This morning I listened to a podcast created by author and speaker Byron Katie about overcoming our fears. I realize that writing about fear isn’t always popular. In fact, some people are adamant that they don’t have any fear to begin with. But I’m convinced that much of the current anger, outrage, hatred, and denial coming out of the news, on social media, and in conversation, is grounded in fear. So, when Byron Katie applied her “work” on a willing participant in the aforementioned podcast around the subject of current events, the foundation of fear was evident. I found her solution helpful. And perhaps because it so applied to some of my own shadow thoughts, I thought today was a perfect opportunity to bring them out in the open.
I recently went to lunch with a friend I’ll call Carol. After chatting for over an hour I told her it was time for me to go because I needed to finish my weekly blog post. She immediately asked me, “So what happens if you don’t?” In other words, does it really matter that every week I spend a great deal of my time and effort writing and publishing articles here on SMART Living 365? Remember, I don’t get paid by writing this blog (other than the sale of my books). So why bother?
The simplified answer is that writing, and what I do with it for now, matters to me and I believe it is my purpose—or you could even call it my dharma. That in itself is more than reward enough. Serendipitously, a few days later I listened to a podcast that further explained how living our “dharma,” offers each of us a path to a meaningful, gratifying and on purpose life. From there I was reminded that whatever unique dharma we have, it’s best not to wait for retirement, or anything else, before finding and living it to the best of our abilities. [Read more…]
I tend to be the sort of person who looks to the future rather than the past. But when some good friends of mine did their DNA test several months ago I had to admit a curiosity. Then when one of them discovered an unusual family link, I couldn’t help but wonder if mine might contain something unexpected as well. So with some casual curiosity, I signed up my husband and myself for the process. What did I learn? And is it worth the time, money and effort? Maybe yes, maybe no.
It turns out that some people are obsessed by their family tree. An article in Salon Magazine claims that Genealogy may indeed be “the second most popular American hobby after gardening and the second most visited category of Web sites after pornography.” My interest doesn’t run nearly that deep! [Read more…]
Thom and I are fortunate to be able to spend a month every summer in the coastal community of Ventura, California. As some of you know, where we live the majority of the year the temperature during the summer fluctuates between 110 and 120 degrees. Meanwhile, at the beach, we are able to relish the cool coastal breezes without air-conditioning. 2017 was our 7th year of escaping the heat, yet we constantly hear people say, “Oh, I sure wish we could do that.” Or, “ I’d give anything to do that.” But the truth is, most of those who could do it, won’t. That’s because in many cases they are attached to a big house and often a big lifestyle that keeps them stuck even when they say they’d prefer otherwise. With that in mind, I came up with ten reasons why we all might want to reconsider owning a too-big house, and instead embrace a more rightsized life. [Read more…]
Thinking is contagious. In other words, what we focus on and spend time mulling over in our minds routinely shows up over and over in wanted or unwanted ways. Worried about something? Chances are you will wake up in the middle of the night with those fears running through your head like a wild horse. Intrigued by something? Curious? Delighted? Without a doubt, you will find trails of those ideas leading in all sorts of interesting directions.
That’s why it was no surprise when I stumbled upon a newsletter called Positive Aging by The Taos Institute while surfing the Internet. There I found a newly released book entitled, Paths To Positive Aging—Dog Days with a Bone and Other Essays and I emailed and asked for a review copy. As hoped, this small book of essays generated all sorts of new ideas about aging that I found remarkable. And so it goes. [Read more…]
Ever since reading Why People Don’t Heal—And How They Can by Caroline Myss, Ph.D. back in the late 1990s I have been a fan. No matter how many times I read her work, or listen to a lecture she gives, I am always inspired. Myss continually fills in the blanks in many of my thoughts about how to stay healthy and happy from a psychological and spiritual perspective that is often absent in so many conversations. This last week I found a recent TED Talk she gave at the Findhorn Foundation. In this short talk she presents five choices that she has observed in her long career that she finds essential to living a long and healthy life. Surprisingly so—it isn’t the big choices that make the real difference, it’s those little daily ones that matter. [Read more…]
Every blogger I know is aware of how well our posts are doing. How many people visit? What are people reading? Do people comment? Is anyone out there? After all, most of us spend a lot of time and effort writing something that we think others will find interesting enough to read and hopefully share with others. If we have commercial aspirations, numbers translate to income. If we are writing just to share ideas with others, we still want to know if people find our writing helpful. Programs exist that show us how many clicks an article receives, whether the entire article is read—or just the opening paragraph. Some programs are able to clock the amount of time on each page. Even when a blogger attempts to stay true to her mission and intentions, the numbers are difficult to ignore. [Read more…]
Thom and I are off enjoying some “rightsized travel” so I invited another blogger friend who is living a rightsized life to share her ideas. Terri Webster Schrandt lives in Sacramento, CA and like all rightsizers, offers a unique perspective on what the lifestyle looks like in a person’s life. Thanks Terri for sharing another version of rightsizing with all of us!
Kathy and I originally met in person at the BAM (Bloggers At Midlife) 2016 conference in Las Vegas. We found each other to be kindred spirits as well as neighbors living in California!
After reading Kathy’s book Rightsizing: A SMART Living 365 Guide To Reinventing Retirement I easily identified the ways I have also rightsized my life. A big key for my semi-retirement was being able to retire from my day job of 32 years at the relatively young age of 55. After paying into the CalPERS (public employees retirement system) for years, I now receive 65% of my income as a pension. [Read more…]
Shortly after my husband Thom and I met in 1977, we opened our first business. We named the beach nightclub that we owned and managed on the coast of North Carolina, Night Moves. Since then, except for a couple of painful months in the following years as employees, we founded several other businesses and fully embraced the entrepreneur lifestyle. While I can’t imagine living any other way, I recently realized that the entrepreneurial approach isn’t mentioned much these days. What happened? Where did it go? And why aren’t more people embracing the many advantages that come from being self-employed? [Read more…]
Last weekend my husband Thom and I attended a lecture by a young man named Timber Hawkeye. By his own definition, Timber is a religion-less Buddhist with a mission to awaken, enlighten, enrich and inspire. Not only does he offer a refreshing and practical approach to spirituality, he also talks repeatedly about creating a more simplified life. On the drive home, Thom and I began talking about how these two philosophies share a few things in common. From there, we came up with the Four Noble Truths of Minimalism as a way to remind and connect with the core principles behind a more simple, practical and grounded life. [Read more…]