Life001 Listening Beyond the Noise

Posted on : 29-08-2013 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Heart Talks, Mind Fodder, Yoga


Warning! This is another post to encourage you into the practice of meditation.   So, those of you who have no desire to explore this possibility for helping you to find contentment and peace are welcome to click on to the next headline waiting for your attention.

How quiet is your mind?  If your mind is like mine, most of the time it’s not.   I’ve usually got at least three or four streams of thinking going on at the same time (and probably more if I would sit still long enough to have it measured). Most of us already have mind chatter keeping us company from the minute we get up until we go to sleep. Then you add in one, two or several forms of electronic media that many of us have access to and it’s a wonder that any of us get anything done! Which voice do you pay attention to?  Where do you put your focus?


As many of my spiritual elders, sisters and brothers have shared with me through the years, dedicating 20-40 minutes of meditation practice at least once a day can help us to listen beyond the noise.  There are as many forms of meditations as there are unique kinds of people in the world…find the one that your heart (and soul) has an ahhh response to when you practice it.   With that said, here are some basic tips that I’ve picked up over the years to remember about meditation that seem to align with many of the practices that I’ve been exposed which are:

1.) Try to find the same time to meditate everyday. This may vary because after all there is LIFE, but if you’re intention is to meditate every morning having the same time will help you to carry out your meditation.

2.) Find a place where you are comfortable sitting.  I have heard that someone who is deeply disciplined in the practice of meditation can connect with that inner peace anywhere and anytime, but for those of you who may be starting out… kind to yourself and give yourself all the help possible so that you can sit still.

3.) Light a candle, incense or if you’re outside, breathe in deep the smell of your surroundings.  I like ritual so for me, lighting an incense tells my mind that we’re going to get quiet.  My dogs even know that and will run to jump in my chair and curl up by my side (I’m sure if we could see their canine thought bubbles they would read, “finally!”)

4.) Follow your breath.  My yoga teacher of many years used to say this after every class as we lay in savasana (yoga meditation pose) and what he meant was to let any thoughts or worries of the day drop off as we paid attention to the act of breathing in and breathing out.  Just paying attention to your breath will help you to let go of much of the chatter in your head. Mostly.

5.) Do not judge your practice. Explore how you can find that deep inner peace more fully, absolutely! But, if you find that it is all you can do to sit for 10 minutes, let that be okay.   You can work up to longer if you choose. I try to make my time thirty minutes, but please know for many of us just the practice of sitting still and learning to let go is enough.  Even sitting outside with the breeze on my face did not stop my ego-mind from wanting to interfere with my meditation when I first began.   Most anything that you think that you need to be doing during your meditation time can be done afterwards.


6.) Meditation is not a competition.  For many of us in the Western World our thoughts have been trained to think of many things that we do as a competition.  Your meditation time is between you and your higher power whatever or whoever that may be.  I remember several years ago talking about my meditation with a friend who had practiced the Kriya meditation techniques passed down through the lineage of gurus in the Self-Realization Fellowship founded by Paramahansa Yogananda.  As we were walking and talking I told her about a profound psychic experience I had during meditation and in her gently way she shared that in her experience, those psychic experiences could be a distraction from the real intent of being able to drop our ego and connect with the God of our understanding.

This sharing is just to remind you that you can drop all the cacophony of voices within and without at anytime if you so choose and giving yourself the gift of a daily meditation practice is a lovely way to do this.

Listen beyond the noise, peace is waiting for you.



WRITE010 Finding Hope Out of the Most Unlikely Places

Posted on : 08-12-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Humor, Mind Fodder

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A couple of days ago I was driving down the highway in a rush to get by Starbuck’s before my next meeting across town and an El Camino up ahead caught my eye not so much because I hadn’t seen one in at least a handful of years but rather because it was in pretty much mint condition.  And then I noticed the driver, he had long grey hair pulled back in a ponytail and a mustache under his nose.  I noticed that up on his reviewer mirror hung a handicapped tag.  I’m not quite sure if I fantasized that he resembled Sam Elliott’s “The Stranger” from the Big Lebowski or if he actually did have the countenance of him, so for the sake of this blog we’ll pretend that he was.

The main point of this whole memory is that of all the things at 3pm on a consistently sunny day that could make me feel hopeful, this aging baby boomer with his gray pony tail and El Camino did just that.  The hope swam up at me out of a swarm of realizing that in a world of 7 billion people, and 311,591,917 of those people living in the good ole USA, seems like most people have become the cookie cutter image of the cookie cutter box stores with very little unique qualities evident to the outside world.  Of course, you and I both know that we’re all unique; however, many of us have just gotten really good at hiding ourselves under the shell of sameness like a million tiny crabs scuttling along the beach.

Oh sure, you could argue that this pony-tailed boomer also came out of a generation of many of us following the same trip, but jimminy when you consider all the changes that we boomers have undergone and endured since the high-flying times of the 60’s and 70’s, well, those of us that have held on to our threads and ways give me heart.  I think it’s because of what I’ve experienced that goes with all of that.  The awareness and consciousness of the people and the world around them/us as well as the curiosity to still ask questions.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now that although there are some differences between the aging hippies today and the 20-somethings, they all speak the same language.  If ever there was a time in history when we needed inter-generational communication and connection, it is now. And if ever there was a time when this was possible, it is now.   The old can help the young and the young can help the old.  And I suspect that they would find each other very interesting.    I’m an interviewer in the core of my being, so I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many people from both of these generations and so there’s some meat behind my words. There’s substance in them thar hills of wishful thinking.

So next time you just happen to glance over and see someone who is an aging flower child remember, “The Dude Abides”….

DASH013 Is There An “Agenda” Behind Volunteering?

Posted on : 26-06-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership, Mind Fodder



Well, sure. I’m sure there are all kinds of agendas behind volunteering.  The critical, paranoid side of me wonders (quite loudly sometime in my brain!) who it is really promoting volunteering when many of us are already having to squeeze out every inch of time and energy available to try to make ends meet.

On the other hand, I have been giving my time to various anonymous groups that help alcoholics and addicts (food) get (and keep) sober/abstinent for many years because we learn when we get a new lease on life that what will keep us sober/sane is to “give back what we have so generously been given”.  Right now, I’d say I commit through meetings and working with others at least 12 hours a week to that effort (of which I am grateful to do).

The pros for volunteering is that it does help us to get out of ourselves in order that we can be of service to others–and in my opinion that is always a good thing!  I think what is still stuck in my craw is that the encouragement of volunteering (via PSAs on television and radio) feels disingenuous.  It feels like the subliminal message is to fill in the economic gaps that are continuing to widen with the glue of volunteering; otherwise, it is our (prospective volunteers) faults if the help does not get offered/given. What the encouragement to volunteer does not feel like is that anyone really really cares whether we’re growing spiritually/emotionally or not.

I do feel that volunteering is important. It is important to give back to the world and others; however, it is equally important to understand why you are volunteering.  Understand what you are giving in terms of time, energy, thought and heart, because that really can make a difference.


365Ways-003 Are We in A Trance?

Posted on : 21-04-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Mind Fodder

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I’m not talking about the fun kind of trance where you dance freely around a room with a bunch of other interesting and fun people to good music and let yourself go! I’m referring to the kind of trance when someone is talking about the state of politics (because I’m from the U.S., we’ll say American politics) or the media coverage of news and politics etc. or just how you may be out shopping one day and find yourself buying something that you don’t even really want, much less need.  That kind of trance.  The lemming trance.  

Going back to college to finish up a degree many years from when I was 18 has been a real eye-opening experience for me.  There is so much information to be had from what we learn in class to just being in the cluster of students living their lives like I did many years ago.  So much to process!  Did you know that violence is used by Hollywood so much because it “travels” well which means that no matter what country and what language(s) is being spoken, most people understand violence.  That doesn’t mean to say that all countries like and accept violence though.  In fact, in Europe they are much more strict about violence on the screen but a also a lot more lax about sex than the U.S. Wonder if reducing violent movies and television shows in the U.S. could be as simple as us making it not as easy to travel across our country? Hmmmm.

Re-learned a concept called “Euro-centrism” which means that it sanitizes Western history while patronizing and even demonizing the non-West it thinks of itself in terms of its noblest achievements-science, progress, humanism–but of the non-West in terms of its deficiencies, real or imagined.

I suspect most countries have their own form of centrism but I can sure see my own country’s Eurocentrism when traveling abroad to other countries.  So what does that mean about us and our perspectives?  Are we just nothing but chunks of protein for the dazzling soup recipe that our advertisers and talking heads want us to soak in? 

If you were to sit back where you live and take a few minutes to look around what would your surroundings say about you? Mine probably says a lot!  And I feel good about what I surround myself with because it is all items and furniture that I really, really enjoy (not because I’m being influenced to buy it)!   Would I love do some re-designing and refurbishing of my home? Oh sure. Always seem to find something that needs fixing or changing, but I’m not changing something because I’m in a trance about how it “should” look.  Nothing more startling to me than to walk into somebody’s home which looks like the inside of a department store showroom.  No personality. Who is home anyway? Stepfordization must just be around the corner?!?!

Being in country-sized trance is something I’ve been pondering about lately. Because after all, if we are all really “connected” then I sure don’t want to find myself pulled off a cliff with the crowd!  Enjoy your life and how you show up in it today and let yourself be who you really are!


365Ways-001 Practice, Practice, Practice

Posted on : 06-04-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Mind Fodder

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Uggh. Practice!  Until yesterday, I had a belief that I never really practiced at anything consistently on a daily basis, that is until I spoke with my Mom (thanks Mom!) and she reminded me about the writing I had been doing on a regular basis over past few years (until recently when I took a “writing hiatus”).  She was able to see improvement in my writing over time where I was unable to see my writing growth.

A couple of years ago, Malcolm Gladwell came out with the book, “Outliers” which is about….here is his definition:

What is an outlier?

“Outlier” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. In the summer, in Paris, we expect most days to be somewhere between warm and very hot. But imagine if you had a day in the middle of August where the temperature fell below freezing. That day would be outlier. And while we have a very good understanding of why summer days in Paris are warm or hot, we know a good deal less about why a summer day in Paris might be freezing cold. In this book I’m interested in people who are outliers—in men and women who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of ordinary experience that they are as puzzling to the rest of us as a cold day in August.

Fast forward a few years to Matthew Syed’s book, “Bounce” which further explores what makes exceptional people, well, exceptional which is hard work and lot’s and lot’s of practice.  These two books can help us with our perspective about excellent outliers the next time we see someone who is exceptional at something and instead of just “assuming” it is because they are lucky, that they were just born that way, and/or they were at the right place at the right time we will be able to consider that they probably have put lots of hard work and time into being able to do what they do so well.

Hmmmm. What have I created with the many hours of on-line solitaire that I’ve played?  More ruts in my brain?

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have a curious and open mind about who someone is and how they are able to do what they do so well rather than to come from a “victim” mentality of believing that I am less than because I cannot do what they do or at least not as well.

We all have something inside of us that can be magnificent if we take the time to polish and shine it up with steadfast dedication.  Malcolm and Matthew say that to become excellent or an outlier with something the research shows that one spends about 10,000 hours of doing it, fine tuning it, reshaping it, paying attention to it, etc.  So if we spent just two hours a day working and practicing at something we’d really like to become an expert at then we will become an expert in a little over 13 years from now.

Let’s get started!! What are you going to be mindful about doing every day for 1-2 hours for the next decade or so?  Assuming we’ll all be alive, we’re going to be breathing, eating, sleeping and all that other good stuff that goes with life…so why not be intentional about some of what we’re doing?   What will you do?

NEXT124 I Want to Live in America

Posted on : 07-03-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership, Mind Fodder

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I want to live in America!   Who even says that nowadays?  Surely not someone who was born in the United States and has traveled around the world?  But, yes, there are still many reasons that I want to live in America. By the way, I’d be happy to live in Canada, Mexico and other locales in North and South America as well because they are also part of America.

The America I’m talking about in this article, though, is the United States.

And you could probably throw all kinds of descriptors at my name that would label me with who you think I am in some form or fashion so as to really piss you off and enable you to crawl inside the jury that lives in each of our heads with an under-the-breath-retort of “well, sure, THAT kind of person would want to live in the U.S.  I know I do that kind of snap judging all the time. It’s so easy now with mass media…I’ve thus far resisted the urge to listen to what Rush Limbaugh said; however, information is so pervasive out there that I’ve pretty much gotten the gist of it.  I can just snap, snap away until I become this little sniveling creature holed away in my little world of beliefs with no entry for other perspectives to ease their way in and shift my paradigm.  Hope you’re not suffering from that as well! It’s lonely in here.

We need to remember that the media is here for us to use and not for it to use us (pun intended).

What’s helped me to remember the good things about living in the U.S. A. is listening to people who have become citizens here after leaving their home country behind.  We (Americans) are very insulated from what it is really like to live as a citizen in so many places around our Earth.

So, yeah, I can just almost not stand to listen to the news or read a paper that has anything to say about the primaries going on right now because of the double and triple talk spitting back and forth, but at least I know that it is going on. I have the freedom to educate myself on how to listen better and get to a place where I can find my own understanding of what is happening around me so that then I can then make the best informed choices that I can.

Plug for Dylan Ratigan and his book “Greedy Bastards”….the talking mouths like to say that the media is overrun by the liberals, but actually statistics back up the fact that the media is coming from a place that is more to the center and leaning towards the right than left.  With that said, though, I’m glad to see a talking head like Dylan, out there with a successful show on MSNBC getting is thoughts and opinions out there.  After watching the taping of his interview on “Overheard with Evan Smith” I was impressed with the breadth and depth of his knowledge.


We do have choices out there people of what we listen to, read and where we focus our attention.

Do you want to live in America? If so, why? If not, why not? Back it up.


NEXT121 Things I Do Now, That I Didn’t Do Then

Posted on : 20-01-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder



Enough of this “if I only knew then what I knew now….”  all I know for sure is that I have right now this minute to act on and be in.  Well, and of course when that physics thing happens where I can be thinking two thoughts about the future, three about the past and one in the present simultaneously.  What I want to celebrate with you today is to list some of the things that I do now, that I didn’t do “back when”.

1.) I’ve been known to hang out in my pajamas well past noon but getting a whole lot of things done working at my desk right beside my husband who seems to love me in spite of no make-up or perfume!

2.) Return to college with fellow classmates many years younger than me.  Couldn’t face returning when I was 5-10 years older then most other students, but sure can do it now.  Acceptance or denial? Whichever it is, it’s working!

3.) Care about what is going on in my friends’ lives but in an interdependent give-them-a-hug kind of way and not the icky obsequious co-dependent way that I used to fall into way back when.

4.) Discover new aspects of my husband that I can enjoy, laugh about, respect every day, week, month and year.  This is a bloody miracle considering in my youth I was addicted to that aspect of relationships known as limerence which meant the very second the blush was off the rose, I was outta there!

5.) Fold my underwear and socks. True story.  I used to keep a really, almost fastidiously, clean home except for my dresser drawers.  It was just too much for me to fold my underthings and so I would stuff them into a drawer which meant that anytime I wanted a new pair of whatever, I had to fight with the drawer and everything in them.  Today I fold everything up neat and in it’s place so that it is so easy to open the drawer and pull what I need out.  It’s a shame though that only I get to see this great accomplishment (and, well, I guess now you know it too!).

6.) I weigh and measure all my food when I eat at home (three squares a day) and eyeball portions when I go out. Don’t eat in-between meals, don’t eat flour and sugar and don’t starve.  You can’t imagine how crazy I used to be about food.  Oy vey.  For instance, I remember one time when I was plowing through a box of Wheat Thins, for some reason I decided to look at what they called a portion size and nearly choked when I read “16 crackers” .  Have you ever seen how small Wheat Thins are? Why, 16 crackers was just the kindling for the fire?!! So glad I don’t have to eat that way ever again, one day at a time.

7.) I try to vary my drive when I leave for home to get out of the rut of doing the same thing.  Gives me a different perspective, helps me to stay focused and not in a day dreaming state while driving.  I don’t know if it’s a good thing or something that I should feel guilty about, but I know all kinds of baristas at various Starbucks all over Austin.

8.) I dance like crazy when a song comes on that I love, no matter who is around.   I’ve always danced a lot, but I was very, very careful to make sure that not too many people spotted me doing so.  Now, eh, why not?!

9.) Instead of feeling embarrassed when I am sometimes spastic in speaking and jumble words or flub sentences or what-have-you, I’ve worked in several sounds and facial expressions to mark it right in the moment which takes the attention away from it and definitely lightens the experience for any witnesses.

10.) I look for ways to make the people around me happy, most of the time.  I mean, hey, I’m human and so sometimes the scarfy side of me jumps out but for the most part I do my best to find ways to make others happy.  Cuz then we can laugh together and I really enjoy laughing.

How about you? What do you do now that you didn’t do then?



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.


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.

NEXT112 Are You Fulfilled Or Just Feeling Satisfied?

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

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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?