Small Talk, Big Talk and Meaningful Conversation

conversation at SMART Living What you probably don’t know about me is that I like to talk. While I tend to believe that my writing represents my best form of communication, good conversation with interesting people is one of my greatest joys. Put me together in a room with people who are creating new possibilities, transforming their part of the world, or passionately involved in subjects I find intriguing, and it’s hard to shut me up. On the flip side, invite me to a cocktail party where people care more about what they look like, who they know, and what they own, and I have little to say. Or start a conversation with me and then stop the minute your cell phone rings to answer, and I’ll likely just walk away.   While conversation often means different things to different people, for me, big talk and meaningful conversations are what really matters. Continue reading


How To Be Unhappy

How To be Unhappy-- SMART Living 365I spend a lot of time on SMART Living 365 researching, thinking and writing about how we all can create a happier life. I believe that the majority of us want to live in the space where we can, no matter what challenges we face, feel hopeful, at peace and grounded in wellbeing. But I’m also aware that others believe that due to the circumstances in the world, or in their personal situations, it is impossible to stay happy on an ongoing basis. If you are one of those people, this post is for you. Continue reading


9 Reasons Why What You Think About Aging Matters

#Aging #Staying Healthy #PositiveHenry Ford supposedly said, “If you think you can’t—you can’t. If you think you can—you can.” While that statement usually applies to reaching our goals or persevering in spite of the odds, we seldom consider it in context with aging. Yet, growing research shows that our view of aging has a sometimes dramatic effect on the quality of our health, happiness, and wellbeing. Not only does what we each think about aging matter, how we feel about aging as a society influences the experience that each of us will have as the years add up. Fortunately, if we can learn to identify those stereotypical prejudices most of us hold about aging, we can halt and maybe even reverse many of the negatives formerly believed to be our destiny.
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Awakening Your Super Genes For A Happy & Healthy Life

Awakening Your Super Genes For A Happy & Healthy LifeMost of us believe that our genes are similar to a cosmic lottery. Some get lucky and are born with healthy and strong genes—others not so much. If we are fortunate enough to have parents who’ve lived a vibrant and healthy life into their nineties we feel blessed. The rest of us usually cringe when our doctor asks us at our annual checkup, “Who in your family experienced this, this and that?” —often dreadful diseases that we never want to experience. But is it luck or something else? A new book with cutting-edge research challenges that old assumption. Super Genes—Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being written by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. claims that the new study of genetics shows us, “…in the vast majority of cases regarding health and personality, your genetic destiny is not set in stone.” Continue reading


How Minimalism or Rightsizing Prepares You For Retirement

How Minimalism or Rightsizing Prepares You For Retirement --

Mom, Dad and I in Hawaii for their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

One of the stories I can vividly remember my father telling me years back was related to his pride at managing his money in retirement.   At the time, both my father and mother lived on their social security and some modest savings held in a 401k.   Dad frequently bragged that he lived better, traveled more, and seemed to have more fun than many of his friends who retired with big homes and generous pensions. From my perspective, at least at the time, their lifestyle seemed more humble and restricted than I felt necessary. Yet now, less than 20 years later, I recognize that their simple and minimal lifestyle afforded them tremendous benefits that millions of other “hope-to-be-retirees” could learn from—including myself. Continue reading


Courageous Enough to Just Be Me

IMG_4187Last weekend my husband Thom and I attended the Joshua Tree Music Festival. It wasn’t our first. We’ve attended several others in the past, including two of the biggest music festivals in the country—The Coachella and Stagecoach. Why? We’re drawn to the music, the energy, the art and the people watching.   While every event is unique, the Joshua Tree Music Festival promotes itself as a family friendly global music festival, so people of all ages and backgrounds attend. But just like with other music festivals, Thom and I sort of stand out—not because we have the best costumes, makeup, tattoos or hair. We stand out because we look pretty much the way we look each and every day. And sometimes accepting yourself just the way you are, takes more courage than trying to be someone else—no matter how cool that someone else might be. Continue reading


25 Things I Know After 38 Years of Marriage

SMART Living

Wedding Day Outside Woodland Park, , CO 10/9/77

On October 9th, my husband Thom and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. When we got married so many years ago I never imagined what it would be like to approach an anniversary date that signifies so much time together. I’ve heard younger people worry about sticking it out with one person for so long, because they might grow tired or bored with one another.   But as I’ve said before, I think our experience proves that love and the depth of a commitment can just continue growing and deepening as years go by. And while I’ve been privileged to know some couples married far longer than us, I thought it might SMART to share 25 things I’ve personally learned about a happy marriage after 38 years. Continue reading


10 Signs of Sustainable Happiness

SMART Living 365.comIs your happiness sustainable? I’m not talking about that rush of pleasure we get when things turn out the way we hope and expect. I’m also not taking about the giddy experience we get laughing with friends or the thrill of accomplishment that overtakes us when we get what we want. To me sustainable happiness is the sense of good and wellbeing that comes in the middle of the night when you are alone with your thoughts.   It’s a deep and sustaining sense that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, where you are supposed to be doing it, at exactly the right time in your life. And the good thing about finding it is that regardless of what is happening in our lives or circumstances, we can still count on it comforting us when the going gets tough. Continue reading


Laughing With Buddha

SMART Living 365.comI won’t even pretend I know much about Buddhism, but I have always been drawn to the image of the Laughing Buddha. In fact, I’ve had a statue of him in my yard for over a decade. His smiling face reminds me that no matter what is happening in my life or the world, we can always choose to see the world more joyfully. So it was a no brainer for me to accept the invitation to review a book titled, Poems of the Laughing Buddha by Jane Marla Robbins. And, just as I hope with any book I read, the ideas it contained helped simulate some SMART thoughts we all might use to create a more meaningful and happy life. Continue reading


Carl Jung And The Art Of Aging Well

SMART Living 365.comThe late afternoon has always been my favorite time of day. So this weekend when I found a quote by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, it grabbed my attention. He said, “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different….”.   Intrigued I continued to read how Jung believed that the approximate time between ages 56 and 83 offer each of us the opportunity to make the process of aging a positive and life-enhancing experience.   Regardless of whether we find ourselves only approaching that “afternoon” of life, or deep within it, the SMART perspective is to learn and stay conscious about what we can do to live an ongoing life of quality and purpose. Continue reading