“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.” ~Lewis B. Smedes
I was planning a seminar event with one of my good friends. (Let’s call her “Randi.”) It was a great match; she had event planning and design expertise, and great energy in front of an audience. I understood the structure of such an event, and I authored much of the content.
It was a powerful presentation and we were going to be a great team bringing the material to life. We spent months putting the seminar together: rehearsing, setting the date, booking the …
“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” ~John De Paola
Do you ever work past the point where you know it’s time to stop? Where your body, heart, and soul are saying, “Ah, enough already,” only you can’t hear them because your mind is pushing you on?
And have you ever pushed to such an extent you become physically and/or mentally sick?
My hand is raised.
Working hard and pushing the boundaries can be stimulating and rewarding; the problem comes when there’s an imbalance for extended periods.
Meditation and silence are increasingly advocated …
“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick
How often do you pause to appreciate what you have in life?
When I was young, I took things for granted. I believe many other kids did so, as well. After all, we were young and we didn’t know what life could be like on the other side.
One thing we took for granted was education. In my country, it’s compulsory for all kids to go to school, so it was a given. We never thought about how lucky we were to be educated.…
“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I grew up in what I like to call The Box of Daughter: a rigid structure of rules about values, beliefs, thinking, feeling, and behaving, set forth for me by super-religious parents who grew up in boxes of their own.
For a large part of my life, my thinking bounced around within the confines of that box—worrying the old worries, thinking the old thoughts, feeling the old pain, and acting out pretty much the same compulsions time after time—stuck in ever-repeating loops of monkey …
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~Alan Watts
I recently found myself ruminating about a difficult situation at my new workplace. Considering my high-flying, achievement-oriented personality, the recipe for my malcontent was predictable: A supervisor had disagreed with me, and I left work that day feeling melodramatic and like I wanted to quit… that day.
I thought, “I am so misunderstood. No one ‘gets’ what I am doing. I am not cut out for teamwork. Why do I hate working so much? I thought …
“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu
My niece is nineteen months old and the most present person I have ever hung out with. If you have children or are around them, you know exactly what I am talking about.
I know you want more joy, health, and lasting happiness in your life, we all do.
Could it be that instead of only teaching our children the lessons of life perhaps we should let them teach us the lessons of happiness?
I don’t live in the same city as my niece so time with her is very …
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
Meditating even for just two minutes every day could help reduce your anxiety, calm your mind, and energize the senses. That’s two minutes of your twenty-four hours. Two minutes that could lengthen your life as you get rid of the negative energy surrounding you and welcome the positive.
Contrary to what you may think, meditation doesn’t have to be in an empty house or room overlooking gorgeous scenery. It would be a bonus, yes, but I have proven that you can clear your mind …
“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” ~Paul Coelho
My husband had been unemployed for more than two years before it hit me that I was dealing with it all wrong. During that time, I kept thinking that any day he would find a new job. And every day that went by I was disappointed, frustrated, unhappy, and even angry at times.
For two years I felt like we were in limbo. I was always thinking, “We’ll do this or that after he finds a job.” Everything seemed to be put on …
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson
Two years ago I was in a meeting room, Monday morning, just before nine. I remember sipping on my second coffee of the day and swallowing yawns as I waited for everyone to show.
The chairperson arrived, a particularly intimidating woman who had been with the company for thirty years and held the reigns of both the finance and HR departments. No decision was made without her approval, even if you were the CEO.
I wished her good morning, …
“Being who you are is another way of accepting yourself.” ~Unknown
A few months ago I woke up with what my good friend and I call “the rage.” I was automatically annoyed by the tone of people’s emails in my inbox. I was frustrated by the lack of response from others. My tea tasted too strong. I felt cooped up in the house. Need I go on?
So I went to the gym to increase my endorphins. I figured that a good workout would be the perfect cure-all.
It wasn’t. I left my HIIT (high intensity interval training) pleasantly exhausted …
“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Our daughter is seeing a counselor to help her deal with anxiety. She’s only ten. Cue mother guilt.
There are a whole lot of (mostly crazy) worries running around her little head, some that even I can’t wrap my head around. So I wrap my arms around her and reassure her that things will be okay.
I give her permission to be anxious, but try to instill resilience so she won’t worry so much. I try to teach her mindfulness …
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” ~Alice Morse Earle
Did you make a mistake yesterday? Or did something bad happen to you a few weeks ago? Are you still dwelling on it, doing all you can to move on? Then this post is for you.
Why? Because I want you to know that you’re not alone.
Just like you, my past wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. No one in this world has a past that is sparkling clean and error-free. We’ve all made mistakes. That’s …
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ~Cicero
Being grateful or practicing gratitude has many benefits, including improving our health, relationships, careers, sleep, and self-esteem, to name just a few.
In recent years, these benefits have been confirmed in scientific studies showing how the brain is “rewired” by continuous grateful thoughts.
However, I recently discovered (and experienced) another significant, and I believe mainly overlooked, benefit of being grateful—in the somewhat unusual setting of a major seniors championship tennis tournament I played in Palm Springs this past January. I learned that:
“When we…go back into the past and rake up all the troubles we’ve had, we end up reeling and staggering through life. Stability and peace of mind come by living in the moment.” ~Pam Vredevelt
There is a way in which we tend to view issues in our lives that makes it seem like the issue is a big, scary monster that chases us around everywhere we go.
We have commitment issues. Or we are bad with money. Or we have an eating disorder, we drink too much, or we follow-through too seldom.
We view ourselves and our lives …
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou
When I was eight years old, my mom had her first mental breakdown. The illusion of a typical suburban family shattered as the household descended into chaos. When the counselors and child protective services stepped in, I knew: I was undeniably different.
When you’re a child, family life is the classroom through which you learn how the world works. Once my mom was hospitalized, I realized how very different my lessons were.
Mortified, I retreated into a …
“By accepting yourself and being fully what you are, your presence can make others happy.” ~Jane Roberts
I recently received one of the nicest compliments from a co-worker.
As nice as it was to hear someone validate all of the hard work I do and recognize my passionate desire to use music as a way empower people, I found that the compliment was just one, all-too-brief moment in a day dominated by schedules, meetings, and not nearly enough time for me to enjoy what was happening around me.
I should have felt great, but I was so distracted by my …
“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.” ~Nancy Willard
I love the color orange. It makes me think of a beautiful ripe papaya, the calming shade of a monk’s robe, and the tapered candles my grandfather held in his hands to pray.
I don’t know if it’s simply this or the prayer chants that rose from temples along the rural Lao countryside, but when I think on these things from my childhood, I feel peace.
Do we romanticize our past? Do we sandpaper out the rough, dark spaces in our memories and label them “the good ‘ole days?” Is …
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha
Imagine your mind as a garden. Positive thoughts are the beautiful flowers that brighten your life. Negative thoughts are the ugly weeds that spread and suffocate the flowers.
Tending to my garden is an ongoing process.
I’m not into chemical pesticides, but my natural weed killers are yoga, meditation, inspirational reading, and hanging out with positive people.
Sure-fire weed food is worrying about what other people think, taking things personally, and stressing out about situations that don’t …
“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare
I thought I knew what happiness was. I experienced it, and did so for a while—that is, what I thought was happiness.
What I was calling happiness was merely an emotion. Emotions, feelings that arise in the body, come into existence when we have thoughts related to them.
When I have certain thoughts having to do with anger, then I will feel, actually physically feel, angry. When I have thoughts that are positive, then I will feel the feeling, or emotion, that we call happiness.
TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with an account of physical abuse and may be triggering to some people.
“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” ~Oscar Wilde
I couldn’t tell you if Oscar Wilde’s quote is entirely accurate. You see, my biological parents abandoned me and left me with my grandparents at birth.
Growing up with grandma and grandpa was the best childhood I could have ever imagined, and I didn’t miss my biological parents at all. I guess in that sense they were my parents, and perhaps Oscar Wilde’s …