Kindness

“The greatest gifts you can give someone are your time, your love, and your attention.” ~Unknown

The other day I saw this phrase on social media: “Spread kindness, not COVID-19.” And I started thinking about how kindness is contagious, which reminded me of a viral video I’ve always loved:

A skateboarding kid falls, and a construction worker helps him up. The kid then sees an elderly woman struggling with grocery bags and helps her carry them across the street. That woman then gives coins to a woman at a parking meter who’s rifling through her purse. And on and on …

The Key to Helping a Person Who Is Depressed

“Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems. Look for someone who won’t let you face them alone.” ~Unknown

Depression for me is like constantly walking up a hill.

Most of the time the hill has only a one percent gradient. You can hardly even tell it’s a hill. I walk, run, jump, skip along, doing cartwheels and stopping to smell pretty flowers and listen to bird-calls; it’s sunny and warm, with clear blue skies.

Even though I have to put in a little bit of effort to walk up, times are good.

And then something happens in …

How to Access Your Intuition by Listening to Your Favorite Music

“Sometimes music is the only thing that takes your mind off everything else.” ~Unknown

All major art forms can be a way to experience a deeper part of ourselves, but there is something unique about music. Perhaps it’s because music is a frequency with no physical form, so it can easily become a pathway to the formless realms of intuition and our higher selves or soul. We may never know for sure, but it is clear that music has a powerful effect.

I have had experiences of feeling whole, connected, and complete when listening to music. However, I was not …

Why They Wanted to Deny She Was Buddhist in Her Eulogy

“Live and let live.” ~Unknown

So there I was, sitting in front of the Zoom meeting, when it happened. The overwhelming grief just hit me like a freight train. And no matter how much emotional training I tried to dig into, or self-help tricks I tried to muster up, nothing could stop the train in that moment.

The emotions flooded over me and forced me to stop and break down with the simple, plain, beautiful, and powerful truth: I miss my friend.

I had been so busy in this new Covid world, gathering up pictures of her for her obituary, …

The Unexpected Impact of Growing Up with a Difficult Mother

“Difficulties in your life do not come to destroy you, but to help you realise your hidden potential and power, let difficulties know that you too are difficult.” ~Abdul Kalam

Do you sometimes daydream that your mom is gone, and all your troubles disappear along with her?

I used to imagine that, too.

When Mom was in intensive care, swaying between life and death, I sat outside, shell-shocked, trembling all over my body, trying to comprehend the doctor’s words: “Her condition is critical, and only time will show if she will make it. I’m sorry.”

For a moment, I …

How to Safely Enjoy the Pandemic Holidays

“Surreal” is the word that keeps coming to mind. Life has felt like an alternative universe for quite a while now, and it feels even stranger during the holiday season.

After a year of much sacrifice, reality is requiring us to forgo traditions we hold dear and distance ourselves from people we may feel we’ve already gone too long without seeing.

And many are navigating the season with a sense of grief—for lost loved ones, lost purpose, maybe even lost hope.

Maybe that’s not you. Maybe you are full of gratitude for everything you have, and now appreciate even …

Hate Your Life? 4 Ways to Boost Your Happiness

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” ~Desmond Tutu

I hate my life. Does this statement ring true to you at all? Do you feel like you’re at rock bottom? The good news is, it might not be as bad as you fear.

I spent a lot of time feeling afraid of everything.

I had an emotional collapse, and it made life suddenly seem terrifying. What had happened? Had the town I was living in changed? Had my country suddenly become different?

No, I had changed the filter through which I saw …

What to Do When You Can’t Seem to Love Yourself

“You’ll be amazed at what you attract when you start believing in what you deserve.” ~Unknown

You just need to love yourself more.

I’ve heard that advice so many times when I’ve felt rejected, inadequate, and not enough. And instead of that advice helping me, it has just made me feel even more rejected, inadequate, and not enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t angry at the person giving me the advice—I was angry with myself for not being able to love myself unconditionally.

It’s easier to feel love for yourself when things are going well. When …

How to Be Successfully Content with Your Life

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~Maya Angelou

Color within the lines. Math, physics and chemistry—there’s absolutely no point in taking drama. A main meal of straight A’s and a side order of volunteer work. A four-year degree with a “safe” major from a reputable college. Then comes the corner cubicle career at a listed company. What about the four-bedroom house and the annual holidays abroad? We can’t possibly forget about those things

All through life, from infancy to adulthood, we are told what it means to be successful. We are …

Shakya Handicraft: Buddha Statues, Tibetan Jewelry, Meditation Gifts, and More

As someone who appreciates handmade Buddhist gifts, and enjoys giving and receiving them around the holidays, I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to Shakya Handicraft.

They’re a group of Newari artisans—the aborigines of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal—that are keeping centuries of tradition alive by making beautiful Tibetan and Nepalese handicrafts.

All of their products such as Buddha statues, Thangka paintings, Tibetan jewelry and rugs, singing bowls, and meditation gifts are 100% handmade and can be customized—and blessed by a monk at the Jyatha Buddhist Monastery for an extra fee, which helps keep the monastery running.

At the

When Life Feels Too Hard: How to Mindfully Get Through the Day

NOTE: This post contains a giveaway – details at the bottom of the post!

“If today gets difficult, remember the smell of coffee, the way sunlight bounces off a window, the sound of your favorite person’s laugh, the feeling when a song you love comes on, the color of the sky at dusk, and that we are here to take care of each other.” ~Nanea Hoffman

I am currently exhausted. Absolutely beat. I’ve taken on more work than I can comfortably accomplish in my available time, I’ve been feeling under the weather for a while, and my eighteen-month-old son …

How Curiosity Can Improve Your Relationships and Your Life

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” ~Albert Einstein

When speaking to a parent recently, she said, “I have made it a rule that my kids read every day for an hour. There are no two ways about it. They now do it and it is great, but I have noticed that they have stopped asking questions, they have stopped being curious, and they look dull, and that bothers me.”

Strange that reading would dull their curiosity instead of sparking it. But beyond that, this conversation got me curious—about curiosity.

Why is it important to be curious? …

Calling Out Bullies: Why You Need to Stand Up for Yourself

“Standing up for yourself doesn’t make you argumentative. Sharing your feelings doesn’t make you overly sensitive. And saying no doesn’t make you uncaring or selfish. If someone won’t respect your feelings, needs, and boundaries, the problem isn’t you; it’s them.” ~Lori Deschene

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the main character Atticus Finch says, “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter …

5 Things You Need to Know If You’re Interested in Meditation

“The fruit of meditation is not the absence of thoughts, but the fact that thoughts cease to harm us.” ~Bokar Rinpoche

My inspiration to start meditating came from one of the most unlikely sources—a Star Wars movie.

When I saw the wise Jedi Master Yoda meditating, I thought that there had to be something more to this than merely sitting silently with your eyes closed.

Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to find out for myself.

That was over six years ago. Since then, my life has changed for the better in both subtle and …