NEXT 117 Three Tips For Making Resolutions That Last

Posted on : 28-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor, Mind Fodder



After all this time of being in the coaching world either coached (since 1996) or coaching (since 2001) there seem to be three tips to making resolutions last that are the steady die-hards that work when you work them which are:

1.) Get Focused –  Just writing these two words almost make me want to gag because they have been said so many times by so many people—however, it turns out that this is one powerful tip because when ever I have focused on an outcome that I have really wanted or watched a client focus it really is true that everything becomes aligned and in place to make the outcome you want happen.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you get focused from finally organizing your junk drawer in the kitchen so every item has its place to fine tuning company systems so that everyone and everything is speaking the same language, it’s all about focus.

2..) Keep your eye on the ball – Again, this is a line that is said all the time but it’s a really good tip if you really take it to heart and apply it when everything is spinning crazily around you in your world, if you keep your eye on the goal it will pull you through any maelstrom you may encounter.  And I’m a girl and scared of flying balls (baseball, basketball, volleyball) because I always got my fingers jammed during high school but I know what it feels like to have all of your adrenaline pouring into your system and energy assaulting you from the outside at the same time where you feel like you may explode into a billion separate pieces but if you keep your eye on the ball that one steady constant will pull you through.  Who knew?!?!

3.) Be Flexible — Re-align when necessary.  There’s a saying in some circles which is “if you want to make God laugh, show him your plans”.  You could really interpret that in many ways and totally support yourself into not getting anything planned, laid out or started or you could make the best plans that you can, focus, keep your eye on the ball and be flexible enough (read: let go of trying to control every piece) so that where and when your strategy needs to bend or give a little, you are able to re-align when necessary.

I’m one of the biggest procrastinators you will ever meet but I can promise you when I have engaged these three tips towards accomplishing a resolution….there are an amazing amount of things that I have accomplished.


NEXT116 Taking the “Dys” Out of Functional Holidays

Posted on : 18-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks



It’s so weird some of the “persona” that my inner-voices take on when my writing style is basically of the expository kind.  I thought “characters” talking to you in your head and dictating what you wrote were left to either schizophrenics or fiction writers or perhaps schizophrenic fiction writers. But once again I’m wrong because the minute I began typing the title for this post, the comedian Lewis Black entered my head.  I don’t necessarily agree with him a lot of the time and he’s so rabid about most everything….but I could see the intelligence of my brain for picking Mr. Black to talk to me about dysfunctional holidays and how to recognize the “dys” (so you can take it out….)!

One really does have to almost go to the other side of extreme to reverberate back to the middle when pondering how to take the dys out of functional holidays.  Like any good scientist would do, we first have to set-up our controls for what would represent a “functional” holiday in our own minds and what we would interpret as a dysfunctional holiday. Turns out, we all have varying degrees of tolerance, wants and needs for this one, so the first thing we have to do is know ourselves.  This may take some time. In fact, you may even find yourself cycling through several years of holidays before you figure out what you consider sane and insane or even what you want to tolerate (albeit “if” you want to tolerate anything!).  By the way,  this is where getting older can have its advantages (another thing “we” never talk about) because when you’ve done the inner work what other people think about you becomes less and less important. Some people have even arrived at the pinnacle of sane thinking with the ability to think that “other people’s opinions of me are none of my business”.

So on that note, here are some tips that I’ve learned along the way:

1.) Either don’t drink, smoke or imbibe at all or go all the way into black out. Now that may seem a bit extreme for someone who has been sober for as many years as me to say but there’s really no half-way point here.  Even a moderate drinker is going to find the alcohol’s magnifying effect in crazy situations.  Keep your wits about you or sleep through it all.

2.) Repeat after me, “there is no they”.  Take a moment or two everyday to really listen to the thoughts circling through your brain. You might be surprised to hear many sentences containing the word “they” in it in regards to “what will they think” or “what would they want”.  In some cases, this can be good—even altruistic, but in many cases you’re carrying the weight of a judge and jury around in your head.  Your brain is not a bus,  unload the freeloading passengers of judgment and misconception.

3.) Eat your veggies.  Seriously, eat probably the healthiest you would ever eat at this time of the year.   Make sure you get plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains and protein.  If you must have flour and sugar, do it in moderation.  I’m one of those people who lost (or never had) the moderation button when it comes to flour and sugar so I don’t partake of either.  The big secret is that my body feels so much better without them gumming up the passages.  But then again I was the kind of flour and sugar eater that turned every bowl of cereal into a pool of sugar cement at the bottom. Pretty much, if I could have mainlined sugar….I would have.

4.) Go for a walk, get exercise.  Whatever form of exercise is best for you, do it.  Did you know if you looked at the clock before you walked out the door and walked 15 minutes and then returned home you would put in a 30 minute walk?  Endorphins are your friend this time of year.

5.) Drink plenty of water.  This has been told to me all of my life from my health conscious mother to my fighter pilot Dad.  I always “knew” it was true, but very rarely followed through on making sure I got 8 glasses of water every day. Then in my young adult hood when I did a lot of spiritual and psychic exploring I learned that we exerted a lot of energy from that kind of work and how important it was to help your body, mind and soul assimilate what you had learned by drinking plenty of water.  That got me into the habit of drinking water.  Eh….whatever it takes, right?

6.) Get plenty of sleep.  Maybe it’s because of how much energy I exert each day just living or maybe the sheer amount of activity I do is exhausting but whatever it is, I know that I need 7-9 hours of good sleep everyday for me to be at my optimum.  If at all possible, and you’ve got some time off for the holidays, naps are so underrated.  My father likes to say that the best nap lengths are either 20 minutes or an hour and 45 minutes.  I’ve tried both and prefer the hour and 45 minute ones but I have been refreshed with just a 20 minute nap when that was all I could squeeze in.  Throwing a lack of sleep into a holiday is like emptying a whole bottle of fire starter on to a grill. Get your sleep!

7.) Acceptance is the key to all our problems.  It is.  And I have battled and battled with what acceptance means to me for years and years.  What helped me with the concept is that just because we are accepting life on life terms doesn’t mean we have to like it.  You see I always confused the idea that if I accepted something or someone as they were then it meant that I liked or agreed with it or them.  Not true.  It really is about getting it that “what is, is”.

8.) Bring in some humor.  Just this morning my  mom and I were remembering a dysfunctional holiday that we shared several years ago and laughing in amazement about it.  At the time,  pretty much all of us who shared that weekend were in pain and it felt yucky but today after lot’s of growth it seems like the more absurdity that we can recognize about ourselves the more humorous it gets.  You truly can’t make this stuff up.  I always think of it as great material for my one-woman stand up comedy show that I may never have, but love to think about it anyway!

9.) Do something for someone else. Okay, okay, you better know me well enough to know that I certainly ain’t no Pollyanna!!! But, it has been my experience that when I get out of myself long enough to do something for someone else it ends up making me feel better.  A good friend of ours lost one of her sister’s in a freak blood clot episode over Thanksgiving.  We invited our friend and her husband over for dinner and games last night just to hang.  We talked about the incident with her sister and how her family was doing and then proceeded to get really silly playing game after game of Dominoes making each other laugh.  Helping someone else feel solid in today and creating a safe place for them to “be” however they feel is a nice thing to offer when we’re able.

10.) Bust out the walls.  Not literally, well, unless of course busting out the walls was on your list of things to do over the holidays.  The walls I’m talking about are the walls of marketing genius and media spin.  I have to remember that one of my favorite movies starring Natalie Wood as a child actor about Santa Claus was made by marketers to bring awareness and customers to Macy’s Department Store.  All the angles are covered to pull at our heart strings and sympathies.  I love the movie, but there were more than a few years there when I had to distance myself from watching it because my expectations of myself and others during the holidays seemed to blow up into exponential disproportions!

Just a few ideas from your friend Lynn about how to be functional during the holidays.  How about you?  What have your holidays of yore been like and how do you take care of yourself?



NEXT115 LRK’s Top Ten Rules of Mobile Device Etiquette for 2011

Posted on : 12-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder



It appears that many of us have not considered the rules of etiquette upon using our various mobile devices so I thought I’d share some of the rules I try to adhere to myself in hopes that some of you may feel (and act) the same way…..(as with all LRK posts, please take what you want and delete the rest!)

1.) When having a conversation with someone in-person (in the flesh, face-to-face) do not accept a phone call unless a.) it is an emergency or b.) before you began your f2f conversation you told them that you were expecting a phone call.

2.) Do NOT text and drive. Do NOT text and drive. Do NOT text and drive. If you suddenly realize you have to text someone a message, pull over–type it up—and resume driving.

3.) As important as I’m sure you are, when you’re out in public walking from point a to point b you probably don’t need to check your email or your face book status. Seriously, what if that perfect man or woman was walking by right then? Perfect missed opportunity.  And if you don’t care about that you might not see the abdominal snowman behind the bushes…

4.) Practice times of not using your phone at all.  How would you engage in life?  What would you do with your time?

5.)  Spend as much time evolving your friendships offline and in-person as you do on-line.  It engages different synapses in your brain.

6.)  Do not check your email, Facebook or other social networking sites when you are in the company of someone else unless, of course you’re taking a photo of the two of you together to share.

7.) Do not text during a conversation with someone else unless it pertains to an agreement you have with that person.  Look them in the eyes and be there in the moment. Practice being present.  Oh get over your shyness?! Focus on the other person and ask them questions about themselves. Be curious!

8.) There is nothing quite as obnoxious as seeing someone out for a walk with their dog AND ON THEIR CELL PHONE.  Give it a rest people.  Be there with your dog.  Go on your walk, breathe in the fresh air, watch the birds fly and make/take your phone calls when you get home.

9.)  Building on #8, well there is one other thing about as obnoxious and that is talking on your cell phone when you’re out in nature.  Hello? It’s not wall paper people!  Be still, take it in, enjoy.  You’ll have plenty of time later to talk all you want on your cell phone. You just might miss a gaggle of fairies dancing around the mushroom ring!

10.)  Repeat as many times as warranted: My mobile device is here for me to use it for my convenience (it is not here to impinge upon my life and gobble up space).

I’m sure there are many more, in fact, I’d love for you to leave your additions!!  Leave a comment with your ideas.

NEXT 114 How We Ended Up Parents of TWO Aussie Dogs?!

Posted on : 10-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks



“They” should warn you about things like this.  If an Australian Shepherd ends up in your pack of life, be prepared for more to merge in at a later date.  One of our first clues to Aussie dog owners tending to have multiple Aussies was last summer while vacationing at the beach when we met a woman who had three champions playing frisbee with her all up and down the beach!?  They all got along so well together and they just seemed to fit together perfectly.  You could almost see them, in your mind’s eye, herding flocks of sheep across the rolling green hills of country-islands across the ocean.

  So it should come as no surprise to us that after only a week of seriously looking into a new litter-mate for our small pack of an Aussie and a Lab, who would fit in the most seamlessly like he’d always lived with us but “George” who ended up at the shelter as a stray.  They figure him to be about 7 months old but I think he may be a little bit younger.

George and Paul (yes, you know any more dogs we get will be named John and Ringo…) acted like they fit together like peas and carrots from their first meeting.  I didn’t go with my husband for the “meet and greet” between them because I have a hard time going to any kind of animal shelter since I end up wanting to bring everyone home with me.  Soon after the time he made his appointment to take Paul to meet his new possible sidekick, I got the most happy voice mail from my husband telling me that they were getting along famously and riding together in the back seat of his car with no problems at all.

Our Black Labrador, The Grand Dame we call “Reality”, likes him too.  And he defers to her better judgment in cases where both he and Paul get a wee bit too rambunctious for the regal black lady of our abode.  I’ve had dogs all my life, in fact, I say often that I was raised by a Boxer because “Duke”, my parents’ first dog-child, used to watch me in the front yard when my mom went to talk to neighbors in the hood and not let me wander out of the yards’ parameters.  I’ve been around German Shepherds when my mom was into showing and breeding them and raising champions, Great Danes, Wired-haired Dachshunds, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Schipperkes, Dobermans, Cairn Terries, Golden Retrievers, an Irish Wolfhound and a Cockapoo but I’ve never had an Australian Shepherd, until now, which seems to be a breed all unto itself.

I’ve made my husband promise me that we will find a trainer (for us more than the dogs) who specializes in Australian Shepherds so that we can make sure that we keep their bright little minds busy and occupied with little chance of circling around in on itself and becoming really neurotic!!  After four years of talking and communicating with the Paul-dog, it wasn’t until this evening with the addition of the new George-dog, that Paul acknowledged that my words were reaching him when he came to full alert because the next door neighbors with all their kids were home. This is usually the time that he loves to run to the window and bark as if Attila the Hun himself was outside trying to break in.   We’ve tried all kinds of things with him to get him to stop to no avail when, surprisingly, all I had to say to him this evening was “now Paul, think really hard how you want to react to this…you’ve got the little man George watching your every move”.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you at all to know that Paul did not bark once. Well, maybe once but that was only when one of the neighborhood kids actually came up to our door and knocked on it to give us their annual family photo Christmas card.  Even still, Paul did not bark as loud or as long as he would of before George (b.g.).  All this goes to show that I’m pretty sure everything you say and do with an Aussie goes in their ears and stays there.  I’m also beginning to realize that there is probably an exhaustive list of all kinds of things they can do but….ONLY WHEN THEY WANT TO DO IT.   So, the trick for us is to learn how to gain their respect and attention so they’ll want to do what we say.

I really feel sorry for those humans who don’t enjoy animals as much as we do.  I’m sure if you are an animal lover that you have many examples in your own life of how being in a relationship with them has expanded and grown you in your “being” experience.  In fact, I would love to hear stories from you about what you’ve learned from your animal friends.

Until then, picture me running around the foothills of the Texas Hill Country with my Aussie dogs and send us all a little prayer would ya?!


NEXT113 Why Some People Feel Blue This Time of Year

Posted on : 06-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Heart Talks



Yeah, this time of year is pretty crummy for many people but for the first time in a long, long time I’m feeling very happy. I’ve even started mailing off some Christmas cards.  I’m not sure exactly what pieces of my puzzle moved into place to help me to feel fulfilled and happy right now, but whatever they are and however they moved I’m very grateful!

Only someone who has suffered from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD and phobias can really understand what it is like to weather through the onslaught of all the happiness and cheer that is tossed around this time of year. It can be really painful physically as well as emotionally.  Tonight as my husband and I were watching a French flick and both dogs were curled up on either side of me with a roaring fire in the background, in the middle of feeling all happy and grateful, I had a very quick flash of remembering how afraid and totally alone I felt–definitely when I was living on my own before we got married and sometimes even during those blue depression times long after.

Something we humans don’t talk with each other about a whole lot about how durn scary and sad it can be sometimes as we are traversing through this life of ours.  Even when the sun is out and warm through the shirt on our back, we can still have times of feeling as if the world could care or less about us.  It’s as if we were standing on the outside of the snow globe of life looking in and knocking loudly but nobody can hear.   When you’re feeling blue and/or afraid then people around you acting all  happy can feel especially jarring or grating.  When I first began seeing a therapist years ago to finally confront the depression and anxiety that I had been walking around with for so long, I described the way I felt to her in that my life felt like I was walking around inside of a B-rated horror movie. Nothing felt good. Everything hurt or was scary at some level and in some way.  Thank God that within a very short while of talking things over with her, I began to feel a release inside of me that had been gripping my heart and stomach which allowed for me to see and experience some good things in my world at least some of the time.  I didn’t always feel it and there were many days and weeks when it was all I could do to show up for work and then come home to curl up with my dog and cat and watch television until blessed sleep took over.  But I kept pressing on. I had remembered sparkles of feeling good when I was younger and I was determined to feel that way again. I was not going to let this dark cloud have control over my life and I was willing to go to therapy every day for however long it took  if that is what it would take for me to get better.

Today, I’m grateful to report that many of the pathways I began years ago towards helping myself get better such as therapy and various 12-step programs to address addiction and spiritual/religious programs to expand my understanding of God, all of these helped me to release the bondage of the past so that I could live in the peace of today.

The good news about feeling blue is it means you’re sensitive which means that just as you can feel the fear and sadness about your life, you can also feel the beauty and joy.  It’s such a bitter sweet thing to be human.  I’ve written before about a memory I had one day while I was driving through Zilker park which is located down by the river here in Austin.  I pretended that I was talking to an angel and I asked this angel why we humans have to feel so much pain and the angel began asking me if I even understand how truly miraculous it was to be human.  He said that in the world where he lives, he cannot feel the intense beauty of the heart, soul and flesh in the way we do here on Earth and went on to say that even the most searing experience that breaks our heart is achingly beautiful to those on the other side.

Well, I don’t know if I was really talking with an angel or if all my egos (Id, super, etc.) were creatively working out my quandary to help me find peace….but I did feel better after looking at my life as if I was seeing and feeling it through an angel.  Everything became that much sweeter when I thought of my life in that way.  I still remember how beautiful the sun looked glinting off the leaves of the trees as I drove down the street having this conversation in my head.  That’s how I feel this Christmas/Hannukah/Solstice season….very peaceful and with a simmer of happiness.  It’s not a manic excitement or tipping point joy but rather a very subtle feeling of hope and wonder.

I invite you to write me your comments about how you feel this time of year (even if you don’t celebrate any of the holidays happening now).   Would really love to hear from you

NEXT112 Are You Fulfilled Or Just Feeling Satisfied?

Posted on : 03-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder

Tags: ,


Thomas Leonard, Founder of CoachU (along with many others), Coachville  and many things Coaching….created a “distinctionary” (can be found at that takes a look at two similar words and explores them to find which one goes a little deeper for a richer experience.

Here is the one for Fulfillment vs. Satisfaction:
Satisfaction is the sensation that you feel when your needs are met. You’re satisfied; you’re satiated. Fulfillment, however, is the deeper, more soul-oriented feeling that one experiences when they are expressing their values, as in being themselves. When an artist is creating, they often experience fulfillment in their work. However, when the artist is getting appreciation, which perhaps may be a need, they’re going to feel satisfied but not fulfilled. Both are good, but fulfillment is a richer experience.

I realized when I was talking with my mentor on Friday morning listing the top things that I’m putting my attention to (trust me, you don’t want me to list them here because it might make your head spin how much I do….) and I knew that blogging was something that I never want to give up.  It gives me such a sense of fulfillment to blog because it’s a way for me to help you readers feel connected and if not understood completely at least that someone is hopping up beside you to let you know you matter  (or hey I’m good for a laugh or two sometimes at least!).  In spite of the fact that I don’t get paid  to blog, I have to write to get the ideas and feelings out of my head and on to the page or the ideas will just keep piling into my brain taking up space.

When we looked at my blog talk radio show (  I realized that most of the time I feel satisfied doing a show but I don’t always feel fulfilled.  Now I’m not quite sure why that is except I think it may have something to do with allowing other people to give their opinion to me about how I could ramp my show up to the “next level” (e.g. weekly shows) or solicit corporate sponsorship that would allow me to have some paid help etc.  That all ends up feeling like a full-time job to me pretty quickly, not that I wouldn’t want to have a radio show that I could get paid to do full-time but I’m pretty realistic when it comes to this and know that I’d be getting paid part-time to do an over-time job.  Not too sure that is something I’m interesting in doing.  For right now, I’m okay with just feeling satisfied with my show as it is on my own time schedule.

I think fulfillment is something that comes from deep inside of us and so, for me, it’s got a spiritual nature as well.  It’s kind of like when you do or say something nice for somebody and get filled with that all-over glow inside and out.  Who doesn’t want to feel that way? I sure love it?!?  Makes me want to keep on finding ways to be kind to others just to get that “soul-hit”.  Conversely, I feel satisfied after cleaning the house spotless.  I love nothing more than to clean every dust particle off of every surface and floor, organize things, neaten things up, add a spice or flair of decoration and then walk from room to room admiring my work.  That gives me a huge feeling of satisfaction but I definitely don’t feel fulfilled.

How about you?  What gives you a great inner sense of fulfillment?


NEXT111 How I Fell in In Love With A Rescue-Doodle

Posted on : 01-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Nature

Tags: ,


Surely you’ve heard of a Doodle?  I’m not talking about the the kind of doodle you draw, no, I’m talking about the dog!!  There’s all kinds of Poodle mixes that are Doodles.  The most commonly known mix are the Labradors and Poodles or the Golden Retrievers and Doodles.  You can go to to find all kinds of Doodles looking for homes who are located in the United States.

I fell in love upon first sight with a rescue-Doodle over lunch at a local restaurant the other day.  Now, most people who know me know that I am an animal lover. But being an animal lover doesn’t mean that I fall instantly in-love with every animal I see nor does it mean that I want to take every animal home with me. Then there are those special animals that you just instantly feel a bond and connection.  Many years ago, I strong-armed a good friend of mine into giving me a Cairn Terrier puppy that she had rescued off of the streets of Mexico.  My friend had named her “Breakfast” because they had happened upon her and some litter mates after a hard evening of tequila drinking and hungry for some…well…you know…breakfast.

all this to admit to you that in my past when it came to falling in love with a critter (much less a boyfriend), I pretty much would do anything to bring them into my world.  Fast forward to today and I have a loving husband, two great cats and two great dogs.  I certainly don’t have any unmet needs happening in the animal sector of my life.  But there we were sitting in the cafe minding our own business when a movement caught my peripheral vision and I saw a fairly good sized dog, probably 80 pounds maybe 90, with longish hair that was multi-colored with brown, dove-grey and blonde plus she had bushy eyebrows and whiskers!   There was something about her countenance though that got my attention.    Shortly after I spotted her, one of the ladies sitting across from our table got up and went outside to meet her too….so it wasn’t just me!

I resumed eating and conversation with my family and tried to think nothing of her again but just as we were leaving, I listened to that voice in me suggesting that I go out on the patio and meet the dog.   Having dabbled with animal communication over the years, I’m fairly certain that she was beaming us vulnerable humans inside to see whose interest she could catch.  She walked right up to me very calmly and I asked her human-mom if I could meet her.  Her mom told me that her name was “Leah” and that she was a Black Labrador/Poodle mix.  She is not even two years old which blew me away because she was so calm and very present.  If dogs meditate, this one surely does.  Very Ommmmm-ish.  And happy. And curious. But not putting herself on you.  If her mom hadn’t been so nice, in another life I probably would have tried to walk away with her, but she was obviously happy and cared for very well.  Now instead of fantasizing about some guy other than my husband, I have pictures of the Leah-dog floating in my head.

My husband and I have always adopted from the pound or rescue (except for Buckwheat our Golden who was “gifted” to us).    Our “Reality” (Black Lab) is getting on in age so we know that sometime down the road we’ll be looking for a new litter mate for the Paul-dog plus we need to give Re-Re time to relax in her retirement years.  You probably have guessed that I’m going to lean heavily on us considering Doodle Rescue.

Leah’s mom tried to do the right thing by telling me about the plight of “designer-breeds” such as the Lab/Poodle and the demise that many of the dogs find themselves in when the humans don’t like them for whatever reason but I couldn’t bear to hear another story confirming for me how dense we humans can sometimes be.  Nevertheless, I was glad that she told me about Doodle Rescue and made me aware of Leah’s story.

I secretly think that Leah is an “angel-ambassador” for Doodles everywhere., but I suspect there are more “Leah’s” out there to be experienced so dear readers my suggestion for you is to keep your antennae up and your heart open because who knows, you just might find yourself falling in love with a Doodle.