I’ve been interested in sustainability, minimalism and simple living for a long time now. But one topic I’ve seen very little written about is the impact that having children has on both the practice of minimalism and the environment. Like a big elephant in the room, this enormous, but highly emotional issue is almost completely ignored on most simple living blogs. Yet when you think about it, until we are willing to talk about it and examine it from a state of awareness and conscious choice, bringing kids into the world becomes just another cultural norm that the majority unconsciously accepts out of habit and societal pressure. For that reason alone, the big question about whether or not to have children (or add to an existing family) should be on every serious young minimalist’s list of important issues to decide.
For those of you who follow the ancient Mayan Calendar, the world ends on December 21, 2012. For those of you into end-time predictions of any sort, a planet named Nibiru (sometimes called Planet X), supposedly discovered by the ancient Sumerians, will pass close to the Earth and wreck havoc and devastation on us all. Theories ranging from a super massive black hole at the center of our universe, a global geomagnetic reversal, or a formula named “Timewave zero,” each holds claim to be the singularity of infinite complexity that will change the world as we know it. And let’s not forget many of the world’s religions that predicted an apocalypse for several millennium. While it may be easy to dismiss these theories as nothing more than “end-time hoopla,” is it possible there is something deeper going on? Perhaps if we take a minute to look as the reasoning behind them all, we may find a SMART perspective that offers both hope and opportunity. [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…]
With all the talk of minimalism and simple living on the Internet these days I am still constantly surprised to see how many interpretations there are. I’m also seeing lots of confusion. I think that’s because most people are attracted to certain people who are writing about the subjects without concern about what either of those labels really mean. And while I’ve stated numerous times that I don’t believe myself to be an “expert,” I do feel the topic is not only valuable—but deserves explanation and exploration. For if SMART Living 365 is a way to fill our lives with meaning, purpose and happiness, then knowing about ideas that help that manifest is important to the journey. [Read more…]
This last Tuesday was Thom and my 35th Wedding Anniversary. I’m delighted to say that not only is our marriage getting better every single year, the experience has been more than I ever imagined. And believe me, both of us had pretty high expectations. In fact, before Thom would even agree to marry (yes, I asked him), we both vowed that we would end the relationship if it dissolved and we became miserable. Where did we get such an idea? It surfaced because neither one of us could remember a couple ever telling us how much better a marriage could be over the long haul. That’s why I’m here to confirm that not only can it grow, deepen and transcend—if you are with the right partner, are reasonably lucky, and follow certain guidelines, a good and healthy relationship is one of the very best things you can do to live a happy and SMART life 365.
Do you consider yourself a minimalist? Do you even know what minimalism means? Lately I’ve been excited by a number of blogs and websites devoted to the topic. That interest signals a reverse in the over-consumptive tendencies and consumer lifestyle so prevalent during the last couple of decades here in the U.S. But often when I read the posts and comments on such sites, it seems that those who are involved have differing views of what minimalism is and why it can be beneficial. Perhaps before we start calling ourselves a minimalist we should describe what we mean in the first place. [Read more…]
Last weekend Thom and I watched a movie on HBO entitled, “In Time.” I don’t recall seeing it in local theaters, probably because its ratings were average and the lead actor was Justin Timberlake. But with a sci-fi theme and on a hot summer evening, we decided to give the movie a chance. Surprisingly enough, it was not only entertaining, but it raised some very provocative questions that have stayed with me all week. Questions like: What lengths will people go to in order to try to live forever? Why do most people say they want to live forever, but often live lives of quiet desperation and routine? Is “living” merely taking another breath or is it something more? [Read more…]
It’s been over two years since my father made his transition*. I still think of him regularly and miss him more than I actually expected. With Father’s Day (in the US) being just around the corner, he’s been on my mind more than usual. But who says you can only celebrate Father’s Day when your Dad is present and available? Besides, if the true sentiment behind Father’s Day is to honor fathers and paternal bonds, maybe the holiday is a good excuse for all of us to acknowledge the care and guidance our father provided—and to celebrate the fathers among us who take the time to nurture and encourage children in many different ways. [Read more…]