Q&A with Lori Deschene from Tiny Buddha
There is a plethora of inspiration on the internet. If you’re ever having a bad day, you don’t have to click far to find a site that will coerce you out of it with wise advice and a soft place to land among shared experiences. If I’m ever in a bit of a funk, the first piece of online realty I stop at is Tiny Buddha.
You may recall that I had an article posted on the site a little while ago, and how ecstatic I was to see my name among the pages and pages of brilliance that the site publishes each day. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was to have the chance to quiz the site’s founder and help her spread the word about her very first hard copy book – Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom For Life’s Hard Questions.
Lori Deschene has managed to enchant over 240,000 Twitter followers and over 70,000 Facebook fans with her daily nuggets of wisdom. This is what she has to say about her online success, how we can actually let the trillions of pieces of wisdom we come across each day sink in, and what she does to cultivate peace in her own life …
1. You have a massive following! Why do you think people are so drawn to what you have to offer?
I think people may be drawn to Tiny Buddha for a few reasons:
First, it’s both consistent and simple. I share new content every week day, but it’s not overwhelming, since I rarely share more than one daily quote and two daily blog posts.
Secondly, it’s not overly salesy or promotional. I’m very selective about how the site earns money, so that advertising of any kind never overshadows the messages and the purpose.
Lastly, Tiny Buddha is a loving community, and people share themselves authentically and generously. Readers know that the blog posts come from people just like them, who experience the same struggles and are willing to be honest about what they go through and what helps them.
It’s important to me that Tiny Buddha feels like a safe place where we can all help each other. I personally value that I can be open about my challenges and imperfections, so that I can both share my insights and stay open to what other people have to teach.
2. In your new book, I love how you write how “we teach what we need to learn”. Can you share some ways that your website has helped you learn and grow?
Sure! I generally start each post with a personal story and then explore lessons learned and how to apply them. This can be incredibly empowering.
Sometimes I discover new possibilities in the writing process that I may not have considered if I didn’t sit down and organize my thoughts this way.
Then there’s the fact that the comments often teach me just as much as I learned from the writing process. Hitting publish starts a conversation full of varied insights and perspectives.
Lastly, I learn from the other writers who share their stories on the site. I love that moment when I realize I can relate to someone else’s experiences, even if we live different lives, and I can learn something from them.
3. You also say, “reading an inspired quote doesn’t guarantee inspired action”. It’s so true. I can be inspired by a tweet one moment, but then some other tweet, email newsletter, or Facebook blast has completely pushed the thought out of my mind in the next moment. How can we allow these inspiring messages to sink in and have a positive effect on our lives?
I think this has to do with creating space. Particularly if we’re plugged in through our phones, it’s tempting to try to follow the stream—to continually consume and share new information.
In fact, sometimes it’s tempting to share an article before we’ve even read it fully because the sharing itself is exciting. It’s connecting and conversing about ideas—a positive thing, so long as we don’t replace acting with discussing.
What helps me is to limit the amount of information I take in, and to ask myself after I read an uplifting tweet or blog post: “What does this mean for me, and what does my gut tell me to do with it?”
If I only had five minutes to share what I’ve learned, I likely wouldn’t offer any advice! Instead I’d aim to embody it.
That means I’d breathe deeply and to the best of my ability stay in the present; I’d forgive myself if I struggle so that I can take each moment as a new opportunity to let go of pain from the past and worries about the future; I’d try to listen fully instead of waiting to talk; I’d give other people the benefit of the doubt; and I’d remember that I can make a positive difference in the world simply by being loving and compassionate.
5. What do your peace-cultivating practices look like?
I practice yoga 2-3 times each week—and I’m thrilled that my new apartment community offers it outside by the pool! I go through phases when I’m consistent with traditional meditation, but more often I practice mindfulness and deep breathing during everyday activities, like walking and folding laundry.
I aim to take good care of my body by getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and eating organic food. When I feel better physically, that affects my mental state.
I think the most important thing for me, though, is balance. When I feel purposeful, connected, and engaged in the world—with time for work, contemplation, and social activities—I am most likely to feel at peace.
6. What do you think about the idea that our thoughts create our reality, and that our thoughts have a direct impact on our health and wellbeing?
I believe our thoughts shape our experience of the world. There was a time when I believed the world was a cruel place, and I constantly looked for evidence to confirm it—which meant I usually found it. I had a knack for interpreting things with a negative slant. Perception is everything.
I do believe our thoughts have a direct impact on our health and wellbeing. Research has actually shown that mindfulness can create biochemical changes in our bodies, including changes in our heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism, and brain chemistry.
On the other side of the spectrum, stress, which often results from our thoughts about our circumstances, can lead to a host of physical problems.
7. What does being a Wellness Warrior mean to you?
Creating a balance between softness and strength.
8. Where do you want to take the Tiny Buddha brand in the future?
I’m not sure! I know I want to keep sharing and growing and connecting with other people who want to do the same. Beyond that, I’ve never had a specific vision for the brand. I’ve just listened to my instincts and followed where they’ve led.
I hope to keep growing the “Life’s Hard Questions” Project, which I started as a contest that connects with my book. People have been submitting photos of themselves displaying the hardest question in their lives—and I’ve found their submissions insightful and thought-provoking.
Incidentally, the contest goes until January 15th, with prizes including a DSLR camera, a Kindle, and copies of my book.
9. What is one quote that resonates most with you, or that you choose to live by?
“If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” ~Buddha
This is really the backbone of Tiny Buddha – we can simultaneously help each other and ourselves.
10. Can you please finish these sentences?
Experience has taught me … that nothing is permanent, and I am most peaceful when I hold things lightly.
I can’t go a day without … breathing.
At the moment I’m reading … Buddha Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom, by Dr. Rick Hanson.
I am happiest when … I make it a priority to do the things I enjoy and spend time with the people I love.
I believe that … people are good, and we can bring out the best in each other by bringing out the best in ourselves.
Follow the Tiny Buddha Blog Tour.
WIN A COPY OF TINY BUDDHA: SIMPLE WISDOM FOR LIFE’S HARD QUESTIONS!!
To help celebrate the launch of her first hard copy book, Lori has kindly offered to give away two copies to two lucky The Wellness Warrior readers.
For your chance to win, simply share a quote, affirmation, or piece of wisdom that you choose to live by. Leave your answer in the comments section below this post.
Positive affirmation for the day: Everything I do is motivated by love. Love for myself, love for those around me, and love for this world. And what I give out, if what I receive in return.
MY CHRISTMAS GIFT TO GERSON …
I am donating 50% of all sales of my Healing Through The Holidays recipe e-book to the Gerson Institute. Gerson Therapy has saved my life, and so many others like me, and I want to do this as a Christmas present to them. These people work so hard to get the Gerson message out, and help so many people with cancer and other chronic illnesses, and they rely on donations to make it all happen. Click here to buy your copy of Healing Through The Holidays.
Have you bought your copy of The Wellness Warrior Live Well Starter Kit + 10-Day Cleanse? Click here to find out why it’s the best $12 you’ll ever spend.
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