“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.” ~Eckhart Tolle
For thirteen years I’ve lived a high-risk lifestyle that focuses very much on the here and now, because I’m an entrepreneur, and that means making lots of fast decisions that affect the future.
It took a while for me to develop confidence in myself, as we tend to doubt ourselves much more than other people might doubt us. Our thoughts form our doubts, so I knew I had to do something to move forward from the thoughts …
“Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.” ~Osho
Meditating. It’s one of those things that we all know we’d be better off doing, but most of us struggle with it immensely.
It’s difficult. It’s hard to find the time. And it often doesn’t seem like it’s working.
For many years, I’ve tried to make meditation a regular habit. But rarely can I do it consistently. It’s almost always the first thing to go when I’m crunched for time or feeling stressed.
Of course, those are the times that meditation is best!
But, for …
“Do the best you can, from where you are, with what you have, now.” ~African-American proverb
When I first started on my spiritual path, I desperately wanted to live in a more connected and satisfying way. I had a secret longing to know who I truly was and to finally reach my creative potential—not only as a writer, but also as a person. My intention was to express mastery through spirituality.
At the time, this made perfect sense. Spirituality, for me, was connecting to the creative part of myself—that invisible, powerful place where anything is possible.
“When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” ~Henry Ford
We all have this image of how depression looks. It’s a person looking all sullen and grim. Rain is usually involved. It’s dark. It’s cloudy. It’s depressing.
But what about the sunny depression, the one that almost never shows its face in public, the one that looks just… normal.
I’m a naturally happy person. I wake up smiling. I go to bed smiling. I even smile in my sleep, or so I’ve been told. Yet I’ve been depressed, …
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole lives waiting to start living.” ~Eckhart Tolle
One key lesson I learned on my journey to developing my business knowledge base is that everything is built from the ground up, and each stage has important lessons for the subsequent stages. Sometimes we are only privy to the first stages.
Other times, we only see the middle and final stages. These are the times when we are wowed at how fast things have happened for others, and we become insecure and worried about the pace of our growth.
No one …
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron
Contained within your fears is genuine wisdom waiting to be discovered. Don’t underestimate this.
In order to tap into this wisdom, you must interview your fears, meeting them with curiosity and compassion. Allow them to speak their wisdom to you. Listen deeply; get into the details in order pin down exactly what they are trying to communicate. Honor whatever it is you find.
You see, these fears are like little children. They will kick and scream until you meet them with empathy. So do …
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
I’ve always sped through life. I’ve always been ready to take on the next moment, that new place, make a new memory.
I’m an obsessive planner. I love control. Seriously, I love the feeling of researching and executing a plan flawlessly. It makes me feel like it’s all worth something, or it gives my life meaning. Nothing satisfies me more than being able to check that next “life goal” off the multiple checklists I create.
This idea of getting to the next place and achieving as …
“At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.” ~Christine Mason Miller
A while back I was completely overwhelmed. I was drowning in conflicting work commitments, our son’s crazy end of term schedule, over-commitment to a volunteer role, and a pounding headache I just couldn’t shift. Everything was about to go seriously pear-shaped if I didn’t do something stat!
Now, if you knew me you’d know I am a “fixer.” So, because I fix things all the time (usually for other people!) I decided to book myself in for …
“I’m stronger because of the hard times, wiser because of my mistakes, and happier because I have known sadness.” ~Unknown
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed anti-depressants when I was twenty-one years old. I refer to this point in my life as the “Dark Ages.”
Leading up to grad school, I’d suddenly become afflicted with incomprehensible despair.
At seventeen, for the first time (at least for the first time I could remember), I considered suicide. I felt as if life should’ve been more than what it was. I had a deep sense that I was supposed to …
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~Albert Einstein
I had drawn a line so deep in the sand about who I was.
I was certain I was on my way to becoming a better version of me.
Water rushed in, softening that line, revealing that I was part of something much bigger than I saw myself to be.
Something much bigger than I could control myself into.
So many children grow up with circumstances far …
“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” ~Henry David Thoreau
I was slipping deeper into a dark spiral after my fortieth birthday, looking for anything to grab onto and pull myself out of the darkness. Some said I was having a midlife crisis, but I believe it was actually the beginning of an awakening for me. For the sake of argument, I’ll call it a midlife awakening.
This by no means meant that I understood the meaning of life and was all of a sudden enlightened and happy—quite the …
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
Humans are amazing creatures. We have so much potential to create, effect change, and love. We can generate and organize. We can grow and learn.
The unharnessed creative potential within us also means that we have the capacity for destruction. We can start wars over words, or follow our monkey minds into a frenzy of worry and distraction. We can keep on telling ourselves that when that one thing we want so badly happens, then everything will be better.
We are so creative that we believe …
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.” ~Unknown
For almost all my life, I have lived in my head.
In my head, there was a utopia. And that utopia was named “someday.”
“Someday” I would have my degree, have the perfect relationship, become successful in business, own a beautiful home near the beach, be more athletic, and of course, be completely fulfilled with every aspect of my life.
For me, “Someday” was both a place of refuge and a place of torment. Because although in my mind, it gave me something to hope for, …
“What we see is mainly what we look for.” ~Unknown
Years ago I was fortunate enough to travel on a Mediterranean cruise. I had just graduated from college and was in that difficult transition stage where I didn’t know what would come next. I was looking to relax, but also hoping that some soul searching would lead to clarity, epiphanies, and answers.
One day I thought I found them on the island of Santorini, Greece.
Between the blinding whites, the sapphire blues, the sun-kissed streets, and the black-sand beaches, I felt like I had been dropped in a utopia.
“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.” ~Robert Pirsig
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by unpleasant thoughts and feelings? Do they show up like an uninvited guest when you’re least expecting them?
About eight months ago, I quit a lucrative corporate job in finance to follow my passion, writing.
Like most things in life, this decision came with a cost.
And all the angst that comes with it.
A few months into my venture, I noticed my angst had become a large part of my mental world. I …
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” ~Steve Maraboli
Sometimes I try really hard to control things.
I run two businesses so, in many ways, control gives me a sense of peace of mind.
When my team is doing what they are supposed to be doing, I can relax. When business is booming, I can relax. When I am getting what I want, I can relax.
This control freak-ness doesn’t just apply for me in just business. I used to be this way about my body, and I notice these tendencies …
“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take action. Take action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. From the time I was very young, I would worry about things—my life, my parents, my house, the state of the world.
I would experience a tightness in my chest and an overall sense of fear that only got worse the more I worried. The more I worried, the more afraid I became of the unseen factors that plagued me.
Anxiety is distress, caused by fear of danger or misfortune, …
“The best way out is always through.” ~Robert Frost
Earlier this year my partner, our son, and I all moved to Santa Barbara from Oregon. People move all the time, but for us it was a huge step.
My partner had a new exciting dream job, and we were eager to experience the sunshine of California. But our son was only six months old at the time, and we were leaving both our families and all of our friends. On top of that, I was leaving my successful private practice in Chinese Medicine to become a stay-at-home-mom.
I knew it …
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ~Marcus Aurelius
I recently met a woman at a friend’s dinner party. She was tall and attractive, yet had a glowing, inviting energy about her. I liked her nearly immediately even though I had no concrete reason to. In my myopic mind, attractive and genuinely inviting energy do not combine, and I was naturally drawn to her for this combination.
Just as the Universe would have it, the woman and I were seated next to each …