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We all play a pivotal role in society. But I’ve toyed with the New Age spiritual notion that we all have a unique purpose on Earth to fulfill—a purpose for which we have chosen to be here.

I used to wonder if I could only be happy if I found this one resounding and elusive purpose.

If I knew my soul’s purpose, I believed my life would suddenly have endless meaning and vitality. Once I found my purpose, I would leap out of bed every morning and dance around the kitchen, singing as I made my morning coffee. …

New Test Post to Figure Things Out

“Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.”

Once again, Dr. Seuss reminds us of the finite nature of life with a powerful punch in the face.

If I’m being honest, only about a third of my week am I kicking ass. And that doesn’t factor in the weeks when I feel like I’m as useless as a screen door on a submarine.

On days like this morning, when I’m doing dishes and get pissed off that my wife left a tea bag in her mug, again, it has clearly slipped my mind …

How I Found a Beautiful Purpose by Giving Up the Search

We all play a pivotal role in society. But I’ve toyed with the New Age spiritual notion that we all have a unique purpose on Earth to fulfill—a purpose for which we have chosen to be here.

I used to wonder if I could only be happy if I found this one resounding and elusive purpose.

If I knew my soul’s purpose, I believed my life would suddenly have endless meaning and vitality. Once I found my purpose, I would leap out of bed every morning and dance around the kitchen, singing as I made my morning coffee. Because my …

A Mindfulness Technique to Overcome Perfectionism and Step into Self-Love

“When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we are not pretending, we are not hiding—we are simply present with whatever is going on inside us. Ironically, it is this very feeling of authenticity that draws people to us, not the brittle effort of perfectionism.” ~Maureen Cooper

Most of my life I have been really good at following the have-tos and oughts of perfectionism.

I have to keep the house clean. What will the company think?

I ought to be pleasant and pleasing. Stop being stubborn. Worse yet, stop being angry.

I should not have told that long story …

How to Create a Vision Board That Actually Works (Free eCourse with Journal Purchase!)

We all have goals for the future, many of them things that would dramatically improve our lives and the lives of the people we love.

Maybe you want to get healthy and fit so you can live a longer, more active life and be there for your kids for years to come. Maybe you want to pay off your debt so you can reduce your stress and increase your financial security. Or perhaps you want to launch a business so you can have more control over your schedule and make the impact you want to make in the world.

It’s …

5 Things to Remember When Heartbreak Feels Too Heavy to Bear

“If you feel like you’re losing everything, remember that trees lose their leaves every year and they still stand tall and wait for better days to come.” ~Unknown

For a big lover like me, heartbreak has always gotten the best of me. I have felt heavy pain from the ending of a relationship, the ghosting of a situationship, and the loss of what could have been with someone I never dated. And I’ve experienced the sting of friendships leaving my life.

It’s all heartbreaking.

It starts with a crippling, piercing full-body agony. And eventually it grows into a dull ache …

181 Days Teetotal (And Counting): All I’ve Gained Since I Stopped Drinking

TRIGGER WARNING: This post references an account of sexual assault and may be triggering to some. 

“When you quit drinking you stop waiting.” ~Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story

I’m now at 181 days teetotal. I prefer teetotal to sober. I say sober sometimes, but teetotal feels lighter, airier, and I feel lighter and airier these days.

For the life of me, I can’t remember when I took my first sip of alcohol. It probably came from a grownup’s glass.

What I can remember is being sixteen or so, half waking up from a blackout with a friend’s hand down …

Caretaking Your Sensitive System for More Love in your Relationship

Sometimes you’ve got to look straight into the tired eyes of the woman staring back at you in the mirror and tell her that she deserves the best kind of love, the best kind of life, and devote yourself to giving it to her all over again.” ~S.C. Lourie

I learned the hard way that in order to have an intimate relationship (and life) that feels deeply satisfying, nourishing, and fulfilling, highly sensitive people (HSPs) need to attend more to their emotional well-being than non-HSPs.

Before I knew I was highly sensitive (which is a normal trait …

The Allure of Unhealthy, One-Sided Friendships and How I’ve Let Them Go

“The real test of friendship is can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?” ~Eugene Kennedy 

I could not. When I was with them, we had to be doing something. That is why I didn’t see it. I kept myself too busy to see or feel what was happening.

It was the panic attack during a long-distance drive home that should have been the sign that something was very wrong.

I didn’t see or expect that my choice of friendships was ruining my mental health and, …

How You Can Have More with Less: The Magic and Joy of Being Present

“Don’t let this silly world trick you into starving your soul for material things. Cause someday you’re gonna be sitting out under the sun and realize how little you actually need to be truly happy.” ~Brooke Hampton

It was early morning. The birds were chirping, the street sweepers were methodically clearing debris off the sidewalk, and the coffee vendor was chattily filling his customers’ cups with fragrant java from the dispenser precariously balanced on the back of his bicycle. There I was, taking a pleasant and serene walk while on my recent visit to India.

As I took a turn …

Accepting Fear and Sadness as Normal Parts of a Good Life

“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.” ~Naomi Shihab Nye

I knew it was around that time. When I opened my eyes, it was pitch black outside and I couldn’t yet hear the chickens in the distance waking up. It was 4 a.m. again.

In the past few days, I have loved this gift of jet lag; transitioning to a thirteen-hour time change has afforded me this dark, mysterious quiet that has woken up inside of me the place from which I write—a place that spontaneously arises when the

4 Happiness Tips from an Introvert Who Spent Years Trying to Change

“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” ~Jillian Michaels

I’m an introvert. I need lots of time to myself to recharge after socializing with others, and I relish solitude, as it gives me the time and space to think and be creative. I’m quiet and can be shy on occasion, but I really enjoy spending time with close family and friends.

Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with this part of my personality and focused a lot of energy trying to change it. However, the acceptance I have found over the last year has been life-changing, and I hope writing about my journey …

I Felt Like I Didn’t Belong: 5 Lessons from a Former Misfit

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“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” ~Maya Angelou

In my final year of high school, I had a horrible breakup. I was heavily attached to my girlfriend because, with her, for the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged. Growing up in Germany, of Arabic roots, made me feel like I belonged nowhere. I didn’t feel German nor Arabic.

With her, I finally thought I had a place somewhere. So when this relationship ended, all I wanted was to escape. I hoped a change of location would solve …

How to Heal from Rejection (Without Getting Down on Yourself)

“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.” ~Kristen Neff

The handsome man I was dating sat on the easy chair to tell a difficult story. We were in my loft, and he was avoiding eye contact. I studied the symmetry of his jaw as he spoke.

“I did something stupid,” he said.

I thought he was confiding in me. Maybe this intimacy would bring us closer. Maybe his eye had wandered but he was choosing me. I leaned in.…

The Pressure to Dream Big and the Beauty of Wanting Less

“What if I accept that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life? A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough.” ~Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui

Why do we feel such pressure to dream big? I think it starts in childhood when parents, teachers, and other adults start asking the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

One of the many problems with this question is its premise. In the classroom, at church, at youth camp, at home, you are not alone, and you’re able to hear, understand, and internalize how others might answer this …

How Childhood Bullying Influenced How I Treat Others as an Adult

“For me, that strong back is grounded confidence and boundaries. The soft front is staying vulnerable and curious. The mark of a wild heart is living out these paradoxes in our lives and not giving into the either/or BS that reduces us. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, and, above all else, being both fierce and kind.” ~Brené Brown

Many people have experienced bullying in their lives and have possibly been a bully by association without realizing it at the time.

While the type of bullying may differ, the emotions are often the same. Bullying is …

How I Found My Worth in Spite of My Father’s Abandonment

“Because if I myself saw my worth, I wouldn’t base my worthiness on someone else’s seeing it.” ~Unknown

I can’t be sure which title I would have preferred. Daddy, Poppa, Pa, Dad. Aren’t these the endearing titles one earns when they live up to all that it means in the role of the first and most important man in a little girl’s life?

The one who she can count on for love, guidance, comfort, and safety. The one who she adores. The one who teaches her how to play soccer or baseball because she is a tomboy through and through. …

Embrace a Moment of Space: 5 Easy Ways to Create a Daily Meditation Habit

“Meditation is choosing not to engage in the drama of the mind but elevating the mind to its highest potential.” ~Amit Ray

If you’re reading this and you follow Tiny Buddha, chances are you’re already intrigued by meditation and perhaps even practicing it. But if you’re anything like me, you might find it hard to be consistent, given the demands of your busy life. Which means you don’t always reap the benefits you know a sustained practice can provide (reduced stress, better sleep, and less emotional reactivity, to name a few).

As a mom of two who works from home, …

8 Signs You’re Carrying Deep Shame and How to Start to Heal

“If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.” ~Brené Brown

Did you know that one of the biggest causes of suffering is unacknowledged shame? It makes us believe that there’s something wrong with us and we’re not good enough.

When we have deep shame inside, instead of being true to ourselves, we “dress to impress” so others will like us, which eventually makes us tired, depressed, and anxious because …