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Tiny Wisdom: Act and Create New Possibilities

“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.” –George Bernard Shaw

As you may have noticed, I’m a huge movie buff. It’s largely because most films chronicle a hero’s journey, taking a character through all stages of transformation.

There’s recognition of the need to change, there’s fear, there’s resistance, there’s encouragement, there’s struggle, there’s redemption, and in the end, there’s rebirth, and a sense that things will keep getting better.

Recently I noticed something about the way I experience movies: I generally end a film with a strong desire to do what the main character has done.

After I saw Dolphin Tale, I dreamed about spending time with dolphins. After I saw We Bought a Zoo, I imagined life would expand in amazing ways if I, too, could own a zoo. And after I saw The Big Year, I seriously considered bird watching, even though I’ve always believed this hobby to be as exciting as watching paint dry.

What I realized is that it’s not these specific hobbies I want (though I do, in fact, love animals)—it’s the passion, connection, and growth the characters experience as a result of undertaking them.

I think that’s what we all want: we want to feel alive. We want to feel like part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to care about something that excites us, intrigues us, and challenges us to reach deep down and be the people we know we can be.

In many ways, Tiny Buddha provides that for me, as your blog may for you, if you have one as well.

But even though technology provides us with the opportunity to connect with more people than ever before, there is no replacement for hand-to-hand engagement and experience in the world.

There is no journey like the one we take together, literally step by step, outside our doors, out of our heads, and guided by our hearts.

I don’t know yet what I want beyond the world of written words.

Maybe you don’t know where you’re going either, and maybe that’s okay. Maybe we don’t need to have an exact plan. We just need to know we want to start that journey—to wade into a world of discovery prepared for all the excitement and uncertainty that come with doing and growing.

Today I’m taking a tiny step by researching yoga teacher training. What small step can you take today to create new possibilities?

Photo by soham_pablo

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • IrvingPodolsky

    Hi Lori,

    There’s a little secret of life that’s hiding in plain sight.

    New possibilities, opportunities, potentialities, and changes glide into our future every time we bestow a little kindness and offer help to someone else.

    Irv

  • Geekgyrl36

    Funny, I retreated back under my covers today because I have no idea what I’m to do in life. I have no idea if I will find the job I’m looking for, if I should look into being my own boss, I feel like a shirt on a clothes line, just hanging. I know it’s fear of the unknown and maybe I’m trying to force it, but after losing my job. I really want to find my passion, but am coming up against, frustration and fear and feeling lost 🙁

  • Even before reading your article this morning I had found my desire to get my healing pumpkin noni dog treats  project off the ground.  I’ve been dragging my feet on it. I guess out of fear.  I’ve got all the research done.  I’ve got the products made and tested.  And I have the packaging about 3/4 the way done.  Time to complete it and take it to market.

    You posts are soooo inspiring.  You do a great thing for so many!

  • Lori, your posts always open a window for me. Thanks for keeping up this blog.
    For yoga teacher training, do check out Judith Lasater at http://www.judithlasater.com/. She is an amazing person, right here in the Bay Area, with ongoing nurturing of yoga teachers. Her books are insightful, but there is something about her teaching in person that should not be missed. 

  • I have been wanting more out of life too, but wasn’t sure how so I started Yoga Teacher training towards the end of the year, last year. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it as I complete my training but I do know that it has changed my life and I’m glad I did it. 

  • Loved it Lori. I too am a huge movie buff but since starting my blog I haven’t watched as many as I used to. I just took the family to see Dr. Suess’s the Lorax. It was fun and definitely something that I have missed in the past year.

    I like the idea of being part of something bigger than me and I follow my inner guidance system to get me there.I am collaborating on 2 different online projects at the moment that will be of help to many many people. It’s still in the design/create phase so I can’t talk too much about it. 🙂

  • Antparty

    Great post, Lori. I’m right there with you! Last week, a friend posted a story about the movie Cast Away, with Tom Hanks. I remember enjoying the film, but little more. Then the article spoke of how he lost himself twice. The second time though, because of what happened on the island, he was better prepared. “I just gotta keep breathing.”

    The article impressed me so that I bought the movie and watched it twice this weekend. I am at a place of having now idea who I really am right now. A year long midlife crisis that culminated in a relationship break up has left me on an island. My Wilson is a 45 pound English Bulldog who listens to me.
    In my journey, nothing much is happening now. I have been so driven to succeed that I am even tired of trying anything. My motivation and most interest are all gone. So I’m breathing. 

    Alot. 

    Thank you for your kind words today!

    Bryan

  • Alaya Mudita

    I was just sharing with a friend last night that I’m almost 60 and never set about goals to accomplish, retirement to save for, and more….does that mean I’m a “failure” in our materialistic culture and as a person.  To me, the impact I’ve had on people’s lives and heats and my spiritual devotion are what will matter when I die….  sometimes it’s been more challenging than other times to live this way, acknowledging and refining in the moment what my next steps are, and yet it is what has been my journey. 

  • Alaya Mudita

    Correction to below post “….. lives and Hearts….”

  • Frankaquila49

    I was born and raised Catholic but have gotten away from damn nation religon. You know if your bad your going to hell. I’m now studying Buddhaism I’m more relaxed and calmer than I’ve ever been. I’m not afraid of death I’m just going to enjoy life.

  • Frankaquila49

    I was born and raised Catholic but have gotten away from damn nation religon. You know if your bad your going to hell. I’m now studying Buddhaism I’m more relaxed and calmer than I’ve ever been. I’m not afraid of death I’m just going to enjoy life.

  • Buddhishmd

    This post to reflects the answer Stephen Batchelor gave when asked on what he basis his practice, to which he replied:
    Great faith
    Great doubt
    And great effort.

  • I love that you reflect on your journey in this way; i hope when i am at your stage i can look back and say the same.

  • Good luck with the teacher training.  It has been one of the best things I have ever done. 

  • Barb

    Lori…give bird watching a try! It is much more fun than you’d ever believe and it gets you out of the house and into nature. The Big Year was a fun movie but most of us don’t bird “competitively” like the characters did. In real life it is much more meditative and mellow. A huge benefit for me was that 25 years ago this month, I met my future husband while bird watching and we are still happily birding together! 🙂

  • Rob

    Fantastic Post-
    Hits home in a lot of areas…

  • I don’t know what small step I can take today to create new possibilities. It seems like the steps that I attempted to take in the last few months have been met with limitations due to a lack of resources. Today, I did, however, RSVP for a mingling event that will put me face-to-face with other artists as well as members of a few arts organizations, so maybe that counts.

  • Lori,

      I follow your blog and love it! So much that I quote you and use your blog to teach my yoga classes! You for sure should do teacher training! I completed mine at Blue Anjou in Lewisville, TX. During my training I suffered through 3 deaths in the family. One of them being my child. You can imagine what I went through after that! Because of the style of yoga at this studio I was able to fight through and stand happy and strong today. I’m catholic and have become stronger in my faith. If you would like I could share with you what all I did to figure out what I wanted in life and how to live that life! 
    http://www.blueanjou.com–yoga studio
    dawn@wmboutique:twitter .com-me or http://www.facebook.com/wmboutique

    I love what you do!

  • Nerisha

    Hi lori
    I absolutely love your emails and wait in anticipation each day they inspire me
    Todays one is brilliant i find my reactions are ultimately what steers my staffs
    Actions positively or negatively
    Thanks for all the help
    Nerisha

  • Thanks Irv. I think you’re right–helping people definitely opens doors for everyone involved!

  • Wow that’s awesome you’ve gotten so much done. It sounds like you’re well on your way to getting this off the ground!

    Thanks for the kind words about my writing. I really appreciate the positive feedback!

  • You’re most welcome. Thank you so much for the link! I’m thinking I may travel somewhere for teacher training–spend a few weeks in Hawaii or Costa Rica for example. If I decide to stay local, I will certainly check her out! =)

  • I’ve been hearing that from a lot of people Wendi. I kind of feel the same, and I haven’t even taken it yet. A big part of me feels drawn to teacher training–and yet I don’t really know yet if I want to teach full-time (or maybe just offer some donation-based classes). I just know it could be a great experience.

  • I’ve been wanting to see that! I’m a huge Dr. Seuess fan.

    Congrats on your new projects. I will look forward to learning more when you’re in the next phase. =)

  • I loved that movie! Such wonderful advice to just keep breathing. When I’m feeling stressed or adrift, it always helps to pull inward and focus on my breath.

    You’re most welcome. =)

  • That’s beautiful Alaya. I think that sometimes we have the biggest impact when we aren’t focused on making a big impact…or in other words, the little things often are the big things!

  • I was raised Catholic as well, and so much of it never resonated with me. What I love about Buddhism is its focus on the practical act of living moment to moment. It’s much easier to enjoy life when you’re less worried about what comes after it!

  • I love that! Thank you for sharing it here.

  • I’ve heard this from so many people lately! Congratulations by the way. I just read on your site that you’re expecting soon. How exciting!

  • Wow, how wonderful you met your husband bird watching! I hadn’t really considered the meditative element, but I can see how it would be calming. Perhaps I will give it a try. =)

  • Thanks Rob. I’m glad it helped!

  • That’s wonderful! I think connecting with new people always opens doors, even if it’s just because it facilitates new friendships. I’ve been thinking of joining a women’s networking event here in my apartment community. You’ve inspired me to follow through this weekend!

  • Thanks so much for offering to share your experiences. I would greatly appreciate that! I can’t imagine how difficult a time that must have been for you. How wonderful you had your practice to help you find strength and connect with your faith.

  • You’re most welcome Nerisha. =)

  • I know that feeling, and I know a lot of other people who do as well! I think what’s tough is that even if we know what we’re passionate about, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee we know how to make a living do it.

    For example, I know I love writing–particularly writing about personal growth–but it turns out people who make a living in this sphere usually make the bulk of their income through other things (coaching, speaking, leading courses, etc).

    I’m still playing around with what I want to do beyond writing, and sometimes I come up against frustration, fear, and resistance as well. I think if we just take it day by day and follow our instincts, we can trust in the process. That’s one thing that helps me. I know I don’t have it all figured out, but I trust I will find my way. You will too!

  • Geekgyrl36

    Thank you so much Lori for your reassurance and insight. I too found I enjoy writing and look forward to writing each day, time just seems to go by at a beautiful pace.

    I would love to write about personal growth for I really believe it will touch the hearts of others and they will realize they are not alone and can gain the strength to continue on.

    You are so true, it’s the fact of making a living. I could see myself sitting in my office passionately writing and feeling fulfillment and that I’m doing what I finally want to. I’ll continue figuring things out and watching it unfold.

    I wanted you to know I stumbled across ( or maybe it was fate) your site and must tell you how happy I found it. I’m so excited about recieving the daily emails which gives me much food for thought and encourages me…THANK YOU!

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad you found your way here and that the site has been helpful to you! I would love to read some of your writing some time. =)

  • I’m right there with you, Alaya, at just over 60. Yes, it’s very sad that our materialistic culture might think your life choices mean you’re a failure. I believe a life like yours is wonderful — making individual and personal impact on those close to you, setting a spiritual example, quietly. In the spirit of this article and its title, I’m sure you’ve created enormous possibilities in your own and others’ lives.

    When I saw TinyBuddha’s question today on Facebook, “Do you believe everyone has one main purpose in life?” my gut response was a strong “NO!” But that’s just a personal summary of my life to date. I can proudly say I’ve never known what I want to be when I grow up. 😉 I’ve never had (or needed) a single purpose. I do thrive on making short- and medium-term goals, but those are action/event-based rather than Purpose.

    I’m thinking that as we get older we discover more easily the pattern of our life (because we have a somewhat longer view looking back on life’s events and meanings). For me, that backward view tells me that I’ve lived my life-to-date pretty much one day at a time. It shows me that not having had a Main Purpose feels good, feels right. It’s not an ‘incomplete’ feeling at all. It’s an enriched feeling. For me, it has meant that my life is always full of, and open to, new possibilities.

  • Tharun

    Could i ask for more movies to recommend…
    I have this movie affect too and love watching selected real good ones from real good content humans like you..Please post some movie names for me..