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The Power of Authenticity

Lori shares how learned to cultivate self-forgiveness, self-compassion and freed herself from getting caught up in emotional reactivity.

I'm your host Melli O'Brien and I couldn't be more pleased to be here with Lori Deshene. Lori is the founder of TinyBuddha.com and this is one of my favorite websites. TinyBuddha.com is a multi-author blog where people share their stories about how they've tried to really apply wisdom or mindfulness in their lives. And it has grown a lot since it's humble beginnings. And I think it's now getting a million or close to a million monthly visitors.

So this makes TinyBuddha.com one of the most popular, inspirational websites on the net. And what I really love about this website, what I'm really excited about is that it's a great example of how we can actually use technology to be more connected with each other and to live a more kind, conscious and connected life. So, Lori, thank you so much for the work that you do, and thank you so much for your time, your time to share your knowledge and wisdom for the summit. Oh, you're welcome. And thank you.

It's an honor. So I just spoke a little bit about what TinyBuddha is, kind of touched on a brief outline. Could you describe in your own words, for our viewers, what TinyBuddha.com is all about? Sure. So let's see. The site's been around for six years now and I launched it in September, 2009.

And my intention was to create a place where everyone could come together to share what they've learned, what they've been through and what they've learned from those experiences, both to help themselves and to help other people. Because that's what I've found in my personal experience is that sharing your experiences and, and how you've grown through, through it and what you've learned from it can be very cathartic and healing. And to know that you're helping other people with that at the same time, it's an amazingly empowering experience. And the site, like you mentioned, has grown by leaps and bounds. Over the last six years is actually close to 2.5 million readers now.

So, and it keeps growing and I'm thrilled to see that people are connecting on a real authentic level. There it's not so much the numbers, but the fact that the people are engaging in a meaningful way And people, you know, a lot of the contributors often say that they really appreciate that it's such a kind community, open-hearted and, and I appreciate that too. That's the most rewarding part is that people do really touch each other's lives and I get to be part of that. So that's, that's TinyBuddha in a nutshell. And mindfulness is a really hot topic of conversation at TinyBuddha.com.

There's a lot on the social media and on the blog, lots of stories about people trying to live a more mindful life. And I'm curious to know in your own experience, do you have your own personal mindset practice? Do you practice meditation or do you find ways to just integrate mindfulness into your own life? Well, I'm, I'm not a fan of routine. In fact, I don't like for any day to look like the day before or the day before. So my mindfulness practice is always changing. What I recognized for me is that it's important that I am not rigid with myself and I just give myself sometime every day to, to be in the present moment.

Whether that means mindful walking, which is hiking or walking. One of my favorite things to do, just being kind of aware of my senses in nature. Mindful eating, which is something that's actually really challenging for me because I come from an Italian family where everyone is eating really, really fast. But that's something that I really enjoy doing when I make the effort to be more mindful in my eating. Or even just deep breathing exercises or, I love yoga.

That's something that I. I do. And then also I love listening to guided meditations or, or music, subliminal messages, uplifting subliminal messages, whether it's for competence or to release anxiety. And, and it's really, every day I let myself just choose from one of these things. And I find that that's what works for me because there were a lot of options and a lot of different things to keep me feeling engaged and excited about the practice, as opposed to finding it kind of like, all right, now it's time to sit.

So that's, that's how I practice. Yeah. I, I kind of, I like that you, I like that you brought that up because I think one of the themes that keeps coming up in this summit is that we all have really different personality types. You don't like, you know, for some people they love routine and they love getting up at the same time every day and I'm doing, but I think, I love that there's this message coming through that is we all are so different. For you, you have a menu to choose from every day, and it sounds like you just kind of pick what works for you in that day.

And, and that's fine. It it's, and it's so different for different people. So I'm curious as you have been doing that, choosing from your menu and doing different mindfulness practices over time, what kinds of insights or realizations have unfolded for you over time with mindfulness? Wow, so much. I, I've had so many just amazing insights through my mindfulness practice that I, have been life-changing really. Now but the biggest one I'd say is that I am not my thoughts.

And that they can really hurt me if I give power to them. And that's something that I don't, I, I have to remind myself of often. I have a busy mind. I'm a writer and I'm a thinker and I'm always analyzing. And that's something that has been very helpful for me.

When I can get into my mindfulness practice and step outside myself and, and become aware of the thoughts I'm thinking and realizing that I can choose what to think and I don't have to identify them. And also knowing that if I can change my thoughts, then I can minimize my emotional reactions. And in addition to being an over-thinker, I'm a highly sensitive person and very emotional. I tear up way too much. So, but being able to be, to catch my thoughts before they take hold and therefore minimize my emotional reactions has also been really life-changing.

For me, it's helped in my relationships in a tremendous way, too, because I'm able to observe a thought I might have about somebody else before I immediately jump to an emotional reaction without having to really, without really thinking about that thought and where it came from and, you know. I'm able to observe it more and be more objective. And also another thing in the same line of these thoughts, that's been really helpful for me is realizing well, if I'm not my thoughts, then I don't have to judge myself for my thoughts. By realizing that they arise naturally and I don't have to attach to them, then I don't necessarily have to feel bad about having those thoughts. And that's something that I did for a long time.

You know, I kind of compound my difficult thoughts and feelings by then, you know, you shouldn't be thinking that or you shouldn't be feeling that. And then it's just a web and you're trapped in it. Because then you got, then I think, well, I shouldn't be thinking that because if I was really mindful, then I shouldn't be. And where does it end. Yeah, yeah.

That's another one that's helped me. I say another really big one for me is letting go of control. Because I've realized that in my life most of the pain that I have caused myself has been trying to maintain a sense of control, whether it is control of the outcome or control of how other people see me and what they think of me when they see me. And, it's exhausting because you can't control those things. No much, you know, no matter how much you try.

And when you're mindful, you realize that this is the only moment you have, trying to control other people or the future is fruitless. And if you do spend your time trying to control your people or the future, you're going to miss out on this moment. So that's, that's another big one for me. I have one more actually. I have a lot.

Yeah, yeah. Another really powerful realization I've had through mindfulness has been, it's helped me embrace the, the darkest parts of myself. The parts of myself that perhaps. I may not be as proud of as other parts. But in the same way, I was saying before, that mindfulness helping, has helped me become aware of my thoughts and not identify with them.

I can realize and have realized through my practice that I am not my worst mistakes. And I don't have to hold onto that and let it define me. So I guess really mindfulness has helped me forgive myself and embrace myself. And then in doing that, be more compassionate for others because if I'm not my mistakes, then they are not their mistakes. So it's just kind of a short list of the benefits that I've seen from being more mindful.

So, Lori, before we started this interview, I was telling you how much I really appreciate this quality that you have of authenticity. And I think that it is a quality that has now rippled all throughout the Tiny Buddha culture. And I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what the relationship might be between mindfulness and authenticity. Well, I think that when you think about, you know, if mindfulness does allow you to untangle yourself from your thoughts and have a little more, I guess, not control over but the minimize your emotional reactions really mindfulness then is the gateway to being authentic. Because I know for me, for example, one of the things that prevented me from being authentic are those fears and worries about how people are going to perceive me, you know, and if they're going to accept me.

And when you can kind of quiet those thoughts that would prevent you from showing up as your, you know, wherever you happen to be on that day, it's a lot easier to just be. I guess that's what it is. Mindfulness is just being, and that's what authenticity is. Being as you are without trying to change that, I think. Yeah, exactly.

And it's, it's crazy that just being is so hard to do since it would be kind of just the natural state, but there's all those layers of, you know, beliefs and thoughts and fears and worries. And mindfulness allows us to, I don't, I don't know for me, I haven't completely cleared them away. But, you know, get some, you know, a few clear spots on that window and the more clear spots I can get on there, the easier it is to let me be seen. Mm. Yeah.

And I think it's like, you know, the thoughts, they still come, I mean, especially, I know that my oldest videotape in my, my mind is the, you know, I'm not good enough story and there's a million different versions of that, you know? Whatever, you know, my mind can make up lots of kinds of stories about that. And I, and they still come even to this day. But I think it's the difference that you were talking about before is there's this distance between me and the thought where it's like, well, I have a choice about whether to listen to that or whether to believe it. It still comes and goes, but it just doesn't really, doesn't really touch me anymore, which is, I guess what you're describing as those clear spots on the window. It's like, well.

There are some things it's still there, but I can see right through it to the other side. And it's, doesn't hold any weight really anymore. Yeah. It's kind of like, I guess, turning the radio down a little, I think, because... Yeah, that's a good analogy.

so it's not as loud, you know, and it's easier to kind of tune it out, I guess. Just like, I always think, you know, especially in the work I do, I always wonder if people expect that you're kind of like a before and an after picture. Like, I had all these fears, now I have none. Yeah. And then if I think that thought, I think, I'll think, Oh, I'm a fraud or I'll start to wonder, should I have none? But then I'll remember the reality is that's human to be alive, is to have thoughts and feelings.

It's only natural. But I think that the true, the true journey is not to completely eliminate those natural things, but to learn how to re-engage with them differently. So they don't have a grip on you and quiet them over time, you know. I, I do think I can tell I've seen lots of progress over time. And I think that's what mindfulness is, is as a practice.

It's not, you know, perfect. It's a practice. Yeah, yeah. So one of the things I, one of the things that you and I have in common is that we both use technology a lot, and we both use technology to express ourselves and to connect with other people. And so I was wondering if you had any tips for our viewers on how to use tech a bit more mindfully? Absolutely.

So this is something that I'm always putting thought into because I'm online a lot. Me too. Yeah. Yes. I relate to that.

I work on the web and sometimes long days, you know, depending on what I'm working on. And it can be hard to disconnect when the time comes to disconnect. And it also can be easy to kind of drift to other things while I'm online, because maybe I want a break, but I, I think, Oh, I can't take a break. I can't get up right now. Yeah.

So I've learned a few things that I've found helpful for me in all different facets of using technology, whether it's, you know, social media or for, for work, emailing, running my blog. And one of the first ones that's been helpful to me is to get clear in my intentions. So now, I don't use my personal social media pages that much these days. I hardly ever tweet on my personal page and on my Facebook, on my Facebook page, it's kind of sporadic. But when I do, I always try to ask myself, why am I posting this? Do I want attention? Or is there, is there something I'm trying to get from doing this other than just sharing it because I want to share it.

So I think that's kind of an important thing to do is to be aware of your intention with anything that you're doing online. What it is you're looking to get from it. And then another thing is I try to recognize when I'm just trying to avoid just being, you know. It's very tempting to sometimes just, you know, surf from site to site and read all kinds of things I don't even need to read, just to maybe keep myself busy doing something. So that's something that I think is kind of important to do is to recognize if you're just mindlessly searching because there's a lull or you.

Or you're in line somewhere and you don't want to be waiting, so you're, you know, decide to pull out your phone. Or maybe you don't want people to think that you're just waiting and that's a vulnerable state of mind to just be seen, like sitting by yourself at a restaurant or something, so you pull out your phone. Yeah. So I think all those times when you're just tempted to kind of take out technology to avoid just being both, you know, mindfully being in the moment and being vulnerable or authentic, that can be a powerful thing to do too. I like that.

And then another thing along the lines of, where I was mentioning kind of hopping from site to site, to site. I actually have a little tiny little Buddha with a book icon on the bottom of all the blog posts on Tiny Buddha that truthfully, I'm not sure if people even see it or know what it is, but it's if you clicked on that, you'd see this, something that says to read what you need. And my, my thought process there is that, you know, the web is sticky. It's, you're going to find links to different articles and, and there's nothing wrong with that practice. I do it as well.

Sometimes it's very helpful because you can, you know, follow the link and find more information, but it's quite possible though, that you don't need any more information. You got everything you need. So, you know, for example, if you came online to research blenders, and then before you know it, you're reading about smoothies, and top celebrities who love smoothies, the best costumes for Halloween. So that's one that I've found helpful is to recognize, okay, I don't need to keep hopping around. I've gotten what I need.

There's an intentionality about it. Kind of like before you start you, like, I am here for blenders. I am looking at blenders and now I am finished looking at blenders and I can stop. Yes. I also think it can be kind of fun to just get lost in mindless, you know, when, if that's the case though, but I find it helps me to be aware of it.

Okay. I'm going to just jump around for about 20 minutes. And in that way, it's not like I just lost an hour because I got into this addictive zone. Be like, you know, just hopping from quiz to Buzzfeed article. Yeah, yeah.

So that's something that's been really helpful. And then for me, like I was saying before, where I don't use my personal social media accounts that much these days. When I was using them more regularly, and even now when I do, one thing that's always been important to me is experience now and share later. So I've never been one to do like live tweeting at an event. And I, you know, had people ask me to do that before.

Or I, I don't like the idea of sort of posting on, I'm with, you know, my sister right now. I mean, cause then if you do kind of share something in the moment, it's tempting to look who commented on it and who liked it, and what are they saying? Am I, and then you're completely missing the moment. Yeah. You know that you're out with your sister, but you're not really out with your sister. Yeah, you're talking about it.

Yeah, not really present in either place. Exactly. Yeah. That's been something that's really helpful for me. And then to the same extent, along the same lines, I think about turning FOMO around.

So that whole fear of missing out where you tend to just sort of like monitor everything, to see what you know what's going on. But then I think to myself, if you are monitoring what's going on online, you're also missing out on where you are. So if you're going to be afraid of missing out on something, be afraid of missing out on right now. And, you know that I was thinking about how, like I said about routine earlier, I don't like routine and I kind of can very easily get bored and feel like I'm in a rut. And I think that that's when it's tempting to sort of pull out, you know, your phone or whatever when you're bored.

But then I think when you really are truly mindful in a moment, even if it seems similar to many moments you've had before, if you're paying attention, there's always a little nuance of difference that makes it interesting. It makes you realize that life really isn't like Groundhog Day, but you can only notice that if you're paying attention, if you're open to it. Yeah. So that's, that's another one for me, in terms of recognizing when I'm turning to technology, n that, you know, what's going on? What am I missing out on? And instead saying, okay, what will I miss out on if I do that? I love that. Well, it's been, it's been very helpful to me to remember that, you know, this moment will never come again.

And I don't always remember that, but I, I try to, I try to recognize and appreciate little things in my environment. And I guess the last one I'm going to say is that, and this one's hard, is realizing that you don't have to respond to everyone instantly. Right. And that's, it's tempting to do because I think. We all sort of think, well, why aren't they answering my texts? They always have their phone right on them, why wouldn't they write back? And then you can start kind of analyzing if you wanted to.

And sometimes I do, but it's, I love to be able to, like leave my phone upstairs and then watch a movie. And it took me a while to be able to do that, I think because, you know, people will be like, you didn't answer my text or, you know, or I'd think to myself, well, what is something, you know, I live across the country from my family. So I might think to myself, well, what if it's an emergency? I want to know right now. Yeah. But it's such a sense of relief to put my phone away and think of it as like an answering machine from the nineties or eighties or whatever that was, as opposed to this thing, I have to be like, you know, always responsive to.

People, you know, most often, there isn't an emergency and it's not so urgent that it needs to be right now. And I think that if we can kind of, for me, I know if we getting into that mindset and allowing things to wait, creates such a sense of relief and it's so much easier to be in the moment. Yeah. Those are great practical tips. It's funny, isn't it, like that we live in a world today where we have to really have these discussion about, you know, I need to leave my device away from me.

We don't really, I think, I think we don't realize sometimes the subtle stress of that, of having these thing right there that can beep and ding and demand of you at all the time. And it's, it is actually my, my partner is a tech entrepreneur, so we're really immersed in that world. And, you know, we have those times where we will deliberately do the same as you. We will, you know, we're, if we're hanging out together, we put the phones on silent at the other end of the house. And we, we really need that space.

So I think that's, it's just a wonderful practical thing to just leave your device for a little while. Does it have to be always on us? Yeah. Well, you know, it's interesting. Recently I have for the past, like month or something, I think I just need a new phone. My battery dies in a matter of like 15 minutes, but I haven't gotten a new phone yet.

And I think I'm kind of liking the fact that I only use it now when it's plugged in or, cause I know that the battery life isn't going to, you know, last. But it's kind of freeing as I've gotten used to more and more and more now being like, Oh, well I guess I have 10 minutes of phone life, so when am I going to use it? Yeah. And then I, and then it's when it's off. It's off. Yeah, yeah.

So Lori, a big part of Tiny Buddha culture is the sharing of quotes. And I was wondering if you had any favorite mindfulness quotes that you could share. Sure. Well, there's one of them that ties into what I was talking about earlier that is probably one of my, probably my favorite mindfulness quote is a Dan Millman quote. And it's, "You don't have to control your thoughts.

You just have to stop letting them control you." And that one is so helpful to me, both because I mentioned before I struggled with trying to control everything. That's always been a challenge for me. And, and given that thoughts do arise naturally, and I, I've never been able to control them. It's been an incredible, an incredible relief for me to realize I can stop trying and I can also stop berating myself at not being able to do it. I can embrace the fact that that's just human nature.

It's not a shortcoming. It's not, it's not a slight on me as a person. It doesn't say anything about me. But I have the power to not attach to them and not make meanings on the thoughts I think. And, and so that one's been really helpful to me.

And then there's another quote I like quite a bit, and this is a, an anonymous, or at least I believe it's an unknown quote. It's, "Worry looks around, fear looks back, faith looks up, guilt looks down, but I look forward." Aww. Nice. I love that. I've never heard that quote before.

Yeah. I just, I just love that idea to not be caught up in any of those things really, to just focus on what's in front of you. That's that's simple and I, I love the message. Yeah. So just one more question that I have, which is the same question that I've been asking everybody who's taken part in this summit and, so my question is this.

It's been said that mindfulness has gone mainstream. I don't really think it has. I think it's starting to enter mainstream culture. It's certainly becoming de-stigmatized and you know, much more popular. What do you think would happen if mindfulness really did go mainstream? I'm talking like half the population were, were practicing mindfulness.

What kind of a world do you think that could create? What kind of, the audio outed, but, you said, what kind of world would it create if, if mindfulness went mainstream? Correct? Yeah. Got it. Yeah. I think it would be a world with less suffering, less conflict. It would be a less reactive world, a more compassionate world.

It would be a world with fewer misunderstandings and a world with more people committed to understanding each other. And I think that that is a, a pretty powerful thing. People, you know, if we could be, if we can all become aware of our own thoughts and emotional reactions then we can be more compassionate to other people's thoughts and emotional reactions. Well, that's a pretty amazing change. Yeah.

Lori, thank you so much for your, for your time today.I really appreciate it. And I love the work that you do. Is there anything else that you'd like to share before we close? Actually I'd love to just very briefly tell the listeners a little bit about my book that's about to come out since it's perfectly timed with this event. Yeah. We'd love to hear that.

It's coming out October 6, and I'm really excited about it and proud of it. And it's called Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges. And what the book is, is it's a year's worth of daily activities that people can do to strengthen their relationships with their loved ones, to, you know, turn strangers into friends and to create greater love in the world. So it's really about, you know, relationships on every level. And every month has a theme, whether it's compassion and understanding, or anger and forgiving.

And every week starts with stories from members of the Tiny Buddha community that are related to the challenges in that week. So I think it's a really fun, creative book that I hope will inspire people to open up more in their relationships, to let people in, and to strengthen their relationships and to form new ones. So if people want to learn about that, they can go to TinyBuddha.com/lovebook. Yeah. So thanks again so much for your time.

And thanks everybody for tuning in and we'll see you next time.

Talk

4.6

The Power of Authenticity

Lori shares how learned to cultivate self-forgiveness, self-compassion and freed herself from getting caught up in emotional reactivity.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

I'm your host Melli O'Brien and I couldn't be more pleased to be here with Lori Deshene. Lori is the founder of TinyBuddha.com and this is one of my favorite websites. TinyBuddha.com is a multi-author blog where people share their stories about how they've tried to really apply wisdom or mindfulness in their lives. And it has grown a lot since it's humble beginnings. And I think it's now getting a million or close to a million monthly visitors.

So this makes TinyBuddha.com one of the most popular, inspirational websites on the net. And what I really love about this website, what I'm really excited about is that it's a great example of how we can actually use technology to be more connected with each other and to live a more kind, conscious and connected life. So, Lori, thank you so much for the work that you do, and thank you so much for your time, your time to share your knowledge and wisdom for the summit. Oh, you're welcome. And thank you.

It's an honor. So I just spoke a little bit about what TinyBuddha is, kind of touched on a brief outline. Could you describe in your own words, for our viewers, what TinyBuddha.com is all about? Sure. So let's see. The site's been around for six years now and I launched it in September, 2009.

And my intention was to create a place where everyone could come together to share what they've learned, what they've been through and what they've learned from those experiences, both to help themselves and to help other people. Because that's what I've found in my personal experience is that sharing your experiences and, and how you've grown through, through it and what you've learned from it can be very cathartic and healing. And to know that you're helping other people with that at the same time, it's an amazingly empowering experience. And the site, like you mentioned, has grown by leaps and bounds. Over the last six years is actually close to 2.5 million readers now.

So, and it keeps growing and I'm thrilled to see that people are connecting on a real authentic level. There it's not so much the numbers, but the fact that the people are engaging in a meaningful way And people, you know, a lot of the contributors often say that they really appreciate that it's such a kind community, open-hearted and, and I appreciate that too. That's the most rewarding part is that people do really touch each other's lives and I get to be part of that. So that's, that's TinyBuddha in a nutshell. And mindfulness is a really hot topic of conversation at TinyBuddha.com.

There's a lot on the social media and on the blog, lots of stories about people trying to live a more mindful life. And I'm curious to know in your own experience, do you have your own personal mindset practice? Do you practice meditation or do you find ways to just integrate mindfulness into your own life? Well, I'm, I'm not a fan of routine. In fact, I don't like for any day to look like the day before or the day before. So my mindfulness practice is always changing. What I recognized for me is that it's important that I am not rigid with myself and I just give myself sometime every day to, to be in the present moment.

Whether that means mindful walking, which is hiking or walking. One of my favorite things to do, just being kind of aware of my senses in nature. Mindful eating, which is something that's actually really challenging for me because I come from an Italian family where everyone is eating really, really fast. But that's something that I really enjoy doing when I make the effort to be more mindful in my eating. Or even just deep breathing exercises or, I love yoga.

That's something that I. I do. And then also I love listening to guided meditations or, or music, subliminal messages, uplifting subliminal messages, whether it's for competence or to release anxiety. And, and it's really, every day I let myself just choose from one of these things. And I find that that's what works for me because there were a lot of options and a lot of different things to keep me feeling engaged and excited about the practice, as opposed to finding it kind of like, all right, now it's time to sit.

So that's, that's how I practice. Yeah. I, I kind of, I like that you, I like that you brought that up because I think one of the themes that keeps coming up in this summit is that we all have really different personality types. You don't like, you know, for some people they love routine and they love getting up at the same time every day and I'm doing, but I think, I love that there's this message coming through that is we all are so different. For you, you have a menu to choose from every day, and it sounds like you just kind of pick what works for you in that day.

And, and that's fine. It it's, and it's so different for different people. So I'm curious as you have been doing that, choosing from your menu and doing different mindfulness practices over time, what kinds of insights or realizations have unfolded for you over time with mindfulness? Wow, so much. I, I've had so many just amazing insights through my mindfulness practice that I, have been life-changing really. Now but the biggest one I'd say is that I am not my thoughts.

And that they can really hurt me if I give power to them. And that's something that I don't, I, I have to remind myself of often. I have a busy mind. I'm a writer and I'm a thinker and I'm always analyzing. And that's something that has been very helpful for me.

When I can get into my mindfulness practice and step outside myself and, and become aware of the thoughts I'm thinking and realizing that I can choose what to think and I don't have to identify them. And also knowing that if I can change my thoughts, then I can minimize my emotional reactions. And in addition to being an over-thinker, I'm a highly sensitive person and very emotional. I tear up way too much. So, but being able to be, to catch my thoughts before they take hold and therefore minimize my emotional reactions has also been really life-changing.

For me, it's helped in my relationships in a tremendous way, too, because I'm able to observe a thought I might have about somebody else before I immediately jump to an emotional reaction without having to really, without really thinking about that thought and where it came from and, you know. I'm able to observe it more and be more objective. And also another thing in the same line of these thoughts, that's been really helpful for me is realizing well, if I'm not my thoughts, then I don't have to judge myself for my thoughts. By realizing that they arise naturally and I don't have to attach to them, then I don't necessarily have to feel bad about having those thoughts. And that's something that I did for a long time.

You know, I kind of compound my difficult thoughts and feelings by then, you know, you shouldn't be thinking that or you shouldn't be feeling that. And then it's just a web and you're trapped in it. Because then you got, then I think, well, I shouldn't be thinking that because if I was really mindful, then I shouldn't be. And where does it end. Yeah, yeah.

That's another one that's helped me. I say another really big one for me is letting go of control. Because I've realized that in my life most of the pain that I have caused myself has been trying to maintain a sense of control, whether it is control of the outcome or control of how other people see me and what they think of me when they see me. And, it's exhausting because you can't control those things. No much, you know, no matter how much you try.

And when you're mindful, you realize that this is the only moment you have, trying to control other people or the future is fruitless. And if you do spend your time trying to control your people or the future, you're going to miss out on this moment. So that's, that's another big one for me. I have one more actually. I have a lot.

Yeah, yeah. Another really powerful realization I've had through mindfulness has been, it's helped me embrace the, the darkest parts of myself. The parts of myself that perhaps. I may not be as proud of as other parts. But in the same way, I was saying before, that mindfulness helping, has helped me become aware of my thoughts and not identify with them.

I can realize and have realized through my practice that I am not my worst mistakes. And I don't have to hold onto that and let it define me. So I guess really mindfulness has helped me forgive myself and embrace myself. And then in doing that, be more compassionate for others because if I'm not my mistakes, then they are not their mistakes. So it's just kind of a short list of the benefits that I've seen from being more mindful.

So, Lori, before we started this interview, I was telling you how much I really appreciate this quality that you have of authenticity. And I think that it is a quality that has now rippled all throughout the Tiny Buddha culture. And I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what the relationship might be between mindfulness and authenticity. Well, I think that when you think about, you know, if mindfulness does allow you to untangle yourself from your thoughts and have a little more, I guess, not control over but the minimize your emotional reactions really mindfulness then is the gateway to being authentic. Because I know for me, for example, one of the things that prevented me from being authentic are those fears and worries about how people are going to perceive me, you know, and if they're going to accept me.

And when you can kind of quiet those thoughts that would prevent you from showing up as your, you know, wherever you happen to be on that day, it's a lot easier to just be. I guess that's what it is. Mindfulness is just being, and that's what authenticity is. Being as you are without trying to change that, I think. Yeah, exactly.

And it's, it's crazy that just being is so hard to do since it would be kind of just the natural state, but there's all those layers of, you know, beliefs and thoughts and fears and worries. And mindfulness allows us to, I don't, I don't know for me, I haven't completely cleared them away. But, you know, get some, you know, a few clear spots on that window and the more clear spots I can get on there, the easier it is to let me be seen. Mm. Yeah.

And I think it's like, you know, the thoughts, they still come, I mean, especially, I know that my oldest videotape in my, my mind is the, you know, I'm not good enough story and there's a million different versions of that, you know? Whatever, you know, my mind can make up lots of kinds of stories about that. And I, and they still come even to this day. But I think it's the difference that you were talking about before is there's this distance between me and the thought where it's like, well, I have a choice about whether to listen to that or whether to believe it. It still comes and goes, but it just doesn't really, doesn't really touch me anymore, which is, I guess what you're describing as those clear spots on the window. It's like, well.

There are some things it's still there, but I can see right through it to the other side. And it's, doesn't hold any weight really anymore. Yeah. It's kind of like, I guess, turning the radio down a little, I think, because... Yeah, that's a good analogy.

so it's not as loud, you know, and it's easier to kind of tune it out, I guess. Just like, I always think, you know, especially in the work I do, I always wonder if people expect that you're kind of like a before and an after picture. Like, I had all these fears, now I have none. Yeah. And then if I think that thought, I think, I'll think, Oh, I'm a fraud or I'll start to wonder, should I have none? But then I'll remember the reality is that's human to be alive, is to have thoughts and feelings.

It's only natural. But I think that the true, the true journey is not to completely eliminate those natural things, but to learn how to re-engage with them differently. So they don't have a grip on you and quiet them over time, you know. I, I do think I can tell I've seen lots of progress over time. And I think that's what mindfulness is, is as a practice.

It's not, you know, perfect. It's a practice. Yeah, yeah. So one of the things I, one of the things that you and I have in common is that we both use technology a lot, and we both use technology to express ourselves and to connect with other people. And so I was wondering if you had any tips for our viewers on how to use tech a bit more mindfully? Absolutely.

So this is something that I'm always putting thought into because I'm online a lot. Me too. Yeah. Yes. I relate to that.

I work on the web and sometimes long days, you know, depending on what I'm working on. And it can be hard to disconnect when the time comes to disconnect. And it also can be easy to kind of drift to other things while I'm online, because maybe I want a break, but I, I think, Oh, I can't take a break. I can't get up right now. Yeah.

So I've learned a few things that I've found helpful for me in all different facets of using technology, whether it's, you know, social media or for, for work, emailing, running my blog. And one of the first ones that's been helpful to me is to get clear in my intentions. So now, I don't use my personal social media pages that much these days. I hardly ever tweet on my personal page and on my Facebook, on my Facebook page, it's kind of sporadic. But when I do, I always try to ask myself, why am I posting this? Do I want attention? Or is there, is there something I'm trying to get from doing this other than just sharing it because I want to share it.

So I think that's kind of an important thing to do is to be aware of your intention with anything that you're doing online. What it is you're looking to get from it. And then another thing is I try to recognize when I'm just trying to avoid just being, you know. It's very tempting to sometimes just, you know, surf from site to site and read all kinds of things I don't even need to read, just to maybe keep myself busy doing something. So that's something that I think is kind of important to do is to recognize if you're just mindlessly searching because there's a lull or you.

Or you're in line somewhere and you don't want to be waiting, so you're, you know, decide to pull out your phone. Or maybe you don't want people to think that you're just waiting and that's a vulnerable state of mind to just be seen, like sitting by yourself at a restaurant or something, so you pull out your phone. Yeah. So I think all those times when you're just tempted to kind of take out technology to avoid just being both, you know, mindfully being in the moment and being vulnerable or authentic, that can be a powerful thing to do too. I like that.

And then another thing along the lines of, where I was mentioning kind of hopping from site to site, to site. I actually have a little tiny little Buddha with a book icon on the bottom of all the blog posts on Tiny Buddha that truthfully, I'm not sure if people even see it or know what it is, but it's if you clicked on that, you'd see this, something that says to read what you need. And my, my thought process there is that, you know, the web is sticky. It's, you're going to find links to different articles and, and there's nothing wrong with that practice. I do it as well.

Sometimes it's very helpful because you can, you know, follow the link and find more information, but it's quite possible though, that you don't need any more information. You got everything you need. So, you know, for example, if you came online to research blenders, and then before you know it, you're reading about smoothies, and top celebrities who love smoothies, the best costumes for Halloween. So that's one that I've found helpful is to recognize, okay, I don't need to keep hopping around. I've gotten what I need.

There's an intentionality about it. Kind of like before you start you, like, I am here for blenders. I am looking at blenders and now I am finished looking at blenders and I can stop. Yes. I also think it can be kind of fun to just get lost in mindless, you know, when, if that's the case though, but I find it helps me to be aware of it.

Okay. I'm going to just jump around for about 20 minutes. And in that way, it's not like I just lost an hour because I got into this addictive zone. Be like, you know, just hopping from quiz to Buzzfeed article. Yeah, yeah.

So that's something that's been really helpful. And then for me, like I was saying before, where I don't use my personal social media accounts that much these days. When I was using them more regularly, and even now when I do, one thing that's always been important to me is experience now and share later. So I've never been one to do like live tweeting at an event. And I, you know, had people ask me to do that before.

Or I, I don't like the idea of sort of posting on, I'm with, you know, my sister right now. I mean, cause then if you do kind of share something in the moment, it's tempting to look who commented on it and who liked it, and what are they saying? Am I, and then you're completely missing the moment. Yeah. You know that you're out with your sister, but you're not really out with your sister. Yeah, you're talking about it.

Yeah, not really present in either place. Exactly. Yeah. That's been something that's really helpful for me. And then to the same extent, along the same lines, I think about turning FOMO around.

So that whole fear of missing out where you tend to just sort of like monitor everything, to see what you know what's going on. But then I think to myself, if you are monitoring what's going on online, you're also missing out on where you are. So if you're going to be afraid of missing out on something, be afraid of missing out on right now. And, you know that I was thinking about how, like I said about routine earlier, I don't like routine and I kind of can very easily get bored and feel like I'm in a rut. And I think that that's when it's tempting to sort of pull out, you know, your phone or whatever when you're bored.

But then I think when you really are truly mindful in a moment, even if it seems similar to many moments you've had before, if you're paying attention, there's always a little nuance of difference that makes it interesting. It makes you realize that life really isn't like Groundhog Day, but you can only notice that if you're paying attention, if you're open to it. Yeah. So that's, that's another one for me, in terms of recognizing when I'm turning to technology, n that, you know, what's going on? What am I missing out on? And instead saying, okay, what will I miss out on if I do that? I love that. Well, it's been, it's been very helpful to me to remember that, you know, this moment will never come again.

And I don't always remember that, but I, I try to, I try to recognize and appreciate little things in my environment. And I guess the last one I'm going to say is that, and this one's hard, is realizing that you don't have to respond to everyone instantly. Right. And that's, it's tempting to do because I think. We all sort of think, well, why aren't they answering my texts? They always have their phone right on them, why wouldn't they write back? And then you can start kind of analyzing if you wanted to.

And sometimes I do, but it's, I love to be able to, like leave my phone upstairs and then watch a movie. And it took me a while to be able to do that, I think because, you know, people will be like, you didn't answer my text or, you know, or I'd think to myself, well, what is something, you know, I live across the country from my family. So I might think to myself, well, what if it's an emergency? I want to know right now. Yeah. But it's such a sense of relief to put my phone away and think of it as like an answering machine from the nineties or eighties or whatever that was, as opposed to this thing, I have to be like, you know, always responsive to.

People, you know, most often, there isn't an emergency and it's not so urgent that it needs to be right now. And I think that if we can kind of, for me, I know if we getting into that mindset and allowing things to wait, creates such a sense of relief and it's so much easier to be in the moment. Yeah. Those are great practical tips. It's funny, isn't it, like that we live in a world today where we have to really have these discussion about, you know, I need to leave my device away from me.

We don't really, I think, I think we don't realize sometimes the subtle stress of that, of having these thing right there that can beep and ding and demand of you at all the time. And it's, it is actually my, my partner is a tech entrepreneur, so we're really immersed in that world. And, you know, we have those times where we will deliberately do the same as you. We will, you know, we're, if we're hanging out together, we put the phones on silent at the other end of the house. And we, we really need that space.

So I think that's, it's just a wonderful practical thing to just leave your device for a little while. Does it have to be always on us? Yeah. Well, you know, it's interesting. Recently I have for the past, like month or something, I think I just need a new phone. My battery dies in a matter of like 15 minutes, but I haven't gotten a new phone yet.

And I think I'm kind of liking the fact that I only use it now when it's plugged in or, cause I know that the battery life isn't going to, you know, last. But it's kind of freeing as I've gotten used to more and more and more now being like, Oh, well I guess I have 10 minutes of phone life, so when am I going to use it? Yeah. And then I, and then it's when it's off. It's off. Yeah, yeah.

So Lori, a big part of Tiny Buddha culture is the sharing of quotes. And I was wondering if you had any favorite mindfulness quotes that you could share. Sure. Well, there's one of them that ties into what I was talking about earlier that is probably one of my, probably my favorite mindfulness quote is a Dan Millman quote. And it's, "You don't have to control your thoughts.

You just have to stop letting them control you." And that one is so helpful to me, both because I mentioned before I struggled with trying to control everything. That's always been a challenge for me. And, and given that thoughts do arise naturally, and I, I've never been able to control them. It's been an incredible, an incredible relief for me to realize I can stop trying and I can also stop berating myself at not being able to do it. I can embrace the fact that that's just human nature.

It's not a shortcoming. It's not, it's not a slight on me as a person. It doesn't say anything about me. But I have the power to not attach to them and not make meanings on the thoughts I think. And, and so that one's been really helpful to me.

And then there's another quote I like quite a bit, and this is a, an anonymous, or at least I believe it's an unknown quote. It's, "Worry looks around, fear looks back, faith looks up, guilt looks down, but I look forward." Aww. Nice. I love that. I've never heard that quote before.

Yeah. I just, I just love that idea to not be caught up in any of those things really, to just focus on what's in front of you. That's that's simple and I, I love the message. Yeah. So just one more question that I have, which is the same question that I've been asking everybody who's taken part in this summit and, so my question is this.

It's been said that mindfulness has gone mainstream. I don't really think it has. I think it's starting to enter mainstream culture. It's certainly becoming de-stigmatized and you know, much more popular. What do you think would happen if mindfulness really did go mainstream? I'm talking like half the population were, were practicing mindfulness.

What kind of a world do you think that could create? What kind of, the audio outed, but, you said, what kind of world would it create if, if mindfulness went mainstream? Correct? Yeah. Got it. Yeah. I think it would be a world with less suffering, less conflict. It would be a less reactive world, a more compassionate world.

It would be a world with fewer misunderstandings and a world with more people committed to understanding each other. And I think that that is a, a pretty powerful thing. People, you know, if we could be, if we can all become aware of our own thoughts and emotional reactions then we can be more compassionate to other people's thoughts and emotional reactions. Well, that's a pretty amazing change. Yeah.

Lori, thank you so much for your, for your time today.I really appreciate it. And I love the work that you do. Is there anything else that you'd like to share before we close? Actually I'd love to just very briefly tell the listeners a little bit about my book that's about to come out since it's perfectly timed with this event. Yeah. We'd love to hear that.

It's coming out October 6, and I'm really excited about it and proud of it. And it's called Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges. And what the book is, is it's a year's worth of daily activities that people can do to strengthen their relationships with their loved ones, to, you know, turn strangers into friends and to create greater love in the world. So it's really about, you know, relationships on every level. And every month has a theme, whether it's compassion and understanding, or anger and forgiving.

And every week starts with stories from members of the Tiny Buddha community that are related to the challenges in that week. So I think it's a really fun, creative book that I hope will inspire people to open up more in their relationships, to let people in, and to strengthen their relationships and to form new ones. So if people want to learn about that, they can go to TinyBuddha.com/lovebook. Yeah. So thanks again so much for your time.

And thanks everybody for tuning in and we'll see you next time.

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