Last month Thom came across an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) with a headline that said, “Everybody Says You Should Downsize. Everybody May Be Wrong.” We both found that statement to be so incredulous that we had to reread it. And we weren’t alone in our surprise. Most of the other comments online also questioned many of the negative points offered in the article. Clearly the author herself had not downsized and it was also obvious that her focus came from an outdated definition of the concept. Naturally that got me thinking that maybe most of us approach the topic from the wrong direction to begin with. Instead of thinking of it as “down” sizing—maybe we should consider it to be “right”-sizing. And once we get the label right—it is much easier to consider the real benefits that come from living a lifestyle that is right-sized from the beginning. [Read more…]
Merry Christmas Everyone! Millions of people all over the world are celebrating Christmas this weekend. The one gift we want to offer everyone is something that cannot be bought—only shared. That wish is for peace.
And one of our favorite ways to share it is in the words of young Mattie Stepanek. Mattie as you may remember was a young man who died in 2004 at the age of 14. Mattie, who passed away from a rare genetic disease, managed to write six books of poetry in his young life and touched millions around the planet including Oprah Winfrey and his hero Jimmy Carter. [Read more…]
Before we get too close to Christmas I thought it might be SMART to remind myself (and anyone else who is paying attention) to not get sucked into the holiday frenzy. You know what I mean. Ever since the beginning of September the retail outlets here in the U.S. have been pushing Santa and all things related. Just like any drug, the pushers make everything seem so harmless, tantalizing and attractive. However, the truth is what makes the season special has very little to do with stuff, and everything to do with experience. That’s why remembering why we do what we do and using our money, time and resources in the service of that which we say we support, is especially critical this time of year. [Read more…]
Here are all quotes used during our SMART Living 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. For a quick pick-me-up or to remember that we all have lots to be grateful for, just read through these every now and then.
November 30 “We think we have to do something to be grateful or something has to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant [Read more…]
At the beginning of November I challenged myself to a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. I knew that it would add extra work to my already hectic schedule. But I also knew that the timing was good. November is one of my favorite months AND Thanksgiving was right around the corner. Plus, everywhere I went people were talking about the coming U.S. elections. And regardless of who they hoped would win—there seemed to be a lot of fear, anger and worry associated with the process. Hurricane Sandy was also looming on the horizon. I knew I needed to take the focus off those things outside myself and place them firmly on the good that I have in my day-to-day life. Hence, the gratitude challenge was born. [Read more…]
Day 1–November 1, 2012
“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” ~Meister Eckhart
Every November I start thinking about gratitude and thanksgiving in a big way. That’s because Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of every November in the U.S., but mostly because it is my favorite holiday of all. Instead of all the hoopla of being pushed and pulled to get and give, Thanksgiving merely asks us to pause and reflect on the good in our life. Plus it is usually celebrated by having dinner and spending time with people you care about most—and those who care about you—be they friends, family or neighbors. For anyone attempting to live a life of happiness, simple living, contentment, peace and well being, Thanksgiving deserves special recognition. [Read more…]
As some of you know, Thom and I just spent ten days in Taos, New Mexico. We went there to attend a music festival and ended up staying for a week. After seven days in one place, we discovered several things that made Taos really special. And that got me thinking—what is it that makes anyplace special? And is there anything we can do to make wherever we are the same? [Read more…]
I’ve never considered myself an expert on relationships. Instead, I’ve always thought of myself as extremely fortunate that I had such a great marriage and partnership. But this Valentine’s Day is a year when Thom and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I love him now much more than when we first got together. So, upon reflection, I might not be an expert, but I do believe that along the way I’ve learned a few things that makes for a happy life between two people.
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
In case you didn’t know, Thom and I have been real estate brokers for over 25 years. Never a good “salesperson,” I soon began writing about real estate rather than selling it. On the other hand, Thom specializes in investment and commercial properties with a big emphasis on properties that are “green” and sustainable. A recent aspect to the energy-efficient real estate industry is “smart technology” for buildings and now even cities. But even though there may be an advantage to such technology and focus—it leaves out a critical ingredient. In order for anything to be truly SMART—people and their motivations must be included in the equation. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Our last SMART Living 365 blog post suggested that we all reconsider or “rethink” the Christmas gifting process in a way that enriches both the giver and the receiver. When any of us routinely buys gifts without having a clue what the other needs or wants, we are like sheep falling over a cliff just because those in front of us fall first. If we want our gift to truly enrich someone we care for and love, it is SMART of us to stay awake, aware and conscious to their needs and motivations before making a purchase. But what about a gift or donation to a charity? What about if we want to donate money to a worthy cause in someone’s name? How do we know what is “worthy” and where do we go to find out? There are at least three websites that you might want to consider before making your decision. They are: