Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a store and be handed an instruction manual for living a happy and healthy life? A man named James Doty was offered exactly that back when he was twelve years old. This last week while I was researching another topic, I stumbled upon a podcast by James Doty and immediately knew that his story had the potential to change lives. Of course, even when we have a map right in front of us, that doesn’t mean that we always take the right turns at the right time or the path is without peril. Still, Doty’s story offers us all a glimpse of things we can each do to create the life we feel called to live. [Read more…]
I doubt it is a surprise to many of you that one of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. But once the official day is over, it’s far too easy for us to let it slip away and get busy preparing for the slew of holidays to come. Making matters worse are all the retailers and advertising companies doing their best to sell us things for others and ourselves. That is why I decided this year to spend a little more time focusing on what Thanksgiving means to me on the day and week after. And what better way than by sharing the SMART words of many of my favorite writers and speakers?
With that in mind, here are ten quotes from my collection that I believe have the ability to help me the most.
I have never been a slave to fashion. I’m certain that anyone who knows me personally will attest to that! Growing up as a tomboy with a chunky body, along with braces and freckles, I knew trying to be a fashion symbol was a losing battle even when I was young. So instead of striving for a body image I could never fulfill, I mostly focused on my mind and imagination. Even more fortunate, I later found a man who loved me for who I was—not just how I looked or dressed.
So, I’ve pretty much considered myself beyond the shaming that so many women receive for not conforming to cultural or peer standards about beauty. But that has changed some lately. The current discredit seems to be coming from other pro-aging women who imply that if you are still coloring your hair then you are denying your age and afraid to get older. They also imply that unless you embrace your natural-gray-colored-hair you are contributing to the ageism problem in the world. Sorry? I don’t agree. From where I stand hair color has little to do with how a woman feels about getting older. I happen to believe, like with so many issues, it is actually our internal self-acceptance and attitude about ourselves (and about aging) that makes the real difference. [Read more…]
As many of you know, I’ve been writing about rightsizing for several years now. The concept of rightsizing constantly helps me to focus on designing a meaningful life journey—not a particular destination I’ll ever fully experience. So when I recently came across an article about how values offer a similar perspective, it caught my interest. I’ve since learned that values, like rightsizing, are a direction. Sort of like getting in the car and heading north. You might be more north than you were yesterday, but you’ll never arrive. Once we discover how to live our values or how to rightsize our life, we are better able to appreciate the road we are traveling, regardless of whether we hit a few road bumps or we ever even reach a final destination. [Read more…]
It’s no secret that I am a fan of Abraham-Hicks. I’ve written about her/them before and shared different thoughts that they generate in me on a regular a basis. But every now and then someone will ask me why I continue to listen to them over and over. That’s when it occurred to me that I have never shared some of the overriding themes that I most appreciate and what keeps me coming back for more. What I think it boils down to are the following five messages that are woven into every lecture—and why I believe that these messages offer both encouragement and support for us all. [Read more…]
I don’t consider myself to be an expert on a broken heart. But if you are like me at all, then you’ve probably heard over and over that many people are feeling broken-hearted in these times. Then when I listened to a podcast interview this last week with one of my favorite authors Parker Palmer, I came to understand that we all have our hearts broken in little ways every single day. In fact, anyone who knows how to experience love is vulnerable. And every time something doesn’t go the way we expect, hope or plan, our hearts crack just a little (or a lot.) So, rather than pretend heartbreak doesn’t happen, or that it only happens to those with big tragedy and despair, I decided to share some observations and remedies that I learned from Palmer. [Read more…]
A favorite parable of mine is the story of a poor farmer who owned a horse. One day the horse broke free and galloped away. All of his neighbors witnessed the calamity and rushed to his side to sympathize with him for this misfortune. He simply responded with a shrug and said, “Maybe yes. Maybe no.” That story illustrates just one of the valuable points made in the book The Geometry of Wealth – How to shape a life of money and meaning by author and investment educator Brian Portnoy, Ph.D. While most of us are familiar with the assertion that beyond a base level, money doesn’t make a person happier, Portnoy offers a more thorough perspective. At the same time, he reminds us that there are usually at least two sides to every situation. And it appears that money may be exactly the same. [Read more…]
As many of you know, Thom and I recently returned from a trip to Ajijic, Mexico. Like every place we travel and enjoy we tend to end up looking at local real estate. Sure we have a background in the business, but in this day and age I believe lots of people have toyed with the possibility after watching television shows like House Hunters, International. Who doesn’t dream now and then at living somewhere exotic, in a unique and special property? This visit we seriously considered buying a Bed & Breakfast Inn attached to the apartment where we stayed. Not only was the property for sale, it is located in a great location, is in excellent condition, has great income potential and plenty of romance to make the purchase intriguing. We even contemplated converting it to co-housing where we live part time with a bunch of fun-likeminded people. And with our background, we know we could figure out how to buy it if we set our minds to the task. But the thing is, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. [Read more…]
When most people think of Mexico their thoughts usually go in one of two directions. It’s either a party destination like Cancun or Cabo San Lucas—or a scary place with drugs, crime and beheadings. My experience is much different. After traveling to over a dozen locations in this vast country, I am proof positive that Mexico offers a huge variety of pleasing destinations. But until Thom and I visited Ajijic (pronounced Ah-hee-heek) this summer, we never really considered Mexico as a viable alternative to life in the U.S. Now having spent three weeks in this special community, I’ve discovered the top three reasons why so many people call it home. Whether you are looking to move or not, you might want to compare the benefits of Ajijic to where you live now. We sure are. [Read more…]
You might think it strange that an optimist like me, on an encouraging and uplifting site like SMART Living 365, would ever ask the question: “What do you do when things fall apart?” And yes, there is a best-selling book by Pema Chodron with the title When Things Fall Apart. So what makes me think I can add to the brilliant words offered by that woman? Because I’m human. And because even though I’m not an expert, I do believe we are all more similar than not. Plus, because even when we know better—even when we think we are better, stuff still happens. Then, when it does, we have the option of taking our experience in one of two ways. My recent experience in Mexico offers the perfect example. [Read more…]