Starting today, and in the weeks to come, I will be sharing some of my photography with you on SMART Living 365 and a linked Tumblr account.
Inspiring words and photos have always uplifted my soul…and what I plan to share are my attempts to mix my photography with words in ways that will shift your mindset and help to create a more happy, peaceful and meaningful life—365! We’re calling this series “SMART Photos by Thom” and you can see all my pictures at any time by going to the link under the photo. Oh, and please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments under each post. Thanks!
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 →
“He who would travel happily must travel light.” ~Antoine de St. Exupery
As I mentioned in a previous post, Thom and I are currently traveling for over three weeks. After nearly a dozen overseas trips we’ve learned—okay I’ve learned—that you really don’t need to take as much stuff as you think you do. Of course it is easier for guys because they can get away with a pair of jeans and a couple of t-shirts. But even though I’m responsible for toiletries and toothbrushes, I’ve learned that the penalty for lugging around a ton of stuff while trying to enjoy yourself is not worth the benefit of having it “just in case you need it.” And that made me think about all the other things I’ve tried to over-pack throughout the years, and a few things I’ve discovered about eliminating unnecessary clutter. Continue reading →
At the end of every year I have a habit of going back and reviewing things that worked well in my life in the last 365 days. I think it’s useful to explore the actions, mindsets and understandings that have enhanced my well-being and happiness—and recognize those that didn’t, so they can be modified And because a big part of living SMART 365 is staying conscious, awake and aware—this practice might prove valuable for all of us. I’ll start by sharing a few ideas that increased the quality of my life in 2012. Continue reading →
Last weekend Thom and I snuck away to the movies. We haven’t gone much these days because most don’t seem to deliver a story worth watching. Fortunately The Life of Pi had just been released. Not only is the movie a stunning visual treat, the story is engaging and thought-provoking. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly encourage you to take the time. And as fantastical as the story may seem, you may find as I did, that the movie is a good allegory for all of us. In fact, many of the choices made by Pi are choices most of us are asked to make as we journey through our lives. Continue reading →
This year, for the first time ever, I planted a garden. At the beginning it was fun, rewarding and easy. I began harvesting lettuce within two weeks and peppers barely 30 days later. Every day was a miracle as I watched green tomatoes forming on my wandering vines. Then, just as I anticipated ripe tomatoes, I noticed something awful. Huge juicy caterpillars were munching my vines and my baby tomatoes. Not only were they devastating my plants, their overwhelming presence shattered my idyllic garden image. Almost overnight, my garden became both a challenging endeavor and a reality check. Much as I’d like to believe that disappointment or challenges don’t happen to all of us on a regular basis—the truth is they do. And because it is SMART to stay focused on solutions rather than the problem, here are 8 suggestions anyone of us can use to overcome the hornworms (or any other challenge!) you face in your life. Continue reading →
One of my favorite authors is a man named Parker J. Palmer. Parker is a Quaker that embodies such a genuine depth of spirit and connection that I am always interested in what he has to say. With a background in education, spirituality, community and leadership his latest book is “Healing the Heart of Democracy.” And while politics may seem a strange bedfellow to spirituality or even SMART Living, the manner in which Parker approaches the topic is relevant to every single subject I ever write about. Ultimately, every one of his themes leads to a greater experience of the whole.
Do you think you work too hard? You’re not alone. Many people I talk to, especially those younger with families, report being over-worked, overwhelmed and clearly unable to take even a moment to pause and reflect on the direction of their life. We all know that chronic overwork increases our stress levels, endangers our physical health, triggers depression and decreases our “life satisfaction.” So why do we continue to put in long hours? And what’s the solution? It’s likely that the simple answer is to work less and live SMARTer. In fact, there is evidence that working less not only increases the quality of an individual’s life—it is also much better for the entire planet. Continue reading →
What did you notice when you woke up this morning and started your day? Was it beauty? If you’re anything like me, you might not see much of anything until after a cup of coffee. But once my eyes begin to focus, I attempt to make a regular habit of looking at the beauty I see all around me. Actually, I believe that seeing beauty all around us is a habit we can all develop to create a happier life.
A favorite story I heard long ago is about how some young boys tried to fool a wise old woman who lived in their village. The boys, who had seen the woman hobble about town and couldn’t understood why the adults were so respectful, vowed to try to trip her up. Every now and then, they would come up with a question they thought she’d never be able to answer—but she always did. Still they never stopped trying.
One day a one particularly mischievous boy in the group came up with the perfect question that would be impossible for the old woman to answer correctly. He plotted a plan to hold a small live bird behind his back in his cupped hands. He would then ask the wise woman, “Is the bird in my hands alive or is it dead?” Naturally, if the woman said the bird was alive, the boy intended to quickly squeeze the life out of it and answer, “No, the bird is dead.” If the woman said the bird is dead, then the boy would merely present the live bird proving her wrong. Either way, the boy laughed thinking he couldn’t lose. Continue reading →
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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