The amount of rainfall in California this year has been phenomenal. Even here in the desert where I live the rocky mountainsides are covered with a soft green layer and just about every inch of open space is blanketed with blooming flowers. Every sand dune and vacant lot flaunts a wild mixture of brittle brush, purple verbena, brown-eyed primrose, Arizona Lupine and others I can’t name. So, with flowers on my mind, a recent article in Psychology Today caught my eye. It seems that current research has identified, primarily in children, two defining characteristics. That as a dandelion—or that as an orchid. Is it possible that understanding how those two flower traits play can play out in a person’s life could help us better understand ourselves as well as those around us? [Read more…]
One of the best things about reviewing new books for this blog is the opportunity to be exposed to titles and authors I would normally never select. Such is the case with The Book of Mistakes—9 Secrets To A Successful Future by Skip Prichard. My first reaction was, “What? Who wants to learn more about making mistakes?” But when I was told the book was a business parable I couldn’t resist because parables are a favorite of mine. After all, just about any message, when told well as a story, has the potential to offer insight and inspiration—even a book about mistakes. Plus, no matter what our age, or how we describe success, each of us can use positive reminders to create the kind of future we hope to live. [Read more…]
As I mentioned last week, I confess to watching a certain amount of television in my ofttimes. While I tend to avoid reality programing, I do admit that every now and then I flip on HGTV. A few of the shows I’ve seen in the past are, House Hunters, Love It Or List It, and The Property Brothers. Yet even though I realize that these shows are meant as entertainment, I still find my husband Thom and I asking ourselves: “What are those buyers thinking?” Or even worse, “Who can afford that kind of house—and why would they want to?” If you have ever watched one of these shows and reacted like us, you might also wonder if the messages being portrayed are actual “reality” and whether the shows should come with a disclaimer attached. With that in mind, I came up with five SMART disclaimers that I think every program on HGTV should include. [Read more…]
Like I explained last week, I’m recovering from a really bad cold. I truly wish I was the only one going through that experience, but I know others who’ve had their share of illness as well. That, or half of the country has been locked in frigid cold temperatures forcing them to stay inside. So as I previously confessed, I watched a LOT of television during my recuperation. And rather than fight the impulse to do absolutely nothing, I decided to make a list of some of my favorite feel-good shows to share with others. After all, if we are going to be watching TV anyway, let’s make sure it feeds our hearts, minds and souls in a positive way. So here is a list of my favorites. [Read more…]
This last week I came down with the worst cold ever. Don’t worry, this post isn’t about that or what I did to get over it. Instead, once the fog began to clear I started to beat myself up for laying around for over a week and for my lack of any productivity. Rather than practice what I now understand to be self-compassion, I jumped into criticizing myself for too many naps, too much television, and not one bit of exercise. I even berated myself for getting sick in the first place. Now maybe I’m the only one who ever does this, but ever since then I’ve been exploring how and why I tied my personal value (not to mention my health) to such an absurd goal. What I’ve since discovered is that all too often our sense of self-esteem is a big part of the problem.
As every writer knows, words matter. But what about the words that come out of our mouths or the words we hear in our heads when someone is talking? Perhaps one of the greatest things we can learn, and teach one another, is how to speak and listen with empathy, kindness and connection. Sound simple? It’s not. In fact, after reading Say What You Mean—A Mindful Approach To Nonviolent Communication by Oren Jay Sofer, I am convinced that I have much to learn and years to practice. Ultimately it’s SMART to remember that communication, especially the mindful nonviolent kind, is far more than figuring out the right words to say in any given moment. Thankfully there are books like this that offer perspectives and tools to increase our awareness, fulfill our mutual needs, and build relationship.
Some of you might not know that I have been a licensed real estate broker for the last 35 years. While I did sell a number of homes in my time, I am a far better researcher than a salesperson. That’s why I first began writing about real estate, and then eventually created my own writing business from there. And although I have written volumes about that topic over the years, I gradually transitioned into writing about other subjects I enjoy even more. Still, real estate has been very good to my family, many of our friends, and where we hold our primary retirement funds. So it always surprises me when I read so little about the advantages of real estate investment as a great strategy for retirement. Why? Maybe there aren’t enough of us pointing out how real estate investing can be a golden goose for your retirement over stocks and other investments.
One of my book clubs is reading Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Café. I have seen the movie, several times, but never read the book before now. Not only is the author, Fannie Flagg a great story teller, the tale she tells introduces us to characters so alive I wish they lived down my street. At the same time, she addresses a number of timeless issues like equality, morality, kindness and forgiveness all wrapped around a story that feels hopeful and familiar to us all. Then this morning I listened to a podcast interview of a woman I consider to be one of the best story tellers alive—Rachel Naomi Remen. Not only is Remen convinced that stories hold the power to heal our individual lives, she believes they are also the key to healing the entire world. Could it be that authentic stories about love, loss, meaning, purpose and courage are what is missing in the world today? [Read more…]
Open any magazine or watch any number of tv commercials and you’ll soon come across an ad that will tempt you with the possibility of looking young and living forever. Anti-aging products make the promise sound within our reach, while technology and the medical industry are spending billions to make it appear possible. But is it true? While none of us wants to admit that we are going to die, how many of us really want to live forever? That provocative question is raised in a new book titled, How to Live Forever—the Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations by Marc Freedman. I was so intrigued by the title that I contacted the author and requested a review copy just so I could discover a new way of looking at this age-old question. [Read more…]
A popular practice around the first of every new year is to pick a word for that year. Much easier, not to mention more intuitive, than making New Year’s Resolutions, picking a word to serve as a North Star can be very beneficial. During 2018 my word was flexible. I wanted to be more flexible in my body, my mind and my emotions all year long. Not only did it get me into a “mostly” two-day-a-week yoga practice, it also helped my thinking relax and flow as the year progressed. It was such a success for me that I decided to come up with a new word for 2019. I’m hoping this word will guide and direct my intentions as much as the last. And yes, I strongly encourage every reader to take the time to figure out what one word might inspire and pilot them in the next 365 days. [Read more…]