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.
Every now and then I feel the need to pause, think about and write about why it is important for me to slow down. How about you? And now that I know from my Enneagram* test that I am a “7” it is even more vital. That’s because I have an almost compulsive need to do more, experience more, learn more, research more, have more fun, etc. You can see how critical the concept of slowing down can be for me. But I’m guessing I’m not the only one who is super busy and overwhelmed these days. So, this morning, after listening to one “more” new podcast, I heard a speaker who got me thinking about why we all seem to resist the idea of taking things slower—even when we know better. That’s when I came up with five big myths that I believe are at the root of the problem.
When I was younger I can remember listening to my parents and their friends at dinner. On more than one occasion, the condition of their health or that of their family or friends, would take over the conversation. While they seldom complained, I still considered their discussion beyond boring. I also smugly vowed that I would never become one of those-kind-of-people when I got older. Guess what? Things sure look different from the other side of the timeline now. And after Thom and I have navigated a few health ups and downs during the last couple of years, that particular topic of conversation has gotten far more interesting. [Read more…]
Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of the holiday, this week’s SMART Living Blog post is a vlog where Thom and I talk about what we believe makes for great relationships. Of course, not everyone is married, we still tend to think that certain elements work for any relationship–be it your parents, your children, your siblings or most especially your friends. So if you have the time, please take ten minutes to watch and/or listen to the video. We then would love to hear your thoughts about what you think the best relationships include in the comments below. Whatever you do, may your Valentine’s Day be a lovely reminder to cherish and appreciate those you love.
Last week I started pulling out all the tax prep paperwork to give to our CPA. Because we both still work and are self-employed, our tax returns are complicated and far above my abilities as a do-it-yourselfer. But as I began going through all the receipts I was relieved to see that in spite of all our expenses—the fun ones like travel, and the necessary ones like medical—we still managed to save a decent amount of money. In other words, thankfully we once again managed to keep our income above our outgo, or “live below our means.” While I realize that isn’t always possible for everyone depending upon circumstances, I do tend to believe that we each continually make certain choices that can help make it more of a reality than a dream. And yes, when we do that, the freedom and peace of mind it brings can far outweigh the effort.
Have you ever heard of The Enneagram before? I had, years and years ago. Yet although familiar with the term I only had a vague idea of what it was. Then this last week while listening to a podcast interview by author Brene Brown she mentioned that she had taken the test. When asked what she learned from it she said, “It pissed me off!” She went on to say that it told her some things about herself that she didn’t really want to admit. So call me crazy, but the idea that a test can help reveal parts of ourselves to ourselves, captivated me. From there you can guess what I’ve been doing ever since. And once you know my “type number” you can easily see why I found it fascinating. [Read more…]
Choice. I firmly believe that we really do get to make it up. That doesn’t mean that we are free from the consequences of our choices, or that sometimes those choices don’t come from, or lead to, difficult circumstances—yet regardless, we always get to choose our next step. As Viktor Frankl said when trapped in a Nazi Death Camp, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” And in honoring the opportunity to choose, I’m offering a free gift to all my SMART Living 365 readers for this weekend only. [Read more…]
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…]
I’m in love. Don’t worry, it’s likely just an infatuation with a 78-year-old man named James Hollis Ph.D. I first encountered his work a month or two ago and since then I’ve read articles and listened to every podcast and YouTube lecture from him I could find. Who is he and why am I infatuated? On the surface Hollis is a practicing Jungian analyst and depth psychologist, author of over 15 books, a public speaker, and the former executive director of the Jung Society of Washington D.C. What I find particularly attractive are the thoughts and ideas that he routinely illuminates—a big part of which is the examination of our lives as we mature and enter the second half of life. And in spite of the many distractions we all face, I can’t help but be captivated by the goldmine of introspection he offers for those of us who are drawn to greater self-discovery and awareness, along with other insights about the innermost workings of our psyche. [Read more…]