“Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha
Not that long ago, I ate meat every single day. Every. Single. Day. For breakfast, I used to have fried eggs with feta or cottage cheese and turkey ham. My lunch consisted of minced beef or chicken with veggies. My dinner was then either leftovers from lunch or more meat/fried eggs/sometimes fish with veggies and cheese.
I followed an intense workout routine, went to the gym five to six times per week to lift weights, and on top of that did another two cardio sessions …
“Gratitude can turn common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~William Arthur Ward
Living in India for more than two years now has been an eye opening experience for me, as I’ve realized how I used to take so many things for granted. While growing up and living in my home country (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in Europe, I was lacking gratitude for all the blessings that surrounded me.
While sitting in our penthouse apartment in the New Delhi suburbs, in an air-conditioned room, still feeling the need to chill with a cool …
“If pleasures are greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of troubles.” ~Elbert Hubbard
The other day I had to get some moles removed after a biopsy showed they were “severely atypical.” Since they were both on my back, I laid on my stomach while the doctor’s assistant numbed the areas with lidocaine.
He repeatedly asked me, “Are you okay?” And I repeatedly said, “Just fine!”
Since it didn’t really hurt that much, it surprised me when he said, “Wow. You’re strong!”
I do believe I’m strong, but I’ve always been squeamish around needles—going back to my …
“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.” ~Bonnie Friedman
Have you ever felt controlled by time?
This has been a lifelong challenge for me. Sometimes it can be difficult for me to truly immerse myself in the present, because I can feel constricted by imaginary strings, tethered to an invisible clock.
Years back, I always snapped from ease to anxiety at the end of a yoga class, tiptoeing toward the door with an eye on my watch while others melted into bliss in their final relaxation pose.
While I now allow myself to take a …
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Every now and then, I get an email from someone telling me I should attend or speak at some conference that attracts lots of passionate bloggers or inspiring people interested in personal development.
A part of me always feels a little conflicted when I receive an invitation or suggestion regarding an event like this because I think I should want to go, but I …
“Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.” ~Osho
Have you ever felt attached to your thoughts—like you knew you were thinking yourself in circles, but a part of you wanted to keep getting dizzy?
Now that I’m healthy and energized, three months after my surgery, I’m developing a consistent yoga practice again, and I’m feeling better mentally and physically as a result of doing that.
But sometimes, when I get to the end of the day, particularly when I know I have a lot to do, I feel resistant to making that time …
“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” ~Albert Einstein
As I was walking to my apartment just now, I heard the voice of a child who was walking in the same direction with an adult across the street.
With his enthusiastic, high-pitched voice he asked, “Remember we went on a plane? And it was really, really high in the sky?”
Then just a few seconds later he asked, “Remember we saw a baseball game?”
And then a few seconds after that, “Remember we had spaghetti?”
A part of me wanted to keep walking parallel from them, even …
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Growing up I often heard the phrase “You shouldn’t care so much.”
Derivatives of this idea included: So what if they’re talking about you. Who cares what they think? He’s a jerk; why do you care about him? You’re your own person; why do you care about what she’s doing?
I associated the word “care” with stress, because in all these instances, caring meant feeling bad.
It meant being overly worried about someone’s opinion of me, or feeling for someone who didn’t feel for me, or thinking someone …
“Never underestimate the power of passion.” ~Eve Sawyer
Last week, I began writing my second book. I originally intended to start a month ago, but life got in the way, as it often does.
In order to make my September deadline, I’ll need to maintain a high level of output and adhere to a fairly rigid schedule.
Four hours after starting my first day of writing, I felt I’d produced very little, and I wasn’t thrilled with what I’d written, so I started worrying about that.
What if I keep rewriting but still don’t feel satisfied with the result? What …
“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” ~Cicero
Since I write about overcoming adversity, I receive a lot of emails and blog comments from readers seeking advice.
When I first started this site, I promised myself I’d never tell readers not to email seeking feedback. I’d seen this type of disclaimer on other blogs, and I decided I wanted to do things differently.
I wanted to be approachable and helpful—to offer guidance as best I could, as time allowed. After all, that’s why I do this—not to talk at people, but to make friends and be a friend.
“Pain is not a sign of weakness, but bearing it alone is a choice to grow weak.” ~from my book, Tiny Buddha
A while back, my friends and I dealt with a challenging situation that profoundly affected all of us, including one friend who struggles with intense anxiety.
While I’m usually a proponent of giving specifics, I’d rather not call her out publicly, so suffice it to say it was a hard time, and everyone felt the weight of it.
Unexpectedly, this friend emerged as a source of support and comfort for everyone else.
In the face of tremendous adversity, …
“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
There was a time when I was full of angst, and desperate to unleash it.
Since I felt misunderstood in some of my relationships, I’d fight battles I knew I wouldn’t win and then only consider letting go after a mini emotional break down.
I needed to tire myself out in order to surrender. I needed to fully defuse my distress to give myself some peace. Though I wouldn’t have admitted it, I was addicted to that drama. It was only …
“Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.” ~Mark Twain
A while back I wrote a blog post about giving people the benefit the doubt and suggested, as I often do, that people rarely intend to be hurtful.
Someone wrote in the comments that I’ve obviously never encountered a sociopath.
This got me thinking about the many times I’ve heard women refer to men they’ve dated as sociopaths and narcissists. It occurred to me that many of those men likely treated them horribly but may not have had mental disorders.
There are sociopaths out there, but more often …
“If we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other better.” ~Lyndon Johnson
A while back, I told a friend that I try to follow the old adage “Treat people how you wanted to be treated.” He responded that he tries to treat people how they want to be treated. This really got me thinking.
I’ve always tried to gauge people’s needs by relating to them—by seeing myself in them, and giving them what I would want if I were in their shoes.
It never occurred to me consider how I differ from them, and …
“When mistrust comes in, love goes out.” ~Irish saying
An old friend of mine felt betrayed by her boyfriend, but chose not to leave him. Instead, she made him pay for it over and over again.
Through subtle digs and less subtle slights, she repeatedly expressed that she felt contempt for him. But instead of forgiving or walking away, she stayed behind a wall of resentment.
Soon he started responding in kind, until their relationship became a container for mutual silent bitterness. It was two people sharing a suffocating space, overwhelmed by the weight of everything they didn’t say.
“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” ~Jose Ortega y Gassett
Have you ever suddenly stopped yourself after realizing you’d been dwelling on something insignificant for way too long?
Maybe it was something that didn’t go right in your day, or something mildly offensive that someone said. Whatever it was, it was something you knew wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and yet you felt a need to mentally rehash it over and over in your head.
I’ve done this many times before. Though I know it’s draining …
“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” ~Lau Tzu
In the Pixar movie Up, Carl and Ellie save all their lives to visit Paradise Falls only to realize they’re never able to save enough. Every time they build a substantial nest egg, life happens and they need to spend it.
This is a reality I know all too well. Several months back I told my boyfriend it frustrates me that every time I come into an unexpected sum of money, a need emerges to use it.
One time I got an extra freelance gig and …
“Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time, patience, and two people who truly want to be together.” ~Unknown
In the past, whenever I heard someone say that relationships take effort, I assumed it was a person who wasn’t in a happy one.
When it’s right, it shouldn’t feel like work; it should be effortless—or so I thought, ironically, in a time when I had few relationships.
What I didn’t realize then is that things change over time—we change over time—and that we need to choose each day to see the people we love with new eyes.
I’ve been …
“When you stop trying to change others and work on changing yourself, your world changes for the better.” ~Unknown
There are certain relationships that we don’t want to end; we just want them to improve.
Sometimes it might seem like that will only happen if someone else starts acting differently—with more kindness, respect, thoughtfulness, compassion, understanding, or consideration.
Years ago, a therapist told me we can’t ever change other people; we can only change how we respond to them.
At the time, I found this incredibly frustrating because I didn’t know what I could do differently. I only knew I …
“Before someone’s tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love, appreciate them today.” ~Michelle C. Ustaszeski
Most of us are really good at finding reasons to wait.
We wait to call good friends we miss because we assume we’ll have plenty of time.
We wait to tell people how we really feel because we hope it will someday feel safer.
We wait to forgive the people who’ve hurt us because we believe they should reach out first.
We wait to apologize for the things we’ve done because we feel too stubborn or ashamed to admit fault.
If we’re not …