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…]
During the last four and a half years I have written and published every post here on SMART Living 365. But as Thom and I prepared for a three week trip over the holidays, I decided to invite three other bloggers I enjoy and admire to contribute and share their SMART advice. Today’s Guest Post comes from author and writer Corinne Rodrigues. Corinne and her writings come to us from halfway around the world in Secunderabad, South India. While our backgrounds are obviously quite different, Corinne and I both often write about many of the qualities that I think make up a SMART Life. Things like a grateful heart, giving, hope, love and thanksgiving are so universal it doesn’t matter where you live. I hope you enjoy this post, and I strongly encourage you to check out Corinne’s blog Everyday Gyaan if you get a chance. Thank you, Corinne, for sharing your loving, grateful and kind writings with all of us.
As I’m cooking spinach this afternoon, I inhale the lovely scent of cumin and coriander and I give thanks for the gift of spices. Earlier this morning, it was thanks for the freshness of the aloe vera soap I used in my shower.
I start to think about how offering thanks has become such a part of my everyday routine. I think of my journey into gratitude and decide that I’ll share it with you today. [Read more…]
Most 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.” [Read more…]
Anything that reveals why people do what they do, or what moves us to act or not, fascinates me. That’s why reading or listening to motivational or success authors and/or speakers is something I’ve done most of my adult life. Sure some resources are better than others, but I always manage to learn at least one new thing that benefits my thinking, my perceptions, and hopefully my life. That’s why when I was offered a review copy of a new book by longtime author and speaker Brian Tracy, I said yes. Without a doubt the title intrigued me: Find Your Balance Point—Clarify Your Priorities, Simplify Your Life, and Achieve More. Doesn’t that sound SMART to you, too? [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…]
Years ago, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs was a popular way of understanding human motivation and ourselves in general. His work was one of the first to look at what allowed people to thrive, rather than struggle in dysfunction, and preceded the field of positive psychology as we know it today. Beginning with a basic need to merely survive, Maslow showed how some people evolved beyond that to eventually arrive at a pinnacle: self-actualization. But while Maslow’s theory made a major contribution to developmental psychology, there are new theories replacing his. Could human happiness and motivation really be as simple as the three needs in Self-Determination Theory (SDT) or the six factors in The Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being? And is it really possible to know what we humans need to be happy? [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…]
For the last couple of years one of my favorite speakers to listen to when taking my morning walk is Abraham-Hicks. Regardless of whether the source of their inspiration comes from one woman’s mind or channeled spirits from a higher realm, I find much of it to be an empowering way to look at life. With a big emphasis on finding happiness and feeling good about life in general, what I hear during my morning walk is both healthy for my body and good for my soul. This week I heard Esther Hicks say something that made me stop, pause and make a note to myself as a reminder. That’s when I realized it might be good for me to share other favorites that prove beneficial to me on a regular basis. [Read more…]
I keenly remember my mom working a garden in several of the homes she lived in later in her life. One was little more than rock and gravel patch of dirt, yet she managed to harvest a few tomatoes and zucchini in spite of the inhospitable ground. And while I always enjoyed the taste if she had any extras, my life was far too important and fast paced to even imagine having the time or interest. Now here I am so many years later, spending time nearly every day nurturing tiny green plants in my care. Though it’s taken a while, I’ve gradually come to realize that many of the hidden benefits my mother harvested from her garden went far beyond the obvious. In fact, after reading up on the benefits of gardening I’ve come to realize that this simple action might be a cure for what ails many people, as well as the planet herself. [Read more…]