Game Over Do you have

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Do you have someone in your life that is constantly treating you in a certain way that gets you upset or frustrated? Did you know that by getting upset, you are falling into their vibration of being? When you have someone who is intentionally, or unintentionally, causing you to get upset, you can do something […]


9 Things Grateful People Believe

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*This post was originally published at the end of 2015. Since this was around the time I decided to create my newly launched gratitude journal, it seemed fitting to share it again today!

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” ~Melody Beattie

My title was a little misleading, at least based on my personal beliefs.

I don’t believe the world fits neatly into some massive yin yang with grateful people on one side and ungrateful people on the other; but rather, we all go through times when we feel high and low degrees of gratitude, and that’s only human nature.

It’s okay to feel angry, despondent, and disappointed. It’s okay to wish things were different—that we were healthier, or happier, or generally less lost in the world.

There’s nothing evolved about ignoring reality or repressing our emotions. But there’s a difference between embracing our feelings and stewing in them.

It might not be possible to be feel grateful all the time, but it is possible to be grateful more often than not.

The opposite was true for me for years, but I’ve shifted my ratio of grateful to ungrateful moments by adopting and reinforcing the following beliefs.

1. Everyone has something to teach or offer me.

That person who cut you off in traffic—she’s likely not a selfish jerk, but rather someone who’s having a stressful day and rushing. Annoying, yes, but thankfully this is an opportunity to practice patience.

That person who broke your heart—he’s likely not a sadistic bastard who took pleasure in your pain, but rather someone who was human and hurting, just like you, and did the best he could. Distressing, yes, but thankfully this taught you a great deal about yourself and what a healthy relationship entails.

This mindset was difficult for me to adopt. For a long time I felt convinced that some people were beyond understanding. And, I thought, like Miley Cyrus, some of them came into my life like a wrecking ball and provided absolutely no value.

I now see that I’ve learned something from every broken heart, broken hope, and broken promise. It’s all helped me become a stronger, wiser, more compassionate person, and the same is true for anyone who chooses to see it that way.

2. There’s something valuable in every challenge.

Just like every person can offer us something valuable, every challenge can contain an opportunity as well.

To be clear, I don’t think we need to see everything as a blessing in disguise. In her book Bright-Sided, author Barbara Ehrenreich shared her resentment for the implication she should see her cancer as a gift. I understand why she felt that way.

This goes back to what I wrote in the beginning—there’s nothing worthwhile about pretending we’re not shocked, saddened, and disappointed by the hardships that come our way. It doesn’t benefit anyone to ignore our natural feelings in the face of trauma and tragedy.

But it is possible to acknowledge that, while some things just plain suck, good things can come from them.

When my grandmother passed away several years back, we all wished we had more time with her. But that began a new tradition for my extended family. Once a week, on the day when my mother previously took my grandmother out to dinner, my aunt, uncle, cousins, parents, and siblings get together for “family night.”

It was a tradition born from tragedy, but one that’s brought everyone closer.

On the other side of loss there’s an opportunity for gain, if we’re willing to seek or create it.

3. Even if I don’t have what I want, I’m fortunate to have what I need.

Very few people have everything they want. True, some may have a lot more than others, but the vast majority of us have hopes that have yet to be fulfilled.

We have dreams and goals and ambitions. We want things and experiences and opportunities. We want to be a little richer, for life to feel a little fuller, and to generally get the sense that we’re moving forward, not backward.

Still, amid all the ups and downs and highs and lows, many of us have everything we need, or at least most of it. We have somewhere to live, food to eat, people to turn to, and the ability to pursue whatever it is we’d like to achieve in life.

Those things are not givens. Many people—and you may be one of them—do not have their basic needs met.

I didn’t always appreciate this, because it didn’t seem to make my challenges any easier. But if I didn’t have those needs met, my challenges would certainly be harder.

4. The “little things” are the big things.

If you keep a gratitude journal, you’ve likely recognized just how many touching, fortunate, or fun little things happen every day.

Recently I’ve listed the following in my gratitude journal:

My new adult coloring books, which provide stress-relief and joy

Getting to see the Christmas tree lighting at The Grove with my fiancé and an old friend (it happened before Thanksgiving—which annoys some people, I know, but not me!)

Realizing the new season of Arrow started, and there were five episodes to watch

Taking a hot bath with a mindless (okay, trashy) magazine

Getting a cheap but awesome burrito for lunch

Anticipating a fun family visit for Thanksgiving

The smell of meatballs cooking in my parents’ kitchen

It’s not every day we get a new job, marry the love our life, or bring a child or passion project into the world. Most smiles in life stem from little things, appreciated.

5. I don’t have to have it all or do it all to be happy.

In the US especially, many of us hold the belief that we need to do it all, have it all, and be it all. We can’t miss out. We can’t fall short. We have to keep up, and keep accumulating.

Sure, it’s nice to cross an experience off our life to-do list, and we all love when we’re able to provide ourselves with something that’s caught our eye.

But grateful people realize that happiness comes from accepting and appreciating what is—and knowing that even if we never have or do more, we can live a full and fabulous life.

This doesn’t mean we need to forsake all our goals and desires and grow stagnant. Though I love the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, as I wrote previously, I don’t believe we need to sacrifice all our wants and dreams to be good people.

I do believe, however, there’s something to be said for putting in the effort, surrendering to the outcome, and recognizing that whatever happens, life can be beautiful.

6. Everyone’s blessings are different, and that’s okay.

When you’re caught up in that race to do more and be more, it’s all too easy to look around at who seems to be “ahead” and feel resentful. Grateful people realize that life isn’t a competition, and there’s no such thing as “behind.”

We’re all different people; we all have different talents, interests, priorities, and values; and we’re all on our own path.

What’s meaningful to me might not be meaningful to you. What’s valuable to me might not be valuable to you.

You might feel blessed to have four healthy kids. I feel blessed to be getting a fish tank soon. You might feel blessed to have just bought a new home in the country. I feel blessed to live in a vibrant apartment community in a city.

And you may have things I wish I had (I actually wouldn’t mind a healthy kid or two), but there may be things I have that you want. And that’s totally okay.

We’re all fortunate in our own way, for different reasons. All that really matters is that we recognize, focus on, and appreciate our own.

7. Things can, and will, change.

Every now and then, I look deeply at someone I love and remind myself that they won’t always be here. And I won’t be either.

It sounds morbid, I know, and it sometimes chokes me up to think about it. But recognizing that nothing and no one will be around forever makes it so much easier to focus on the good things and appreciate what we have.

And this doesn’t just apply to people. It’s not a given that any of us will do the same job until we retire, or that we’ll make the same salary, or that we’ll have the health we have now to enjoy the same hobbies.

Try as we may to insure things won’t change—with contracts and policies and commitments—things can, and will, change. Nothing nurtures a grateful heart like recognizing this, and acting like it.

8. It could always be worse.

Yes, it’s a cliché, and not something we want to hear when we’re going through a hard time.

I recently found an anonymous quote that reads, “Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else may have it better.”

Knowing that it could be worse does not have to mean denying our feelings. But it does put things in perspective and make it easier to move through them.

After losing both of his legs, my grandfather could have been bitter. Clearly, many people had it “better” than him—they could walk. But he still had his sense of humor, his values, and the people he loved, and that was all he needed.

9. Life itself is a gift.

We live in a world full of teachers—both people and experiences—that enable us to learn, grow, and continually evolve into the people we want to be.

We have many, if not all, of our basic needs met, providing a foundation that allows us to comfortably enjoy life’s abundant simple pleasures.

We may not have it all, or the same things other people have, but we each have countless things, people, and opportunities to appreciate and enjoy.

This moment will never come again, and there’s no guarantee the moments that follow will look anything like this. Knowing this somehow makes the present more precious—even if things aren’t perfect.

And that brings us to this final belief: life itself is a gift.

It isn’t always easy, or happy, but it’s one hell of a ride—and it wouldn’t be without the bumps and turns. At least, that’s what I believe, and because of this, I’m grateful.

What do you believe?

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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Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal Giveaway

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Note: This post contains a giveaway. If you’re reading this in your inbox, click here to participate on the site!

Hi friends! Last week I launched Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, after sharing some of the book’s fifteen coloring pages over the past several weeks. I’ve received some wonderful feedback so far, and I’m thrilled to know that so many of you are finding the book fun and helpful!

Along with today’s coloring page, I’m running a giveaway, offering five free copies. If you’ve already purchased one for yourself, you may want to enter the giveaway for a chance to gift one to a friend.

About the Journal

Including questions and prompts pertaining to both your past and present, the journal will help you see your life through a new, more positive lens.

The book also includes fifteen coloring pages, depicting awesome things we often take for granted, like nature and music.

With space for written reflection, these pages provide all the benefits of coloring—including mindfulness and stress relief—and also guide you to recognize the beauty in the ordinary.

Whether you’ve been gratitude journaling for years or you’re just giving it a try for the first time, Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal will help you access a state of inner peace, contentment, and joy.

The Giveaway

To enter to win one of five free copies, leave a comment below answering the question in the coloring page above.
For a second entry, share this post on one of your social media pages and include the link in a second comment.

You can enter until midnight, PST, on Monday, June 26th.

If you’ve already received your copy, I would appreciate if you’d leave a review on Amazon here. It doesn’t need to be long—even a tiny review can make a big difference!

And if you’ve already colored a page or two, I’d love to see it! Please share it on social media using the hashtag #tinybuddhagratitude

Thanks so much, everyone. I am grateful for you!

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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Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal Giveaway appeared first on Tiny Buddha.


Discernment and the Law of Attraction, by Tracy Friend

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Discernment and the Law of AttractionDiscernment definition from Merriam-Webster: “The quality of being able to grasp or comprehend what is obscure”. In Sanskrit discernment is referred to as “Viveka” which translates as “wisdom” or “right judgement”.

Discernment may be considered as being able to grasp what is obscure because it is often not based on evidence that is available through the physical senses but rather through our intuitive sense which is subtle.

Sometimes on the spiritual path there can be a view that having preferences isn’t spiritual and loving. However, discernment is different to judgement as judgement may be thought of as evaluating someone or something based on the learned belief system of our lower mind whilst discernment might be thought of as having an opinion about someone or something from the perspective of the source part of ourselves or our higher mind. Therefore, it may be said that whilst judgement doesn’t normally serve us, discernment is usually of value as it enables us to see what is real or what is the truth. Having discernment can also be very useful as it helps us to discern what decisions and actions will bring joy and fulfilment and lead us forward on our journey to greater connection.

How to Discern

As being able to discern comes from the higher part of our mind in order to have access to it, it is necessary to be in alignment with that part of the mind. Therefore techniques that assist us in coming into greater alignment help us to have more discernment.

A key way to tell whether a particular view is a result of us judging or discerning is by how it feels as judgement often has an accompanying feeling of negative emotion whilst with discernment there is usually a calmness.

Meditation increases our discernment as it quietens our mind which in turn connects us to the source part of ourselves. Furthermore, it is often actually during the time of meditation that we receive guidance or clarity about particular things.

Focusing on the positive qualities of a person or situation can also lead to us being able to discern what is for the highest good. This might sound counterintuitive as we might think that if we’re only focused on the positive qualities that we’d have a positively biased view however by doing this it takes us to the place of connecting with source which has complete knowing and then we can receive that knowing. Focusing on the positive qualities of a person or situation also helps us to be able to discern as it enables us to be more at peace and equanimous and then from this more calm state of mind we are more able to feel our guidance.

Asking for guidance about a particular situation can also assist with increasing our discernment. This works as stating our desire more clearly leads to increased focus and increases our expectation of receiving an answer or knowing about something which then leads to us being more open to receiving that guidance. For example we could write a request to the Universe such as “Please allow me to know how my true self sees x”.

Finally, being clearly aligned with the end goal or feeling that we want can facilitate discernment. This works as it connects us with who we’ve expanded to become energetically and then in this more connected state we have greater access to our guidance.


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Tracy teaches across Europe, the US and Asia sharing profound yet practical techniques that positively improve people’s lives. She has created visualisations, online courses, a free daily online meditation and offers one-to-one Law of Attraction coaching. Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Google Plus | Instagram | Pinterest

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Why We Procrastinate and How to Finally Do What You’ve Been Putting Off

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“Low key change helps the human mind circumnavigate the fear that blocks success and creativity.” ~Robert Maurer

I’m currently working on my doctoral dissertation. It’s something I’ve been working on for many years. It’s something that I deeply believe in and want to complete, but I’m also the mom of two small kids and I run my own business.

Making time for to work on my thesis is low down on my priorities.

And for years I’ve been able to justify it to myself that I don’t work on it as much as I should because I don’t have the time.

That may well have been partly true while my children were younger.

But now as they’re getting a bit older, I realize that my procrastination is also about something else.

It’s about all the stories in my head that make working on this project unpleasant.

It’s about the fear, the self-doubt, the worry about not being good enough, the doubt about whether I’ll ever be able to finish, and the expectation that it’s going to be a really hard and frustrating process.

Because I do have time.

I have time to read and work on other projects that interest me. In fact, I make sure I create the time because I enjoy working on them.

This is something that I’ve only recently realized. Recognizing it has been so empowering.

Because I do want to finish it. I’ve dedicated so much time and energy to it, it would feel really good to complete.

Since recognizing this and recommitting to the project, I’ve been experimenting with an idea that so far has been really helpful, and I’m excited about its potential.

Sneaking Past Fear the Kaizen Way

The idea comes from the Japanese art of Kaizen. In his great book One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, Robert Maurer describes it as a gentle and elegant strategy to maintain excellence and realize dreams.

He explains how when we try to do big things and make big changes, it triggers our stress response and makes us avoid. So the solution is to make tiny, incremental changes, so imperceptibly small that you don’t activate your stress response.

All kaizen asks is that you take small steps for continual improvement.

As I was reading this I could immediately see where I was going wrong.

Each time I sat down to work on a paper I’m writing I was thinking about how I could make this a brilliant paper that would make the biggest impact and so do justice to the participants of my research.

Wow, the weight of the pressure. No wonder that felt like a big ask and made me avoid it.

The two strategies I have been working with involve asking small questions and thinking small thoughts.

1. Ask small questions to dispel fear and inspire creativity.

Big questions, such as “How can I quit my job and find my purpose?” tend to overwhelm us. Small questions help us get around our fear and start making progress, especially when we ask them regularly.

Maurer illustrates this point by asking you to imagine coming to work and having a colleague ask you to remember the color of the car parked next to you. You probably wouldn’t remember. If they asked you the same question the next day you probably also wouldn’t remember. But by the third day, as you arrived at work, you would probably pay attention to the car parked next to you.

Asking yourself tiny questions consistently helps you teach your mind what to pay attention to.

He recommends asking yourself your question a few time throughout the day for a number of days in a row.

I’ve been using this by combining two questions: “If I was guaranteed to succeed, what would I be doing differently?” and “What small step can I take today to move me forward?”

One idea that came to me today was to reach out to a colleague who I know was also working on her PhD while working fulltime. I shared my experience with her and her response: “Ali, I feel like you’re completely describing my experience. Let’s speak more and find out how we can support each other.”

We’re now going to support each other as accountability partners which I can already feel will make a significant difference.

Some other questions you could consider asking yourself daily:

How could I make working toward my goal more fun?

Who can I ask for help today?

What’s the simplest thing I can do with the time I have available?

2. Think small thoughts to develop new skills and habits.

The second strategy involves a kind of mental rehearsal called mind sculpting, which helps you develop new social, mental, and even physical skills just by imagining yourself performing them. Here you identify the task you want to achieve from your questioning process and then begin to imagine yourself doing it.

But instead of seeing yourself on a moving screen, as is the traditional visualization technique, you are advised to feel yourself doing the task and incorporate all your senses.

So I see myself sitting down, feeling my fingers on my keyboard, hearing the sounds of the birds outside, and seeing the screen in front of me.

And the important part—seeing yourself enjoying the process. Because we avoid what we imagine will be unpleasant and painful.

What I’m doing with that is giving myself the next two weeks while my children are on school holidays to spend a few minutes a day imagining myself working on it and enjoying it.

The idea here is that by doing this for a period of time, you start to rewire your association to the task, which makes it easier to then take small actions.

So choose a task that you’re afraid to do or something that makes you uncomfortable and decide how long you’ll practice for each day. Make the time commitment so little that you’re going to do it consistently, as repetition is important. Maurer recommends starting with a few seconds a day!

So what have you been putting off that you would love to accomplish? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

About Alison Breen

Alison Breen is a Performance Coach and Psychologist who helps women entrepreneurs build confidence to achieve success in their businesses and lives. Sign up for her FREE guide to help you overcome procrastination so that you can move forward with your business or other meaningful goals

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Keep This in Mind

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As you go about your day, keep this in mind…in every thought, feeling, reaction, and action are a part of your overall vibration.  And it is the overall vibration that you send out into the world and the Universe. This means that not just your wonderful positive vibrations you create in your day, but your […]