Hawaiian legend states that every child born is similar to a bowl of Light. That Light starts out as everything good, loving, peaceful, playful and creative. Unfortunately, as most of us grow, we start filling our bowls with stones of judgment, worry, fear, regret, anger and even hate. If we continue down that path, then eventually our bowl of Light is filled with stones and we become nothing more than stone ourselves. Happily, with intention and the practice of Ho’oponopono, our Light can be restored to our original nature. Sound nice? What if it were true? And what if it offers us a solution to many of the problems facing the world and most individuals today? [Read more…]
For the next couple of weeks I will be out of town and I’m happy to introduce all of you to another SMART blogger named Lizzie Lau. Liz is a part-time resident of La Quinta, CA when she’s not traveling the world with her daughter. From the moment we met, I knew she was living a rightsized life. This post about “pura vida” says it all. Thanks Liz for allowing me to share another version of rightsizing!
Costa Rica has always been especially alluring to me. There is something about it that makes me want to go there and hang out. It’s on my bucket list, and ideally I’d love to take my daughter there for an extended visit to help her learn Spanish. It’s not just the beautiful scenery, beaches, cloud forests, hammocks and ocean breeze that call to me. It’s the vibe, the Pura Vida.
Is your happiness sustainable? I’m not talking about that rush of pleasure we get when things turn out the way we hope and expect. I’m also not taking about the giddy experience we get laughing with friends or the thrill of accomplishment that overtakes us when we get what we want. To me sustainable happiness is the sense of good and wellbeing that comes in the middle of the night when you are alone with your thoughts. It’s a deep and sustaining sense that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, where you are supposed to be doing it, at exactly the right time in your life. And the good thing about finding it is that regardless of what is happening in our lives or circumstances, we can still count on it comforting us when the going gets tough. [Read more…]
Have you ever noticed that when you pay attention and stay grateful for the little things in your life, most things seem to go well? As some of you know, since November 1st I’ve been participating in a gratitude challenge where every single day I write down ten-things–of-thankful (TToT) and post them on the SMART Living FB page. Now that I’m around 2/3rds through the challenge, it’s becoming obvious that most of what I list are little and routine pieces of my day. Gradually I’ve come to realize that when we recognize (with gratitude) those little things that happen each and every day, we just might be keeping them from becoming big things that lead to unhappiness. [Read more…]
The Internet is full of posts, articles and photos of people who are embracing a more minimal lifestyle and promoting the Small House Movement. Just Google if you’re curious. One guy has remodeled a trash dumpster and now calls that home. Others are living in RV like structures with only 200 to 300 sq. feet. Even though some of these homes are adorable and decorated to make the most of small spaces, there is only a minority of us in the U.S. that will ever embrace that lifestyle for any length of time. But that doesn’t mean that the focus on a small (er) home isn’t worth promoting. In fact, my experience has convinced me that it was one of the best moves we ever made. [Read more…]
Those of you who may be new to this blog might be unaware that the “T” in the acronym SMART stands for thankful. I included it precisely because I know without a doubt that the practice of gratitude and thankfulness is essential to a happy, fulfilled and content life. At the same time I am also aware that just about every person I know and every blog I read with a focus on happiness, simple living and minimalism reports that a fundamental concept to the philosophy is appreciating what you have right now (in other words, “gratitude.”) What I find a bit surprising is that even though so many of us admit that it is important, something holds us back from the actual practice of it on a daily basis. Could it be possible that practicing thankfulness every day and making thanks living a habit, is the key to creating both a great minimalist lifestyle and a happy life? [Read more…]
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. [Read more…]
Here are all quotes used during our SMART Living 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. For a quick pick-me-up or to remember that we all have lots to be grateful for, just read through these every now and then.
November 30 “We think we have to do something to be grateful or something has to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant [Read more…]
At the beginning of November I challenged myself to a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. I knew that it would add extra work to my already hectic schedule. But I also knew that the timing was good. November is one of my favorite months AND Thanksgiving was right around the corner. Plus, everywhere I went people were talking about the coming U.S. elections. And regardless of who they hoped would win—there seemed to be a lot of fear, anger and worry associated with the process. Hurricane Sandy was also looming on the horizon. I knew I needed to take the focus off those things outside myself and place them firmly on the good that I have in my day-to-day life. Hence, the gratitude challenge was born. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
One of the core elements of living SMART 365 is practicing a thankful awareness on a daily basis. That’s why this week we are recommending Gratefulness.org. This website offers several touching and free ways to practice gratitude as well as education and support for anyone who wants to use gratitude as a regular spiritual practice. Just one of the goals of the website and organization is “to promote public awareness of gratefulness as a power for change in areas such as ecology, religious tolerance and intergenerational respect.” Surely, such a focus on gratitude can benefit each and every one of us every single day. [Read more…]