Do you remember your first bike? That question was a big part of the presentation made by Dan Austin, author and founder of “88 Bikes” at the Palm Springs 4th Annual Sustainability Celebration. The event, which featured an exhibit area of local green and sustainable businesses, groups and organizations focused on promoting another year of growing and learning about ways to improve our desert community. An exciting new piece of that puzzle would be an all valley bikeway from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea–a stretch of nearly 50 miles.
Did you know that one of the best ways to help yourself is to help others? Dozens of studies demonstrate that people who volunteer and aid others are themselves on the receiving end of both obvious and hidden benefits. That’s why this week we think it’s SMART to suggest one of our favorite “giving” websites—that website is Kiva.org. Do yourself a favor this week and help someone else. Kiva makes it easy. Continue reading →
We are all creatures of habit. Don’t believe me? This morning Facebook came out with yet another change to its layout and the comments are: “If I was Facebook’s mom I would ground it for a month.” Or: “HATE: the new Facebook Newsfeed,” or “How do you like the new Facebook layout? So far I can’t stand it! Boooo Hiss Facebook, Boooo Hiss!” Unfortunately, while habits can make our lives easier in many cases, it is also a recipe for a life of boredom, routine and a diminished creativity and brain capacity. When you know the facts, you might consider that Facebook is doing us all a favor.
Just over six months ago Thom and I added a new family member to our household—a puppy we named Kloe. To be sure, a puppy ads havoc, lots more work and a great deal of responsibility to anyone who cares for them. However, the increased value and joy Kloe brings to our lives more than compensates for any inconvenience. Not only does Kloe make us laugh on a daily basis, there is plenty of proof that she is also good for our health.
“Research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings,” Richard Ryan.
Trees are alive too!
As some of our friends and family know, Thom and I have been renting a house for a month every summer up in Idyllwild for around 17 years. Idyllwild is a very small mountain town, (less than 2,000 permanent residents) about an hour from our home in the desert. Back in 1993 we did it for the first time because, quite frankly, we couldn’t afford any other type of vacation—it seemed like a good way to escape the desert heat and was a great bargain as well. Little did we know back then that the experience would be so rewarding, that we would still be doing it 17 years later. Now, not only do we consider it still an amazing vacation value, more especially we are living examples of the restorative power of spending time in nature. Continue reading →
When most people search for happiness, they seldom think of beauty or being artful unless they claim to be an artist. I certainly used to think that way. When focused on creating a happy and successful life, I seldom realized that unless I was also creating something artful or beautiful, that dream often eluded me. I think that is because there is something inside each of us that finds peace, harmony, awe and connection whenever we see and recognize beauty. And if we don’t see beauty, then no matter how close we are to achieving any goal, something seems to be missing. That’s why I believe it is critical to create beauty when living SMART 365.
Happy SMART Day Everyone! Today is a great day to talk about the “R” in SMART Living—even if I am temporarily skipping a couple of letters to do it. That’s because the R stands for “Responsible” and one way of being responsible is being “response-able.” That’s right folks, although there are a couple of ways we believe that SMART Living asks us to be responsible…when it comes down to it, unless we are consistently able to respond in a way that creates peace and happiness we will always be susceptible to circumstances, events and other people. Once we take full responsibility for our actions, and yeah it isn’t always easy, then we can decide how we will proceed.
It occurred to me that it would be wise to go through and explain what I am attempting to include with each letter in the word SMART. As some of you know, Thom and I have been actively involved in the “green” and sustainable movement for the last couple of years. We never, or at least I never, considered myself to be a “treehugger.” I still don’t. But what I have grown to discover is that living in a green or sustainable way means that you take care of what you have, you aren’t wasteful or inconsiderate with what you use, you honor the gifts that are given and don’t abuse them, and you realize what you give out you get in return. Not only does that philosophy apply to how we treat planetary resources, it also applies to just about every thing we do–physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I've been writing on all sorts of topics for over 25 years and have a couple of published books and hundreds of articles. But my passion today is exploring ideas and experiences that help to create a meaningful, sustainable, compassionate and rewarding life for myself and others. Beyond that, I am blessed to be healthy, content, and happily married to my best friend and soul mate--Thom! Plus, each day I'm doing my best to live life to Its fullest....and to remember, that I get to make it up! Check out my personal website for more info at: http://kathygottberg.com
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