Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a store and be handed an instruction manual for living a happy and healthy life? A man named James Doty was offered exactly that back when he was twelve years old. This last week while I was researching another topic, I stumbled upon a podcast by James Doty and immediately knew that his story had the potential to change lives. Of course, even when we have a map right in front of us, that doesn’t mean that we always take the right turns at the right time or the path is without peril. Still, Doty’s story offers us all a glimpse of things we can each do to create the life we feel called to live. [Read more…]
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Karen Hume as my guest blogger while I am traveling. I’ve followed Karen’s blog ProfoundJourney.com since late last year. The moment I “found” her and started reading her ideas I sensed a kindred spirit. Thank you, Karen, for filling in for me and sharing some of your SMART and intriguing thoughts with all of us.
Have you ever been the only person in a parking lot at night? Or a hotel hallway after the elevator has stopped pinging and all of the guests are tucked up in their rooms asleep? Maybe you have descended to a subway platform moments after the train has left and you are alone on the platform for a minute or two. Each of these is an example of a liminal space.
The word ‘liminal’ comes from the Latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold. A physical liminal space is a place where we feel hyper-aware and uncertain, sometimes uncomfortable or unsafe.
A couple of months ago I scheduled a routine medical checkup with my primary physician. While never a chatty or warm-hearted person, this time my doctor of nearly fifteen years barely looked at me as she sat typing and staring at the computer screen near the windowless wall of the room. After a scant ten minutes of questions and answers, she glanced up, sort of nodded in my direction, and left the room. I doubt I need to tell anyone that this happens daily in doctor’s offices all over our country. Fortunately, my routine visit presented no life-threatening issues. But what if it had? Is it possible that something like mindfulness could benefit both those of us who visit doctors and the doctors themselves? Research now says yes. [Read more…]
I first heard about the practice of Ayurveda from Deepak Chopra back in the early 90s. Just as Chopra’s work became internationally recognized, we attended a three-day workshop and then read many of his books. But even though much of his spiritual and practical insights came from that five-thousand-year-old system of health and healing, I never really understood much about it. So when offered a review copy of a new book written by Acharya Shunya titled, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom I was intrigued. I was especially attracted by the subtitle of, “A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy. Clearly, Ayurveda sounded a lot like living SMART 365. [Read more…]
Yesterday it occurred to me that people are generally of two types—anticipators or ruminators. Sure most of the attention goes to whether or not people are positive or negative. But I’ve witnessed some people who claim to be optimists, and yet they overthink and obsess over their past, their worries, or their claims of injustice nearly every day. Perhaps it is SMART to consider other possible directions of our focus and explore ways to calibrate our attention in a more helpful way. [Read more…]
Who are you? I mean who are you, really? I think it is easy for all of us to forget sometimes that we are more than the skin-encapsulated egos that we wake up as every morning. Even when we stop and pause to remember that we are more than our minds and egos, it’s far too easy to fall asleep and slip into our frequently unconscious way of living. That’s why the practice of mindfulness holds such promise. In fact, reading the new book The Mindfulness Edge by Matt Tenny and Tim Gard, Ph.D., helped me go beyond merely understanding why heightened awareness is so beneficial, to a deeper edge of the practice itself. [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 other bloggers I enjoy and admire to contribute and share their SMART advice. Today’s Guest Post comes from author and writer T.O. Weller on her blog. Never Too Late To Write. And even though T.O. lives in Canada, north of Toronto, and we’ve never met in person, from the first time I read her writing it was as though I had known her for a very long time. I hope you enjoy this post, and I strongly encourage you to check out her blog if you get a chance. Thank you, T.O., for sharing your SMART, thoughtful, and authentic writing with us all.
The holiday season is upon us. Most of us are plenty busy to begin with, but add the extra load of family gatherings, parties, gift-buying, home entertaining, vacation getaway planning, … and the list goes on, and on, and on. Bottom line: this time of year can be extremely stressful. But, does it have to be? Is there a SMART way to de-stress the holidays? [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…]
Thom and I toyed with meditation on and off for several decades until we finally committed to a daily practice a little over four years ago. Then a couple of months ago Thom suggested we take a tai chi class together, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that tai chi is considered to be a “moving meditation.” In many ways, the experience of tai chi manages to broaden, deepen and enhance what we are already doing. But even more surprising, is how the practice of tai chi can help any of us create a very SMART, happy and harmonious way of life—365. [Read more…]