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?
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…]
Something Thom and I always wanted to do was to try a float tank*. A couple of weeks ago in honor of my birthday we literally took the plunge. One of the more interesting things about it was the reaction others gave us when we attempted to explain the experience. Most offered a perplexed look on their face while some reacted in barely disguised repulsion. Questions like, “It’s completely dark? You’re floating in water? Do they lock you in?” were common, including the surprise, “You’re in there for a whole hour?” Like so many situations, how a person reacts says more about them than the experience itself. So when I later read an article that reported many people prefer electric shocks to being alone with their own thoughts, I wasn’t at all surprised. But what’s really going on here? Are we so addicted to stimulation that we can’t stand the silence, or could it be that we are more afraid of who we might be and what we might find if we stop all the noise? [Read more…]
A week ago I turned 60. And while the number sounds much older than I feel, I am also extremely aware of how great my life is at the same time. In fact, thinking back I am hyperaware of how much my life has improved during the last 30 years. But how can that be? In a culture obsessed with youth, is it possible that we’ve all been mislead about what happens as we age? Or maybe those of us who have lived to midlife and beyond stay too silent about the benefits? Either way, now is a good time to let those who follow know that not only can we get better as we age, but life itself can be more sweet, meaningful and SMART as it goes along.
A friend of mine is currently in the midst of selling her long-time family home and moving. Yet while I believe she “gets” the many benefits of rightsizing, I can tell after talking with her that several issues keep popping up that make her hesitant. That’s completely normal, because in many ways, rightsizing is contrary to what most of us have been taught. The good news is that once you know what to keep in mind, rightsizing not only becomes the easiest choice, it is also the one that leads to the greatest benefits.
What do we need to remember when it’s time to make a move? [Read more…]
During the last several years I knew that my hearing wasn’t as good as it used to be. But like millions of other baby boomers I told myself I was far too young to worry about it. But because I prefer preventative medicine to reactionary medicine, I decided to get a hearing test just to check things out. Even then I was somewhat shocked and dismayed to learn just how bad my hearing really was. After digging around on the Internet I was equally shocked to find out how common impaired hearing is for millions of Americans. Even more important is why the denial of it can become such a huge problem if left untreated. [Read more…]
My husband Thom and I have watched Chopped for several years now. Even though we are not big fans of reality TV, there is something about the mix of tasty food, cooking, creativity, and drama that caught our attention. If you haven’t seen it, Chopped is a weekly program on the Food Network that showcases four different chefs each week as they compete to create the most artistic and flavorful dishes in a set amount of time. After watching dozens of episodes, it occurred to me that many of the things we witness week after week is similar to what we all face on a regular basis. That’s when I came up with seven life lessons contained in every episode of Chopped. [Read more…]
Thom and I toyed with meditation on and off for several decades until we finally committed to a daily practice a little over four years ago. Then a couple of months ago Thom suggested we take a tai chi class together, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that tai chi is considered to be a “moving meditation.” In many ways, the experience of tai chi manages to broaden, deepen and enhance what we are already doing. But even more surprising, is how the practice of tai chi can help any of us create a very SMART, happy and harmonious way of life—365. [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…]