Most people I know here in the U.S. are focused on the coming holidays. Everywhere you turn the music, the decorations, and the celebrations are overlapping with festivities. It’s very easy to get swept up in cramming the calendar with every possible event and trying to do it all. It’s also tempting to compare one’s experience with the past, or the other people we see on Facebook. Or how about those Christmas movies where every relationship drama is resolved in less than two hours so that everyone is happy and in love by the end of the movie? That’s why it is SMART to remember that our expectations can either provide us with a wonderful experience—OR—they can make us miserable. Like so many things, if we stay conscious and aware we can choose to embrace the best and let go of the rest. [Read more…]
I have a confession to make. I’m an information addict. In case you aren’t aware, I love reading about all sorts of things in books, magazines, online and just about anywhere I can find it. But a report I discovered yesterday reminded me that too much of anything is not always good. In fact, information-overload is the consequence of a constant search for all things new and interesting. And as I’ve just learned, by cramming every moment with either information or entertainment, I distract myself from the gifts of boredom. As any creative person knows, that downtime is where new original ideas flow. In other words, if we want to be inspired, we would do well to give ourselves the gift of boredom on a regular basis and learn to master our digital literacy. [Read more…]
Most of the time I consider myself to be a very trustworthy and honest person. I do what I say I will do and typically say what I do without hesitation. But a new book I just finished has me digging a bit deeper around issues of honesty, trust and self-awareness. According to author Kelley Kosow, every one of us holds our own key to The Integrity Advantage. All we have to do is get naked, drop the BS, and embrace the wholeness that comes from living true to ourselves.
That sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, a big problem is that most of the time when we think about trust and honesty we focus on other people—not ourselves. The nightly news is filled with examples of others who lie and cheat, and that keeps our attention fixated on them instead of the little (or sometimes big!) white lies we tell ourselves. As long as we keep pointing fingers at other people who we believe are doing something wrong, we avoid taking a hard look at where our own actions might be out of alignment. Ultimately as Kosow says, “The reason we don’t trust others is because, deep down, we don’t trust ourselves.” [Read more…]
With Thanksgiving behind us, those living in the U.S. can expect to be swamped with messages of consumerism for the next 34 days. In fact, Black Friday, which many retailers have named as the most heavily shopped day of the year, is today. If you are anything like me, even with the best of intentions it’s easy to be mesmerized by the glamor of things being advertised everywhere—even when we know better. But rather than give in to the impulse, I instead decided to sit down and write out a few simple, but important, ways I want to stay rightsized over the coming holiday season. If you could use some help with your resolve, please check out my list and add some of your own suggestions in the comments below. [Read more…]
For over 30 years I have been self-employed and for the most part, worked alone. Although there are many advantages to being a self-employed writer, I’ve never had the luxury of meeting co-workers after work or sharing life’s ups and downs with fellow employees. And because I am childfree, I also never bonded with other moms over the joys and challenges of raising kids. But since the media recently exploded with news bits equating loneliness and isolation with such health risks as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making new friends is now a priority. Not only is it SMART to recognize that loneliness is a potential life hazard, it is also beneficial to come up with ways to reverse the trend. [Read more…]
Around ten years ago my husband Thom and I got serious about living a more simple, minimal and rightsized life. But as most of us know, a simple life isn’t like a college degree where once you have it, you hang it on the wall and never think about it again. So, when offered a review copy of the book, Soulful Simplicity—How Living With Less Can Lead To So Much More—I eagerly accepted. The book not only reinforces many of the practices I’ve learned along the way, it also gently shares a number of new and soulful ideas about how living with less truly leads to a life of living so much more. [Read more…]
This morning during my morning walk I listened to Abraham-Hicks on audio as she explained the Law Of Attraction to someone at one of her seminars. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of LOA, because even though I don’t agree with everything it proposes, the majority of the message is positive and self-empowering. This morning Hicks offered a phrase I’ve never heard before—a “poop-to-value ratio.” She also explained that a friend of hers came up with the expression, but usually uses a more descriptive word than poop. Naturally, the audience laughed in acknowledgment. But even though it sounds a bit crude, what struck me as important was how clearly this phrase reminded me of the choices, decisions, and tradeoffs we each face every single day. And the best way to know if we’ve made the right choice for us is being aware of the poop-to-value ratio involved. [Read more…]
Early this year I set the intention to publish another book. I am incredibly pleased to announce that Positive Aging: A SMART Living 365 Guide to Thriving and Wellbeing is now published and available on Amazon. It is available either as a paperback or on Kindle. While it took longer than I expected and several challenges popped up along the way, I believe it turned out even better than I hoped. And, in true SMART Living fashion, I also learned a few things about myself and the process that I thought some of you might be interested in learning, regardless of whether you write or not. [Read more…]
We live in amazing times. That doesn’t deny that certain aspects ought to be changed or addressed for us all to live with equality and peace of mind. But if we can let go of what isn’t working for a minute, and focus on the advantages of this time and space—it’s possible to fill the mind with admiration and gratitude for what we do have, right here and now. Sometimes that feeling comes from something as simple as reading a great new book.
One such book is Life Reimagined—The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty. With a background as an NPR correspondent, Bradley Hagerty knows how to tell a story and fill it with pertinent facts and research. And now, with millions of us around the world hitting midlife and beyond, all the attention, focus, and research about how to make the most of the coming years is inspiring. Bradley Hagerty distills that information in wise and funny ways to remind us all that with design, growing older means growing better. [Read more…]
This week SMART Living 365 introduces you to Lynne Spreen as our last guest blogger before returning from our trip. I am a friend as well as a reader of Lynne’s blog Any Shiny Thing. On her blog, Lynne often writes about positive aging and other SMART ideas that I find valuable. Thank you, Lynne, for filling in and sharing these great ideas.
In 2007, a billboard in my town advertised a new housing tract that featured two master bedroom suites, available in their biggest model. It sticks in my memory because I was appalled. Who would buy a house with two master suites?
This was just before the Great Recession, a period of real estate excess when people were buying way too much house and, in some cases, flipping homes like pancakes. [Read more…]