“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.” ~Kristen Neff
The handsome man I was dating sat on the easy chair to tell a difficult story. We were in my loft, and he was avoiding eye contact. I studied the symmetry of his jaw as he spoke.
“I did something stupid,” he said.
I thought he was confiding in me. Maybe this intimacy would bring us closer. Maybe his eye had wandered but he was choosing me. I leaned in.…
“What if I accept that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life? A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough.” ~Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui
Why do we feel such pressure to dream big? I think it starts in childhood when parents, teachers, and other adults start asking the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
One of the many problems with this question is its premise. In the classroom, at church, at youth camp, at home, you are not alone, and you’re able to hear, understand, and internalize how others might answer this …
“Because if I myself saw my worth, I wouldn’t base my worthiness on someone else’s seeing it.” ~Unknown
I can’t be sure which title I would have preferred. Daddy, Poppa, Pa, Dad. Aren’t these the endearing titles one earns when they live up to all that it means in the role of the first and most important man in a little girl’s life?
The one who she can count on for love, guidance, comfort, and safety. The one who she adores. The one who teaches her how to play soccer or baseball because she is a tomboy through and through. …
“Meditation is choosing not to engage in the drama of the mind but elevating the mind to its highest potential.” ~Amit Ray
If you’re reading this and you follow Tiny Buddha, chances are you’re already intrigued by meditation and perhaps even practicing it. But if you’re anything like me, you might find it hard to be consistent, given the demands of your busy life. Which means you don’t always reap the benefits you know a sustained practice can provide (reduced stress, better sleep, and less emotional reactivity, to name a few).
As a mom of two who works from home, …
“If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.” ~Brené Brown
Did you know that one of the biggest causes of suffering is unacknowledged shame? It makes us believe that there’s something wrong with us and we’re not good enough.
When we have deep shame inside, instead of being true to ourselves, we “dress to impress” so others will like us, which eventually makes us tired, depressed, and anxious because …
“Conflict avoidance is not the hallmark of a good relationship. On the contrary, it is a symptom of serious problems and of poor communication.” ~Harriet B. Braiker
I walk on eggshells in my relationship. I have for the past ten years.
I try to design everything out of my mouth to lead to the least amount of friction between my wife and me. And you know what? It’s hurting our relationship.
You see, I’m afraid of confrontation. For me, confrontation leads to tension and tension can lead to stress and angst.
When I was a kid, tension, stress, and angst …
“Nothing shapes our journey through life so much as the questions we ask.” ~Greg Levoy
“My Way” by Frank Sinatra has been a bit of a soundtrack to my life. When it comes to my career path, I have opted more often than not for the alternative routes—studying and working abroad, setting up social projects, and being my own boss. This is something my friends still laugh at today, since my sole goal after graduation was to move back to my hometown, get a job, and never leave!
However, it turns out that it wasn’t a soundtrack that I was …
“You will never forget a person who came to you with a torch in the dark.” ~M. Rose
You never know the impact you might have on someone at any given moment.
It may be entirely unknown to you.
While people often look “fine” on the surface and out in public, many aren’t.
In fact, there are some who spend most of their time sitting curled up in a ball, waiting for the darkness they feel to close in on them, to swallow them whole.
A simple look, smile, text, or “hello” in the grocery line could be the …
For many of us, setting goals is easy. Bringing our visions to life is a lot more challenging. And since we inevitably encounter obstacles and self-doubt when we try to do anything new, it can be hard to stay focused, motivated, and confident in our potential and our dreams.
I remember back in my twenties, before I started Tiny Buddha, I set and abandoned goals countless times because I wasn’t clear on what would be meaningful for me personally. I just knew I felt behind in life and pressured to succeed, which made it hard to choose and stick to …
“The opposite of anger is not calmness. It’s empathy.” ~Mehmet Oz
In December last year, I went to India to study yoga and meditation. About a week into my training, I noticed I was becoming increasingly angry.
I thought that coming to this peaceful and supportive place would be all about gentle healing while perfecting my yoga practice. Instead, I was furious, very negative, and frustrated with everything.
Eventually, I talked to my teachers and shared what I was going through since I was becoming worried. They explained that since the training was intense and we were doing lots of …
“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” ~Mary Dunbar
“I don’t want to sit by Teresa. She doesn’t talk.”
I was ten years old and at a fundraising dinner for my travel softball team.
It was that dreaded moment after I had gotten my plate of chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans, and had to choose a seat at a big table.
I sat down next to my teammate who I looked up to. She was two years older than me. She was …
“It is not your responsibility to figure out what someone else is feeling and why. Let go of the illusion that ‘fixing’ their bad mood will make you feel better.” ~Sarah Crosby
Some years ago, I was talking to my husband on the phone. He sounded annoyed about something to do with his work, but I noticed an intense emotional reaction in myself. Immediately, my heart contracted and my stomach lurched. I could feel a runaway train of emotions activate within me.
My whole body was awash with nausea, and I felt so very uncomfortable.
This was a familiar and …
“Take care of your mind, your body will thank you. Take care of your body, your mind will thank you.” ~Debbie Hampton
4:00 p.m. I am suddenly aware of my heartbeat. It feels more insistent than normal. Is it faster? Is it jagged? Am I out of breath?
I try to reason with myself: I’ve just done a brisk walk pushing the stroller over some hills.
My anxiety responds: Those hills were awhile back… you wouldn’t be out of breath from that.
Anxiety sufferers have a heightened sense of, well, a lot of things. For me, I am acutely aware …
“A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.” ~Melody Beattie
From a young age, I felt insecure in my own skin. I was a highly sensitive child and, subsequently, struggled with low self-worth for most of my life.
Although I had many friends and a good family, I consistently looked for approval outside of myself. I grew up believing that the opinions of others were the only accurate representations of my core worth.
As a teenager, I witnessed the crumbling and eventual demise of …
“Deep in the forest I stroll to hear the wisdom of my soul.” ~Angie Weiland-Crosby
In October 2021, my partner and I embarked on a journey to summit Mt. St. Helens, an 8,263-foot active volcano in Washington State.
We have hiked thousands of miles across the United States, Costa Rica, and Mexico, but this was our first attempt at a summit hike. I was bubbling with excitement and nervousness!
Mt. St. Helen’s greeted us with grace and gentleness. The sky was clear, the views of Mt. Adams to the east were stunning, and the temperature was moderate.
We were chatting …
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” ~Marianne Williamson
When you hear the word “forgiveness,” what do you feel?
Forgiveness used to make me feel uncomfortable. I would physically contract when I thought about forgiving someone who hurt me. I felt like forgiving meant letting them off the hook while I was the one paying for their hurtful words and actions.
I would play a scene in my head about what it would look like for someone to apologize and admit to their wrongs… and only then would I be ready and …
“After you give so much of yourself to people over the years, one day you wake up and realize that you need someone to give to you too.” ~Sylvester McNutt
One of the biggest surprises I found on my self-care journey was how lonely I started to feel in the process, especially when I started to set boundaries with toxic people. At first, this loneliness had me questioning myself. I thought there must be something wrong with me, because I thought I was supposed to feel good and strong instead of scared and lonely when I did “the right thing.”…
“Growth is uncomfortable; you have to embrace the discomfort if you want to expand.” ~Jonathan Majors
Click, the camera lens shutters as I stand barefoot in mud, waist deep in cold river water with lilies all around me, wearing nothing but a lace cloth draped across my body. I’ll never forget how nervous I was the first time I was professionally photographed nearly naked. Something greater than my fear had called me to do it.
When I was growing up, my father was determined for me to model or act. I went to several model castings and auditions and was
“There is no greater wealth in this world than peace of mind.” ~Unknown
A few years ago, I had what could safely be deemed a “bad year.” My live-in partner left me out of the blue, I became un(der)employed and racked with debt, I got in a car accident that totaled my car, and then…my dog died.
After the year that I’d had, the death of that dog, my most treasured friend, was the final straw. It was the final straw for believing that things might turn around soon, and it was the final straw for my mental health.