“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” ~Raymond Hull
I tell people my 30s were for being married. This is a slight exaggeration, since I’m 39 now and single. However, I married at 30, divorced at 34, married again at 36, and divorced again at almost 39.
Both of the men were great guys. I meant well, each time. I went into each relationship with the intention I’d want to continue it.
To many people this information is no big deal. I certainly didn’t think it was any big deal. However, I’ve been …
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” ~Marianne Williamson
We all have the fundamental desire to create an ideal world, where everyone is healthy, happy, and free of suffering. The habitual tendency we all have is to look around us, find out what’s wrong with the world, and then try to “fix” it.
While it’s true that horrible things happen around us everyday, to transform the world we all experience, we have to start with ourselves. We can only create change in the world if we first start with our own …
“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” ~Proverb
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to contribute to the world somehow. I’ve always dreamed of starting a charity organization. I bet that, just like me, you walk around with some sort of wish in your heart to change the world in some way, but you might not do anything about it. How come?
My excuses were time, money, fears, and not knowing how to go about it. I’m guessing you have similar hindrances.
Until recently I held on to the limiting belief…
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown
Maybe someone hurt you physically or emotionally. Maybe you’ve survived something else traumatic—a natural disaster, a fire, an armed robbery. Or maybe you’ve just come out of a trying situation, and though you know you’ll eventually recover, you still feel pain that seems unbearable.
Whatever the case may be, you’ve been scarred and you carry it with you through many of your days.
Most of us can relate on some level to that feeling. Even people who excel at taking personal responsibility have at least one story of having been hurt. Though some …
“The journey is the reward.” ~Chinese Proverb
We’ve probably all heard this famous piece of wisdom at one time or another.
I’ll be honest, there were a few years where I just plain blew it off.
Like, “Yeah, yeah, journey, reward, I got it. Cool. Now, when’s my ship coming in?”
Not that I was greedy. Just impatient to arrive at a place called Made It. It seemed that other people were already there and I was eager to join them.
I had seen the brochure for Made It and I knew then and there, it was my kind …
“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” ~Henry David Thoreau
About a month ago I decided to add more at-home exercise to my schedule.
Since I found out that sitting for multiple hours a day can increase our heart attack risk by fifty-four percent, I have figured out that the more movement I add to my life, the better for my longevity.
Being vital and living a long life are important to me, so making the decision to add more exercise was easy.
Yet, my plan did not work …
“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings” ~Henry Ward Beecher
I’m a calm person by nature, but like everybody else, there are a few things that get my blood, at the very least, simmering. One of them used to be inconveniences.
Our daily lives are filled with delays, missed opportunities, setbacks, and outright nuisances. It happens to us all.
Missing a bus and being late for work. Being locked out of the house for four hours when you have an urgent exam to prepare for, with all your notes …
“The secret of joy is the mastery of pain” ~Anais Nin
I come from a family of runners. They run from pain, emotions, and uncomfortable feelings.
My mom was 17 when she moved to Texas to get away from her overbearing mother. She couldn’t deal with the pain of never being enough for her parents or herself. She left her parents, extended family, and friends behind in Mississippi without a second glance.
A recovering anorexic, she was looking for something, anything that would ease the pain and prove she was okay.
My father arrived in Texas in his …
“Nothing reduces the odds against you like ignoring them.” ~Robert Brault
Do you ever wake up feeling like you’re battling yourself?
What’s worse is waking up in that battle and feeling like you’ve already lost before you’ve even started the day.
But think about that for a second: isn’t living this way crazy? We think it’s normal to be fighting ourselves. We’re taught we need to grind it out and make something of ourselves to be successful. We’re taught we need to become something.
And the underlying message is this: who we are right now isn’t good enough.
We’re starving …
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt
When you’re young, anything seems possible. Whether you want to become a school teacher, a ballerina, or an astronaut, it all feels within your reach.
And you so easily get excited by it.
You can visualize in vivid detail what it would be like to hold your roses at curtain call, or how proud you’ll feel when you save the day—as a fireman, a soldier, or maybe even a superhero. You pretend your way through different roles and stay …
“The world is full of a lot of fear and a lot of negativity, and a lot of judgment. I just think people need to start shifting into joy and happiness. As corny as it sounds, we need to make a shift.” ~Ellen DeGeneres
I’ve dealt with a lot of negativity in my life.
When I was only 20, my dad died of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Before that I had to watch him suffer from it for a couple of years as his body slowly lost its functions.
Also, when I was young I was bullied a lot…
“It isn’t our position but our disposition that makes us happy” ~Unknown
I am just winding down from a business trip that has been both trying and inspiring at the same time. I’ve recently been put into a role to manage a department in a functionality I know nothing about, working with people I’ve barely met, and changing a formerly toxic environment.
To say the least, I have a challenge ahead of me. Now six months into the position, I took my direct reports to breakfast and told them the sole purpose was for them to give feedback on how …
“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.” ~Richard Bach
There are times when nothing seems to move in the right direction. We either feel stuck or lost in chaos and confusion. Days follow nights as pages on the calendar turn into months, but you remain at the same place.
A few years back I suffered a miscarriage in the eighth month of pregnancy. I lost my baby and my dreams of motherhood. In the deep void I experienced both physical pain and mental agony.
At such times despite your efforts, the situation turns from bad to …
“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” ~Ayn Rand
For too many years, I played the part of the perfect little southern girl: I kept my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. I dressed properly, including panty hose, slips, and girdles. I didn’t laugh too loudly in public. I did what I was told.
You see, I learned at an early age that I had to do this in order to always be seen as a “good little girl” (and avoid getting punished). I continued the same behavior after I got …
I’ve recently fallen in love with a company called Buddha Doodles, run by cartoonist and illustrator Molly Hahn.
Buddha Doodles are whimsically illustrated affirmations. Molly’s mission is to inspire others to lead more mindful and positive lives, while shedding light on the inherent wisdom and joy that is available to each and every one of us at any moment.
I found her joyful, colorful Buddha images on Facebook and just knew I had to reach out to her about collaborating on some projects!
To start out with, Molly designed a fun bookmark using one of the quotes from my …
“Happiness is really a deep inner satisfaction and approval” ~Francis Wiltshire
At the start of the year many of us make resolutions about what we want to give up, what we need to let go—from quitting smoking (did that 20+ years ago), to cutting back on alcohol (a work in progress), to cutting back on not-so-healthy foods (also in progress), to letting go of past “demons.”
There’s a lot to be gained by letting go of past pain, by breaking bad habits. But what if we thought more in terms of what we might welcome into our lives—what we …
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” ~Theophrastus
Don’t we all wish we had more time? Time to spend with loved ones. Time to finish solving a problem. Time to eat, pray, love. Time to exercise more. Time to travel to all the continents on the globe.
Time to finish that project. Time to take that diving course, yoga class, or self-improvement seminar. Time to chat with our grandparents. Time to visit an old friend.
Time to aid the poor. Time to listen to the news. Time to challenge yourself. Time to meditate. Time to do volunteer …
“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” ~Margaret B Runbeck
It had been months since I’d gotten a good night’s sleep.
I’d wake up gasping from bad dreams throughout the night, and I’d feel an immediate knot in my stomach as soon as it was time to get up and face the day.
When the morning beckoned, all I wanted to do was hide under the covers.
But even when hiding from the physical world, my thoughts could still find me, belaboring on in an incessant stream of “have-tos” and “should-bes.”
I’d wake up …
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~Brother David Steindl-Rast
In the summer of 1993, my father was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
He was only fifty-eight. Still just a kid.
This was a devastating development, to say the least. Things had already been challenging for my family for several years before this blow.
Dad had lost his corporate banking job in Boston—quite unjustly, in our view—kicking off a nearly three-year-long bout of unemployment.
This was not an easy time for our family, but we …
“If you surrender completely to the moment as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Last week on Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend Ehren and I had a meeting we’d both spent months working toward.
After writing and rewriting a romantic comedy screenplay for over a year, and consulting with a screenwriter friend to improve it, we’d finally secured a meeting with an agent—her agent. At one of the largest agencies in Hollywood. Presumably to represent us.
We couldn’t have been more thrilled to know our project might have a real future, and the timing …