Women Who Inspire Series ~ Featuring An Exclusive Q&A with Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha
Editor’s Note: Today we are thrilled to share the first installment of our Women Who Inspire series beginning with Lori Deschene!
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha, a community blog which began as a “tweet-a-day” concept in 2009 and now boasts over 1.2 million page views per month! For those unfamiliar with the site, Tiny Buddha is a platform in which community members share the challenges they face and how they “apply wisdom to every day life”.
In addition to running Tiny Buddha, Lori is an author. In her first book Tiny Buddha’s Handbook for Peace and Happiness, she shares an authentic glimpse into her own personal life. She also provides suggestions on how to improve the mind’s state, find your passion and purpose, improve relationships and find the courage to overcome obstacles and “seize” your dreams. Her new book, Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions, holds the answers to many life questions such as what the meaning of life is.
Lori is an inspiration to men and women alike showing that we all have the ability to change the way we think and harness the courage needed to seize our dreams just as she has.
Below in an exclusive interview with The Conscious Perspective, Lori has revealed how she found her way to living her dream and sharing her passion for living a happy, joyous life.
TCP – You are undoubtedly living your passion. Would you share with us what ignited the spark within you that has led you to your work today?
LD – “I kind of stumbled into what I’m doing today, by starting with a tiny step and then seeing where it led.
When I first started tweeting quotes through @tinybuddha, I was working 60+ hours per week, by myself from home. I was tied to my computer, and although I was writing for a living, I wasn’t writing about anything that mattered to me. My work was isolating, and I knew I didn’t want that, especially since I’d previously struggled with depression, which also cut me off from the world.
When I started writing, it felt like a victory, because I’d felt so lost for so long, personally and professionally. Since I always felt passionate about writing, I assumed I was on the right track because I was doing it full-time. But it didn’t provide me with a sense of fulfillment.
Tweeting the quotes was something simple I could do with the time I had to use technology a little more meaningfully. It all sort of snowballed from there. When I recognized hundreds of people were retweeting the daily quotes, I got curious about those people, and how well we all apply those words of wisdom to our everyday lives.
That’s what led to tinybuddha.com, which is a community blog where anyone can share a story about overcoming adversity and applying wisdom to everyday life. The spark didn’t happen right away; it was a while after I started tweeting that I realized what really mattered to me: creating a space where we can all shared what we’ve learned and what we’re learning to help ourselves and each other, and in this way realize we are never alone in the world.”
TCP – How do you remain authentic and true to yourself in your work when everyday obstacles arise?
LD – “Being authentic is one of the ways I deal with everyday obstacles, in that I write about those things on my site. It’s liberating to be able to express what’s really going on in my head and my heart, and then start conversations about those things with other people who can relate.”
TCP - What advice do you have for those seeking to find their “purpose” or live their passion, but perhaps they are finding themselves at a roadblock or feel that they are on the wrong path?
LD – “I suggest planting tiny seeds based on what matters to you right now. Don’t focus on completely changing the trajectory of your career. Focus on creating meaning in your actions and seeing where that leads you.
So let’s say you’re doing work you’ve done for years that you find unfulfilling, and you’re not entirely sure what would make you feel passionate and purposeful as an alternative career—but you know you enjoy being around animals. Start volunteering at the SPCA for a couple of hours on the weekend.
It’s a small thing you can do to start exploring something you may enjoy, which may help you discover what you really want to do.
I think we sometimes we think we need to have it all figured out or else we can’t make and follow a detailed roadmap. But my experience has taught me that the best roadmap writes itself as we follow our bliss and our instincts.”
TCP – Would you like to share any projects that you are currently working on with our readers?
LD – “Sure! I’ve been running a contest for the past month and a half that’s related to my book, Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions. It’s called the “Life’s Hard Questions” contest, and it goes until January 15,2012. Anyone can enter by submitting a photo of themselves displaying the hardest question in their life at lifeshardquestions.com.
The winners will be chosen at random, though there will be a special prize for the most creative. The prizes include a Canon DSLR camera, two Kindles, and 10 free copies of my book. It’s just another opportunity for people to get involved and share a little of themselves.”
TCP – Finally, your work is undoubtedly rewarding on many levels. What is the most rewarding aspect in sharing your truth with others?
LD – “I feel like I can make a positive difference in other people’s lives, not just in spite of my challenges, but also because of them. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I can share both my successes and struggles, and in doing so realize that while I’ll always for room for improvement, who I am right now is beautiful.”