Have you ever heard the statement, “If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything?” After a week of disturbing news coming from just about everywhere, it is easy to slip into anger, despair or denial. Honestly, I’ve done a bit of it all. Especially when every new day announces something even worse than the day before. But this morning I woke up and remembered the foundation of what I personally hold to be true, what I “stand” for, and what sustains me in times of trouble. And if I focus on those principles instead of the chaos, then I bring myself back to center. So, while I’m not sure my list will be helpful to anyone else and I certainly don’t expect others to have the same, I’m hoping that sharing mine will encourage others to remember and focus on what they stand for as well.
This weekend I turn 65. In anticipation of that big milestone, I began planning a trip to Spain and Portugal late last year. We were to fly out of Los Angeles on the 12th of May and, perhaps like many of you, my plans have disintegrated because of the current situation. At first we were hopeful that we could make the trip later this year. However, as it stands even those plans are too uncertain. But rather than throw myself a pity-party, I decided that I would go through all of my photos from all my previous trips taken during the last 25 years and pick out the ones that meant the most to me. And you know what? Just doing that lifted my mood AND reminded me of how very fortunate I’ve been in my life. If you enjoy hearing about travel and don’t mind looking through a few photos, this week’s post is all about that. My hope is that it inspires you to think back and remember the travel highlights in your own life as well as feel gratitude for the places and people you’ve seen along the way.
You might think it strange to be writing about luck or privilege with all the news about the Coronavirus or COVID-19 in the airways this week. But as luck would have it, I was offered a free book on the topic that had me asking myself, “Is it luck if you don’t catch an illness?” Likewise, are you unlucky if you do? Does love, wealth and happiness depend on luck? And if luck is indeed involved, is there anything we can do to increase it for ourselves? After finishing the book and listening to a couple of podcasts on the topic, I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, what we typically call luck is involved, but so is privilege. And perhaps best of all, there are steps we can take to increase our luck no matter where we find ourselves on the privilege-scale today. [Read more…]
I’m a big fan of making the most of life and one of my favorite quotes is one by Hunter S. Thompson that goes, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” I also love a stanza in a poem by Mary Oliver that says, “When it’s over, I want to say all my life/ I was a bride married to amazement/I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” But I’ve seen those quotes so many times on Facebook that I wanted to come up something else that would help me remember to make the most of every day. That’s when I found this new one, by Theodore Roosevelt. It’s short and simple statement offers a great visual that reminds me that I’d far rather wear out than rust out. What about you? Do you have any great quotes that remind you that every day is both a gift and an adventure? Please share in the comments.
Last weekend I drove to a small town about 50 miles from where I live to be a part of a Croning Ceremony. There, along with 28 other women, I officially became a crone. Why? As a woman who is about to turn 65 in a few months, I thought it was time for me to embrace and celebrate the woman I am, rather than the woman I used to be. Not only was the gathering of women and the ceremony itself heartfelt, uplifting and inspiring, the experience helped me to get in touch with an inner archetype that most women (and some special men) hold inside. Could it be possible that that energy is exactly what the world needs most right now? [Read more…]
While I believe Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays we have going in the United States, I also firmly believe in the statement, “Thanksgiving is good—but thanks “living” is even better.” So with gratitude on my mind, this week I’ve been dwelling on how very much I have to be grateful for—and it inspired me to take the time to write out my top ten. Hopefully, by sharing my list you will be inspired to do the same. Oh, and self-servingly, it is also a great opportunity for me to announce the publication of my latest book, You Get To Make It Up—a SMART Living 365 Guide to Creating a Happy & Meaningful Life.
Of course I also realize that some of my readers don’t live in the U.S. so Thanksgiving isn’t on their calendar. But from what I’ve read, a number of other countries celebrate something similar…. [Read more…]
I’ve been a big fan of Kahlil Gibran for most of my life. This quote is a favorite because it reminds me of how precious our time is and how necessary it is to treasure every single moment. With that in mind, Thom and I are enjoying our summer so far. How about you?
Have you ever heard the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy?” That great quote comes from former President Teddy Roosevelt. And I completely agree. But this week I realized that comparison is also a thief to feeling grateful—and without gratitude, how can we feel joy? Of course, like so many issues of awareness, this seems obvious. The key is to remember it on a daily basis. Because if you are anything like me, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of seeing and comparing what others have or are doing—and then overlooking the good in my own life. Fortunately this week, two great examples popped up to drive this idea home. Even better perhaps, they happened to others rather than me. Ever notice how we can often catch behaviors in other people far more easily than in ourselves? [Read more…]
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…]
This week I’m pleased to introduce you to Beth Havey as my guest blogger while Thom and I are traveling. Beth is actually a neighbor of mine here in Southern California (about 150 miles away)—but we haven’t met in person—yet! But I do feel like I know her because I have been reading her blog Boomer Highway for several years now. There she writes about many things that I believe are heart-felt and SMART. Thank you, Beth, for filling in for me and sharing some of your ideas about relationships during the holidays.
Ebenezer Scrooge said: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” That saying is just one of the hundreds of memories in our hearts that help build our traditions during the winter holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukka, Kwanzaa or other traditions associated with the winter solstice or eastern religions, it is a time of year that gathering friends and family together helps create a warm environment of food and friendship. Clearly, such gatherings help us deal with the bleakness of winter. Christmas, like the other holidays, is most often about the people in your life. [Read more…]