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Downsize your Home and your Life: Ep. 157

downsizing your homeDo you need to downsize your home? What about downsizing your life? Why are these things beneficial as we retire?

We are re-releasing our episode about downsizing. Our guest is Kathy Gottberg, a published author of six books along with numerous magazine articles. On her blog, SMARTliving365.com, Kathy explores ideas and experiences to help create a sustainable, meaningful, happy and rewarding life for herself and others.

Since turning 60, Kathy has become increasingly interested in ideas around positive aging and retirement. Learn more about rightsizing and why downsizing doesn’t have to be a downgrade in this episode.

On today’s show we discuss:
  • Rightsizing vs. downsizing
  • Why rightsizing is so beneficial as we age and retire
  • How to rightsize

What is rightsizing?

Anything you have in your life requires energy, time and effort to maintain. The beauty of rightsizing is it allows you to choose what’s important to you. Use your time, energy and resources on the things you value most.

You can rightsize just about anything in your life. Rightsizing is about getting rid of the things that don’t really matter and focusing on the things that do.

The key with rightsizing is it’s individual. It will be different for everyone.

Areas you might need to rightsize:
  • Old habits
  • Toxic Habits
  • Your current job
Advice for rightsizing:
  • Do it with a loved one
  • Get away and get quiet
  • Find resources to help you

How to downsize your home? Ask yourself these questions.

  • What are the top 10 things that are most important to me for the rest of my life?
  • Do I need it?
  • Can I rent it?
  • Can I borrow it?

Kathy firmly believes that if you take the time and effort to downsize your home and rightsize your life, then you will be better prepared to retire and better prepared to make all the choices and decisions in your life that will make you happier and more purposeful.

Kathy’s Books:

Positive Aging: A SMART Living 365 Guide to Thriving and Wellbeing at any Age (2017)

Rightsizing: A SMART Living 365 Guide to Reinventing Retirement Simple

SMART & Happy: A SMART Living 365 Guide to a Sustainable & Meaningful Life (2014)

Finding Grace—A Transformational Journey (2013)

The Complete Guide To Selling Your Own Home in California (2008)

The Findhorn Book of Practical Spirituality (2003)

Links:

SMARTliving365.com

Twitter – @gottgreen

Email – kathy@smartliving365.com

The Cure for the What If: Episode 154

The Cure for the What If

Janelle Anderson co-hosts another podcast episode and today, we'll be talking about “The Cure for the What If”.

Most of the time, we are thinking, “What could go wrong?”. By thinking about this all the time, we might pass a lot of great opportunities. In today's episode, Janelle and I will be talking about the cure for this.

Fear of the Future

Fear of the future is a problem, but remember that the future is not real because it hasn't happened yet. Any transition might be a fear for most of us because we might be thinking, “What could go wrong?”. It's like crossing a bridge.

What might be on the other side of the bridge? What if there's an earthquake while you're crossing it?

How will you retire if you're always thinking about what could go wrong? Instead of thinking about this, how about focusing on things that could make you happy when you retire? Nobody can anticipate all the unknown. Janelle thinks that we are afraid of the unknown because people want to be in control.

Small Actions Matter what if

Small actions are much better than a big one. It will make you feel better. For example, like Janelle, she's thinking about cleaning her house but she just managed to clean one room. It made her feel great!

There's a book called “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe The World“, it's about making your bed perfect every morning. Making something perfect when you start your day will make you feel so much better for the entire day. Taking action is the key to curing the fear of what if. Fear keeps us from taking actions. It makes us have reasons or excuses for doing what we really want. 

Overcome your Fear of What If

Face your fear. It's just like riding a bicycle, how will you learn how to ride it if you don't overcome the fear of falling down? Fear paralyzes us. It's not about what's happening to us, it's about how we're looking at what's going to happen to us. All of us doesn't know what's going to happen in the future. Always think that whatever happens in the future, we can handle it. It's about acceptance and living in the moment.

Go ahead and step up and do whatever you want to do!

Connect with Janelle Anderson:

Click here for the first episode with Janelle Anderson!

Living in the Present Moment: Episode 153

living in the presentLiving in the Present Moment

I wanted to try out something different on the show as I was getting bored of the usual pattern. So I will be co-hosting with Janelle Anderson and do a four-part series.

Today, we are talking about living in the present. I read an article called “Living in the Moment” by Zorka Hereford which came out in essentiallifeskills.net. We have been hearing about living in the present and mindfulness a lot, and it is something that I think we all should try.

By being present in the moment, you can get in touch with your feelings and thoughts and become more connected with others. We can become more relaxed and peaceful and derive a higher sense of gratitude towards life.

Living in the Present

To be in the present mean to be conscious of all of your senses geared to perceive the moment. It is not an easy task especially if you are new at it. Our minds have a habit of wandering off!

Janelle talks about a trip with her daughter where she went on a hike. Both of them were sitting on top of a small bridge, and she utilized all her senses to take at the moment. It was like taking a picture which gets imprinted in your heart and stays forever!

But she could have ruined it all just by thinking about walking back or what they were going to have in lunch.

Don't let your Past ruin your Present

Many of us also have the habit of letting the past ruin our present moment. We feel regret, get mad or upset because we haven't dealt with the past. We keep on ruminating on the things that happened again and again and end up impacting our present and the future.

You need to go back, revisit your past and accept that you cannot change it. You need to learn from it and let it go.

Some people have difficulty in dealing with their past. They hold it in and refuse to let it go. Therapy can be a good option for such people which helps them unpack their past and look at it from a different perspective.

One technique that Janelle learned as a coach can help us to live life without getting attached to the outcomes. It is called detached involvement which is a way to experience life as you observe it. If we can practice this, then we will be able to go along with any outcome and accept it.

Full attention is the key to be in the present. You should also not let thoughts of future meddle with the present moment.

Tips to be Living in the Present

The author provides us with six helpful tips to be in the present. Let's go over them!

  • Teach yourself to focus on the present moment. It needs a lot of training, and you need to have a genuine intention to do so. You can develop the habit with gradual practice and then it would come naturally to you all the time.
  • Get engaged in whatever you are doing and enjoying the process. You should use all your senses to take in a moment and tune in – listen to the bird's chirp, wonder at the clouds passing by, smell the fragrance of flowers- you get the hang of it right?
  • Teach yourself the relaxation techniques which let you focus on the present moment. The simple exercise is to take a deep breath and slowly let it out. It brings you back in the present moment to whatever you are doing.
  • You should also take in your surrounding and try to take a mental snapshot. It's just what we said about enjoying the process.
  • Listening is an art we seldom practice. How many times do you tune out in a conversation- or have other thoughts? We should make a habit of listening for the sake of listening whether it is a conversation, music or even silence.
  • Be in the present moment while you are eating. You should savor every grain or spoon and involve your brain while eating. That way you don't end up feeling hungry after an hour!

 

Downsize your home and life: Episode 135

how to downsize your homeDo you need to downsize your home? What about downsizing your life? Why are these things beneficial as we retire?

Kathy Gottberg is a published author of six books along with numerous magazine articles. On her blog, SMARTliving365.com, Kathy explores ideas and experiences to help create a sustainable, meaningful, happy and rewarding life for herself and others.

Since turning 60, Kathy has become increasingly interested in ideas around positive aging and retirement. Learn more about rightsizing and why downsizing doesn’t have to be a downgrade in this episode.

On today’s show we discuss:
  • Rightsizing vs. downsizing
  • Why rightsizing is so beneficial as we age and retire
  • How to rightsize

What is rightsizing?

Anything you have in your life requires energy, time and effort to maintain. The beauty of rightsizing is it allows you to choose what’s important to you. Use your time, energy and resources on the things you value most.

You can rightsize just about anything in your life. Rightsizing is about getting rid of the things that don’t really matter and focusing on the things that do.

The key with rightsizing is it’s individual. It will be different for everyone.

Areas you might need to rightsize:
  • Old habits
  • Toxic Habits
  • Your current job
Advice for rightsizing:
  • Do it with a loved one
  • Get away and get quiet
  • Find resources to help you

How to downsize your home? Ask yourself these questions.

  • What are the top 10 things that are most important to me for the rest of my life?
  • Do I need it?
  • Can I rent it?
  • Can I borrow it?

Kathy firmly believes that if you take the time and effort to downsize your home and rightsize your life, then you will be better prepared to retire and better prepared to make all the choices and decisions in your life that will make you happier and more purposeful.

Kathy’s Books:

Positive Aging: A SMART Living 365 Guide to Thriving and Wellbeing at any Age (2017)

Rightsizing: A SMART Living 365 Guide to Reinventing Retirement Simple

SMART & Happy: A SMART Living 365 Guide to a Sustainable & Meaningful Life (2014)

Finding Grace—A Transformational Journey (2013)

The Complete Guide To Selling Your Own Home in California (2008)

The Findhorn Book of Practical Spirituality (2003)

Links:

SMARTliving365.com

Twitter – @gottgreen

Email – kathy@smartliving365.com

 

How to Connect Spiritually: Episode 133

connect spirituallyToday I wanted to give you things I do to connect spiritually

You might not affiliate yourself with any one religion.  Or you might consider yourself to be “spiritual”.

This episode is not trying to convert you, just to spark your creativity on how you can connect more to your spiritual side.

If you listen to the show you know that I’m a follower of Christ, but I wasn’t always.  And even today, I’m considered a bit unorthodox by many of my Christian friends.

Much of what I believe today is influenced by what I was taught as a child, which doesn’t necessarily match what others think.

This might be you.

So today I’m going to tell you what I personally do to connect spiritually.  You can take some of it for yourself or leave it.  That’s up to you.

Connect with Nature:

First let’s talk about something that anyone can do, and that is connect with nature.

When I’m feeling disconnected, frustrated, or basically just un-spiritual, I tend to want to go outside.  I like going outside and standing in the daylight.  I go to my milkweed plants and search for monarch caterpillars.

Just being outside, soaking up the sunshine makes me feel more connected to God and more spiritual.

I know I’m lucky where I live, because not only is it sunny most of the year, but also I look out on “open space” in my backyard.  What that means is that no one can build on the land behind me as it’s set aside for wildlife.  That set aside is only for 400 feet, but right now I have a whole mountain behind me.

When I go outside in addition to the sunshine, I listen to the birds.  They are singing whether it’s cloudy or sunny.  And it’s something about the singing of the birds that calms me down and I

connect spiritually to God.  I don’t even have to talk with God, I’m just there.

And wherever I go, I listen for the birds.  Even in urban areas, there are usually a few around, chirping.  And if we listen carefully we can hear them.  Even crows cawing can soothe your spirit sometimes.

Listening for wildlife around us can bring us a spiritual connection that we don’t have in our urban busy lives.

You know what’s interesting, is that I have been training myself to listen for the last couple of years.  It’s difficult for me because I consider myself to be hard of hearing.  It’s usually when I’m in a crowded room, the talking all runs together and I cannot make out individual conversations.  So it’s hard for me to be in big groups of people.

But, since I’ve been training myself to listen, I can actually now hear the sounds of my worms eating.  Sounds gross right?

But I have a worm farm in my backyard.  I started it when I first started growing organic vegetables and didn’t want to put chemicals in my garden.  Now I just grow milkweed for the monarch butterfly caterpillars to eat.  But I kept the worm farm.  There’s something about watching them take food and turn it into compost that relaxes me.  And now at night when I go out to feed them, I can hear them eating.

Yesterday I was outside and I could hear the flutter of the butterflies wings when it flew by me.  There was a time that I would never have heard any of that.

And all of this listening is bringing me closer to God.

Perhaps if you listen more to nature it will open your spirituality as well.

Color Meditate/ Mind Mapping

 

I attend church almost every week, and I create drawings of the word that the pastor says.  Sometimes I’ve found that by drawing out the words it helps me concentrate, and then I remember what is being said.

Even though my pastor is a great public speaker, is funny, and connects with his small audience of about 150 people, I have a difficult time concentrating, and even staying awake during the sermons.

I’m not sure if it’s because during the week I’m so busy, and on Sundays, I tend to decompress.  After church, I often will take a 2-3 hour nap.

I guess this is why we are supposed to rest on the Sabbath day!  (But we Christians actually don’t keep a Sabbath, we have what I believe is called The Lords Day, which is on Sundays not Saturdays”.

Anyway, back to the drawings.

I call it “mind mapping”.  My husband videotaped me drawing during a service, and I’ll link to it in the show notes so you can watch if you’re interested.

I start with a blank sheet of paper and put the date on the upper right-hand side then I take the name of the sermon and write it in the middle of the page.

Then I will draw a box or a cloud around the name of the sermon, and that’s my starting place.

And then when the pastor says something that sticks in my mind, I’ll write it on the page.  I’ll draw a bubble or something around it.

This continues until my page is full and that signifies the end of the sermon.

But then I’m not done.  I take it home and put it in a book.

At some point, I’ll start to color meditate.  This means I pull the sheet out, and I start to color each individual bubble with different colors.  As I color, I meditate on what was said, and how I can change my life to match what was said.

This act of coloring gives me a chance to connect spiritually with the message. I remember what was said, and then contemplate whether I made any changes and what I should do.

When I’m finished I have a little piece of art that helps me remember my faith.

This is an unorthodox way I connect spirituality, and it’s often one of the quick goals that I give myself when I’m writing in my 30 Day Baby Boomer Journal.

Talk to God while I’m driving:

Another thing I do to connect spiritually is talking to God while I’m driving.  I often have a drive time of 20-30 minutes and I find that talking to God about what is going on in my life helps me clear my head.  It helps me to focus on what I am doing well in my life, and what I should be changing to make the world a better place.

This can be called praying, but it’s really a conversation and don’t think it’s one-sided either, as many times I’ve received guidance from these seemingly one-sided conversations.

Another thing I do is try to list the things I’m grateful for.  This can be difficult because many things I take for granted, but I keep trying.

This area of gratitude…it can be difficult.  I try to go through the alphabet.  On the first day I’ll think of something I’m grateful for that starts with the letter A.  The second day it’s the letter B and so forth.

If you are having trouble coming up with something, try that.  I stole it from a visiting pastor at our church, and now you can steal it from me.

And this kind of stealing won’t get you into trouble!

Attend Church

Our path to find the church that worked for both of us was a long one.  First of all, we weren’t the perfect Christian couple, and so it was hard for us to start attending.

I started by listening to a show that wasn’t exactly a church show but started me on my path.  That show was called The Jesus Show, out of KFI in Los Angeles.  Its producer takes on the persona of Jesus and answers questions the way he thinks Jesus would.  It piqued my interest enough to make me want to learn more.

That’s when we started trying to find a church that fit both our needs.  It was hard.

But after several years of church hopping, we finally found our perfect church.

For us, that meant a pastor that we could relate to.

It meant music that wasn’t too loud.

I didn’t want a rock band.  I wanted to hear the words.

Additionally, we fell in love with the people.  They were warm and friendly.  I imagine that this was how the people were back when the church started.

But… just because I like the church doesn’t mean that I always feel like attending.  In fact, I hope my pastor doesn’t hear this, but I almost never want to go.  For me, it’s kind of like the gym.  I never want to go, but I always feel better after going.  Whether it’s a warm smile from someone or something from the pulpit, I’ve never regretted getting up early and going to church.

Bible Apps:

I have an app that lets me read and listen to the bible on my phone.  It’s in NIV which means our English, not King James.  I’ve never been able to understand the King James version.  I figure if I don’t understand it, I’m not getting anything from it and it just puts me to sleep.  So I listen to the Bible in my own language, today’s language.  And I find that I understand the stories better than many people who have been attending church for 30 or more years.

Listen to others but make the final decision:

Finally, I make my own decisions about my relationship with God.  I don’t let a TV evangelist, an author, or anyone decide for me how I’m going to participate in my relationship with God.

I don’t want to tell YOU how to practice either, but this episode was just to spark your interest in other ways to become spiritual.  If you’ve made it to the end, I hope you can take something that helps.

But most of all, you might have some ideas that I’ve not thought of.

Share below how YOU make your life more spiritual.  Feel free to share one of your daily goals if you’d like. What are some ways you connect spiritually?

You can also share in our Facebook group if that’s where you hang out.