For as long as I can remember I wanted to travel to Egypt. I’m not sure if it was a vision of the pyramids or movies about Cleopatra that created the longing or not. I just knew that given the chance, I would go. In 2015, I turned 60, and I had no interest in a big party or an expensive gift. Instead travel, as usual, was at the top of my list. Now, after just returning from nearly three weeks in this chaotic, ancient and mesmerizing country, I still don’t know for certain why I needed to go. But what’s clear is that the biggest thing to fear about traveling to Egypt is the challenge it gives to our comfort zone, our limited scope of history, and our egocentric view as citizens of planet Earth. [Read more…]
This weekend Thom and I return from our vacation. But rather than a guest post, I am offering one I wrote four years ago. After re-reading it, I realized that this idea was exactly what I wanted to share with you at the start of another new year. Please join me in 2017 as we all write a story of peace, well-being and meaning for ourselves and others in 2017.
As a writer, it’s easy for me to imagine each New Year as a blank sheet of paper awaiting my creativity. But that metaphor actually works for everyone. Every year we each have the potential to start over with a story—our personal story for sure—and any other story we want to create. Some of you may have already started by creating a year filled with all sort of drama and possibility. Others are planning to make this one just another carbon-copy of last year. Or, for those awake and aware, some of us are willing to accept the idea that this year’s story can be filled with all the peace, love, adventure and purpose that we desire. As usual, the choice is up to us. [Read more…]
On any given day, many of us will wake up and face what we consider to be a huge problem. If you’ve been watching the news lately, then you’ll agree. Top that off with any personal or health problems you have, and sometimes those problems appear overwhelming. But gradually through the years I’m learning that where ever and whatever I put my focus on, grows. Most problems are like that. I also remember hearing the late Norman Vincent Peale give a talk one time when he said, “The number of problems you face shows the aliveness in your life. The only people who don’t have problems are six feet under.” With that in mind, could it be that the way we choose to look at the problems confronting us is the real problem? [Read more…]
I 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. [Read more…]
I 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. [Read more…]
Most of the time I think I am one of the most fortunate and privileged persons on the planet because I get to write and do what I love all the time. I began writing seriously back in the mid-eighties then took up blogging seven years ago. Four years ago I created SMART Living 365 and every week since do my very best to share ideas about how each of us can live a happy, meaningful and rewarding life every day of the year. But although the mission of SMART Living usually keeps me focused on those things that inspire me and others, I do have my challenges. Ordinarily that has nothing to do with the writing, and everything to do with managing a website with limited technological understanding—like the last two weeks! Yet even then, the gift of blogging extends far beyond putting out an article on schedule and having everything go as planned. Ever wonder why a blogger, blogs? Maybe it’s because blogging offers life lessons available to us all. [Read more…]
Several weeks ago Thom came across a quote by author and speaker Eckhart Tolle that said, “Non-resistance, non-judgment, and non-attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.” Since then, we’ve been toying with that idea to see if it’s true or even possible. And as life would have it, personal experiences offer plenty of examples to test the theory. Is it possible that at the core of it all is the desire to control the uncontrollable?
Chances are good that you’ve heard that California is in the midst of a severe four-year drought. If you don’t live here you might not think that has anything to do with you. But if you live in the U.S., there is a good chance you’ve eaten some of the food grown here—or at least used to be grown here. And if you live elsewhere around the planet you likely know that fresh drinkable water is becoming more precious everywhere humans live. But rather than scare ourselves to death about the dwindling supply, I instead want to remind myself of this precious resource that deserves our protection and appreciation. When we love something, when we value something, it is always easier to do whatever it takes to insure its continuation. So this week’s post is my tribute to water. [Read more…]
Last weekend I had the amazing gift of two sets of girlfriends come for a visit. Like every summer, I’m out of town renting a cabin in the mountains with my husband Thom to escape the desert heat near our home. While we always enjoy handfuls of guests during our summer retreats, this was the first year in over 20 where I’ve enjoyed so much female company—and it certainly felt like something special. Maybe it’s my age or maybe it’s my own awareness, but having good female friends is a simple, SMART and rewarding aspect to any happy life. [Read more…]
A new popular book on Amazon is titled, Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs To Breathe. And although I’m sure that young moms sometimes feel desperate and need hope and encouragement, don’t we all now and then–especially at midlife? So although I’m not a professional, I came up with five big issues that could trigger desperation for those of us in our midlife years, along with some possible solutions for helping us get through it and not only breathe, but thrive.