365Ways-008 Why Not Mother Yourself?

Posted on : 10-05-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Heart Talks

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Friend and fellow Coach Kathy Caprino sent out a newsletter this week with a twist for Mother’s Day which I really liked. Here’s an excerpt from it:

Mother’s Day for many is a time of honoring and appreciating our mothers and what they have done and given for us.  This week, I wonder too if each of us could take some time to appreciate how we have mothered (and fathered) others and our own lives; how we have nurtured, cared for and brought our own selves into being.

So often we focus on what isn’t going well, or how we are flawed as individuals and parents, but we rarely hug ourselves and say “Job well done!”  When we do allow in some praise, it’s usually because others have given us recognition for something outward we’ve done. 

I’d like suggest we take part in a new tradition this weekend of being grateful for ourselves as well as for those who have nurtured our dreams into being.

Kathy’s suggestion for us to take part in a new tradition of being grateful for ourselves (as well as for those who have nurtured our dreams into being) is especially appealing because it hits to the core of my beliefs and values.   I believe that we truly cannot fully give love or gratitude to others until we learn to love and appreciate ourselves.  Yes, perhaps this is something that can happen simultaneously; however, loving and appreciating ourselves is right there in the mix as a prime ingredient.

If we were to “mother” ourselves (and for some of us we may have to create a whole new concept of what that means), what would that feel like?  What would your ideal mother do for you?  Would she listen to your problems and give you soothing answers? Would she remind you to take care of yourself, to eat healthy, to get enough sleep, to go for a walk?  In many of the 12-step meeting rooms that I’ve sat in over the years, I’ve heard of people firing their concept of God/Higher Power and borrowing a belief from another or recreating a new one.  Why can’t we learn to replace some of the negative voices in our head (I mean, I have plenty so I assume most of us have at least one or two!) with at least one that is soothing and supportive.

Learning to change our minds from negative thought patterns over to at least neutral, if not positive, isn’t easy. As one of my coaching clients is discovering, it takes concentrated effort and constancy, but it can be done.  You can listen to a recent interview I had with prolific author and expert therapist Dr. Eric Maisel by going to BTR’s Hope42Day to some tips about how to evolve how your think.

So this weekend when many of us are sending cards, chocolates and flowers…let’s remember to be grateful for ourselves too.

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!




365Ways-007 How You Can Change Your Perspective About Same Sex Marriage

Posted on : 07-05-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks


What a hot-bed (pardon the pun) of an issue, “same sex marriage”.  Pretty much most people have some kind of opinion about it….whether their opinions are based in logic, feeling or a combination there in.  The point of this blog isn’t to get you to change your mind about whatever your opinion is regarding same sex marriage but rather to consider allowing for another perspective  to ease some of the taught lines about this complex subject…or at least one of the taught lines.  In other words, to be able to better “hear”.

Right now (puns abounding) one of the biggest knots that I hear and read over and over again from same sex couples is the desire to be able to be covered by their partner’s insurance, 401k, work related benefits that hetero couples enjoy.  It seems that whether you agree with same sex marriage or not, a reason-minded person would be open to discussion about people (however they come into the world) who are in a committed, responsible partnership (married or not and by the way, how do we handle hetero-long term partnerships?) living under the same roof should be able to be signed up as a beneficiary of their partner regardless of sexual orientation or if they are married or not.  Seems to me that this issue is really about a contract agreement vs. marriage, or church and state.  Doesn’t the constitution say something about the separation of church and state? So couldn’t we come up with a contract for same sex (or hetero UN-married partners) that would allow for them to be covered by their partner and leave all the inflammatory discussions of marriage out of the equation and up to discussions in churches, synagogues, mosques, etc.

Please excuse my ignorance for not being an attorney nor reading the bills or legislation that is out there regarding this specific topic but it seems like what is causing the biggest RIFF IN LISTENING TO WHAT COULD BE POSSIBLE is the whole marriage issue.  Fine. We could discuss that topic later on down the road when most of humanity has grown up and matured.  For today, where we can focus our attention is in the legalities of fairness and what constitute our freedom of choice in terms of who we appoint as a beneficiary and what determines how they are a beneficiary.  Seems to me we could create a new law that would cover situations like this that does not require people to be married.

Of course, I understand that figuring out a way to make this work so that we can help householders to feel more secure in this world will sweep a whole bunch more dust bunnies from out under the rug such as who REALLY is behind calling the shots on healthcare and costs (hopefully there are people out there in the throws of inventing a really robust vacuum).

To allow for the ability of a different perspective to occur in us, we must be willing to step out of our tendency to “spin” or to get caught up in the spin.  We must be able to step back and lay out the facts of what is going on so that we can clearly know what are the real issues at hand here.  How is the issue of providing insurance and benefits for our partners and focusing in on the belief horror house of same sex marriage any different than those Episcopal and Protestant renegades sailing across the pond for the freedom of religion?

What freedom is really at stake here?

365Ways-006 A New Way to Love Yourself: Action As A Form of Amends

Posted on : 03-05-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Heart Talks, Uncategorized

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Every Wednesday night for the past year, I’ve called into a conference line to be part of a very special 12-step study group as applied to our addiction which is food (for those who are interested in knowing more about a specific program for food addiction, please contact me offline).  We’re studying step nine which is, “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”  My understanding of “amends” means to take action about those things I can take action upon where I have done wrong to another person/place/etc (as a result of my behavior and actions when immersed in my addiction of choice). when it will not harm them or me to do so.

In our discussion last night one of the insights shared was, “when we choose to be abstinent from our addiction (people, alcohol, drugs, food, cigarettes, negative thinking, fill-in-the-blank) and practice our behavior to the best of our abilities, it is a form of making amends to ourselves as well as others”.  For some reason, I heard this concept in a very different way last night. It helped me finally grok what it meant to “love yourself” because to make amends to yourself is a form of loving yourself.  In other words, people who love themselves choose thoughts and behaviors that lead to actions that help them to care for themselves as well as others.  Basic common sense right?   For someone suffering from addiction, often times, you must apply abstinent behavior and action first even when the  thoughts and feelings going on in your head feel absolutely crazy and have faith that eventually a calm and even keeled mindset will follow.  Seems really counter-intuitive but from my own experience I suspect that we’ve allowed an addict mentality (gotta gotta have something or gotta gotta say something RIGHT NOW!) to override healthy intuition.  I know I’ve spent many a day/night/week/month, well you get where I’m going, when the overriding action taken was to indulge in my addiction(s) of choice.  So just NOT indulging in those things is making an amend to yourself

Making an amends to yourself may not seem that important to you, especially if you’re smack dab in the middle of feeling pretty rotten but if that’s the case you can assume that your thinking is a bit off kilter because people who are coming from a healthy self-esteem place instinctively “know” that making amends to yourself is a great way to love and take care of yourself.  And,  oh by the way, it goes to say that when we are taking good care of ourselves and loving ourselves this just naturally overflows to having a positive impact to those around us.  Just as when we indulged in our addictions, they were impacted by that too.

Even though I’ve been sober from alcohol for a number of years and abstinent from unhealthy eating for almost a decade, there was still a tiny–but significant–part of my brain that had filed away my abstinent behavior as being some form of punishment because I wasn’t the same as those who could enjoy things in a healthy way that I cannot.  So great was my guilt and shame for the years of denial and regret about my behavior that some part of me felt that I owed the world hugely for just allowing me to continue living on this planet.  And that’s after several occasions of making amends to people who I had harmed (and probably felt resentment towards) in the past.

What a freeing, very freeing concept to consider that as you and I live this clean way of living that we’ve chosen to live…we’re making amends to ourselves on a continuous basis.  It just doesn’t get much sweeter than this!

365Ways-005 Friendships Over A Lifetime

Posted on : 02-05-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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When my Aunt and Uncle decided to sell their home in Stow, Massachusetts and move to a very nice retirement residence in Green Valley, Arizona, it was quite a shock for most of the family — both immediate and extended — albeit welcome.  On the one hand, they were still relatively young and in excellent health so their decision to move at this point in their lives meant they would have plenty of time to settle in to their new environment, make friends and be happy without leaving the heavy choices up to their children later on in life.  What such a big move better for them was that two of the couples they had known over a 40-50 year period and shared all kinds of experiences with also moved along with them to the  same locale. There is something very special and almost sacred about friendships that have been developed and cultivated over a lifetime.

One of the nice things about having lived in a place since 1980, is that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and make friendships over a long period of time.  I’ve known some of my friends since my early twenties so the history and experiences we share are rich with connection and value for me.

Of course it is great fun to meet a new friend and establish connections, similarities and appreciations.  But there is nothing quite like having a friend who you’ve known for decades because you don’t have to explain every little thing to them. They know you.  That doesn’t mean we go on neutral when we’re in each others  company because we have no expectations for new thought or feelings. I think of it more as having reached a level of serenity and acceptance with another person.  There have been plenty of people who I’ve met over the years and chosen NOT to continue any form of friendship with for an extended period of time which makes those friends who I have kept friends who I care for deeply and enjoy traveling with through this life of ours.

Having good long-term friendships means cultivating acceptance for who they are (and you are), respect, humor, shared ideas, beliefs, values and experiences.  It’s not like in the olden days of my dysfunctional childhood when I would take one or maybe two friends “hostage” and spend almost round the clock time with them with no distance between me and them.   Today, I enjoy each of my friends for their own unique stamp in the world.  I relish learning what they’ve been learning, bouncing off thoughts and ideas, and laughing. A lot of laughing as well as crying too.

I have one good friend who is climbing out of the pit of depression.  For well over a year she’s been trying to fight off this debilitating depression with no hope in sight and has finally found a professional who can help her unlock the black cage of despair.  After every phone call or meeting she thanks me for hanging in there with her but what she doesn’t seem to remember right now is how many times she’s been there for me in my past.  I am supremely confident that if the situations were flipped, she would be helping me to dig out of my pit too.  And we’ve got a long history of many great and wonderful shared times together.  That kind of shared time is worth its weight in gold.  I also feel that in some way, I’m paying back my gratitude for all those times in my past when friends came to my rescue and saw me through some of my deepest, darkest periods.  Unfortunately, I’ve lost touch with some of those friends, but I always think about them and send a thought of thanks followed by reciprocal action with another when I’m able.

When I think of one friend in particular who used to stay on the phone and talk me through my horrible anxiety attacks, I always send her gratitude and love.  I really don’t know how she found the calmness or patience to talk with me, but I am so glad that she did.

Friendships over a lifetime means learning together and really letting others see who you are, warts and all as well as sharing many, many experiences of fun and enjoyment.

How about you?  What kind of friendships do you enjoy today?

Erhan Hosca, Liliy Kindler and Lynn Kindler 2012



365Ways-004 How To Have a Great Relationship

Posted on : 01-05-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Heart Talks

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First YOU have to define what “great” means to YOU which may seem rather basic but it’s surprising how many of us don’t really know ourselves well enough to define what a concept like great means to us.  For me, having a great relationship means interacting with someone who I really enjoy and who I feel comfortable just being myself AND who lights up my lights!

Through the years, I’ve shared about the early days of dating my husband (we’ve been married for 20 years!) in that I was so out of touch with understanding who I was, much less liking myself, that I had no concept of what it meant to be “real” in a relationship.  I had spent all of my twenties reading numerous glamor magazines that supposedly had the goods on “how to get your man” and none on how to just be yourself and attract a better match the natural way.  I definitely enjoyed being chased and chasing too  but had no clue as to what to do with the guy once I “caught” them. In fact, looking back on those times I’ve realized that I usually attracted someone incompatible with my values and world views because who I was projecting to them was some figment of my imagination and not who I really was.  Those magazines really didn’t make that point clear.  I call those days the “catch and burn” time.

Fortunately, during the time period when I first met my husband I was diligently studying the 12-steps of AA and applying them to how I thought and acted. I was learning how I thought and felt and what I believed as well as how I showed up in life and how to treat others (as well as myself).  One of the traits that I embraced was honesty so that meant that when my honey and I interacted, I was invested in being as honest about who I was as I was able.  This was a time of many “firsts” for me from holding back and not pouncing on my husband right off the bat to learning how to surf the myriad of intense feelings upon meeting someone I was really attracted to and allowing time to really get to know each other.

After a few months of dating I knew that he was the one and was constantly turning over the outcome of whether we would end up together for the long haul to my higher power (who I choose to call God).  During that intense first year together, it kind of freaked me out when the more I was true to myself, the more he seemed to like me.  That just didn’t compute with what I had taught myself about how a girl should be to attract the perfect guy.  Who ever thought I’d meet someone who was as tired as I was after working all week at an intense job and all they wanted to do was watch good television and chow down on a pizza?!

I’m convinced that to have a great relationship you first have to be in the relationship.  You have to know and like yourself well enough to show up as the beautiful YOU that you are.  As my good friend and mentor used to tell me, “Lynn, life is hard enough to deal with in a good relationship so don’t settle for anything less”.   I’ve come to know how right she was!  Life is a curve ball thrower for sure and I can’t imagine anything suckier than to have some really crappy life occurrence happen and to be in a relationship that you’re already have to work really hard at just to keep it at neutral.

What attracted you to this blog?  Are you looking for clues on how to have (or find) a great relationship?  What’s been your experience in this area? Curious minds and hearts want to know!