NEXT015 Connecting With Others Could Save Your Life!

Posted on : 09-06-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication



Connecting schmanecting!  What does “connecting with others” even mean?!  In my world of “Lynn definitions” connecting with others means being authentic, being truthful about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking and being curious and caring about the person(s) who I am in conversation.  Connecting is the ying and yang process of communication. It’s listening with your ears, brain, eyes, heart and sixth sense as well as speaking from the Dan-Tian so that your voice vibration reflects the energy of your truth. You can “see” how many of us communicate with each other by observing people in action.  Think of yourself as being Jane Goodall only you’re watching humans instead of apes  (albeit distant relatives) and you’ll probably not be in the jungle!

Sometime when you have 5-10 minutes find a comfy place where you can sit back and listen to people talking.  What is the mood of the conversations?  What sounds do you hear the voices making?  Can you tell where the sound of their words is coming from in their bodies?  I do these exercises all the time and am fascinated by what I observe.  I’m a very visual person so it helps me to translate the voices I hear into shapes that I can “see” and then understand.  One vivid memory was of a timid woman speaking  to a man who was at least a foot taller then her and about 100 pounds heavier.  She seemed to have important information that she wanted to communicate to him but lacked the confidence to communicate it. When she spoke, the sound of her voice took on the shape of a crescent moon. It started out with a sharp constricted point on the bottom,  opened up as she became more confident and finished the same way she began with sounding insecure and almost angry at the position she found herself in while trying to get information across that was being brushed aside.

But Lynn, you may be asking, what does all this have to do with connecting with others and how in the hell can it save my life?!  There’s a lot of talk out there in the spheres about connecting with others and how important it is but very few of us really know or understand what that means much less how to do it.  Then we end up in life or death situations that we haven’t a clue who and how to ask for help.  A good friend shared a story with me this week about a conversation she had with one of her favorite sales associates.   On a random drive-by shopping tour, my friend dropped by the store to check out the new styles and found herself in a very intimate conversation with this woman who she sees maybe four times a year.  This friend of mine is a very good “connector” and is genuine when she asks others how they are doing so when she asked the woman how she was, in a very short time she learned that the woman had seriously contemplated suicide over the weekend and while she was going through the thought process of doing it, this woman realized that she had not one person she could call in her time of need.  I’m betting that woman has friends and family in her life that would be there for her, but she may not have any experience with really connecting with any of them on a regular basis.

I’m a member of a 12-step program that encourages to call at least 3 people in the program every day!  That can be for quick 5-10 minute check-in phone calls but because we tend to be a group of people who are prone to isolation when the crappola hits the fan, learning to call three people a day is our antidote.  When I came into this program over eight years ago and heard the “suggestion” of calling at least three people a day, that was one of the tools of this program that was almost a deal breaker for me.  I had been a recruiter for years when I joined and so was used to talking with many people everyday. I couldn’t imagine having to add 3 people of my list to call and in my own private time!!

What  I soon realized over the course of months and years was that with the practice of talking with 3 people a day about how I was and what was going on with me for that day (and also being there for others and really listening to who and where they were in their lives), I was making deposits in my spiritual account for connecting so that when something really big happens to me in my life, picking up the phone and calling someone is such a habit that I can do it effortlessly.  And sometimes I have that isolator commander in my head that starts negating everyone that I am thinking about calling before I pick up the phone, and I just tell it “thank you for sharing” and pick up the phone and dial a number.  If nothing more happens than the possibility of  being of service to someone else then that is great.  At least I am making an attempt at connecting.

I think this is one of those Malcolm Gladwell Outlier moments when you have to put your energy and effort into something for 10,000 hours to become an expert.  So to learn how to connect and to be able to connect at those moments when all we want to do is to hang this life up then making the effort today to connect with others could save your life tomorrow!

Who are you going to call today and really make a connection?

NEXT014 How To Not Take Your Marriage For Granted

Posted on : 07-06-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Heart Talks



If you’re in a committed relationship (whether married or living together) do you ever take what you have for granted?  I’m pretty sure divorce statistics out there will show that many of us do take our marriage/relationship for granted.   After 21 years of being with my husband and 19 years of marriage, I can tell you today I am more grateful and aware of  what we have together then I certainly was the first 5 or so years of our marriage.  Nothing brings this to the forefront of my awareness more than to watch other couples in action.  Today I will give you a few tips that have helped me not take my marriage/husband for granted.  Add, delete, amend as best fits your relationship!  Your comments/wisdom is encouraged!

This summer I’m taking the dreaded required “College Math” class. Luckily for me, pretty much every student taking this class is in the same boat.   Going on week three most of us are already behind on our homework, haven’t studied for our first exam and haven’t even begun to think about the project that is due by the end of the semester. Such conditions make for instant friendships when “in-class” quizzes are assigned.  Consequently, I’m getting to know my row-mate, the couple in front of me, the guy who sits across the aisle from me and the gal who sits in the row behind me.  You can tell the young couple sitting in front loves each other, but the bloom is definitely fading and so they swing barbs at each other when one of them doesn’t get an answer correctly or figures out a problem as fast as the other one.  This prompted my row-mate and I to ask them if they were married (yes) and then how long (year 3).   I shared with them that the first three years of our marriage have definitely been the toughest for us thus far.

Some of the reasons I took my marriage for granted:

1.) Basic immaturity and not understanding intimacy

2.) Not realizing that in my past relationships,  I had confused the state of  “limerence” with being “in love”

3.) See #1 above

4.) Fear. Fear. Fear

5.) Discovering that in the midst of the “run away” recording that I would play in my head over and over again if a relationship went too long that I actually had a very monogamous value system buried inside me when it came to marriage. I couldn’t and wouldn’t run away but I sure didn’t like where I was at!

Some of the tips we’ve figured out along the way to help us not take our marriage for granted:

1.) No cursing at each other.  Treating each other with respect is key.  I wouldn’t curse at my Starbucks’ Barista so why would I curse at the man/woman I love?

2.) No yelling (especially curse words!)  When we first began this, when I found myself wanting to yell I would simply open up my mouth and let out sound (very similar to toning)…it expressed my overwhelming feelings, gave me time to figure out what I was feeling so that I could talk about it and prevented me from  damaging our relationship with the swords of words.  Of course, after a few times of this one or both of us would end up in laughing fits.  Think of Monty Python without the hats.

3.) Came to believe that my husband really did love me and actually looked out for my best interest. We were not in court and disagreements were not trials.

4.) Try to discover new things each day that I can be grateful for regarding my husband and our marriage.  I usually can find more than two. Now does this mean that I never see his faults? Absolutely not. But it tempers the natural flow of my judgmental mind.

5.)  A few years ago, I interviewed an author Saundra Pelletier about her book, “Saddle Up Your Own White Horse” and I’ll never forget one piece of advice she gave about her happy marriage: “have sex at least three times a week”.  Now obviously the amount changes per need and comfort of each couple but I was really grateful to hear someone throwing a number out there with such confidence. Two years later, heeding her advice has worked out very well for us.

The list goes on and on.  I don’t know about you, but I love to “interview” couples in my world who have been together for awhile and are happy.  How the heck have they done it?  What is their secret?  What words of wisdom do they have?  It’s a dog eat dog eat cat eat mouse eat veggie world out there today and many of us are having a helluva time just keeping our heads above water much less paying attention to creating a happy relationship BUT paying attention to having a healthy relationship is one of THE most important aspects of our lives that we can give our attention.  For those who are single, paying attention to the relationship you have with yourself, your higher power, your family, your friends, your coworkers and other people in general is also one of the (if not “the”) most important aspects that you can focus on.

When I think of how uncomfortable my home life used to be, I understand better why some countries do not get along with each other.  If we can’t get along with the people we’ve agreed to love then how can we expect ourselves to attempt to get along with those we don’t like?

Turns out that a marriage is like being inside of an oyster. There’s all kinds of things that are going to flow into and out of the cocoon of your relationship, how you handle yourself is the difference between creating a pearl or ending up with wet and smelly sand.  The choice is yours….