With Thanksgiving behind us, those living in the U.S. can expect to be swamped with messages of consumerism for the next 34 days. In fact, Black Friday, which many retailers have named as the most heavily shopped day of the year, is today. If you are anything like me, even with the best of intentions it’s easy to be mesmerized by the glamor of things being advertised everywhere—even when we know better. But rather than give in to the impulse, I instead decided to sit down and write out a few simple, but important, ways I want to stay rightsized over the coming holiday season. If you could use some help with your resolve, please check out my list and add some of your own suggestions in the comments below. [Read more…]
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…]
My dog Kloe is normally one of the happiest and perkiest dogs alive. Most of the time if just mention the “w” word (as in walk) she starts spinning and doing her happy dance. I’m sort of the same way. Most days I wake up and am convinced that something wonderful is about to happen and I am incredibly fortunate just to be alive. But to be honest, there are days for both Kloe and I when one or the other of us wakes in a funk. We aren’t feeling necessarily bad, just blah. What I’ve gradually learned is that the blahs aren’t usually something to fear, fix or fight. Instead, the SMART thing to do is remember we always have more options than we know and sometimes relaxing into the moment is the best antidote. [Read more…]
Have you ever noticed that when you pay attention and stay grateful for the little things in your life, most things seem to go well? As some of you know, since November 1st I’ve been participating in a gratitude challenge where every single day I write down ten-things–of-thankful (TToT) and post them on the SMART Living FB page. Now that I’m around 2/3rds through the challenge, it’s becoming obvious that most of what I list are little and routine pieces of my day. Gradually I’ve come to realize that when we recognize (with gratitude) those little things that happen each and every day, we just might be keeping them from becoming big things that lead to unhappiness. [Read more…]
This week for the first time SMART Living 365 is hosting The Best of Boomer Blogs #379. My links have been featured on each of the blogs listed below during the last month and I’m happy (and grateful) to now share these writers and their blogs with you. While I realize not all of you are boomers, some of these links should be of interest and help you no matter what your age. This type of link sharing is called a “blog carnival” and features an interesting selection of news, feature articles, and personal blogs. So jump on the merry-go-round, join the conversation and leave your thoughts, questions, and comments below! [Read more…]
Remember back when you were a teenager and every thing that you did was either the beginning or the ending of the Universe as you knew it? The angst, the drama, the excitement, the thrill of life is usually never more vivid than during that time of such strong feelings and emotions. But as I shared in a previous post, I’ve had a couple of challenging weeks and it occurred to me over the weekend that I was severely “fun deprived.” In fact, it was four in the afternoon and I couldn’t even remember if I’d laughed once, let alone cracked a smile. That’s the exact opposite of feeling passionately alive. [Read more…]
A well-known study done in 2008 by Brandeis University reports that 90% of Americans believe in prayer. In fact, according to medical centers across our country, prayer is consider the most commonly used “alternative medicine” practiced. But what does that really mean? Are we all thinking, feeling and practicing the same way? Hardly. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the prayers I practice are very different from the prayer that you say or do—if you do. But if 55% of our country’s population say they pray every single day, who or what are they praying to, what are they experiencing and what do they expect as a result? Obviously the power, mystery and variety of the practice deserves more discussion.
With that said, I’d better point out that I am not religious at all. I do consider myself spiritual—actually a spiritual being having a human experience—but what I sometimes call God is likely very different from how you define It. Fortunately I don’t need you to agree with my definition of All-That-Is to receive the full benefit of my understanding. By the same token, I hope you don’t need me to agree with your definition for you to receive your benefits as well. [Read more…]
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…]
The end of 2013 marks two and a half years of blogging at SMART Living 365. From a statistical perspective it is an excellent reminder that perseverance is one of the best qualities a writer can bring to her craft. At the end of 2011 I had barely 50 email subscribers and a handful of feed subscribers. Now two years later I want to thank the thousands of readers who have stopped by and made SMART Living a part of their lives.
With that in mind I went through and looked at my top posts during the previous 30 months. With so many new followers I’m assuming many of you may have missed some of them. As usual they reflect some angle of what I consider a SMART Life. And always my goal is to share ideas that will help us all live a more happy, peaceful and meaningful life. Here they are: [Read more…]
“Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.” ~Margaret Mitchell
I don’t often quote the Bible on this blog but the phrase “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s…” just seems appropriate this time of year. If you, like Thom and I, are self-employed then this is the time of year when we gather together our income and expenses and prepare to do some rendering. And while it is definitely not my favorite experience of year, it serves to remind me that we have a choice in how we view things (yes—even taxes!) So here are a few thoughts on paying taxes and on other things that we might as well render while we are at it. [Read more…]