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…]
Years ago, Thom and I went to a seminar to hear “relationship guru” Barbara De Angelis give a lecture. How did we know she was a relationship guru? She had written a book, was doing the lecture circuit and told everyone right up front that she was an expert because she had gone through so many breakups and knew what didn’t work. Sorry? Even at the time Thom and I both knew that we didn’t want to take marriage advice from someone who wasn’t living the ideal experience. De Angelis may have discovered what doesn’t work, but she was only guessing at what did. This week, after celebrating 41 years of marriage with a man I love and appreciate more each and every year, I’ve put down a few thoughts that might be helpful to others. And it never ever hurts to remind ourselves what we are grateful for in our lives. [Read more…]
One of my favorite morning routines is walking my dog Kloe. Not only is it healthy for my body (and Kloe’s) but I also make it healthy for my mind by listening to podcasts and other lectures by authors I enjoy. I purposely pick positive and uplifting talks and seminars because I care about what kind of information I am putting into my brain. However, because we traveled so much this summer and although I still did plenty of walking, I hadn’t listened to a lecture in months. This week I downloaded some new ideas from one of my favorite speakers, Abraham-Hicks. And with synchronicity at play, I heard exactly what I needed at this time in my life. That was the loud and clear message that it is time for me to stop my need to alter my behavior to get others to agree or even understand me. [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…]
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Dr. Gary Lange as my guest blogger while I am traveling. Gary is a personal friend whom I’ve known for over 20 years. He lives locally, and besides seeing clients in his private practice, he also writes and teaches psychology at the nearby Cal-State University. While Gary and his husband Robert live very rightsized lives, he also spends much of his time focused on relationships and self-awareness. Thank you, Gary, for filling in for me and sharing some of your ideas with all of us.
Extroverted or introverted?
Methodical or impulsive?
Happy or glum?
Cautious or open-minded?
Past or Future-oriented?
Recently a graduate student of mine asked about the best ways to get to know herself. For many this may seem like an onerous project, so here are a few suggestions. You could always ask your friends and family but often they are not objective enough and are more likely to list things that stand out to THEM or bother them. That’s why I often suggest you ask yourself who you look up to, admire as an inspiration, or mentor you? If you can talk to these people, they may be able to give you some insight. [Read more…]
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Karen Hume as my guest blogger while I am traveling. I’ve followed Karen’s blog ProfoundJourney.com since late last year. The moment I “found” her and started reading her ideas I sensed a kindred spirit. Thank you, Karen, for filling in for me and sharing some of your SMART and intriguing thoughts with all of us.
Have you ever been the only person in a parking lot at night? Or a hotel hallway after the elevator has stopped pinging and all of the guests are tucked up in their rooms asleep? Maybe you have descended to a subway platform moments after the train has left and you are alone on the platform for a minute or two. Each of these is an example of a liminal space.
The word ‘liminal’ comes from the Latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold. A physical liminal space is a place where we feel hyper-aware and uncertain, sometimes uncomfortable or unsafe.
This summer Thom and I are extremely fortunate to spend several months living close to the beach. The house we rent was built in the 50’s and is quite small. But having the option to walk along the beach every single morning with our dog Kloe running free is worth the added splurge/expense. It occurred to me this morning as I nodded hello to other walkers that each of us looked happier just being outside. Feeling the waves lapping against our ankles and the moist sand below our feet while enjoying the cool breeze off the water made all seem right in the world. So it was no surprise when I learned that spending time in nature is actually the perfect cure for overcoming Nature Deficit Disorder or NDD. Yep! While not a formal medical term, the idea of NDD reminded me how each and every one of us needs time experiencing the joy of nature on a regular basis.