DINK #293 It’s Tempting To Sell Yourself Out….But Don’t!

Posted on : 11-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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My friend Walter Stroup likes to tell the story about the frog and the boiling pot of water. You know the story where if you put the frog in cold water and turn the heat up with him/her in it, likely as not the frog will not jump out but will stay in the water and meet his untimely demise whereas if you took a frog and tried to put him into a pot of boiling water, he would immediately jump out.  I don’t want to know how Professor Stroup knows this particular scenario but it makes sense to me as a human who has had the tendency to stay inside of the pot way after it has reached the boiling point.

Since the recession in the U.S. began a few years ago, jobs have morphed and changed or been eliminated so that in many cases an employer (depending on their location) can expect to receive at least a hundred resumes immediately upon posting their job, if not hundreds more.  For anyone who has either been laid off from a job or out of work for whatever reason and looking, these lean and mean times can bring out the ferocious beast in even the most tame of us.

For someone like me, who is naturally competitive (though a team player) and ambitious (though not at the expense of others) I can forget what it is about a job that can make or break the deal for me and be so hell bent on winning a job that like a frog who keeps sitting in the water until it is roiling hot, I will sell myself out just to get hired.  Now, I realize that some of you may not quite understand what the problem is with this so I will try to lay it out as best as I figured it out for myself so that you can understand.

Your options for work will greatly expand or diminish depending on your level of experience and skills.  If you’re someone like me who has the entrepreneurial spirit and has worked on her own for awhile as well as been in long-term career positions with responsibilities then usually there are more options available to consider.  Unfortunately, the economy is shaping opportunities at a mind numbing rate and so it’s easy to lose faith in yourself or others, become discouraged and feel frantic to except whatever work comes along that you can take.  In some cases, depending on where you live and what your area holds in the way of jobs–your choices may be limited. It’s important to consider that there are always more than three options to anyone problem.

I had a coaching friend point out to me recently when I had applied for a project that would have me working many more hours a week then I am now, for me to stop before my interview and think of questions that I could ask the interviewer about the company such as the culture, and the environment as well as how much the position would pay and whether I could work on or off site.  I’ve been really feeling the fire under my tail end for awhile now to earn more so much so that I was forgetting to think about asking some basic questions—and establish some negotiating topics–and was completely focused on just holding my breath and jumping in to “win” the job come what the cost to me might end up being.

It’s always my desire that by sharing what I am learning along this road of life, my experience, strength and hope may help others.  What I am realizing today is the importance for us to remember who we are and what kind of environments/cultures allow us to become our very best.  Yes, I can probably jump into the project that I was considering and do a really good job at it; however, there might be another opportunity that is for less hours and less pay but would allow me to fly.  And what I know about myself when I can fly is that I can fly for a really long time and cover a huge expanse of distance as well.

Perhaps there are more ways that we can figure out how to meet our needs that we don’t have to sell our souls in the process.  Be curious.  Explore.  Investigate and discover options.

What steps will you take to find new ways to solve and old dilemma?

DINK #292 The Good Side of Menopause

Posted on : 10-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Over twenty years ago, the concept of meditation was introduced to me through the Self-Realization Fellowship and Kriya Yoga.  I learned how to calm my brain and body down so that I could center my thoughts and focus on that Divine love that many of us are seeking.  For a long time it seemed like every time I sat down to meditate my mind would hop from one thought to the next scrambling to all the corners of my brain to dig out as many distractions as it could.  All the teachers said to notice those thoughts and then let them float out.   The ultimate goal in the Buddhist practices that I studied was to empty out my mind.  I’m discovering that the good side of menopause is my mind seems to be emptying out without any real effort on my part!

The good news about my mind emptying out is that holding on to rage or having an obsession migrate into a fixation just doesn’t happen anymore.  My mind seems unwilling to hold in all the riff raff that it did in the past.  Today in class after the Baha’i services, the speaker shared on the most excellent topic of Divine Love.  I was telling a friend of mine later on in the day that this speaker was so unassuming in his countenance that I didn’t realize the depth that his talk had gone to until suddenly I realized that he was talking about ideas like each moment of our lives is eternal.  He weaved in many of the philosophies and teachings of several of the great religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Baha’i.  One piece that I grabbed from his talk on Buddhist philosophy was to think of the mind as being a vessel that can receive information from the outside but in order to receive new information it must be emptied first of distractions and irrelevant pieces. That’s when I realized the good side of menopause.

For my younger readers who have many years to live before they reach the menopause stage, this blog can be a beacon of hope for you to recall when you are where I am now.  For my male friends, I’ve learned that guys go through a type of menopause just like we women do, it’s just talked about even less.  In this aging process that I am going through now, much like Jill Bolt Taylor’s “Stroke of Insight“, I’ve been given the where-with-all and energy to grasp what I’m going through now so that I can question my perceptions and insights through this process and capture what I understand through this mechanism of blogging.  Perhaps when I’m 85 and read back on these archaic days of blogging I’ll shake my head at what a dear I was but for now I’m determined to uncover what I understand is the good side of aging.  And, by the way,  I’m sharing about the good side of aging from the perspective of someone who never had children (although I enjoy them) and never particularly understood the fulfillment of being a grandmother (though I understand the joy that my friends’ feel).

By late afternoon this past Saturday, I felt pretty much like a “she-woman” after taking an hour and twenty minutes of a pretty rigorous Hatha Yoga class and then jogging 6.5 miles later in the day.  I’m not quite sure what the God of my understanding is preparing me for these days with my exercise program, school and twelve-step work but I do feel ready to face much more that life may hand me then I ever have before (by the way God, if your listening I am not tossing out a challenge to you!).  I am glad that I can be of service to some of the friends in my life who I care about because I have enough energy to take care of me and then plenty of reserves left over to be there for them.

So while there is a changing of the guard going on with my brain chemistry and hormones during this time of my life, the good side of menopause is the brain I have today remembers the many times in the past of my intentions to empty it and realizes there is an opportunity to grab onto the gaps of spaces in-between to empty out the unnecessary in order to fill itself up with the Divine.

What does the good side of wherever you find yourself today look and feel like?

DINK #291 Who Are Our Heroes Now?

Posted on : 08-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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One of the assignments in our Universal Human Rights class during the Fall semester was to write a brief paper about who our hero is and why.  I was really stumped on that one.  When I was a little girl, my world was full of heroes from Mighty Mouse to my father.  Slowly over time I learned that Mighty Mouse was really a cartoon drawing and that my father, although a good man, was after all human.

I was born into the  years of Camelot when the U.S. government enjoyed a period of happiness and optimism.  My family was living in Japan when President Kennedy was assassinated and my mother tells stories of how polite and caring the Japanese people were to us in our little town of Fukuoka.  Strangers would walk across the street to tell mom how sorry they were about our President’s tragic death. For many people President Kennedy was a hero but I was still too young to understand who he was or how he effected my life.

Over time my heroes have come and gone, but in the end they would always reveal how they were just another person like you and me.  As I’ve gotten older, the kind of people who seem most heroic to me are the ones who have found the courage to muster up what strength they could in order that they might overcome their frailties without compromising their values or integrity.  My heroes today are human beings that I respect for standing up for what they believe without selling out for what they don’t in order to look good.

The United States was founded by men (and the women behind and beside them!) who were human just like you and me.  Over the course of time, many stories and characters have been enhanced and embellished; however, we have the capability to dig into our history to find and discern as much truth as possible.  When you consider that the U.S. was founded by people who were considered criminals and renegades, then perhaps our current political climate is actually closer to the truth of who we are than we have ever realized.  Both the great and not so great have been behind the power of politics since our country was founded and it seems that whomever could create the most noise and attention got the votes and the position.  Today the mechanisms that were put into place so many years ago to get our attention and our votes have changed by the sheer expansiveness of our country and the population.  Whereas in the beginning days having your finger on the pulse of the people to know what they were thinking and feeling was much easier to realize and therefore tune yourself towards.  Today it seems that we have resorted to sensationalism to attract the attention of the faceless millions and we are allowing our technological advances to overwhelm the many.

Where am I going with this you might ask?  Why the shooting of Representative Giffords and others in Arizona of course.  Yes, it appears that the shooting was done by one lone and crazed gunmen.  Of course we have no control over how a lone crazed person is going to behave but a good point has been brought up in the media again about the meanness and “the vitrolic political retoric”(said by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik) that has consumed our country.”    I think our country is desperately seeking a hero. Only it is not possible for us to see our hero of today like the purse and simple hero of yesterday.  We know too much. We see too much.  At least with certain glasses we do.  And we are angry about not having a hero and we are very afraid.

It is time for us to put down our heroes of yesterday and allow our heroes of today to reveal themselves. Our hero of today may be a faceless man who helps another injured man out of a burning car only to melt into the night. A hero today may be someone like one of my neighbors who has baked countless birthday cakes and hosted many celebrations for members of our disparate group that make up our small community.  A hero today could be a politician that does not allow him/herself to become only a talking head.  Is this possible? Of course it is, they are all around us if you look for them and are willing to listen.

Who did I end up saying my hero was for the class paper?  Well, after I acknowledged the prophets and gurus who have influenced my life I diverged to the safer realm of my animal friends because they’re safer! I’ve never been let-down by any of the animals who have shared their lives with me.  Maybe I had it right after all when I was 4 years old and considered Mighty Mouse my hero!  My wish for today is to also discover heroes in my own species who are making this world a better place for us all.

Who is your hero today?

DINK #290 Having Those Hard Conversations…..

Posted on : 07-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Do you avoid having those hard conversations with loved ones that are about death and dying?  Well, I sure do. Yuck, I’d just about rather talk about anything else. Well, actually, it’s funny because I love waxing philosophical around theories having to do with what’s next after we die, but having to face the music and the physical reality of someone I love’s demise is not my most favorite thing to do!

Even so,  talking about death and dying with our loved ones is one of the most important conversations that we can have with each other.  I respect my aunt and uncle who while in their early 70’s (their in their spry 80’s now), had these kind of conversations with themselves and their children and made the decision to move half way across the country to a retirement community that blended in with assisted living and then final nursing care.  They sold the home they’d lived in for at least 40 years (that I know of) as well as many of their possessions. Their thinking was that it made sense for them to handle this kind of move and these kind of decisions while they were able to physically, mentally and emotionally.  They are blessed to have been joined by some of their oldest and dearest friends and they invested their money wisely over the years so that they could afford their accommodations.  This is the infamous aunt and uncle who two years ago hiked to the top of enchanted rock with my husband and me.  My aunt’s mom lived to be 105 and could hold her own in theoretical debates almost to the end of her days so I have a feeling that they will be around to enjoy many more years with us.   I so admire their desire to handle things when they did so as to not burden their family with difficult to figure out decisions later on down the road.

If you’ve been reading my recent blogs, you know that I’m helping a good friend of mine find her final home.  She is only 63, but has a lot of health issues.  During our visit today we had quite a chuckle because it seems that not only has one of her care givers grown a crush on her but it appears that a pharmacist who she has come to know and who delivers her prescriptions has taken a cotton to her as well.  She just got out of the hospital on Wed and when he dropped off her medications on Thursday after a friendly chat he said, “V, why don’t we go out for a meal when you get through this chemotherapy”.   She chuckled and said to me, “and this is happening at a time that I am so weak, with a bald head and full dentures!” I told her it must be her pheromones but secretly I know it is because of her mind. This friend of mine and I have had to have those hard conversations about not only her physical capabilities now what her prognosis will be after the last chemo treatment.  So far, most of the facilities I’ve looked into with a private room/apartment run about $3200 (room/board, meals, care) plus incidentals (extra care, transportation) which could run up to an additional $650 a month which  could put you at $4,000/month and up (so $48,000 a year or more!) so the length of time that you may be on this planet with us, as good as you can guess, is important when figuring out budgets.  Depending on my friend’s prognosis she could live in a really nice facility with all the amenities till the end of her days or she might have to live somewhere that is not quite as nice, but can see her through the long haul (for years instead of months).

I so hope that I live a good happy, healthy, life with all my faculties and good strength because after visiting the assisted living place today I realize that I would be a renegade old lady compared to many of the people I ran across.  Back at my friend’s retirement community, I ran into one of her neighbors after she came in from her walk using her walker. She is in her 80’s and full of piss and vinegar. We had a nice chat about the feral cat that she’d spotted on the other side of the window. Evidently she feeds the cat even though the community discourages it and told me that she much preferred her fur friends to the two legged kind. Now there is a like-minded person.  I wish I had gotten her name and number for my friend because I have a feeling they would get along like two peas in a pod (even though they are both of the two-legged variety).

What I didn’t like about the assisted living place that I visited today was that although the young director was a nice as she could be, her voice was about two octaves higher when talking with me then I suspect it normally is in everyday conversations and she was just way too chirpy.  I don’t trust someone that chirpy and so I’ve immediately got to find the Navajo thread!  There was also some of the seniors singing various hymns in the lobby which just felt too contrived to me.   Okay, I admit that I probably had just a wee bit of my defenses up because I was, after all, looking at my friend’s final home but I hope in the next 15-20 years some big improvements are made in the kinds of assisted living places we get to choose from.  My husband tells me that the wave of elder care for the future is with robots. He says that is what the Japanese are doing.   I thought he was pretty gauche to consider such a thing but then later on while enjoying our hot tub I thought hmmm, if we could get an artificial intelligence being like the one Jude Law played in A.I. Artificial intelligence, well then perhaps I could make do.  I’d  even consider a robot like  Rosie from The Jetson’s (David did remind me that she got around using only one wheel). If these kind of robots would allow us to live in our own home and helped us to take care of our animals and plants along with whatever care we needed–then maybe it’d be worth considering.

Oh well, my brain hurts from thinking about this so hard for the past five hours.  I’m going to go dive into the mystery novel that I just started and forget about these hard conversations for the time being!

Have you had these kind of hard conversations yet and if so, what is your experience, strength and hope in this regard?

DINK #290 It’s Okay, We’re All Just Waking Up!

Posted on : 06-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Have you ever woken up from a long winter’s nap with a group of people?  Well, if you have keep it to yourself if you’re past the age of ten!

If you were like me when you were little and had to lay down to take a nap with all the other kiddos, you probably fussed and fidgeted about having to stop playing and/or learning so that you could be still for what seemed like f o r e v e r.  Then it seemed like the adult person who thrust such things upon us, always woke us up way too soon for our preferences!  We’d all squirm around rubbing our little eyes with our little fists hoping that we might find away to slip into blissful sleep again.

This is what I believe “we” humans are doing right now. It’s as if we’ve all been asleep for a very long winter’s nap and are just waking up to the realities of what is going on.

One of my Coach/Master Mind friends and I were talking about just the state of the world this morning on the phone while we were waiting for our other members to join us and the way people are kvetching and afraid about so many things from health care to education.  As we bore deeper into the subject the question that popped up in my consciousness was how did we get here? Surely at some point in time when some of the ideas, institutions, agencies were first created they seemed like a good idea — at —- that —- time.    I’m sure that if you had a lengthy conversation with your favorite local historian about the genesis  of health care or our education system or medical insurance, you would discover that for the time, many of these things seemed to make a whole lot of sense to many people.

What his happening now is that we have outgrown all kinds of institutions that were created long ago and we are in the process of waking up from sleeping through their evolution.  There’s a whole lot of weeds that need to be pulled, lot’s of soil that needs to be turned and in some cases, things that need to be chucked into the compost heap.

I often wonder what it is in our make-up that for a large portion of humanity tends to have us looking for a parent or authority figure to “blame” for the state of things that, in many cases, we helped bring into being through choices we have made, votes we have given as well as purchases and services we have bought.  Perhaps it is as simple as that when we blame someone or something outside of ourselves we do not have to take responsibility for our choices.  That and most humans do not like change of any kind!

Believe me, I’m writing all of this but I will most likely spend the rest of my life time paying attention to the choices I make and the thoughts that I allow to permeate my perceptions so that I can do the best I can to be the best “Lynn” that I can be — whoever that is?!

Yesterday in my meditation I was guided to recall as many times as possible, when I felt inspired, elated, engaged in work situations.  For the first couple of minutes I did a really good job of this and could remember the feelings of progress, approval, inspiration but then up would come my very familiar negative way of looking at some of these work situations and catching myself before they took off running was an interesting feat.  The guide who was helping me through this meditation asked me questions about how those negative feelings felt (not good) and what my pay off was (energy and illusion of control).  I realized that the negative way of looking at things was a whole lot stronger than my positive way.  I kept going to the negative way because it was “usual” and because if was familiar.

Somehow these two things are related, the way we look at things and the state of things in the world right now.  Can it seem overwhelming when you start looking at the sheer numbers and statistics of health care, education, medical insurance, jails, etc.?  Of course it does!  Just like when we were kids waking up from a nap and not particularly interested in pursuing the afternoon activities (for me, it wasn’t until the good snacks were put out!) eventually we were able to stretch and roll, sit-up and get up to start running.   That’s all that is going on now, we’re just all waking up to who we are and what part we play in this world.

What are you willing to wake up to see about yourself today?

DINK #289 Helping Others To Help Themselves

Posted on : 05-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Are you getting older? Do you have friends and/or family who are aging?   If you are human, than you can answer yes to both of these questions. In fact if you are from planet Earth, you can answer “yes’ to both of these questions…and if you’re not human, but from planet Earth and you can read this, then I’d really like to know you!

I’m just tip-toeing on the outskirts of helping someone find an assisted living facility for her to live well through and to the end of her days.  Both my parents are ganky (Japanese term for healthy and spry!) and all my aunts and uncles are too (we’re a very blessed family!) so I haven’t been in this situation before now.  Let me take a sidebar and say that just for the record, I hope that “we”–the collective we—have created much better options for community living situations than are available now.  With that said, I wrote recently about a non-profit group called, “A place for mom” that I stumbled upon that is staffed with volunteers who give their time to helping you to find just the right place for your important person.

Luckily, the good friend that I am helping to find a place has given me carte blanche permission to speak with her Physical Therapist, Doctors etc. so that I can ascertain her “activities of daily living” abilities etc.   I spoke with her PT today, who I immediately liked, and got all the information I needed to pursue finding her a final place to live.  I’d say a final resting place but I think that’s left for the funeral homes (so definitely don’t want to go there right now!).

So far, what I’m learning from this process is that I am very grateful that my friend is allowing some of us to help her and she is doing it in a way that doesn’t feel like we are carrying a burden for her.  In other words, she is not putting her “stuff” on us.  Because of her attitude and demeanor, she has inspired all of us to find just the right place for her as if this process were a game.  I’m not quite sure how she has done that, but I sure do feel like this investigation and discovery process is a game.

I am so grateful for the internet and the ability to find out what is available and screen for specifics of what my friend needs. With that said, I plan to spend lot’s of face-to-face time going to places and getting the “feel” for it.  This is where all my right brain attributes can come in handy!  I’ll have my handy check list of the specific needs that my friend has to be taken care of but I’ll also be engaging my intuition as well.

I’m not sure about the ins and outs for family members but if you’re helping a friend find an assisted living place here are some of the tips I’ve assembled thus far (thanks goes out to my Mom who is a retired Occupational Therapist!):

1.) Find out exactly what your friend wants you to help him/her with in this process;

2.) If you will be helping to find the right kind of facility get permission from your friend to speak with their Physical or Occupational Therapist, Doctors where necessary and Social Worker if available:

3.) Find out what their “activities of daily living” abilities are. OT’s are usually the therapists that administer this test but PT’s do this sometimes as well.  You need to know things such as how mobile they are; do they need help with administering their medications, do they need help bathing, do they have extra-curricular things they like to do such as art, are they a smoker, do they have specific dietary needs, etc.

4.) If they are “with it” like my friend who is only 63, then when you go look at facilities find out who the people are that will be part of his/her social community.  My friend has a keen mind, so having someone to have intellectual conversations with will be important to her.

5.) BUDGET: what is their monthly budget for housing/food/medicine/upkeep etc.

6.) Network, network, network — This is the time to engage with all kinds of people who you know, meet or come across in your communities. Gather as much information as you can.

7.) Pay-it-forward. Partly because paying it forward is the right thing to do and partly because there are bound to be numerous people in your same position who are floundering out here in the dark.
By working together we can help each other to help ourselves. And who knows, maybe by the time YOU are looking for a place that is right for you to live out your days….we will have created the perfect environment through all of our collective investigations, ideas and caring.

DINK #285 Ahhhh The Juxtapositions of Life!

Posted on : 04-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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This afternoon I met a good friend for coffee to just be with her as she navigates through the dark tunnel of what was once her marriage.  We were sitting outside so I  was able to enjoy the evidence of the setting sun playing against the sky behind her as she spoke.  At one point the sky was so beautiful with melon colored peach interweaving with very light turquoise and if that wasn’t enough, a flock of pigeons began to soar in and out and back and forth and up and down like notes changing on the clouds.  I know my friend would have appreciated the Divine’s lovely art work, but I also know that she needed to not be interrupted by my pointing it out, but rather respect her conversation so she could find her way out loud.

I was struck by the juxtaposition of my friend’s bleeding heart and the beauty of nature expressing itself all around her.  It was if God was sending big postcards of love, each one more beautiful than the last, so that my friend would know that she was not alone and I was to be the witness to the sacredness of it all.

I felt supported to by the magnificent unknown and was able to be there for my friend with my co-dependency in check, and to share experience, strength and hope and most of all love.  I also felt the support of an unseen power that is all around us all the time and just waiting for us to ask for its attention in our lives. I was able to simultaneously feel the deep searing pain of all the realities that my friend is uncovering and at the same time know without a shadow of a doubt that she would heal from this someday and she would be okay.  What’s more, I’m sure she will love and be loved again.

It’s as if the more I allow myself to expand my heart to feel, my truth as well as another, the more I have faith in the great unknowable to be there for strength and support.  It’s a very bizarre juxtaposition that I have never been able to reconcile by intellect but only recently been able to equalize by allowing myself to go through the feeling process

I’m very grateful that today I was able to be there for and with my friend and at the same time save the Divine’s postcards for a future collage of love.

If you find yourself in a very dark place at some point in your life then please know that there is the gift of grace somewhere for you to see and feel right then even if you are unable to receive it and that maybe someday, if you’re open to it, you will see the juxtaposition of light and dark playing out against the background of another person’s dark time so that you can know for sure what is always there for us, all the time.

DINK #284 And Then There’s That….

Posted on : 04-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Okay so someone who is driving around in a 10 year old Toyota Celica with 150K plus miles on it has got to know that they are pushing the limit to just when the old car is going to officially cross the line between costing more to fix than to make a monthly payment for a vehicle.  It’s been really, really nice to not have a car payment for the past 2-3 years or so.  I just love my car because even though he is an old guy (yes, my car is a male) he still has great pick up and go.

And then my brakes completely went out.  Well, okay…I did get a warning sound like a branch was dragging from my back tires and I did drive back and forth to school in San Marcos a couple of times (70 mile round trip) but suffice it to say, my new brakes turned out to be both of our Christmas and Hanukkah presents combined!

But it wasn’t until today’s ordeal that my mechanic laughingly told me that it was time for me to look for a new vehicle.  I’m not exactly sure why my car decided to completely give up the ghost electricity-wise as I was cruising down the road this afternoon, but I ended up having to get a policeman to push me out of traffic with his car and had to get my car towed to the mechanic.  Even with the dents that have been bugging me for years now I have to say that my car looked pretty cute up there on the back of the tow truck. Like it was piggy backing on top of an elephant.

I wrote to my friend Mitch Ditkoff  that I was sure glad that previous to my car catastrophe today, I had read his blog (http://tinyurl.com/29sgxss). Because of his blog, I was thinking about his mentor/master/guru who he calls Mahariji and the divine sense of joy and love that Mitch receives from him.  Granted, sometimes lofty ideas are hard to activate while in the middle of experiencing “life”; however,  I think that my attitude was in a much calmer place then it would have been if I had not been contemplating about joy and love.  Oh, yes, I did have a “moment” of fear bubble up while talking with my husband on the phone and trying to figure out how to pop the hood of my car and direct traffic around me at the same time but really that episode lasted for only a few minutes.

I’m realizing that, for me, I will ALWAYS be able to come up with a good excuse as to why I believe life sucks and that I have a right to be in a negative frame of mind and totally disregard the feelings of everyone I come in contact.  It is because of this understanding of myself that I have to treat each and every situation that comes up with as much respect for how I can be and how I can affect others as I am able.  Perhaps most people out there think of others before themselves quite naturally no matter what is occurring to them in their world, but for the most part I have to keep this reminder in the forefront of my mind.

I’m not kidding you though, trust me when I tell you that I believe the higher power of my understanding has a very wicked sense of humor.  It’s almost as if my HP is testing my resolve sometimes by anteing up with various things in my life so that I have to stop, surrender and accept the way things are right now

So, take a tip from me there will always be the excuse of “and then there’s that” to keep you from living in integrity with your values…..do it anyway, you’ll be glad you did!

DINK #283 Going To Your Center

Posted on : 02-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Well, really your center is already “there” so it’s more about remembering your center.  I Interviewed Life Coach, Public Speaker and Author Mark Susnow today (www.blogtalkradio.com/Hope42day) about his new book, “Dancing on the River: Navigating Life’s Changes”.  It’s always nice when I’m interviewing someone on the radio and I can feel and hear that they are all “there”. Mark definitely is one of those people.  We talked about many things today but my take away was one of the lessons he learned at the age of 13 when he had a near death experience while rafting down a river in Colorado with his uncle.

As best as I can recall, Mark was swimming alongside of his raft and then noticed that the raft was getting further and further away from him so he started swimming diagonally to the front of the raft so that then he could hopefully be pulled in by his Uncle when he suddenly got caught up in some rapids and knew that he was not going to make it close enough to the raft to be pulled in.  What he “heard” was to go to his center (which I marvel that he heard at the age of 13!).  Eventually, of course, he was able to get close enough to grab his uncle’s extended oar and to be pulled in to safety.

I’ve been trying to remember when I had my big near death experience at 21 when I drove my car off an overpass if I “heard” any words of wisdom.  The only thing I can recall for sure was hearing “tuck your chin” before my car went off and then being given instructions on how to care for myself and escape from my car once it had landed.  I didn’t hear “go to your center” but I did feel it.  It was as if someone or something took over and pushed me into my center so that I would not only survive but I would be calm, for the most part, in the moment.

As Mark conveyed in the interview, going to our center is the most important action we can take to help us live a life in balance and with joy.  From our center, all things are possible.  This reminds me of lessons I have learned since I began practicing yoga in 1996.  My teacher, Blaine “Murti” Hower used to always talk about going to our center and breathing from our center. He would stress using our inner core to find the strength we needed for any pose we were doing.  When we’d go into a balance pose like the Crow’s pose (Bakasana) he’d say to use our “moola bandas” or our core muscles, that our strength comes out of our core/center rather than our arms. It has taken me awhile to believe this for myself, so consequently the Crow pose has been a very difficult pose for me to balance in completely.  I have watched Murti and several of the yogis who practiced with us who seemed to go up effortlessly into all kinds of balancing poses so it is easy to believe that they are reaching into their center for strength.

When someone reaches into their center for strength, it is a beautiful transition to behold.

I always love watching Murti take the Crow pose deeper and while balancing on his arms, throw his legs behind him and upwards.  I mean, I’m pretty impressed with myself when I can go up into a full wheel pose and hold it for five breaths (one of my party tricks in addition to being able to win at leg wrestling) and I almost say to myself, “well, I can’t go up into the Crow pose much less the advanced Crow because of my age” until I remember that Murti and I are the same age.  My ego will try anything!

Mark talked about his daily morning practice of meditation and going to his center.  I know this is true in my life as well.  Every day that I begin with a morning meditation always runs smoother than if I just hit the ground running and take what evil/good this way blows.  For me, it’s about getting grounded and centered as well as connected to the higher power of my understanding.  I certainly notice the good that is all around me in my life much more when I begin my day this way.  During my run this afternoon, I passed by a neighbor and his little boy as they were helping a friend with his trailer. The daddy waved at me and his son watched my dog and me run by them. I always do a second lap around their block and was pleased to see that the little boy had come around from behind the trailer and was waiting for me and Paul on our run. As we ran by them, he began waving at us as only a 3 year old can with his little hand opening and closing and a big smile on his face.  Even though it was drizzling and I was listening to some really good music on my IPod, I saw him waving at me with such innocence and happiness which I was able to “take in” as I waved back at him.  Just a little example of what being centered does for me.

Whether your days this week hold the expectation of joy or the anxiety of the unknown, tomorrow morning  take 30 minutes to meditate or just to get quiet and see what it feels like for you to go to your center. Don’t worry about the noises in your head. If you have them, just let them float by and keep going back to your center.  Follow your breath in and out, relax your back and any stress that you are holding in your body and find your center.  You may find it helpful while sitting to place both your hands with the palms towards your belly, onto your stomach.   Go to your center and “be”.

DINK #282 Feeling A Bit Like Sally Fields Again…..

Posted on : 02-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I’m feeling a bit like Sally Fields again. You remember her infamous Oscar winning acceptance speech when with tears in her eyes she exclaims something along the lines of, “you like me, you really do like me?!?!”  I’m pretty sure the reason this line has stuck in the memories of so many of us is because it was so uncomfortably honest about a feeling that many of us have felt but dared not admit: the shock that someone, in fact many someones, really do like/love us.

I think I’ll morph the Sally Field feeling into one of gratitude for some of the really great friends who I’m sharing this life.  The Thursday before Christmas, I drove up to Dallas to visit my very close girlfriend from college-days, Cynthia Zeito along with her husband Buddy as well as Cynthia’s mom, Dad and brother Steve (who I for all intensive purposes grew up with from the time I was 18 onward!)

Me and Buddy
Cynthia, Nancy and moi

I think Cynthia and I drove Buddy a bit crazy when he was trying to watch an episode of “Criminal Minds” as we played Backgammon because we were laughing and cutting up so much!! By the third game, we realized halfway through that we had totally screwed up the directions we were going which made us even laugh harder!

Christmas day David and I joined some more good friends, Sandy Stone and Joe Brown to see the movie “True Grit”…which I really liked by the way.  The Coen Brothers are marvels with dialogue.  I’m so not a good dialogue person myself when it comes to thinking about writing screen plays…I can come up with the plot and lay out the scenes and even think of a musical score or two but for the life of me, I cannot come up with the dialogue. Even so, I recognize good dialogue when I hear it.

Sunday, we joined yet another good friend, Cyndi Hughes for another great movie, “The King’s Speech” and dinner.  Cyndi has her hands full with being the Director of the Texas Writers’ League as well as writing her own book and a million other things so we really appreciated getting to spend quality time with her.

On the way to get an allergy shot this morning, I had a good long talk with my long-time partner-in-crime at C&T Consulting Services, Donna Grosenheider.  We worked so well together as a team back then that we used to think of ourselves as if we were a married couple sans the intimacy.   Like peas and carrots we were.  I love that feeling when you know someone so well and they know you so well that you know just what it is that you need to do and what they can do to make all kinds of things “happen”. Donna is someone who I know always has my back.

Finally, today I hooked up with my very best angel friend, Ginger Blair, for lunch.  I could have talked with her forever and love hearing about the book she has written that is now in its editing stages.  I have felt very blessed over the years receiving her wisdom and am glad that now other people will have a chance to share it as well.

What is even more miraculous is there are still many friends who I want to get together with for coffee, lunch, walks who I love individually for who they are and who I know “get” me.  Wow.  I could almost make you regurgitate a little bit with all this love stuff flying around…but it’s true!!  I’m just really, really grateful for everyone.  And for the friends that I’ve lost touch with and found again through FB as well as the new friends I’ve made……grateful!

So whether I sound like Sally Fields or Tiny Tim, I’m glad to be in this place of abundant love!