For several years, one of my favorite daily rituals has been taking a walk through our property’s cathedral-like aspen grove intricately interspersed with majestic Douglas-fir trees. These arboreal walks sustain and enliven each day, from the buttery, yellow-leafed spring to the frosty, snow-covered winter.
As I recently weaved my way through the fairy-tale land of flora and fauna, I started to think about how the interconnectedness of trees acts as a metaphor for life and the collective interconnectedness of every living (and even non-living) species.
I remembered how, shortly after we moved into our cabin surrounded by towering conifers, my…
We live our lives through lessons, some harder than others, and life has a curious way of teaching us lessons that we would never learn otherwise, bathing us with all-subsuming wisdom. Many of life’s lessons we would rather skip over or fast-forward, but that is exactly what makes life such a terrific teacher.
And as the sun begins to set on my fourth decade and a new dawn arises in the fifth, I took some time to reflect on my many lessons learned while joyfully anticipating the lessons to come — and because I am an imperfect human being, there…
We all want more happiness. Those who are already happy would like to be even happier. A life filled with happiness is a worthwhile goal and readily achievable.
But happiness isn’t just about the big things. There are many smaller aspects that color and shape our lives, whether by adding or subtracting.
Research studies have found that how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health. Robert Waldinger, director of one such study and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says, “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships…
Two weeks ago, as I prepared for a four-day Nature Immersion (camping and spending every precious, sun-drenched moment outside), I had one of the worst, most excruciating headaches that I’d had in years. In fact, the past month has seen me with a prolonged migraine every week and without adequate medicine.
As I went through this torture and missed self-imposed writing deadlines, I kept close in my heart that I needed to send out a gratitude-drenched letter of appreciation to my readers on Medium.
It kind of sounds strange, once I type it out: “my readers.” The main thing is…
In the aftermath of being wronged, forgiveness can seem like an elusive, almost fantastical notion. Whether facing infidelity in a relationship, betrayal by a friend, or any other type of pain from the past, it can feel unfair that we have to do the work to find forgiveness and move past it.
And even though it is supremely difficult, it is entirely possible.
Here’s how to start.
First, you feel the aching sting, the shame, and the ever-present pain of holding on to the past. …
If you ever wondered if you're doing enough with your life or if you're doing the right things, I’m here to tell you that you are doing enough, you are enough, and chances are you are doing much better than you think.
Sometimes it's the small things in life that make us the happiest. Things like random acts of kindness, getting a good night’s sleep or going outside for a walk.
If you need less than you used to or have realized that material possessions do not bring lasting happiness, then you are doing better than you think.
Time stops for no one.
It’s a hum, a sigh, a flash of remembrance that disappears just as quickly as it appears. How often do we stop to think about this? This moment, whatever meaning we assign to it, is fleeting. See? It’s already gone.
As time progresses, things change. In a hundred years, I’ll no longer reside on Earth, but the sun will still rise. The ponderosa pines that line our sanctuary will still be here. The leaves will still twinkle in the first blush of spring. The large boulder where the chipmunks keep their winter stash will still…
Empathy has become a popular word these days. We hear it in presidential speeches, on campuses, in schools, and in the social justice world.
It’s important, it’s life-changing, and it can even be life-saving in many cases.
But what is empathy, really? And why should we care about it or try to enhance it?
By definition, empathy is the ability to understand, recognize, and share the feelings and emotions of another person, animal, or being, whether fictitious or not. Expanding empathy is important for establishing relationships and behaving kindly.
It also involves experiencing another person’s perspective, rather than just our…
“Everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves to tell what is inside themselves.” — Gertrude Stein
We’ve all been there. You commit to writing every day. Filled with inspiration and motivation, the words seem to fly onto the page. You make lists, drafts, editorial calendars… and then life happens, responsibilities mount, and you decide to skip just one day.
Fast forward to months later, and you can’t remember the last time you wrote for the sheer joy of it.
It happens, and sometimes taking a break can be a good thing; studies show it’s actually good for creativity.