Do your thoughts determine how you age? The answer is “Yes” according to Professor Ellen Langer. During the last forty-five years, this Harvard social psychologist has studied the way our mindset affects both our health and how we age. At the core of her work is unifying the mind and the body rather than how the conventional medical and psychological world typically treats each as separate. Langer is convinced that a unity offers a far better understanding and hope for making positive change. Fortunately, her studies provide us with plenty of science to back up her assertions. [Read more…]
A big topic in my age group is retirement. About half of my friends are looking forward to it while the other half are already there. As for Thom and I, we see ourselves standing with a foot on both sides. We aren’t retired, but neither are we chained to our work. What makes us different from others hoping to retire soon is that we’ve embraced what I call rightsizing. Rightsizing is a process that any of us can do to come into greater alignment with our most cherished values and goals. On a practical level, rightsizing points to actions we can make at any age that will help before, and especially after, a person retires.
In case you are wondering, I am not a financial advisor. Most retirement “planning” comes from people who would like to manage your finances. That approach tends to put the focus on how much money you make, how much money saved, and how much you need in the future to maintain your current lifestyle. Rightsizing, on the other end, downplays money and instead puts the focus on what is most rewarding in your life.
Like most people my age I am increasingly interested in what leads to aging well and happy. I am also keenly aware of how different that is from many of the conversations my parents had in later years. Rather than go through a depressing list of “organ – recitals” that often characterized our parents and their friends, the new emerging conversation about positive aging is leading in exciting and interesting directions every day. One recent study from the Netherlands combines the idea of healthy aging to people’s hopes, plans, and wishes for their future. Could it be that having goals and planning for certain experiences can make us happier and more satisfied as we age? This particular study 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…]
Every blogger I know is aware of how well our posts are doing. How many people visit? What are people reading? Do people comment? Is anyone out there? After all, most of us spend a lot of time and effort writing something that we think others will find interesting enough to read and hopefully share with others. If we have commercial aspirations, numbers translate to income. If we are writing just to share ideas with others, we still want to know if people find our writing helpful. Programs exist that show us how many clicks an article receives, whether the entire article is read—or just the opening paragraph. Some programs are able to clock the amount of time on each page. Even when a blogger attempts to stay true to her mission and intentions, the numbers are difficult to ignore. [Read more…]
A goal for most people I know is to live a well life. But what does that really mean? If we don’t pay attention, stay conscious and strive to be proactive, it’s likely that we are creating our life by default rather than by design. In other words, we end up reacting to whatever is happening in the world around us—in our families, our workplace, or with our health—and if it’s good, we are happy. But if any of those outward circumstances takes a nasty turn, we veer off track and end up in the bushes. Only when we consciously choose to design our life, can we claim the reality of a well life.
Fortunately there is help. A new book by Briana and Dr. Peter Borten titled, The Well Life offers dozens of ideas and practices to help us structure a life filled with balance, happiness and peace. Even those of us who have read hundreds of books on self-empowerment, spirituality and positive living can benefit by many of the suggestions offered in the book. And with a New Year just around the corner, who among us can’t use a few pointers to ensure that our design is a creation we hope to experience in the days to come?
This week Thom and I are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with friends in Baja Mexico. And because I have over 35o blog posts here on the site and many new subscribers, I decided to pick one of my favorite posts that I wrote about gratitude in the past and repost it. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the reminders it contains. I also want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my blog and stay in touch with me. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with you all on a regular basis, and together, I hope we will all continue to live happy and SMART 365.
Did you know that some people believe it is impossible to live thankfully and gratefully on a regular basis? Are you one of them? What catches my interest most of all is how the reasoning to avoid gratitude is so similar to those who likewise sidestep feeling happy on a regular basis. That led me to investigate some of the more common myths that exist for happiness—and observe at how those same myths apply to living thankfully 365. [Read more…]
One of the greatest improvements to travel in recent years has been the rise of Airbnb. Pronounced “air b and b,” this company allows travelers to stay in private homes, apartments and rooms around the world rather than traditional hotel rooms. Not only is the cost often less, it also provides a more unique and special way to visit a location. Over the last several years, my husband Thom and I have enjoyed staying at a variety of Airbnb properties. So I thought it might be valuable to share some of our experiences to help explain how it works, and why it is SMART to consider using it in the future. [Read more…]
As many of you know, I am active on Facebook—most of the time. I enjoy it and not only does it help to spread the word about my blog and my books, I also find it fun to connect with people, stay up-to-date with family and friends, and to learn about things around the world. Even more importantly, I have a mission to share positive and inspiring news with others to remind us all that there is always more good in the world than not. But lately it’s been hard. About half of all Facebook posts these days are about politics. And while I do not tolerate hateful or violent remarks, I still find the tone of many to be fearful, angry and defensive.
So what does a SMART girl do? Some people just swear off of Facebook altogether, which is certainly one alternative. Instead, what I did was sit down and come up with ten things I believe can help me, and anyone who is interested, get through the next four months and stay sane. While they are not excuses to put our head in the sand and resort to “magical thinking,” they do help to keep us focused on those things we believe deep in our soul, rather than anything or fear and fight. [Read more…]
My husband Thom and I love to travel almost as much as we enjoy rightsizing. But the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. In fact, because we rightsized our lives some years ago, we can now travel more and in better form than ever before. So, if you’ve always dreamed of traveling more, but never seem to have the time or money, perhaps what you need is to rightsize your next trip.
First, I must recommend that you rightsize your entire life. What do I mean by that? If you are new to this website and unfamiliar with rightsizing, here’s a short definition: Rightsizing is taking the time to focus on what really matters to you and brings you happiness—and at the same time reducing and then eliminating everything that brings you down and sucks the joy out of you. [Read more…]