Stuff happens. Just this last week a good friend shared that her cancer had returned. Another friend has been unemployed for months and is uncertain about if or when another job will show up. And let’s not even start talking about the people touched by the tragedy in Washington D.C. or the floods in Colorado. And what about the rest of the world? Unfortunately, no matter who we are, at some point stuff happens. The question then remains—what happens next? Fortunately, some people seem to bounce back and stay focused and positive about the future regardless of the situation. While many words describe such a person, recent research suggests that anyone who keeps going with a positive attitude, no matter how uncertain their future might appear, is considered a high-hope individual. So if stuff can and will happen to each of us, learning why hope matters and how we too might be one of the highly hopeful is certainly SMART information. [Read more…]
If you follow my blog you know that a couple of my recent posts feature the practice that I call right-sizing. What I hope you’ve picked up on is that right-sizing is actually a way of life—at any age—not just those entering retirement. For anyone just joining us, I define right-sizing as creating a life that uniquely fits and satisfies you and your family with the greatest amount of joy and contentment and the least amount of stress or worry. While the lifestyle offers tremendous benefits to those of us in midlife or contemplating retirement, every person who is interested in a more simple, meaningful, and happy life will benefit. The first post “Step One” focused on the consciousness behind a right-sized life, while “Step Two” got down to the nitty-gritty of finances. In this, the final step to right-sizing your life, I want to throw out a few random thoughts that can help to increase your understanding and awareness. Finally, I’m hoping that each and every one of you who reads this post will offer at least one small suggestion you already practice, or think will benefit you, so that we can all learn and grow together as we right-size our lives. [Read more…]
Back in our twenties, Thom and I wanted to be millionaires. TV shows like Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? fueled the desire to amass our fortune. Then somewhere along the way someone really SMART asked Thom, “Why a millionaire?” and forced him to consider what he meant by that idea. For the first, time Thom began listing experiences and feelings that he hoped to achieve if and when he/we became millionaires. To which his friend said something like, “So it’s really the feelings and experiences you want—not the money itself?” From that moment forward, we began realizing that the labels of being rich, poor or somewhere in-between had little to do with the actual quality or experience of our lives. In fact, the things we thought most important could be realized with far less income than we ever imagined. That’s why through the years we’ve come to believe that “right-sizing” is a much better way to describe the unique and priceless lifestyle that brings you happiness, purpose and peace of mind regardless of your age. Once you have that clear picture of what brings you a happy and quality lifestyle, you can begin to figure out the second step of where money fits into your life. [Read more…]
Retirement is a big topic for many of us in midlife. The usual approach is to figure out how much money you can possibly save up so that you can continue the lifestyle you have created for you and your family. The other approach is to downsize and sacrifice so you can live on whatever you think you’ll be forced to get by living on and with. There is another way. Several years ago Thom and I came up with what is a middle (and we think better) way that is seldom mentioned. That way is to “right-size” your life as soon as possible. Then whether you choose to finally retire, or decide you will continue creating in some capacity for as long as you live—your life will be filled with qualities and activities that bring you happiness, purpose, and peace of mind. [Read more…]
Self–esteem isn’t asserting my right to do whatever I want whenever I want it—it is instead reminding me that I am okay no matter what experience may be occurring in my life at any time!
Like many other women I was raised to be nice, polite and want people to like me. By the time I was old enough to realize that those “other people” didn’t always have my best interests at heart, it was too late. That habit of seeing my self worth reflected by other people was deeply entrenched in how I thought and often how I behaved. And although I’ve made lots of progress during the last 25+ years or so—the truth is I still often take the opinions of others far too personally, and I frequently care too much what others think of me—especially when it has to do with something I hold dear to heart. That’s why when I recently came across a discussion by Deepak Chropra explaining the difference between self-esteem and self-image, I discovered there was a difference. More importantly, knowing that difference matters quite a bit. [Read more…]
“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I’ve come to the opinion that our culture is obsessed with owning as opposed to renting. Maybe because Thom and I have a background in real estate, or because we do our best to spend time away from our home every summer when it gets really hot—a reoccurring question we’re asked is, “So when are you going to buy a vacation place?” To be clear, we’re not against owning property—we just prefer to rent our temporary homes instead. But it’s easy to tell that many people don’t understand that we’re perfectly happy renting and have no desire to own regardless of how much we like the properties or enjoy the location. And that got me thinking that perhaps our culture has gotten a bit too attached to owning things and forgotten the fundamental fact that everything in life is impermanent—and ultimately every thing is just a temporary right-to-use or leasehold estate. [Read more…]
“Freedom is from within.” ~Frank Lloyd Wright
One of the perks of staying in our rental condo in Baja, Mx is being able to enjoy a lovely infinity swimming pool and hot tub overlooking some cliffs on the Pacific Ocean. Last night as the sun was setting, Thom and I put our suits on and walked the short distance to enjoy a soak. After settling in we were soon joined by three young men and a woman. (Did I mention it’s a big hot tub?) Over the next hour or so we talked about many things, but a big part of the conversation was about freedom. And because the U.S. is celebrating our independence day this week, I am naturally reminded that freedom is one of the greatest gifts available. But just because most Americans have many advantages related to freedom, that doesn’t always mean that we are all free to experience them equally or fully. What then does freedom really mean if we aren’t free to express, experience and enjoy our lives in happy and meaningful ways on a regular basis? [Read more…]
“Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.” ~ Jeff Coop
Do you spend a lot of time worrying about safety? The reason I ask is because that question has popped up a number of times since we decided to spend a month in Mexico. The location where we have landed is about 40 miles south of San Diego and a few miles south of Rosarito on the Baja coast. We have visited this area for the last 25 years on and off, have friends who live here full time, and have never once had an “incident” that would make us consider it unsafe. Yet, without a doubt, the first thing that anyone asks when we tell them where we are going is—“Is it safe?” [Read more…]
Since writing my post last week about curing my addiction to “more,” I’ve continued on by dwelling on the idea of success. Gradually I’ve come to the conclusion that success is another one of those things that many of us waste much of our lives pursuing, without being fully aware of what it really means to us. Like Lily Tomlin says, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” With that in mind, maybe it’s time to stop striving for success at anything—anything that is—except for being the best “me” each of us can be. [Read more…]
“Hi, my name is Kathy and I have been addicted to more.” What about you? The good news is that I don’t believe that any of us are powerless against it—but we do need to admit that it is a problem to begin with and be on continuous alert to its presence. But what exactly do I mean by being addicted to more, and why is it so important to recognize? Plus, why is our desire for more such an important awareness for living a rightsized life?