“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” ~Pericles
Life is full of challenges. These obstacles are the greatest teachers we can have.
As I’m sure is true for all of us, I have struggled with many things throughout my life. I used to feel a sense of “woe is me,” but I’ve learned to leverage these experiences to make positive changes in life.
Don’t let your history dominate your life. We have a choice. You can let your past be the ruler of your life—or…
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Gandhi
The next time I feel it urgent to text someone off Craigslist after 11pm, I may think twice.
I was obsessed with attaining the body of a fitness model. I had recently been laid off and when life gets tough, I go to work—on my abs. It’s hard to accept that I can’t sweat away my troubles or make my problems magically disappear by tightening my thighs.
I tend to be a little high-strung, and excessive exercise helps me cope. Or, it possibly just adds more fuel to the fire. …
Life has a tendency to become overly complicated and stressful, particularly because things change so quickly. I’ve identified seven problems that you can eliminate to make your life a whole lot simpler (which doesn’t mean boring or less interesting).
Problem #1 – Too Much Responsibility
Think back to a year or two ago. How much extra responsibility has come into your life since then? You may have too much stuff, too many possessions, too many projects, and too many commitments.
Spreading yourself too thin reduces focus, increases stress, and lowers overall performance.
Too much stuff could include anything from a …
“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” ~Unknown
It was the perfect storm.
In 2009 my best friend got married. At 48, having never been married, I once again caught the bouquet. Two months later, my mother’s home burned to the ground. At 70 years old, she lost everything, including a pet. Three months later, her husband died.
During the process of negotiating my mom’s temporary stay at a cabin resort, I fell in love with the cabin developer. To complicate matters, I was already living with a man who I had lived with, inconsistently, for 14 years.
To summarize, …
“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” ~Buddha
These words resonate for me in a deeply personal way. The importance of being in the here and now, of recognizing that every moment is an opportunity to wake up to what is happening and what is possible, saved my life.
I was a compulsive eater out of my mother’s womb. The youngest of eight children in an abusive home, I used food to feel safe. I overate every day, hated myself for it, and yet could not stop.
I started addicted to …
“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.” ~Thomas Carlyle
I grew up in a small town, Maysville, Kentucky, where I led the perfect, sheltered life. After graduating from high school, I pursued higher education at a local community college, and from there transferred to The University of Kentucky in Lexington.
I had an interest in art, music, and media, pursuing a double major in journalism and communications. I dreamed about either working behind the scenes of a television studio, or becoming a certified systems engineer and working for my father’s employer.
Then a week …
“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins
We spend a lot of time in life not knowing.
There are a lot of things that we’re comfortable not knowing. Not knowing a stranger’s name. Not knowing our credit card number or a friend’s address. Not knowing the capital of Vermont.
We’re comfortable with these things because we know there are answers. Even if we have to get on our smartphones for few minutes to find them, we know these things are all facts that actually exist.…
“If you are never scared, embarrassed, or hurt, it means you never take chances.” ~Julia Soul
The moment comes when you are on your knees.
You are filled with a knowing that there is something better. There is a life for you that you are not living and you are ready to live it.
I call this the moment of awakening—the moment when you hear your soul’s cry for the next step in its evolution. You are ready to live your fullest expression.
Anais Nin said it best, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a …
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” ~Buddha
A decade or so ago, when I was twenty, I was supposed to settle into an “arranged marriage,” a common concept in India. I would never have known what it means to be financially independent, to go after my passions, and to be true to myself.
Until then, I had only wished to have a career—to go to a big city, live independently, and explore my identity. But those were merely daydreams. I had accepted that in my …
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron
I’ve been self-employed for many years now. This is no accident. I’ve always liked to do things my own way. I like to arrange my diary in exactly the way I want to and make my own mind up about how I do things. I like to work without having to justify anything to a manager.
I’m not always comfortable in working relationships where the other person is “higher up” than me—when they’re in authority. You could say that I’m a teensy bit of …
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” -Pema Chodron
Seven years ago, I packed everything I owned into my little red Honda Civic and sold, gave away, or tossed whatever didn’t fit. I was 24 years old and I was on my way from Florida to Los Angeles to pursue the American Dream.
I was consumed with swirls of intense emotions—anxieties, excitement, fear, and joy, all mixing together in one little body. I was crossing the country on a new adventure, filled with hopes and dreams, seeking something I …
“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” -Unknown
For many years I maintained a relationship that I was not happy with. I’m sure a lot of people have been there, or are there right now. I didn’t feel there was equality in the relationship; I always seemed to be the one giving, yet I consistently felt I was getting nothing out of it.
A close friend of mine asked me why I tolerated the behavior of the person in question.
As usual, a few excuses passed through my mind: the other person was …
“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” ~Erica Jong
I’ve received all kinds of advice in my life, both welcome and unwelcome. Most of this advice is easy to divide into two piles: “good” or “bad.”
“Good” advice: when somebody makes a suggestion and I think, “Oh, of course!” It might be advice about how to improve a poem, or how to peel a mango. This kind of advice is easy to take.
“Bad” advice: when somebody makes a suggestion and I have a clear sense that I don’t agree …
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~Charles R. Swindoll
Ever noticed a chrysalis hidden within its cocoon? The final few moments before it emerges as a butterfly compose what science terms as metamorphosis, a transformation.
If you have been lucky enough to observe this process, which I highly recommend watching, you’d notice it has to struggle quite a bit before it gets all the attention for being the magnificent creature it is.
It’s long and painful. However, while watching it, you may be tempted to clip off the outer covering of …
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
I wrote a letter to my dad on his 70th birthday this past May. Since it was a milestone of a year, I wanted to really give him something that would be meaningful; however, my ideas weren’t actual items. I sat at my computer and poured my heart into a letter.
Suddenly my mind flashed to a time when writing and creating were constants in my life. I had been honored and recognized for my writing beginning …
I’m in the middle of self-publishing my first book. Ever since college, I dreamed of publishing my work and now I’m enjoying the reality of going for it.
For weeks, I’ve gathered testimonials. As you may know, they are powerful tools, especially when the people providing them are recognizable to the target reader.
My challenge: how do I get testimonials from all these people I respect? Well, I’ll tell you what I did and how I failed before I understood what worked best.
The first answer to how one gets help is “by asking.” Yes, some people miss that …
“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” ~Rumi
This summer, I drove up Highway 5 from Los Angeles on my way to Grass Valley to visit my friend Carol, a painting teacher, for a week of painting in her studio. I can’t remember the last time I hit the road on my own for an eight-hour drive to nature.
I forgot what it was like to crank up the stereo listening to old tunes, straining my vocal cords to and singing full voice off key.
On my right, I saw semi trucks making deliveries …
“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Beauty is a concept I struggle with—what it means, why it matters. I struggle because huge chunks of my life have not been beautiful. They have been ugly, marred by trauma, with pain, and anger.
We think of beauty and often visualize glossy magazine pages and wafer thin models. We see beauty as superficial—eye color, hair texture, and numbers on a scale. We see beauty as something to be measured and weighed.
I don’t see beauty that way. I see beauty as the grace point between what …
“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” ~Flora Whittemore
I have been running this website for almost two years. A few months back, I met a goal I set for myself: I eliminated most of my other freelance work and focused my energy on Tiny Buddha.
Since I don’t require much money to live—and since my eBook has been selling regularly—I was able to transition in the spring. As a consequence, I decreased my workload dramatically.
Now that I have more time, I realize that I need to discover a sense of purpose…
“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” -Pema Chodron
I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well, so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.
As I turned the corner, hopeful I was headed in the right direction, I heard a loud clattering sound and looked up. Out of the corner of my …