Category “change & challenges”

A Life-Changing Insight: You Are Not a Problem to Be Fixed

“I decided that the single most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.” ~Anne Lamott

I remember one particular clear, cold winter morning as I returned home from a walk. I suddenly realized that I had missed the whole experience.

The blue, clear sky.

The lake opening up before me.

The whisper of the trees that I love so much.

I was there in body but not embodied. I was totally, completely wrapped up in the thoughts running rampant in my mind. The worries about others, work, the future; about …

How I Overcame My Debilitating Gut Issues by Digesting My Emotions

“I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.” ~Louise Hay

Here’s my secret: In order to fully heal over a decade of debilitating digestive disorders, I had to stop trying to heal. Instead, I had to do nothing. What, do nothing? Yes, that’s exactly right—I had to let go of the search for the perfect cure. Let me explain.

I developed chronic gut problems at age fourteen—such a precious age! After being dismissed by doctors (“It’s all in your head; it’s a girl problem”), overprescribed antibiotics for years on end, or just given hopelessly …

The Simple Path to Change When You’re Not Satisfied with Your Life

“Making a big life change is scary, but you know what’s even scarier? Regret.” ~Zig Ziglar

Fifteen years ago, I made one of the biggest changes in my life. It was something I had wanted to do for so long but had never found the right time, right plan, or courage to do.

You see, ever since I was in my teens, I had always felt I was meant to be somewhere else.

The town where I grew up was pretty perfect for raising young kids, but it just wasn’t for me as I entered adulthood. I always envisioned …

How I’m Healing from the Pain of Growing up in a Dysfunctional Family

“Don’t try to understand everything, because sometimes it’s not meant to be understood, but accepted.” ~Unknown

As a child, I never had the opportunity to develop a sense of self. I had a father who was a drug addict. A mother who was abused by my father. And later, we had my mom’s possessive and controlling boyfriend. It was tough finding a consistent role model in the mix.

I was one of four kids and we grew up in a trailer, sharing one bunk bed among us all. As children, we often would brutally fight with each other. We …

How I Saved Myself by Surrendering When Everything Fell Apart

“And here you are, living despite it all.” ~Rupi Kaur

“I surrender!” I said this mantra out loud as my life was spiraling out of control.

I had spent a summer in college as a camp counselor separated from my fiancé. He sent me no letters and did not keep in touch. Still, I held on. By the time I came back home, we were broken. I had also realized he was emotionally abusing me. It took that separation to make me see it.

I realized I had been truly alone in the relationship. I was never lonelier than …

A FREE eBook for Women Who Feel Stuck, Dissatisfied, and Restless

Hi friends! As you may know, I’m a big fan of Evolving Wisdom, a site that offers virtual courses and workshops, along with countless free resources and audio seminars, to help people create real, lasting change.

With this in mind, I was excited when the team recently reached out to me to share a free resource from Evolving Wisdom cofounder Claire Zammit, PhD, whose mission is to empower women to fully express their gifts and talents.

As someone who once felt painfully stuck—confused about what to do with my life and not good enough to try even if I …

Everyone Has Struggles, and We All Have Our Own Lessons to Learn

“The more we love the more we lose. The more we lose the more we learn. The more we learn the more we love. It comes full circle. Life is the school; love is the lesson. We cannot lose.” ~Kate McGahan

I remember reading somewhere that we are all here on this earth to learn a lesson.

It’s one that is made for us, and only us. Like a special recipe concocted in the stars and implanted in our tiny developing foetus.

While it may sound a bit “woo-woo,” it was extremely comforting to read that.

For much of my …

How I Moved from Depression to a Deep and Meaningful Life

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” ~Pema Chödrön

Standing at the bathroom sink, I brought my gaze up to the mirror. I couldn’t avoid eye contact with the one person I had no desire to talk to. I had questions, and I knew the reflection looking back at me wasn’t capable of giving the answers I needed.

My solution was a handful of prescription pills to numb my anxiety and Type II Bipolar.

Every morning I popped a Wellbutrin, Cipralex, Valproic Acid, Lithium, and …

To All the Abused Kids Who Are Dealing with the Consequences as Adults…

“The feeling of being rejected, disapproved of, or conditionally loved by one’s primary caregivers is a monumental, long-lasting burden for a child to carry. It produces chronic shame, guilt, and anxiety. The child is blamed for doing something wrong and in doing so learns to perceive themselves as being bad.” ~Darius Cikanavicius, Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults

You’re safe now, but you weren’t before.

Before you were abused.

If your experiences were anything like mine, you were told that you were worthless on a daily basis, that your feelings and needs …

When You Keep Failing: How to Recover and Boost Your Confidence

“Success is a series of small wins.” ~Unknown

You tried everything. Nothing worked. What now?

I was the Marketing Director of a tech startup, and my work wasn’t bringing in the money or traction that it should. I did everything to improve my results: I read more books, consulted mentors, changed my mindset and tactics, did more field research and experiments, consulted even more books and mentors.

I won’t go into specifics, as that’s not what this article is about. But suffice to say that I did my best to learn from every book, mentor, experiment, and mistake. And I …

How to Embrace Your Physical ‘Flaws’ and Feel Comfortable in Your Skin

“When you’re comfortable in your skin, you look beautiful, regardless of any flaws.” ~Emily Deschanel

I started doubting the way I looked at the age of eight following comments from other children, about my twin sister being cuter/prettier than me. During adolescence I suffered from bullying because of my appearance and thought I was ugly. Like many others, I believed for many years that everything would’ve been easier if I was better-looking.

At eighteen, when I left home for military service (mandatory in Israel), I started to get positive feedback from men and to feel much better about the way …

How a Cancer Misdiagnosis Helped Me Face and Heal from Health Anxiety

“Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.” ~Robert Tew

“I have bad news. I am sorry. You have cancer.”

Sitting in the cold, clinical doctor’s office on a snowy, cloudy January day in Chicago, I was six months postpartum with my daughter, and I felt like I had woken up in a nightmare.

My husband had gone to work that day when I was supposed to have my stitches removed after the laparoscopic surgery to remove a large cyst, so I was alone with my daughter.

When Dr. Foley entered the room, I took one …

Free Online Festival: A Different Kind of Trauma Conference

Hi friends!

Last year I invited you all to join the Embodied Trauma Conference, a powerful, healing event hosted by Tiny Buddha contributor Karine Bell.

This free, five-day online summit featured a series of talks from twenty-two thought leaders, all focusing on different aspects of healing from trauma—including developmental, sexual, racial, and intergenerational.

This year she’s offering a FREE follow-up event that I’m sure you’ll find transformative. It’s called Tending the Roots: A 4-day Odyssey of Resilience & Reimagination, Culture & Community, and it takes place next week, between April 21st and 24th.

This event will focus on our …

Where My Depression Really Came From and What Helped Me Heal

“How you do one thing is how you do everything.” ~Unknown

One afternoon, during a particularly low slump, I was getting out of the shower. Quickly reaching for something on the sink, I knocked an old glass off the counter, shattering it onto the floor.

In most cases, one might experience stress, frustration, or sadness upon accidentally breaking an object that belongs to them. They might feel agitation on top of their already poor mood. But in the moment the glass shattered, I felt instant relief.

It was an old item I’d gotten at a thrift store, and the image …

On Those Hard Days When You Feel Like Nothing You Do Matters

“Just a reminder in case your mind is playing tricks on you today: You matter. You’re important. You’re loved. Your presence on this earth makes a difference whether you see it or not.” ~Unknown

Today I woke up feeling like nothing I do matters. I didn’t want to wake up feeling like this, but I did.

I got myself out of bed, brushed my teeth, and went through the motions until things inside my mind started to feel unbearable.

The first thing I did was try to reason with myself, tell myself that, of course I matter. I tell everyone …

One Question for Anyone Who’s Stuck in a Rut: What Do You Believe?

“You become what you believe, not what you think or what you want.” ~Oprah Winfrey

What do you believe? During the forced stillness of the pandemic environment we’re all living in, this is a question I’ve been faced with more intensely than ever. In particular, I’ve come to question what I believe about myself, and how that impacts every element of my life.

Coming out of years of self-help for social and general anxiety, a long-standing eating disorder, and several dissatisfying personal relationships, I had to come to question what these external realities reflected back to me. For what …

How a Numb, Phony Zombie Started Singing Her Own Song

“Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them!” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Six years ago, I came across a line from an old poem that punctured my present moment so profoundly it seemed to stop time.

On an average Tuesday, there I was, sitting at my desk, ignoring the stack of papers I was responsible for inputting into a spreadsheet and procrastinating as usual on the Internet instead.

At this particular time, Pinterest was my drug of choice—anyone else?

As I was aimlessly scrolling through wacky theme party ideas and spicy margarita recipes, suddenly, here …

Where Our Strength Comes from and What It Means to Be Strong

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t.” ~Rikki Rogers

A friend recently asked me: Andi, where does your strength come from?

It took me a while before I had a good enough answer for her. I sat contemplating the many roads I’ve traveled, through my own transformational journey and the inspirational journeys of all my clients who demonstrate incredible strength for me.

I moved to a different country, alone, at eighteen years old and have changed careers, battled a complex pain diagnosis with my child, and lost loved ones

10 Things to Do When You Feel Sad, Hopeless, and Defeated

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ~J.K. Rowling

I’m no stranger to feeling hopeless and defeated. After many failed relationships, physical, sexual and emotional abuse my entire life, two bankruptcies, and the recent loss of my online business (October 2020), you could say I’ve been through enough to last two lifetimes.

I’ll admit, there were many times I wanted it all to end. There were many days I just didn’t know how much more I could handle. My recent loss has devastated me beyond words. Everything I’ve worked so hard for in the last …

How I Overcame the Stress of Perfectionism by Learning to Play Again

“What, then, is the right way of living? Life must be lived as play…” ~Plato

I am a recovering perfectionist, and learning to play again saved me.

Like many children, I remember playing a lot when I was younger and being filled with a sense of openness, curiosity, and joy toward life.

I was fortunate to grow up in Oregon with a large extended family with a lot of cousins with whom I got to play regularly. We spent hours, playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, drawing, and building forts.

I also attended a wonderful public school that encouraged play. We …