How To Meditate in Bed: A Step-by-Step Guide

Like us, we are sure that there have been many countless nights that you see yourself lying in bed unable to sleep. If it...

Why is Family Important: The Undeniable Reasons

Like several other relationships in our lives, having a strong bond with your family can make a powerfully positive impact on your life. So,...

Meditation Prep

A Sequence to Beat Restlessness + Prep for Meditation

Did your self-reflection reveal a rapid breathing pattern? Was your jaw clenched? Were you feeling anxious or irritable? Many of us are regularly in...

Everything You Need to Know About Meditation Posture

  Do you sit down for meditation and wonder if you're doing it right? Learn all about the universal meditation posture here. There are a million forms of meditation in...

How a 31-Day Loving-Kindness Meditation Challenge Transformed My Relationships and Reduced My Anxiety

  A 31-day loving-kindness meditation challenge was not going to be easy for a Yoga Journal Editor. But she was excited to see where the...

A Heart-Opening Yoga Sequence with Elena Brower

ace, where you receive and give love. ELENA BROWER UPDATED: MAY 16, 2017 ORIGINAL: SEP 8, 2016 Today, we’ll practice moving your...

Try This Heart-Centering Meditation Before You Take a Forest Bath

  A forest bath is an inner journey to reacquaint us with our own wildness as much as it is an outer journey into the...

Get Your Sit Together: 7 Best Meditation Cushions to Support Your Practice

  Meditation cushions can make all the difference when it comes to a successful, comfortable meditation practice—for beginners and experts alike. Here are the best...

Alan Finger’s Energy-Clearing Yoga Sequence to Prepare for Meditation

  Zev Starr-Tambor Yoga Journal’s new online Master Class program brings the wisdom of world-renowned teachers to your fingertips, offering access to exclusive workshops with a...

17 Poses to Prep for Mindful Meditation

  Not all meditation practice has to happen sitting perfectly still in Lotus Pose. By focusing your awareness inward, on the breath and the way your...

Can You Buy Your Way to Enlightenment?

  From virtual reality to the Somadome, Yoga Journal investigates five meditation aids to find out if they actually work. Courtesy of Somadome I don’t want to...

Benefits of Meditation

Stop Reacting To Everything. Take A Breath And…

Our culture has conditioned us to respond immediately to whatever shows up. We celebrate immediate feedback, consider a quick reply to an email or...

4 Mindfulness Tips To Reclaim Your Center & Ground Your Being

“Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Do you have days when...

Common Meditation Myths: What are the Benefits of Meditation?

This is the final part of a 3-part series on common meditation myths. The first part discussed the myths about What is Meditation and the second...

When It All Feels Like Too Much: Embracing Our Highly Sensitive Nature in an...

I believe that all humans are sensitive and intuitive. However, in our modern world, our culture tends to see sensitivity as a weakness while...

Does Meditation Still Matter?

A few years ago, I adopted a small library of spiritual books from a friend of mine. When I asked him why he was...

How I Found Healing and Happiness in a Third World Country

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~Jim Rohn For years I dreamed of leaving the winters of Northern Ontario, Canada and basking in the warm golden sun somewhere in Central America from October to May. I would joke with my co-workers every winter “This is my last winter here, I swear!” I did that for years until finally, one year, it was my last winter there. But it wasn’t because it was the most brutal winter we had experienced so far. Oh no. It was much more than that. Rewind Back to 2012 I had just walked out of my eight-year abusive relationship. I was beaten down, ripped apart, and left as a shell of a woman. I had nothing to my name materialistically or emotionally. Very few belongings and no self-respect, self-worth, self-love, or self-confidence. I left empty and numb. But at that time, it didn’t matter to me what I had or didn’t have. All I knew was that in order to preserve what little sanity I had left, I had to leave. Rebuilding my life took a lot of time. I had just declared bankruptcy and didn’t have two cents to rub together. With the amazing help of family and friends, I was able to get a job, find an apartment, furnish it, albeit very simply, and start my life over again. I was fifty-one years old. And scared out of my tree. I have never lived alone, ever, and wasn’t sure I could support myself or how I was going to live. My Journey out of Despair After I left my relationship I delved into the world of personal development. I needed to get my hands on things that were going to help me improve my life. I read eBooks and self-help blogs and watched YouTube videos by some of the greatest people on earth (Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Lisa Nichols, etc.) I had hundreds of Post-it notes with motivational quotes and sayings taped all over my tiny apartment. I read them aloud every chance I could. I had a lot of healing to do and was willing to do whatever I had to do in order to heal. I was broken, empty, and numb and I knew I had a purpose here on earth—and it wasn’t to be miserable for the rest of my life. I was not interested in subscribing to that life anymore. And then something wonderful happened…. I Found Home in a Homeless Shelter One day I was having a conversation with someone I had just met, and they told me they volunteered at the homeless shelter and how amazing it was. I was all ears then. I wanted to know who, what, where, when, and why. All of it. The next day I found myself there applying to become a volunteer. And suddenly I had something to look forward to that took me out of my misery, helped me to forget my troubles, and opened my eyes to a whole new world. The volunteering gig, I soon discovered, was a huge part of my healing journey. I had no idea how my whole world was about to change simply by feeding homeless people dinner twice a month. I fell in love with these people. Each and every one of these broken, lost souls filled my heart with immense joy. It was here that all my troubles disappeared and my heart opened up. The more I helped, the happier I became, and I suddenly realized what my purpose was in life. It was right here with the poor, the broken, the helpless, and the hungry. Fast Forward to 2014 Every day I became stronger and happier. I started falling in love with Iva. I found a new Iva. One who had something to look forward to. A woman who, once broken and beaten, was coming alive and had a zest for life. One year after I started volunteering at the homeless shelter, I became team captain and was there almost daily. But part of me still wanted more. I wanted to help more on a personal level and somewhere poverty, homelessness, and malnutrition was prevalent. I drifted back to my dream of going to Central America and suddenly had a major a-ha moment. If I could just find a way to support myself down there, I could go. Once again, I delved into the personal development world but this time with a different goal in mind. I was going to learn how to become a freelance writer so I could make this dream possible. But it was two dreams now: escape Canadian winters and help the hungry. Suddenly the Dream Became a Reality After much research, and submitting numerous amounts of guest blogs for free, I finally found a job as a freelance writer. It took me eight months of cutting hair for nine hours a day and writing for free for three to four hours a day, but I finally did it. In July of 2015 I resigned from my hairstyling job and had become a full-time freelance writer. The next step was to downsize, find a country in Central America, and move. It was all happening so fast. It seemed like just yesterday I was leaving my abusive relationship, and here I was looking at third world countries to move to. I was scared, excited, terrified, and finally happy. I had a new lease on life, and this lease didn’t just include me anymore. It was bigger than that. But I Realized Something Very Big and Important In October of 2015 I landed in Guatemala with two suitcases on a one-way ticket. I was terrified but knew I had to be here. I found organizations that needed help and found families on my own that I helped independently. I helped people on the streets, bought lunch for the young shoeshine boys, and sent kids to school. I loved life in the third world. It was simple, people were beautiful, and I was finally happy and at peace with my past and the traumatic life I had lived. That’s when I realized one very important thing: When we help others, we help ourselves. Through helping others we create deep connections, which helps prevent depression; we find a renewed sense of purpose; and, research shows, we reduce our stress level and boost our happiness. I realized that volunteering was the best thing I could have ever done for myself during my healing journey. When we take ourselves out of our own heads and lives and put ourselves in a place that not only rocks our comfort zone but gives us a chance to serve others, that’s when true healing occurs. That doesn’t have to mean moving to a third-world country or making any major changes. It can be as simple as volunteering for an hour once a week, or even once a month—or even just helping friends and neighbors in need. We heal by helping others. By bringing joy to others. And by sharing our stories of change, courage, and bravery. It’s four years later and I’m still in Guatemala, still helping and still growing personally. I don’t think I could ever move back to Canada. Living in a third world has brought ridiculous joy to my life and so much love to my heart. It’s changed me in ways I never dreamed possible. And I couldn’t be happier. About Iva Ursano Iva is a retired hairstylist turned freelancer from Northern Ontario Canada living a life of freedom, peace, and joy in sunny Guatemala. Her two main goals are to inspire people around the world with her blogs and to feed hungry little bellies in the poor town she now calls home. Follow her here on Pinterest or head over to her website and sign up for weekly in-your-face inspiration! See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it!

Living with Depression and Anxiety: How to Lessen the Pain

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other...

Maybe I Don’t Need to Make a Big Change in the World

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other...

How to Journal Away Your Disappointment in Yourself

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other...

20 Life-Changing Tools, 95% Off—One Week, Starting Today

First things first, happy 2020! It’s a new year, filled with promise and possibility. If last year was tough for you, it’s now in the rearview mirror. If it was full of blessings and opportunities, you’re likely excited to see what the new year might bring. And regardless of how 2019 panned out for you, odds are you have a goal or two (or more!) you’re hoping to achieve this year. Whatever you’re looking to accomplish, Tiny Buddha’s Best You, Best Life Bundle can help, and I’m excited to share that it’s now available for purchase! For one week only, you can get 20 life-changing eCourses and online tools—including my course, Recreate Your Life Story—for 95% off. The bundle’s offerings (valued at close to $1,900) cover a wide range of topics, including how to: Let go of the past and change the trajectory of your life Create purpose and passion Let go of unhealthy habits that are holding you back and create healthier ones Set better boundaries and find time to self-care Cope with stressful situations with more grace and ease Stop obsessing over problems Heal from grief after loss Find the love you want Broaden your social circle And it’s all bundled together in one powerful package, priced at $97 (which is the usual cost of my course, Recreate Your Life Story, on its own—which means for one week only, you can get 20 tools for the price one). Whatever your goals for 2020, you’re sure to find something that will help in Tiny Buddha’s Best You, Best Life Bundle. And once you claim your package, you’ll have a wide assortment of life-changing tools to access over the coming years, as you face new challenges and set new goals. Get 95% off all 20 life-changing tools here: Tiny Buddha’s Best You, Best Life Bundle Since this package includes eCourses and online offerings for 20 different teachers—many of them top site contributors—at such a massively discounted rate, I’m only able to offer it from now till January 9th. But once you claim your bundle, you’ll have lifetime access to all 20 tools. I hope these powerful resources help you make 2020 your best year yet! See a typo or inaccuracy? Please contact us so we can fix it!

Guided Meditation

How to Do Less and Achieve Success

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” – Theodore Roosevelt That’s one way of looking at things....

Healthy Habbits

How Doing Less Can Help You Have More of What Matters

Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.” ~Cal Newport Our culture celebrates the image of being able to get it all done....

Nov 24 2014 What Does Meditation Feel Like?

What does meditation feel like? When you let go very deeply, what’s happening in your awareness? There are different hallmarks of deep meditation. As you...

Relax & Start Your Meditation with this 6-Step Breathing Exercise

You’re tense and exhausted. Your back aches and you’re irritable. You decide that mediation could help. But with your tight shoulders and racing mind, you can’t...

How to Boost your Meditation with Embodiment

Are you in your body? Pause and examine your experience. Right now. Before reading further. I don’t mean that I want a catalog of your sensations,...

My Life Will Be My Message

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Tiny Buddha is designed...

When You’re Tired of Trying: Lessons in Mindfulness from a Woodpecker

“The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It’s wholeheartedness.” ~David Whyte Crouched down in a cold clump of leaves in the woods, I watch a woodpecker. Persistent, unbothered, moving up and down a tree next to me. It is methodically tapping its beak bit-by-bit looking for something to eat. I watch and wonder… Aren’t you tired of this relentless pursuit? Tired of smashing your face again and again with the odds stacked against you? How fleeting disappointment must be for you. Not me. I take one bump and the disappointment reels through me. I desperately seek ease, my eyes always halfway gazing elsewhere looking for relief, wondering when I can stop trying so hard. My mother used to talk about her own persistent struggles like “smashing your head into a brick wall.” But you, my woodpecker friend, don’t seem to be struggling or frustrated. You simply move on moment by moment in pursuit, unbothered by the repetition of trying again and again. Not worried about what happens next, what the outcome of each tap against the tree is. This is your life, the persistent pursuit of nourishment moment by moment. Tap, tap, tap—look for food. Tap, tap, tap—try again. Tap, tap, tap—no time for disappointments. Tap, tap, tap—that would be silly, counterproductive to living. Today I sit and watch you. It’s early morning and my body is already buzzing with stress. My baby crying, children fighting, another night without sleep. I am six months postpartum with baby number three, and I have been struggling to adjust to my new life. All my energy has gone into trying to cope, provide for, and nourish my growing family. I am supposed to have it together at this point in my life, I should have made some progress by now. I wasn’t supposed to have to try this hard. I teach people how to manage their stress through art, the daily grind is my muse! But today I can’t step out of my own fog. I can’t prescribe myself time to create and breathe, I am just too tired. We hear the word “grind” a lot these days. A collective acknowledgement that daily living in the western world is full of bumps, abrasions, and sparks. The notion that not all stress comes from the big dramatic life moments of life and death, pain, and suffering. Much of it comes from the momentary energy we put into trying to shape and survive in our day to day lives. The details of my life’s challenges are specific and particular to me, but most of us can relate to this feeling of a boiling point—where we can’t take it anymore, where the stress is too much, and we are tired of trying. Each of us dances between our own tiny stories of struggle and joy in a day. Sometimes coffee isn’t enough. Sometimes more sleep can’t help. Sometimes it feels like all my trying is only making it worse. Like there is no influence, no mark I can make in this world, or in my life. Sometimes all my therapy, self-help books, and good advice are just beyond my reach. Sometimes I am locked in a moment where showing gratitude feels like a boulder I just can’t lift. It’s so hard to pick yourself back up when all you want to do is close your eyes and find some quiet. Usually, I am the kind of person who thinks that change is always possible, that my pain is fleeting, that improvements can always be made. That it’s my duty to try and make the world a better place. My husband and I joke that we are constantly tweaking things searching for a better flow in our lives. We are always informing each other that we have made a new change for something in our home, moving a pot from its old drawer to a new one, trying to make new systems for managing the chaos of laundry, children, and our lives. We just keep trying. We each hold a sincere belief that with each new tweak it will improve things for us. It’s easily one of our best attributes as a couple, we are both persistently interested in bettering ourselves, our lives, and our community. We know that we have agency and influence in our world, so we try to use it for good. But it’s also a trap. A set up for disappointment. Call it attachment, call it the grass is always greener. Whatever you call it, the outcome is the same: You become swept away looking for something better, more, or just different. All this trying and lifting and doing can be a setup just weighing us further down. And then before you know it, you find yourself on the verge of tears, fleeing your life, huddled in a cold clump of leaves in the woods with no resolve or ounce of resilience to be found. And this is the morning I found the woodpecker, the morning I fled my house in exhaustion. Tired of feeling like I can’t catch up. On this day I was tired of enduring the grind of wanting more. So, I sought refuge in the bluff behind my house. I closed the door and walked away from my family and the stress, setting the intention to find a place to just be still in the woods, hoping it would offer me some peace. And this is the morning where things shifted for me, where the woodpecker came to me showing me how to be in between each tap of its beak. You, my persistent woodpecker friend, have come at just the right moment… Tap, tap, tap, the persistent woodpecker calling to me. I watch and I listen. It’s showing me how it’s done. To keep showing up in each moment. Tap, tap, tap, a genuine presence. Tap, tap, tap, just try again. Tap, tap, tap each moment born anew. What if I never get it right, never quite arrive, never work it out? But what if it’s actually just about showing up again and again, finding little treasures in the moment and continuing on? No past resentments, no future longings. Just a willingness to show up each day and try, and try, again and again and again. I watch and listen to the woodpecker. I watch and see that it doesn’t stop and wallow in disappointment when it works so hard without reward. It moves on persistently trying because it has to, because that’s what living is. Tap, tap, tap. It felt like the woodpecker was here to show me how to be. Reminding me that with each moment I feel amiss, that all I need to do is show up again to the next. That this grind is temporary, that I can feel it, notice it, and come to the next moment fresh and continue to try. I don’t need to endure the grind; I can use my influence and agency in this world and keep trying to find the nourishment I need to thrive. Each moment is a new beginning, a new chance to shape my world again. So, I took a breath and decided to do what I know helps me be present and whole—I created. I walked for a while and then hopped off the path… and that’s when all the magic began (and just for the record this is always where it happens, in that moment when we hop off the regular route and move to the land of curiosity.) I found something I had been longing to find all summer and fall. Wasp paper. A bird had found an old wasp nest and torn it apart. Tattered little bits of the former hive were strewn about. It felt like a gold mine. It was a piece of magic right in my hands. So, I breathed. I tinkered. I made a few installations with all of the wonders around me. I tried. I showed up in this little pocket in the woods. I let my thoughts and stress fall to the foreground, and I found my breath. I tried again looking for stillness. I let go of the desire to brood, to wallow, to hold onto the fretting that occupied my morning. I found my breath and I just tried to be in the woods with these treasures. I spent time with them, slowed down, and played with their arrangements taking a few photos. As I began to create with presence, I could feel a shift happening inside me. I was shaping the world around me, and as I did, I could feel my inner landscape being shaped to. I felt relief. I felt my fog lifting. I began to feel calm, but my gaze was already tempted to move to what was to come next. The temptation to be anywhere but now, is a constant lure. Then I reminded myself that today I showed up, in this moment here and now, I actually did it. I remind myself that it’s the act of showing up, not the outcome that’s most important. I release myself from future progress. Today I showed up in this pocket in the woods and made something. Tap, tap, tap because that’s what living is. About Rachel Rose Rachel is an expressive arts educator who teaches people how to use creativity for self-care, awareness, and wellness. Her training and research have focused on a variety of mediums including the visual arts, creative writing, storytelling, nature, and music all through a lens of mindfulness. In her own practice every creation begins through the exploration of an emotion and emerges as a symbolic story. Learn more about her supports at www.workshopmuse.com See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it!

A Spiritual Approach to Beating Insomnia and Getting a Good Night’s...

Our spiritual mission is not to ignore the darkness, but to bring light to the darkness.” ~Marianne Williamson                               It’s 3:17AM. You’ve been staring at...