“Intimacy is not purely physical, It’s the act of connecting with someone so deeply, you feel like you see into their soul.” ~Unknown
When we’re feeling disconnected and unfulfilled in our relationships, we often believe that we need something more from the other person.
We think that in order for us to be happy, the other person needs to be or do something different. While it may be true that sometimes there are some changes we need to make, oftentimes being happy and getting what we desire has more to do with our own awareness.
The problem is that …
“Pain makes you stronger. Fear makes you braver. Heartbreak makes you wiser.” ~Unknown
There I was, sitting in my lounge room, waiting for my girlfriend to return home.
We had just bought our first house together and had been living there for a week. It was a chaotic time, balancing moving, work, study commitments, and an obscene amount of renovations. However, the heartfelt joy of settling into our own place overshadowed the chaos.
Our new home held the dreams of a future life together. The thought of raising a family there filled my heart to the brim.
It was an …
“Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” ~Louise L. Hay
When I first began painting twenty years ago, I had no idea what self-love was. A few years prior, I thought I knew, but when I lost my health to chronic illness and could no longer do the things I used to be able to do, I lost my ability to love myself. This and my illness caused a deep depression, so I chose creating art as a way to lift my spirits.
In order to create uplifting art, I first had to …
Update – The winners for this giveaway are:
- D. Arturo Gutierrez
- Preston Cox
- Kathleen Han
If you’re anything like me, you may think that technology can be both a blessing and a curse.
Sometimes I lament that we now live in a world where tiny screens often hinder real-world engagement, and social media can create pressure to entertain an audience our peers by sensationalizing our everyday lives.
But then I remember that technology is just a tool, and its affects depend on how we use it. Sure, technology can create distance and exacerbate the struggle to be authentic, but it …
“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, and then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.” ~Jennifer Louden
I have always been really driven. I readily admit that I am an overachiever, and I have the capacity to burn the candle at both ends.
Following my dreams and creating what I imagine is my destiny takes work, real work, so I can easily spend way too many hours a day striving to bring my visions into reality.
I am hardwired to push …
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Neale Donald Walsch
Lights out. Eyes closed. We biked through an imaginary trail. Our guide shouted the magic word, “switch,” and we knew it was time. We began using our minds to visualize where we wanted to be.
I imagined biking down my favorite street in a city abroad.
I enjoyed feeling the bumpy ride on the uneven pavement, looking at the clothes line-drying from beautiful ancient buildings, smelling delicious aromas from local cafés, and listening to the different languages that people were speaking around me.
My heart felt full. I …
“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways—either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ~Dalai Lama
You’re overwhelmed and stressed by all the things that need to be done. All your best-laid plans for becoming a better version of yourself are feeling very tenuous at the moment.
You still want to be healthier, more present in your relationships, and able to appreciate and express gratitude for all the things you have instead of worrying about the things you don’t. But, you are strongly …
“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” ~John De Paola
You’re on the verge of burnout.
You’re unmotivated to perform even the simplest of tasks. You’re physically and emotionally isolated. Slight annoyances cause you to snap.
You may be blaming your work, other people, or circumstances. But if you dig a little deeper, you may be surprised to learn that your own choices have led to emotional exhaustion. This is good news because it means that you can alleviate your own pain without the permission or blessing of another person.
In my junior …
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~Jim Rohn
Every single one of us participates in behavior that we know has a negative or adverse effect on our well-being.
We also know that at some point we are going to have to stop these negative behaviors, because ultimately, they create bigger problems for us. However, most of us choose to wait until something breaks before we decide to take any action toward fixing a problem.
I waited to change my diet.
I waited until things got really bad and I was forced…
“I used to be afraid of the pain letting go of the past would cause, until I realized how much pain holding on has caused.” ~Steve Maraboli
Getting over the pain of a bad relationship is never easy.
Even when I finally felt more in control of my feelings, the pain from my past would still spill over into my present.
I would constantly compare my new partner to my ex who had torn my heart apart. Even though I had moved on from that relationship, I was too afraid to fully trust my new partner for …
“This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
I thought I went through my last breakup a few years ago. I thought I had paid my dues, cried my share of tears, and dealt with some deep wounds. I thought I was done. I was happy and in love, and talking about moving in with my boyfriend.
One day we took a little vacation. We laughed and explored the desert excitedly talking about our dreams. Three days later I found myself sobbing on the floor of my tub, …
“The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” ~Pema Chodron
At some point, there comes a defining moment when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you just can’t keep living the way you’ve been living.
You know that something has got to give and realize that you only have two options—either change or stay the same.
The idea of having to choose either one of those options feels absolutely unbearable, so you find yourself trapped between the two, in this awful purgatory of indecision.
That’s exactly where I was trapped: …
“You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.” ~JK Rowling
Sometimes the last thing we want to do is feel our feelings. Because feeling can hurt.
Feeling can make you cry in the laundromat.
Feeling can make your face unattractively red in the frozen food aisle.
Feeling can make you think this whole being human racket is not the best way to spend your time.
If you’ve been stuffing your feelings back into your rib cage whenever they try to break for the light, this is especially true. I know, …
UPDATE – The winners for this giveaway are:
When I was in my early twenties, I spent three months in a residential treatment center in a last-ditch effort to heal from depression and bulimia. Among many different treatment modalities, I participated in an experiential therapy that involved a ropes course and other adventure activities.
One day, along with a dozen other frail women, I strapped a backpack full of tennis balls on my back and climbed to the top of a rock wall. It was hard enough to walk on some days; getting to the top with …
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~Jack Canfield
When I was in my twenties, I was confident and fearless, and I lived life to the fullest.
I remember going on vacation, and one of my friends was terrified to get on the plane. We had a four-hour flight ahead of us, and I thought her anxiety and fear of flying were ridiculous.
I thought she was being pathetic and selfish, and spoiling it for everyone else. I remember having a ‘quiet word’ with her and berating her for talking absolute nonsense. I had no empathy or …
“If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don’t be afraid. Be alive.” ~Sarah Dessen
Sometimes it takes a traumatic experience to make us face our fears and start living the life we truly desire.
I spent many years letting fear hold me back from pursuing my dreams. I was afraid that I would not be good enough, strong enough, or smart enough to accomplish the big goals I had for myself. I didn’t think I was …
“We’re here for such a short period of time. Live like you’re already dead, man. Have a good time. Do your best. Let it all come ripping right through you.” ~Jeff Bridges
Yesterday, a Chinese exchange student we hosted two years ago texted to let me know her mother would like to invite my family to visit them in Nanjing—and she would pay for our plane tickets and let us stay at their vacation home.
Of course I told everyone I know (I mean, China! C’mon!) and they all said, “You’re so lucky!” And it’s true, we are lucky.
“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” ~Jill Botte Taylor
I used to be a stress bunny. Something was always driving me to want to do better—to be more, to have more, to compete and win at everything.
I thrived on pushing myself, thinking achievement was a great thing.
I was also restless. I always had to be going somewhere—doing something—never sitting still. I was bored, frustrated, and trying to find happiness …
“The limit is not in the sky. The limit is the mind.” ~Unknown
I was having a conversation with a friend. She was telling me how maybe I should quit my writing and focus on something that wasn’t so challenging for me; that I should accept my limits and work within those boundaries. Her words made me cringe.
You see, I am dyslexic and I struggled greatly to write this story down. I am probably going to read it twenty times and will still have many mistakes that need editing.
My job is a daily struggle, and sometimes I break …
“Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” ~Oscar Wilde
Does the race for riches leave you unfulfilled?
Does the thought of constantly chasing ever more cash leave you stressed, depressed even?
Does the whole idea of measuring your personal worth in terms of your personal wealth leave you deeply dissatisfied?
It did for me.
Poor in possessions and somewhat fiscally challenged, I never fit in with my richer friends.
And no matter how much I told myself that money didn’t buy happiness, I still felt …