The Truth Behind “You Create Your Own Reality”

SMART Living 365.comThe phrase, “you create your own reality” has been part of the Western vernacular for at least several decades now. Originally a statement promoted by those with a more progressive perspective on life, the idea behind the phrase is now commonly found everywhere from books, to television, to popular music and in movies. But while I’ll admit that it is empowering to think I influence my world, and easy to imagine that your reality can be very different from mine, obviously that doesn’t mean I can fly just because I want to “create that.” So what does the statement really mean? Is it true? And if yes, how does that lead to a SMART and happy life? Continue reading


Namaste’—The Spirit Behind Compassion

#1000 Voices For Compassion

#1000 Voices For Compassion

On Friday, February 20th, all around the world thousands of people came together to write, tweet, sing, paint and speak out in the name and practice of compassion. The idea started a couple of months ago when several bloggers were sharing ideas of gratitude and began wondering what would happen if they gathered a 1,000 (or more) voices together to write about compassion and focus on the good in the world. On that day, compassion and #1000Speak showed just what can happen when thousands of us come together for good. And at the core of that compassion, I can’t help but believe it all boils down to the spirit behind the word Namaste’. Continue reading


What Gay Couples Can Teach Straight Couples About Relationships

SMART Living

Celebrating with longtime friends Larry Kelly & Jose’ Ghilarducci who’ve been a couple for 24 years and married since 2008.

Every February it’s normal to think about relationships. Regardless of how we judge it, Valentine’s Day can be a great reminder of the importance of love and connection in our lives. This year, as I began exploring ideas about quality relationships, I came across some interesting research in the area of gay/lesbian couples. Of course as should be expected, same-sex relationships often struggle with many of the same challenges we all do on the path to love and happiness. But interestingly enough, gay and lesbian couples also tend to have some qualities and strengths that could help teach straight couples about creating a good relationship. Continue reading


5 Big Reasons Why Women Shop, Part 2

SMART Living 365.comLast week I explored a few of the fascinating theories being tossed around in the scientific world to explain why women shop. As to be expected, I heard from several women who love to shop, and just about as many who said they don’t.   And although there are exceptions to everything, statistics show that approximately two-thirds of us regularly enjoy the experience—especially when we have the time. That fact is just one more piece of the puzzle that explains the attraction to shopping. This week I offer more insight into the complicated motivations behind the urge to shop—all with the intention to help us become more conscious and responsible consumers. Continue reading


Why Women Shop, Part 1

Shopping #6I’m not much of a shopper but I’ve seen women who make it a highly evolved sport. I’ve also struggled to understand how some women can spend enormous amounts of time and money—sometimes money they don’t have—buying things for themselves and others. Yet, I must confess that I’ve indulged in some retail therapy myself now and then and enjoyed it immensely. And yes, I too have spent money in the past I didn’t have. So what is it about shopping? Maybe it’s time for all of us to take a look at why we shop and begin to understand the motivation behind it so that we can become more conscious, SMART and responsible consumers. Continue reading


Not My Monkey. Not My Circus.

Monkey Quote SMART V2I’m not sure why but I tend to be almost fanatical about my commitments. If I say I’m going to do something, come hell or high water, I’ll do it. For the most part this quality has served me very well. However, sometimes this obsession gets me in trouble. That usually happens when the edges of my commitment get fuzzy with the actions or non-actions of others. Before I know it, I’m sucked into involvement and drama that is not of my doing, and often not even in my control. That’s why the Polish proverb, “Not my monkey, not my circus,” has become a valuable mantra for my life. Continue reading


Letting Go Of the Need To Be Right

SMART Living 365.comI think if you ask most people, they will agree that being happy is more important than being right. But if that’s true, why do so many of us, me included, frequently choose the opposite? For the most part, we hang on to our ideas, beliefs and perceptions as though our lives depended upon them. Even when it is a relatively minor point like what toothpaste to buy, many of us will clutch our opinions like dogs with a bone. Unfortunately it is easy to see that the more that we insist we are right, the more we alienate others, frustrate ourselves, stymie our growth, restrict our ability to change, and cut ourselves off from our true nature. So I decided during 2015 as part of my 60-for-60 project, to take a look in the mirror and do my best to let go of being so attached to be right—starting now. Continue reading


9 SMART Financial Actions for Midlife Women

SMART Living 365.comI recently read a shocking bit of information revealed by the 2013 Allianz Women, Money and Power Study. That study claims that almost half of the women in the U.S. often or sometimes fear losing all their money and becoming a bag lady. As you might expect, the highest percentage of those with that fear were single (56%), divorced (54%) and widowed (47%). But perhaps even worse, 27% of the women who generate over $200,000 per year of income also felt that way. Clearly, many women have a deep insecurity about their finances and how to manage their money in a SMART and responsible way. So here are 9 tips that I believe any woman should consider regarding her money. Continue reading


60-FOR-60 And Achieving YOUR Intentions/Goals in 2015

SMART Living 365.In 2015 I turn 60. Yep. I was born in 1955 and that means I, along with a bunch of other people I know, will turn 60 during the coming year. But rather than lament the event, I intend to celebrate all year long. Then when I heard from a fellow blogger about the idea of 60-FOR-60, I decided to take it on as a way to commemorate this important milestone. I’ll explain the details a bit further but regardless your age, you too can participate. But first, in order to achieve this goal or intention, I returned to a book I read last year that offers some great reminders about how every one of us, 60 or not, can achieve their goals in the coming year. Continue reading


EOY 2014—A SMART Blogging Year in Review


SMART Living 365.omAt the end of 2014 and just like last year, I thought it might be interesting to do a review of some of the things that occurred here on SMART Living 365. Lest you think this post is all about blogging and has little to do with you, please keep in mind that it is SMART for all of us to look back occasionally to see what we have faced and overcome, what we’d perhaps like to do differently, and how that might impact the future. So, with three and a half years of experience behind me, here are several things I learned and experienced during the past year. Continue reading