Did you smile today? It matters—at least according to research by college professor, psychologist, and author Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. Yet most of the time we tend to believe that a smile, while nice in the moment, is too tiny or inconsequential to make much of a difference. But according to Fredrickson every smile, and all the other positive emotions we have during the course of the day, add up to tremendous benefits to the quality of our mental, emotional and physical health. So yes, it matters whether you smiled today. In fact, it could be one of the most important things you do for yourself or others as your future unfolds. [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…]
During the last couple of years, my focus for creating a happy and meaningful life has shifted. Now, in addition to exploring ways to create the most positive life possible for myself and others, I’ve begun including ideas of how we can all age well and happy. And because I happen to believe very strongly in the power of our focus, along with the benefit of affirmations, I went in search of the best quotes I could find on the subject. Any of us who believe that, “what we think about, we bring about,” as well as “what we dwell upon we become,” might benefit by reading the following quotes on a regular basis.
During the last four and a half years I have written and published every post here on SMART Living 365. But as Thom and I prepared for a three week trip over the holidays, I decided to invite three other bloggers I enjoy and admire to contribute and share their SMART advice. Today’s Guest Post comes from author and writer Corinne Rodrigues. Corinne and her writings come to us from halfway around the world in Secunderabad, South India. While our backgrounds are obviously quite different, Corinne and I both often write about many of the qualities that I think make up a SMART Life. Things like a grateful heart, giving, hope, love and thanksgiving are so universal it doesn’t matter where you live. I hope you enjoy this post, and I strongly encourage you to check out Corinne’s blog Everyday Gyaan if you get a chance. Thank you, Corinne, for sharing your loving, grateful and kind writings with all of us.
As I’m cooking spinach this afternoon, I inhale the lovely scent of cumin and coriander and I give thanks for the gift of spices. Earlier this morning, it was thanks for the freshness of the aloe vera soap I used in my shower.
I start to think about how offering thanks has become such a part of my everyday routine. I think of my journey into gratitude and decide that I’ll share it with you today. [Read more…]
Most of the time I think I am one of the most fortunate and privileged persons on the planet because I get to write and do what I love all the time. I began writing seriously back in the mid-eighties then took up blogging seven years ago. Four years ago I created SMART Living 365 and every week since do my very best to share ideas about how each of us can live a happy, meaningful and rewarding life every day of the year. But although the mission of SMART Living usually keeps me focused on those things that inspire me and others, I do have my challenges. Ordinarily that has nothing to do with the writing, and everything to do with managing a website with limited technological understanding—like the last two weeks! Yet even then, the gift of blogging extends far beyond putting out an article on schedule and having everything go as planned. Ever wonder why a blogger, blogs? Maybe it’s because blogging offers life lessons available to us all. [Read more…]
I don’t know any woman who doesn’t care, at least a little bit, about how they look to others. Maybe it exists in our DNA or the way we are raised. Hopefully though, by the time we get to my age we care far less how others judge us, especially our looks. And equally important, hopefully by my age we stop letting the opinions of others make critical life decisions for us. That of course leads to my recent decision to purchase and wear hearing aids. [Read more…]
A week ago I turned 60. And while the number sounds much older than I feel, I am also extremely aware of how great my life is at the same time. In fact, thinking back I am hyperaware of how much my life has improved during the last 30 years. But how can that be? In a culture obsessed with youth, is it possible that we’ve all been mislead about what happens as we age? Or maybe those of us who have lived to midlife and beyond stay too silent about the benefits? Either way, now is a good time to let those who follow know that not only can we get better as we age, but life itself can be more sweet, meaningful and SMART as it goes along.
Several years ago I read the book How Full Is Your Bucket? by author Tom Rath. Although the message was simple, I clearly remember its advice for creating a happy and fulfilled life. So when I was offered a review copy of Rath’s newest book Are You Fully Charged? I jumped at the chance. After all, who couldn’t benefit from a book with a subtitle like “The three keys to energizing your work and life”? And if you’re anything like me, it doesn’t matter how many times I am reminded of positive and life affirming messages, I’m always open to hearing them again in a new way and different way. [Read more…]
This week Thom and I celebrate our 37th Wedding Anniversary. Whew! It’s strange to think that I’ve been married longer than many people I know have been alive. It’s even weirder to think that when we met all those many years ago I had the foresight to know that Thom was the one. Not just one, but THE ONE. Obviously, my life as I know it would have been dramatically different with any other man, Plus I would probably be much different than the person I now know myself to be. In the big picture, I’m sure there are several reasons why we’ve lasted while so many other good people haven’t. But one thing I know for sure is that my marriage to Thom differs tremendously from both my parent’s marriage and that of my in-laws in a couple of very distinct ways. And perhaps that offers some clues to others who would like to create a marriage of a lifetime.
I’ve always loved quotes. One of the best things about them is that you can read one and it can instantly turn your attention around to a new, and likely more positive, direction. Quotes also have the ability to lift you up when you’re going through tough times or encourage you when you need a boost. That’s why I thought it might be SMART to list a number of quotes that are most helpful to me as a way to jumpstart our New Year. To make it even easier to read through them—I’ve classified them according to the SMART categories. When you’re done, I’d love to hear which one’s you liked best in the comments below. Even better, if you have one that you’d like to add to the list, please share it with all of us as well. Ready for a lift? Here are the quotes: [Read more…]