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Posts Tagged ‘Tiny Buddha’

This is a fabulous post from tiybuddha.com written by Lisa Illichmann. I just absolutely love this! It just goes to show that our attitude, and our attitude alone, can make the difference between a good day and a very bad one. What’s your perspective?

One Experience, Two Stories: Interpretation Is Everything

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” – Pema Chodron

I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.

As I turned the corner—hopeful I was headed in the right direction—I heard a loud clattering sound and looked up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge man on a bicycle careening down the sidewalk, arms and legs flailing. He was obviously unable to steer, let alone stop.

Immediately realizing the danger, I dropped my briefcase and dove head-first into the nearby bushes, narrowly escaping an accident with an overweight hit-and-run cyclist.

I popped out of the shrubbery, branches in my hair, and looked down the sidewalk. He was gone.

What a jerk! What was he doing on the sidewalk with that bike? And anyway, what was he doing on a bicycle in the first place, when he clearly wasn’t able to ride one. He should be off learning somewhere else. The nerve.

He could have killed me! How unbelievably dangerous. What on earth did he think we have streets for? Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not bikes – especially not for out of control ones. What if an old lady had been in his way? She would have had no chance at all. Imagine. The gall of this guy.

And look at my clothes. I was a mess. My jacket was torn, my knees were scrubbed, my hands were dirty and I broke one of my heels off. Damn shoes were expensive too. I couldn’t possibly go to my appointment like this. I was really pissed off, and rightly so. The cyclist was clearly at fault.

I pulled out my telephone, which probably was broken, although it looked okay and cancelled my appointment. I found my briefcase lying in the dirt next to the bushes. The leather was scratched and all my papers had fallen out. The laptop was probably ruined, but I decided to check that later. I gathered all my things, took the broken shoe off and limped back to my car.

What a jerk.

… One more time…

I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office, and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well and so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.

As I turned the corner, hopeful I was headed in the right direction, I heard a loud clattering sound and looked up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge man on a bicycle careening down the sidewalk, arms and legs flailing. He was obviously unable to steer, let alone stop.

Immediately realizing the danger, I dropped my briefcase and dove head first into the nearby bushes, narrowly escaping an accident with an overweight hit-and-run cyclist.

I popped out of the shrubbery, branches in my hair, and looked down the sidewalk. He was gone.

Wow. That guy could have killed me. I couldn’t believe it. My response time was unbelievable. Imagine. I was in those bushes within a fraction of a second. Incredible. And with high heels on. Oops. Make that high heel – one of them didn’t survive. I broke the heel off of the other shoe so I could walk straight. Thank goodness I bought expensive shoes—they even looked good without heels.

I was impressed. My years of working with horses had definitely paid off; I could really get out of the way fast. I gave myself an emotional pat on the back. I’d like to see my son move like that. Downright elegant the way I dove into those shrubs. I brushed the dirt off my pants, pleased I had worn brown.

Most people I know would have been flattened. They wouldn’t have had a chance. I snickered smugly and plucked the leaves from my hair.

Feeling ever so athletic, I gathered all my scattered papers, shoved my laptop back into my briefcase and checked the address. Yep, this was the right building. Wasn’t even late. I wiped my hands on the lining of my jacket and rang the buzzer.

Look out world, here I come.

Same bike. Same bush. Different meaning. Different day.

Happy diving.

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Being Kind

Below is a beautiful, powerful post on being kind by linnaea bohn (found on tinybuddha.com). Her story about the woman and the dog is especially heart-warming.

Being Kind When It’s Seen as a Weakness

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” ~Samuel Johnson

When I worked in the corporate world, I didn’t focus on a race to the top. I enjoyed the day-to-day work of running a product line, finding opportunities for new markets, and helping managers in other countries launch similar lines tailored to their markets.

My approach was to be ethical in all aspects of the work, to have concern for the people I was working with to achieve results, and to share the credit appropriately. This was not the latest “management style,” nor was it proven.

The most senior managers saw the bottom line increase and gave me more responsibility and a promotion, while immediate supervisors discredited me since I was not like them.

A transfer to Asia fortunately took me out of the quagmire of home office politics. I felt the freedom to continue managing in a way that was natural to me: to encourage my teams with kindness, cooperation, and credit while we increased market share and the bottom line.

My staff felt safe and enjoyed their work. The division prospered.

However, my immediate superior didn’t value my approach. He viewed it as a sign of weakness that I was caring and thoughtful, and that I cooperated and shared with each colleague. 

Even though I had added millions to the bottom line, I lost my job, my career.

When I’d started an MBA years before, I’d dreamed of changing the world in some significant way by helping others. There was no major in that, so I did an independent major: marketing for not-for-profits. 

It was hard to find a job after graduation, since arts organizations in the mid 1970s didn’t see the need to hire an MBA. I realized that if I wanted to share knowledge and skills to change the world in some way, and do it while being kind, I had to go solo.

I went on a solo trek to the Himalayas to clear my mind and spent a month meditating at a small monastery near Kathmandu. I then journeyed to India for a healing purification retreat.

Months later at a Buddhist initiation, I heard the Boddhisattva vows. They were about putting others before self, being kind, keeping’s one’s word, and more. I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt like I’d come home. 

I wanted to put those vows into practice in a practical way. At first I thought I would return to Hong Kong as an entrepreneur and send my earnings to Tibetans to start refugee schools. I learned, however, that it would be more beneficial to help refugees create opportunities for work. So I did.

I made the Himalayas my home, and volunteered to help Tibetan refugees develop small enterprises based on their skills and suited to their temperament and culture. This way they could become economically self-sufficient, eliminating the need for charitable donations.

My neighbors in the village where I lived were Punjabi widows—refugees themselves, without any income. Yet they could knit well. I helped them turn their lives around by teaching them designs, colors, and sizes that were in style. I also showed them how to sell these sweaters locally on their own.

It felt so natural to be kind and help others there. Kindness was a way of life for many. 

A story that comes to mind involves a woman and a dog. 

Dogs that are not used as shepherds in the Himalayas are feral. They look for scraps and fight a lot. People are terrified of the packs.

One day I heard a puppy whimpering. Village children, who had taken it as a temporary toy, helped me retrace their path to place the pup near a sibling. The mother dog came out of hiding to wash and feed the pup. Her bony body somehow produced milk for five puppies. 

From that day I cooked brown rice and eggs for her, concerned that she herself would starve from feeding them. I would leave the food near the home she’d dug for her family under a log in a small wooded area. 

One day that spring there was a long, slow snowstorm that prevented me from feeding her. 

At daybreak the next day I placed some food near her shelter, but she didn’t come out. I waited and then slowly approached the hole. There was a snow-covered burlap sac covering the mouth of the shelter, but not one dog. Someone had been kind to protect the family from the storm, but the dogs were gone. 

As I walked though the small woods looking for them, I noticed a house. A woman came to the door. Using hand signs and imitating the whimpering sounds of pups, I asked if she had seen the dogs.

She took me by the hand to a tiny abode. On the veranda of this one room structure was a woman cooking a small copper pot of rice on a stick fire. Around the fire were the mom and pups, lying comfortably and soaking in the warmth. The woman’s own children and husband were inside under a blanket on the single rope cot. 

This frail bodied woman from Rajastan, in her thin cotton sari and shawl, shared her family’s only pot of rice with the dog family.

She and her husband were day laborers, carrying boulders on their heads as roads were being excavated through the mountains. 

They earned less than a dollar a day for their combined work. In a bare room with a doorway as the only opening, they lived with clothes suited for the 120 degree heat of the desert, eating one meal a day. 

This woman unflinchingly shared her food with this female dog and her puppies. She didn’t have much to give, but that didn’t stop her from giving what she could. 

I had come to India to help others, with a vision to change the world in some small but significant way. Yet without intent, education, or desire, this woman changed my life in a very significant way. Her instinctive kindness that received no appreciation, let alone results or rewards, softened my heart. 

I see that being a kind human has value in any walk of life. This is what I took with me into future work. Even though I many not be the manager other people want me to be, I am valuable in any organization because I am kind.

I care about the people who work around me. I care about each individual client, customer, and colleague. This may not be a prerequisite for a successful career, but it’s my prerequisite for a successful life.

Each kindness changes the world. Being kind is what makes my world significant. 

Whatever values you hold dear—whether it’s kindness, gentleness, calmness, or honesty—live it. Be it, even if the people around you don’t seem to value the same things; especially if the people around you don’t seem to value those things. That might be the very reason you came into their lives

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We all have bad days. Those days when the alarm doesn’t go off, you rush to get ready, you forget something important and then to top it all off, you hit bumper-to-bumper traffic. Your boss is a jerk, your co-workers are annoying and even your friend doesn’t have time for you… Well, I have a solution for you when you find yourself enveloped in stupidity and you can’t wait for the day to be over.

Lori Deschene over at tinybuddha.com has compiled a wonderful list of 51 things that will make you smile…and they are all in your control! You can commit yourself to finding something worth smiling about each and every day.

Below are my favourites but I highly suggest you read the whole happy list here.

  • Rearrange your furniture. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I do this, and I also really enjoy the novelty of creating a space with a different feel.

*I think this is almost as invigorating as a good cleaning/organization session!*

  • Give your cat a ball of yarn or give your dog a wrapped gift and watch him try to open it. Pets playing = instant smile, at least, for me!

*Every year for Christmas and their birthday, I wrap a bunch of little trinket toys for my dogs. They love the thrill of ripping the wrapping paper and I absolutely love watching them go nuts!*

  • Go out and invest in a hula hoop. It’s nearly impossible to stay glum when you get moving like you haven’t since you were a kid. (Alternative option: jump around on a trampoline and just try to not smile!

* I have a bright purple hula hoop and have a blast anytime I attempt to hula. What’s even more fun though is watching your best friend attempt to hula!* 🙂

  • For the ladies: paint your toe nails a bright color that you wouldn’t usually pick.

*If you’ve read my Thankful Thursday than you know I just LOVE bright nail polish! I always have a little extra fun when I paint my nails with my “little sister” though as she likes to go multi-colour!*

  • Blast your favorite music and dance around with absolutely no regard for rhythm or appearance.

* I do this all the time to Aqua – Happy Boys and Girls*

  • Watch a movie or cartoon from your childhood. (Smurfs always do it for me, especially when I remember how my mother called them devil worshipers because Papa Smurf did magic.)

*If you know me at all, you know I’m a HUGE fan of 80’s stuff…movies, toys, games but the most fun is certainly watching some old school cartoons. And thanks to YouTube, you can watch just about anything from your past (just last week I was catching up on some old Smoggies episodes).

  • Look at pictures from your childhood. I can’t help but smile when I see the ridiculously thick bangs my mother gave me (translate: the front of a mullet).

*Nothing makes me laugh more than seeing the hair and outfits I had when I was growing up*

  • Wear bright colored socks. If your pants are long, wear a different color on each foot. It’s like a little private joke that only you and your feet know about.

* Best. Socks. Ever. And yes, I have worn these in public. :)*

 

  • Grab your camera and go outside with a mission to capture things that make you happy.

*I take my camera almost everywhere I go just in case I see something fantastic that makes me happy!*

  • Make a list of all the amazing things you’ve accomplished and experienced this year, and then bask in the beauty of it all.

*What a fabulous way to boost your confidence too!*

  • Commit a random act of kindness and tell that person to pass it on.

* You know I love this idea! :)*

*The book is equally as awesome. I highly recommend it, especially as a nice read before bed.

  • Create a gratitude list for the day, including the smallest details (a fluffy pillow) and the biggest things (your health and your family).

*My daily gratitude journal along with my Thankful Thursdays have really changed my perspective on things and has definitely made me smile.*

Are you smiling yet? 🙂

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Here is a wonderful, powerful post I found on tinubuddha.com contributed by Declan O’Flaherty

8 Tips to Help Create a Positive Mental Attitude

For years I lived an uneventful existence. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t unhappy either. I was just sort of stuck.

I had a good career, earned lots of money, and I had great friends and a loving family. You would think that this doesn’t sound too bad, but I felt unfulfilled and unmotivated. I repeatedly lived each day like the one before.

I looked around me and saw that everybody within my own circle of friends, relatives, and immediate family were no different. They too seemed stuck. They seemed unmotivated—like they were living their lives on automatic pilot.

I began to question why this was. Why do so many people just accept this pattern as normal, as if this is the way it is supposed to be?

I read hundreds of books on philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. I continued with this for a couple of years until I gradually I began to see things with greater clarity. I began to wake up. Then one day, out of the blue it just hit me, like a ton of bricks.

The key to unlocking my prison door was not contained in any books I read (although they did help me somewhat). It was in my ability to accept what “is” in this moment. So I now I make that choice.

Here are 8 tips to help you make that choice:

1. Remember that you are powerful.

Most of the time we have no idea what we are supposed to be doing, or who we are supposed to be imitating. I say “imitating” because this is what we do: We conform to the external environment.

We play roles and cover up our true selves by identifying with “things” that end up defining who we think we are. I’m a doctor, a salesperson, a secretary, a lawyer; I’m sad, happy, lonely, or miserable. I’m angry, jealous, afraid, and I can’t help it—it’s who I am.

The truth is, though, we are none of those things. They are symptoms of the sleepwalking disease. You are more important than any label. We are not our professions. We are not our feelings. We are not our circumstances. We are not even our mind.

What we are is far greater, far superior, far more important, and far more mysterious than our conceptual mind tries to define. This is why we are far more powerful than we think we are.

2. Choose to embrace life.

Let go and embrace the moment, whether it contains an obstacle or an opportunity. Stop fussing over trivial matters and start focusing on what’s really important to you.

Don’t go through life expecting things to change. Life becomes hard and unfair when we decide to complain about things rather than trying to change them ourselves. Wake up to the truth that life is not a practice-run.

Be bold and courageous, and make decisions that benefit your growth. Put yourself on your imaginary death-bed and realize that time stands still for no one. Start as soon as possible to make any necessary changes you may need to.

Take the first step before more time gradually passes by while you stand still stagnating. Your choice. Your life. Your responsibility. Your power.

3. Realize that you get to control your reactions.

We create our outside reality by the thoughts and beliefs we maintain about life in general. What we believe in our inner world, we see in our outer world—not the other way around. 

We all have problems, and we’re often tested by circumstances outside of our control. Even though you may not be in control of what’s going on outside of you, you most definitely can control your reaction to those situations.

We have the power because our inner world (cause) affects the influence we allow the outer world (effect) to have on us. So next time you hear somebody mention that you have great personal power, know they are 100% correct. You have more control than you think.

4. Know that no one is better qualified.

We place far too much emphasis on other people’s opinions about us, often to the exclusion of our own. This takes away from our own personal power. No matter what anybody says about you, it doesn’t hold any significance to who you truly are unless you identify or agree with them.

Stop identifying with other people’s opinions and become aware of how you see yourself. Nobody knows you better than you do. Never accept another person’s reality as your own. Always believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. And, most importantly, never let another person’s opinion of you affect what you believe about yourself.

5. Believe that you are more than enough.

If you have to compare yourself to someone else, let it be a person who is less fortunate, and let it be a lesson to learn just how abundant your life truly is. It’s just a matter of perspective.

You may find that you are not entirely grateful for what you possess. You may believe that you need more than you have right now to be happy. If this is the case, then you are absolutely right—you will need more, and you will continue to need more.

This cycle will perpetuate as long as your mind believes it to be true. If you focus on what you have, and not on what you lack, you will always have enough, because you will always be enough.

6. Love yourself.

You have arrived. Everything you need is right here. Cut out the distractions, open your eyes, and see that you already have everything in your possession to be happy, loved, and fulfilled.

It’s not out there. It never was out there. It’s in the same place it was since the day you were born. It’s just been covered up by all the external things you have identified with over the years. 

Be yourself. Love yourself completely and accept everything that you are. You are beautiful. Believe it, and most importantly, remind yourself often.

7. Stay cool.

If someone cuts us off in traffic or skips the queue at our local cinema, we may feel our blood pressure begin to rise and feel the need to react in a negative manner. We get uptight with other people’s actions, and in the end we punish ourselves for their bad behavior.

We and up losing control over our own actions because of the way other people act. But we are responsible for our own action, regardless of how rude other people may act. If it’s hard to stay cool, remember: you are the one who loses in the end, if you lose the lesson. 

8. Journey well

We know life is about the journey and not the arrival. We don’t need to arrive if we accept that we are already here.

Be content with where you are today and don’t make the mistake of putting off being happy because you are waiting for the right moment to shine. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to enjoy the journey. 

Not everyone woke up this morning and not everyone will go to bed tonight. Life has no guarantees. Every minute you are living is a blessing that has to be experienced in the moment. It’s not always easy, but it’s always an option—a choice. Your choice.

That last paragraph is so powerful! I love it!!!

Enjoy the journey people and keep smiling! 🙂

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Today I’d like to share a wonderful post from tinybuddha.com.

Writing Your Story: 5 Ways To Discover Your World

by Cat Li Stevenson

“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 9 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—a brand of who I was, and what I stood for outside of this corporate lifestyle.

Since that day, I seemed to be on a tiresome pursuit in finding my story. I even seriously debated moving out of the country to build character and expand my journey.

While my own story is still one that remains on the preface page, I have realized in several months of contemplation that discovering our personal novel is not formed by rushing the process or constant over analyzing.

It is, instead, a compilation of daily experiences, perspective, and the wisdom we receive from these that shapes our meaning.

We all have a truly unique story, but we don’t have to be in a hurry to write it or create it. When we start living life, instead of always trying to figure it out, our story—our meaning, our purpose—will present itself in amazing ways.

Here are five activities I have found helpful in discovering my world:

1. Share three “Grateful Statements” a Day

It’s remarkable how your day and life can become instantly transformed by realizing the gifts and abundance that exist all around you right here, right now.

Drop a line through text, email or a good old-fashioned phone call with a sister, friend, boyfriend, or anyone else close to you about something you’re grateful for.

It can be a simple grateful—how you have AC in your car in the sweltering heat, for example. A grateful approach will awaken you to see the world that exists in front of you today; leading to happier, brighter, more meaningful days.

2. Explore Contrast Exercises

If you are a night person like I am, you get a surge of energy at 11PM and manage to find something— anything—to keep you occupied way past your bedtime.

I recently (and not easily) began going to bed by 10PM. This way, I  could get up in the morning for a run or a spin class, followed by a morning meditation before I started on my commute.

I am in awe at how the day looks and feels different by waking up at a new hour, from the sunrise to the increased productivity level I have by mid-morning.

If you are a morning person, try staying up until the midnight hour and notice the difference around you. Or if you enjoy taking walks at night as part of your workout regiment, what happens if you try out a new, hip-hop class at your gym instead?

When exploring other parts of your day that you’re not aware of by making small adjustments, a whole new discovery and perspective may surface.

3. Commit to 30 Days of Excellence

This year my husband and I have made a fun activity of practicing 30 days of excellence. We’ve done everything from “30 days of going to bed on time” to “30 days of five-minute, daily meditation” to “30 days of being mindful about our attitude and what we share.”

Committing to 30 days of excellence to form a habit can transcend and improve your world. It will give you the energy and inspiration to take on the next step in your journey of discovery.

4. Write an “I want…” List

There are tons of articles and books out there about knowing what it is you want to do with your life. I am here to repeat this important exercise: Write “I want…” at the top of a piece of paper or your journal and start writing without pausing to think.

Keep this list at your bedside and revisit it daily. By tuning into knowing exactly what it is you want, you will be able to identify it when you see it, without it passing by without notice.

5. Create a Board of Inspiration

I have a fascination with cards. Ever since I was a little girl, I would make cards from scratch for every occasion and everyone around me.

We constantly had visitors and family members visit from Taiwan when I was younger. I’d always show up at the airport with a personalized card welcoming the guest to town.

Now, 20 plus years later, I still love cards. Instead of creating them, I collect them. I enjoy finding meaningful messages and quotes in card shops. Recently, I purchased a blank canvas where I’ve pasted each of those cards in a square and hung it up in a place in my home office. I revisit them every day to stay inspired.

What inspires you? Is it a photo of a place you once visited? A picture from a travel magazine you want to vacation to? Or perhaps a CD cover from your favorite artist? Create a board of inspiration, visit it daily, and let it speak to you.

Make yourself inspired to continually discover your world. Your world unfolds in the process.

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I recently read a fabulous post on Tiny Buddha submitted by Anastasiya Goers. I’ve been talking a lot about fears lately and this is most definitely one of the biggest fears I’m dealing with right now. This post was very inspiring and made me quite happy so I naturally wanted to share it with you!

Anastasiya says that if you want to be truly successful in life then you have to learn to believe in yourself. She offers the following tips to get over the fear of being successful and start thriving.

1. Be positive.

Negative thoughts are like MiracleGrow for fear and self-doubt. Stay away from negative people and you will decrease the amount of negativity in your life at least by half.

Practice daily gratitude, write down all the positive events in your life, practice mindfulness and you will notice how your negative attitude will start melting away. 

2. Continually remind yourself that you are part of something larger than you.

Fear often has to do with worrying about uncertainty, feeling out of control, and wondering what your life’s purpose is. When you realize you are part of a bigger picture, even if you don’t fully understand what that is, it’s easier to ascertain that you both deserve and need to be successful and happy. 

You do the right things, you help people around you, you make being a good person a priority, and you know that this isn’t just about you—it’s also about the bigger picture that you’re part of. These thoughts always give me the courage to try something new and believe that my life is successful because of the doing, not the outcome. 

3. Take time to find your authenticity.

Do you have a lot on you? I’m sure you do, and I know that you are doing your best at doing what you have to do. But do you know who you are? Do you know what makes you happy? Do you know your passions? 

Do you take time to reflect on your life and figure out your purpose in this world? Unfortunately, most of us get so caught up in responsibilities and goals that we forget to enjoy our lives. 

No matter how busy you are, you must make time for yourself. It can be just 10 minutes a day, but this time must belong to you. If you give yourself the luxury of free time then you will notice that the rest of your responsibilities will get easier. 

You will be a better parent. You will be able to come up with creative ideas at work (and finally get that promotion.) You will be able to take better care of your health. You will reduce your stress and experience the joy of living. 

4. Create your success library.

Sometimes when we lose trust in ourselves we just need a little bit of inspiration to push us in the right direction. There are plenty of ways to find inspiration, but we forget about them when we need them the most. 

Create a library of quotes, save articles and success stories that have inspired you, create a library of inspiring movies and videos, or create an album of your fun and happy memories. Turn to this library whenever you have self doubts. 

5. Learn.

People are always scared of what they don’t know. My first job was in a web development company. I was scared to death during my first day at work because I didn’t know anything about web and blogs and the words CSS and PHP seemed like medical terms for lethal diseases. I was forced to learn about everything and now I feel absolutely at ease online. 

If you have a fear of something you just have to educate yourself about it. It is like walking into a dark room. At first you feel scared and don’t know what to expect but once you turn the light on, everything gets clear and simple. 

6. Live in balance.

No matter how important success might seem to you, it is still important to follow it with balance; otherwise your journey towards success will turn into an obsession that will ruin everything that you truly love in life. 

Success is not a destination. It’s a journey, and it’s important that we take each step feeling grounded and balanced. Spend time with your loved ones, enjoy your hobby or follow your passion, take care of your health and grow spiritually. This is the meaning of true success, the one that you can achieve only in balance.

I think that you are able to be successful. It is your right and purpose in life to be successful in whatever you are doing. If you believe in that then nothing will ever stop you from living a balanced and joyous life.

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Today I’d like to share part of a wonderful post by Lori Deschene (the founder, lead writer, and site editor at Tiny Buddha , which is one of my absolute favourite sites to visit!)

Lori has created a fantastic list of things that we often take for granted.

The little things that usually go right:

  1. You woke up breathing. No matter what happens in the hours ahead, you can come back to your breath for a sense of peace and presence.
  2. You have the freedom to choose what you’ll do today, even if you have some limitations. Sometimes we take it for granted, but what we do on a daily basis truly is our choice.
  3. You had a bed to sleep in. Even if you didn’t get as much sleep as you’d like to, you had the opportunity to rest somewhere relatively peaceful.
  4. There isn’t a hurricane, tornado, typhoon or other natural disaster going on outside your door.
  5. You have the means to eat three meals today, even if one of them is Top Ramen (or spam and rice, as my boyfriend made on our first night in our new place).
  6. Your roof isn’t leaking copious amounts of water directly on your head.
  7. Your significant other is alive and healthy, albeit a loud snorer, an off-key shower singer, or a consistent maker of ridiculously strong coffee.
  8. Your shower works—with hot water—meaning you don’t have to go to work with bed-head or skin that smells like night sweat.
  9. If you don’t have work to go to, you have endless possibilities for your future. Right now might be a little uncomfortable, but your future is completely open, ready to be seized and enjoyed.
  10. The sun is shining, giving you all those feel-good brain chemicals (the sun actually increases serotonin production—it’s a natural mood lifter!)
  11. You don’t have Wicked Witch of the West syndrome, meaning that if it’s raining, you likely won’t melt.
  12. Your closet didn’t catch fire overnight, meaning you don’t have to go to work naked or fashion an outfit out of hefty bags.
  13. Your iPod works, so you can listen to your favorite tunes during your commute.
  14. If you don’t have an iPod, you probably have access to music somehow—radio, streaming music online, your mom’s old 8-tracks. Music is such a powerful mood lifter that we can access any time.
  15. If you drive, your favorite morning radio show is on and it’s so funny you almost don’t care about the gridlock traffic.
  16. As for that gridlock traffic, the fact that you’re in it means you have a working car.
  17. Your computer works, meaning you won’t need IT guys to come help you, disrupting your usual flow.
  18. You have a cell phone, even if it isn’t an iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry. (Mine is none of the above.) Even a bulky, old-school cell phone that can’t connect to the Internet can make life world’s easier.
  19. You have an office or workspace, even if it’s shared, meaning you can get things done relatively efficiently allowing for free time later this evening.
  20. If you’re like me and don’t have an office or workspace, you have the freedom to work wherever you want. Go work under a tree for a while—you can!
  21. You received some type of email that lets you know someone cares about you, even if it’s one of those chain emails your grandmother sends to the special people in her life.
  22. If you didn’t get one of those emails, you have the capacity to send one (mass-emailed or personalized) to make a meaningful difference in someone else’s day.
  23. You got a call or voicemail from someone you miss, giving you the opportunity for connection and even a little shared nostalgia.
  24. If you didn’t get that call, you have access to a phone, meaning you can make one. Any day you connect meaningfully with someone else has the potential to be a great day.
  25. Someone somewhere loves you, so no matter what happens in the day ahead, you’ll get through it with the support of people who care.

There’s a lot that goes right on a daily basis. I’m choosing to start the day embracing the good in the present instead of trying to predict and control the bad in the future.

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