A couple of months ago I scheduled a routine medical checkup with my primary physician. While never a chatty or warm-hearted person, this time my doctor of nearly fifteen years barely looked at me as she sat typing and staring at the computer screen near the windowless wall of the room. After a scant ten minutes of questions and answers, she glanced up, sort of nodded in my direction, and left the room. I doubt I need to tell anyone that this happens daily in doctor’s offices all over our country. Fortunately, my routine visit presented no life-threatening issues. But what if it had? Is it possible that something like mindfulness could benefit both those of us who visit doctors and the doctors themselves? Research now says yes. [Read more…]
I first heard about the practice of Ayurveda from Deepak Chopra back in the early 90s. Just as Chopra’s work became internationally recognized, we attended a three-day workshop and then read many of his books. But even though much of his spiritual and practical insights came from that five-thousand-year-old system of health and healing, I never really understood much about it. So when offered a review copy of a new book written by Acharya Shunya titled, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom I was intrigued. I was especially attracted by the subtitle of, “A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy. Clearly, Ayurveda sounded a lot like living SMART 365. [Read more…]
A goal for most people I know is to live a well life. But what does that really mean? If we don’t pay attention, stay conscious and strive to be proactive, it’s likely that we are creating our life by default rather than by design. In other words, we end up reacting to whatever is happening in the world around us—in our families, our workplace, or with our health—and if it’s good, we are happy. But if any of those outward circumstances takes a nasty turn, we veer off track and end up in the bushes. Only when we consciously choose to design our life, can we claim the reality of a well life.
Fortunately there is help. A new book by Briana and Dr. Peter Borten titled, The Well Life offers dozens of ideas and practices to help us structure a life filled with balance, happiness and peace. Even those of us who have read hundreds of books on self-empowerment, spirituality and positive living can benefit by many of the suggestions offered in the book. And with a New Year just around the corner, who among us can’t use a few pointers to ensure that our design is a creation we hope to experience in the days to come?
I first read Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way back in the early 90s. I still have that original copy and freely admit how one part of it transformed my life for the better. Because of Julia, I started writing, by hand, three pages of random thoughts each and every morning and continue today nearly 25 years later. Those Morning Pages, as Julia calls them, have helped to make me not only the writer I am today but the person I’ve become. So when I discovered Julia had published a new book titled, It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again—Discovering Creativity & Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, I bought it and prepared myself to be re-inspired and potentially transformed. [Read more…]
No matter what our age I believe there is always more to learn. I also think approaching any topic with a beginners mind is an excellent way to set that in motion. So although I’ve been reading and writing quite a bit on the subjects of simple living, sustainability and minimalism since I began this blog five years ago, I know there is certainly more to discover. So when I read that fellow blogger Joshua Becker from his site, Becoming Minimalist finished a new book, it captured my eye. After finishing the book, I wanted to share a few things I found there that could help us all live a more minimal and SMART life. [Read more…]
Who are you? I mean who are you, really? I think it is easy for all of us to forget sometimes that we are more than the skin-encapsulated egos that we wake up as every morning. Even when we stop and pause to remember that we are more than our minds and egos, it’s far too easy to fall asleep and slip into our frequently unconscious way of living. That’s why the practice of mindfulness holds such promise. In fact, reading the new book The Mindfulness Edge by Matt Tenny and Tim Gard, Ph.D., helped me go beyond merely understanding why heightened awareness is so beneficial, to a deeper edge of the practice itself. [Read more…]
My husband Thom and I married 38 years ago and never once did I think our fights contributed to our great marriage. Until now. Both of us are verbally energetic which is wonderful when we are happy, excited and in harmony. However, just mention the word “no,” or express an opposing opinion, and the words can fly fast and furious. Fortunately, after all these years we’ve learned a great deal about each other and what triggers defensive or aggressive retaliation. These days our energetic discussions usually end quickly, and are far fewer and further between. But now, a new book titled, The Heart Of The Fight by Judith and Bob Wright, EdDs, puts our arguments in a positive new perspective. According to the Wrights, at the heart of the every fight is a tremendous opportunity for all relationships, and for each individual to grow and thrive. Who knew? [Read more…]
My mother Alice Pfeif was an artist. In middle age when all her daughters were grown and gone, she blossomed as a painter. A deep lover of horses and most animals, Mom painted hundreds of pictures of animals using photos and her imagination. Gradually she evolved into sculpting, working with paper, clay and bronze. Although she sometimes created art true to life, nearly half the time she made playful, funny art with animals doing unexpected things. One of her best was a huge circus elephant sitting on a couch with a trainer holding court. Unfortunately, her art teacher at the time had the gall to tell her that her elephant sculpture wasn’t art at all. He claimed, “Art is supposed to be serious!” Fortunately, she ignored him, entered the piece in a local art show, and won first place. Although I was oblivious at the time, I now know my mom created her art with tremendous courage and stubborn delight. I desperately hope to follow her example. [Read more…]
Many of us believe that our genes are similar to a cosmic lottery. Some get lucky and are born with healthy and strong genes—others not so much. If we are fortunate enough to have parents who’ve lived a vibrant and healthy life into their nineties we feel blessed. The rest of us usually cringe when our doctor asks us at our annual checkup, “Who in your family experienced this, this and that?” —often dreadful diseases that we never want to experience. But is it luck or something else? A new book with cutting-edge research challenges that old assumption. Super Genes—Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being written by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. claims that the new study of genetics shows us, “…in the vast majority of cases regarding health and personality, your genetic destiny is not set in stone.” [Read more…]
I won’t even pretend I know much about Buddhism, but I have always been drawn to the image of the Laughing Buddha. In fact, I’ve had a statue of him in my yard for over a decade. His smiling face reminds me that no matter what is happening in my life or the world, we can always choose to see the world more joyfully. So it was a no brainer for me to accept the invitation to review a book titled, Poems of the Laughing Buddha by Jane Marla Robbins. And, just as I hope with any book I read, the ideas it contained helped simulate some SMART thoughts we all might use to create a more meaningful and happy life. [Read more…]