DASH013 Is There An “Agenda” Behind Volunteering?

Posted on : 26-06-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership, Mind Fodder



Well, sure. I’m sure there are all kinds of agendas behind volunteering.  The critical, paranoid side of me wonders (quite loudly sometime in my brain!) who it is really promoting volunteering when many of us are already having to squeeze out every inch of time and energy available to try to make ends meet.

On the other hand, I have been giving my time to various anonymous groups that help alcoholics and addicts (food) get (and keep) sober/abstinent for many years because we learn when we get a new lease on life that what will keep us sober/sane is to “give back what we have so generously been given”.  Right now, I’d say I commit through meetings and working with others at least 12 hours a week to that effort (of which I am grateful to do).

The pros for volunteering is that it does help us to get out of ourselves in order that we can be of service to others–and in my opinion that is always a good thing!  I think what is still stuck in my craw is that the encouragement of volunteering (via PSAs on television and radio) feels disingenuous.  It feels like the subliminal message is to fill in the economic gaps that are continuing to widen with the glue of volunteering; otherwise, it is our (prospective volunteers) faults if the help does not get offered/given. What the encouragement to volunteer does not feel like is that anyone really really cares whether we’re growing spiritually/emotionally or not.

I do feel that volunteering is important. It is important to give back to the world and others; however, it is equally important to understand why you are volunteering.  Understand what you are giving in terms of time, energy, thought and heart, because that really can make a difference.


NEXT124 I Want to Live in America

Posted on : 07-03-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership, Mind Fodder

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I want to live in America!   Who even says that nowadays?  Surely not someone who was born in the United States and has traveled around the world?  But, yes, there are still many reasons that I want to live in America. By the way, I’d be happy to live in Canada, Mexico and other locales in North and South America as well because they are also part of America.

The America I’m talking about in this article, though, is the United States.

And you could probably throw all kinds of descriptors at my name that would label me with who you think I am in some form or fashion so as to really piss you off and enable you to crawl inside the jury that lives in each of our heads with an under-the-breath-retort of “well, sure, THAT kind of person would want to live in the U.S.  I know I do that kind of snap judging all the time. It’s so easy now with mass media…I’ve thus far resisted the urge to listen to what Rush Limbaugh said; however, information is so pervasive out there that I’ve pretty much gotten the gist of it.  I can just snap, snap away until I become this little sniveling creature holed away in my little world of beliefs with no entry for other perspectives to ease their way in and shift my paradigm.  Hope you’re not suffering from that as well! It’s lonely in here.

We need to remember that the media is here for us to use and not for it to use us (pun intended).

What’s helped me to remember the good things about living in the U.S. A. is listening to people who have become citizens here after leaving their home country behind.  We (Americans) are very insulated from what it is really like to live as a citizen in so many places around our Earth.

So, yeah, I can just almost not stand to listen to the news or read a paper that has anything to say about the primaries going on right now because of the double and triple talk spitting back and forth, but at least I know that it is going on. I have the freedom to educate myself on how to listen better and get to a place where I can find my own understanding of what is happening around me so that then I can then make the best informed choices that I can.

Plug for Dylan Ratigan and his book “Greedy Bastards”….the talking mouths like to say that the media is overrun by the liberals, but actually statistics back up the fact that the media is coming from a place that is more to the center and leaning towards the right than left.  With that said, though, I’m glad to see a talking head like Dylan, out there with a successful show on MSNBC getting is thoughts and opinions out there.  After watching the taping of his interview on “Overheard with Evan Smith” I was impressed with the breadth and depth of his knowledge.


We do have choices out there people of what we listen to, read and where we focus our attention.

Do you want to live in America? If so, why? If not, why not? Back it up.


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 www.blogtalkradio.com/hope42day 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…..contact 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?

NEXT087 Give Yourself The Gift of a Retreat

Posted on : 16-10-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership

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Giving yourself the gift of a retreat can be as simple as stepping away from your home for a night or two. You can stay somewhere that you can afford whether it is a B&B (all kinds of wonderful ones to choose from in the Texas Hill Country such as the Red Corral Ranch which I love), a plush hotel or borrowing a friend’s room for a night or weekend.

There are also numerous retreat leaders, such as myself, who lead all kinds of retreats.  For instance, I’m offering a retreat this coming December 16-18 which will focus around my friend and best-selling author Janet Conner’s book, “Writing Down Your Soul“.  Although my retreats have “themes” to them such as WDYS, there is also the implicit intention of giving each woman the gift of relaxing for 48 hours during what can be one of the busiest seasons of the year as well as connecting with other very special women.  I’m very blessed to know some incredible women so it’s always fun to get a group together to enjoy new found friends.  One thing we women still aren’t very good at doing is finding time to connect with other women.  My guy friends seem to find all kinds of ways to enjoy time with each other from golfing to sailing to hiking and more.  Women tend to make themselves too busy to take time out for themselves much less with each other.

There is a whole group of Certified Retreat Coaches (of which I am one) that you can look through to find the Coach and retreat that is the best fit for you.

Still, there are the retreats where you go off on your own to enjoy time, space and quiet.  I’m very extroverted which means that for the most part I get re-energized around people. However, even I find myself needing time all alone to just regroup after I’ve been around a lot of people.  This past weekend I had a good friend and mentor come stay with me for the evening and invited a group of our mutual friends over for an evening of conversation and fun.  The next day was a conference that my friend spoke at with about 60 or so people attending and then a lunch afterward with about 30 people.  It was all good fun and enjoying interesting people but I did end up coming home in the afternoon and taking at two hour nap!  That’s why on any retreat I lead, two hours down time is always built in to the schedule!

However you choose to give yourself the gift of a retreat, just know that it is a gift that keeps on giving to you and those with whom you share your life.  When we’re stretched to the edge of our breaking point because of all the things that we “have” to do and feel responsible for in our lives, that does no one any good–least of all ourselves!  I bet if we took most any species of animal and studied them for very long we would soon observe that they take a retreat of sorts for themselves on a regular basis to recharge and recoup.  Why do we humans insist on being any different?

Give yourself the gift of relaxing and recouping and if you’re feeling especially frisky and daring (and you’re a woman—sorry guys for this one)  then sign up for my Writing Down Your Soul Retreat this December 16-18, 2011.  It’s $195 for 2 wonderfully comfortable nights at the Red Corral Ranch.  Send a deposit of $75 to hold your space now by November 1.  For more information, you may email me at [email protected]

NEXT083 Occupy Yourself!

Posted on : 10-10-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership, Mind Fodder



Occupy Yourself.  Sound a little flip?  I bet if we had the ability to measure our souls on a meter, a good percentage of  our meters would read that we have our souls way outside of our bodies instead of minding the ship in our minds, hearts and bods. We probably “assume” that there is just an automatic pilot button that clicks on to operate our bodies when we’re out of them. And for many of us we’ve been able to get away with living kind of untethered to our world but some of us do get caught—-remember that lady in the YouTube video falling in the fountain?  Her soul must have been way outside of her body if you ask me.


of texting and all the technical things we do now days to “stay in touch”, we’re really not.  Which may sound hypocritical for this blogger to be writing but I really don’t text that much even though I write quite a bit.  Okay, I admit one of the reasons is because I do not have very great fine motor dexterity so it turns out it’s much easier to just pick up the phone and call someone then to text them.  But there is something about talking with someone either face-to-face or over the phone that keeps me more in my body then when I  text.   Think about it,  if you’re uncomfortable with having to say something to someone so much so that you would rather text them then you’re missing a great opportunity to get to know yourself better by inquiring within to find out why you are feeling so uncomfortable.  That and getting to connect with another human being by using your voice.   It’s not a good thing to allow your voice to go on automatic pilot. Trust me, I’ve tried it and the craziest things end up rattling off of my tongue.

Today the PoliSci Professor talked about taxes in the U.S. and economic theories. He also threaded his own conservative view points in and out of various facts he was teaching us about taxes.  It was pretty scary to be sitting there and hearing only a handful of other voices, other than my own, asking questions and expressing varying points of view.  Granted, when I was the age that most of my fellow classmates are now, I can’t think of a more boring class that I could have taken back then than taxes.  But today it is relevant to me.  And for the handful of classmates sharing their voices, it is relevant to them too.  I bet they’re mostly occupying themselves.  Can’t make a difference in what is going on in the world if you don’t pay attention to what is going on around you and learn what your opinions are, how you feel and where you stand when it comes to weighty subjects such as the economy and taxes (just to name a few).

I was a good 15 years older than many of my classmates before it ever dawned on me to wonder what companies our 401K monies were going to for investments. Did I believe in them?  Were our values in alignment with each other? And I was only aware of these questions because I happened to be in a job that employed a lot of social workers who asked these kind of questions. Get to know yourself well and understand how you tick so that when you do put all of your energy into a direction for a purpose it is laser sharp aligned and can make a difference.   There is something very “victim y” about putting the blame on corporations, other people, etc. etc. (I’m guilty of this too) instead of knowing yourself so well that you can purposefully point yourself into a direction with an outcome in mind.  Then you don’t have to wait for others to come to your rescue. Instead you have others running to catch up with you to align their mission with yours.

Give yourself the gift of reconnecting with yourself…..Occupy Yourself! Where will you say “I can” next?

NEXT 079 Here’s To A Job Well-Done, Steve

Posted on : 05-10-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership

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What makes a good leader in the business world? Someone who is highly creative, intuitive and also has a good balance of the other side of their brain for seeing their vision through, being able to hire the right people who can take care of the finances in creating and running the company as well as making the product or delivering the service.  A great leader is someone who can weather the political climate of their company as it grows and changes as well as the political company of the country within which they are located.  I remember a brilliant former boss used to say “I hire people much smarter than me to get the job done”. I used to think he was feigning humility but as I live longer in this world I realize that he was telling the truth and that tactic is a very smart one to create a great company.

A couple of years ago I was returning from a conference in Boston and befriended one of the fellow attendees. Turns out that she had been a personal assistant to Steve Jobs.  She had a lot of respect for him.  Yes, he could be a task master and yes he could be hyper focused about the work at hand. But she said, “he was fair with his employees” and that he never asked more from her than he would do himself.  She also said that he rewarded generously.

Steve Jobs and Apple made a big mark across the globe.  I go to sleep by the din of my husband’s iPad every night as he peruses articles etc.  I remember having to learn how to use an Apple II way back when I was working for a local University.  I couldn’t understand why the hard disks were called floppy disks.  Then I moved to another job in the publishing industry that used PC’s (except for the art department where they were using Quark) and at least a decade more of other jobs all using the PC and Word.  And now I’m out on my own and typing this blog using a MacBook Pro.

Still, I wonder why so many of us are “feeling” the passing of Steve so keenly tonight.  There are big changes happening right now in the world, perhaps we feel untethered without a visionary who says things like the following at conferences to inspire us:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

Here’s to you Steve Jobs, for a job very well done.  Rest in Peace.

NEXT071 How Kurt Cobain Helped Me Get Intentional

Posted on : 26-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Career Stuff, Heart Talks, Leadership, writing

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It took listening to coverage on NPR about Kurt Cobain (inspired the Grunge movement, died as a rising star back in 1994) for me to finally consider getting really intentional about my work (coaching, writing, web radio interviewing).  I mean, don’t get me wrong, when I was working in an 9-6 job going 90 to nothing recruiting people from all over the world and attracting new clients I had “to do lists” all over the place. And I did quite well. And made good dinero too!  I realize now, that I was using my “to do lists” also as my intentions list.

So back to Kurt. In the story, they talked about how successful Kurt was and, of course, how he wrestled with his fame as well. One of the practices that Kurt did everyday was to write down what he intended to do with his songs and music. And he was very specific about it.  I don’t know, maybe it’s the rebellious spirit in me (smells like teen spirit) but for some reason just knowing that Kurt wrote down his intentions/goals and was specific about them (and very successful, did I say that? very successful) was enough for me to begin writing down my intentions/goals again and getting really specific. I figure if Kurt could do it, I sure can too.

Although I’m very connected on social networking sites and I use my Android all the time, for me, there is nothing better than writing down my days intentions on a yellow legal pad. And the ink has to be blue.  I put dashes out to the side of each intention and check them off as I get them done. I also label the top of each page “TO DO” and date it.  What I don’t get done, I transfer to the next day and re-prioritize.  As I’m doing my day if an idea pops into my head for something that I want to get done, I write it down on my list.  If there are phone numbers/emails/addresses to go with it, I put that down too. Yes, I know it would be much more efficient to use a program in my phone but for some reason I really prefer writing it out.

Maybe writing out my goals enacts a chemical release in my brain much like crying tears releases chemicals too. Who knows? I just know writing down what I want to do and accomplish helps me to get things done.

How about you?  What intentions can you be specific about and write down/type up?


NEXT040 Take Your Kudos From Whence They Come

Posted on : 24-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Career Stuff, Communication, Leadership

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About seven years ago, I took the Winslow Assessment because I wanted to offer it to my coaching clients and my Coach at the time used your own personal assessment as part of the training for understanding and explaining  it to others.  One of the personality traits that stood out about me was that I had pretty much off the charts a need for recognition.  Just like “if you give a mouse a cookie” , having a high need for recognition can be a good thing or a negative thing depending on how it is perceived and handled.  Some of the wisdom that I received over the years from the wonderful Coaches who I have worked with includes the belief that we all have needs. Needs are not good or bad, they just “are”.  Much as a flower needs sunshine, soil, water and nutrients, we “need” certain things as well.  Then it was advised that when you recognize an unmet need, to come up with as many ways/times/conditions etc. as you can to get that need met. In other words, create a way to get your need saturated.  Coach Steve Straus likes to say that he believed that “needs can be permanently healed:”.  When I first heard Steve say that, I thought that sounded pretty off the wall but I respected him enough to hang with it to see if it was possible to permanently heal a need and I’ve come to believe that, at least some needs, can be permanently healed.

Some of what I did to get recognized in a healthy way was to write.  I’ve been writing and writing and writing since 2006 and in fact just began another 365 blogs in 365 days competition with myself.  I also have been hosting web radio shows, one that is defunct and one that has been going on for a few years now (www.blogtalkradio.com/hope42day) where i get to interview all kinds of people from all over the world who are up to good things that bring hope to us.  Slowly, ever so slowly I began to feel that need for recognition dissipate where I preferred to share recognition with others and in some cases reflect it to others completely.

Some of the gifts that come from healing that huge need for recognition (that probably got me into a lot of trouble in my youth!) is that I can take my kudos from all kinds of places and in all kinds of degrees today.  One of my favorite Starbuck’s Baristas and soon-to-be-radio-talent Herc Trevino, gave me some of the nicest compliments about some postings of mine the other day as I grabbed my java.  Absolutely made my week!  Another friend on LinkedIn voted my share as “Best of” for her Question which was a true honor that I really appreciated.  Did I need either of these to meet my need for recognition? No.  But I accept them gratefully and take in the generosity from which they were given with gratitude. Such a nice place to be in when receiving instead of being needy, needy, needy!! But I haven’t figured out yet how to get through the needy, needy, needy without finding a way to absolutely drench yourself with ways to get your needs met first so that when you are (I am) recognized, I’m able to receive and reciprocate the appreciation that has been extended because I have an overflowing cup to give from.

The grandfather of coaching, Thomas Leonard, used to tell us to get your needs fully met so that you can then give to others from your reserves. The idea being that you can give from your overflow gladly because there is plenty to go around.

What kudos/recognition/needs have you recognized today?

Accepting Kudos from Whence They Came!

NEXT028 Go for Being Unrealistic!

Posted on : 13-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Career Stuff, Leadership

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My good friend Kat posted an awesome video about the actor Will Smith which is very inspiring to me. Among the things Will talks about is that being unrealistic is okay if not an ideal to really go for!  As I swam my mile laps this afternoon I thought about what it meant to be unrealistic and what Will was trying to communicate to us about not setting limits on ourselves about what we can accomplish.

It occurred to me as I was swimming and thinking (135 laps gives you plenty of time to mull things over!) that I had many people to be grateful for pushing past what was unrealistic.  Take the pool I swim in for example! We bought our home 15 years ago pretty much because of the pool.  It’s not a little kidney shaped pool….it’s nice and long and conducive for swimming many laps.  I would imagine that the people who built it had to have been told how unrealistic it was to even build a pool (“you’ll never make the money back on what you put into it”….) much less the kind of pool they built for swimmers. But boy am I glad they did!

During Will Smith’s video montage he talks about working and focusing hard on what you want in your life.  As he was talking to the host he used the example of each of them getting on treadmill’s  and that either the host would get off first or Will would die trying to be the last one off.  I so understand that kind of  drive and mentality.  I couldn’t say that I’ve applied that kind of desire to my coaching in a traditional way, meaning I’m not going to bowl everyone over who I think is in my path and keeping me from being the best Coach ever.  But I do have a drive to attract a specific kind of client—the kind who has already done a lot of growth work on themselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically and who wants to dive in deep to get the most out of coaching they can.  In a way, my usual hard-headed, unrealistic approach to the kind of work I enjoy doing has allowed me to carve out a pretty nice life for myself.  I’m not driving around in a fancy car or wearing designer threads all the time but I am directing all my decisions and actions towards being able to live and work in a way that is more in alignment with who I am.  Let’s face it, having my dogs curled around the edge of my chair while I type this is much more preferable to me than driving to a beautiful office up in the sky everyday.  Not that I don’t appreciate the beauty and excitement of an office like that, but having my home office, dogs and sometimes husband around me stirs my creative juices like no other place I’ve ever worked.

How will you go beyond the unrealistic today?  Have you already been going for it and if you have, tell us how?!

NEXT011 Removing the Distractions to Your Greatness!

Posted on : 26-04-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership

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A few years back I used to have a re-occurring dream where I’d find myself in a room full of people running around in confusion, anger and fear (would have made Freud’s heart palpitate for sure) and at sometime in the midst of all the chaos I’d simply let out one clear note of sound out of my mouth that would end up filling the room which would, of course, make everyone just stop and look at me. And they weren’t so much looking at me as recognizing me because they had dropped their distractions.

I share this dream with you oh dear wonderful readers not to boast about my own greatness but rather to help you to recognize the distractions that you allow to get in the way on your path to greatness.

Through the ages many wise souls have told us over and over again through their stories and songs for us to not be distracted by the gifts of the Giver but to go for the Giver him/it/herself.  I believe that each of us has within us the capacity to be the first special brand of who we are (and there is no one else in the world exactly like you).  All of our gifts come in many shapes, sizes, colors and themes.  What may be one person’s tragedy may be another person’s gift and so on and so forth.  For some reason, a scene from the  movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” when all the different kinds of space ships come out of the sky and fly over our heroes comes to mind.  We are as wide and have as much variety as snowflakes from the sky.

We are so distracted by all the wonders and horrors we have created around us that we cannot see or feel the ultimate greatness within us.

I’m not suggesting that in the middle of a board meeting that’s run amok that you all of a sudden begin singing (although I bet you’d pretty much get the attention of everyone in attendance) but rather for you to notice what and who you are allowing to distract you with their fears etc. from stepping into your own greatness.  I’ve done the two step in and out of what I think is my own special kind of greatness but from what I can remember when I am on my path and plugged into Divine Order, the words that come out of my mouth feel clear, the thoughts coming into my head are singular and with direction and my heart is able to discern wisely with empathy.

What if all of us took one step towards our greatness today, think of what possibilities we could do.