Is your happiness sustainable? I’m not talking about that rush of pleasure we get when things turn out the way we hope and expect. I’m also not taking about the giddy experience we get laughing with friends or the thrill of accomplishment that overtakes us when we get what we want. To me sustainable happiness is the sense of good and wellbeing that comes in the middle of the night when you are alone with your thoughts. It’s a deep and sustaining sense that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, where you are supposed to be doing it, at exactly the right time in your life. And the good thing about finding it is that regardless of what is happening in our lives or circumstances, we can still count on it comforting us when the going gets tough. [Read more…]
I won’t even pretend I know much about Buddhism, but I have always been drawn to the image of the Laughing Buddha. In fact, I’ve had a statue of him in my yard for over a decade. His smiling face reminds me that no matter what is happening in my life or the world, we can always choose to see the world more joyfully. So it was a no brainer for me to accept the invitation to review a book titled, Poems of the Laughing Buddha by Jane Marla Robbins. And, just as I hope with any book I read, the ideas it contained helped simulate some SMART thoughts we all might use to create a more meaningful and happy life. [Read more…]
The late afternoon has always been my favorite time of day. So this weekend when I found a quote by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, it grabbed my attention. He said, “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different….”. Intrigued I continued to read how Jung believed that the approximate time between ages 56 and 83 offer each of us the opportunity to make the process of aging a positive and life-enhancing experience. Regardless of whether we find ourselves only approaching that “afternoon” of life, or deep within it, the SMART perspective is to learn and stay conscious about what we can do to live an ongoing life of quality and purpose. [Read more…]
Like most people who cook at home, I can get stuck in a rut. Even though I enjoy the process, it’s too easy to stick with the handful of routine recipes that quickly come to mind. I also know that cooking at home is far more economical than going to a restaurant, by saving both money and excess calories—but it’s so much easier to go out. So what’s the alternative? As luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago I was invited to review a service named, Handpick Smart Groceries. What’s that mean? Handpick Groceries agreed to send me enough food and supplies for three meals for two, some creative recipes, and to sponsor this blog post in return for an unbiased review. How could doing that be anything but SMART? [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…]
Several weeks ago Thom came across a quote by author and speaker Eckhart Tolle that said, “Non-resistance, non-judgment, and non-attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.” Since then, we’ve been toying with that idea to see if it’s true or even possible. And as life would have it, personal experiences offer plenty of examples to test the theory. Is it possible that at the core of it all is the desire to control the uncontrollable?
For the last couple of years one of my favorite speakers to listen to when taking my morning walk is Abraham-Hicks. Regardless of whether the source of their inspiration comes from one woman’s mind or channeled spirits from a higher realm, I find much of it to be an empowering way to look at life. With a big emphasis on finding happiness and feeling good about life in general, what I hear during my morning walk is both healthy for my body and good for my soul. This week I heard Esther Hicks say something that made me stop, pause and make a note to myself as a reminder. That’s when I realized it might be good for me to share other favorites that prove beneficial to me on a regular basis. [Read more…]
Something Thom and I always wanted to do was to try a float tank*. A couple of weeks ago in honor of my birthday we literally took the plunge. One of the more interesting things about it was the reaction others gave us when we attempted to explain the experience. Most offered a perplexed look on their face while some reacted in barely disguised repulsion. Questions like, “It’s completely dark? You’re floating in water? Do they lock you in?” were common, including the surprise, “You’re in there for a whole hour?” Like so many situations, how a person reacts says more about them than the experience itself. So when I later read an article that reported many people prefer electric shocks to being alone with their own thoughts, I wasn’t at all surprised. But what’s really going on here? Are we so addicted to stimulation that we can’t stand the silence, or could it be that we are more afraid of who we might be and what we might find if we stop all the noise? [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.
A friend of mine is currently in the midst of selling her long-time family home and moving. Yet while I believe she “gets” the many benefits of rightsizing, I can tell after talking with her that several issues keep popping up that make her hesitant. That’s completely normal, because in many ways, rightsizing is contrary to what most of us have been taught. The good news is that once you know what to keep in mind, rightsizing not only becomes the easiest choice, it is also the one that leads to the greatest benefits.
What do we need to remember when it’s time to make a move? [Read more…]