NEXT123 Knowing When To Say, “NO”!

Posted on : 27-02-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Communication



Oy vey!  I remember when one of my favorite therapists told me that you’ll know when you’re setting a good boundary because you’ll probably feel uncomfortable.  I’d add to that that you’ll know when you’ve gotten to the end of your rope, when enough is just plain enough when noooooo (with a trail of o’s after the n) comes rolling off your tongue without too much time between the person asking you for a favor and your voice.  No, is a complete sentence.  You don’t have to justify your no.

Today I had the perfect NO situation come up when I was asked to do a “favor” for a relative of a good friend (now deceased).  Although I am prone to feel like there is always something more that I can do for someone I care about, I knew with this particular person that I had gone above and beyond helping them by being there for their relative, my good friend, during the last year of her illness when they could not be there.  I had also just worked through an exhaustive inventory of my resentments a week or two ago and had circled in on a vestige of my old self from years ago when I felt that “everyone owed me”… I’m very sensitive to those around me who may be coming from that particular place which this particular person has always seem to say and exhibit by her actions with others.  I heard out her request and was able to respond immediately with no and then suggested to her some services that she could Google of professional people who could offer her services in our area.

What I was reminded of once again is that people who don’t have boundaries, don’t respect boundaries of others.  Let me add to that.  People without boundaries don’t even recognize that there is such a thing as boundaries so the responsibility of raising them or setting them when they cross one is left up to you.

Only YOU can prevent anger fires!

NEXT122 Finding Something to Laugh About

Posted on : 19-02-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Humor, Uncategorized

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Years ago, I remember hearing an interview with the comedian Steve Martin (who was, then, hitting the bright lights of fame from Saturday Night Live) and how he said that actually comedians are usually the most serious people he knew.   It was one of those Soooby Doo ruh roh moments for me because I knew I loved to laugh but I also knew that I could be equally as serious about life.

I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people laugh and what brings up that surging giggle wave inside of me.  We explored the thinking behind it in Philosophy class (absurdity of information, how info is received, etc.) but that still didn’t satisfy me.  Where I’ve ended up landing about laughing is that I have to just enjoy the results of whatever it is that makes us laugh because trying to dissect it out takes all the fun out of it.

For example, a good friend and I have often joked that because my humor can sometimes be so off the wall that if I ever took my act on the road, she would be my one psychic fan because she knows what I am conveying with very few moves and words.  I’m pretty sure my mom and I have that kind of connection too, in fact, I think I learned this particular brand of humor from her with its is very subtle movements and lots of history.  So, when said good friend and I were waiting for yoga class to begin and had gathered around us the accouterments of class such as the Tami mat, blanket and a chair, when I looked at the chair behind me and made a very simple gesture with my hands in a circle above my head, my friend understood that I meant to convey a scene of  Chinese acrobats  doing amazing gymnastics with chairs and each other.  Perhaps with some honing and practice, I could convey this kind of humor to more than one audience member.  I think that’s probably what the really good comedians do such as Ellen DeGeneres and Jim Gaffigan.

And then there’s just the physicality and emotionality of laughing itself.  Like at the end of every yoga class when our teacher would have us laying on the floor and ask us to just laugh as heartily as we could.  Some people would start out with that hesitant laughter, heh-heh-heh, and then sometimes there’d be someone who’d go way over the top almost to the edge of making you want to rise out of your yoga bliss and go bop them on the head!  Whenever the aforementioned friend and I would start laughing together we would end up cracking each other up and really laughing getting the whole class into an uproar.  Such fun.  It’s all the gasoline my inner-kid needs to find ways to keep the laughter going.  No wonder I used to get U’s on my conduct reports in Sixth Grade.  Who doesn’t want to laugh? Evidently my teacher that’s who!

There are all kinds of ways we can find humor out there in life.  In fact, I have seen the very quirky off the wall humor that I love caught in photos. Like the one my friend Kat found right after the very slight Earthquake that Washington D.C. experienced last year of  garden table on a rolling lawn with one chair askew. 

So if you’re ever feeling just a little blue or perhaps taking life just a little bit too seriously…find something to laugh about…your soul will be glad you did!

Photo that my friend P posted this week on FaceBook with a very sparse explanation saying, “this is how I feel today”….

DIV002 Even When Pigs Don’t Fly!

Posted on : 11-02-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Spirituality


They can still get your attention when they’re trotting along the sidewalk in your neighborhood!

Isn’t our Higher Power great (who I choose to call God) when it/he/she uses humor to get through to us? Like the other morning, for example. I was already ten minutes late driving to meet a friend for an early lunch downtown in the middle of the hustle and bustle and so when I came over the big hill in the cut-through neighborhood and saw a car and van stopped right in the middle talking to each other, I had all kinds of thoughts swirling through my head. Thoughts that I wouldn’t want anyone to hear!

Added to this was five years of accrued opinion and judgment about the kind of people who lived in big shiny new houses in the cut-through neighborhood. I use the excuse of being a writer for the reason that I create all kinds of “stories” about places and people before I even validate if they are true or not which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself at least not until I use those stories to form my opinions. Quite frankly, what I imagine can be so much more entertaining. But, sometimes what I make up can be very off track and full of the plaster of my disbelief that creates a wall between me and others.

Perhaps that is why my Higher Power sent in a pig, trust me the irony is not lost on me.

There I was fuming behind the wheel at the two ladies who had the audacity to continue talking. My slow-burning resentments of false origins were working up to a rolling boil until one of the ladies pointed to the side of my car. I looked over to see a big ole overgrown pink pot-Bellied pig rummaging through the green grass along the sidewalk with his little curly-cue tail switching all over the place. In a matter of seconds, my opinion of the women went from dislike to at least giving them a chance because of their concern for the pig.

I immediately put the car into park so that I could try to herd the pig from going down the street on to the busy highway. One of the ladies was calling the local sheriff, while still another neighbor pulled up to let us know she knew the pig (he was a pet) and was going to get the phone number to call the owner of the ranch nearby.  I’ve heard pigs were smart, but right after she told us that the pig lived in the neighboring ranch, he started walking across the street towards the woods backing up to the ranch he came from. I don’t know very much about pigs but I did want to make sure he kept heading towards home instead of the highway. I’m pretty sure I made a spectacle of myself running parallel to this pig when he took off in a trot back towards the highway and began squealing when I ran past him to head him off.  Luckily, his owner came along about that time and said, “that’s my pig” and began talking to him as he scratched the pig’s head saying, “Pooper, now what have you gone and done now” (can’t make this stuff up!).

Because I love animals a whole bunch and definitely trust them more than humans, ole Pooper really helped me to lower my wall of judgment and to look with a different eye and an open heart toward these neighbors of mine who took time out of their busy morning to make sure the pig lived to see another day.  I mean, pot-bellied pigs are pretty cute when they’re little and cuddly and can roust about within your arms, but when they get to the size of ole Pooper, well it takes a pretty open heart to find its way to enjoying his little maverick spirit.

I’m pretty sure that if there have been angels observing my life and betting on my ability to change my behavior and thinking, that when looking at the hard and fast way that I can put others into a box “just because” those betting that I couldn’t or wouldn’t change probably said, “when pigs fly!” but there must have been at least a few who were betting on my higher self and my ability to lower defenses pretty quickly hence sending out a pig on the run.

Thank you Pooper for getting a wild hair and deciding to go for a run! I needed that thump in my heart.