“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 …
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“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of love.” ~Ann Herbert
An unsolicited financial donation right when you need it. Roadside assistance from a stranger after your car breaks down. An anonymous gift when you’re struggling and in desperate need of a smile.
These are just a few random acts of kindness that can transform your day and renew your faith in people, and just …
“Peace begins with a smile.” ~Mother Theresa
Minor things can trigger bad days, whether it’s a having a tiff with your roommate, getting stuck in traffic, or just waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
As a fitness instructor, I’ve found that one negative comment from a member in a class can completely derail an otherwise happy day.
Someone in one of my fitness classes once griped about my music selection after what I thought was an amazing class. It almost drained my entire high, but after hearing from the other 99.9% of the class that was sweaty …
“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown
Sometimes I stop to think about how in the world I ended up where I have. I started off with very little, and somehow along the way I have ended up generally happy and on my own two feet.
My adolescence up to my early twenties had its share of dark days. Whether or not we are lucky enough to have a small handful of people that stick by us no matter what, more often than not we can find ourselves feeling incredibly lonely.
For a long time through …
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” ~Steve Furtick
Have you ever wondered when the turning point was? When did you start questioning yourself and believing you were missing something? When did you stop thinking of yourself as invincible and start noticing what others called “flaws”?
As a teenager and young adult, I struggled with severe depression and anxiety.
In my early twenties, I entered treatment for my eating disorder, a decision that proved to be life-changing in the most positive of ways.
During my second stint in treatment, I …
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~Pema Chodron
One of my yoga teachers, Johanna Aldrich, inspired me to inspect what I “thought” I was.
“This is what I am, this is what I am not, this is what I do, this is what I don’t do, this is what I like, that is what I don’t like.” All the stories and behavior patterns gathered in 40+ years that I had created to define myself.
Of course, I had reasons and whys behind all of these things I “thought” …
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Yoga, road trips, and personal stories that border on TMI—these are all things I enjoy, which might explain why I was drawn to Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi.
In this engaging self-help memoir, author and yoga teacher Brian Leaf shares his experiences healing Colitis and ADD through yoga.
Including anecdotes from a cross-country journey during which he tried many different studios, Brian provides a window into his …
“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is: a dissatisfaction with self.” ~Joan Didion
For a few years in the late 90s, I had a date with the green-eyed monster every other Monday at 6:00 PM on the dot.
That was when my women artists support group met in my friend Anne’s studio.
For those three hours, like clockwork, the envy monster took over my body, mind, and spirit.
Oh, how I wanted a studio like Anne’s! Wide open space for her to paint, high ceilings, natural light through clerestory windows, a small office for her computer …
“Your actions are your only true belongings.” ~Allan Lokos
I used to be the kind of girl who relished stable and perfect surroundings. I fanned my magazines. I scrubbed the inside of the refrigerator.
I worked tirelessly to cultivate the external environment that I was lacking inside.
Externally, things were in order. The bills were paid. The laundry was folded.
Internally, I was a voracious black hole of yearning.
I consumed everything that was closest to me—food, love, validation—in an attempt to fill the void that I experienced on a daily basis. That feeling of not being enough, of …
“Freedom is instantaneous the moment we accept things as they are.” ~Karen Maezen Miller
The world is filled with people who work hard at being positive, peaceful, and more spiritual and then feel bad when they don’t measure up. I know because I used to be one of them. And I still am from time to time.
That was before I realized something:
1 It doesn’t work.
2. Spirituality isn’t something you do; it’s something you are, and you are this right now. Just as beneath the chatter of your mind you are already positive and peaceful too.
3. You …
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~Chinese Proverb
Yes, I had reached the age of twenty-five. Still, I doubted this letter from my past would make it to me, all these years later. It was a simple creative writing assignment from when I was fifteen.
The teacher collected our letters to our future ourselves in self-addressed envelopes with stamps and promised to mail them ten years later. But, so much time had passed; would he keep his word? Would he even remember?
Thinking back on the letter, I tried to remember writing …
“Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time.” ~Shunryu Suzuki
Two years ago, I reached a breaking point. I was miserable in my job, unhappy in my marriage, disinterested in my graduate school program, and struggling with multiple medical issues.
One night, while fighting with my husband, a deep sense of dread overcame me. Who is this person, so beaten, broken, and miserable? I’d become completely unrecognizable to myself.
I knew I had to make a decision: continue on a downward spiral out of fear and lose myself completely, or let go, fall, …
“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” ~Paulo Coelho
I stood there in the parking lot of my apartment complex, with the hot Phoenix sun beating down on me, as I watched him drive away for what I thought would be the last time.
With tears rolling down my cheeks, I went inside my apartment after his car had turned the corner and was out of sight.
When the door closed behind me with that familiar thud, I could almost feel the loneliness swallow me up.
We met nine months earlier and quickly fell in love. But …
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
I’m betting you’ve heard the advice to “follow your bliss.” While I find there to be much value in those words, I submit that this mindset can become a trap.
It’s not the bliss I have an issue with. It’s the part about following.
If you are going to follow your bliss, the supposition is that you already know what it is. Maybe you do, and maybe you don’t. Yet.
When I was in my early twenties, my mother invited me to join …
“The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there.” ~Ellie Rodriguez
One day I came home and just sat in my driveway for a while, wondering why I wasn’t happy about going inside my house. I wasn’t depressed, and I had a loving relationship with my family.
Even though I was married to the love of my life and just had a beautiful baby boy who I couldn’t wait to see every day after a long day of work, something about coming home was simply unpleasant, and it irked me that I wasn’t able …
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ~Ernest Hemingway
When I was a child I was part of a family that didn’t communicate beyond “pass the salt.”
There was no confiding of fears, sharing of hopes, and encouraging each other’s dreams. It was a superficial and empty existence but one that was completely normal to me.
Fast forward numerous years, add in three children and a loving partner of my own; now I try to create a childhood for my own kids that is a polar opposite to my own experience. …
“Keep your head clear. It doesn’t matter how bright the path is if your head is always cloudy.” ~Unknown
Have you ever noticed that your biggest “aha” moment comes from someone asking a powerful question? Suddenly everything seems to make a little more sense, and you know what you need to do from that point forward, right?
That’s exactly how it is for me. Someone will ask me a seemingly trivial question and bam! I’m suddenly overflowing with answers, emotions, solutions—I’m practically made of clarity!
I remember a friend of mine asking me over coffee one rainy afternoon …
“Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” ~Wayne Dyer
I am one of the millions of people in the world obsessed with photography. My camera is almost always with me, and when it isn’t, my trusty iPhone works pretty well.
But photography for me is much more than a fun hobby, and it is much more than taking pretty pictures that I can sell.
Photography helps me notice and appreciate my life.
I practice what is called a meditative or contemplative form of photography. It’s about being present and open to life as it is, without …
Happy almost 2013!
It seems like just yesterday I wrote “Happy almost 2012!” before summarizing the top lessons from 2011.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, as I like to think that any moment is an ideal time to make a change, but I always appreciate looking back and recognizing progress and growth.
The site grew by leaps and bounds this year, surpassing two million monthly page views. However, what I’ve found most exciting is the increased interest in contributing to the blog.
Each month, I’ve received more submissions than the month before, but what inspires me …