“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
I felt zapped. Depleted. Drained. Out of gas. And I wasn’t sure why.
- Enough sleep? Check.
- Enough exercise? Check.
- Enough nutritious food and vitamins? Check.
- Health check-ups and tests up to date? Check and check.
- Reasonable schedule? Check.
I thought I felt this way because I’d recently had surgery to remove a sizeable tumor.
But that had gone smoothly, and I was fully recovered and back to my regular schedule.
However, there was one thing that I noticed since the surgery: I …
“You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You can find yourself by coming into the present.” ~Eckhart Tolle
It was 3PM on a Wednesday and I had nothing to do. An empty schedule with limitless potential.
I was miles from home in the freezing fog of San Francisco. The bustle of traffic reminded me of my hectic life back home, but I wasn’t bothered. I had nowhere to be and nobody to answer to, just like the day before and the next day. I was free.
I brought my favorite travel companion along with me to aid …
“Live your life for you, not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.” ~Sonya Parker
I have struggled with my different-ness since I was young. I grew up trying to change the things that made me different in order to fit in. At home, my parents were doing their best to raise three young children, which I can imagine would’ve been very hard.
I can still remember the first time I asked myself, “What is wrong with me?” I loved to take my time and …
“The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” ~Unknown
For as long as I can remember, I have been on a quest to heal myself. From a very young age I can remember feeling different from my peers. I was always painfully shy and paralyzed with insecurity and fear, which left me in a constant state of self-criticism.
Hardships in my young life, including the suicide of my father, left me with the belief that life was just hard.
Unfortunately, I also thought that it wasn’t supposed to …
“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” ~Alice Duer Miller
The man who I thought was my soul mate walked out on me fourteen years ago. He immediately remarried a lovely, beautiful woman who was everything I was not.
I am desperate to fall in love. I’m thirty-eight. I want a baby. I want a relationship. I feel alone.
A year ago, I fell unexpectedly in love with my photographer. Yes, star-struck romantics, it was just like the movies. Shy, awkward woman gets pictures taken for her brand-building website, and she is completely unraveled by his boyish …
“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown
Don’t hate your past. No matter what it contained or what it did to you, the past shapes who you are, not just for the things you felt damaged you but for the lessons you can take from it.
I love working with the people I call the world shakers. They’re the people who want to make a difference in the world so that they leave it in a slightly better way than they …
“You get peace of mind not by thinking about it or imagining it, but by quietening and relaxing the restless mind.” ~Remez Sasson
What’s the first thought that goes through your head when you wake up in the morning? Is it deliberate, or is it the default “Oh shi#$, it’s 6:00!”?
If that’s how you start your day, then it’s likely your day will be filled with anxiety and stress. It’s not exactly the most productive mechanism for getting things done.
Questions are quite powerful if used in the right way.
“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown
When I was a teenager, right around the time I knew everything, my mother used to tell me I only remembered the bad things.
When I told stories about my family, they didn’t revolve around family beach trips, barbecues, and vacations; they focused on painful memories and all the ways I felt my childhood had damaged me.
The same applied to friends and milestones in my life. I chronically remembered and rehashed the worst experiences.
In fact, straight through college I followed up every introductory handshake with a dramatic …
“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” ~Lao Tzu
How many times in a day do you tell yourself you are busy and have too much to do? In a week? In a month?
How many of those times are you actually busy doing “nothing”? You know the “nothing” that I am talking about—the nothing that means you are watching hours of mindless TV, roaming the internet, or playing a game that you can’t seem to tear yourself away from on your smartphone.
I’ve been there and done that, and I still do it sometimes. I know what …
“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” ~Sonya Friedman
The longer I stayed on the phone, the more agitated I became. My mother was on the other end, as usual, dumping her emotions on me. I had moved to Los Angeles for graduate school in part to escape all of this—my mother’s unhappiness, my sense of responsibility, the pressure to be perfect.
When I hung up the phone, I felt an overwhelming sense of anger. At the time, I could not (correction: would not) allow myself to admit that I was angry with my mother. I …
“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu
At an early age I learned that nothing in life is guaranteed. When I was eleven years old, a close friend and classmate lost his battle with cancer. After that, I had several more instances of losing loved ones, some expected, others not so much.
After having gone through so much loss at such an early age, my outlook on life was one word: rushed.
I wanted to get through college as fast as I could, while taking on as much as I could. I wanted to have …
“I follow four dictates: face it, accept it, deal with it, then let it go.” ~Sheng Yen
Growing up different isn’t easy for anyone.
I was born normal, happy, and healthy. I had five fingers and five toes. I reached all my developmental milestones and showed promise as a vivacious, energetic child. It all changed when I was ten months old.
I became violently ill with bacterial meningitis. I battled the infection with a strength I was naturally graced with at birth. One week into my hospital stay, I was finally able to lift my head; two weeks later, I …
“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~Confucius
Everything I do is about living and sharing freedom. But what is freedom anyway?
To understand freedom, it’s helpful to understand its opposite. The opposite of freedom is feeling caged, constricted, and ruled by guidelines you don’t believe in.
For many people, their job feels like jail. For some people, their community feels like jail. For others, school feels like jail.
I’ve been in all those jails. And for the most part, I was in those jails because I didn’t know there was an alternative. Now that I know the alternative, I have …
“The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now.” ~Robert G. Ingersoll
Dear Past Me,
Remember that day when you thought all was lost? When you thought there was barely any point in carrying on?
The bank account was dangerously low.
You were arguing with everyone close to you.
The roof was leaking.
It felt like everything was a struggle and the so-called abundance of the Universe was nowhere to be seen.
You were going over the mistakes you’d made.
The money you had lost.
The opportunities you had missed.
You were going over angry …
“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” ~Sophocles
I can’t believe it was almost four years ago that I met *Holly. Her story is still deeply embedded into my heart. Who would have thought that one can learn so much from a ten-year-old child?
At the time, I was working in Kenya as a children’s rights researcher. Knowing about my psychology background, the principal of a primary school I was working at asked me if I could talk to one of their students. Since I would only be able to meet …
“Sometimes the past should be abandoned, yes. Life is a journey and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage.” ~Ha Jin
You’ve probably heard of the fear of missing out but what about the fear of letting go?
My father was volatile and mentally unstable. Criticism was his preferred method of communication. As a child and teenager, I learned to keep my thoughts and feelings locked away and became an expert at deflecting personal questions.
Without realizing it, I carried this habit into adulthood, avoiding any talk about my feelings or turning them into a joke. …
“If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us.” ~Daisaku Ikeda
Ever found yourself in a rut, just waiting for some force of the Universe to pull you out?
When ennui sets in, it can be hard to find a way back into the light, but it typically takes a series of events and choices for us to be living a life out of sync with our personal goals, values, and passions.
Last year, I found myself in one of these ruts. After spinning my wheels for quite some time, …
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz
I keep a prism hanging near the entrance to my home. Its beauty, made possible only by the broken nature of the glass from which it is constructed, serves as a constant reminder that even the broken pieces within each and every one of us can serve as a source of light. It’s a lesson that took me some time to learn.
Shortly after graduating from college, I took a long, brutally honest look at my life and realized …
“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” ~Christopher Reeve
I have suffered from depression since I was a teenager. My experiences have also caused severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
My father has been abandoning me for my whole life. As a teenager, I went to live with him because my relationship with my mother was so difficult. He sexually abused me for the year that I lived with him.
At the age of seventeen, I sought solace by turning to what I thought was God. For the next twenty-eight years I held a set of beliefs that were angry and judgmental …