Stop Trying to Fix Yourself and Start Enjoying Your Life


“You think that the goal is to be over there, and we say the goal is the journey over there; the goal is the fun you have along the way on your way to over there.” ~Abraham

I have a clear memory of my mother looking at my bookshelves several years ago and commenting, “You’re always reading all these self-help books, and where has it gotten you?”

I responded with a quip about how I’ll always be working to align my personality with my soul, to which she scoffed and said, “When will you grow up and realize you have a great life, a great job, and great friends—and just enjoy it?!”

Of course, all I heard was “When are you going to grow up?” Her point, however, was a wise one: Just enjoy your life. She made a similar comment a couple of years later.

I had just been told the place I was living was going to be turned into an art studio for my landlady. Thankfully, she gave me two months notice to find a new place. But man, I loved my cinder block house on the river and was crushed by the news.

I called my mom in tears. I complained about how I’d never find someplace else so wonderful and how unhappy things were with my job. I talked about wanting to just sell everything I owned and take a walkabout.

Mom didn’t say a lot at the time. However, when I got up the next morning I had a long email from her. My favorite paragraph is this one:

Shannon, you should stop buying all that self-help crap and going off to retreats to find yourself. You are not perfect, never will be, and no one in the world is either. You make mistakes; we all do. Just live with it. You are a warm, intelligent woman—just live the best honest life you can.

All of my self-help books and years of spiritual study, and my mom nailed it in one simple paragraph. Granted, her delivery could use some work, but the essence of what she wrote was right on. Again.

I will, of course, continue to read personal development books and go on personal retreats. However, I no longer do those things because I think something was wrong with me. Now, I do them because I love myself.

However, I think the best message here is to just live the best honest life we can and let that be enough.

For the majority of my life, I’ve spent massive amounts of time beating up on myself. My inner critic is a loud and obnoxious voice that has seemed unstoppable. My biggest judgment of myself has been how I tend to “slumber” and “awaken” in my consciousness.

For example, when I was on a personal retreat in the mountains this summer, I was really feeling inspired, in the flow, and motivated to become a successful writer and speaker. I was excited about this new life I am creating and about feeling fully conscious again. I was sure I was going to maintain my awareness.

Then I came down off the mountain. Once back to the routine of my everyday life, I easily slipped back into distraction. I stopped meditating every day. I played computer games instead of writing. I vegged out to my favorite show on Netflix.

Once again, my inner critic rose up and I started to get really down on myself. It’s ironic that what inspired me to get out of my funk was my own voice recording from when I had been on retreat. Listening to it, I was reminded that slumbering and awakening are just a part of life.

I heard myself say, “When we do stumble, when we do fall, when we are capsized, we learn to have compassion and simply laugh at our humanness.”

I’ve realized it’s so easy for me to get caught up in this idea that I need to be perfect. If I only drink enough green smoothies, go to yoga class, and chant an hour each day, then I can be happy. However, the minute I skip some part of this self-imposed regimen, I beat myself up and feel like a total failure.

Life is about slumbering and awakening. It’s about falling off the wagon, the exercise routine, the diet, the spiritual practice. Anyone who appears to always be perfectly aligned is most likely not being fully authentic. We are human, and this is what being human means.

My dear mother, at age eighty-three, has got this message without having read or studied any of the numerous discourses on this subject. She just enjoys her life.

At the end of the day, what is most important is how we answer the question: Were we kind to one another? And, equally important, were we kind to ourselves?

People jumping image via Shutterstock

About Shannon Crane

Shannon Crane is a writer and speaker passionate about sharing how one's focus, feelings and perspective influence the quality of life. She has developed an eight-step process to changing focus, getting in touch with the body wisdom, and seeing things from a soul perspective. You can join her Facebook community or connect with her at

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  • aspiring_buddhist

    I think you meant “scoffed” not “scuffed”. Look it up.

  • Louis Anth

    This is spot on. I think that I expect myself to mediate, drink vinegar, and more in the morning otherwise I can’t be happy. That’s wrong. I also for some reason, don’t like the night. I force myself that if I don’t go to bed early then tomorrow won’t be great…

    I need to stop this. I need to just be and live with everything in great glory.

    Thank you.

  • Bhub

    Typos happen. No biggie.

  • YES! You are correct! I think subconsciously my soul feels scuffed when mom talks to me that way so maybe that’s why I made the error! LOL!!

  • Thanks! 😉

  • Hi, Louis – thanks for your comments. I’d advise about making yourself wrong in anything … I think in many ways there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – so much of life is the meanings we assign to things. Being gentle with ourselves is a huge part of what I’m learning. One thing that has helped me is to get into my observer mind and when I hear my inner critic to just lovingly turn my attention to that voice in my head and say “Thank you for trying to help. I really appreciate how you want what’s best for me but that’s not helpful. What can we do together that might work?” When I engage in a loving way with the part of me that is my inner critic, rather than trying to push it away or believe it, that part of me ends up transforming. Live and be with where you are and love yourself with a gentleness like you would a small child! 🙂

  • Talya Price

    We all put restrictions and rule upon ourselves. I have felt the same as you. “I should be meditating every morning, I should not drink booze, I should drink more water, I should say affirmations everyday all day.” I am human, and I f..k up like that next person And I for one am tired of all these self-help books. No book is going to teach me how to help myself. I have to do it myself. No one needs to be fixed. We are fine the way we are right now. Just my opinion.

  • Fab post! I jumped in my seat when I got to your mom’s email beginning with ‘Shannon…’ bc we share the same name! I too had that wake up call… to much searching to fix, and not enough celebrating of ME! I’ve also made the shift, and I am grateful for doing so… and maybe I’ll see you at a retreat someday bc I do really love those (bc I love me!)

  • Jaideep

    I am not a regular reader, but One thing I can say with confidence is that, it helps oneself to move ahead in whatever endeavor they’re pursuing. This Article really helped me get out of current chaos of work & like you said, continuously focusing on self-improvement.

    I am also not sure what it will be like after few hours or the next day, but I am feeling relaxed now. The thing I liked most about this article is that there are a lot of things in common among us (me and Author), for eg. yoga, meditation, self-help books, following a path which is close to perfect, and obviously we face more failures than success.

    I hope just not to entangle myself in fixing my habits, instead would enjoy them. Good Day !!
    Love All

  • ccrgirl

    Love every word you wrote 🙂

  • Rose

    I had to laugh because my 11 year old daughter told me pretty much the same thing.”Why do you read those kinds of books Mom?” Mom: What do you suggest I do? “Mom, Just LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!”

    She loves it when sees me reading fiction…

  • Juice

    @Aspiring Buddhist. Talk about perfectionism . Shannon this was a great story. Im a recovering addict, and I work the 12 Steps and believe in them. But at some point, l need to stop trying to reach some spiritual nirvana, and enjoy living. But, i wouldnt have 10 years clean without all of that searching.

  • Lili

    Thank you for this.

  • Patricia Barnes Milland

    Just what I needed to hear!!!

  • Hi, Talya – yes, the delicate balance of loving ourselves right as we are and knowing we are perfect while simultaneously continuing our journey to being the very best person we can be (as if there is anything better – LOL) is actually a great paradox! I love personal growth … so will always continue this journey of expansion. My mom’s wisdom is so spot on because she reminds me it’s the journey and not the destination!

  • Yes!

  • Jaideep – wow, thanks for responding!! Taking action is HUGE … and it’s the 8th step in this 8-step process I’ve developed to helping us change focus, get in touch with our body wisdom and see things from a soul perspective. My heart is warmed that by reading what I wrote you experienced a feeling of peace and relaxation. What gave me one of my big “ah ha’s” this year was my realization and acceptance that we WILL “slumber” again … so chances are you may return to the stress and chaos (maybe even by the time you read this) … But as we learn to return our attention to our “awakening” without judgment (and our remembrance that all is well etc.), we will find that our periods of peace start expanding.

    How we interpret things is HUGE and that’s a big part of my message. You wrote “obviously we face more failures than success” and I’d say – why interpret ANYTHING in our lives as failure? Everything is here to help us learn and grow so choose a perspective that brings you joy!!

    And heck, by that same note – if you chose a different perspective then that’s okay too! LOL!! Thanks for commenting!!

  • Shannon – WONDERFUL! Yes, funny when we have that jump in our seat experience!! The thing I’ve found is that this message is one I have to remind myself of on a continual basis because it is SO EASY to get caught back up in the illusion. I’m finding as I practice paying attention to my thoughts and choosing my perspective, it becomes easier and my life just keeps getting better!!

    Yes, hope to see you at a retreat!! That would be fabulous! 🙂

  • Lili – thank you for taking the time to thank me! It’s amazing how wonderful it feels to know that people can relate to my message!

  • Rose – that is too funny! Kids can have some great wisdom, can’t they?! I haven’t read a fiction book in the longest time!! I’m really trying not to keep buying more and more personal development books because I’m finally at an age where I’m seeing that the message is all the same and I’m finally getting it … but darned if it’s not kinda cool to read it told from a different angle, right? *smile*

  • Juice – yes! I hear you!! Congratulations on your 10 years!! I totally agree I wouldn’t be where I am today without having read all those books and studied all the personal development and spiritual teachers … AND I find myself still feeling like there is some “end point” where I’ll reach that spiritual nirvana. Like every year I make a resolution to start meditating more or eating right etc. As if I think by doing those things I will be happy or happier. I’m finally learning to be happy right here right now … doing whatever I am doing!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Bullyinglte

    One of the things we all must learn is that our inner critic is not who we are. We spend inordinate amounts of time beating ourselves up over the past, which can never be revisited (except in the movies) and never be changed. It must be accepted. I think it’s a great idea to record yourself when you are at your most positive. Then when you forget that life is good during your “low” times, you can play your recording and hopefully spark your return to your positive self. Thank you for sharing, Shannon.

  • God bless your mom for keeping it real and God bless you for being you!!!!

  • Bullyinglte – I have been fascinated in the last several years with the work of Dr. Richard Schwartz and the Internal Family Systems Model … Ann Cornell has taken this work and used it in a process she has called Focusing which has one place their hand on their heart and say “I am sensing a part of me that feels _____ … and I am saying hello.” This learning to work with the various parts of ourselves can be incredibly healing and valuable – and you are so right that the inner critic is not who we are! Thank you for commenting!

  • I am glad it resonated! 🙂

  • Thank you! My mom really doesn’t get any of this “woo woo” stuff I live but that’s okay … I so value her wisdom!!

  • Love the post, Shannon.

    One of my clients was stuck in a similar spiral of trying to heal from a chronic illness. She spent so much time going to workshops, healers and readings books about healing, that all of that time and energy got in the way of her enjoying herself. Eventually, she ditched the self-healing themes and threw herself back into her hobbies and social life. I think that gave her the strength and support system to cope with it all. Reiki Hugs, Regina

  • Regina – great story about your client – thanks for sharing!! Where we put our focus is SO important … and placing it on happiness and joy is the most healing thing of all! Of course I suspect your Reiki helped a lot too! 😉 <3

  • Thank you for this, and for your article. I enjoyed the article, and really took in every word of it. There’s something so warm and… *real* in your words. I never have experienced this while reading something someone else wrote, but there really is something about your article. Just can’t exactly put my finger on it, but you really get a sense of warmth and truth reading it. Very strange, but I loved it! I guess it just really “spoke to me,” as people sometimes say.

    Anyways, beautiful job! And thank you for also sharing that technique in the comment above. I tried that on myself before I started replying here! I have been feeling this anxiety and stress surrounding a couple of different areas I’m dealing with right now, so I will be using this (as well as the technique of simply “sending” the situation unconditional love) to try and release the negative worries/anxiety and feelings about it. I hope it will help soon. I don’t normally have such trouble releasing negative thoughts and stuff that hinder a situation in my life, so this is a tough one! 😉

    Thanks once again for such valuable advice. If you happen to know of any more ‘techniques’ or have suggestions that would help a situation where you just feel “stuck” and like you can’t get things to work out for you, I’d be forever grateful to hear those!

  • Debo

    This is an awesome post. Just what the doctor recommended. It was my self criticism that led me to your post. I totally love your mom’s advice. Give her a kiss for me.

  • Laurence

    You’ve made a very important and memorable epiphany that you are already enough.

    The way I see it is, I am always looking to move more towards how I want to best live my life and how I want to show up in life and “be in” and “do” life. That does NOT mean improving myself – I WILL ALWAYS BE PERFECT NO MATTER WHAT! (Not ‘perfect’ in a flimsy conceptual sense, ‘perfect’ in a much deeper, richer and REAL sense – perfect in that I am exactly how I am in each moment and that is how things are.) It means changing to be more like what I want to be.

    There’s a difference between fixing something that doesn’t work, and changing something that does because you want to have a slightly different thing.

  • Maria-LA

    Thanks Shannon for simplifying my weird stuck feeling. It is really weird how one can always want to be better, do better and not knowing that happiness is there all along. I keep telling myself I just want to be happy. I keep setting new goals in hope of finding happiness. I will focus on the journey not the destination. Thanks again it really hit home!

  • Debo – your comment brought a big smile to my face! My mom would totally scoff (correct spelling here) at your big kiss but I will be sure to mention it the next time I chat with her – which I suspect will be today! 🙂

    I will also say that the biggest transformation I have had with my self-critic has been when I recognized it as a part of me that wanted to help but just doesn’t know how – so be sure to thank that part of you for leading you here today! Don’t forget: what we resist, persists!

  • Laurence – wow, really great summary of the paradox! Love it! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  • Kendra – thank you SO MUCH – I answered you yesterday but tried to put a link in my reply which held it up … so I wanted to go ahead and answer again to let you know how much your words meant to me. There is a lot on my blog (link from my website above or my Facebook page) including a great suggestion from Pema Chodron : look for the blog titled TGIF: Transforming Fear. <3

  • OMG – you sound so much like me. Every year I’d tell myself if I’d just meditate more, drink less, eat better, etc. etc. I’d be happy. Well, now I don’t drink, eat well and meditate more than I used to … but there is still that sense there is some place I will ‘arrive’. Happiness is a state of mind … not a destination! 😉 Glad you’re getting it too!

  • Jaideep

    LOL!! I din’t realized I contradicted myself by that sentence.. :P. Yes, indeed why interpret anything. let it be the way it is. Today, I was too tired and was sleeping most of the time in office, just did a little work and I told my boss frankly about it. It relaxed me.. I’m just calm now.. 🙂 Thank you for replying !! 🙂
    Love all.

  • Aw, thanks so much for taking your time to reply! That was awesome. It looks like your first reply did show up. Thanks so much for sharing the link to help me with the question I had. Major thank you for taking the time to respond to all your comments like that. Wow! 🙂

  • It is my pleasure to respond and know I am making a difference!!

  • 🙂 I read your article that you linked to earlier! And several others on your site while I was at it. I have to say, you’re one very skilled writer and person to be able to share the information that’s so amazingly useful in such a way that it totally makes sense, and speaks on such a deep level to the reader! I was completely enthralled with every article I read, and the first one about fear was absolutely what I needed! Thank you so much, and also thank you for sharing the technique for free! I often search for helpful techniques for virtually every issue I encounter in life, and it’s not often that I find free information, especially in this field. It’s quite often that I’ll feel stressed and go in search online for answers to help me release or find comfort or something that helps, and 9 times out of 10, I spend an hour reading long posts (or worse, watching videos) that promise to share a “tip” on how to do this or how to fix that, yet by the time I reach the end of the article or video, the helpful “tip” or advice was never even shared. Instead, I waste all that time just to get a “buy now to learn the secret…” type of message! Lol.

    Not that I blame experts for wanting *some* kind of profit from sharing some “secret” they have that will help people, but still. It can be so discouraging. Anyways, the point of that rant was to say how grateful I am to you for just sharing it all up front!

    I found the technique you shared “Stay… Stay… Stay” so helpful! Who knew something so simple could really put everything into a new perspective, and so quickly! I started using that right away when I read about it on your site. Then, I spent some time really embedding it into my brain so that I can use it when the worries come up! I know this will be so handy for me. A lot of times things will be running so smoothly and wham! A worrisome thought or fear will pop up and sometimes even stick with me the entire day, making it hard to enjoy anything.
    My biggest “problem” (for lack of a better word), is letting worries get to me to the point of me talking myself into believing that a simple worry about what *could* happen has already happened and I am just doomed. Lol. Eventually, I’ll get myself straightened back out and I’ll see that the worry, the fear and the possibility of the fears coming true were nothing to even be concerned over! Just little fears that I allow to manifest into beliefs that the “bad thing” I’m afraid of will actually happen. Lol.

    Whew. I guess we can really let our minds get the best of us if we aren’t careful. But, allowing little could-be’s turn into huge problems (even though the could-be’s haven’t even occurred!) has been my toughest struggle for years, so finally getting something that will help prevent me from taking a little bitty worry that far is something I’m forever grateful to you for! And I feel pretty excited just knowing that now, when and if they do show back up, I have a tool to use, to be able to *do something* about it instead of feel hopeless over it.

    Wow, I did not intend to give you another comment to have to read! Yikes. I got a little overly excited there. Thank you again for all your help! I subscribed to your site earlier today and am genuinely looking forward to learning more from you. You would make a wonderful “coach” or teacher in this niche, by the way! 🙂

    Lots of blessings,

  • Thanks again, Kendra!! If you can call in for my intro class on February 17 I’ll be talking about 8-steps you can use to help really start transforming your focus and thoughts … yes, I want folks to sign up for a paid 8-week class, but the free introduction will cover all the basics and should be valuable in itself! You can find the link on my yourlifeperspective website!

  • Great post shannon and I couldn’t agree more. It’s just hard to actually let go an enjoy yourself isn’t it but the more you do it the easier it gets.

  • Thanks for your comment! Yes, it can be difficult to let go and enjoy life … I’m finding a big shift is happening as I learn to work with my Inner Critic and love myself!! I’ll be writing more about this soon!

  • YW. Same here. I’m noticing my inner critic wins the most when I am tired and realising this is helping me ignore it more because it’s often the tiredness talking.

  • Ignoring the inner critic will actually lead to more distractions and actions that the inner critic will later rail on us about … I’m about to submit an article titled “Letter to my Inner Critic” which talks about turning our thoughts and focus TO the inner critic and lovingingly engaging this part of us with an understanding that it is trying to help us do better or be better – just doesn’t know how to go about that so when you respond to the voice with a “yes, maybe so but that’s not helpful and I need your help so what can we do together to make this work?” sort of thing it’s amazing the transformations that start to happen. This is too short of a space to go into it but that’s the general idea.

  • Thank you for your wonderful article Shannon. I’ve spent a ton of time reading self-development books, attending courses and workshops. This year I decided that I would take a break and just practice. I have all this amazing knowledge but it hadn’t yet settled in my heart. So this year I’m taking my own good advice and just being with what is. Thank you again for sharing your truth. I resonated with a lot of it.

  • Jennifer – Goodness you sound just like me … that whole feeling like it hadn’t settled into my heart. The last 5-6 months I’ve finally realized I DO have all the knowledge and wisdom inside me. I DO know this information/wisdom and I no longer need to look outside myself for it. Big shifts happening as a result. Working with my inner critic has resulted in a major shift for me. I plan to be publishing some more writings about this soon so keep in touch!

  • April

    I’m a total perfectionist with everything I do, which is why I procrastinate a lot because if it’s not perfect it’s not worth doing. I’ve been recently thinking about how I’m imperfect and that we all are but we keep living our lives anyway even when we make a wrong turn, make a wrong choice, say the wrong thing. I usually beat myself up whenever I screw something up or disappoint someone but this article validated what I’ve been brewing in my mind lately about imperfection and that everyone is imperfect and that’s OK. This article resonates with me, great post 🙂

  • Thanks, April!! Really glad it was helpful. You may want to follow me as I’m planning on posting quite a bit more about the inner critic … I’ve been the queen at beating myself up almost my entire life and am just now beginning to change that dynamic! And yeah, we are all imperfectly perfect! 🙂

  • Lynda

    Really enjoyed your article, Shannon. Thank you for spending some one on one time with me, I value our connection and your ability to “see” and reveal some real truths that I had been missing. I am excited for your free class on Feb 17…will be tuning in for sure!!!

  • Lynda – THANKS! I believe we are all teachers for one another and appreciate the opportunity to learn from you as well! Glad you’ll be joining me for an overview of the 8-steps to help get off auto-pilot on 2/17! 🙂

  • Pri

    I often find myself thinking the exact same thing. I feel like we are so often aiming for perfection that we lose sight of what’s actually important. Great advice from your mum! I still often slip into that mind set of wanting everything to be perfect, but I just have to pull back and remind myself, it’s the journey, not the destination! Great advice!

  • Thanks, Pri – I think we most of us in the field of self-improvement are so busy trying to be better or do better that we forget sometimes to be easy on ourselves and enjoy the journey!! Happy to be sharing it with you here in this forum!

  • Callie mccormack

    loved that – thank you.

  • Thank you, Callie!

  • Lori penman

    I don’t know if this is the right site for me. I’m trying to get my life together, but I have a son 30 years old divorced 4 kids, been in out of jail. And was herion bad, I’m engaged now after 4 failed marriages, but I can’t go on with my life cause son won’t let me. I lost my job of 17 yrs. I feel lost and out of touch with everything. With no help. I’m getting more and more depressed trying to please everyone.

  • Lori, you are not alone. I know so many people struggling with some of the same issues and my heart goes out to you. No one controls your life but you, however taking your power back is a process and learning what pleases YOU first so you can give to others with boundaries and as an extension of yourself, not at the expense of yourself is something that can be learned. Please lean on the support of those around you and see if you can find someone to talk to in order to work through what you’re feeling. Life is full of magic when we take time to find it. Sending you a big hug and lots of love & light!

  • TransGeoMine Tube

    you make this articale have you ever have a hole in your whole life huh if you don’t why do you dare to make this articale

  • Trust me, I have had more holes throughout my whole life than I can count … my growth has come through a tremendous about of pain and suffering: which has all helped me become a more compassionate person. I wrote this article because I’ve realized that beating myself up doesn’t change a thing. As I learn to have compassion for myself, I begin to make the changes I want in my life in a gentle and loving way. I am sorry for your pain.

  • Dallas Stevens

    This is a wonderful post! I love how you related to your Mother’s words and how they made sense at some point. Persistence not Perfection!

  • Thank you, Dallas. I’m always amazed at my mother’s wisdom and at the wisdom I gain from being around my mother! 🙂

  • GodsChick

    Most of the time I’m just struggling with my humanity. Wow.

  • Laughing. Yep, I’m struggling with my humanity almost all the time! 🙂

  • Debra Hammett

    I think your mother’s delivery was on point. That is, after all, how you were finally able to “hear” the message you had been seeking.

  • Debra, perhaps you are correct and truth be told, I love my mother’s delivery. 🙂

  • Heather Cruse

    Thank you. Love this so much!

  • Very good message. Me and my little boy also share 3 very important steps for you to begin living an abundant life starting today. A great share for anyone looking to get on the right path.

  • Sudhakar R

    Dear writer, I’ve to tell you one thing. When I first started reading self-help was when there seemed no way,when I lost my.confidence my esteem and when I wanted to improve myself desperately to gain the same confidence back. I was confused. I was exposed to richness that other students had while I hailed from a middle class family.
    Over the years I’ve read many spiritual,self-help content,books and watched lots of videos. But never did I see my academics improved. I was searching in the bookshelves,in the.internet the answer that I wanted just like our news media.I don’t still know what that answer is .
    I was immersed in all this self improvement stuff and I got failed in reality. My friends looked down on me and gave no respect. I faced bullying. My parents and relatives blamed me(these people used to praise me).
    I didn’t realise the fact. I was addicted. To stop the fast pounding heart every night with these soothing motivational contents.
    Everything negative flooded into me. The anxiety,depression,inferiority and what not. I looked myself standing on a tip of mountain with no hope.

    But one day I was shattered by my feelings. I had no work even though surrounded my many objectives to complete. But my heart wasn’t into them. I opened my last year’s diary and scanned. And opened my this year diary. Oh God! What a drastic improvement!

    My sentences were more mature. My thinking was changed. Lots of positives. Even in a bit of sadness I admired my life. I was not the same ignorant child anymore. I had written all those compliments given by friends and relatives on my.behaviour. I was no more peevish, sorehead and arguemental as they said. They liked my newer version. And I had grown.

    Nevertheless I’ve not found my success yet but I’ve realised something.

    All those self-help realty helped me,they’ve.changed me. Someone said that no book will change us. I disagree. Of course even God cannot help them who don’t want to help themselves.

    What we lack is priorities. We shouldn’t give most of our days to these angels of guidance.we should try to apply what we read,even though it’s a short bunch of pages. Action is mother of all things.

    Just look inside. You must have changed a lot as I did. You must be grown mentally,emotionally and socially strong than before even though not perfectly. This is what choosing self-help,spiritually and being.conscious does.

    And going along with life is what we needed because only books are not our world.

    And your mother is right! Go enjoy the life. But it doesn’t means you’ve to dwell in things that don’t help. And don’t forget to come back to those things that amused you every time.

  • Sudhakar R

    Sorry. My keyboard was messing a lot with those inappropriate fullstops .

  • I so agree! I am who I am today because of the books and teachers that I have studied and read: no doubt! I wrote a little about the self-help industry here: and essentially what I’m saying is that the information is useful, but we CAN and DO get caught up in trying to always be better or more rather than stopping and appreciating who we are etc.

    I am so glad to hear you are in a better place: me too! It’s a journey and cyclical. We will have our times of feeling like we’ve got it all together and those times it all seems to fall apart. Having self-compassion is the key!

  • Dennis, that was fun to watch! What a cute little guy you have!!

  • Thank you, Heather. It’s always good for me to re-read it because it’s amazing how quickly I can go back to old patterns! But that’s part of the cycle of life: I see that now and work to have compassion for myself as I take the journey!

  • Sudhakar R

    That’s a great message and that’s why your post made me just Stop and think of myself if I was compassionate to myself. Whenever we fail,we sabotage ourselves and I was no different. It’s been about years I’m following Tiny Buddha and people like you were always helpful in uplifting me.
    Yes! That’s almost right that self-help has been more about Can and Do rather enjoying the moment. Maybe that’s why they get revenue(ill read your post). But I’ve read POWER OF NOW,maybe you too;and he talks most about cherishing present moment and to live happy. And it’s too a self-help. So I think we should choose wisely what we want. But you know this is just a hypocrisy from me,haha. Nobody in misery and failure can do that perfectly. That’s why people change by their own experiences.
    Hope I get some more great posts like this from you …:-)

  • Thanks again! 🙂

  • Following principles in daily life is very challenging…that is true. It needs self control and determination. ( for that we need to practice yoga and meditation)..but I believe that it is important to run your day yourself or otherwise the day runs over you 🙂

  • I agree with you, Neha. Just not at the expense of loving ourselves. 🙂

  • Misty Hentz

    This is so powerful and I thank u and your mom.

  • Thanks! I am very blessed to have such a great mom!

  • TikkaMasala

    I feel bad for you and must comment, that i dont usually do. I understand that the space on the blog post is limited so you cannot write out every aspect of it, so i might have gotten the wrong point. But
    I see you in a situation where I was before. And that place is not the of truth. That place is not the place of real joy and love. That place is….fake.
    Life is not about enjoy, happy and singing. It’s about truth. And truth is what it is.
    no books can help or make it for you. You, me, and almost everyone, needs a real course to take, take action, and guru or teacher that has gone trough the same. We also have to address our past traumas to get past them. I don’t know the course for your country but perhaps “the journey” is a good start and maybe ekhard tolles also. He speaks about the truth.
    Please try to understand, for your own sake.

    -anonymous commenter

  • Thank you for your comment and I think if you had or do read other things i have written, you will see that I agree that life is not about -as you put it- enjoy, happy and singing. Taking action is important, I agree. Life is a series of slumbering and awakening and that is my point: sometimes we will be happy, sometimes we will not. My ultimate goal is to be love.

    Thank you for sharing your truth.

  • tarantulady

    Moderation for a balanced life. Don’t get lost in perfection or in laziness. No extremes! Great article.

  • Thank you, Taratu! 🙂 I have never been good at balance but I am learning!! (( hugs))

  • Derek Vi Bleu

    how do you love yourself . when you hate everything about your self.

  • Dearest Derek- the first step is to realize that you are not your parts. Check out the free intro at … learning to separate out the parts of yourself and then learning to have compassion with those parts is a life long process. Also check out Matt Kahn, Whatever Arises, Love That or his many youtube videos. I am sending you love and light. <3

  • Frandisco26

    I don’t think you are seeing the full picture and I believe your mother isn’t helping you in any way. I believe her being critical of your journey and hobby is the reason you are focused on self help. I believe your mothers exeptance for once would be the cause of you to stop trying to fix yourself. For her to just once say “That is very insightful of you to want to better yourself, or I am so proud that you take the time to go on retreats to grow and contribute more to the world.” You think you’re mother is just happy and you are not and need to fix yourself. I think you just need to be accepted by your mother to be happy. But I have a feeling she may be too busy being critical of you to accept you and unlock the happiness you’re searching for.

  • Thank you for your comment!! I would have loved my mother to respond the way you suggested. I did finally stop wanting her approval to be happy …

    I don’t think this is a black and white case of her being right or wrong … but I do think I have had times in my life where I was so focused on self-improvement I was missing the journey.

    I don’t search for happiness … it is here and it is gone … that is life. I seek for being fully present in the moment and that is a life long journey!