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How to Know If You Should Speak Your Mind

“Integrity isn’t a morality issue; it’s an energy issue.”  ~Gay Hendricks

One of the biggest questions I, and many other people I know, face as we go about our days is this: When is it worthwhile to speak our minds, and when should we keep our thoughts to ourselves?

There are usually both good reasons and bad reasons for speaking out or remaining silent, so how do we know which is which? It all comes down to our own energy, and that is something we can learn how to discern.

Integrity means a feeling of wholeness, or being of one …

If You Think You’re Not Good Enough to Pursue Your Passion

“I think something people need to understand is that others disliking you is not a bad thing. When you are embodying your true authentic self, it creates fear in people who still operate from the ego. If you want to grow, heal, and evolve you have to let go of wanting to be liked.” ~Audrey Kitching

Since I was a child, I have always felt a huge need to express myself and let my inspiration flow. I was a creative and playful kid, with a vivid imagination and an enormous passion for writing.

As a teenager, I became interested in …

5 Meditation “Mistakes” That Increase Our Suffering

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.” ~Shunryu Suzuki

So many of us come to meditation through our suffering. Nearly everyone who has come to walk the spiritual path can spin a tale of sorrow, frustration, and often devastation. Through our life struggles and difficulties, we become conditioned into habitual patternings of mind that seem to offer us no escape, and often turn to meditation to find relief.

I always say that anxiety was my …

What Helps Me Get Strong When Life Gets Hard

“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.” ~Marcus Aurelius

In 2016 I was about to graduate with high honors from a top university. I had mastered Mandarin. Eleven months before graduation, I had secured a job from a reputable accounting firm. I was in a stable relationship with one of the most gorgeous girls on campus. Life doesn’t get any better than this for an international student 1o,000 miles away from home.

Slowly, things began to change. Three months before …

How to Let Go of Your Family’s Expectations and Be Who You Want to Be

My parents often spoke about coming to America from Nigeria with one portmanteau.

I imagine that their suitcase was filled with their hopes, dreams, and expectations, and in many ways, I feel like I was metaphorically handed this suitcase of desires and things the day I was born. It would now be my load to carry and make sense of.

But when I opened that portmanteau, I realized that the clothes didn’t quite fit, and there were notebooks full of expectations I would never meet.

Although I had a reverence for this great object and the hands that had …

How to Audit Your Life by Asking the Right Questions

“Don’t let your fear paralyze you. The scariest paths often lead to the most exciting places.” ~Lori Deschene

I first learned about the concept of focus creating reality in 2004 when I was given William Whitecloud’s book The Magician’s Way.

The first chapter is about the main character having a magic golf lesson. He learns that when people play golf, most of them think about how to hold the golf club, how to stand, and how to move the club. He calls this the “swing circle” and recounts how golfers often get caught there, rather than just focusing on …

The Art of Self-Soothing: How to Make Resilience More Sustainable

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~Micheal Jordan 

I believe that self-soothing is the key to accessing all happiness and success. All things being equal, when someone is able to self-soothe, they are more resourceful and more powerful than those who haven’t learned that skill yet. Here’s why.  

Great success (whether professional or personal) comes with a great deal of responsibility. That …

What You Need to Do If You Feel Overwhelmed

“You are worth the quiet moment, you are worth the deeper breath. You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest.” ~ Morgan Harper Nichols

I want to talk about overwhelm, which is something I suspect I’m not alone in dealing with, especially given our current global situation.

Even before the pandemic struck, I was on the edge of overwhelm. I live with two autoimmune conditions—rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia—both of which cause me to have health issues when I’m stressed out.

I started the year completely stressed out, thanks to a new health condition …

How to Release Your Attachment When You Can’t Let Someone Go

I’m gonna be honest here, I can honestly say that I’ve never had any cords of attachment to a person, place, or thing—that is, until recently. This cord crippled me and broke me down to a point where I questioned who I was and my own personal strength.

I think before I tell my story it’s important to know what exactly a cord of attachment is and how it can hurt you. A lot.

Afterward, I’ll tell you why cutting cords is not very effective and what you need to do instead.

What is a Cord of Attachment?

People come …

How Self-Care Can Actually Save the Planet

“Take care of the earth and she will take care of you.” ~Unknown

The morning the sky turned red and the sun didn’t come out, I decided I wanted to sell my car. In a strange way, it seemed like an ultimate act of self-care.

Mind you, my wife and I are a two-car family and neither of us commute in the traffic-clogged Bay Area. So losing a car wouldn’t be a hardship. Instead, it would be a frank statement of living my values. A way to stage my own protest and live true.

I now understand this is …

A Love Note to Introverts: 10 Superpowers That Make You Amazing

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside, awakens.” ~Carl Jung

Dear Introvert,

We live in an extraverted world, one that is not always kind to introverts. You may be that introvert who was bullied because you were quiet, or who felt as though you never fit in. Maybe you used food, alcohol, or substances to numb the pain, which created its own set of problems.

First and foremost, know that you are perfect as you are.

Being introverted doesn’t make you weird, awkward, anti-social, or too sensitive. …

How to Best Comfort Someone Who’s Grieving

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene

Compassion is one of humanity’s greatest gifts. During times of suffering, such as following the death of a loved one, sufferers rely on the empathy of others to survive their ordeal. Yet, too often when someone is grieving, we do little more than offer an “I am sorry for your loss” because we are fearful of accidentally increasing their pain.

Speaking as someone who lost her husband unexpectedly after just over three years of marriage—and who has counseled many people …

Strong and Vulnerable: How I Learned to Let People In

“Vulnerability is hard. And it’s scary, and it feels dangerous. But it’s not as hard, scary, or dangerous as getting to the end of our lives and having to ask ourselves, ’What if I would have shown up?’” ~Brené Brown

January – 2012

I remember sitting in a small, dark room waiting for the surgeon to arrive.

My son had just had major surgery to treat a complex condition that had cost him his small bowel, and it had taken much longer than expected.

My stomach felt tense as the surgeon sat in the chair opposite us.

He looked at …

3 Ways My Anxiety Has Helped Me Love Better

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” ~Dr. Stephen Hawking

I have wonderful family and friends and have always hoped that I would pass along a helpful legacy. Lessons for them to remember, memories to smile about, and love to lean into during hard times. For years, though, it seemed like the biggest thing I was passing down to my exhausted wife, flustered and at times terrified kids, and friends was my struggles with anxiety.

As my anxiety grew and the panic attacks came, I grew apart from those I needed the most. Hard for a son and wife to connect …

How to Befriend Our Unhealthy Survival Mechanisms

“Wounded children have a rage, a sense of failed justice that burns in their souls. What do they do with that rage? Since they would never harm another, they turn that rage inward. They become the target of their own rage.” ~Woody Haiken

Survival mechanisms are ways of being that we picked up along the way to help us cope with what was happening in our reality.

Getting mad at ourselves for doing what we do only promotes self-hate. We’re not bad or wrong; in fact, we’re pretty damn intelligent. We found ways to help us soothe our traumas, hurt, …

How Redundancy Can Be a Blessing in Disguise

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” ~Thomas Jefferson

To most people, redundancy is a dreaded word.

It conjures up thoughts of hardship, of scarcity, and of struggling to make ends meet.

I have twice been made redundant, and at both times, it was difficult to accept.

Throughout the redundancy process, and for some time afterward, my emotions were all over the place, making it difficult for me to think straight.

But I’ve discovered that when we’re able to look back, we can sometimes see that redundancy might not …

What You Need to Hear If You Work Yourself to the Bone

“Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and trust that in this moment, who you are, where you are at, and what you are doing is enough. You will get to where you need to be in your own time. Until then, breathe. Breathe and be patient with yourself and your process. You are doing the best you can to cope and survive amid your struggles, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. It’s enough. You are enough.” ~Daniell Koepke

A couple years ago, a colleague of mine died from overwork.

In the days leading …

Free Online Collective Trauma Summit (Starts 9/22)

When I started Tiny Buddha, one of my main goals was to help us all heal the traumas that haunt us and hold us back in life. In much the same way that our personal traumas hinder us each individually, our collective trauma adversely affects the whole world. And healing that trauma is critical for the future of humanity and the planet.

If, like me, you want to do your part to help us all heal the wounds that are passed down through generations, I highly recommend checking out the Collective Trauma Summit, a free, 10-day online event starting …

Why It’s Okay Not to Have Everything Under Control

“Relax. Nothing is under control.” ~Adi Da Samraj

This has been an incredibly difficult, stressful, and uncertain year for me, as it has been for most people.

If I was told a year ago that in 2020, my work hours as a healthcare professional would be reduced, I would be quarantined for months in a small one-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend of seven months, I’d gain fifteen pounds in a few months, and I wouldn’t be able to travel to other countries, I would have rolled my eyes, laughed in disbelief, and thought to myself whoever is delivering this information …

What You Need to Know About Motherhood If You Feel Lost

“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed.” ~Linda Wooten

It was October of 2016 and there I was staring at the wall after yet another sleepless night, nursing my one-year-old, and feeling like a total failure because this motherhood thing still didn’t feel at all natural to me. Why couldn’t I tap easily into my motherly instinct? Why did I feel that, instead of completing me, becoming a mom was actually making me fall apart?

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. It was a …