“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb
Glancing at the ceiling, I waited for the prick as the nurse began to draw blood from my vein.
My mother, patiently sitting in the chair next to my hospital bed, looked at me with comforting and hopeful eyes. This was not the way we had envisioned spending our Saturday.
My mom and stepdad had drove hours up from home for the first time to visit my college for parents’ weekend.
I had spent the past weeks planning activities and college …
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” ~Marianne Williamson
After lying on my apartment floor for an hour, I walked over to the mirror, leaned in, and looked into my eyes. This was the moment I came face to face with the truth: I was afraid to stand up and be who I wanted to be in this …
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” ~Johann Von Goethe
I am on a journey of trust. It’s been about trusting my body, knowing that it can take care of itself without the control of my mind.
For three and a half years, my body and mind have been enemies and I have been trying so hard, and knowingly, too hard, to get back to where I was at seventeen.
It all began when I had an episode of hyperventilation in January 2010, when I heard that my Granny, who was terminally ill, had just …
“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take the action. Take the action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron
As a child, anxious thoughts stopped me from doing a lot of stuff, so I missed out on sleepovers, parties, and scout camps some of the time.
Anxiety whispered in my ear that it was always better to avoid, and so it became easy to convince myself I didn’t really want to do whatever was on offer. I now recognize those thoughts and don’t let them influence my choices.
I remember as a teenager I went to a carvery …
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” ~Einstein
“Go do, you’ll learn to just let yourself fall into landslide. Go do, you’ll learn to just let yourself give into low tide. Go do!”~Jonsi
I recently heard from a friend whom I had not heard from in over two years. He sent me an email just to check in and see how I was doing, congratulate me on my recent marriage, which he had heard about, and let me know that he had faced some hardship over the past couple of years.
He had …
“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you don’t know where to start, start anywhere. I keep telling myself that every time I am stuck.
Well, I’ve been a widow for year and a half, and I am twenty-four years old. Maybe that’s the way to start here.
My husband had cancer. We tried to enjoy the time before his passing as best we could, so he would die with memories, not dreams. And I guess that the fact that he died content is quite an accomplishment in our relationship.
But it doesn’t change …
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher
The moment I gave thanks to the universe for placing me in the Philippines and giving me the courage to pursue a happy life of simplicity and love…
That very moment, riding on the back of a motorcycle, the wind rustling my hair and cooling me down from the sweaty heat that envelops the Philippines, a truck smashed into my left leg and shattered my knee.
Choosing to leave for the Peace Corps program in …
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen
I finally learned I wasn’t Superman.
It was a hard concept for me to grasp. You see, I was always the good child. The one that did everything without complaint or supervision. I was the one who didn’t need help in school, who knew how to plan, who did the chores without having to be asked twice.
As I grew older this idea that I was “the good child/person” grew. My grades had to be perfect. …
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” ~Nido Qubein
It’s difficult to remember the exact moment when things fell apart.
By now, so much time has passed that when I think back to that evening, the chain of events is clear up until everything stood still. I don’t remember how I slept after midnight or when he left.
Just the eerie glow of the flip phone in my darkened apartment as I ignored the calls after I sent the text. The text that set my whole life into forward motion after …
“Never underestimate the power of passion.” ~Eve Sawyer
I am a runner in my heart and in my body. Running has provided me with so many life lessons that I cannot even count them. But having to fight for running has given me the most important ones.
I still remember that day in September of 2002 when I went to my first cross-country practice. The coach told me it would only be an easy six-miler.
Only? Easy? And a six-miler?
“How does that even belong to the same sentence?” I wondered. I didn’t even know what miles were (being originally …
“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~Unknown
When we find ourselves not having “enough,” times may be rough; however, this is only our first glance, our perceived perception.
Not all who have little are poor. None who live simply fit into the status quo. And none of us deserves to be judged for what we do or do not own.
Poverty lines are a general measure of separating the classes, but they fail to feel emotions, see our genuine qualities, or tell the stories of our lives.
“We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” ~Marianne Williamson
My life fell apart on a warm August evening a few years ago. It had been a full summer: family visits, plans for a cross-country move, barbecues, and plenty of travel. We were happy, my husband and I.
Or so I thought.
On that August night, my husband came home to our cozy New York apartment, sat down, and told me, behind a smother of hands and hunched shoulders, that he’s in love with another woman. Well, not so …
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” ~Cherokee Proverb
Age is a funny thing, isn’t it? It’s both an internal and external measurement by which many of us, consciously or not, judge our successes and failures, and it’s how others often judge us: “She’s so young to be CEO.” “He’s too old to be a quarterback now.” “Those guys should have stopped touring years ago.” “How old is that woman he’s dating?”
Measurement is part of our culture.
Paradoxically, we initially choose our life paths when we are the least prepared to understand the significance of our decisions.…
“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown
I wasn’t always the ridiculously attractive (and humble) Jason you see before you. No, from a very young age I was overweight. I am an only child raised by a single, very hard-working mom. Her crazy work schedule meant that cooking meals was rarely a feasible option. This meant we ate at restaurants or had fast food quite often.
Couple that with my extreme TV watching habits and only going outside when forced, and …
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~Pema Chodron
I awoke with a jolt. I heard the steady breathing of my sleeping partner next to me. I checked the clock; it was 3:30 AM. With a deep exhale, while rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I reached out to my bedside table to grab my phone.
For a moment, I hesitated. I knew that tickets went on sale at 4:00 AM New Zealand Time and that they would be going fast.
The U.S. event I wanted to attend would require a considerable financial investment (air travel …
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, guilt, or possessions—we cannot be free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
One night after my nine-year-old son had just gone to bed, he asked me if I would lay with him, as he was scared. I was getting ready for a busy week and was tired, so I replied, “No, you’re fine. Go to sleep.”
When he died the following afternoon after being hit by a car, I remembered what he’d asked me. The guilt that followed me from that …
“You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You can find yourself by coming into the present.” ~Eckhart Tolle
It was 3PM on a Wednesday and I had nothing to do. An empty schedule with limitless potential.
I was miles from home in the freezing fog of San Francisco. The bustle of traffic reminded me of my hectic life back home, but I wasn’t bothered. I had nowhere to be and nobody to answer to, just like the day before and the next day. I was free.
I brought my favorite travel companion along with me to aid …
“Live your life for you, not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.” ~Sonya Parker
I have struggled with my different-ness since I was young. I grew up trying to change the things that made me different in order to fit in. At home, my parents were doing their best to raise three young children, which I can imagine would’ve been very hard.
I can still remember the first time I asked myself, “What is wrong with me?” I loved to take my time and …
“Good enough is the new perfect.” ~Becky Beaupre Gillespie
The music started. Pachelbel’s Canon in D on harp and flute. I was supposed to enter the room near the end of the piece.
I knew there were fourteen sets of four measures each, but in my nervous state I quickly lost track. I picked a random moment in the music that I thought might be near the end (surely I’d been waiting forever already), opened the door, and walked in.
The door startled me by suddenly slamming shut behind me. Oops… That was not supposed to happen.
“The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” ~Unknown
For as long as I can remember, I have been on a quest to heal myself. From a very young age I can remember feeling different from my peers. I was always painfully shy and paralyzed with insecurity and fear, which left me in a constant state of self-criticism.
Hardships in my young life, including the suicide of my father, left me with the belief that life was just hard.
Unfortunately, I also thought that it wasn’t supposed to …