As some of you know I grew up in the desert southwest. My love of sunshine continues to this day but unfortunately, my skin has paid a price. In my pursuit of the perfect tan, my skin (particularly on my forearms) has become ridiculously thin so that it often bruises and sometimes bleeds at the slightest injury. By the same token I was listening to a podcast this week that asked, “Are we all becoming very thin-skinned and fragile these days?” It went on to ask if our pursuit of comfort and convenience was making us “bruise or bleed” at the slightest inconvenience, threat or annoyance. Regrettably, those questions struck a bit too close to home. Everywhere I look (especially on Facebook!) people are bruised and depressed about how awful things have gotten (climate change, no gun control, schools, etc.) and how mean and impatient other people have become. And don’t even mention religion or politics! Fortunately, there is a cure. Just like using a powerful sunscreen on my arms helps—enhancing our antifragile selves could allow us to live more peacefully in our stressful world.
Have you ever heard of the Tao? Taken from a book titled, the Tao Te Ching written over 2,500 years ago, the Tao (usually pronounced Dao) philosophy offers advice for living a peaceful, compassionate and sustainable life. In fact, even if you’ve never heard of the Tao you are likely familiar with some of its more popular sayings like, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” or “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” This week in our SMART Vlog Thom and I talk about a few of the major concepts within the Tao that we find most helpful for living a good life. We hope you enjoy the discussion.
*Note: If you’d rather read about the Tao than listen to our discussion, here are two articles I’ve written about it before that you might enjoy.
A couple of weeks ago I cohosted a series of four podcasts with Kathe Kline of Rock Your Retirement. Kathe let me pick the topic of each of our discussions. After finding and selecting four articles I thought sounded intriguing, Kathe and I then spent 30 minutes discussing each of them from our individual perspectives. And although the podcasts are currently being edited and won’t be available until August, one of the topics stuck deeply in my mind. That topic is contentment. And while the word and concept sounds vaguely pleasant and benevolent, I must admit that I’m beginning to realize that I’ve overlooked its greater value and importance. [Read more…]
My husband Thom and I recently spent some time talking with a young couple we know about the direction of their life. With one small child and hope for one more, they are considering moving to a larger home to give them all more space in a slightly more prestigious neighborhood. That certainly means larger mortgage payments, higher utility costs, more stuff, and a longer commute. Still, they seem convinced it would all be worth it. After all, isn’t that the American Dream—more, bigger, better? Thom and I kept our mouths shut because they appeared to want encouragement more than advice. Yet because I wish someone had tried to explain to a younger me that the dream we sought was not really a bigger house or more stuff, I thought I’d share what the joy of real abundance has come to mean to me after all these years. [Read more…]