Last week was my birthday. Or I should say, one of my birthdays. That’s because we all actually have many birth-days or major turning points during our lifetimes if we choose to remember and acknowledge them. Each one of these birthdays marks a significant turning point in our experience here on planet Earth. And even though there are always a large number of major and minor days of significance for each of us, I believe my life contains four extra-ordinary days of beginning. By sharing my special days with you, perhaps it will be easier for you to pinpoint and acknowledge similar events and birth-days in your life that you might want to honor and commemorate.
Category Archives: Thankful
“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
By now it is probably obvious that I love to travel. But what you might not realize is that I also love coming home. It wasn’t always that way. Years ago I was constantly scheming up ways to get out of town. Naturally, the more exotic the location the better—but I really wasn’t that picky. Above all, I longed to escape to the open road and the infinite possibility that it held. When I finally had to come home it was more like a punishment, or at least the penalty that must be paid until the next adventure came along. Then somewhere along the line my thinking started changing—until now I am as happy returning home as I am packing my bags to go. So what’s different? Ultimately, I’ve come to believe that coming home after any length of time provides a huge mirror into a person’s life. What we think is important, what we feel we have to be and do, and even who we think we are, are all reflected in the thoughts and images of what we must return to after we’ve been away. Continue reading
“The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” ~ George Vaillant
Those of us into simple living or minimalism knows that identifying and eliminating any thing superficial and nonessential in life is critical. In fact, the television show “Hoarders” illustrates weekly the extreme burden that too much stuff can bring to a person’s life. But I’ve just come to realize that there is something that actually should be hoarded—and that “thing” is a friend. Actually, an abundance of research now shows that finding, keeping and appreciating friends is good for our physical and mental health, good for our occupations, good for our creativity, will add years to our life, and enrich our experience in every way possible. If we are willing to accept that as true, then understanding the science of friendship is one of the most important actions each of us can take to create a life of happiness, meaning and purpose during our time here on earth. Continue reading
“…celebrating is one of the best ways to pause and remember this one, wild, precious and amazing life we have been given.”
I know I have mentioned more than once that Thom and I have been married for 35 years. That’s a lot of Valentine’s Days! And in spite of what you may be thinking, Thom has always resisted them. His argument is that Valentine’s Day—along with several other holidays throughout the year, were all manufactured to manipulate us into buying stuff. I, on the other hand, see those very same holidays as a great excuse to CELEBRATE something special. So keeping in mind that a major focus of SMART Living is to provide clarity and awareness about all things that affect our lives on a daily basis, how do you view celebrating holidays? Continue reading
Merry Christmas Everyone! Millions of people all over the world are celebrating Christmas this weekend. The one gift we want to offer everyone is something that cannot be bought—only shared. That wish is for peace.
And one of our favorite ways to share it is in the words of young Mattie Stepanek. Mattie as you may remember was a young man who died in 2004 at the age of 14. Mattie, who passed away from a rare genetic disease, managed to write six books of poetry in his young life and touched millions around the planet including Oprah Winfrey and his hero Jimmy Carter. Continue reading
Here are all quotes used during our SMART Living 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. For a quick pick-me-up or to remember that we all have lots to be grateful for, just read through these every now and then.
November 30 “We think we have to do something to be grateful or something has to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant Continue reading
At the beginning of November I challenged myself to a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. I knew that it would add extra work to my already hectic schedule. But I also knew that the timing was good. November is one of my favorite months AND Thanksgiving was right around the corner. Plus, everywhere I went people were talking about the coming U.S. elections. And regardless of who they hoped would win—there seemed to be a lot of fear, anger and worry associated with the process. Hurricane Sandy was also looming on the horizon. I knew I needed to take the focus off those things outside myself and place them firmly on the good that I have in my day-to-day life. Hence, the gratitude challenge was born. Continue reading
With all the talk of minimalism and simple living on the Internet these days I am still constantly surprised to see how many interpretations there are. I’m also seeing lots of confusion. I think that’s because most people are attracted to certain people who are writing about the subjects without concern about what either of those labels really mean. And while I’ve stated numerous times that I don’t believe myself to be an “expert,” I do feel the topic is not only valuable—but deserves explanation and exploration. For if SMART Living 365 is a way to fill our lives with meaning, purpose and happiness, then knowing about ideas that help that manifest is important to the journey. Continue reading