Let me tell you a little secret. I am a bit obsessed with the peeling on the manzanita tree. It’s similar to the attraction you might get after your husband or child gets a sunburn and you see their skin start to flake and peel off. The temptation to “help it along” is very strong in me. I would never touch a scab, but there is something about that flaking skin. So, every summer when we stay in the mountains and I see the manzanitas beginning their annual shedding, I just have to participate. Naturally that got me wondering. I know humans peel after a sunburn, and snakes and other reptiles peel on a regular basis. But why the manzanita? After a little research I realized how I too might benefit from an “annual shedding and letting go.” And perhaps it would be SMART for each of us to consider our own benefits from peeling away certain parts of a life we may have outgrown.
When was the last time you hugged a tree? Believe it or not, I’ve spent the last couple of days doing just that. Remember a couple of weeks ago I recommended that we all spent at least 21 seconds a day hugging someone (or a pet) that we care about for our own physical and mental health? But what about trees? Ever since I finished a book titled Braiding Sweetgrass, the act of connecting deeply with nature has become so much more necessary than I ever realized. So, while I don’t know if any of you reading this will ever be motivated to do the same, I wanted to at least invite you to consider how important that connection could be to both your wellbeing and that of Mother Earth as well. [Read more…]
Hi! My name is Kathy and I’m a happiness addict. Just about any article or podcast that explores the topic jumps to the top of my to-do list. That’s why, when I saw that The Atlantic magazine was hosting an all-day online conference called In Pursuit Of Happiness I signed up. While I only watched a small portion of it live, I later spent a couple of days listening to over a dozen speakers with a wide variety of “happy” topics. And you know what? Even though I am pretty well versed in happiness ideas and research, I learned a few things that I thought would be good to share. Interestingly enough, one of the suggestions about how to be happier included the idea that we should share anything we hold dear to us because that helps magnify the experience. So here goes!
Richard Leider, co-author of the new book, Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Old? highlights four things that many seniors feel are missing in older age. Those four things, along with numerous other gems of wisdom, are included in this book that was sent to me to review. And while I don’t know about you, with my 66th birthday happening later this month I grow increasing interested in such topics. Plus, as a person who has suffered from FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) much of her life, I don’t want to be one of those used as an example with such regrets. In fact, not only do I not want to miss anything that will keep me from experiencing what the authors call “the good life”, I look forward to becoming all I can become as I grow older.
I’ve heard it said that most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do designing their lives. I’m guessing that is particularly relevant as we get older. Sure we might plan for retirement, but once we get there, then what? And I don’t know about you, but have you noticed that if you just let one day follow the other without any particular intention, the next thing you notice is that a week, month or year has gone by and not much has changed? Of course we all have a good excuse with the pandemic. And while things are looking more optimistic on that front, we aren’t completely out of the woods yet either. So while I’m all for going with the flow and not fighting what we can’t change, this morning during a podcast interview I heard something that struck me as very important—and that was the habit of reviewing and reflecting on our lives on a regular basis. After all, if we saying personal growth, life-long learning and other core values are important to us, don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least reflect and review on where we are—especially if there is a simple way to do that? [Read more…]
Sports have never been my thing. Sure I like to play at a few sports—like pickleball, golf and swimming but usually only with likeminded friends that are there like me, to have fun and socialize—not sweat. So when I heard a recent podcast by Brene Brown interviewing a woman named Abby Wambach, I only vaguely knew who she was. For those of you who are even less familiar than I was, Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with a ton of other accolades and awards including the highest all time national soccer goal scorer for women and 2nd for international soccer goals for both women AND men. That’s a big deal! At 40 she is retired and has gone on to write a couple of books. Regardless of whether you are a sports fan or not, this impressive woman is able to offer a unique perspective for women of all ages in our times. I found her New Rules to be excellent reminders as we collectively co-create a better world for us all.
I think most all of us believe we are very truthful people and believe we only want the truth from others. But is that always true? I think we also believe that our “beliefs” are valid or we would never consider believing them. Really? One of the books in my bookcase that I like to pick up now and then is one by Anthony De Mello. Filled with short stories and parables, I find them very thought provoking. In his book titled, The Song Of The Bird, the story “ The Truth Shop” is one of my favorites. It reminds me that as much as I love the truth and are not afraid to question my beliefs, there are still plenty of times I’m not quite ready for it all—100%.
I’m guessing that most of us are familiar with the saying, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice…practice…practice.” But what about the equally familiar saying that goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?” While doing something over and over again might look the same as practicing, I think we all know they are pointing out two different actions and mindsets. And from my way of thinking they explain the difference between a practice and a habit. Knowing the difference and consciously choosing one over the other is a SMART and mindful approach to living our intentions.
Last week a fellow blogger and friend wrote a blog post about parental financial planning in retirement. Much of the post seemed focused on what he himself had inherited and what he and his wife planned to leave their children upon passing. It’s probably no surprise that most of the people who left comments offered their version of same thing. The article got me thinking about my own life and how I see the issue differently. That could be because I have no children. But perhaps more importantly, it raised questions in my mind about the expectation of inheritance, as well as the need to address and consider how well any of us are prepared for those end-of-life experiences that none of us will avoid. Like so many other topics, I don’t have any answers but I think it is SMART for us to be thinking about and be willing to consider our own personal exit strategy for when the time comes. [Read more…]