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Don’t Forget to BREATHE

14 Jan
Don't Forget to Breathe ~ Lynn Van Noy

Something happens when we hurt.

 

We hold our breath.

 

Whether we have chronic pain. stub a toe, smash a finger, or lose someone we love… we hold our breath.

So I  encourage you to breathe.  Living in pain – both physically & emotionally can lead to shallow breathing.  So make it a practice to breathe.

 

Really breathe.  Deep & full.

 

It’s ok if it doesn’t come easy.  It takes practice & after a lifetime of holding our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop, or hanging on for dear life, breathing can become more voluntary than involuntary.

 

So breathe, dearheart.  Breathe.

You Don’t LOOK Sick

10 Jan

Don’tcha love it when people compliment you?!

Of course!  But not as much when you feel poorly.

I tend to see Fibromyalgia, pain disorders, lupus, & other auto-immune health issues the same way I look at PTSD, depression, & anxiety.  These are all debilitating concerns that mostly don’t show.  Sure, you may see the results in terms of depletion, exhaustion, a look of desperation in someone’s eyes, but the illness itself is oft invisible.

Which makes it especially frustrating when those around you can’t comprehend that you are struggling at times, because “you look amazing!”  *laughs*

Well, ya gotta admit, you do look pretty good.  But that doesn’t, for one instant, negate how bad you may be feeling.

It helps to surround yourself with people who ‘get it.’  Other folks who look alright, too, but you know they have good days & bad ones, like everyone.  Make sure your loved ones know that some days are just not going to go as you planned, & that’s as much a disappointment to you as to them.  Especially when you move slower than usual, or you have to cancel a special visit because getting out of bed may be the best you can accomplish that day.

I pray you are surrounded by loving, understanding friends & family.  And most of all, my hope is that you are good to yourself.  There’s no need to punish yourself for hurting.  Your suffering requires your gentle attention.  Baby steps are all we get some days; so make the most of your energetic, feel-good days & be patient with yourself on the difficult ones.

Your light is a blessing to us all.

As Long As IT Takes

28 Jan

cayman

This is a story about sleep deprivation, daily expectations; essentially life taking its toll on YOU.

One day in the Cayman Islands, I met a couple, & their big greyhound dog, along the beachside.  They began chatting away about life on the brilliant blue!

He was from Canada & she was from tough Detroit.  After he moved down to the islands, he asked her to come too.  She debated.  She stayed to see her adult children.  She was locked into a job she could retire from but couldn’t seem to extract herself from.

Finally, after a year of him asking her to come away to his beachfront abode, she accepted.

She recounted to me that for 6 solid months, she slept in, drank coffee in her pajamas, & ultimately had ZERO drive to do anything.  She would turn on the Detroit news/weather/traffic so she could connect with what had been a part of her life, always.  But in time, that lost its novelty.  She began to venture out to the water, slowly.

And after 6 months of no desire to do ANYTHING, she perked up & wanted to paint.  She wanted to sew.  She wanted to dance.  Suddenly, the ocean looked vividly blue & the sugar sand so white!

She was happy & integrated when I met her.  And it took 6 WHOLE MONTHS.

My point is, by the time you get a day off, all you want to do is rest & recover.  Sure, you’d love to travel, run, play with your grandkids, organize that dang ol’ closet.. you know the one I’m talkin’ about!  But sleep may be the only thing on your mind.

So I’m giving you full permission.. to rest.  Go easy on yourself.  Don’t push so hard, the world already does that to you.

Sleeping in one day isn’t going to repair your sleep deprivation but it won’t stop the world from turning, either.

Be kind to you.  Listen to what you want most.  You are precious & what you do with your time creates a life.. your life.

Enjoy.  ANd if it take months or years for you to get your spark back, so be it.  It’;s not a competition.  Everyone is different, so you must listen to your own internal guidance.  And breathe easy.. as long as it takes.

ready.. set..

9 Jan

sparks

New year.  New start.  Beginnings.

ready.. set.. go!  Right??

That’s usually how it works, but if you’re anything like me, this ‘new’ is a not quite ready to ‘GO!’

New Year’s Eve found me in the dentist’s chair.  RIP to 2 of my wisdom teeth.  Fortunately, I have a rather indulging dentist.  He’s not pushing to take out my other 2, just yet.  Thankfully, he is holistically inclined enough to let nature take its course.

So instead of wearing a unicorn horn, splashing in glitter, & dancing.. I was fast asleep under covers when most of y’all were ushering in the ‘new.’  Yay, not.  *giggles*

Several of my clients are still exhausted from the holiday & a few have suffered recent tragedy.

So, this update is to wish you all the very best & remind you that you’ll know when it’s time to “go!”  Maybe that’s not today.  Maybe it won’t be for awhile yet, but life is not about following the crowd, it’s about following your heart.  Listen to your spirit.  Now may be a time of quiet recovery.  It may be a time to share your strength with others.

I assure you, when it’s time, you’ll be revved up & ready.  Until then, embrace the stillness of the in between.  As much as the clock keeps on ticking, we’re so much more than chronological clocks & calendar dates.  There’s always time for celebration.  We know when it’s the right time to begin.  All we have to do is listen with our heart’s awareness.  Trust you…  I do.

Big ❤

Lynn++

Bring the Light

21 Sep

Bring the Light

Lighting candles brings me such joy!

Candlelight flickers, shadows quiver, and nearby shiny objects catch the glowing light in beautiful scintillation.

Most of all, candles brings warmth and light.  So, you’ll understand why I tend not to light many candles in Summer.  Texas already has enough light and warmth mid-year.

Still, this week before official Autumn begins, I found myself pilfering the candle box.  Instinctively, I had arranged a large grouping of amber glass and candles on the dining table and filled the floor of my fireplace with an assortment of small and large pillar candles.

I’m fairly convinced Texas is in store for a pretty harsh Winter.  Several friends have reported unwarranted wasp attacks over the last 3 months.  Also, wasps are building their nests inside walls, inside buildings, and higher than usual.  The Farmer’s Almanac suggests that means a severely cold and wet Winter is on the way.

As I see the world holistically, a difficult few months weather-wise may also indicate challenges with information.  Perhaps this is a forecast for communication struggles, lack of clear-cut information, or a time to deal with some of our darker human emotions.

To all of this, I encourage you to bring the light.  The light of wisdom, strength, clarity, and humor are all within you.  Good days come, bad days come, but this too shall pass.

So in dark or light, let this serve as a reminder to embrace what comes and goes, and enjoy the light, no matter how great or small.

xx

Lynn++

Meditation or Madness

15 Jul

buddha mugshot / online credit“.. meditation is not against action.

It is not that you have to escape from life.

It simply teaches you a new way of life:

You become the center of the cyclone.”  Osho

 

Conscious thought is the beginning of awareness; what moves us, what brings clarity, what gives hope.

In a world where madness is acceptable and meditation is questioned, it’s time we give some serious thought to our personal values.  It’s time to give importance to our true selves instead of holding back because of feeling outcast or unlovable to others.  You are perfect as you are.  You can do this.  If you survived the difficulty, you will survive the recovery.

Just be you.

Here are a few more of Osho’s thoughts on what meditation truly is..

“Your life goes on, it goes on really more intensely — with more joy, with more clarity, more vision, more creativity — yet you are aloof, just a watcher on the hills, simply seeing all that is happening around you.

You are not the doer, you are the watcher.

That’s the whole secret of meditation, that you become the watcher. Doing continues on its own level, there is no problem: chopping wood, drawing water from the well. You can do all small and big things; only one thing is not allowed and that is, your centering should not be lost.”

End of the Rainbow

17 Mar

Saint Patrick’s Day, with it’s shamrocks & Irish good luck, reminds me of what’s at the end of the rainbow.

I know because I’ve been there…

I guess I must have been 18 yrs old. I remember spending a relaxing day at a friend’s farm in Belott, Texas.

While my friend was inside cooking, I was standing on the back porch with a fresh glass of iced tea, gazing out over the deep green valley.

About that time a soft rain began to fall & out of nowhere, a Technicolor stream of light appeared as if by magic. Yes, a rainbow seemingly touched down in the middle of the valley.

Without a thought, I flung my tea glass & went running down the hill. It was so vivid, all I could think about was touching it. Well, and also maybe tasting it, but then again I’m pretty tactile.

Racing through the wet tall grass, I ran right up to the rainbow. Then around it. Finally, in pure amazement at how very real it was right before my eyes… I stepped into it.  Organic alchemy.   A moment of absolute bliss!

Science & nature in full embrace & there I was, giddy.. & reverently astounded.

I gulped in the sweetness & excitement of the moment.

No pot of gold.. there was something even better. Me. My life, my breath, my awe, my experience.

So from someone who’s been to the rainbows end & back, I got news for ya.. YOU are the magic. You’re the precious comodity. You’re the stroke of good luck. It’s all inside you…

Win-Win

22 Jan

I found a bronze medal today, from a race I ran in 2010.  Funny though, I never opened it.  Still sealed up nice & neat in a little airtight plastic wrap.

Since I was a small child, I was an avid competitor.  At age 5, I started competing in UIL & by age 7 I managed to win my school the most prestigious Texas UIL award, a trophy bigger than I was, which still rests in the high school’s BIG glass trophy case. (1981)

I’ve won everything from raffles, music & intellectual awards, religious achievements, social accolades, career commendations, .. & yes, even physical fitness trophies & medals.  From a little luck all the way to obsessively studying night & day for months & years on end with nary a little sleep, I managed more documented achievements before I became an adult than many people can accomplish in a lifetime.

Thing is, I usually throw them away.  Not sure why.  It’s perplexing really.  I remember throwing out my most precious music award as a teenager.  It wasn’t that it didn’t matter.  I loved it & was so proud of what I did.  Simply that I did not want to be attached to it.

All along, did I want to win?  YES.  More than anything.  But I did not want to be defined by the outcome.  And as I got older, I started to appreciate the grey areas that some call “mediocrity.”  While the word is often used as a derogatory term, I revel in it.  After enough extraordinary, & mostly exhausting achievements, I’m all too happy to trade the limelight for a little dappled sunlight.

Sure, ordinary has its benefits; less pressure, more enjoyment, a larger view instead of a blinding laser focus.  Mind you, I am friends w many competitors now, including serious professional triathletes.  That laser focus & obsessive urgency is all a part of a days work for them & it’s ideally suited to winning.

But after that kind of intensity for years on end, I find that I am much more drawn to the middle road.  It’s true, I sometimes miss the *BIG WIN!*  But nowadays, I’m happier starting a race than winning it.  I find joy in plodding a course than arriving at the goal line.  I’m more pleased to be “in the moment” of an experience these days, than to rigidly eye a number or a specific goal expectation.

And in the process of learning, changing, growing & life in general, I am just as happy to cheer on the sidelines & carry someone’s backpack than to run the race myself.  My Momma taught me how valuable it is to be a cheerleader, as she’s been my guiding light, night & day, lo these 39 years now.

Between my Momma’s example, my own hard-won experiences, & the blessing of witnessing my client’s health challenges; aches, pains, injuries, surgeries, illnesses & beaming well being, I am proud to say we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got at this time.

The key is doing your best each & every day, knowing full well that today’s best may be very different than tomorrows.

So while the “Win, Lose, or Draw” mentality stresses out the masses, I proudly say, if you are doing the best you can, this day, this moment, it’s an absolute Win-Win!

13 Things to Look Forward to in the New Year

18 Jan

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The new year is upon us and great opportunities are here.  Some people make New Year’s resolutions while others pretend it’s just another day.  One thing’s for sure, a new calendar means a chance at a fresh start.  With that in mind, here are a few treats to look forward to this new year.

1.  Travel.  That’s right, more stamps in your passport, more exploration, learning a new way of living.  Of course, if your dream is to stay home all year & get lots of naps, I hope you get that too.  I’m not really a middle-of-the-roadie but some years are definitely more outbound than inbound, & vice versa.

2.  Bubble Baths.  Lot’s of “Calgon, take me away” moments.  I find that some of my most brilliant ideas appear out of nowhere when I’m tucked into the bubbles.  Now, if mowing the lawn or doing the dishes inspires you, much tall grass & dirty dishes to you!  *cheers*

3.  Getting rubbed the wrong way!  Fact is, when others push our buttons or discomfort us, it has a clarifying effect on what our values really are.  Getting rubbed the wrong way has a polishing effect, so to speak.  And it also means we can get rubbed the right way; harmony, loyalty, appreciation.

4.  Great food.  Of course, I mean food that’s good for you!  But I also mean that whatever you indulge in, let it be worth it.  Fast food is so easy & cheap, why not hunt up some real cacao hot chocolate & enjoy every delicious ounce instead of a quick fake chocolate drive-thru dessert.  Try out different foods this year, things you don’t usually bother looking at on the menu.  Get creative & use those chopsticks.  Food should be delicious, nutritious & fun!

5.  Let go.  Finally!  2012 was not the end of the world.  We did not fly off a Fiscal Cliff.  Most of us made it through the Holidays pretty unscathed.  And now, it is definitely time to unload.  Let go of the wait & the weight.  How are you ever going to “in with the new” if you don’t first “out with the old?”  Empty those junk drawers, give those fabulous old clothes away, organize what stays & what goes.  You’ll feel amazing every time you throw something out.

6.  Start over.  New beginnings are never more evident than when you have a new calendar in front of you.  A blank canvas to create the life you really want.  This is an invigorating moment in history & you can use it to begin anew altogether or kick-start your current plans that may have gotten a little humdrum.  Get fired up!

7.  Accept yourself.  Older, Wiser, changed by life experiences.  It is what it is.  Stop struggling with what you can no longer do & accept that time changes everything .  Surely you have some strengths now even where there are new weaknesses.  Kindly appreciate yourself.

8.  Open the door.  Opportunities sometimes show up when you least expect them.  Open that door & have the guts to step on through.  NOW… *peaks in*

9.  Time again.  The Mayan calendar may have ended in 2012 but we’re still here.   Another day means another chance to do good.

It’s been said “time heals all wounds.”  This is such a blessing as we embrace the future.  It’s often difficult to step into the new when we are grieving the past.  But time is a hopeful gift beyond compare & I pray it brings you the peace of mind that excels all thought.

10.  Romance, darling.  It’s a new day and a bright new chance to re-discover what you love.  Is it gifties, quality time, words of of encouragement?  Maybe you love to go out dancing.  Telling your partner is the best place to start.  Want a whirlwind romance, even if you’re already married?  Change the dance steps & see if they can keep up.

11.  Be true.  If our friend Lance Armstrong taught us anything, it’s that the truth will set you free.  Surely he has added years to his life by relieving himself of the burden of carrying these secrets around.  And now, as the drama unfolds on the world stage before us, the lesson is to speak boldly about who we really are & allow ourselves to be vulnerable even when the truth hurts.  Speak up.  Now’s your chance.

12.  Experiment.  Try something new.  Face it.  You’ve always wanted to do something you keep close to the cuff.  Is it photography?  Swing dancing?  Growing your very own pecan orchard?  Whatever you’ve been itching to do, now’s the time to do some research, seek out folks who do it too, & join in the fun.  You never know, it could become your new favorite hobby or even the best paying job you ever landed.

13.  Rely on each other.  We all intend to be dependable but years can go by as we lose sight of keeping our appointments on time, following through on our plans, or generally walking our talk.  Make the effort to trust others to do what they say & manage yourself in a way that shows others that your character is someone who can always be relied upon.

Make it fabulous!!  Happy New Year!!

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Happy Christmas!

25 Dec

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