Category “love & relationships”

When People We Love Die: How to Honor Their Legacies and Lessons

“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on.” ~Irving Berlin

I never went for any of my grandparent’s funerals as a young child, and honestly, I was secretly glad that I didn’t. I was too young to comprehend what death felt like, and I don’t think I had the strength in me to do so. So, when I heard about their deaths, I told myself stories that they had gone on an extended vacation and were having loads of fun, and hence we couldn’t see them.

This story played in my mind all through the years, and that’s what …

Why I Now Believe Everyone Is Doing the Best They Can


“You just never know what someone is dealing with behind closed doors. No matter how happy someone looks, how loud their laugh is, how big their smile is, there can still be a level of hurt that is indescribable. So be kind. Even when others are not, choose to be kind.” ~Andrea Russett 

Everyone is doing the best they can. When they can do better, they will.

“I disagree,” you say. “I see people who are not doing their best all the time!”

Before the year 2006, I had a ton of complaints about the world and the people around …

4 Ways to Overcome Alienation and Loneliness

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

Have you ever felt like a stranger in your own life? Watching other people like you were separated by some invisible wall?

Most of us have felt it from time to time and understand all too well how detrimental loneliness can be if it doesn’t go away. In fact, research has shown that loneliness is worse than smoking or obesity to a person’s health.

Yet we …

When You Struggle with Being Yourself, Remember This

“Make the most of yourself… for that is all there is of you.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every day, it was more or less the same. I presented an edited version of myself to the world. I felt a deep level of discomfort with the idea of letting myself go. Could I? Should I? The answer was “no” every time, even if it wasn’t always a conscious decision.

It felt wrong to be myself in a society where we’re conditioned to believe that we have to look and be a certain way to fit in. I believed that no one …

He Broke My Heart But Taught Me These 5 Things About Love

“Sometimes the only closure you need is the understanding that you deserve better.” ~Trent Shelton 

I’ll never forget the day we met.

It was a classic San Francisco day. The sky was a perfect cerulean blue. The sun sparkled brightly.

I ventured from my apartment in the Haight to Duboce Park to enjoy the Saturday. Dogs chased balls in the dog park. Friends congregated on the little hill. They giggled, listened to music, and ate picnic food. Kites flew high in the breeze. Adults tossed Frisbees in their t-shirts and bare feet.

And I sat, bundled up in my scarf, …

If You’re in a Painful Relationship and Considering Estrangement…

“I understand the life around me better, not from love, which everyone acknowledges to be a great teacher, but from estrangement, to which nobody has attributed the power of reinforcing insight.” ~Nirad C. Chaudhuri

I was brought up to understand that family is family.  So I have naturally given great weight to the importance of family bonds. However, what happens when a familial bond breaks? Do you commit yourself to holding on despite the cost, or do you acknowledge the damage and take the necessary steps to sever the tie?

Personally, I sit somewhere in the middle. Any …

If You’re Insecure and Afraid of Rejection Like Me…

“How brave the moon shines in her skin; outnumbered by the stars.” ~Angie Welland-Crosby

I have this reoccurring dream where I am about to teach a yoga class. I stand to teach, and no one is paying any attention to me. They are all distracted or in deep conversation with one another and have no interest in engaging in the class.

As I begin, one by one the students get up and leave. I am mortified and discouraged, though I continue to teach anyway.

I wake up from the dream with a sinking feeling in my stomach and heaviness in …

8 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You

“You can’t force anyone to value, respect, understand, or support you, but you can choose to spend your time around people who do.” ~Lori Deschene

It can be paralyzing.

The worry about what other people think about you, I mean. That worry can hinder you from pursuing your dreams. It can stop you from expressing your true nature and stand in the way of the life you so badly want to create.

This worry can easily get your mind wandering to dark places and trigger feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and self-doubt. When it has a grip on you, you …

44 Things to Never Say to a Rape Survivor

“It was not your fault, even if you were drunk, even if you were wearing a low-cut mini-dress, even if you were out walking alone at night, even if you were on a date with the rapist and kind of liked him but didn’t want to have sex with him.” ~Joanna Connors

Child sexual abuse victims who speak up are incredibly brave and vulnerable. If a child comes to you for support, be mindful of your energy and reactions. If you need to ask them questions to get a better understanding, be mindful of your tone, body language, and intonation.…

Healing from the Conflicting Loss of a Difficult Parent

“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

I had a tumultuous and interesting relationship with my father. He was a strong, proud man in his spirit as well as in his physical appearance. In my younger years, I …

If You Expect a Lot and You’re Tired of Being Disappointed

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, anxiety, or possessions—we cannot be free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Almost universally, many of the problems we face in life are tied to our own expectations.  Expectations of ourselves. Expectations of others. Expectations of situations. Expectations of the world at large.

We may expect ourselves to be perfect and successful in all our pursuits. We may expect to feel constantly happy with our lives. We may expect others to think and react like we do. We may expect …

How to Make Someone Smile: 10 Mindful Acts of Kindness

“The greatest gifts you can give someone are your time, your love, and your attention.” ~Unknown

The other day I saw this phrase on social media: “Spread kindness, not COVID-19.” And I started thinking about how kindness is contagious, which reminded me of a viral video I’ve always loved:

A skateboarding kid falls, and a construction worker helps him up. The kid then sees an elderly woman struggling with grocery bags and helps her carry them across the street. That woman then gives coins to a woman at a parking meter who’s rifling through her purse. And on and on …

The Key to Helping a Person Who Is Depressed

“Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems. Look for someone who won’t let you face them alone.” ~Unknown

Depression for me is like constantly walking up a hill.

Most of the time the hill has only a one percent gradient. You can hardly even tell it’s a hill. I walk, run, jump, skip along, doing cartwheels and stopping to smell pretty flowers and listen to bird-calls; it’s sunny and warm, with clear blue skies.

Even though I have to put in a little bit of effort to walk up, times are good.

And then something happens in …

Why They Wanted to Deny She Was Buddhist in Her Eulogy

“Live and let live.” ~Unknown

So there I was, sitting in front of the Zoom meeting, when it happened. The overwhelming grief just hit me like a freight train. And no matter how much emotional training I tried to dig into, or self-help tricks I tried to muster up, nothing could stop the train in that moment.

The emotions flooded over me and forced me to stop and break down with the simple, plain, beautiful, and powerful truth: I miss my friend.

I had been so busy in this new Covid world, gathering up pictures of her for her obituary, …

The Unexpected Impact of Growing Up with a Difficult Mother

“Difficulties in your life do not come to destroy you, but to help you realise your hidden potential and power, let difficulties know that you too are difficult.” ~Abdul Kalam

Do you sometimes daydream that your mom is gone, and all your troubles disappear along with her?

I used to imagine that, too.

When Mom was in intensive care, swaying between life and death, I sat outside, shell-shocked, trembling all over my body, trying to comprehend the doctor’s words: “Her condition is critical, and only time will show if she will make it. I’m sorry.”

For a moment, I …

What to Do When You Can’t Seem to Love Yourself

“You’ll be amazed at what you attract when you start believing in what you deserve.” ~Unknown

You just need to love yourself more.

I’ve heard that advice so many times when I’ve felt rejected, inadequate, and not enough. And instead of that advice helping me, it has just made me feel even more rejected, inadequate, and not enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t angry at the person giving me the advice—I was angry with myself for not being able to love myself unconditionally.

It’s easier to feel love for yourself when things are going well. When …

Calling Out Bullies: Why You Need to Stand Up for Yourself

“Standing up for yourself doesn’t make you argumentative. Sharing your feelings doesn’t make you overly sensitive. And saying no doesn’t make you uncaring or selfish. If someone won’t respect your feelings, needs, and boundaries, the problem isn’t you; it’s them.” ~Lori Deschene

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the main character Atticus Finch says, “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter …

How I Forgave When Life Felt Painful and Unfair

“Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that their behavior was ‘OK.’ What it does mean is that we’re ready to move on. To release the heavy weight. To shape our own life, on our terms, without any unnecessary burdens. Forgiveness is pure freedom—and forgiveness is a choice.” ~Dr. Suzanne Gelb

It happened, again.

I was sitting opposite one of my closest family members. The irritation coming from me could almost be felt and touched in the room. One comment from him and boom, it was like pouring gasoline on a fire. I couldn’t help myself, I used to get so upset in …

40 Reasons You’re Amazing and Worth Appreciating

I’m willing to bet that most of us spend far more time focusing on what we aren’t than appreciating who we are. We home in everything we think we lack and then feel bad about ourselves, when there’s actually a lot to celebrate if we take the time recognize it.

It’s partly a byproduct of our time: We’re constantly inundated with pics and stories narrating everyone else’s lives, when really, they’re just highlight reels. They’re the filtered, photoshopped version of lives as messy and imperfect as ours.

And regardless of where they pose, what they wear, or what they’re …

How to Stop Obsessing Over What Other People Think of You

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I spent way too much of my life worrying about what other people were thinking of me.

I couldn’t walk down the street without sucking in my gut for fear a stranger might have thought I looked fat (mind you, I did this even when I weighed 120 pounds!!)

Going to any social gathering—a Halloween party, networking event, craft fair, even a holiday family meal—was so stressful it felt like I had a bees’ nest in my chest.

I …