Merry Christmas Everyone! Millions of people all over the world are celebrating Christmas this weekend. The one gift we want to offer everyone is something that cannot be bought—only shared. That wish is for peace.
And one of our favorite ways to share it is in the words of young Mattie Stepanek. Mattie as you may remember was a young man who died in 2004 at the age of 14. Mattie, who passed away from a rare genetic disease, managed to write six books of poetry in his young life and touched millions around the planet including Oprah Winfrey and his hero Jimmy Carter. Continue reading →
Something about Buddhism always bugged me. Of course it wasn’t Buddhism itself, but what I heard. What stood out and bugged me was essentially the statement made by the Buddha that, “Life is suffering.” Not only did I not believe it, I thought the whole of Buddhism revolved around that negative idea. Rather than look deeper, I resisted the thought as though I could control the Universe and keep suffering away from either myself, or those I cared about. Flash forward about 30 years. Now I not only understand a great deal more about Buddhism, I also agree that suffering can and does happen every day to scores of people all around the world. In fact, after a tragedy like what happened at the school in Connecticut, how is it possible to think for a minute that suffering isn’t real? Of course the lesson taught by the Buddha doesn’t stop there. Instead the Buddha explained that freedom and peace lies in a space beyond suffering, and that liberation is available to us all. Continue reading →
Let’s admit it—all of us love to get and give gifts. Just the idea of unwrapping a brightly adorned present stimulates the possibility of finding our dreams fulfilled. Giving can be equally rewarding—with a sweet anticipation of connection and recognized love and appreciation from the receiver. Unfortunately, much of the time the gifts we are given fall far short of our expected dreams. At the same time, those we lavish gifts upon, often seem less than appreciative and oblivious to our hoped-for connections. But when you think about it, maybe the fault isn’t in the desire to give and receive. Instead, chances are it’s our routine and unconscious expectations of the season—and/or the less-than-altruistic manipulations of retailers. That’s why it might be time to start rethinking all gift-giving in a brand new SMART way—and start enjoying Christmas even more.
An enormous part of the SMART Living lifestyle is the daily awareness of our overall well-being. Do you know how you rate? Conveniently you can now go to a website named “Twitter Well-Being Tracker” and take a short and simple online test that will give you a score. Why is it called the “Twitter Well-Being Tracker”? Probably because you have the option of posting your score on the Twitter website or not. (Not sure why anyone would want to—but that is your choice.) A big reason that we think this website deserves attention is that as the busy holiday season kicks in during the next few weeks, it will benefit everyone to stay mindful and aware about what truly makes us happy and content—and the Well-Being Tracker is great for just that! Continue reading →
How many of you have noticed that Costco and a couple of other big-box retailers have already set up their Christmas decorations—and September isn’t even over? That’s right, sometime during the month of September Costco began moving out the summer displays and setting up Christmas trees, neon-flashing Santa’s and boxes of wrapping paper, all designed to get you in the buying mood early this year. And while I’m normally a fan of Costco, I consider their Christmas push to be obscene. As a member of the “club,” this push is a great reminder that Costco’s, (and similar other retail store’s) primary agenda is not to serve customers—but instead to generate income. And that is something very SMART for each of us to remember. Continue reading →
“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” –Buddha
Do you realize how much power you possess every time you open your mouth? Or what about when you post something on Facebook or send out that email? Every communication we have with others carries with it the ability to bring a smile to someone’s face and potentially lift one’s spirit. Or, we simultaneously have the power to create fear, doubt, or even worse. While we usually can’t turn another person’s life around without their cooperation, we can, with the simple words we say or write, instantly shift the energy in a person or in a room. Let’s start remembering that the words we share with others are like a wand bestowing blessings or curses.
Drop a light bulb on the floor and it shatters. Drop an apple and it bruises. Drop a hard rubber ball and it bounces back—good as new. What about you? Every single one of us experiences a variety of events every day. Some experiences are smooth and pleasant, some merely okay, and others downright tough. While most of us can sail easily through the good times—whether we shatter, bruise or bounce during the tough times are as individual as we are. We all know a few people who are amazing at bounding right back. Others—not so great. The good news is that with the desire, every one of us can improve our bounce-ability quotient. Continue reading →
Has anything pleasantly unexpected happened to you lately? Why not? If your day is starting to look and feel like the movie “Ground Hog Day” then maybe you have closed yourself off from the new and possible. Just holding open the possibility that something new and wonderful could happen today—very likely might crack open that door to a miraculous possibility that never before seemed feasible.
Let’s face it. We live in an amazing world filled with all sorts of incredible things. Yet, because humans tend to adjust to just about anything very quickly, we usually forget how great our lives are. SMART Living asks us to slow down, look around and pay attention—and then be thankful. I found this great short comedy video on FaceBook today and I think it says something very important in a short, funny and irreverent way. What do you think?
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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