along the way

13 May

along the way

“You can’t stand still and you can’t go back.”  Abraham

 

All Zipped Up

11 May

Zip Line Texas

Zip Lining?!

Sure, why not!

As a spiritual traveller, I’m up for most any adventure!

We came.  We saw.  We sorta.. conquered.  *laughs*

Before I get too far into the story, let’s start at the beginning.

We visited Zip Nac, a very well put together zipline park in Nacogdoches, Texas.  It was clean, neat, & charming.  More than anything, I noticed it was super-supervised.

We had a good time gettin’ all trussed up!  There was all sorts of protection gear & we had to take an instructional class.

During the class, we were trained carefully in safety precautions.  How to manage the metal lining; turning your body, slowing, & stopping.  I zipped a few times & had a difficult time maneuvering it all with my left wrist.  I’m pretty healthy & fit, so it was surprising how much I was tweaking my wrist just in the practice runs.  This could be potentially bad for my massage practice, as I need my hands & wrists in excellent condition at all times.

Between my friend’s short waist & short arms, her top harness threatened to displace ribs.  So we tried a few different options & finally concluded to skip it.

Sometimes in life, you think you want something until you actually get there.  True, we could have forced ourselves into going through with it.  Instead, we looked at our options & made the smartest choice we had at the time.  I saved my wrists & she saved her ribs.  Fortunately, we are both tuned in enough to listen to our bodies.

So I hope yall enjoy the zipping!  I may try again at another park that perhaps offers safer regulation on manual operation using your hands.  Or maybe I’ll stick to seated zipline rides.

For now, I feel like we’re the Heroines in our own journeys.  I’m so proud!  Knowing my limits makes my life more exciting because I know I can trust myself.. & that IS the spiritual journey I conquered.

xox’s

Lynn++

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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Dear Santa…

22 Dec

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WELL BEING: Cross That Bridge When We Come To It

5 Aug

Rusk Footbridge by Lynn Van Noy

As the dog days of Summer heat up, it’s time to get out, get some exercise, and explore!

Here in deep East Texas, we don’t have a lot of YMCA’s, public pools, or city funded outdoor programs.  But what we lack in municipal activities, we make up for in natural habitat adventures.  There are plenty of opportunities to get physically active while enjoying our lakes, nature trails, birding, and historical parks.

One historical landmark I visited this week was the footbridge in Rusk, Texas.  The Rusk Footbridge was constructed in 1861, to allow folks living on either side of the valley a safe means to cross during floods.  Garden Park surrounds the nation’s longest footbridge, measuring 546 feet.   The historical marker claims, “The bridge had been restored in the late 1960s.”

The first time I ever laid eyes on this bridge was during the 2010 Who Let the Dogs Out 5k run.  Yes, I was running full steam ahead, rounded a corner, and down ahead of me was this incredibly long footbridge.  It literally took my breath away.  Such an awesome sight to see and an exhilarating run down and back up again.

Rusk Footbridge is among the town’s most popular tourist destinations.  What’s not to love?  Its rustic wooden slats stride deep into a lovely shaded park and over a gorgeous flowing creek.  It’s a good workout to walk from end to end but if you’re looking for a challenge, this is your bridge.  Sprint running is ideal and this is definitely the bridge for an incline workout.  Make a day of it with “brick” training.  Bicycle around historic Rusk and then take up running the stairs and bridge in Garden Park.

Located only two blocks east of Rusk’s town square, this footbridge, as well as the town, have much to offer in adventure.  Not only is Rusk a charming little town tucked into the Piney Woods but it’s filled with surprises.  Visit Jim Hogg State Historical Park, bicycle trails, hiking, bed & breakfasts, a drive-thru safari, quaint local shops, and nearby ghost towns.

While you’re visiting Rusk, be sure to ride on the Texas State Railroad‘s steam engine train.  Make reservations for the upcoming special evening dinner rides and themed excursions.

And if the longest pedestrian footbridge in the nation is not adventure enough, be sure to check out the heart-racing, thrill-chasing zip line!  Yes, just outside of Rusk, Texas is Adrenaline Zip Line Tours.  Sat atop the highest elevation point in East Texas, Adrenaline offers rides on the longest zip line in Texas.  Breathtaking views, flying at speeds up to 40 mph, racing over tree tops, ponds, and beautiful scenery.  They even do night-time rides.

Physical fitness is a state of mind and in a state as big as Texas there are plenty of activities to explore and places to play right here in our own backyard.  So pack up your cooler, drink plenty of water, and set out on your very own East Texas adventure.

WELL BEING: Beat the Heat with Healthy Summer Drinks

22 Jul

Summer Cordials by Lynn Van Noy

It’s hot outside and the perfect time for some good old-fashioned sippers to keep your family happy and hydrated.

So many drinks to choose from; chillers, coolers, sparklers and cordials, oh my!

If you’re ready to beat the heat and get your spicy hydration on, here’s a few recipes to boost your immune system while cooling you off.

Herbal Iced Teas:

#1.  Quite possibly the most simple Summer treat of all.  Just brew a pot of your favorite herbal tea.  Let cool.  Mix together with a can of frozen orange juice into a 1 quart container.  Add water to taste.  p.s.  No need to add additional sweetener.  By blending with OJ, it’s already sweet enough.

Benefits include a smaller dose of caffeine than coffee, without the jittery negative side effects.  Not to mention, the orange juice will account for your daily allowance of Vitamin C.

#2.  Another twist on herbal iced tea is to simply make up a pitcher of Tazo Zen mint green tea, and then add thin slices of cucumber, lime, and mint leaves to garnish.  Tea-licious!

Raw Watermelon Refresher

This refreshing drink is ideal for all those juicy Grapeland watermelons.  Now you just need a little watermelon print umbrella to put in your East Texas drink.

Using either the blender or food processor, blend till liquefied.

  • 2 cups watermelon
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded
  • 1 very small jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1tbsp local honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • a dash of sea salt to taste
  • garnish with cilantro leaves

Drink up!

Cucumber Lemonade

A rejuvenating burst of flavor.  Use your handy-dandy juicer for this little diddy.

  • 4 peeled organic lemons
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 4 Medjool dates (remove pits)

In a pitcher, blend concentrate with water and ice to your desired taste.

Raspberry Lavender Cordial

  • 3 cups of spring water
  • juice of 4 organic lemons
  • 1 4 ounce container of fresh raspberries
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lavender buds
  • 3 tbsp of local honey

Blend together and bring to a boil.  As soon as mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes.

  • pour through strainer into drinking pitcher
  • add juice of 1 more organic lemon
  • pour in 10 ounces of ginger-ale
  • add 2 cups of chipped ice
  • slice off long zests of lemon to flavor pitcher
  • stir and drink up

Ginger Sparklers

Ginger based drinks are especially welcome on hot Summer days when you have eaten too much at the BBQ.  The digestive aid of apple cider vinegar and ginger root should get that digestion and elimination back in order in no time.  Also good for kids who have a tummy ache from too many sweets at the Birthday Party.

  • 2 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 1 cup water

Blend together and bring to a boil.  As soon as mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and let steep till completely cool.  Strain to make a ginger syrup.

Add 1 tbsp of ginger syrup to a glass containing 1/3 glass apple cider vinegar, 1/3 glass seltzer water, and your preferred amount of ice.

Summer is ripe with healthy fresh herbs, fruits, and flowers.  Refresh yourself and your guests the whole Summer through.  Cheers!

WELL BEING: The Art of “Single-Tasking”

7 Jul

In the Moment ~ Lynn Van Noy

Everyone’s heard about multi-tasking, right?  You know, getting as many things done, as quickly as possible, with the least amount of effort or time devoted to any one task.

Today, I want to talk about single-tasking.

Single-tasking is my version of focusing on one particular action entirely.  Think, laser-point attention upon one single task, one single moment.  Be here now.

Multi-tasking is a valuable tool when there is a necessary time-table like getting the kids to school on time, offering assistance in a crisis, or an important assignment is due at school or work.  It is beneficial to build goals into our daily life to create a system of accountability in terms of health, fitness, academics, finances, and so on.

Unfortunately, there are times we get so multi-task focused, we can turn everyday living into a goal-oriented process, creating unnecessary pressures and stress.  That’s when balance is needed.

For the most part, our daily experiences are not emergency based or urgent goals so we can slow down, enjoy the moment, allow our mind to be creative, and open the door for inspiration to waltz in when it pleases.

We can miss so much creative flow and personal feeling when we are racing to the finish line of a task, planning every detail, and blocking impromptu happenstance.  By the way, “happy” derives from the word “happenstance.”  Ups and downs are natural.  Life happens, why not welcome it playfully and allow it, without trying to force or control it.  That’s it, let life happen.

Let’s say, you’re making coffee.  Remember, just make the coffee.  No rushing off into the next room to do something else in the middle of the process.  By the time you get to the next room you will probably have forgotten what you ran in there for anyway.  Just one step at a time.  One simple action made consciously and completely.  Stay with it, and in time you will develop the ability to single-task brilliantly.    Enjoy the peace of mind that is a natural side-effect of single-tasking.

With practice, you can develop awareness even during busy times, consciously breathing through each step, reminding yourself of your deepest motivations as you go.

Having the opportunity to slow down and take one-thing-at-a-time comes easily for us here in East Texas.  Not many big cities, wide open spaces, nature abounds and the great sky is so big.  There seems to be little economy of time here.  No one talks particularly fast, like in some big cities where the “time is money” attitude is king.  In fact, we like to take our time talking, stretching out our words, adding syllables, weaving our expressions like a well-crafted, handmade blanket.

So take your time.  Single-task.  Enjoy the moment.

Take a walk.

Make a pot of tea.

Sit under a big old tree.

Ease into an herbal soak.

It doesn’t have to be anything important.  Only, be in the moment.

Sure it would be easier to single-task if you were all alone in a quiet space with no pressures or expectations, but that’s not how life usually works.  By choosing to single-task one small thing each day, you will grow more comfortable with the experience.

You have the capacity for massive joy and amazing experiences.  When you take the time to single-task, your ordinary moments can become extraordinary moments.

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