“Life is what happens when you are making other plans.” ~John Lennon
There have been times in my life when I believed all my happiness revolved around how busy I was. If I was busy, I was using time wisely. If I was busy, I was proving to myself that I was valuable. If I was busy, I was creating the possibility of a better life in the future. Any threat to my productivity was a threat to my sense of hope.
Being busy didn’t make me feel happy, but it created the illusion that I was somehow …
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Frazzled! Doesn’t that word seem to apply to how we feel so much of the time? Take this morning for example.
I’m dashing about the flat and running late for work. I’m drinking a cup of tea while drying my hair. I have to put the washing away and hang a new load out. I mustn’t forget to feed the cat and pick up lunch before I get to the office.
Then I see him—the cat sleeping contentedly on the bed.
Once I …
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
While in the process of “re-branding” my business, I’ve been reading a lot about business marketing. One of the articles that I really loved contains an analogy of a lighthouse for a business model, but to me, it speaks of so much more. It’s really a life model.
The example highlights how a lighthouse doesn’t run up and down the coast, anxiously seeking any boats in the water. It doesn’t cast its beam north and south, right and left, desperate to be seen. …
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival” ~Rumi
Not more than half an hour ago, I was, in a very typical fashion, struggling and getting frustrated trying to gather my thoughts for this post. I could even feel the tension in my shoulders clawing its way up to my neck (over a blog?).
Even as I took a shower, I was scrubbing the shampoo into my hair so hard because I was in a rush and had so many other thoughts whizzing round in my head! I was well and truly unconscious, going through the …
“Practice random beauty and senseless acts of love.” ~Unknown
I recently decided to reverse the order of common sense, and senselessly follow my heart through an unplanned acts of kindness. After I made the choice, it was amazing how the world changed before my very eyes.
No longer was I fixated on how quickly I move through the events of my day. With my new focus, people began to shape shift from task zombies to loving beings.
One situation in particular really humbled me to the true power of random acts of love.
I was riding a train from LA …
Update: The winners have already been chosen for this giveaway. Subscribe to the Tiny Buddha List to learn about future contests!
Last week, I received an email from the marketing team at Shambhala Publications informing me about the upcoming “Smile-at-Fear” retreat, to be hosted by Pema Chödrön.
This three-day event, focused on wisdom from Pema’s teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, will take place in Richmond, California from October 15–17. Since Pema rarely hosts events of this nature, it sold out pretty quickly, but there’s still a chance to learn what she has to share.
Shambhala Publishing has decided to bring the retreat …
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” ~Mandy Hale
We all get stuck: paralyzed about a decision, unsure what choice to make. Stuck in resentment or disappointment we can’t quite recover from. Stuck in a plan that’s not working as anticipated. Stuck in a destructive, repetitive dynamic with family members, coworkers, or friends.
When we’re stuck, things feel immovable, entrenched, even hopeless. The good news is, they aren’t.
We human beings are actually extremely adept at getting unstuck, at seeing the same thing in new ways, discovering new …
LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL (fear is conditional)
LOVE IS STRONG (fear is weak)
LOVE RELEASES (fear obligates)
LOVE SURRENDERS (fear binds)
LOVE IS HONEST (fear is deceitful)
LOVE TRUSTS (fear suspects)
LOVE ALLOWS (fear dictates)
LOVE GIVES (fear resists)
LOVE FORGIVES (fear blames)
LOVE IS COMPASSIONATE (fear pities)
“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.” ~Joan Kerr
A year ago I lost my best friend of forty-eight years to a pulmonary embolism. It came quickly and unannounced, and it took him instantly.
I found out about his death on Twitter. Because of the length and depth of our friendship I had never known life without him. As often happens when we lose someone dear, I didn’t know how I would move forward.
We’re taught that peace and happiness come from embracing and living fully in the moment, but I often wonder what should we …
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli
Listening. It’s a very powerful tool but unfortunately not well utilized.
I propose that if we all learned to listen better, there would be less of a need for therapists. I myself am a social worker and have been providing counseling to clients for years.
I have often felt that I was working as a well-paid or glorified listener; that if “lay” people could just listen better, there would be less of a need for professional …
It’s a pretty exciting week in Tiny Buddha world. Several months back, I decided to have Tiny Buddha redesigned.
Well, we decided. There is an amazing man named Joshua Denney who has done a lot of work on the site.
It’s through his passion, expertise, and hard work that we’ll have a completely new design at the end of this week.
One of the reasons I’m excited to launch the new site this week is that Thursday is the site’s one-year anniversary.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to do a few things:
1. Conduct a series of book giveaways …
“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” ~Buddha
A teacher of mine once said, “Don’t show up as the person you think you are. Show up as the person you want to be.”
A powerful statement, but I didn’t know who I wanted to be. Even if I did, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off.
I knew who I didn’t want to be: self-critical, self-conscious, and always focusing on my shortcomings. I wanted to learn how to get out of my own way.
For a long time, I …
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” ~Thomas Merton
The yoga class I attended yesterday included a number of balance posts, from simple tree pose to a “floating” ardha chandrasana. I am not certain why, but I was struggling to find a steady balance on one side.
I arrived late feeling flustered, and my mind was spinning and worrying as we worked our way into the flow. I had to struggle to make my gaze steady, and I was starting to beat myself up for the wobbling on my left leg.
Then I …
“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” ~Buddha
I went camping recently, something that I was really looking forward to, but I didn’t last long. Due to health conditions, my friend and I had to abandon camp at three in the morning because the cold got to me in a big way.
This awful experience has left me feeling dejected and rather ashamed of myself. Who the hell can’t manage a couple of nights camping? I’m being too hard on myself, but the point is I’m feeling angry.
You know what that …
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” ~Benjamin Spock
I was talking to a friend of mine a couple weeks ago. I was telling her how I always know when it’s time for me to move. She asked me, “How do you know? What makes you aware that you ‘know’ this?”
It was a reasonable question: What is the actual sign that indicates that you “know” to do anything?
“You just know,” I told her.
“But how?” she asked, curiously.
I didn’t really have a good answer for her at the time, but it stuck with me.…
“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos
In three weeks, my boyfriend and I might move from the Bay area to LA, or we might move in here with roommates if he decides not pursue a film career.
I am starting a new work-from-home writing gig to pay my bills while I write my book. It might be something I can do in under two days a week, or it may require more time. It may provide enough money, or I might need to get some …
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.” ~Rumi
I have been working on Tiny Buddha for over two years, and yet I’ve rarely written about my experiences running it.
I haven’t told you anything about my own challenges, opportunities, and lessons in maintaining the site, and it occurred to me today that that might be valuable information.
You probably have a Tiny Buddha in your own life—something you created that you’re absolutely in love with. Or maybe you haven’t found it yet, but you want to build something that drives you like nothing …
“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~Pema Chodron
This past year has been one of tremendous self-discovery. One day, I suddenly realized after nine years of a very straight finance-paved path that I no longer wanted to be a corporate banker.
Instead, I wanted to wake up each morning with a bigger purpose—an idea of who I was and what I stood for outside of this corporate lifestyle.
Since that day, I seemed to be in tiresome pursuit in finding my story. I even seriously debated moving out of the country to build …
“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.” ~Jean Kerr
I’ve just given up smoking. Again. It’s a bad habit that I can’t seem to shake because I’m likely to relapse when I’m stressed.
I try to rationalize my destructive behavior—I don’t smoke heavily, I don’t smoke that much since I stick to rolling tobacco which makes thinner cigarettes, it’s fifteen minutes to myself where nobody will question why I’m taking time to do and think about nothing.
No matter how much I justify my bad habit, I can’t deny that I’m dependent on a bad thing …