#101 Impressions About Life From a DINK

Posted on : 30-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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How about if for my next 265 blogs, I call them “Impressions About Life from a DINK (dual income no kids)”? I’m on the tail end of the Baby Boomer but DINK better describes me and our lives for purposes of understanding where I’m coming from.

It is truly the most bizarre thing to be old enough that some of my peers are not only parents but now a few of them are, gulp, grandparents as well. Because my husband and I never had children, it is quite easy for us to ease into a “Peter Pan” syndrome about life. Oh we have a mortgage and I’ve gone back to school so we’re paying a college tuition but it’s very easy to get caught up in our world of work and friends and forget that we’ve already lived a good chunk of life.

I’m very, very grateful for our health. It felt good to return to yoga, albeit at beginner’s yoga class and to be recognized for being so flexible. Really, I’m not that flexible compared to other yogis who have been practicing as long as I have, but compared to many people my age I suppose I am pretty darn flexible. I’m grateful that today I can do that squat that some Eastern Indians do when eating or hanging out and find it very relaxing. Especially when I’m filling up the fish pond with water. I love to do the Indian squat and watch the fish come up to play in the currents from the hose. Fish eye level as I like to say.

So now what? What do we do with ourselves when we’re the ones clearing the paths for others? I don’t think many groups of people have aged quite as well as my group (well, except for pretty much my entire family but I’m beginning to think that perhaps we did come here from another planet….). I have several close friends in their sixties who are in amazingly good health and just now seem to be figuring out what is really important about life and how to enjoy themselves. I’m grateful for their wisdom and their jubilant attitude towards life. There is a Coach I know named Sherry Lowery who used to be a therapist who talks a whole lot about cross generational communication happening now between all the various generations. I’d like to think that we Baby Boomers have seeded the path for that to happen because most of us are curious and interested in life and so we strike up friendships with souls who are humans who come in all forms and fashions.

It really humbled me to hang out with my friend Vickie in her new apartment in the Retirement community. I’ve coached someone who has talked about creating a community for aging creatives (musicians and artists) and I sure hope she will see that dream out. I think Carole King has something along those lines in Idaho (though I haven’t googled it yet). I think there are more than a few pods of us people who are ganky (Japanese term for full of energy) enough to keep going for a long time…heck, some of us are just getting started. These are the people I want to be in community with but not only them, I also want my younger friends in with us as well. Maybe I’m talking about Utopia or Shangri La. I just know that I am motivated to creating a different kind of ending for myself. Both my parents are doing really well in their mid 70s living on their own and kicking about their lives. That’s how I plan to be too. But….for those of us who may have unforeseen occurrences in their lives, it sure would be nice to have some good alternatives to consider rather than being shuffled off to a quiet room somewhere to end your days smelling macaroni and cheese and urine.

Now I’m off to read a little bit out of four books I have going on (one written by Steven Fogle “My Mind is Not Always My Friend) who I’m interviewing on BTR, Tuesday, June 29) and love on my cats and dogs and husband.

What are your thoughts about getting older?

DINK #105 Hope, Openness and Willingness

Posted on : 29-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Those of us who have darkened the doors of various recovery programs have heard many times that hope, openness and willingness are the “HOW” of the program and that the most important key is willingness. Years ago when I met my first mentor in these realms she suggested I pray for the willingness to be willing. You see for people like me it doesn’t often come naturally to just open up my arms wide-open with the willingness to have an open mind, take in suggestions and heed them.

Often as not, I’ve had to put up a fight. We’ve also heard it said that to study and live the 12-steps of AA is simple but is not easy. Also that being intelligent can sometimes be a hindrance to “getting” the gifts of living a life without all the hoopla that the ego almost always has to surround itself with for entertainment. Nope, really it takes being willing to consider that maybe you’re not always right. I think this piece is hard because if you spent as many years as I did running pell mell against the norm well then you probably had a little tiny self esteem and a great big ole inflated ego to help push past the barriers you’d erected between you and serenity.

The first step is to admit that we are powerless over people, places, things, alcohol, food–insert what is appropriate for you here—and that our lives had become unmanageable. A lot of us have gotten confused about that word powerless. Many of us think that this step means for us to drink the kool-aid (reference to Jim Jones Cult etc. from 1978) and have absolutely no control over ourselves or our lives. Well, it’s true that control is an illusion, none of us are really in control of anything but what admitting our powerlessness can do for us is to get us into a place of willingness to consider that there just may be, just might be a power greater than ourselves that could restore us to sanity. God knows I tried to restore myself to sanity again and again and I just kept winding up right back behind where I started.

That’s why the second step says, “Came to Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”. Then we slowly start getting it that perhaps we’re not all alone out here like we’d been thinking. The third step is about making a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of our higher power as we understand it/him/she. Again, this is really a strengthening exercise but for our bolstered up egos it is scary as hell to go through this alone. That’s why there’s so many of us out here helping each other find their way. It’s a “we” program.

This weekend in San Antonio, Texas AA is holding its International Conference http://www.aa.org/subpage.cfm?page=199 beginning with registration on Wednesday, July 1 all the way through Sunday, July 4. If you don’t know anything about AA and have always been curious about what it is all about, well I invite you to go check it out. It’s pretty powerful to see the hope, openness and willingness of the steps coming through all kinds of people from all over the world. And if you know all about AA, well then I hope to see you there!

We are all one. We are all one. We are all one. We are all one!!

Blog #100 Milestones

Posted on : 28-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Wow. Who knew that 100 days ago, I’d be able to keep at blogging one blog a day for 100 days? WOO HOO!! And I knew at about blog 25 or so that I’d carry it on out to 365 days of at least one blog a day. !00 blogs is just a milestone, a good one, but just a milestone. I remember while training for a marathon that when we got up to the real long runs of 15 miles or more each weekend our coach used to tell us to imagine that we could throw out a line to a point ahead of us to pull us in and to keep throwing a line and pulling us in until we got to the finish. It really helped. That’s what this 100 blogs milestone has done for me. It’s helping me to keep on going and to be grateful for the days that I’ve got under my belt already.

I witnessed another milestone today when I went to help a good friend/mentor of mine move from her home of twenty years into assisted living. Now I don’t know about you, but the very words “assisted living” echo chills up and down my spine. At least that was how I felt until I visited my aunt and uncle in their swanky assisted living apartment in Arizona. It opened my eyes to the possibility that things could be different–in a good way.

This friend of mine is only 12 years older than me. She’s been wrangling with Lupus and heart attacks and diabetes and everything else that could be thrown at her these past 15 years or so. I’m grateful that she will be in a nice place where she can feel safe and autonomous and know that help is as close as a phone call and right out her door if she needs it. She has lots of light and is in a third story apartment up in the trees with a nice big “L” shaped patio. I think I secretly like this place better than her home. Even though she was exhausted today from lack of sleep and moving, we did have some laughs over the supposed dress code for dining, if you wanted to dine in the main dining room, which is casual elegant. My friend noted that mostly the crowd was the polyester wearing sort. I think she may have been rebelling today by wearing her jeans and a bright maroon Mexican blouse. This is a big milestone for her to have made the decision to move to assisted living one year after her husband passed away. I can’t fathom the courage it has taken her to accept where she is physically, mentally, and emotionally to make this decision; however, she was the one who taught me how to keep things simple and to take the very crucial step of admitting that I was powerless over a whole hell of a lot. I know right after that always comes the dawning of the light that there just may be something bigger than ourselves at the helm of this ship we call life.

I think her humor is going to really help her through this change. She was talking about how the halls are made wide enough so that people can pass each other in walkers. Did you know that there is walker etiquette? Who knew! I don’t know how they decide which walker-ee has the right of way but usually it is polite for one of the walkers to pull towards the wall for the other to pass. They don’t have any traffic lights in the hallways that I could remember.

I almost made a scene at my friends apartment today but I reeled myself in to composure when we were out on her patio so that she could smoke her cigarette and she dropped her lighter and we watched it slide down the roof shingles into the gutter. I really could have climbed over the railing, crawled on my knees to the gutter and gotten her cigarette lighter for her but first I realized that most people my age don’t do things like that and so maybe it wouldn’t be so hot for me to do it at this place and second I really don’t like that my friend smokes anyway so why help her?! Her son ended up having an extra lighter so all ended well. I love that I still have the impulse to climb around rooftops like that.

Milestones are good. Milestones help us to mark where we have come from and see where we are going. I don’t know if it is an American thing, but I sure do have to take a moment to look at milestones in my life and acknowledge them. It seems like we’re always pushing forward to the next and the next and the next while all the while we’re running right past these really important milestones in our lives. Take ’em in. Drink ’em in. Breathe.

What are some of the milestones in your life? Do you have any coming up soon? How do you feel about them? What do they say about where you have been and the choices you have made?

Blog #99 Love is in the Air!

Posted on : 27-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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At least as far as our Crepe Myrtles are concerned! We moved into our home a little over 14 years ago into a nice quiet neighborhood in the “kuntry” where all the homes had been built in the early 80’s and needed some updating and care. We loved our home because of the huge acre back yard and the big rectangular pool. I don’t know why our home felt as good as it did because it sure needed the huge renovation we ended up doing that first year. Part of that renovation was having a huge 2000 square foot deck built around the pool. We also had a three Crepe Myrtles thrown in for good measure.

One of the Crepe Myrtles is a huge one (I think they call it a “specimen tree”) that puts out amazing white blossoms. That one is located closer to our home. The other two Crepes are located at the end of the deck where kids run and jump off the diving board into the pool. Those two are raspberry colored and have grown into big, fluffy gorgeous trees. And then there is the little “volunteer” Crepe Myrtle that popped it’s little head out a year or two later so that we had to cut some of the wood from the deck to let it grow up and out. That little guy is a very light shade of pink.

Now, I don’t know a whole lot about biology but pretty much all you have to do is see the huge white Myrtle and then the two Raspberry Myrtles and you know that someone was up to sumptin, you know what I’m saying? We’ve learned about the birds in this house, because we have an Owl family that returns every year and the Hummingbirds, of course. And the bees because of all the flowering bushes and trees that David’s planted to attract butterflies and Hummers. And now we have the Crepe Myrtles creating offspring of their own. I have some photos in my phone that I am going to have to get someone to show me how to upload to my email (it keeps failing) so you can see these trees too.

It’s so easy in this rush here and rush there world that we live in today to just whiz right past those living things that are planted in the ground growing all around us. But, just take a minute during a busy day to stop and appreciate the trees, flowers and bushes out there. They have the thankless job of cleaning up the air for us and looking beautiful in all kinds of elements. I swear all our Crepe Myrtles are positively vibrating joy out there in our backyard. I’m grateful that I can appreciate them.

What’s nature up to in your world these days?

Blog #98 Dem Blues Ain’t Gonna Take Me Down

Posted on : 27-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Man oh Man, there is nothing quite like going into that slump of the slumpiness called da blues or as clinicians would diagnose it: depression. Let’s just go ahead and get that big ole wrinkly grey elephant right into the middle of the room and talk about him, shall we?

I definitely know that I am a an uber sensitive soul. I think we all may be but some of us have more of the kind of natural chemicals coursing through our systems that helps keep the wild beasties in our head at bay. You know when you do if you wouldn’t think twice about jumping off of a tall bridge with a bungee chord. I don’t know if there have been any correlating studies done on that, but suffice it to say my hands sweat at just the thought of it. I’m pretty sure that when I came into the world my genetic make-up did not have the extra cylinder of said chemical. Then to top it off I mucked up the chemicals that I already had with man-made and nature-made concoctions plus have weathered losing all of one organ and partials of two others. Given all of that, the way I am naturally made, my environment and missing pieces and I think I have a recipe coursing through my brain for depression.

This latest bout took me by surprise. It always does. I always forget how bad it feels to slip into a depression and then it’s real convincing that I’ve always felt this way and I’m always going to feel this way. Mind you, I’m someone that has done all kinds of bellybutton spelunking, haven’t had a drink in almost 20 years, don’t smoke, don’t even have caffeine. I meditate at least 30 minutes a day and have a really strong support system of people I can reach out to when I get this way. I’m grateful for all of that.

It’s still hard, though, to admit when I need to take the medication that helps me not sink to the depths that I know my depression can take me. There’s still a lot of judgment and ignorance out there about mental illness period, much less about depression. There’s also the issue of medication. Heck, I’m someone who believes that we should do all we can FIRST before we take medicine and only take medicine in conjunction with a doctor/therapist’s supervision. The reason I take medication for depression is to get me up to normal NOT because it puts pep into my step or pop into my thought. There is just nothing glossy or sexy about the kind of medication I take. I might as well be taking a salt pill to hydrate my body better.

The reason I feel called to write about this is that if you, or someone you love, suffers from depression I want you to know that you are not alone. There is so much help out there today that it is amazing when you start looking into therapists and options for help. There is hope. There is help. I started my quest a long time ago so my route was a lot more traditional beginning with one on one therapy (did that for several years…loved it!) then joining various 12-step programs, then learning how to eat better and get the right nutrition and supplements and exercise. My spiritual life has been very important to me as well. Meditation really is quite a nice remedy for the monkey mind! And in spite of all of these very good tools that have helped me out immensely, I still need help medicinally. If you do as well, I hope that you will be gentler with yourself about finding help than I have with myself!

What’s the difference for you between just having the blues and being depressed? You can google for some top ten lists I’m sure. For me, depression usually eases in very slowly. It may start out with more negative thoughts that I really have to work at counter balancing with positive ones. I may get really agitated more often. I may start feeling very sad about everything and not have a whole lot of energy nor the desire to stick with projects. I think for each of us, we have our own Hallmark signs that let us know when we need to get help. Seek out a professional that works with these issues. And it is really a good idea to interview a few therapists before settling down with one. Remember, although it is nice if they have a lot of certifications and plaques on the wall…it don’t mean a thing if they ain’t got that swing with you. There’s got to be a good synergy between you for therapy to work for you.

Where is your norm for the day? How do you take care of yourself? When do you know that you need to reach out for some extra help?

I’m sending our elephant back to her nice grassy spot under the trees for now. She really is a good elephant, just wants to be heard is all. Hopefully, we’ve helped her to feel heard today.

Blog #97 Good Souls Are Everywhere When You Open Your Eyes

Posted on : 25-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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A gentle soul has passed today. I only knew Mr. Hezari as this very gentle man who always smiled at me when he and his wife entered the door for the Baha’i morning devotions. He always greeted me as if I was a long lost friend, very warmly, very naturally and very kindly. Because of this, he made a huge impression on me with these simple gentle acts of kindness. May his soul go to be with God in peace and love.

Mr. Hezari’s passing is a reminder to me that there are good souls everywhere when I choose to open my eyes. With all the things going on in our world today and all the many, many ways we have to tune into the world today, it is easy for me to get swept up into despair, anger, revulsion and even apathy so much so that I forget to remember the good souls that are around me everywhere.

For me, good souls come in all forms and fashions (human and non-human). There is this old man-dog who I “met” for the first time a couple of months ago. He lives in a house across the creek from our home. The people that live in his house have all kinds of dogs and this particular special dog I hadn’t seen before in the 14 years that I’ve been walking our “hood”. I’m not sure how old this dog is, but judging from the grey in his muzzle, I’d say at least 9 or 10. He’s a fairly big guy too who looks to be part Doberman (facial structure and stubby tail) and part some kind of dog that has a longer coat than a Dobie. He’s also got some kind of neurological disorder going on because he kind of prances when he walks like he can’t feel or tell where his paws are touching and he walks a little bit sideways. In spite of these things, both my Black Lab and Australian Shepherd are very polite to him when he comes up to greet me. He always bellows a hello with a bark and then prances sideways up his long driveway from the garage to greet me. He always acknowledges my dogs first, letting his stubby tail move back and forth and then comes right up to me to be greeted. I just love this dog and I know absolutely nothing about him except he exudes love to me. Every single time he comes up to greet me I am overwhelmed with pure love from him. I have to find out his story and least of all his name. I told my mom that he reminded me of my great grandfather who was quite a distinguished gentleman.

And good souls, of course, come in the form of people. All kinds of people. I remember one time bursting into H.E.B. to get my shopping done (I’m totally my father’s daughter and am a woman on a mission when it comes to grocery shopping…get in, gather up, and get out!). Anyway, on this particular trip I was zooming down the aisle when all of a sudden I came upon a woman from India with her beautiful baby boy of about two years of age. This little boy looked into my eyes (and my soul!) and smiled big at me and I was toast from that point on. I forgot my mission of shopping and could have just followed him around the store for his entire outing if I could have gotten away with it. Pure love. Just pure love and happy to share it with you too!

Keep an eye out for the good souls out there…cuz they’re out there. They come in all forms and fashions and sometimes in very unexpected ways. You’ll know when you’ve seen one because you’ll feel your heart warm up or maybe contract just a bit. The heart always knows.

What good souls have you encountered lately?

Blog #95 You Know It’s Been a Successful Dinner When….

Posted on : 24-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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All the way home from an incredible dinner this evening I tried to bark like my friend Jennifer Hill Robenalt (http://jenniferhr.wordpress.com/) who can bark exactly like a Cairn Terrier. Now, mind you, it says something about me that after this amazing gathering of twelve very powerful and inspirational go-getters who make ideas happen….that I was motivated to capture the bark of Jennifer all the way home. I sounded more like a Hienze-57 in mortal danger…but at least I was doing my best all out bark.

My head is still spinning from all the ideas and energy generated by this group. One of the morsels I tucked away from this evening was how much more effective our talents and gifts can be exponentially when magnified through the support of other people. One of the women, who I immediately felt connected to on many levels besides the fact that we shared being Air Force Brats, is one of 29 authors (or so) in the book, “The Club No One Wanted to Join – Madoff Victims in Their Own Words.¬† Her take is decidedly from a spiritual perspective¬† and the benefits she’s gotten from this huge growth opportunity.¬† Actually, there were a couple of people at our table tonight who shared the “ah-ha’s” that they learned over the past year from sometimes very heart breaking and life altering situations in their lives which ended up being some of the best gifts that they have ever received.

I gotta confess to you that at one point when we went around the table to introduce ourselves and talk about a special project that was close to our hearts that we were working on, my palms started sweating a little bit and my stomach rumbled because I realized that this was one group that I couldn’t get away with punting. I committed to writing/putting together a book this year and right then and there my friend Nettie, taped me interviewing Jennifer about the screenplay she is writing for a film about the Irish Mystic, Lorna Byrne’s, book, “Angels in My Hair”. Nettie plans to submit this video for the Oprah Talk Show Host search. Gulp. I hope I didn’t have an Mexican food stuck in between my teeth or at least if I did that her husband Andy can air brush it out…..

Do this y’all. Invite a group of people to come together for a dinner and use all of the tools that you have ever learned over the course of your life to keep you using positive affirmative statements that will hold you accountable to acting on your dreams. For those of you who live in Austin, be prepared for me to invite you to join me at one of the dinners this new group I’m in will be having over the course of the next year. Bring your hopes and dreams and projects.

What is something that you’ve always wanted to do but have been putting off because of X, Y, or Z? What 11 people do you know or know of in your community that you would like to get together with to help each other make your dreams happen?

I’ll work on my Jennifer Cairn Terrier Bark if you’ll work on your dreams.

Blog #94 I See People!

Posted on : 23-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Remember that movie “The Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis when the little boy said in a choking voice, “I See Ghosts”…well, with humor of course, I want you to hear that same tone of voice when you read the title of this blog, “I See People”.

I see people everyday, of course, we all do. The difference is, I really do “see” people meaning I’m intuitive/psychic as heck and “get” a whole lot of stuff about people often times without knowing much about them and sometimes even without seeing them (but talking with them over the phone).

Well, you may say to yourself, what a gutsy thing for this Professional Life Coach to put out there for the entire universe to read about her. Yes, you may be right. There is a lot of ignorance and prejudice against people who say they are intuitive and there is this unwritten rule that says business and intuition…never the two shall meet. Oh, you can talk about it in whispered tones inside of cubicles or shut up in a restroom but don’t dare bring it out in front of a corporate board meeting. Not really. After all, we need to have facts and figures to justify how well the business is doing.

Yes we do need the numbers and facts AND don’t throw the baby out with the bath water (how the heck did that saying ever come around anyway…you know someone at sometime must have thrown a real live baby out with the bath water…but I digress). Over the past few years, I’ve met some pretty spectacular CEOs of business who are very professional, very smart and very, very intuitive. The ones who are sharing that bit o’ information with their companies or other professionals are consultants. Very few CEOS share with the cadre of people who make up their company that an important piece of their greatness is their intuition and their ability to tap into it at will.

The book inside of me that is anxious to come out is how I have learned to slow myself down to a gentle jog and embrace all the seemingly itinerant parts of what makes me, “me”. One of which is the BOOGA BOOGA (as Intuitive Consultant Patricia Sun would say) part of me that just “knows” things about people and situations. My hope is that with this book, “I See People” I can inspire others to come on out of the psychic closet and let the world know who they are…”I’m a mommy of two, a loving wife, a powerful CEO of a successful company AND I use my intuition on a regular basis thank God”.

Intuition is not a curse word people! I’m sure if we wanted to get really clinical about it there is some Neuroscientist out there who can explain the feverish pitch that our synapses and awareness works at so that it is really not intuition but our brain….OKAY…call it whatever you need to in order to feel comfortable but for me, today, I’m going to use the word intuition.

And I’m an intuitive person who loves animals. But guess what, I don’t like Granola. And guess what, when I’m working I prefer to use my time very efficiently and effectively. So I’m climbing out of the box. I’m poking my head right through the cardboard ceiling of definitions for how executives and entrepreneurs “should” be coached. I’d much rather tap into that great invisible network that is available to us all to help someone else discover who they are and go after what they want to do with their lives.

A question that stuck with me today from Intrigue Expert and Author Sam Horn (www.samhorn.com) was what book are you looking for that you cannot find on the shelves because it is waiting inside of you to be written? And for extra credit, What do your clients/people in your life say over and over to you (about you/about what you do, etc.) that you could put into a conversational catch face to voice the zeitgeist?

Come out, come out wherever you are!

Blog #93 We Might Be Giants

Posted on : 22-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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What if we were all really just little gods running around acting like we’re really people? I was talking to a good friend today over coffee about this idea and how we humans can create these little worlds around ourselves with the people we attract into our lives and then work out whatever script it is that we feel we need to work out.

If life is a movie or play, then most of us get so focused on the props and the dialogue that we forget to step back and outside of the frame to see what is really going on.

I don’t know how this concept of being a little god lives quite comfortably snuggled up against the concept that there is also a power greater than myself…but somehow it does. If you look at some of the incredible inventions, technology, art, music etc. etc. etc. that humans have created over the years, it’s hard not to be impressed with ourselves. Sometimes I think we get a little too ahead of ourselves though with creating things without thinking about their impact (ahem….BP…..).

I also love the sheer biology of us that we not only can see, hear, taste, feel, smell but many times we enjoy the heck out of it as well. I mean speaking from an evolutionary standpoint this would make sense because why would a living being keep going if there wasn’t motivation to keep going but what is that extra thing that happens where we appreciate beyond the enjoyment? What is that thing in me/us that has me look up at the big bubbly white clouds on the horizon and love the majesty of them? That , to me, must be a God-like quality.

I’m not exactly sure why the combination of working things out psychologically seems to happen when we are in the throws of our hormones (like going for the obvious Mr. Right or Ms. Wrong because they are so much like mummy or daddy and trying again and again to get it right!) but there is strength in being able to step up and out of that scenario. There is majesty in that. There is power in being able to have clarity on who we want to be with and why and not just because every gene in our body is screaming for them.

All I know is that today I want to be as conscious as I can about what I am doing and the reason behind it so that I can be responsible and of service where I can. It’s like I spent decades of my life in as clear and as plastic a bubble as that boy in a bubble lived in only mine was the invisible making of my own mind and now I want to break free and truly be. Just me.

We might be giants AND it is comforting to know that there is probably always going to be something bigger than us.

Might as well enjoy our giant “tude” while we can!

Blog #91 If Not You, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?

Posted on : 21-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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During my morning jog it occurred to me that everyone is some kind of a leader, even if the kind of leader you are is a follower. If you’re a really good follower, you’re showing others how to follow well so in that case, you’re a good leader about following. From the beginning of my “real” career experience, you know, the kind of work that is other than life guarding, teaching swimming or waiting on tables, I have worked for and around groups of highly intelligent and well-educated people. These groups included Pathologists, Doctors, Nurses and Medical Technologists in Forensic Pathology Labs to Post-docs, Graduate Students, Researchers and Writers for a world renowned Electroanalytical Chemist. From those jobs I leapt to working under the wings of a madcap brilliant Publisher of a well-respected magazine to companies that provided high-level technical talent to the outside (and inner) world of technology.

What I realized in each of these scenarios is really people are just making it up as they go. Some better than others, but really we are all the little man behind the curtain. Leaders are just people who either have the courage to step up and say how they think things should be done and motivate people to follow them OR they’re really ego-maniacal narcissists and sometimes they’re a bit of both!

Today I realize that when I get the most frustrated about work is when I think I can see where things should go and how they should be done but I’m unable (or unwilling) to step up and out front. In the case of many of my career positions, I lacked the education or certifications to have the authority to lead others. But I still complained and I still gritted my teeth. It’s just so much easier to find fault with someone else or with “the system” rather than to look at where my choices have led me and either accept them or make different choices.

It takes courage to acknowledge what you really want to do in your life when it comes to a career or a job. If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, then it is doubly painful to take the risk of stepping towards something that could be a spectacular failure. Go for it anyway. As many of you know, I’m finishing up a degree that should have been completed a long, long time ago. Many of my fellow students are the age of children who could have come from my womb if I had, had children. So what? Time passes anyway, why not be learning something new in the process? What if it turns out that all of us baby boomers are healthier and have more energy than any other group of people our age have ever had? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be fully engaged in life then waiting for it to pass me by.

If not you (or me) than who? If not now, then when? Let’s experiment. For one week, what if we agreed not to complain or throw out wrenches about solutions. If we come up with an idea, then we have to carry it forward into some kind of action whether it be contacting another person, delegating, signing up for something…just some little action towards a solution.

Why not you? Why not me? Why not now?!