“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” ~James Thurber
Ever thought you had achieved everything you wanted to? I did.
My teens had passed in a blur of self-loathing regarding my body. (Tape measure, thighs, and many tears; need I say more?)
I stumbled through my twenties not exactly sure what I wanted to do, but never feeling quite good enough—for what, I didn’t know, but surely I should have been better.
By my thirties, though, I had settled into a career of holistic therapy and had three happy, healthy children, …
“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” ~Māori Proverb
Life is about lessons, would you not agree? If we’re not learning every day, all the time, then what on earth are we doing? Often, the universe speaks to us in gentle metaphor, and if we’re completely present in the moment, we can recognize lessons, delivered in poetic images.
One of the clearest lessons of my life was a number of years ago, when I was living in a crumbling house in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. At the time, I was …
“If you do not create change, change will create you.” ~Unknown
We are often resistant to change, and we don’t realize that change itself is constant.
Even if you resist or avoid it, it will enter your life just the same. When you initiate the change yourself, it’s pretty easy to adapt to it, since it’s a wanted one.
But are the unplanned and unexpected changes bad? What if all changes were good by default?
I have been embracing change since a young age. During my life I have lived in five countries and in over twenty-five apartments, changed …
“The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning, you’re not old.” ~Rosalyn S. Yalow
A few weeks ago, at the age of thirty-something, I started the process of learning to drive.
To be completely honest, it has been a daunting experience, especially for an overachiever like me.
Most of the tasks I undertake I find relatively easy, but not driving.
Seeing as I’m an introspective kind of person, I‘ve been curious to identify what it is that I’ve been struggling with these past few weeks. The answer is an obvious one: fear.
Fear of …
“Each time we face a fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” ~Unknown
I’m 25 years old and I’m currently in Minsk, Belarus, but that’s not where I’m from. In my relatively short life I’ve lived in many cities and countries all around the world, including Amsterdam, Cape Town (South Africa), Prague, Budapest, and Paris, to name a few.
I went to many of these places on my own or because of a new friend or girlfriend I met.
I was only able to make these moves because I overcame my shyness and learned to be confident.…
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. “ –William S. Burroughs
I have worked for many years as a shelter and spay neuter veterinary technician. Earlier this year, I had the misfortune of losing the job at the shelter where I had worked for many years.
I found myself adrift. I had spent all these years caring for animals that had no one else to care for them. If I no longer had that job, I asked myself, who was I?
Who are you? It’s the most elemental question in the …
“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle
Like a lot of kids, I grew up watching sports. Every Sunday afternoon, our family would gather around the big screen TV to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers play.
As a result, I began to idolize some of my favorite players and wanted to play the sport that brought them such fame, but little did I know that the coaching would be so brutal.
In middle school, I went out for the football team wanting to earn the privilege of wearing the glorious hoodies that …
“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~Jean Paul Sartre
We all have our stories of how people have wronged us and caused pain. Allow me to tell you mine.
I’m a survivor of abuse: mental, emotional, physical, and sexual. I was born into a family of abusers and witnessed it from the day I was born until age sixteen.
As a child, I thought my family was perfect. However, when I was twelve years old, I realized just how truly dysfunctional my family was. It was as if a light bulb went off and the …
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
Many times in the past, I’ve complained that things weren’t fair.
Sometimes I was legitimately wronged—like when I was a kid and an adult in my life regularly told people lies about me, seemingly to justify her disdain and mistreatment.
Other times, I victimized myself to avoid taking responsibility—like when I didn’t prepare well and bombed at a community theater audition but attributed my failure to favoritism.
As an indignant adolescent, I blamed many of my difficult early experiences …
“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb
They sound so cliché, sayings like, “There’s always a silver lining” or “Look on the bright side” or “there’s a positive to every negative.” Whenever struggle or suffering showed up in my life, those key expressions seemed to flow out of the mouths of family and friends.
That’s not to say they aren’t helpful. Sure, it helps a little to hear my best friend say, “It’s going to be ok,” when I spilled water all over my computer and lost everything—everything! …
“Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” ~Jack Kornfield
Imagine these three scenarios:
Scenario 1: You wake up in the middle of the night and your baby is crying. You feel annoyed that you have to wake up in the middle of your sleep.
Scenario 2: Your goal is to finish your first marathon, so you have to practice consistently. However, you don’t feel like exercising today. It’s raining and you’d like to watch television instead.
Scenario 3: You hate your job. You snap at your boss and you procrastinate on the work …
“Make your life a mission, not an intermission.” ~Arnold H. Glasgow
My eyes fluttered open. I could see the sunshine pouring through my rose-colored curtains. For a few golden seconds, there was quiet, there was peace. Then I remembered, “You have an audition today. Two hours away from where you live!”
I spun around so quickly that I made myself into a human burrito stuck in my blankets. I grabbed my cell phone. Wow—I had woken up, naturally, two hours before I even had to leave for my audition.
I wrestled with my blanket, and when I finally released myself …
“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan
Have you ever stopped to think about your definition of fear?
As my dear friend Mr. Webster states, fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”
Simply put, I disagree with this definition of fear.
My definition of fear goes something like this….
“An opportunity for self discovery and self growth; a well of untapped personal power and strength; the gateway from wishing and wanting to doing and being.”
Yes, fear can be …
“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Have you ever read a book or a blog post and felt a profound sense of clarity—like you knew exactly what you needed to do—only to find yourself feeling paralyzed by the same old struggles hours or days later?
Have you ever listened to advice and felt certain you could apply it, only to find your resolve weakening when you were left to your own devices?
I have had these experiences many times before.
I remember when I was going through my hardest …
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~Charles R. Swindoll
People almost always misunderstand depression. I know I used to.
My first dance with depression happened fifteen years ago. I was in my early twenties and it totally freaked me out.
When you’re depressed, your perception of pretty much everything changes.
Except you don’t realize that it’s your perception that’s changed, and instead it feels like the world has turned bad. If you’ve been depressed you’ll know what I’m talking about.
It goes something like this …
One day you feel …
“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” ~Unknown
We’ve been taught that being negative means being realistic, and being optimistic means being unrealistic. We’ve been led to believe that you are “too old” or it is “too late” to follow your dreams. We’ve been taught to associate the feeling of doubt with failure.
It’s time to bust these myths!
We need to know, and let it be known, that doubt is just a feeling that comes to us when we are about to step out of our comfort zone.
We are all familiar …
“Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
I’ve experienced a unique situation that has taught me a surprising lesson about the scope of the human races’ ability to choose love over hate, understanding over anger, and belief over fear.
I’d rather not have to tell a story like this, and my wish is that no one would ever have to learn lessons from an experience such as this. You see, my husband’s mother passed away just at the end of June.
But she didn’t just die of old age, or …
“Pain is not a sign of weakness, but bearing it alone is a choice to grow weak.” ~Lori Deschene
When given the chance, I would much rather bear pain on my own, thank you very much. It’s incredibly difficult for me to be vulnerable and ask for help. To share my pain with someone else.
I think partly it’s from my upbringing—living in the U.S., self-sufficiency is valued. We so often praise the individual who has done extraordinary things and see it as a sign of strength that they accomplished all of it on their own.
I can understand that; …
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” ~Ambrose Redmoon
A couple weeks back, I had my first singing lesson in over 15 years. I’ve been hoping to get back into musical theater, so this seemed like a perfect compliment to the acting classes I planned to start soon (which I began this past weekend).
Unlike in in my childhood voice lessons, the instructor did not play piano, opting instead to use instrumental music from an iPad.
This meant he looked right at me while I sang On My …