This weekend I will be turning 66 years old. When I was young that sounded pretty old, but as any of us who have arrived here (or beyond), our age has little to do with how we think and feel at a particular number. I am actually quite happy to be 66 for all sorts of reasons and while I can’t do some of the things I did at younger ages (nor do I want to!) , my awareness, my sense of self and the world, my internal and external resources are far, far better than then. Plus when checked it out, I realized that SMART Living 365.com will be turning 10 years old in a week or two. So it is a time of birthdays for both of us and what better way to celebrate than to throw my version of a potlach! Are there gifts? Of course—what kind of potlach would it be without them?
While I believe Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays we have going in the United States, I also firmly believe in the statement, “Thanksgiving is good—but thanks “living” is even better.” So with gratitude on my mind, this week I’ve been dwelling on how very much I have to be grateful for—and it inspired me to take the time to write out my top ten. Hopefully, by sharing my list you will be inspired to do the same. Oh, and self-servingly, it is also a great opportunity for me to announce the publication of my latest book, You Get To Make It Up—a SMART Living 365 Guide to Creating a Happy & Meaningful Life.
Of course I also realize that some of my readers don’t live in the U.S. so Thanksgiving isn’t on their calendar. But from what I’ve read, a number of other countries celebrate something similar…. [Read more…]
Unless you live in a very remote area and are essentially off the grid, you know that our world is facing at least two major challenges—climate change and political corruption. But before you stop reading because you think I’m going to get political (I’m not) and/or tell yourself neither of those have anything to do with you, I beg to differ. I do agree it is tempting to just pretend everything is just fine, or distract ourselves into believing those issues are someone else’s problem. However, I don’t think that’s the SMART approach. That’s because it is obvious to me that the people and the world around us have a significant influence on our wellbeing, our health and particularly our future. So regardless of what country you live in or what side of the fence (wall) you happen to be on, you and the people you care about are being touched by world events. What do we do? I believe there are three things we all can do to stay sane, relatively happy and hopeful in the days ahead.
Many people who find SMART Living 365 through Google or other online search engines are looking for information about Smart technologies. Others might be attracted to the blog thinking it has to do with intelligence or doing the right thing. Yet, if you stick around and read an article or two, you quickly realize that SMART is actually an acronym for Sustainable-Meaningful-Aware-Responsible and Thankful—and those ideas are what I mainly explore here. Plus, now and then I come across information that ties brain science to awareness. So when I found a book at the library titled, You Are Not So SMART, how could I not check it out? My big take-away? Clearly I am not as smart as I like to think I am (none of us are really!) mainly because who we think we are, our memories, and how we see the world often has very little to do with reality. Another way of looking at it—believe or like it, or not—we are continually making it up! [Read more…]
Ever had someone say something to you that felt like a punch in your gut? Even worse, ever have someone you care about do something that felt like a sharp knife in your heart? Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, my extreme reactions are now further and further apart. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that every now and then I still react in ways that are viscerally painful. Then this last week I was listening to a podcast interview of author Brene Brown and she shared something I found brilliant—as well as a perfect exercise to counteract those painful moments that catch us by surprise. And that practice is to remind myself not to believe my “shitty first draft.”
Shortly after my husband Thom and I met in 1977, we opened our first business. We named the beach nightclub that we owned and managed on the coast of North Carolina, Night Moves. Since then, except for a couple of painful months in the following years as employees, we founded several other businesses and fully embraced the entrepreneur lifestyle. While I can’t imagine living any other way, I recently realized that the entrepreneurial approach isn’t mentioned much these days. What happened? Where did it go? And why aren’t more people embracing the many advantages that come from being self-employed? [Read more…]
Like millions of other Americans, I first read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz nearly 20 years ago. According to Wikipedia, the book sold over 5 million copies in just the U.S., was a New York Times bestseller for over seven years, and has been translated into 38 languages. Not a bad run for such a small book. But in spite its success, now might be a good time to update those agreements from a SMART perspective. After all, if life is continually changing as Ruiz says, then, “The best path to happiness is learning to change as rapidly as life does.” [Read more…]
As many of you know Thom and I have been on the path of simplifying our lives for several years. Every January we like to sit down and discuss ways we can better live that example during the coming year. But in case you haven’t noticed, there are many people offering lots of advice that it’s challenging to decide which way to approach the topic. So while we don’t consider ourselves experts on the subject, we do think it’s helpful to list what we consider to be most important. From that point forward we each can then decide where and how we can put our attention during 2014.
So here are our Top 10 Commandments:
Last week I published my first eBook novel to Amazon Kindle. I actually wrote the book about ten years ago and when I could not find a publisher for it at the time, I saved it to the archives of my computer and pretty much forgot about it. Then about a year ago Thom and I began reading about the new explosion of ebooks and how that process is revolutionizing the publishing world. Then I remembered my novel and thought—why not? Why not publish it myself? I had everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose. Although it took a while to get it ready to publish, (that’s another blog post subject!) it’s finally done and available. (*) What struck me the most the morning after the book went “live” on Amazon was the euphoria I got from the uncertainty/possibility of the experience. And that got me wondering—why don’t we all seek uncertainty on a regular basis to capture that feeling? In fact, why do we chase stuff or even experiences when one of the greatest highs around is just a tiny bit beyond what we think, know and expect during the course of a regular day? [Read more…]
For those of you who follow the ancient Mayan Calendar, the world ends on December 21, 2012. For those of you into end-time predictions of any sort, a planet named Nibiru (sometimes called Planet X), supposedly discovered by the ancient Sumerians, will pass close to the Earth and wreck havoc and devastation on us all. Theories ranging from a super massive black hole at the center of our universe, a global geomagnetic reversal, or a formula named “Timewave zero,” each holds claim to be the singularity of infinite complexity that will change the world as we know it. And let’s not forget many of the world’s religions that predicted an apocalypse for several millennium. While it may be easy to dismiss these theories as nothing more than “end-time hoopla,” is it possible there is something deeper going on? Perhaps if we take a minute to look as the reasoning behind them all, we may find a SMART perspective that offers both hope and opportunity. [Read more…]