Is today a good day for you to live? I’m sure most of you have heard the saying, “Today is a good day to die.” But what about living? Are you putting off living until the COVID-19 pandemic is resolved or there is a vaccine? Are you refusing to make the most of your life until the election has come and gone? Is there any excuse you/me/we continue to use to keep us from making today a good day to live? I don’t know about you but the more I am reminded that I only have so much time left on this planet, the more I value my life. I don’t want to reach my final days saying that I wasted 2020 (or any particular day) for any reason. Regardless of our circumstances, we each have the ability to shift our mindset and create days filled with things that matter to us. Join Thom and me on the SMART Living 365 Vlog as we discuss this topic and encourage ourselves and you, to make this a good day to live.
Last week a blogger friend posted an article about how the communication in our country has become very contemptuous. I agree. Anyone who has been on social media or watched any news has seen some very angry rhetoric thrown around—especially at anyone who doesn’t agree with them. While I’ve overreacted to a few things myself, I do work hard not to slide down that rabbit hole as much as possible. It’s one thing to state the facts and another to state your fear, anger and frustration. But the more I considered the idea, the more I questioned whether it is always necessary to stay “nice” rather than get a little nasty now and then. Is there ever a time it is called for, and if yes, do we give ourselves permission to go there when necessary? [Read more…]
During the entire month of August, I took a sabbatical. I nearly just wrote that I took a much “needed” sabbatical. But that wouldn’t have been true. I didn’t need one, I wanted one. And that level of honesty became much more important to me after I read the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle. For the most part during the last month I only read light fiction as a treat to myself. However, when I was able to grab a free copy of Untamed through my library, I jumped on it. It was just what I needed to dig deep and give myself permission to take my writing to another level. What’s that you might ask? I now hope to un-tame and un-cage my inner cheetah and let her roam wherever she wants to go. And hopefully my actions and my thoughts will encourage the same in you. [Read more…]
Before getting my first Driver’s License, my father insisted I learn to drive by using a stick-shift. I drove that type of car for years and grew to appreciate the gears and how they work—including the downshift. So although the vast majority of cars now automatically shift for us, the downshift is still very much a part of the engine. As it turns out, I think the human body also has such a gear. That’s partially why I decided to use the next month (August) as a time to downshift from this blog. No I’m not shutting it down, but I am going to pause for 30 days and sink into a more mindful, aware and slower version of my life. After contemplating this idea for several weeks, I am hoping that my downshift will generate three important benefits. And in case anyone wants to join me in their own downshift, I’ve listed three good reasons it makes sense. [Read more…]
During the last few months I think the majority of us have been focused on COVID-19 and staying healthy, safe and sane. But if you’re paying any attention you know there is a lot more change going on in the world than just the virus. Some of the events and certain people you might agree with—and others you might not. Let’s just acknowledge that neutrality is impossible. We are either part of the solution—or part of the problem. And while it wouldn’t be SMART to attempt to suggest what any of you should think, it doesn’t hurt to remind each of us that, “If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.”
Our age doesn’t matter. If we are alive we still have a part to play. If we are choosing to sit things out or not get involved when obvious and repeated injustice occurs, then we are supporting those who perpetuate it. Let’s never pretend that our silence or inaction doesn’t matter. It does. It’s time to be honest with ourselves and pick the side that best aligns with our highest values and then do whatever we can to bring about the kind of world we want to live in. It really is up to us.
Have you ever heard of the Tao? Taken from a book titled, the Tao Te Ching written over 2,500 years ago, the Tao (usually pronounced Dao) philosophy offers advice for living a peaceful, compassionate and sustainable life. In fact, even if you’ve never heard of the Tao you are likely familiar with some of its more popular sayings like, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” or “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” This week in our SMART Vlog Thom and I talk about a few of the major concepts within the Tao that we find most helpful for living a good life. We hope you enjoy the discussion.
*Note: If you’d rather read about the Tao than listen to our discussion, here are two articles I’ve written about it before that you might enjoy.
As Thom and I hiked through the forest this morning he happened to mention the obvious. That was how neither of us could have predicted how the summer of 2020 would unfold. And I’m guessing that none of you could either. Even if we have managed to stay healthy, and that the vast majority of our family and friends are managing it as well, it seems like every new day brings some unsettling news. Surely none of us would have “chosen” the current situation.
However at the same time, I’m also reminded of the Wayne Dyer quote, “I don’t know enough to be a pessimist.” In other words, I’ve have repeatedly believed that in spite of any appearance to the contrary, that good can and will eventually come from any situation. Supporting that idea is one of my favorite stories I like to call, “Maybe Yes, Maybe No.” [Read more…]
One of the problems with being endlessly curious is that I sometimes forget about something interesting and helpful that I learned in the past. The concept of Spiral Dynamics is just like that. This last week my husband Thom happened to mention it, and voila!, the light bulb went on! I instantly remembered what captivated me about the theory years ago. In my view, Spiral Dynamics is a good explanation for why some of us have a difficult time getting along with other people. Not only is the country polarized in many ways, but so too are some friends and even family members. To me, Spiral Dynamics offers an elegant understanding for not what we think, but why we think so differently. [Read more…]
Until a week ago I had never even heard the words doomsurfing or doomscrolling before. Have you? Not only does the Urban Dictionary online include it, but the well-known Merriam-Webster recently wrote a blog post describing it as, “the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening or depressing.” What they fail to mention is that many of us do it even if the source of the “news” hasn’t been verified and is sometimes untrue. That leads to the other new word—Infodemic—as a “blend of ‘information’ and ‘epidemic’ that typically refers to a rapid and far-reaching spread of both accurate and inaccurate information about something such as disease. As facts, rumors, and fears mix and disperse, it becomes difficult to learn essential information about an issue.” So these days, with the flood of doom issues related to the COVID-19, the economy, the political landscape, police brutality and systemic racism, every piece of news carries the potential for both doomsurfing and being a part of an Infodemic. The question is, are we personally adding to or easing the spread? [Read more…]
Ever heard of Alan Cohen before? Thom and I have had the benefit of seeing him speak in person, and to read a number of his books. His practical, insightful and often humorous perspectives continue to bring me back to some fundamental ideas that influence my life in many ways. When I came across this one today, I am reminded that even in a changing world, we have the choice about which agreements we follow—and those we discard. We alone decide who to believe and who not to believe. And yes, I can’t help but believe that those agreements shape my reality. Staying awake and aware to that concept is a practical and SMART way to live. At least I think so. What about you?