NEXT110 Looking Down The Road

Posted on : 29-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

Tags: ,


If I had given birth to children, I’m pretty sure that I would have felt like I was the first person who had ever experienced the unique feelings that come with the miracle of bringing life into the world even though there have been all kinds of women who have given birth for thousands of year.  I know that, for me in that situation, I would have felt that I was different from every other woman on the planet.

So why would I expect to feel any other way about other major steps in life such as helping family and friends figure out where they want to call home and how they want to live their lives til the end of their days?  Same goes as I look down the road for my future and contemplate where my husband and I would like to be (both figuratively and theoretically).  It’s amazing how steeped in denial we can be about life choices like this even with all the swirling articles, stories, documentaries, lectures, movies and so on out there to remind us.

Over the last year, I experienced helping a good friend walk through the process of realizing that her debilitating illness had taken her to a point that living in her home alone was no longer a safe option for her.  During her life, she had enjoyed knowing that she had above average intelligence, a good education and had experienced many examples of competencies and success both in the business world as well as her private life. So you can imagine how difficult it was for her to accept that she would have to move to a residential apartment and downsize considerably.  Oh by the way, she was a good twenty years younger than most people are when they have to make these kind of decisions.  Within a short time of moving to her apartment, her illness got progressively worse with frequent trips in and out of the hospital.  She tried to stay in her apartment and hired 24 hour home health care but that was sorely lacking from the inexperience of her helpers to the fact that one of them stole her narcotics.  About three months before she passed away her illness had taken such a turn for the worse that all the medical authorities predicted that it would be just a matter of time so she was received into the hospice center of her choice.  Within a week of being in the hospice center it became obvious that she had rallied so her family came together to help her make a choice of where to go to next.  A nursing home was chosen that was supposed to be “good” and “clean”.  My friend threw as much of a fit as she could about not liking it and wanting to move immediately but we were told that this kind of reaction was normal for someone who first enters nursing care and to just give her time to adjust.

What did I know? I’d never had to deal with this in my family and certainly not with any friends.  Luckily for my friend, her son heard her requests and helped her to find a much better facility for her to live out her days.  It still wasn’t the Taj Mahal of nursing care centers, but it was light years away from the first place that she landed. Oh, did I tell you that she went through a confusing time period there of not knowing how much money she had in her accounts and what she could afford to spend in the way of nursing care and accommodations?  That was enough to get me to pay attention to how we spend our money and what our retirement plan is all about!

Fast forward to this past week and one of my family members told us that they were looking down the road to where they wanted to call “home” for the final time.  Luckily for this family member they have a good pension as well as a family trust so they have been able to find a retirement and continuing care community with all kinds of choices for care that also does not feel like an “old people” place.  I think this may be how the one percent gets to live or at least have excellent choices available to them concerning whether they stay in their own home with help or move into a community with all kinds of bells and whistles.

As I look down the road for myself (even though I’ve got a good 20-25 years til I have to really make some concrete decisions) I realize that a.) I’m very grateful to have good help, b.) I’m very grateful to be married to whom I am married and for the choices we have made in our lives and c.) Although I appreciate lovely surroundings, pretty much if I live where I can enjoy the ocean and nature, I’ll be happy.  If I need it, I’m sure there will be health care workers who love seaside communities as much as me who can come visit my cabin.



Every once in awhile if I’m lucky, some of the wisdom and/or other people’s lessons make an impact on me and cause me to really consider what actions I want to take in my life instead of just floating along as a passive victim just taking what life dishes out.  I understand that I don’t have control over pretty much anyone or anything outside of myself; however, I can pay attention to how I’m feeling and thinking and take actions towards that which I believe so that I can live in concert with who I am.

I tell you what, if looking down the road now means that I might have to drive my twelve year old car just a wee bit longer so we can sock away some more money for a comfortable retirement I’m so on board with that now!  Sometimes delayed gratification is really the icing on the cake.

How about you? What do you see down your road?

NEXT109 Milking Resentment!

Posted on : 28-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder, Spirituality



There just ain’t nuttin quite like milking a good ole tough-nut resentment is there?  Why, I’ve been known to stay mad, aggravated or irritated at someone for days nay weeks at a time?!  Inside of the pit of our bellies, resentments feel like an ever burning ember.  If it made a sound, it’d be a low moaning grrrrrrrrrrrr.  I’ve heard it said that, “having a resentment is like taking poison and hoping it makes someone else sick”.

This past week, I had the opportunity to milk a resentment because of something that took less than five seconds in the making.  Usually when you get mad that quickly because of something someone says or does and it festers for awhile, it’s because more than likely there are resentment appendages from the past that haven’t fully been excised.   Oh I wanted to milk that particular resentment for hours after my first pangs of it.  I knew that steeping in that kind of negativity is just about the worst thing you can do for your health and well-being, but I kept blowing on that burning ember well into the wee hours of the morning.  Finally, I became willing to listen to my better judgment and pulled out a recommended prayer for situations such as this which is basically, “bless them, change me”.  And every time I felt that ember burn, I would say that prayer.  It was hard to give up that satisfying burn at first, but with time the softness of peace feels better than the burn of anger.

Sometimes that short prayer is just about all I can manage because if I try to make my prayers any fancier of words and thoughts leastwise longer, than I get some resentment-embers stuck in the crevices of my heart and before you know it any good intentions have been blown wide open and I’m back into the roaring fire of resentfulness.  The reason harboring resentments is not healthy for me is because when I totally allow them to take over then the stakes for keeping them burning grow higher and higher and so to keep them going I might have to have words with the beholder of my flames to re-ignite my anger.  I also believe that actions towards fanning the flames of resentment retard my growth to a higher consciousness immediately.  It’s all probably another example of how instant gratification can hurt you.

So next time you may find yourself in a situation to milk a resentment for all it’s worth remember two things that you can do:

1.) find a place inside or outside where you can growl really loudly for a while.  Give it all you got. Put all that anger and resentment right into your growl and growl it on out.

2.) pray for whomever or whatever you are angry/resentful about to be blessed and ask for you to be changed (your perceptions, your beliefs, your understandings)…by the way, this works whether you believe in God/Divinity or not. Say as needed anytime you think about who or what you’re angry with until the embers cool.

Caution: be prepared during applications of the above for the gremlins of self-doubt and disturbance to throw unexpected opportunities for re-flaming your way.  You may just need an especially potent dosing of surrender and acceptance for diffusing.

What resentments have you been milking lately?

NEXT108 Open To Good Conversation

Posted on : 25-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication

Tags: ,


There my husband, brother-in-law and I were sitting in the new south Kerbey Lane Cafe waiting for our lunch and talking over country & western music when my b-i-l decides to start waxing philosophical about what happens to us–our essences–our energy after we die.  Now, most of you who have been reading my blogs for awhile probably have a pretty good guess as to where most of my beliefs tend to veer off on topics such as these. And my husband and I have had all kinds of conversations over topics such this one over the years but I got to tell you that I was happily surprised to hear my b-i-l just breaking out into such an esoterical topic right smack dab in the middle of the day.  I pretty much always welcome good conversation.

According to my b-i-l, we are a composite of energy from all kinds of things and when we die all of our energy goes to making all kinds of other things whether it be human, animal, insect, vegetable etc.  and in that way we do carry on.  I realized as he was talking that, for the most part, I agree that our energy does disperse and is adsorbed into making new life but I also believe there is that part of us called the soul that binks off into the space between the material and in-material to reconnect with the divine.  To my brother-in-law’s credit he was able to shrug his shoulders about some of my far out postulating and at least ponder the possibility.  Still, I was just thrilled that there we three sat having this great philosophical conversation as if we were in the middle of our own movie like, “Dazed and Confused” or perhaps our own lunch-time version of “My Dinner With Andre”.

After our lunch, I thought about our conversation and realized that in order for us to get to participate in a good conversation (besides being someone who can come up with great ideas and questions), we have to be open to hearing opinions and ideas which may not be exactly, if at all, like how we believe or think.  One thing  I’ve learned about myself over the years is that very often I formulate and make quick judgments about what someone is saying without really delving into what they are saying further with them and at least asking clarifying questions to understand what they are saying.  Ye gads am I not a talking processor of my thoughts and feelings whereby sometimes I don’t really know what I believe or think until I’ve been talking for awhile and have allowed time for my thoughts to unravel?  Why can’t other people be the same way as me?  Maybe some folks engage their mouth first before thinking through what they really believe and want to say?

Maybe this all seems really obvious to you but sometimes the most basic rule of thumb takes awhile to connect the dots in my brain.  Whatever the case may be, I’m grateful the dots that needed to connect were able to connect for this conversation with my b-i-l and husband so that we could have a good conversation.  And even after 21 years, get to see sides of each other that we may have not seen before.

How about you? Are you open to good conversation?  What is good conversation to you?

NEXT107 Reaping the Harvest of Hard Work

Posted on : 21-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks



My father gives all kinds of wisdom to us kids with sparkling eyes, specific ways he moves his hands to underline a point and just the hint of laughter in his voice  sometimes followed with the infamous “horse bite” where he’d grab a knee with his hand and squeeze.  I’m betting that the saying “reaping the harvest of hard work” must have come down the line at some time in my life from him.  When I was younger, especially when I was a teenager, a lot of the life lessons he taught me were received with both of my eyes rolling at a real or an imaginary audience but his point usually did hit home even if I’d have been damned to show anyone that it had!

This week, mi padre is visiting for the Thanksgiving Holidays along with my brother-in-law.   Tonight we all got together for dinner and had a really nice conversation and time.  It was especially nice for me to be able to hold some kind of semblance of an informed political conversation with my Dad (he’s a retired USAF Col) sharing some of the ideas and knowledge that I’m receiving from the political science class that I’m taking this semester.  What is especially heart-warming is that I want to hear whatever experience, strength and hope my father shares without fearing being offended or irritated by what he says.  I think the gift of my being able to have an open heart is largely in part because of having done a lot of deep soul searching work and taking all kinds of steps towards the life I want to live and have.

It’s taken me 275 words to risk receiving the same response from you  that I used to give my parents by sharing that if you do the really hard work  and invest time, attention and action into doing your best with family, friends and work you will reap the benefits I promise you.  It’s just that sometimes the rewards for all that we’ve put into our selves and our lives definitely doesn’t happen on our time line (instantly) nor does it always come in the form or fashion that we expect (fame, fortune, insert your expectation here).  I realized I was reaping the harvest of hard work tonight because of how I felt spending time with my family.  I felt happy, sane and calm.  Really!?!  There would have been a time in my life that if you had asked me how my family time was, much less around a holiday, you would have never seen “happy”, “sane” or “calm” in my description.  Today, most of the time there’s a good chance you will.

Maybe this thing about hard work and reaping the harvest somewhere down the road seems like a no brainer to you.  Perhaps that completely makes sense to you but for me, especially in this instant everything kind of world, that wasn’t what I wanted to hear.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every lesson and everything that you learn and work to improve in your life has to be hard work, not at all. What I am saying is that if you sometimes feel hopeless or wonder why the hell you put forth the effort to improve yourself and/or make a difference — you will reap the rewards of your efforts today somewhere down the road.  I believe there is a universal law at play here that has to be reconciled with your input.

So take some time today to think about where you’ve put your intentions and efforts and know that the universe is paying attention.  We don’t always know when or how the universe (I call it the Divine) will respond, but have confidence that there will be a response.

NEXT106 Shapeshifting Into Higher Consciousness With Llyn Roberts

Posted on : 18-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Spirituality

Tags: , , , , ,


Wow! What a great hour I got to spend today interviewing prominent teacher of healing and shamanism, Llyn Roberts, on today’s BTR Hope42Day.  Llyn joined us back in September 2011 for a half-an-hour interview and there was so much to delve into that she came back to spend more time talking about her most recent book, “Shapeshifting Into Higher Consciousness” and living well today.

One of the gems that I pulled from today’s conversation with Llyn Roberts is that all of us, all…of…us, can access our guides/angels/God/wisdom/love all the time.   The chapter on “Shapeshifting With Nature” drew me to it because of my deep love of nature.  She writes about how “although oneness with the natural world is innate to indigenous cultures, imbalances result when societies lose this perspective”.  She goes on to say that, “Equilibrium can be restored by embracing more whole values and by coming back into rhythm with our heart, our body, and our planet.” Llyn writes about the Maya “whose prophesies are in the public eye due to the popularization of the Mayan Calendar” and that the Mayans are “masters of cosmic awareness.  In the early part of this century a plethora of literature has been circulated about 2012 and the Mayan Calendar. Yet, often less focused upon the Maya’s deep attunement with the earth.   The lands of ancient Guatemala have endured earthquakes and volcanic eruptions spanning centuries. Because of this, when visiting sacred sites and walking through the jungle of Tikal, Maya Elders ask that we pay as much attention to the pyramids that are submerged, as those we see.  There are hidden spiritual structures beneath Lake Atitlan.  These, we learn, influence human consciousness and effect the waters.”

In the interview today, Llyn talked about the process of writing her book and using all her guides, experiences and wisdom (my words).  I can definitely feel the energy pulsing through the pages and it’s almost like a mini-video flips open in my brain so that I can “see” what Llyn is talking about. While reading this chapter about nature and the Mayan peoples, I can “see” the Mayans who I have met during my many visits to Mexico.  I’m always drawn to the Mayans and find myself  wanting to sit near them and just be.

I was also reminded today that we can connect with nature no matter where we are in the world, yes, even in the middle of Manhattan or Shanghai.  I haven’t been to Shanghai yet, but I’ve visited Manhattan several times.  On my first trip to the famous New York City, I was really anxious because I had never been in such a dense mass of human beings with so much concrete in my life! I remember my husband running ahead of me on the streets trying to find a tree for me to hug or a pigeon to point out.  We finally did find a fairly young tree with a very narrow trunk but I wrapped my arms around it nevertheless. It felt so good!   A few years later I attended a conference in NYC and was also in the middle of training for a marathon so I got to do an eight mile run through Central Park.  It was gorgeous!!  Where there is a will there is a way to find your grounding in nature.  No matter what, there is always the sky.

Whether you are shapeshifting to higher consciousness or simply walking barefoot on this Earth (thank you Barefoot Sensei, Mick Dodge), you can always connect with the natural world around you and feel the loving heart of Mother Earth no matter what is going on in your life.  As many of us (in the Western world especially) head into the holidays that can often make us just a wee bit jittery if not crazy, take a break during the day and walk with bare feet on the Earth, it will do your soul good!

NEXT105 Having An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted on : 17-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

Tags: ,


Having an “attitude of gratitude” puts us in the frame of mind to be looking for people, circumstances and places that we can feel grateful about.  I used to hate it when the people I was hanging out with or being mentored by would suggest such a thing to me.  It just sounded like another one of those platitudes that everyone says but don’t really mean.

And it might be a platitude but when I have an attitude of gratitude it works.  Imagine that.  A platitude that actually works, who knew?!

The best time to come up with things to feel grateful about are especially when it seems like there is absolutely NOTHING to be grateful about.  Your head hurts, you lost your job, you’re broke, you are divorced, your loved one walked out on you, your car broke down, you don’t have a car….the list goes on and on.  One thing we’re really good at doing is coming up with a list of what is wrong, especially if you’re recovering from any number of addictions (alcohol, drugs, nicotine, food, sex, money, insert-your-drug-of-choice-here).  For the past couple of years, I’ve been making it a point to focus on those things that make me grateful and just like “they” tell you—-the more you focus on something, the more you’ll see it.   Why, today I have so many things to really feel grateful about.  Like my husband, and my friends and family and my health and the Pistachio  Tree in our backyard whose leaves look like glinting gold in the sunlight.

Something I’ve been doing lately during my commutes back and forth to school is listening to one of the radio channels here in Austin which is playing 24/7 comedy.  I have a feeling that this great comedy will only be around until  someone purchases the air time and creates a new station (not being negative, just realistic) but for now it sure is making a difference in my attitude.  They happen to play some of my favorite comedians over and over like Jim Gaffigan. Here’s his skit about “Hot Pockets“.   Obscure comedy, my favorite. Before listening to this comedy show I was listening to ranting talk shows, some music and lots of news.  Talk about a way to get yourself as far away from grateful as possible! I mean, I’m all for you knowing what is going on in the world around you; however, we surely don’t need to be watching/listening/tweeting/absorbing everything news all the time unless we’re the President and even then we’d probably have someone whose job it was to just give us the cliff notes.

What we think about, what we talk about, what we focus on is what our lives end up becoming.  Still haven’t figured out how to manifest a Mazda RX-8 for myself (because I think about them all the time), but I sure do see them driving up behind me, to the side of me, pulling out of parking lots, backing into spaces in front of me so I suspect its just a matter of time before I will be driving my own!

I like to play this game with gratitude sometimes where I’ll sit outside and look into my house when the lights are on (except not for in the winter because it’s cold) kind of like I’m stalking myself but it puts me in a place where I feel like I’m looking at my life through the eyes of somebody else.  And I really like what I see.  Or I notice that I mostly like what I see but I really need to take the slip cover off of the sofa and wash it.  I’m still grateful though,  I mean I have a sofa so there’s that.

As we head into the season where many of us focus on what we have or don’t have, decide to capture an attitude of gratitude.  For two weeks before you go to sleep, list 5 things/people/places/ideas/etc. that you’re grateful for and each of those days for that two weeks the list has to include at least 5 different things.   I kind of got panicky when I first did this and thought ahead because I was just sure I wouldn’t be able to list that many things but when I realized I could even get as simple as being grateful for breathing and my heart beating, then I realized that I had this gratitude game covered. Try it.

What’s on your gratitude list today?

NEXT104 Breaking Away From the Pack

Posted on : 14-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Heart Talks

Tags: , ,


Breaking away from any pack is quite a conundrum for me because I love to be right in the middle of a big “puppy pile” and yet, I have realized that in order to find the right “puppy pile” for me….I have to first realize what pack it is that I’m breaking away from.

For all of my international readers I apologize for thoroughly confusing you by throwing out these references that you may or may not be familiar with.  In this case, “puppy pile” means a group of friends, colleagues and or acquaintances who I enjoy spending time with and “the pack” refers to the people that I find myself surrounded by.

Right now we are smack dab in the middle of November, which means, for many Americans we are heating up for our biggest “holiday” season of the year.  Even though our eyes have been opened up over the last decade or so that there are other holidays going on in addition to the traditional Christian one of Christmas, no matter our religion anyone living in the U.S. has been under the heavy influence of great marketers for all of their lives.  By the time October rolls around, the shopping frenzy and anxiety about not meeting unrealistic expectations (real and perceived) begins.


However, I am grateful to tell you that it is possible to break away from the pack so that you can figure out how you want to celebrate and/or acknowledge your particular holiday. It turns out that I have friends and family members who have taken the leap to break away.  One couple we know has a fabulous Winter Solstice party every year and invites all kinds of interesting friends who are fun to talk with as well as cooking amazing food for everyone. If gifts are exchanged at all, they are usually of the homemade or something-you-can-eat variety.


  For several years there, I was miffed about how I felt about celebrating around this time of year partly because I still celebrated the faith tradition I was brought up in and partly because I had no idea how to celebrate in the new faith tradition I had adopted.  All that and the added bonus of the extreme marketing campaign memes that run through my head about how “one” is supposed to look, feel, act, behave, decorate, celebrate and give.  Whoooowh.  I had a Jewish boss years ago who used to stay at a very nice swanky hotel in Hawaii with his family. They’d leave around mid-December and not return until after the first of the year.   Seemed like a  pretty sane idea to me.


Slowly my husband and I have created our own version of celebration.  We definitely enjoy spending time with friends and family taking the time to gather, talk, play games and have fun.  For many years, because my husband is from another faith tradition then me…I felt sorry for myself and would not decorate in the way that I grew up in a traditional Christian household.  Slowly but surely, I’ve come around to figuring out what kinds of decorations I want to have because I want them….not because of any expectation of what I am supposed to have.  I bought three poinsettias from a friend’s daughter a few weeks ago and am looking forward to having them to add their festive color to our home.  I’m pretty sure that I was clear with the Universe, at least subconsciously, about wanting Christmas decorations for a tree because somehow over the years I actually have accumulated enough to decorate a nice mid-sized tree.

As to the whole gift giving thing, I’m still not the Martha Stewart that I wish I was who would grow and make enough things that I could whip together into fabulous unique gifts.  Truly, I do have this image in my head.  I have to stay away from all those magazines in the doctors’ offices that have great ideas for how to make gifts or even buy gifts for under $$ (enter number here).  I’ve finally gotten honest with myself about this in that a.) obviously my calendar speaks volumes of where I put my interests and b.) having a very limited budget takes care of all kinds of worry cuz you can’t do what you can’t do!??

So what I would encourage you,  my dear readers is if you live in a place (like the U.S., U.K., etc.) where most people kind of go bonkers around this time of the year, to think about how YOU want to celebrate your particular holiday or season.  How do YOU want to let people know that you care about them.  Turns out, it may be just as simple as giving someone a bit of face-time.

May I be able to break away from my pack and you be able to break away from yours so that we can find each other in that free space away from the frenzy!

NEXT103 Piece de la Resistance

Posted on : 13-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Creativity

Tags: ,


Doesn’t “Piece de resistance” conjure up images of a fancy Frenchman talking passionately using his hands to talk and raising his right hand as if conducting a symphony to say “piece de resistance”  va! va!! va!!! vaaaaa!!!!

For those so interested Piece de resistance : is a French term (circa 1839), translated into English literally as “piece of (or for) resistance,” referring to the best part or feature of something (as in a meal), a showpiece, or highlight. It can be thought of as the portion of a creation which defies (i.e. “resists”) orthodox or common conventions and practices, thereby making the whole of the creation unique and special. The phrase gives the sense that the referred-to element is the most outstanding, notable, or defining of the collection.

But really the kind of resistance I felt inspired to write about tonight is not this kind it’s the other kind.  The “War of Art” kind.  In the beginning of Steven Pressfield’s book there is one page that has smudge marks from me returning to it again and again when I find myself ONCE AGAIN resisting a writing project. That page says this:

Look in your own heart.  Unless I’m crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone.  You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow.  You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist.  At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture.  Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.”

Ooooh I so relate to this page. Not that I’m Hitler, but I have been known to accomplish great projects during avoidance.  Steven Pressfield so understands what it is like to not do the work that is calling from our soul.  I’ve been resisting getting going on my writing project lately.  It is my eBook about Energy Surfing which will entail digging into past communications and creating a structure to put them in and then write around and about them.  In the meantime, a very good friend of mine gave me a book that a good friend of hers (Donna Johnson) wrote called, “The Holy Ghost Girl” which is a memoir about Donna growing up in a tent revival family.  I loved the book and have it on my “keeper” book shelf, but boy did I allow it to add ammunition to my inner critic for resisting beginning my own book.

I won’t even let the tension of resistance enter into trying to define why I’m not creating a structure for my eBook right this minute because at least I’m writing about it now.  I’ve put off writing for 48 hours which I knew was going to get me into trouble and keep me from writing anything, much less moving forward on my eBook project.  What I will do tomorrow is keep “the War of Art” out on my desk as a talisman to remind me of what I am dealing with inside.  And perhaps I will begin ever so slowly putting together the remnants of communications and words even though I have no idea what the hell I’m doing.   At least I will have you, my reader friends, as witnesses to this process because I know that at least of a few of you have the same word-calling as I do.

Fight on my friends so that what we resist today will become our “Piece de la resistance” tomorrow!

What is your first step as you face the winds of doubt?


NEXT102 Joe Paterno And All Things Holier Than Thou

Posted on : 11-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

Tags: , ,


Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you’ve heard/read/seen the news about the winning-est football coach in history, Joe Paterno of Penn State  being fired, along with Penn State President Graham Spanier in the wake of a sex abuse scandal in which authorities said they failed to do enough after learning of it from an assistant Coach.  Now before I piss off a whole bunch of you, I want to say for the record that a.) sex abuse is never okay and b.) sex abuse is especially heinous when it is perpetrated on a kid and c.) sex abuse is never okay.

I’m telling you all that because I want you to remember it when I tell you what may piss you off which is why this whole media hoopla has got me up in arms and it’s not just because of really gross negligence and awful sex abuse allegations that seem to be torn from the pages of a Law and Order Special Victims Unit script.  It’s because so many of us are missing so many huge points. It’s like we’re all just a huge litter of Pavlov’s dogs ready to jump at the first threat that the media and press throws out to us with our very surface opinions on whatever the matter du Jour is (enter unruly taunting Monty Python character here)…

French Taunting Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Yes, the whole situation with Penn State and the alleged situation with the children is horrendous.  Yes, it is extremely sad that such a great hero such as Joe Paterno is being driven to his knees so late in life after all that he has done for so many.  And do you really think that this kind of sex abuse situation where some people know and don’t really shake the bushes about it to put a stop to it is rare?  Really? Can I say Catholic Priests?  And not that there is anything the matter with Catholic Priests, but not too far back if you rifle through most cities’ Daily Planet rags you will find headline news about the sex abuse allegations of many Catholic Priests being hidden for decades.

Witch hunts only make certain that witches will hide.  Ye gads people do you really think that burning famed figures at the stake because they preferred to throw the hot potatoe to the next person in line and ignore what happens is going to make someone in a similar situation in the future pause and say, “hmmmm, I remember what happened to Paterno and Spanier so rather than passing this to someone and then focusing on what brings glory and fame and money to many, I’m going to risk losing it all by following the whole chain of command and shaking a lot of bushes to make sure things get done”? Really?  Well, I want to be part of that world where most people would respond that way but unfortunately probably what most of us would do in that situation is try to make it go away as quietly as possible.  I mean, I think I would raise all kinds of hell if it was me but I don’t have as much to lose as Paterno and Spanier did either.

One of my favorite blogger/tweeter CEO/Consultants, Peter Shankman, wrote a recent article entitled, “Why Most People Are Full of Shit“.  Suffice it to say that I don’t believe I’m digressing too much by referring to Peter’s article because he’s saying that 99% of the people you meet in the world are full of shit. And then gives examples of say two people bumping into each other and saying “they’ll have to meet for coffee” with really not having any intention of meeting in a dark alley at high moon much less sharing a cup of Jo with each other.  Okay, so a few of those FOS (full of shit) people were blasting the airwaves yesterday on one of my favorite talk radio shows (KLBJ AM – Jeff Ward) pretty much saying that Paterno should be hung out to dry along with a whole bunch of the higher ups.

Sorry,  not going to really be able to take in your sincerity of opinion because I know that you are really an FOS person who is used to talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Now, with that said the kind of people I will listen to very intently are the ones who have suffered at the hands of someone like Sandusky.  I know you’re coming from raw experience.  And I’ll listen to someone who has been in Paterno’s shoes and learned  some hard lessons about sweeping stuff under the carpets.  I won’t give someone like Sandusky any attention at all; however, I might listen to his wife just to find out how it could be possible to be in such total denial of someone you are married to for so many years.  That’s a case study in itself.

What I’m trying to say here is GLASS HOUSESSSSSSS!  We have an opportunity with a case like this to really look within ourselves so that we can become willing to grow and learn.  We can look into yet another freaking broken system to see how we can handle things differently.  We can learn to be willing to look into the dysfunction going on in our own lives, families, work, friend situations and let the healing begin with us.

I can almost guarantee you that there are so many more people responsible for what occurred and didn’t occur then has come out in the press thus far.  A sick situation that has lasted so very long has a whole lot of people in agreement, whether consciously or unconsciously, to keep things status quo.  I bet there’s a lot of aching necks from looking the other way for so long.  And not very many of us can be found without some kind of dirt on our own selves because dirt like this flings far and wide.

It’s a very sad situation that is being played out all the time, all over the world by so many people so the thing that we need to do is look to ourselves first for how we can clean up our side of the street and then look out in our own lives to see where we can shine the light and bring in some awareness and healing.

It’s really easy to get on top of a high platform and yell out the injustices at the top of our lungs. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a very good thing to do this.  But what seems to be our kryptonite is accepting our own humanity with all of our perfections and fallacies so that then we can then accept the reality of what is, and then decide the best response and action to take.

How will you show up in your life today?

NEXT101 Some Tips On How To Be A Friend

Posted on : 08-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Spirituality



You may be asking yourself, how does Lynn know how to be a friend?  And I would answer you, or rather I will answer you by saying that I’ve got some really good friends and know that it really takes being a good friend to have a good friend. Plus, my friends are pretty much not chumps so they wouldn’t be attracted to chump friends.  Now chimps on the other hand….

   So here’s some tips on being a friend that I’ve picked up along the way:

1.) Friends don’t take friends hostage.  Sounds like common sense doesn’t it? But, yes, I was one of those people that would take one friend “hostage” (mostly when I was younger) and be really, really close with that one friend. You know, tell them everything, hang with them constantly, etc. and not be that close with anyone else. Sure does limit your world when you do this. Really gives you rather miopic vision of everything. So broaden your horizons and trust that it really can be possible to have more than one friend, and perhaps even good friend or two or three, at a time.

2.) Rise up out of yourself just enough to pay attention to someone else.  I know that’s a tall order to ask some of you–but I’m confident that you can do it.  It’s absolutely amazing how much most people are hungry for someone to “get” them.  Listening intently (direct eye contact, affirming head nodding, understanding sounds, asking questions) for even just five minutes can go a long way towards establishing and building a friendship.

3.) Remember the “golden rule”  — treat others as you would have them treat you– well, turns out that it really is golden.  I mean, you couldn’t take that rule down to the bank and cash it in as gold in exchange for money but if you use it, and use it regularly, it will be an investment in your friendships and relationships that accrues interest and pays handsome dividends for the rest of your life.

4.) Along the same lines as tip #3, think about those little things that you would want someone to do for you and do that for someone else.  For instance, I’ve had friends in my life who were so good at calling me up or dropping me a note to check in on me when something was going on in my life….just to let me know that I was not alone. Wow that sure felt good.  It’s a nice thing to do for someone else as well.  I’m sure you won’t have to look far to find someone you can call to check in on or drop a note to in order to find out how their test went, kid’s doing in school, anniversary dinner turned out, etc.  Look around you, there’s people all over  the place that you could ask.

5.) Be that solid friend that people can trust.  Don’t talk about people behind their backs.  If you are having feelings about someone (anger, rage, resentment, sadness, jealousy) and you’re not quite ready to talk with them directly about it yet, do some extensive writing, go for a walk or a run to burn off some energy, meditate, and if you have to talk with a trusted someone about what is going on, put the focus on yourself and keep the person you’re talking about anonymous.  How do you feel? What are they bringing up for you?  Anyone can tear someone to shreds behind their back, it takes a real mensch of a person to go deep within themselves to figure out why something and someone has got them all twisted up inside.

These are just a few of the tips I’ve learned along the way about how to be a friend. I’m sure you have some good tips of your own — that I know everyone who reads this blog would appreciate reading too so please chime on in!

And remember, being a friend really just takes a little consistent nurturing and attention for something special to bloom.  Reminds me of elementary school when they gave all of us third graders a couple of bean seeds, a cup, some dirt and water and we planted our little beans and watched them sprout. It was so exciting. Probably my first plant friend too come to think of it.

How are you going to be a friend today?