When I sat down today to make up my to-do list it occurred to me that this was going to be a very busy week. And to make matters worse, I had no one to blame except myself. For much of my life I’ve had trouble saying no to people, especially when it comes in areas I think are important. But as I’ve mentioned before, I recently read Essentialism—The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. Not only does the book focus on eliminating everything that is unessential in our lives so we can focus on what really matters, McKeown suggests that learning to say “No” is a critical and courageous step required to do just that. So for those of us on the path to simplifying our lives or those of us who want to live by design rather than default, it is very SMART to learn ways to say No from here on out. [Read more…]
So May is my birthday month. On May 23rd I turn 59. Yes, really! I only get to say that once so here it is in writing. And as I was sitting around thinking about how I wanted to celebrate I came up with a couple of ideas. Most importantly I want to offer all of you, my SMART readers a gift. If that’s sounds even remotely interesting, and/or you are curious about what I am giving away, please read all the way to the bottom of the post to discover how you can claim your free birthday gift from me.
But my thoughts about birthdays don’t stop there. By the time you get to be my age you’ve certainly been-there done-that with traditional ways to celebrate. So how can we celebrate in a way that makes this year stand out and not only be different, but be one of the more special years of all? [Read more…]
As some of you know, I wrote a blog post last summer after hearing a author named Dr. Eben Alexander speak at a conference. His book, Proof of Heaven raised a number of questions in my mind that I wanted to explore. That post attracted more readers than any other I have written in the last three years so I know lots of people are interested in the topic. Then last weekend Thom and I went to the new movie, Heaven Is For Real to discover if it offered any further proof of the concept. But instead of answers, it raised even more questions about the idea of heaven that I think each of us could benefit from answering for ourselves. And the biggest question of all is, “How would your life be different if you really believed Heaven were real?” [Read more…]
A couple of years ago Thom and I came up with the word “right-sizing: to help define our new lifestyle. By simplifying our home, managing our finances, focusing on what gives purpose and meaning to our daily experience, and eliminating the unnecessary, we have gradually right-sized almost every area of our life. It was only recently that I realized that in many ways we have also right-sized our diet, our approach to exercise, and our overall health. And while I don’t consider myself an expert, I do feel that as a student of SMART I’ve learned a few things along the way.
With that in mind, here is a quick list of 25 things we believe are beneficial broken down into three areas: [Read more…]
Okay I’ll admit it—Thom and I enjoy tales of the supernatural. For years we watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer on television. Together we’ve seen all sorts of movies and shows about werewolves, vampires, aliens and all sorts of bizarre characters doing all sorts of strange things. Most of them are pure entertainment. However, one of the more sinister creatures is called a succubus. While never fully fleshed out in most episodes, it needs little description. Simply put, a succubus is something that sucks out the very essence and joy of a person in all sorts of horrifying and painful ways. When you think about it, oppressive debt feels exactly the same. The good news is that just like how Buffy knew ways to slay vampires, there are at least five ways any of us can rise above even the worst sort of debt succubus on the way to a happy life. [Read more…]
The end of 2013 marks two and a half years of blogging at SMART Living 365. From a statistical perspective it is an excellent reminder that perseverance is one of the best qualities a writer can bring to her craft. At the end of 2011 I had barely 50 email subscribers and a handful of feed subscribers. Now two years later I want to thank the thousands of readers who have stopped by and made SMART Living a part of their lives.
With that in mind I went through and looked at my top posts during the previous 30 months. With so many new followers I’m assuming many of you may have missed some of them. As usual they reflect some angle of what I consider a SMART Life. And always my goal is to share ideas that will help us all live a more happy, peaceful and meaningful life. Here they are: [Read more…]
Having a background in real estate is handy for many reasons. While I’m not actively involved in basic buying and selling these days—I still keep my hand on the pulse of what’s happening by writing about it. And one thing I’ve learned in the process is that location is more critical than is usually considered. Not only should it be near the top when evaluating any move—from a minimalist or simple living perspective I think it deserves closer consideration. That’s why I thought it might be SMART to make a list of the advantages that come from living in the right location—no matter where on earth it is.
One of my blogging friends named Bethany turned 35 a couple of weeks ago and she wrote a blog post listing 35 different lessons she’s learned during her life. After getting over the shock of realizing I’d been married longer than she’s been on the planet—I realized that with my wedding anniversary happening this week, I had learned a great deal during the last 36 years of marriage. With the hope that some of these might prove useful to others, here’s my list: [Read more…]
I usually stay away from politics here on SMART Living, but for an obvious reason healthcare is on my mind this week. But let me be clear, I don’t think that healthcare is or should be a political issue. Instead, our health and its care are two issues that touch every single human on the planet—including those of us who practice simple living or minimalism. Unfortunately, with all the blogs I follow—everything from minimalism to personal growth to spirituality—no one seems to be talking about this very all-encompassing concern. So, hopefully, by bringing this important subject out into the light we can recognize how vital it is and arrive at more conscious, aware and responsible actions for our future. [Read more…]
Let me state right up front that this article is not about getting rich or making money. It is also not about the latest in security technology or the suggestion that you should be happy just the way you are. Instead, I want to explore the biggest obstacle to why most of us don’t really feel rich, safe or content regardless of how much money we have in the bank, the circumstances surrounding us, or how great things might be at any point. That big “elephant in the room” is an underlying, all-pervasive and largely unconscious belief in scarcity and lack. In fact, whether you are on the path to a simple or minimalist lifestyle—or just trying to get by as you are—I’m convinced that discovering what I mean by that, growing ever more aware of it, and taking steps to counteract it are some of the most important steps we can ever take to increase our individual well being. Interested? [Read more…]