NEXT064 Returning to the Land of the Living

Posted on : 17-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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Or so they say that the “real world” is the one where we are working for a living, providing for ourselves and others, etc.  I always notice when I’ve been away from the busy life that I lead, the level of the energy that circulates in and around me.  It is truly amazing.  So nice to be able to ratchet yourself down enough to really take in what is happening in the moment without feeling like you have to do something.

Today we took one whole day to tour around the island.  Stopped at a couple of places along the north side where the waves are big and the currents are vicious but the water is the most incredible color of greens and blues.  There are sticks stuck in the  sand all up and down the beaches to mark where the turtles have come up to lay their eggs so the biologists know where to return the hatchlings so they can make their annual trek to the sea.

Now not only does my brain feel full from all that it is taking in, but my heart feels full as well.  I feel grateful to be alive.  what are you grateful for today?

NEXT063 Travel and Discover New Ways of Thinking

Posted on : 16-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Travel

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Stuck in a rut? Tired of doing the same ole routine day after day?  Find a way to get away from it all and travel.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  Right now I’m sitting on the balcony of our hotel looking at another incredible Mexican sunset.  There is rain off in the distance on the mainland and underneath the cumulus clouds on the horizon is a very faint patch of clouds which are  outlined in rose.  All of these clouds, of course, are hanging over the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

We had another great day of diving and spotted 8 or 9 Sea Horses! Yay!! Finally got to see them in their habitat.  And these guys were big!! I’m talking at least an inch or more!  So beautiful with their arched necks hanging out with their looped tails on a blade of grass.

Seahorse in Cozumel

 

We also so a puffer fish when we were sailing over the grasses looking for Seahorses who was such a funny beastie.  He hung around really still at first as if he was saying, “you can’t see me, I’m not here..”

Puffer Fish

New ways of thinking are coming into my consciousness because my usual ruts of thinking have been changed by all the new sites, sounds, and people that I am seeing and experiencing. Right now the last rays of the setting sun are bursting through the clouds making big wide blue and white streaks that reminds me of the Northern Lights.  It’s easy to forget what I thought was so important last week when I was worried about how to bring in more income.

So grateful for travel and for friends who we love and enjoy enough to travel to experience all kinds of places.

How will you discover new ways of thinking for yourself?

Male Seahorses are the ones who carry the eggs...

NEXT062 Celebrating Independence in Cozumel!

Posted on : 16-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Coral Reefs, Travel

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Cozumel has been preparing for celebrating Independence from Spain (100 years?) for weeks now and the day is finally here! There are brightly lit decorations in red, green and white everywhere from hanging beaded lights wrapped around street posts to waving flags everywhere (I even contemplated getting a tiny Mexican flag tattooed on my ankle).  We enjoyed an incredible meal with our friends at one of our favorite restaurants, La Cocay before walking up the newly expanded sidewalks along most of the one-way streets running up to the main street that follows the water’s edge.  As luck would have it, my sore foot from the oxygen tank falling on it yesterday began to protest at the idea of walking another ten blocks to all the festivities so David, Abbe and I bowed out to return to the quiet of our hotel rooms and get a good night’s sleep before diving in the morning.

Although the Mexicans are certainly proud of their independence, on the whole they are certainly less obnoxious about it then we northern Americans can sometimes be although the certainly will have lots of music and cerveza along with a big fireworks display at midnight.  All down the streets leading up to the festival being celebrated on the island were quiet. Not a firecracker popping anywhere; however, as you got closer to the main square the main thoroughfare was blocked off and policia were directing traffic out of the way for parking.

Some of me feels guilty for turning down the opportunity to go watch a few hundred of my favorite people in Mexico as they celebrate their day (you are more apt to see a father holding hands walking his child down the street as anything untoward ) but then again, I did have the privilege of undergoing a re-birthing experience with one of my friends who is trained in such regards right there on the beach in front of our hotel today so I’m feeling rather quiet and enjoying listening to the hum of the air conditioner trying to lull us to sleep.

As one of our friends said today, “if more people travelled around the world and experienced different people and views, there’d probably be 90% less violence towards one another”.  I sure agree with him.  Get out there and explore other places and find out how other people live and think.  The mind you open may be your own?

Where will you explore tomorrow:

Families in Cozumel

NEXT061 Choosing to Look at the Positive!

Posted on : 14-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Coral Reefs, Heart Talks

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Oy vey! The good news about today is that I finally enjoyed a thorough swim through of the Palancar Reefs in

Palancar reef - Cozumel

Cozumel–complete with swim throughs and diving at 84 feet without ANY panic attacks. It was pure joy.  The animal life is extraordinary.  There were baby fish nurseries everywhere, two big sea turtles and lots of beautiful coral and sponges.  It was so nice to just enjoy the dive instead of being afraid for the onset of a panic attack.

Then we decided to go back to Paradise Reef (maximum depth of 45) to see the Sea Horses (which were bigger than anyone had ever seen before and all kinds of solid colors).  My husband and I were the last into the water and had stood up with our BC’s on and were scooting to the seat where we could put on our fins and I inadvertently knocked a full tank right onto the arch of my foot. YOWSER!  I think it may be sprained but I’m happy to report that I am going to live (insert smile).

Instead of getting all melodramatic about missing the Sea Horses and a long dive (75 minutes!), I had a nice broken English/broken Spanish conversation with the Captain of the boat and one of the dive helpers about the Independence Day celebrations tomorrow.  They both took such good care of me with bags of ice and concern.  After it happened and I assured the Dive Master that my foot was not broken, I was taking off my wet suit and noticed the our dive assistant, Oscar, had the most concerned and worried look on his face.  I assured him that he was no problemo and that the tank falling was certainly not his fault.  You just can’t imagine how loving the Mexican and Mayan people are down here you guys.

Need to do some more exploring about Cozumel, according to the taxi driver last night who, conveniently, used to be a tour guide for Cozumel, has a history of being considered a holy place for the Mayans who also believed that every Mayan should make a pilgrimage at least once in their life times.  And to think that I’ve been here so very many times, how truly blessed I am.

I’m off to eat dinner in the Restaurant on site. I believe it is Italian tonight.

Where in your heart of hearts do you think you need to make a pilgrimage at least once in your lifetime?

Blue Parrot Fish

NEXT060 Diving In Spite of Anxiety

Posted on : 13-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Coral Reefs, Featured, Heart Talks

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If you have anxiety attacks, constant low-grade anxiety and/or bouts of panic attacks (with mine I usually either feel like I am going to lose absolutely lose control and go crazy or die) then you can probably guess that scuba diving may not be the best choice of sports for someone like us to partake in, especially since shooting up to the top after a deep dive of 60 feet or more for 45 minutes or so would definitely cause your lungs to pop.

Well, I love scuba diving so much that I have been determined to find a way to be able to dive in spite of anxiety.  My panic attacks and anxiety began years ago after a weekend of heavy partying when the recreational drug I’d been doing decided to rip through my brain and disarm any defense mechanisms, doubts, worries and fears I was harboring. The good thing about it, was that I got scared enough about losing my mind that I got my butt into therapy. The bad news about it was the endless days, weeks and months of anxiety and panic attacks.  When I began having them it was at a time that medicine and therapy did not have much to offer unless you were psychotic or needed intense levels of valium of which I was neither.

Fast forward a couple of decades, log a bunch of therapy, getting sober, learning meditation techniques, all kinds of healing and Reiki treatments and I was able to enjoy long expanses–even years–of no anxiety or panic attacks. In 2000, my husband and I got certified in scuba diving and began going on regular diving trips almost immediately.  I loved the feeling of freedom that I got from swimming in the ocean. The fish, coral, sponges and marine life were hypnotizing. I was hooked.  Then a series of things happened while on diving trips from 9/11 to my best little Cairn Terrier friend dying when we were away on a trip and out of nowhere my old friend the Panic Attack came out of nowhere. In fact, I was on a dive at the Palancar Reefs in Cozumel about 75 feet under water when the first panic attack hit me.  It was so not fun.  Pretty soon thereafter, every other dive would end up with me having a panic attack.

Again, I went back to therapy and healings and have been on a very healthy eating program that involves no flour, sugar, caffeine or nicotine. All of this has been good for me, but I would still have the edge.  You’d have to be a diver to understand why I’ve been willing to put myself through the uncomfortableness of diving with a good chance of experiencing a panic attack.  Finally through working out my anti-depression medication (Effexor XR 37.5MG 3x/day) and 0.5 Xanax 2 times a day when diving, I’ve been able to enjoy already 6 dives with no anxiety or panic.  I’ve also been humming a Bahai saying, “Yabaha allah u abha” when I swim which immediately makes every dive almost a form of worship and I also think the fish enjoy hearing it too.

Last night we went on a night dive with a Master Diver who is not one of our favorites. We chose the Paradise Reef because we’d heard about all the sea life (including 8 seahorses) that our other dive friends had seen that day.  The Master Diver did say there would be fast moving current so we needed to stick together but a.) we had no idea it would be so fast moving and b.) we didn’t realize there was a big ole cruise ship docked at the nearby harbor.  On a night dive, I prefer not to have a really fast current because there is so much sea life to witness (like the little purple octopus changing to blue) that you really want to just hang around awhile and observe to see who comes out and what is going on.  It was a good dive in spite of all of us divers rolling on top of each other sometimes like a pile of puppies because of the strong current.  We’d been told that because the dive was shallow, we’d probably go as long as an hour but all of a sudden 37 minutes into the dive, the Master Diver was clanking on his tank and moving his flashlights for us to surface.  I saw big bright lights up above so I assumed the full moon had broken through the clouds.

We were soon to find out; however, that the fast moving currents had taken us about 5-10 feet from a big ole huge Carnival Cruise Line.  And through all of this I did not have any anxiety or panic attacks and was so looking forward to the dives this morning.

I’m outing myself about the medication that I am taking and how it is helping me because if there is another diver out there (or anyone who is experiencing anxiety or panic) I hope my experience/information can help you.  This is definitely NOT something to do without the help of a trained doctor (psychiatrist) and I have over 175 dives under my belt as well so I know all about safety and paying attention with diving.  Please don’t try to figure this out for yourself, do ask for help.

And may you enjoy diving as much as I do.  Today, I saw little tiny trunk fish that were about as long as half of my pinky. So worth the effort you put in so that you can get the most out of life!

reefs of Cozumel

NEXT059 Diving Into the Divine

Posted on : 12-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Coral Reefs

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Scuba diving is like swimming or a form of worship at least from my point of view and evidently from many other scuba divers viewpoints as well.

It’s wonderful to return to the reefs that were buried or at least covered in sand from Hurricane Wilma and to see that just a short five years later, many of the coral are rebuilding along with the other sea life.  Today we saw lot’s of fish with babies including two juvenile Spotted Drum fish

Juvenile Spotted Drum Fish

and many File fish

Scrawled File Fish

 

and two or three Giant Turtles

Sea turtle

 

We’re off for a night dive if the lightening from the rain clouds continues to stay off in the distance.  The sky is completely grey right now but the sea is calm and although there is no sun peaking through the clouds there is this one bright blue azure strip of blue in the middle of the sea that goes for miles.

Are we in heaven? I think so.  Come join us, the water is warm1

NEXT058 Some People’s Treasure is Another Person’s Pleasure

Posted on : 12-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Coral Reefs

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I’m always amazed at how beautiful the Caribbean is and how many different hues of blue there are in one body of water depending on how deep it is where you’re gazing and where the sun is shining on it.  Today as we rode in the taxi from the center of town out to our hotel, I looked out at deep dark blue to bright turquoise to a  beautiful pale blue. On the land; however, there were such different scenes from partially built hotels or condos that have been standing like skeletons in the jungle for years now with their exposed rebar reaching out to newly built high rise condos and shops built to lure the never ending sea of cruisers from the ships that come through on a continual basis. Being old hat visitors to our favorite island, we know to avoid the first three-four street level both latitudinally and longitudinally from the main boardwalk to find the really good restaurants and interesting shops.

I often wondered for the people who live in Cozumel or who commute via hover boat from the mainland to work in Cozumel if they ever get bored of the beautiful water, Frangipani bursts of orange in the trees or the variety of gorgeous birds and butterflies but, at least the people who I’ve interviewed, always seem to be as much, if not more, in love with their land as we continue to be.

We did a shore dive today to get used to our gear again etc. and were heartened to see that slowly but surely the coral are coming back from Hurricane Wilma’s visit from five years ago.  Saw a lot more species of fish hanging out closer to the shore then we have before and plush waving in the current anemones.  One of our new dive friends that our group made today on a boat dive, took an incredible video of a big sea turtle (I will find out what kind he was and report back) munching away around the reef and letting our friend video him from all angles. He was a gorgeous beastie with a beautiful shaped head and beak lots of big brown spots on his creme colored shell and head and a very placid and peaceful disposition.

All in all it is a truly wonderful experience to get away from the never ending heat of Texas and enjoy the humidity of Mexico as it drips off of you most ever second that a breeze is not blowing.

What treasures do you drive or ride by everyday that you may take for granted but someone else might see the absolute beauty?  How can you look at your world in a different way?

NEXT057 See How Perfect the Present Really is….

Posted on : 10-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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…even when it is clearly not!  That’s one of my favorite Thomas Leonard sayings (father of Coaching).  We landed in Cozumel today, thank you sweet Spirit above for green grass, vibrant green trees, all kinds of shades of blue ocean water and plenty of delicious guacamole!   Our main purpose for enjoying Cozumel is for the diving, of course!  And as we are getting just a wee bit older….we now get to indicate what meds we’re on when we sign up for the week.

Today, my husband has been temporarily derailed (thank you mom for all your help stateside!) because of a particular med that he is on etc. etc. etc.  So he’s understandably disappointed that he may not be able to dive tomorrow a.m.  but hey, so we don’t go diving right off the bat and we get to sleep around the beautiful pool and catch up on one of several books.  Sometimes I really do trust when things work out this way.  Besides, I’m feeling so mellow just from smelling the beautiful ocean that I’m just going to decide to see how perfect this present really is, even though it doesn’t appear to be right now.

Also, there will be no graphics on this blog until I can get David to show me how to use his lap top.

Until tomorrow, I wish you much happiness and a peaceful heart!

There’s no place like home away from home, there’s no place like home away from home…..

NEXT056 Be in the Moment!

Posted on : 09-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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What a gift! Today I interviewed my friend Shannon Ogg on my Blog Talk Radio Show “Hope42Day”.  Among his many talents, Shannon is a Reikki Master, Channeler, Healer and all around fun guy.  One of my favorite Shannon sayings is, “going at the speed of love”.  That just about says it all doesn’t it.

One of the bits of wisdom that I held on to today was to be in the moment.  Right now there’s all kinds of stuff going on in the world from wars in the Middle East to droughts in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Africa to floods.  In the U.S. we’re also experiencing remembrances of 9/11/2001 all over our broadcast media.  In many aspects it is important for us to remember the past and hopefully learn from our history and it is equally as important for us to move forward and look down at our feet to remember that we are here today.  What is the now that we are experiencing each moment, and that moment and that moment?

I noticed that as my husband and I were returning from dinner tonight, the skin on his arm from our mingling while holding hands felt so good to me.  How great is that considering we’ve been together 21 years now?  It such a marked difference from how I feel about my husband ‘s skin today compared to when I was 10 and having to sit near my little 8 year old brother in the car.  There was a definite line of demarcation down the center of the bench seat in our Buick Station wagon and of course you know we drove each other mad walking one little finger over the line or shifting a foot ever so stealthy over the hump in the middle to the other side.

When I’m scared, it’s not so easy to stay in the moment. In fact, that is the time when I really want to take off light years ahead in the future to avoid pain.  But I like what Shannon had to say today about thanking each event that comes into our life and trusting the wisdom that will be revealed to us.  It’s a different way of thinking. It’s actually a trusting way of considering the universe and all the events that occur around, to and through us.

I invite you to spend a few moments today just relishing the moment. Give yourself permission to clear your mind and allow whatever is there for you…to be.  Life is like a collage of moments, enjoy your masterpiece in the making.

 

NEXT055 Setting Boundaries!

Posted on : 08-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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Another good thing that happens when you’ve cleaned out the garbage of your psyche whatever choice of routes you took (therapy, recovery – 12-steps, guru, spirituality, deep meditation and contemplation, etc.) is that, well speaking for myself of course, I really want more of the good things in life.  And that includes the people who I surround myself, the interactions and communications I have with others and the level of joy, respect, learning and fun that comes from the exchange in our relationship.

Years ago, we had a couple stay in our home for a weekend. I’d known the husband from high school days and had always enjoyed his company.  Thinking because they had been married  for a long time it had to  mean they had a happy marriage –WRONG—we thought it would be a fun weekend.  Well, as it turned out those two bitched at each other the entire weekend. David and I could not wait for them to leave. Cursing at each other, talking mean to each other, talking bad about each other behind their backs…yuck. I felt like our entire home needed to be disinfected. Today we socialize with other couples who truly enjoy each other and who treat each other with respect.  We also have learned how to set better boundaries and have never invited anyone that we don’t really know into our home since then. Our home really is sacred ground that we want to respect. We also make it a point, most of the time, not to curse at each other, to be kind to each other and to not intentionally hurt each other.

In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, “The Mastery of Love” I love what he has to say about asking for the kind of love you want and setting boundaries. Here’s a small passage:

“In the track of love , you are giving more than you are taking.  And of course, you love yourself so much that you don’t allow selfish people to take advantage of you. You are not going for revenge, but you are clear in your communication. You can say, “I don’t like it when you try to take advantage of me, when you disrespect me, when you are unkind to me.  I don’t need someone to abuse me, verbally, emotionally, physically.  I don’t need to hear you cursing all the time.  It’s not that I am better than you; it’s because I love beauty.  I love to laugh; I love to have fun; I love to love. It’s not that I am selfish. I just don’t need a big victim near me.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, but I cannot take responsibility for your dream. If you are in a relationship with me, it be be so hard for your Parasite, because I will not react to your garbage at all.” This is not selfishness, this is self-love. Selfishness, control and fear will break almost any relationship. Generosity, freedom and love will create the most beautiful relationship: and ongoing romance.”

Now obviously, this passage was taken out of context (Read the book, it is really good!)…because you need to know his definition of “dream” and “parasite” to understand what was meant in this passage, but I think you can get the general gist of what is being said.

My experience in setting boundaries is when you first start setting them, at least for me, it was uber uncomfortable!   However, the more I set them the easier it got. In fact, it became more uncomfortable not to set appropriate boundaries where and when they were warranted.  I do know that when you are setting them by vocalizing them if you are coming from a place of true love for yourself and the other person, they will “get” what your intention is even if they don’t completely understand what is going on initially.

It’s as if when we step up to play a higher game of being, we automatically encourage others to do the same.  I mean, at least that is what has happened to me when people in my life have set boundaries with me but in such a way that I feel their love and respect for me and their unspoken belief that I, too, have a higher way of being.

Setting boundaries