NEXT100 How Do You Show Up In Relationships?

Posted on : 07-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Spirituality

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As I drove that long trek today between San Marcos and Austin, Texas (about 35 miles one way) I switched between my favorite radio stations, listening mostly to Jeff Ward on KLBJ AM and caught a minute or two of him talking about the recent article (Huffington Post) about how most Americans just have two close friends (confidants).  Evidently on the whole, Americans have shrunk from having three confidants down to just two.

Which got me to thinking. How do “we” show up in our relationships?  How are “we” defining friendships and close friendships today?  I am very active on several social networks and I do enjoy many friendships with all kinds of people; however, I still have my close friends who I relate to mostly out of cyber space.  I’ve spent way too many years getting my psyche straightened out to not cultivate and respect the friendships I have.   How about you?

Are you someone that people can trust? Are you someone who listens well to others?  Are you someone who cares enough about creating a solid friendship that you will hang in there even when sometimes the intimacy can get really uncomfortable?  My experience has been in most of my really good friendships that at some point down the road the relationship comes to that crossroad where you have to decide how much of your heart you’re willing to put into the game or if you’d rather pack up your gear and head down the road away from all that intimacy stuff.  It’s really freaking uncomfortable when you’ve allowed enough of your true self (thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs) to be seen that both the pretty and the not so purty comes out.  That’s when you really find out who your true friends are and who you really want to have as a friend.

You probably have an idea of some of the characteristics you like in a friend.  Mine are pretty simple when you come right down to it: truthful, loyal, respectful, confident, loving, intelligent/wise, funny, curious and spiritual.  I like to spend my time with people who are engaged in life and who want to bring out the best in themselves and others.  I don’t have time for naysayers, although it’s quite alright for someone to feel anger and/or resentment as long as they are willing to get to the crux of what that is about for them.  I figure with all the baggage that I used to cart around in my life (at least enough to fill up two bus loads) that I’ve since released, it’s a small request to make that my close friends have worked and continue to work on themselves as well.

When I think about some of the close friends I have in my life, I feel overwhelmingly blessed. I know that they would be there for me as I would be for them and in many cases, we’ve had the opportunity to be there for each other through thick or thin.  Close friendship was not always beer and skittles let me tell you.  I had no idea how to be close with more than two or three people at a time.  And don’t even get me started on my marriage.  I am so grateful that my husband and I have grown with each other and that our relationship keeps getting richer as a result. But I guarantee you wouldn’t have wanted to witness the first two or three years of our lives together. Neither one of us had any idea at all how to be intimate day-in and day-out much less how to be in a marriage.  Turns out though we both had strong values when it came to marriage that we had no idea we had until we were in the middle of it.  Twenty-one years later I’m grateful for that strength.

W H A T E V E R!!!!! Is what I have to say with all the media hoopla about social media and social networking and our being isolated, etc.   Not all of what you read is true for many of us.   At least those of us who enjoyed a good many years figuring out how to live on this planet before technology and although we are enjoying the technology…..we’re also good at using it  instead of allowing it to use us.

How do you show up in relationships?

NEXT099 Mimicry

Posted on : 06-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor

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My husband, good friend Kim and I watched the independent film “The Trip” starring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as two best friends taking a road trip together to tour the finest restaurants in the countryside and along the way they drive each other crazy with their dueling impressions of various characters from Sean Connery to Al Pacino.  What I loved about this film was how it reminded me of my brother, Howdy, and I when were kids and would do various impressions  (he had me beat hands down but I’d never admit it to him). We would go over and over the same impression trying to get it just right, while showing the other one how to do it perfectly.

Our little brother, Hamilton, does great impressions too.  Hamilton can do the best Chewbaca cry ever which I cannot begin to compete with;  however, I do manage to crack him up with my pathetic attempts.

There is nothing quite as fun as practicing a good session of mimicry with someone.  My husband, David and I have created our own little dance with this such as talking with a Scottish brogue when we say “Scotland” or “Aye, we’re from Irrrreland” with an Irish accent.  In fact, we’ve been known to switch back and forth from Scottish to Irish accents all the way down the highway trying to get it just right. Just like the guys in “The Trip” movie.

What is it about mimicking someone or something that is so much fun and why is it when you hear someone imitate something perfectly, it can really crack you up?  Yet, we seem to know the difference between someone imitating us as a compliment or making fun of us. And there are some people that we don’t want imitating us at all?

I’ve always been fascinated by the different voice inflections that people have as well as their mannerisms.  I know when someone has caught my attention because out of the blue, I will catch myself doing some kind of mannerism that isn’t naturally my own and so I have to stop a minute to figure out “who I’m doing”.  I know I used to make one of my good friends uncomfortable because I absolutely loved the way she would say certain words with her Wisconsin/Illinois influenced accent.   At some point in our lives, many of us do mimic or imitate each other in some form or fashion.  I suppose it shows how we humans are much more like our animal brethren then some would care to guess because various species of animals in the wild will mimic each other or mimic a predator in some form or fashion for attracting a mate or for survival.  I wonder if animals ever laugh at themselves like we do?

I  suppose the closer we get to being able to mimic someone spot on, the closer we can get to really being able to see what is going on around us very clearly.  Some of my best “skits” have been the ones that combine various people, voices, situations that are going on in the world around me that show someone who is watching me that “I know” and that “we are connected”.

Have a little fun with mimicking and imitating someone or something to see where it takes you.  One of my very favorite instant imitations that my Dad did awhile ago was when he and I had been sitting on our living room futon for a stretch of time and so when we attempted to get up, the cushion had settled back into the crack of the futon very deeply impeding our being able to get up and off the futon with any flair to speak of much less in one graceful movement.  Instead, after I had gotten up and was turning off the lights to go to bed, a movement caught my attention out of the corner of my eye because my Dad was sitting there with his bohiney stuck way down in the futon flailing his legs just like a little bug while making an ever so soft grunting sound of effort.  It was pretty subtle but absolutely hilarious.  Guess I know where at least some of our humor comes from!

How about you?  What impressions or mimicking do you do just for the fun of it?

NEXT098 Some of the Amazing People I Know!

Posted on : 03-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership

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Every so often, I’m going to devote a blog to telling you about some of the Amazing people that I know who you might want to know as well.  In this blog, I’m going to tell you about three of them.  Right off the bat, I want to recommend that you visit my blog talk radio site so that you can listen to my guest tomorrow, Coach, Author, Leader, Trainer, Self-Confessed Foodie and in-the-closet-comedian, Byron Van Arsdale, who will be talking about a new company he launched “Lead Great Meetings” as well as his book, “No More Lame Conference Calls – The 6 Principles You Need to Lead Great Meetings (July 2011″ check it out, you’ll be glad you did.

I wish I could tell you about one of my very best friends who is an incredible writer, digital publicist, speaker and comedian but she’s very particular about who she’ll take on as a new client.  So, if you are intrigued and you’re a very good person, with a great mind and a message to get out to the world… me off line and I might give you her information.

If you need a great marketing person, or as she calls herself “a marketing gunslinger” then I’d like to introduce you to a new friend of mine, Elizabeth Quintanilla.  Elizabeth and I met last year because a mutual friend of ours who we both respect immensely, invited us to lunch so that we could meet.  This friend has never done that before with me, so I knew E.Q. had to be someone pretty special.  She’s smart, very creative, brave and it probably doesn’t hurt that she is gorgeous as well.  Whether you need someone who can help you launch your business up to levels you may not have realized you could get to or someone who can help you solve complex business problems by creating strategies for success…..Elizabeth Quintanilla is your person.  She may be booked when you contact her, but be patient and keep trying….it will be worth it.

The last person I’m going to tell you about tonight is none other than the CEO and Founder of “Idea Champions” Mitch Ditkoff who is also an author, speaker, leader, husband, father, friend and what I would call “a comedian with his light on”.  I met Mitch, gosh I guess it’s been at least four years ago, when my “she who will not be named” friend brought Mitch to me to be a guest on my show to talk about his newly launched book, “Awake at the Wheel”.   Since then he’s been a guest on my show a couple of times and thanks to social media and blogs, I’ve gotten to know him much better and appreciate all that he brings to the world.  If you visit his website, he’s got a couple of videos of himself as the Keynote Speaker at various well-known companies. Let me put it this way, having Mitch Ditkoff as the Keynote Speaker for your company would be like having a live TED CONFERENCE right there at your company doorstep.  If you don’t get the reference about TED CONFERENCES suffice it to say it is a collection of some of the brightest and most gifted leaders and speakers of our time.

I have plenty more amazing people to share with you, which I will at least once a month, but these three ought to give you plenty of juicy information to explore.  Enjoy!

Who do you know in your life that other people should know about?

NEXT097 What Do You Do When Your Prayers Are Answered?

Posted on : 01-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder

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Have you ever prayed, imagined and/or wished that you would “know” what your life purpose was and further more that you knew at least one vehicle for actualizing it?  Well, turns out over 20 years ago I prayed and prayed and prayed to know what my life purpose was and how I could best use it.  And I’m pretty sure an answer came to me almost immediately. In fact, I think two answers came to me.

The first answer was to create a non-profit that would take care of animals in a very loving, respectful and humane way until they died if their owners passed away before them.  The owners would pay a certain amount of money each month towards saving a space should their animals need a place to go and for their animal’s care.  If the animals died before the owner and the owner got another pet, that pet could be put in the same place as their previous animal.  I got such detail for this place all the way down to it would be located on 125 acres in the Texas Hill Country and that the main building would be many stories high (in case someone had a giraffe, etc.) and would be built in the same fashion as Wolf Trap Farm in Virginia.  I understood that this was something that would encourage replication! There would also be a finite number of people who could donate for their animals. In other words, careful consideration would be given to make sure that the right kind of environment and space was available for each animal.Those people who were donating for their animals could be part of a monthly raffle to reserve a space in one of 7 cabins on the property where they could bring their animal (when safe for animal and humans) and enjoy respite in the country.  This would also be a learning facility for animal behaviorists like some of the great people I’ve met at the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary.

The second idea I had was for a very special kind of school (that I remember being told what kind of education system this was after I shared my idea…but I’ve since forgotten!) that would be a place for students in grades 9-12 to board.  I got one fell swoop of information for this idea just like the animal sanctuary from the design of the living quarters for the students (no more than 12 to a building that is round shaped) to their adult care (two houseparents for every building plus a mentoring program where every student is matched up with an adult who works at the school from the groundskeeper all the way up to the president).  I also got the idea to create an education program where each child chose a kind of discipline to come in under. For instance, if they were interested in plants and trees their discipline would be botany and so their curriculum each year would be woven around botany where they would use algebra/math to learn how to build large green houses etc., they would use English to be able to read history of plants, trees etc. etc. and  learn how to market and use social media etc.

Anyway, I loved getting both of these ideas but after awhile I felt overwhelmed by what I didn’t know how to do such as how to get sponsors to raise money and awareness to name a few.  I remember thinking, “why me,                     I can’t possibly be the person who can make these two ideas happen?!”  And I folded them up in the tissue paper of my mind and put them away until this morning during a conversation with my Coach/Mentor/Friend Kat.  I had forgotten all about these two ideas but as I started talking it was like someone put a flash drive in me and it all came back. By the way, a good part of the beginning of our call was spent by me talking about not really having a specific direction with what I wanted to do…I’m talking a BIG GOAL. You know, a ‘my reason for being here goal’.

That Divine One is a crafty One isn’t he/she/it???!

Lately my lessons have been all about asking for help, “hey Lynn why don’t you ask for help”.  There are certainly people that I know about in my life today that I can ask for help in specific areas for each of these ideas.  One such person is Laura Langham, Executive Director and Wonder Woman of  Grand Companions of Ft. Davis, Texas.  If you don’t know anything about Laura or Grand Companions, take a moment to browse through the link….I believe you will be wonderfully surprised.

So I’ve been thinking about this on and off throughout the day and I realized that I had been reacting/responding to these ideas like a little kid. I could hear  in my mind me throwing a fit because “it’s hard” and “I don’t know where to start” or “other people are better at this kind of stuff then me”.  Which could all be true and it’s down to me accepting that perhaps my prayers were answered and then me making a decision to either carry them through fruition or not.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Have you had something like this happen for yourself where you asked for something to happen in your life and then you get inspired but let it fizzle out because it seems like an insurmountable task? Well, I sure would like to hear from you and get some dialogue going on this.  I suspect that we aren’t the only people in the world who have face this dilemma.  Maybe we could support each other through the process of realizing our dreams? What do you think?  The choice is yours.