“Remember how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.” ~Rick Warren
We’re always talking about how we should live in the now and “be present.” We shame ourselves for looking back at the past or into the future, thinking that we shouldn’t look too far ahead or worry about what’s to come, and we shouldn’t get too caught up in events that have already happened. We want to be focused on being the best person we can be …
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” ~Norman Cousins
Recently, my grandfather passed away. His departure was difficult for me but it has also left me with something I’ll keep for the rest of my life—an unlikely lesson about life and gratitude.
I hadn’t seen my grandfather often before he died because I’ve been living abroad for the last couple of years. But I was still fond of him and I warmly remembered the days we had spent together when I was young. So his passing was a …
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.“ – Steve Jobs
When we come to this world, we know nothing. We are all products of the societies that raised us and shaped our belief system with things labeled good or bad, right or wrong, normal or abnormal.
I was raised in an Eastern European culture that led me to believe every single woman on Earth must tick off certain boxes.
During the time I was single, especially once I turned thirty, many people started to wonder “what was wrong with me” and why I couldn’t …
“Mindful and creative, a child who has neither a past, nor examples to follow, nor value judgments, simply lives, speaks and plays in freedom.” ~Arnaud Desjardins
No human being lives without experiencing the duality of life.
Good and bad. Love and hate. Life and death. Acceptance and rejection. Success and failure. Joy and jealousy. Compassion and judgment.
So why do we spend so much time trying to pretend that it’s bad to experience all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly?
Even our weather men and women tell us it’s a going to be a bad day because …
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done and he did it.
I’ve always believed in the adage “actions speak louder than words.” I’ve never been one to seek guidance from commercial catch phrases, trending tweets, or song lyrics. But Guest’s poem did make me smile. Whether it was the playfulness of the verse or just the simplicity of the message, it spoke volumes to me.
Easy, right? Well, maybe for Edgar, but not so much …
“Wisdom is merely the movement from fighting life to embracing it.” ~Rasheed Ogunlaru
Recently a friend told me a story about taking her seven-year-old to the circus. It was a wonderful mother-daughter outing. Just the two of them, no pesky brothers or dad tagging along and getting in the way.
They had the best time. They watched acrobats and clowns and all manner of brand new delights, gasping at one another gleefully at every new feat. They bathed in each other’s company without interruption, laughing and having fun. Literally all the things.
After this magical afternoon, as the two of …
“We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
From an early age, most of us get the message that we should be happy—from well-meaning parents, teachers, and even perfect strangers. “Smile!” we are told. “Why the long face?” we are asked. It’s no wonder we grow up with the idea that feeling anything less than sunny 24/7 is somehow wrong.
We’re ashamed to admit, even to ourselves, that sometimes we feel down. It seems …
“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.” ~Terry Josephson
When I was in my early twenties I was lucky enough to spend about a year living just a few blocks from the beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia, but you know what I remember most distinctly from that time? Sitting at a red light on the way to work one day thinking: I feel trapped.
To put it simply, I felt stuck in a life I didn’t want.
I had a college degree I wasn’t using. I had a job that I dreaded. I had …
“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
“Who are you? No, really. Who are you?”
I stood at my bathroom mirror, towel twisted around my head, inspecting my own reflection. A woman I hardly recognized looked back at me with empty eyes. Empty mouth. Empty insides.
“Who are you?”
“What do you want?”
“What are you thinking?”
I sighed and reached for the toothbrush. The truth is, I’d been there before. That empty-sad feeling. The feeling of not quite fitting in. Not quite feeling fulfilled.
Before, I’d brush …
“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.” ~Robert Tew
In 2014, I was drowning in unhappiness. I had moved to Palestine five years earlier, later met my husband, and decided to remain in one of the most conflicted countries in the world.
There I was, living in a different country far from the comforts of home that I had always known. My marriage was rife with conflict and pain, and I had nobody to turn to.
I had no family nearby, and with the high turnover of internationals in the country, …
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” ~Paulo Coelho
We’re bombarded by images of people living apparently perfect lives. They suffer no bereavements or breakups or losses or failures. They look perfect, make perfect choices, and act perfect.
Everyone seems to love them as they sail from success to success, with zero misfortunes, mistakes, or regrets.
So, it’s easy to believe that we, too, need to be perfect.
I had a simple definition of success when I was younger. It was whatever made others admire, or at least accept me.…
“The goal is to die with memories, not dreams.” ~Unknown
As we stood holding hands under that great oak tree, I had never felt more surrounded by love. It was simultaneously the most wonderful and haziest moment of my whole life as we said, “I do.”
It had really happened. I had married my best friend.
We made the decision to bring our wedding forward a year after my husband’s dad, Ian, had been diagnosed with cancer. In nine months we had planned and executed our perfect wedding day. And he was there.
We drank and sang and danced the …
“The spiritual path is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don’t know it.” ~Marianne Williamson
I remember it as if it happened yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst tightening of my chest that I had ever experienced. My heart was racing uncontrollably, my hands were clammy and cold, and nothing I did brought relief.
I prayed. I chanted. I tapped. I prayed and then prayed some more.
I thought I was going to die. I started to immediately regret all of the …
“Most of us try to do too much because we are secretly afraid we will not be able to do anything at all.” ~Rick Aster
I’m standing in my art studio. My palette is loaded with paint. My canvas has been prepped and ready. There is a paintbrush in my hand, but I can’t move. I don’t know what color to pick or what shape to make. I start questioning my color selection, the size of my canvas… and everything else under the sun.
A few months ago, I wrote myself a reminder to allow my art to flow through …
“Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.” ~Harriet Lerner
Three decades ago, I married the man with whom I knew I would spend the rest of my life. We each had a rough childhood and had learned a lot about surviving, defending, and protecting ourselves. However, we did not know much about how to maintain a successful relationship.
We took numerous classes on communication, learned to fight fair, and filled our goodwill bank accounts with lots …
“And suddenly you know… it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.” ~Meister Eckhart
Did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail?
That’s pretty crazy. Maybe you’re part of that statistic. Feeling eager, excited, and ready for change only to fall back into old patterns after a few weeks.
This was me, year after year—striving for change but not managing to pull it through, but not last year.
A few days ago I found a letter I had written to myself on New Year’s Eve in 2016, describing how I wanted 2017 to …
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” ~Audrey Hepburn
Happiness and its pursuit fascinate me.
Like most people, I’m curious why on some mornings I wake up and the world is a wonderful place—the sun is shining, happiness oozes out of my heart like warm honey, and the sound of bird song brings a smile to my face. I can only describe this as bliss.
On other mornings, it feels as if all color and wonder in world has drained away. My heart feels heavy in my chest. I’m indifferent to the sound …
“I want to live my life without stress and worries. I don’t need to be rich or famous. I just want to be happy.” ~Unknown
Have you ever set a goal and then become obsessed with it, making it the center of your life and arranging everything else around it? Did you think that only after you achieved your goal would you be totally relaxed and happy?
I’ve done this many times before.
Throughout my life, I’ve measured my happiness by my achievements. I pushed to get good grades in school, then focused on going to a good college, then …
Update – the winners for this giveaway are:
- Marc Remington
Hi friends! Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate.
I’m so grateful to all of you who share your experiences and insights on the blog, and to those who you who give your time and energy to help others in the comments and community forums. I am endlessly inspired by your openness, your empathy, and your kindness.
To celebrate this day, I gathered some of my favorite gratitude quotes (mostly from anonymous sources), and I’ve also put aside two copies of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal for a special …