Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions & Giveaway

Blessing Oshin January 8, 2012 28


“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.” ~Buddha

Lori Deschene started posting daily tweets on Buddhist thoughts few years back under the twitter handle @tinybuddha. She now has over 240,000 twitter followers and 70,000+ facebook fans. Since then Lori has started a blog named Tiny Buddha of course, and recently wrote a book. Stay tuned till the end of this post for a chance to win a copy of her book. Let me just add that Lori is very personable and interactive. I read her blog daily for inspiration and there is always something that applies to my situation. There is no shortage of content since she allows readers to contribute authentic stories that breaks the complexities of  life into simpler form for everyday application.

I wanted to learn more about Tiny Buddha and so I approached Lori, and she immediately responded, wow! She was eager to share her story not only because it resonates with working parents, but because its applicable to everyone – our friends, coworkers, neighbors, co-workers, and just about anyone looking to improve their lifestyle. Here is what Lori has to say:

Hello Lori, I have been following Tinny Buddha for a long time. Tell us about applying simple wisdom to life hard’s questions. 

Well that would depend on the question! I suppose I should back up first and talk a little about the book itself.  I started by asking @tinybuddha Twitter followers nine of (what I determined to be) the hardest questions in life. They revolve around pain, meaning, change, fate, happiness, love, money, possibilities, and control. I received nearly 1,000 responses, and I realized that there were a lot of similar answers. So while there were 100 different thoughts on meaning, there were really 5 main themes expressed in different ways.

I shaped the book around these themes, exploring the varied perspectives and offering suggestions to apply them to everyday life. That means the book includes close to 40 different possibilities to live a purposeful, mindful, engaged, empowered life. I wrote the book this way because I realized that none of these questions have concrete right and wrong answers. It’s up to each of us to identify and utilize the answers that make sense to us as individuals.

Your website/blog’s categories really resonate with me. “ Happiness, Work Fulfillment, Change & Challenges, Meaning & Passion, etc.”, those are things that I think every working mother aim to achieve. What advice to have for readers around living their best life at home and in the workplace?

I think “best” is a tricky word because it suggests that perhaps we’re not doing a good enough job in some area of our lives. Over these past few years, I’ve tried to strike a balance between improving myself a little every day, but also accepting and loving myself just as I am. That means I need to simultaneously remember that there’s always room for growth, but that there’s no need to stress about getting somewhere or being someone other than exactly where and who I am now. For any readers who are wondering how they can improve their experiences at home and at work, my suggestion is to focus on the tiny things you can do from moment to moment.

Sometimes we assume that change is something massive that should make life feel completely different. But I’ve found that it really comes down to moment-to-moment choices—like what we choose to think about, what we choose to let go of, and how fully we plant ourselves in the present moment. Then there are also the tiny external choices— like doing something healthy instead of reaching for an old crutch, taking a moment to think before reacting in anger, and doing what we can and then cutting ourselves some slack.

 Your book claims to share action-oriented tips that you can apply at any time to improve your state of mind. Do you mind interpreting that in practical ways for readers who seem to feel overwhelmed with balancing their everyday activities?

The book includes around 40 different exercises, so there’s a lot to interpret!  One thing that’s helped me create a sense of balance and feel less overwhelmed is to consistently ask myself, “What can I not do?” or “What can I say no to?” As a recovering people pleaser, I find it very tempting to say yes to everything. However, I know I value having time to just be, and if I want to create that, I need to limit the amount of work I take on. Sometimes the things I choose not to do are things people request of me—participating in a course or seminar, for example. Other times they’re little things that aren’t really essential—like small administrative tasks for my site, or certain chores around the house. Other times, it makes a big difference to focus on what I’m doing mentally. Sometimes when a day feels overwhelming it has nothing to do with my to-do list and everything to do with how I’m thinking about it. Choosing to practice deep breathing and release worries, assumptions, and judgments can go a long way in creating balance.

 So tell us about your book Tiny Buddha and how do you think working mothers will benefit from it.

Since I touched upon this in first question, I’ll jump to how working mothers can benefit from it—and the answer is: in much the same way anyone who isn’t a working mother might. This book explores many of the big issues that are relevant to each and every one of us. I shared a lot of my personal experiences in the book, including my struggles with depression, isolation, self-loathing, and uncertainty. Not everyone will be able to relate to my specific challenges, but we all have our own—and we all need to be honest with ourselves so that we can create meaning and happiness, open up to love, and experience our lives with a sense of presence and possibility.

I hope my book helps readers do just that: look inside to recognize how they’re getting in their own way, and then make tiny changes, starting right now, to be who they want to be.

It’s a new year, what kind of habits do you think one needs to let go, and which ones are worth cultivating for a successful 2012?

That depends on what habits you currently have! Certainly unhealthy habits, like smoking, excessive drinking, and chronic worrying are smart to release. As for habits to cultivate, I can speak to what’s helped me personally:

  • Everyday mindfulness through deep breathing and yoga
  • Emotional self-care, including self-forgiveness and time to just be without anything to do
  • Genuine connection based on open, heartfelt conversation
  • Meaning in action, by doing at least one tiny thing every day that supports your values and sense of purpose

As with the answers to the hardest questions in life, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for successful habits. We each need to identify what works for us as individuals—and then we need to do our best to honor that from moment to moment.

The Tiny Buddha Giveaway: Lori has graciously agreed to offer a reader one copy of Tiny Wisdom. Be sure to leave a comment below, and retweet this giveaway for a chance to win – RT @BlessingOshin -> Win a copy of @TinyBuddha new book “Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions” http://bit.ly/AjKpbX 

Don’t wait to grab your copy on Amazon . This is like the new Life Instructions Book for modern living. You can find Tiny Buddha on the blog, facebook and twitter.

 

** Giveaway ends on January 13th, 11:59pm EST. Goodluck!



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28 Comments »

  1. Denise January 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I heart book giveaways! More than happy to participate, Blessings. :)
    Denise recently posted..Filtering Out Advice in the BlogosphereMy Profile

  2. Kimberly B. January 9, 2012 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Would love to read this book.

  3. Kimberly B. January 9, 2012 at 6:19 am - Reply
  4. Portia January 9, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I’ve always been very interested in Eastern philosophy. I think (regardless of what religion you practice) there is so much wisdom in Buddhist philosophy. This book looks like a great resource. I will check out Lori’s site. Thanks for sharing this great resource, Blessing!
    Portia recently posted..New Year’s Resolutions for Working MomsMy Profile

    • Blessing Oshin January 9, 2012 at 10:20 am - Reply

      I agree with you. The book is definitely unique in the sense that its tiny nuggets of wisdom that could change something huge in our lives. I enjoy reading anything that offers inspiration and rejuvenation.

  5. Karen Greenberg January 9, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I would love to read this book and learn more about caring for myself.
    Karen Greenberg recently posted..What’cha Reading Monday? January 9, 2012My Profile

  6. Latorsha January 9, 2012 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Sounds like a great book and a great interview. I especially love the responses to the last question. Thanks for sharing!
    Latorsha recently posted..Marriage – Shut up and listen!My Profile

    • Blessing Oshin January 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Latorsha, I love all of Lori’s responses, she sure is inspirational

  7. Susan January 9, 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

    This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the givaway. Susan

  8. Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez January 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting this interview. I especially like Lori’s quote:

    “Sometimes we assume that change is something massive that should make life feel completely different. But I’ve found that it really comes down to moment-to-moment choices—like what we choose to think about, what we choose to let go of, and how fully we plant ourselves in the present moment. Then there are also the tiny external choices— like doing something healthy instead of reaching for an old crutch, taking a moment to think before reacting in anger, and doing what we can and then cutting ourselves some slack.”

    This really resonates with me. To focus on the moment has to be intentional and mindful, which I would like to practice more.

    I would love to receive a copy of Lori’s book to read about other ways for:

    - Everyday mindfulness through deep breathing and yoga
    - Emotional self-care, including self-forgiveness and time to just be without anything to do
    - Genuine connection based on open, heartfelt conversation
    - Meaning in action, by doing at least one tiny thing every day that supports your values and sense of purpose

    Thanks for a chance at winning the giveaway. I also RT about the contest on Twitter.

    Zara
    On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

    • Blessing Oshin January 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Zara, lots of thoughts you had on here. So glad Lori’s interview touched you, thanks for the retweet.

  9. Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog January 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Very interesting stuff! I have a traditional, Mysore-style, daily Ashtanga yoga practice so these concepts really resonate. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Ruth – The Freelance Writing Blog recently posted..I’m Engaged! My Interview With Danny InyMy Profile

    • Blessing Oshin January 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ruth, welcome to WMJ. I wish I had time for yoga….I plan on at least dedicating my saturday mornings, we’ll see how that goes.

  10. Cynthia Baloula January 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    l fell in love with TinyBuddha, the site is so inspiring and comforting. I would love to get her book pleeeaaaaaaase :-)

    • Blessing Oshin January 10, 2012 at 8:53 am - Reply

      I did too Cynthia. The site is full of information that could change our lifestyle and position us for greatness. Welcome to WMJ

  11. Beverly Diehl January 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Love my TIny Buddha, read almost every day. Will read this book, sooner or later – but winning = sooner! Thanks, Lori, for all you do, and thanks WMJ, for hosting her here.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..Winter Reads – Steamy, Funny, and Hated It TBR ChallengeMy Profile

    • Blessing Oshin January 10, 2012 at 8:53 am - Reply

      Thanks Beverly for coming over. We are in love with Lori’s book as well :)

  12. Jacqueline Plessis January 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Love Lori and TinyBuddha! I’ve love this book!
    Jacqueline Plessis recently posted..That made me smile :) My Profile

    • Blessing Oshin January 10, 2012 at 8:54 am - Reply

      Same here, Lori is inspirational and we love her book. Thanks for visiting WMJ

  13. Ashley Thong January 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    I just get to know that there is a chance to get the book. I love tinybuddha since the day my best friend have introduced it to me. Though we are going through argument, thanks to tinybuddha help me to think through. It helps me a lot to improve myself and hopefully it will continue brings a lot of joy. ^^

    Thanks to Lori Deschene for sharing. ^^

    • Blessing Oshin January 10, 2012 at 8:55 am - Reply

      Glad you are a TinyBuddha reader, welcome to WMJ. You are right, improvement and joy are one of the reasons I read TinyBuddha as well.

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