DINK #224 Message From The Centipede

Posted on : 31-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

Tags: ,


Considering yesterday was a Monday it flowed very nicely all things considered until, that is, beddy-bye time. I had just finished brushing/flossing, washing my face, removing my contacts and smoothing on cream when out of the corner of my eye a very fast movement caught my attention. When I turned around to see what was causing the movement, the horror I felt was almost visceral. There in the sink that not moments ago I had brushed ans washed was what seemed a very an extraordinarily big orange/brown Centipede. What was even more imposing about him, considering his size, was that you could almost tell that he was very pissed off to be stuck in the curving smooth sink and was waving several sets of arms in the air as if trying to grab hold of something. Like me!

It took me a nano second for the messages in my brain to reach my feet and jettison me out of the bathroom, across the bedroom floor and up into our bed to deliver the message to my husband, “THERE’S A CENTIPEDE IN OUR SINK”!!!! I felt torn between my fear and guilt (and you know which one won out) about his handling things because I knew that, unlike me who would find whatever means I could to transport the animal/insect safely outside, he would definitely kill it. Still, I have to say that it was mighty quiet in there before I heard sounds of a crunching body and then the fast padding of my husband’s feet as he made for the toilet with the Centipede carcass.

The spiritual higher self part of me was trying to be heard above the loud din of my extreme over reaction to the situation so I knew that this Centipede was a “messenger” and certainly a “symbol” of some sort that I needed to pay attention to but all I could do was absently swipe at my head every now and then just in case that Centipede had family members who had hitched a ride unbeknownst to me. When I went for my last bathroom break before sleep, you would have thought I was in the jungles of Africa as I moved stealth like and flicked on the light searching all corners north, south, east and west as well as up and down for any other Pede of whatever variety was lurking nearby.

Today, after a long run and some calming time I took the time to investigate just what the Centipede Totem brings. Turns out their considered to be the symbol of Chiefs (http://www.manizone.co.uk/centipede-animal-totem-a-36.html) and considered “GOOD LUCK”. Oy vey, so what does that mean that I killed (just as culpable even though I hadn’t actually killed the guy) the symbol of chiefs and good luck???

I do know that lately I have been battling with my own self about my tendency to not step up to the plate when it comes to doing my dreams and really going for making them happen but rather hide behind the coat tails of someone else and then fight with myself over copping a resentment. Geeze Louise, I say to all my Centipede brothers and sisters, “Got the message!” “Thanks”. “I sure do get it, no need to send additional runners!” (whistling in the background).

What messengers are showing up in your life today and what message do they bring you?

DINK #223 Dialogues About Environmental Justice and Human Rights

Posted on : 31-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be in school and to be exposed to such interesting panel discussions like the one I attended today (counted as a “class” since our Professor was one of the panelists).  This discussion was part of the “Philosophy Dialogue Series” hosted by the Psych Dept. at Texas State University.  It was called the Interdisciplinary Panel: Environmental Justice and Human Rights with the following Professor Panelists: “Brock Brown (Geography), Marco Grimaldo (Bread for the World), Catherine Hawkins (Social Work), Vincent Lopes (Aquatic-Biology), Vincent Luizzi (Philosophy), Chad Smith (Sociology).  The cost was nada, zilch, nothing.

Unfortunately I arrived about 20 minutes late but I was able to jump in and listen to what was being talked about and although it’s always disheartening, for me, to hear that we (especially the U.S. “we”) are going to have to change the way we think and believe if we’re going to affect any change as far as our global impact, I did feel encouraged by the time I left. I felt encouraged by the students who were concerned and interested in what was being said. I felt encouraged in listening to all the professors especially Vincent Lopes who talked about the idea of Civic Ecology and then, of course, my professor, Catherine Hawkins who talked about the fact that “we” are going to have to not only think differently and act differently (to help change happen) but we’re going to have to learn how to “feel” differently about who we are in the world and what the world means to us.

I’m definitely going to check out more dialogues that the Psychology Dept. offers and I want to find out more about the areas that Dr. Lopes is studying.  A few years ago after twin hurricanes hit Belize and Mexico, David, a friend of ours and me took a scuba diving trip and somehow lucked out in meeting  some of the premier biologists of the Yucatan who were conducting some pretty amazing research and had created some pretty amazing plumbing solutions for the island of Cozumel to handle the drain from the hurricanes.  I’m just wondering if Dr. Lopes is involved in any of that.  You know how I love to make connections.  I believe that’s how my Higher Power communicates to me by presenting puzzle pieces to me of my life that I can then choose to connect for a picture or not.

I have an idea of what I want to do with all my experience and education that would involve helping others and communicating solutions and answers to many but I’m not so dense that I don’t realize that all my best laid plans could blow away to show a completely unexpected path underneath it all.  I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m encouraged by panel discussions like these and look forward to attending more in the future.  My hope is that we will all learn how to have dialogues with others and learn from many disciplines about what is working and what isn’t.  Together I think there are amazing things that we can do!

What are you doing to expand your mind and go beyond your beliefs today?

DINK #222 It’s All About Timing

Posted on : 29-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks


We finally sat down to watch “500 Days of Summer” (Zooey Deschnel, Joseph Gorden Levitt) but David bailed at the half-way point (no car crashes, etc.) and I’ve got to say that it was a bitter sweet movie to sit through. I didn’t like the very realistic ending so much because I so related to Joseph (Joe?)’s character.  I’m a sucker for romance—spoiler alert—but I sure do understand about the timing of relationships even in the best of conditions if both parties aren’t in sync it’s just not going to fly.  I’m sure glad that some of those out of sync times in my life never synced now that I have what I have in my life but you sure couldn’t have told me that back then. Nope. I wasn’t much into timing. Or I was into timing all right but I was into the idea of what I wanted the timing to be instead of what the timing really was.

Caught a very nice piece about Jane Goodall on 60 minutes. Wow, what a gal.  I was almost scared to watch it because of how deeply I feel about animals and I was scared they were going to show the sad conditions that the chimps were in today.  Luckily, we just heard about the stats of how many there were when she began her (://www.janegoodall.org/about-jgi) research with the chimpanzees in Africa at the young of 22 and how many there are now 50 years later.  I was thinking about the timing of Jane’s friend inviting her to come visit their new home in Africa and how Jane set out to go there and how impactful Africa was for her and she has been for it.  Thank God she followed through with the timing of it all because there’s no telling where the chimps would be now without her help in educating the world about them.

Timing is such an interesting idea because it seems that everyone has their own unique rhythm and twirl with it which I am reminded of daily when I check out celebrity birth dates in our paper and am consistently startled to be reminded how young or old some of the people are who we hear about all the time.  A career as a singer may take some people most of their lives to reach success and/or celebrity (or not) but could strike others very early, like Taylor Swift who is only 20.  Then again, there are others who just touch the veil of greatness throughout their lifetime and pop through it finally after many years as a seemingly overnight success. Timing?  I think so, but the equation is too long for me to figure out here.

To be good at timing I suppose we have to be good at accepting who we really are, embracing the present and recognizing opportunity before it hits us in the face.  It’d be fun for us to play with a little experiment over the next week and just notice when, where and/or if timing comes to play in our lives.  Then please do write about it so that we can share our discoveries with each other!

Speaking of timing, I’ve got two sleepy dogs and a husband waiting to tuck it in for the night! Night night all!

DINK #221 How Origami Torture Taught Me What I Really Wanted

Posted on : 28-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Career Stuff


It is one of my feverish hopes that when I share my stories of life, school, coaching, work and volunteering that there will be something somewhere that helps someone somehow.  For weeks now I have been in Origami hell and I’ve subjected all my readers to it along the way. Never fear, I’m beginning to see the light.  I’ve booked David to take a photo of my four perfectly made Origami people (except for their heads which someone else will have to make extra folds on to get it to the smaller size) for all to see.  It’s probably going to be like that scene from Annie Hall when Woody finally sees the perfect boyfriend that she had been talking about and said, “that’s it?! This is the boyfriend” or some such.  But really, here is the real gem that the Origami torture has given to me: the last straw that could be put into at least a couple of baskets that I’ve been carting around have been placed. That’s it; I’ve made it to the end of my rope. No more. And this is a good thing.

At school, I’ve made appointments to talk with Department heads and their trusted advisers about how I can fast track my way into combining the rest of the classes I need to complete my BA with a MSSW and I also want to see about earning a Masters in Communication.  I just need to pull all of my documents together so that I have the density of a proposal that academia is so fond of to support my query.  And as far as providing services and consultation for free, I’ve been stretching myself very thin in that area and plan to have at least a couple of discussions and boundaries set and requests for payment made.  There is a good part of my life that I gladly give my service for free in gratitude for that which I have been so freely given and I will continue to give that service. What I’m talking about is my tendency to so want to support someone in their dreams that I overlook my own reality and put aside my own needs to help them create and achieve their own dreams.  Somehow making the Origami people and the mini desks and chairs satiated that need in me to give, give, give and ask nothing in response. I’m done.  And thank G don’t you think?

Talking with my mom on the phone tonight she shared with me a technique that she learned in OT residency while working in the psych ward (this is my best recollection).  She had a very depressed patient one time that she couldn’t get much of a response from so she would have that patient do the same little thing over and over again asking her to improve whatever it is that she was doing until finally the patient responded with an outburst of anger which is what mom wanted because then she could work with the emotions and consciousness behind that.  Anyway, this feels like the same kind of situation I’ve been in (only I’m not depressed and school isn’t a psych ward) having to do a task over and over again because it just wasn’t quite right.

Finally, I reached the end of my rope.  I realized that I am never going to be able to make everything in this class perfectly and that whatever I turn in is most likely going to be critiqued in a way that tells me my work is lacking. And that’s okay.  This has been a really good way for me to keep going to that dry well over and over and over again until finally my insides all lined up to say, that is enough.  And now I can start taking more fruitful action steps.

I have a feeling that I’m going to sleep better tonight than I have in a very long time.  May the Origami situations in your life bring you to the end of all that you know and may you see the rainbow overhead.

DINK #220 When You Know That Intimacy “Thang” Is Working!

Posted on : 27-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,


This week I’ve been writing on a fearless and moral inventory of money and me. Oy vey.  I’ve inventoried myself about money many times in the past but this time I’m more able to really really look deep to see where the patterns are and where, when I insert myself, I see my contribution to all the steps that have taken me to where I am now.

One of the good realizations coming out of this money inventory is how grateful I am to be married to my husband. Once again I find myself in awe that we somehow stumbled upon each other 20 years ago and have stuck together in a more than pretty decent relationship.  I told him today at dinner about some of the realizations that I’ve had about myself and money and how he sure didn’t realize what he was stepping into when he met me.  Then again, I didn’t know about him either so I guess we’re even but I’m glad we can both laugh about it now.

What’s nice about intimacy and when I can tell that it is working for me is when I can truly “see” how perfect it is that David and I are together.  Not to be cliché but we really are two sides of the same coin (my side is the head of course….).  I’ve always known some of the many talents and skills that my husband has but lately I’ve noticed how he has the same tendency as I do to dismiss what he has (that I surely think are rare compared to most) and almost treat his gifts cavalierly.  This thing that I can see in him so clearly now is something that I know that I have too. I don’t know which is more aggravating to see someone you love not realize their own special gifts or to see it in yourself.  Whatever the case may be, whatever forces brought us together sure knew what it was doing. I don’t think it was random chaotic events happening when we forged alliances but it really does amaze me that it happened nevertheless.  One thing we told each other from the beginning is that we never wanted to take each other for granted and so far I think we’ve done a fairly good job of it.

Trust me our lives together have definitely not been tripping the light fantastic one hundred percent, but we both have had the same intention to learn how to get out of our own way so that we could create a special relationship with each other.  Does my true love irritate the hell out of me sometimes? You know he does. As I do him.  I don’t think it is possible to be intimate with someone day in and day out for 20 years and not get irritated once in a while but the key is to know when to surf the storms and when to sit on the beach.

I believe we souls are circling each other all the time to find those combination of the Divine that we so dearly miss after being born into this life.  Sometimes we find those souls who help us to polish up and hone parts of ourselves that we might not ever bother to look at if otherwise not forced into it.  I’m grateful for those first years of our marriage, which were so very scary when my husband found out about my money issues, and I couldn’t keep them hidden under the bed any longer.

You know that intimacy “thang” is working for you when instead of attacking when the buttons get pushed you lean into it with open arms.

DINK #219 Really Listening To Others

Posted on : 26-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

Tags: ,


I remember one of the first required classes from CoachU was a class on “Listening”. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head when I saw the course name such as, “uh-oh this coaching stuff is as hokey as I feared it might be” and “Duh! Of course a good Coach needs to be a good listener” all the way to “I know I don’t listen to others nearly as well as I would like”. When it came time to take the class we learned some of the expected things such as giving your full attention when someone is speaking etc., but what I hadn’t counted on was how they taught us to listen to what was not being said and to listen between the word in addition to listening to the words.

Because the classes at CoachU were taught over the phone learning how to “listen” to clients who we spoke with on the phone was a pretty important skill to have. I don’t know about you, but when I talk on the phone with someone it is very hard for me not to be doing at least one other thing simultaneously (even as simple as playing solitaire) while listening. The jury is still out as to whether for some of us, doing something else simultaneously actually helps us to focus on what is being said. Suffice it to say for this particular class; I focused on what the teacher was trying to get across. We spent some time role-playing where one of us would be the Coach and the other would be the client. I’ll never forget the first “client” I I listened to both what she was saying as well as what was not being said. After listening to the “client” then we were to give feedback to the class and then the client would let us know if we were on track or not.

With my particular client, I noticed that during the time she was talking my stomach began to feel queasy and then my lower back ached. When I gave my feedback about what I heard I almost didn’t talk about the physical things I was picking up but I’m so glad I did because as it turned out, this client had problems with her stomach during the course of the situation she had been relaying to us which culminated with lower back surgery. She did not share either one of these physical things when she laid out her situation to be coached about but both turned out to be keys to helping her find a solution to her dilemma.

I learned not to take for granted those “inklings” that we get sometimes (maybe more often than not) when we’re communicating with each other. Every morning I read a few meditation books and one of my favorites is by Napoleon Hill. I’ll leave you with his thoughts for today, “Listening helps condition your mind to receive valuable information contained in the thoughts of others. Set aside any preconceived notions you may have about the topic, and listen attentively and non-judgmentally to what is being said. Focus on the information, not on the speaker. Try to identify and absorb information that others often miss because their “receivers” are not tuned to the proper frequency.”

Hmmm who ever thought that really listening to others could ever be so much fun much less interesting!

Go forth and listen my friends! Go forth and listen.

DINK #218 Flying Right Along Side The EIght Ball

Posted on : 25-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


When I woke up this morning I expected that my day would flow like Wednesdays usually do and it pretty much did in with my beginning phone calls and breakfast but then I added 1.2 miles to my run and changed up the route just a little bit. After I showered and was getting ready for lunch and the long drive to school a thought occurred to me. I could use the two hours commuting time and three hours class time to get caught up on a class that I have been lagging way behind in for weeks now. I got still for a minute and tried on that idea. Although I would really miss one of my classes because I always have fun in it, I am all caught up on assignments in it and I am planning to meet the professor for the class that I’m behind in tomorrow morning so I realized if I stayed home and got caught up on my assignments that would be a better use of my time then to actually go to the classes.

I stayed home and worked on the freaking origami people from hell (see previous notes) and the itty bitty desks and chairs. My brain kept coming up with really great ideas to divert me like “take a break and go get your allergy shot and herbs and grab a cup of coffee” but I kept on working. My brother and his wife both called me at various points in the afternoon to ask if they could bring over their parents (I’ve met her fabulous mom already but not her dad yet) and I had to tell them that it was crunch time for me and I really had to get the assignments done.

I have four origami people that look the best out of all the origami people that I’ve made, and trust me I’ve made a village, I made four desks that I don’t like at all but at least I have something to show for my time and two chairs with the three little slats cut out in the sides. I even printed out photos for a 12x12x6 module assignment and put it in the notebook with cover page etc. So I feel much better about going to visit the professor in the morning. I feel like I may have done a Harry Potter today and flown right beside the eight ball instead of way behind it.

I also had taken a break in-between desks and chairs to re-do my resume format into a “functional” resume format for a friend of mine to pass along to a friend of hers. I revamp resumes for people all the time but doing it for myself is an entirely other thing for sure!!

The moral of this note tonight (if there is a moral to be had) is that if you’ve been feeling like your life is moving at a surreal speed of light and you can’t catch your breath, that’s probably the time for you to stop, take a breath and regroup so that you can feel what it’s like to fly right alongside the eighth ball.

DINK #217 These Scars Do Tell A Story, Yes They Do!

Posted on : 24-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


About a bazillion years ago when I was 21, six months after a very nasty car wreck I ended up in the hospital again for over a month during which time they removed my spleen, part of my intestine and a bit of my pancreas. For a couple of months I wore a colostomy bag on my side. I won’t go into the gory details of what a colostomy bag is but suffice it to say that everything we would normally do out of one area of our bodies, is done in that bag from our side. During the time of “the bag”, I learned how truly painful it could be to do that thing out of my side that had earned me the childhood nickname of “Beans. I was one of the lucky ones because eventually the bag came off and the two holes in my side became scars. I have another large scar that runs from just under my breastbone down and around my belly button to just above my nether regions. For some time, having scars like these was quite traumatic for me since that was the time in my life when the most important thing to me was having a flat, if not concave, stomach. Somehow I just couldn’t picture myself walking around in a bikini ever again—what with—-looking like I had three belly buttons!!

Span forward a few decades to a wedding I went to a couple of weekend’s ago for my BFF from high school’s big sister’s wedding. During the reception my friend took my hand and with a mischievous glint in her eye laid it upon a very soft padding on her tummy. Who would have thought that we would share the same experience of having had a colostomy bag and all the things that go with it? Somehow my friend almost made wearing a colostomy bag a cool accessory to have, almost, even if she had nicknamed the bag and created stories about it for the entertainment of anyone around her.

This afternoon I interviewed a woman who is a coach, author, speaker and minister. Her name is Judy Winkler and her latest book is “Get Unstuck: Live With Ease”. Judy has scars too only her scars aren’t from having a colostomy but rather the inner emotional scars that are sometimes harder to see but nevertheless as big (if not bigger to overcome). As I took off around the neighborhood for my afternoon jog, I realized that all of us have some kind of scar or branding from living our lives here on planet Earth that show that we have endured and overcome. And actually those scars are a good thing because they let other people know that we are real, that we are fallible and that we have healed.

I think that acknowledging and talking about our scars and telling the stories of how they got there and what we did to overcome them needs to be talked about and healing conversations can begin.

What do your scars tell us about you today?

DINK #216 Defects of Character Vs. Character Assets

Posted on : 23-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,


If I was going to dress up for Halloween this year, I would definitely go as one of the Origami people that I’ve been trying and failing to make into the correct dimensions for an Honor’s class that I’m taking at TSU this year. I know that sometimes, okay, many times I come out problems, challenges, assignments from a completely different direction than an average person would and sometimes this tends to complicate things tremendously. I had a Coach tell me one time after working with me for several months that on the one hand I could “get” many concepts and ideas very quickly and understand them well yet on the other hand there was another part of me that had to know EVERYTHING about a subject before I could start doing it. You can imagine that I used to frustrate the beegeesuz out of my teachers all the time! I appease myself with this assessment of how I learn as I left my class this evening totally disheartened after learning that I still had not gotten my Origami people’s dimensions correct and that I had to re-do the little tables and chair that I spent three hours working on Friday because I squished them in their little baggy when not paying attention to what I was doing in carting them to and fro the class. I pretty much felt like I could have failed Kindergarten today much less a college Honor’s Class!

And therein lies the rub. I heard it said about “humility” this weekend that the conundrum about humility is that when you feel it, it’s not humility (that you are feeling humble). In other words it’s about being able to soul surf that course between our defects of character and our character assets and laugh with ourselves during the process.

A defect of character is a term bandied about in 12-step programs usually when working on the 4th step, which is about “taking a fearless and moral inventory of ourselves”. The challenge is to be in a strong and safe enough spiritual state that you can take an honest look at yourself and see what is what without throwing yourself off of a bridge in the process. I’m working on a 4th step right now and so I forget that when I’ve worked on 4th steps before, I usually feel more tender and raw about life than I usually do.

If I was to look at this class, for instance, and apply what I understand about taking a fearless and moral inventory to what is going on in this class I can see where I ramrod quickly through an assignment because I think I understand what it is all about when in fact, I really missed the point and the instruction of “how to”. Today it was really interesting for me to feel this really old feelings of shame and guilt about not doing a job well and listen to my mind as it wanted to help find a bridge for me that was preferably really tall for me to jump off of into the great abyss. Luckily, some of my character assets came into play where I could observe the feelings and thoughts and recognize them and also step back to see what I needed to do to get help so that I could accomplish the projects. Such a healthier way to tackle a problem, bless my little ole heart. I’ve often wondered if I’m the only one out here who has these particular kind of ordeals about really simple occurrences in life, but I think the lesson for me is to acknowledge and accept that for right now this is my deal and then to determine what steps I need to take to move forward.

So, yeah, if I get a wild hair and decide to dress up for Halloween, I will definitely go as an Origami person….so be looking for me!

DINK #215 Doing Whatever It Takes

Posted on : 22-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

Tags: , ,


Are you the kind of person who does whatever it takes to get the job, task or goal done? Or, perhaps, do you know someone who does whatever it takes? My husband is one of those people although I don’t think he thinks of himself in that way. If queried he’d probably tell you that he is just lazy enough that he’d rather get stuff done quickly and then be able to lay back and snooze but he’s really not one of those people who does anything by half measures. Over the years, his willingness to get up and get chores and tasks done around our house has certainly influenced me to get things done rather than sit around and complain.

But there’s really more to someone doing whatever it takes than just to get things done. There are people who are like two Baha’i friends I know who are about the age of my parents. They are the most giving people and the mother is always at the Baha’i center before the Sunday Devotions, making coffee and tea and spreading out delectable treats for the community after the services. She has always made me feel very, very welcomed and special. My friend and her husband have made the decision to take what they have learned over the years about the Baha’i Faith to Africa to share and help build communities there and I have to say that I was both touched and a little sad. I’m so glad that our African friends will know these two special Baha’i and yet at the same time I am selfishly feeling sad that my friend will be gone for awhile. I will miss her smiling face and her warm, gentle heart. She is truly someone who embodies doing whatever it takes to get things done but even more to touch many people’s hearts with her love, kindness and attention.

Lately, I feel as if I’ve allowed my life to become a holographic computer program where I flit from project to person to project and don’t spend as much time or give as much attention to anyone thing as I would want to do. I know that many of us are feeling this same way because of all the new technology, discoveries, inventions that we are getting to enjoy now. I hope that I can learn to enjoy and use the technology instead of allowing it to winnow into my being and use me. This afternoon I took Paul for a five-mile run through our hood and it felt so good for just my little machismo man dog and me to be running up and down the hills. It was a nice piece of time for me to commune with my God, for me to be in sync with my dog and for me to exercise my body in the gorgeous October air.

What does doing whatever it takes mean to you? When you do whatever it takes what propels you to do it?