“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~Maya Angelou
I grew up with a father who was an addict. When I was fourteen my dad hit rock bottom and lost a job with a six-figure salary, my parents separated, my dad went to rehab for alcoholism and sex addiction, and I learned my dad had been cheating on my mom.
My dad’s immense shame for his actions led to him being on suicide watch in the rehab hospital where he was staying. Even though I knew the word “shame” at the age of fourteen, I was …
“Get out of your head and get into your body. Think less and feel more.” ~Osho
Do you want to meditate but the idea of sitting with your thoughts for twenty minutes gives you anxiety? Or maybe meditation seems like one more task you have to add to your ever growing to-do list, so you take a pass?
As a working mother of three, I’m no stranger to daily stress and routine overwhelm. Life in the twenty-first century can be pretty hectic, especially for busy moms, and so many of us search for practical ways to minimize the stress and …
“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.”- Robert Tew
I want you to picture this. You are standing on a mountain, and in front of you is a taller mountain with a prettier view. Between the mountains is 100,000 foot plunge to the bottom, filled with jagged rocks. You know that you need to make it to that other mountain and that the only way for you to do so is to jump—but for some reason, you cannot move.
This is what transition feels like, especially when you have to make …
TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with an account of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and may be triggering to some people.
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” ~Unknown
It wasn’t long ago that I lived my life as a professional victim.
It wasn’t intentional, but somewhere along the way I had internalized the fact that my victimhood gave me an excuse to remain stuck. As long as I was a victim, I had a reason to wallow in sadness and self-pity, a reason to not move forward, and sympathy …
“Regret can be your worst enemy or your best friend. You get to decide which.” ~Martha Beck
I was lucky enough to grow up with a pretty great mom.
She put herself through nursing school as a single parent, still made it to every field trip and dance recital, and somehow always made my brother and me feel like the best thing since sliced bread (even when we were acting like moldy and ungrateful fruitcakes).
She knew our deepest secrets, our friends, and who we were capable of being—even when we didn’t know ourselves. As I grew older my mom …
“Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with myself.” ~Nathaniel Branden
Have you ever thought that you accepted yourself fully, only to realize there were conditions placed upon that acceptance?
There was a point in my life when I realized I had stopped making tangible progress with my emotions, self-esteem, and habits. I’d made some profoundly positive shifts that remained with me, like eating healthier, practicing yoga, and phasing out negative friends. You could say I was “cleaning house” in a sense—getting clear on what I wanted my life to look like and discarding the rest.
“When you can’t look on the bright side, I will sit with you in the dark.” ~Unknown
I walked in for my monthly massage and immediately sensed something was off.
A layer of desolation hung in the air like an invisible mist, ominous and untouchable, yet so thick I felt as though I could reach out and grab a handful in my fist, like wet cement, oozing out between my fingers.
I’d been seeing the same masseuse once a month for three years, repeating the same routine each time. I wait in the hallway just outside her rented studio, a …
“What will mess you up most in life is the picture in your head of how it is supposed to be.” ~Unknown
I expected to get into college. I expected to have a career after a lot of hard work, and that one day I’d meet a nice man and we would get married. We would buy our first house together and start a family, picking out a crib and the baby’s “going home” outfit and organizing a drawer full of diapers. We’d have more babies and go on vacations and grow old together.
I expected that one day I’d …
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~Johann Wolfang von Goethe
Silence. Not a word.
Another day is over. The news you were waiting for didn’t arrive.
Everyone else around you keeps moving. They know where they’re going.
You don’t. You watch the days go by and think of all the things you could have done. You feel like you’re wasting your time.
It seems pretty pointless. You’re not where you want to be.
Sometimes we have to wait. You left one job, but the next one …
“What if pain—like love—is just a place brave people visit?” ~Glennon Doyle
It’s one of life’s greatest paradoxes: When life is easy, everything seems easy. When life is hard, everything seems hard.
This one keeps coming back to me and I keep trying to figure it out. Why do we end up in these spirals of “all good” or “all bad”? How can we get out of the “all bad” faster next time we get trapped? How can we help ourselves get out of there?
I’ve had periods in my life when all seemed lost. When I haven’t been able …
“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~Brené Brown
My husband’s legs are smaller than mine.
I wish I could tell you that when I first realized this (when we were dating) I wasn’t emotionally triggered. And that I didn’t care.
But, I can’t.
Instead, I can tell you that I walked right up next to him, planted my thigh next to his, and awkwardly declared, “Ha! My legs are bigger than yours!”
I can still see him looking right back at me, saying, “So? I love …
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I’ll never forget the moment the words fell from my doctor’s mouth. In one fell swoop, the “perfect” persona that I’d spent thirty-plus years carefully constructing received what would ultimately become a fatal blow. Following that fateful day of demarcation, my life would never again be the same.
But let me back up a bit.
By the time I’d arrived at my early thirties, I was cloaked in all the trappings of outward success: a lucrative career in the high-paced, high-stress …
“Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room. The only one you can hear.” ~Unknown
White lights flutter before your eyes. Your chest tightens, as if under the weight of a hundred ten-pound bricks. You wonder if your next breath will be your last. Emotions rip through you: fear, glooming dread, hopelessness. Without warning or clear cause, these feelings consume you.
You start to wonder if you’re going crazy. It’s like you no longer have …
“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” ~Maya Angelou
I’ve always had a complex relationship with anger.
When I was young, I used to think I was somehow above anger. I would brag to people that I never got mad. Sure, I’d admit, I hated some people, but at least I wasn’t angry.
When I began therapy in my mid-twenties to deal with persistent depression and panic attacks, I started to see the feebleness of that particular story. I did get angry, it turned out, quite …
“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” ~Oprah Winfrey
I needed a bit of extra cash last month, so I took on a temporary events role working at a local design exhibition.
I’ve worked in events before, so I didn’t think much about it.
I just knew that I needed some money, I liked doing events, and a short contract had presented itself.
It seemed perfect!
So off I went to my first shift, feeling pretty good about myself and about life.
The first event was at a studio in a deserted …
UPDATE: The winners for this giveaway have been chosen. They are Kristie St. Germain and Suzanne Hermary.
As the year is coming to a close, now seems like a perfect time to shine a spotlight on one of my favorite books of 2017.
Tiny Buddha contributor Harriet Cabelly has crafted a masterpiece in her book Living Well Despite Adversity: Inspiration for Finding Renewed Meaning and Joy in Your Life.
Harriet’s faced her share of personal challenges in life, from going through a life-threatening medical crisis with her daughter to rebuilding her life after divorce. But this book isn’t just …
“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” ~Brené Brown
Every time I think I’ve unloaded most of the pain from my past, something surfaces that tells me I have more work to do.
A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were cuddling one morning. I’m not sure what the trigger was, but out of nowhere, my thoughts rolled down a hill and into a painful memory that I must have blocked out.
Tears rolled down my cheeks as my whole body curled up into the fetal position. He …
“Just like a muscle needs to tear to grow stronger, sometimes we need to wade into our own darkness to find a brighter light.” ~Lori Deschene
Sometimes we need to journey into the deepest, darkest, scariest, most painful places inside in order to reach the next level.
This is what happened to me earlier this year.
When I was younger, I was in an abusive relationship that created a lot of stories in my head. These stories became beliefs that I carried around for a long time. Beliefs like, “I’m not good enough,” “Relationships are painful,” “I don’t …
“The don’t-know mind… doesn’t fear, has no wish to control or foresee, steps off the cliff of the moment with absolute trust that the next step will land somewhere, and the next step somewhere else, and the feet will take us wherever we need to go.” ~Byron Katie
I am fifty-five years old. I’ve raised a family, been through two divorces, bought and sold four houses, and had a successful professional career. And right now I’m doing one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, which is learning to host in a busy restaurant.
My coworkers range from mid-twenties to …
“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~Dale Carnegie
Not too long ago I went through an extremely chaotic and emotional two-week period. Anything that could go wrong or be difficult did and was. I thought it would never end.
When it began, the little hiccups were easy to let roll off my shoulders. After about a week, I was feeling pretty worn down and was in tears daily. At the end, I felt numb, and when things kept going wrong I would say to myself “Sure… Okay …what’s …