“…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
Got Bills? Maybe it’s time to rightsize your finances!
Last week, after publishing my article on Rightsizing vs. Downsizing, a discussion came up while talking with friends at Happy Hour. I could tell from the direction of the conversation that even though everyone agreed that going debt free was a wonderful element of rightsizing and simple living, most felt it was out of reach for the average family. That was a great reminder that rightsizing isn’t just about the size of your house, your car, or your credit limit—instead, rightsizing touches every area of your life including (and maybe especially) your finances. In fact, once a person learns to manage their money—both expenses and income—rightsizing the other areas of life will come more easily. Down the line a person can eventually achieve the ultimate goal of rightsizing, which is to live a life that uniquely fits and brings the greatest amount of peace, contentment and joy to that individual and family. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Day 1–November 1, 2012
“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” ~Meister Eckhart
Every November I start thinking about gratitude and thanksgiving in a big way. That’s because Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of every November in the U.S., but mostly because it is my favorite holiday of all. Instead of all the hoopla of being pushed and pulled to get and give, Thanksgiving merely asks us to pause and reflect on the good in our life. Plus it is usually celebrated by having dinner and spending time with people you care about most—and those who care about you—be they friends, family or neighbors. For anyone attempting to live a life of happiness, simple living, contentment, peace and well being, Thanksgiving deserves special recognition. Continue reading
What do you see when you look at this photo?
This last weekend Thom, Kloe and I took a short trip down to Baja Mexico to visit friends. We hadn’t been to Rosarito in years and we hadn’t visited our longtime friends Larry & Jose since they bought their stunning condo perched on the rugged coastline. We had a wonderful time—lots of great conversation, plenty of laughter, tasty food, soaking in the hot tub, playtime with Kloe and her new dog girlfriend Tasha, a couple of bottles of nice wine and even a sip or two of the “new” almond tequila. But toward the end of the mini-vacation we hit a slight “hitch.” Luckily, we both quickly remembered that we “get to make it up” and decided to ignore the hitch and focus on the good. After all, did we want to remember the fun from the amazing previous four days, or the small “black dot” towards the end? And as usual, what we chose to focus on and remember, is up to us. Continue reading
Most of the time I consider myself to be one of the most fortunate people on the planet. I have a wonderful life—I’m healthy and have a great relationship—I also get to work and write about things that matter to me on a consistent basis. But every now and then something pops up that makes me pause and wonder if my writing and work is making any kind of positive difference. Other times things happen or people do unexpected and unpleasant things that catch me by surprise. That’s when it is SMART for me to remember the words of a wise woman named Byron Katie. One of the solutions she suggests for when we are feeling stressed out or unhappy is to “Stay In Your Own Business.” In fact, she is very clear that most time when we are struggling with a situation we are in someone else’s business—and the simple practice of recognizing that fact is usually all it takes to bring us back to ourselves. Continue reading
Do you consider yourself a minimalist? Do you even know what minimalism means? Lately I’ve been excited by a number of blogs and websites devoted to the topic. That interest signals a reverse in the over-consumptive tendencies and consumer lifestyle so prevalent during the last couple of decades here in the U.S. But often when I read the posts and comments on such sites, it seems that those who are involved have differing views of what minimalism is and why it can be beneficial. Perhaps before we start calling ourselves a minimalist we should describe what we mean in the first place. Continue reading