“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” ~Francois Gautier
My husband was a gift I never expected to find. I never imagined that I deserved the kind of love that he was capable of giving me. With complete certainty, I felt safe in loving him and lucky to marry him.
We both had children from previous relationships, and, with high hopes, we entered into the balancing act of a blended family.
I had reasonable expectations that among the hard work there would be an unspoken respect for each other, and we’d slowly start …
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 …
To celebrate the New Year, I decided to run a second Tiny Wisdom eBook sale (as I previously did on my birthday in August).
For today only, if you purchase the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (5 eBooks for $19.97), I will send a free set to a friend of your choice. (Weekly email subscribers, this offer is good for you today, Friday January 4th.)
All you need to do is:
- Order your set (by scrolling all the way down and clicking on “buy now” for the full set)
- Forward your confirmation email to me at email(AT)tinybuddha(DOT)com
- Include your friend’s
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
When I entered college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to be an actuary, just like my sister.
Judy had just graduated, and she loved her job. My sister and I are very similar (both of us are math nerds, for example), so I knew I would love it too.
While my school didn’t have an Actuarial Science major or any formal preparation for the career, I was able to get ahead, passing the qualifying exams …
“You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~The Buddha
Bodhicitta. Metta. Loving-kindness. Compassion. Whatever you call it, this is what spiritual practice is all about, right? Long story short, the teachings instruct us to generate these vast motivations and wishes that all sentient beings be free from suffering and experience true and lasting happiness.
It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
So why is it that so many of us are still unhappy, even after years of sitting on the cushion? Why do we still struggle with depression, anxiety, fear, and even self-loathing?
“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.” ~Ruth Ann Schabacker
Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, or how you honor it, there’s no denying this is an emotionally loaded time of year.
We either remind ourselves how grateful we are for all the people we love, or we remember how much it hurts that we don’t have people like that in our lives.
We either celebrate all our blessings, or we look toward the year to come, wondering if we’ll have more then.
You may find yourself reflecting on last Christmas in awe of how much …
“A more peaceful way to live is to decide consciously which battles are worth fighting and which are better left alone.” ~Richard Carlson
Have you ever been in a relationship that seemed more like work than fun? Where every day you seemed to have a new issue to discuss?
Maybe it had to do with little miscommunications, or an ongoing dispute, or a difference of opinion that regularly complicated your daily interactions.
Whatever it was, you always found yourself wanting to hash things out to get everything back to normal.
Except that was normal—conflict, friction, and disagreement; you just held …
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” ~Marianne Williamson
I lay huddled in a ball, my arms tightly around my knees, screaming at the top of my lungs. “Stop!” I wailed.
It was November 30, 2006. The next day I was turning 13, and it seemed like my life was crumbling before my eyes.
Earlier that night I was on my computer mindlessly clicking, with the usual soundtrack in the background, my mother and stepfather screaming at each other—until I heard a shattering smash. For minutes the house lay silent.
“When you live on a round planet, there’s no choosing sides.” ~Wayne Dyer
Te holiday season is a time to connect with others, to celebrate our common humanity, even if the holidays we celebrate are different.
Instead sadly people all over the world are still taking sides. They seek to identify with one “side” or another (tribe, culture, religion, politics, nationality). They seek to belong by being distinct from others.
They seek to belong by hating the other side, sometimes by killing the other side.
But finding identity in reinforcing our differences will never give us a true sense of …
“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than hurt yourself trying to put them back together.” ~Unknown
There was a time when I was quite black-and-white with relationships. I either trusted you implicitly, assuming you’d never intentionally hurt me, or believed you wanted to cause me pain and questioned everything you did.
Once you moved yourself into the latter category, there was no going back.
Eventually, I realized I was limiting my relationships by not recognizing the grey area, where people are human, they make mistakes, and they need forgiveness and understanding.
From there I …
“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~Albert Einstein
I feel grateful to be a writer not only because I love to write, but also because writing has been one of my greatest spiritual teachers. Challenges I face as a writer teach me important life lessons, just as life teaches me lessons I can apply to my writing.
Here are seven spiritual lessons I’ve learned—some the hard way—that can apply to writing and to life in general.
1. Be mindful.
Showing up—really showing up with all your attention—is the first and most important …
“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun, like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” ~Fred Rogers
When you’re depressed, your perception about many things changes—so how does this affect your relationships?
I’m thinking about this today, because—drum roll, please—I’m a little depressed.
Now, I’m not depressed in the suicidal “I want to drive off the road” kind of way, but in the far less dramatic but still deeply unpleasant “mild to moderate” kind of way.
For me, one of …
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E Cummings
I was a pretty shy and very quiet kid, so going to school for the first time in kindergarten was a terrifying experience for me.
After a short time, though, life brightened for me in my little elementary school. As it turned out, I loved learning and was a natural student. It was my bliss and often a respite from tumultuous home circumstances, the first place that I spoke out loud with confidence.
Unfortunately, in the urban neighborhood where I lived, being smart meant being …
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
I married myself at the age of thirty-seven in a quiet ceremony of one near a waterfall in Big Sur, California.
I had prepared my “soul vows.” These vows were my deepest commitment to love, cherish, and deeply care for all parts of myself, in sickness and in health, until my time on the planet comes to an end.
My soul vows became an ode to honoring my highest self always, and remembering that seeking love outside myself will never bring fulfillment unless I …
“We are all connected in ways we cannot even begin to fathom. Our lives unfold through each other and within each other.” ~David Rhodes
I can’t help myself—I love sleeping with people.
The more the better!
There’s nothing like crawling between the sheets with a lot of people. Female. Male. An armload of ethnicities. It’s all good!
Hey, don’t look at me like I should be ashamed of myself, because I’m not!
Besides, I know you do it, too. And you probably love it just as much as I do.
You think you know what I’m talking about, but I …
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy
Oh yeah, this has been a big one for me. Huge.
I’ve had a long, tedious journey toward recognizing that many of my thoughts were based in judgments of others. I didn’t realize it for years.
I used to think I had strong opinions, was decisive, and able to “evaluate” others. I “got” people. I understood where they were coming from, their motivations, and why they said what they said and did what they did.
I was a highly skilled …
“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.” ~Billy Wilder
I’ve had my share of toxic relationships. Is it fair to say you have too? My guess is that we’ve all endured the company of people who weren’t rooting for our highest good.
As for me, the relationships that were the most debilitating and unhealthy gave me the feeling that I wasn’t taking care of myself spiritually, mentally, or physically.
I felt like less than myself, like I was compromising my life goals with each second I stayed around those people. Mind …
“Distance means so little when someone means so much.” ~Unknown
People tend to think long-distance relationships are one of the hardest possible ways of loving someone. I live in one: As a young European, I am deeply in love with my African boyfriend who pursues his career in Asia.
I met my love about two years ago. After dating for a few months and sharing a wonderful time in an Asian country, we split up, as he had many doubts about things that seemed to separate us. At this point in time, our differences seemed to be too wide to …
“Pain is not a sign of weakness, but bearing it alone is a choice to grow weak.” ~Lori Deschene
There was a time in my life when I struggled to share my pain. I actually took great pride in how stubborn I had become. It wasn’t until I started looking within myself that these prideful attitudes started to shift. Actually, my whole life started to change.
Once I started my journey of self-discovery, I no longer wanted to deal with my pain by myself. I slowly reached out to others and asked them for help.
It was in …
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay
We all have techniques we depend on to lift our spirits when we’re feeling down about ourselves or our lives.
A while back I realized something about the ones I’d found most effective when struggling to forgive or accept myself: Many of them involved seeking validation from other people.
Some of my most effective mood-boosters included:
- Reading emails from readers who’d benefitted from my writing
- Calling loved ones and reminding myself of how much they valued me