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"Tell me, what is it you will you do with your one wild and precious life?" ~Mary Oliver

 

Entries in Life (4)

Thursday
Jan232014

We're alive

What do you do when you are 59...and you learn that a high school friend died in his sleep. Whoa. Just like that, this passionate, wild, crazy, unique, one-of-a-kind if there ever was one guy. Geoff King. Gone. 

This news made its way from Australia...across the Pacific...into my inbox this morning. (Thanks, dear Roslyn--for letting me know.) My heart is all over the place. Joe and I weren't close. Yet we had traveled and played together. Played full-out! Laughed and roared and explored as any good early twenty something does. We weren't close over the years. Yet there he was a few years ago....in the Smithsonian magazine I was reading in a doctor's office waiting room in Colorado. I turned the page to a tasmanian devil refuge in Tasmania---20,000 miles away. Could it be the same Geoff King? I sent an inquiry email and sure enough, our friendship rekindled just like that. His passions now fueling rescuing tasmanian devils...and habitat.

Now, Geoff is gone.

Oddly, yesterday I'd come across photo albums of this trip...thought wistfully for a moment before I swooshed back into Work*Productivity*High*Gear. So, this morning when I heard the news---I knew right where that album was. I flipped it open---and found Joe. Grinning and eyes flashing back at me. Playing an air (broom!) guitar, head flung back in song (very likely Bob Dylan). Another...next to the crackling campfire.  So young. So alive. So quirky. So adventuring at every turn...there we were a little gaggle of friends, gallivanting up and down the coast of Western Australia. We'd blindly hitchhiked in the offseason (making for a memorable night with an Australian bachelor farmer who took pity on us, the stranded hitchhikers with no ride in sight after a day. He took hospitality to a whole new level! Can still taste that home cooked farmer's breakfast of eggs, sausages, pork chops, potatoes, toast---but I digress!) Memories flooding in. Joe was a jokester. Still is, I reckon! 

And a voice whispers...

"Lynn, blog this."

Really? We weren't that close.

"Yes, really."

So--------here goes. I raise a toast to Geoff (who will always be "Joe" to me.) You lived full-out, mate! You in your red hair. You in your eccentricity. You gave us and the world your whole game. Here's to cricket in the afterlife! And a bevvy of tasmanian devils--with no need for protection. Just frolicking free! And you know---I just realized something. You want us to frolic freely. To enJOY every day. To risk a little (perhaps more than we have up til now). To really "go for it!" To leave it all on the field. To do what we can to make this world better because we were here. You'd love it if that were your legacy. I'm sure of it!

We're alive on this January 23rd (or January 24th for my Aussie mates), 2014.

We HAVE beating hearts. We ARE breathing. 

Let's risk everything!

Let's preserve. Or pre-SERVE!

Let's live as if it's our last day. Because it may be. The French choral anthem in the next room is rising now....voices, clear and strong. My book project awaits on the dining room table...along with a cup of Everyday Detox tea. I'll return shortly. The snow is gently falling off the branches backwashed by brilliant blue skies. Joe---are you there? Still grinning? Bless you and bless us everyone! Bless this whole blessed journey called life on earth. 

Who knew I'd be saying goodbye to a high school friend today? Belated thanks, Joe! For being a friend and fellow traveller. For opening me to myself....for leading the way...for by being you, inviting me into my true authentic being. Your life was as fiery as your red hair. 

Postscript: If you're reading this, you're alive. Me too. Let's make it good. Let's make it great!

Let's do it for Joe!

 

 

 

 

Thursday
May162013

100% Life Flinger

One thing I've learned in my coaching/leadership journey is this: When you do something, go for it. 100%! No holding back. Show up, risk, give, love, live. Even intentionally say no to some juicy things (OMG you know how hard this is for me---the girl who is always ready for the next adventure, or new taste!) in service of your Big Yes! This supports (very powerfully) what you are up to!

And so.

You may have noticed a big, juicy, fat, silence right here in my blogspace.

I've been away---creating.  Whole-heartedly focusing all my energy elsewhere and with joy. Embracing a moment in my life that will never come again. Our daughter's most amazing, magical, glorious joy-filled wedding to our new, incredible son-in law. Wow. Big stuff. Big heart, head, soul, spirit, mind, body and even money stuff!

Yes, me---wide open in the Juicy All of It.

And, since my fabulous, capable, creative daughter and now-husband live in Washington DC----I was the "boots on the ground" here in Colorado Springs, "Wedding Central".  In a 100% Wedding Fling. As I begin to reclaim my life (you know, the professional coaching, book-writing and so much more life) I'm back here. With you. And, with some juicy learning (or re-learning!). 

1. Cook up a plan---and hold it lightly! Embrace effortlessness AND all the messy surprises. Then dance with all of it! (Yup, it's true---the reception room only had two walls. And snow was possible.)

2. Taste the joy of co-creation. Welcome everyone to the table. Listen. Imagine together. Honor it all. (Meg and Mark were amazing. What a joy to see them in this way. To follow their creative, heart lead. Together with my amazing and extraordinary friend of the Big Yes, Pattigirl White. Bless you!!!)

3. Believe that it's possible. I mean really possible (especially when you don't see a way). 

4. Fear will appear. Embrace it. Welcome it. Release it.My fear was our family/friends flying in from parts unknown for this amazing wedding----and being downright cold. I mean cold. But, what really happened was that out of this possibility grew really creative stuff. Invitations to wear boots, jackets (shawls don't count) and experience "springtime in Colorado!" Really. And I remembered I'm a daughter of the immigrants to the prairies. I bet they had outdoor springtime parties---and knew how to bundle up, or dance even more energetically, or snuggle up to the fire. I got in touch with all that. We did all that---and the energy was incredible---unleashed creativity and more!

5. Nothing wrong with a little breakdown and some tears. In fact, that's a blessed release. Don't over-think it. Let it flow and go. (Oh yeah baby. Thank goodness for "Janis Joplin", my wonderful couch. And Ben, my partner who by now knows its just some tears. Nothing to do about it. But welcome the flow!)

6.  Know that there is Mystery in it. You are not in charge (even though it may feel as if you should be.) Let go---and let come. 

7. See the Love in Everything! It's easy to get so hellbent on the doing/creating/organizing/executing/lining up the ducks in row...that you lose sight of what's true. What's incredible. What's really important.

8. Remember to rest. I confess, this is one I'm working on!

9. It's OK to let some absolutely, fabulous, brilliant, gorgeous, incredible ideas go! And, it feels fantastic when you do this! Especially for those of us that are creative, idea magnets!

10. Stop and see and feel and BE. Every 1/2 hour, if you can. Sit down. When I remembered to do this it re-connected me to my body. To the sunlight. To my Source. 

11. If you get tightly wound up, be gentle with yourself. It happens. Clean up your mess. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Move on.

12. Laugh. At the wild things that happen (they'll make a good book, or blogpost, right?). Laugh at yourself, too!

13. Know when a ship has sailed----and let go. Remember that good idea? You know, the one that you might have done if it were 3 months ago? Yup----let it go. And know that something more wonderful will appear if you're not living in regret.

14. It's who you are being in all of the doing that makes all the difference. Know your values and let them lead you. (We were committed to not being overly-extravagant. And yet, sticker shock at every corner! It was in the framing what we were up to and why, that we found peace. Together with making a decision---and going with it.)

15. Love is in the lead. Let love lead. Never forget it.  That little girl---whom I gave birth to. That little girl of dreams and hopes and potential. That little girl I love with my whole wide open heart. That little girl of power and beauty beyond measure. That Love Creation of her father's and mine. Wow. She found love. True love. Real whole love. No wonder this matters so much. No wonder my heart is still wide open. No wonder...because Love is bigger than all of us. And when Love Leads...we are all the better for it.

16. Look into each other's eyes. Often. This grounded me. Centered me. Softened me. Instantaneously. Bam. Try it!

17. Ask for help. People love to be included and contribute. It's a gift to them. I felt a little reluctance----making up a story that I wanted people to have the full experience of receiving. And yet, those who I invited in to help said they loved doing it. Being so close. Sharing their gifts. Come to think of it---so do I!

18. Don't fret over what you wear. Or if you do, give yourself permission to do something about it!  (Ha ha! Never saw this one coming. As someone who dons clothes effortlessly, creatively and with reckless abandon---who knew that MY dress would be the land of neurosis rising! Sheesh!)

19. The juice flows when it is real. And that is Divine. It was fun planning---OK, mostly fun! Yet, seeing our plans come to life in real time! Wow. Real people walking into the church, aglow. Beloveds gathering. Singing. Celebrating. Toasting. Dancing. Be-ing in the "magical" space with so much Joy. Really---joy everywhere. As I looked out---and even now as I remember, tears fill my eyes--there it was. Two beautiful human beings found love. We gathered to celebrate love. And it was contagious. 

And...as in my toast, ..."Here's to love...past, present and future!" And to love in your life. In all you do. In who you are. In everything. Every single 100% moment of your juicy life!

 

Tuesday
May292012

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!

As I approached the stall at the Boulder Farmer's Market----he looked up and exclaimed, "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"! Smiling...I knew. I knew what he meant. (If you haven't seen this film. Stop reading right here. See it. Then come back!)  Immediately. I grinned back! And we hugged, just like that! Of course! This is what happens to me all the time. He was referring to the life and color in me. Alive in me. Out in the world. In the red scarf in my hair. The smile on my face. Open, curious! The colors of green and red and white and brass and leather and pewter in my clothes. It WAS what I was wearing---and so much more! It was who I was being. Me. A radiant, ready adventurer. A life-lover. Ready for my next delicious experience. And there it was. There he was. There the delicious OMG succulent porketta was. Just waiting for us to buy and bite in. Oh----there, in the drips off our chin, the faint mushroom melded with full-bodied au jus. The rosemary infused pork embraced by incredible chewy, crusty but not too crusty, bun. 

I am 100% convinced, that when I show up, ready for THAT kind of experience---the world delivers. It's irrestistable---smile begets smile, joy begets joy, the love, the seeing, the delight,  the passion, the knowing, the availability of life and goodness and connection everywhere. Honestly, between everyone. All the time. 

And so----I was delighted---but not surprised. A fellow traveller. Adventurer. Juicy life lover. It was there splashed against the blue sky. There in the sparky eyes. There as we shared our mutual love of Italy. There in the seeing and naming and claiming and going-for-it living. There for Antonio. For me. For you. For all of us. All the time. Succulence. Juiciness. Surprise. Andiamo! (Let's go!!)

Saturday
May262012

Alive in Our Tracks

Life. Fragile. A gift. Precious. We all know it.  And yet---it's so easy to lapse into some kind of transient sleepwalking. The kind that tricks us into thinking we'll live on forever. Or at least to some ripeness stretching years into the very distant future. I do it. You do it. So easy. Oddly, so normal.

Yesterday, we ate dinner at Marigold's, our favorite restaurant in Colorado Springs (tho we hadn't been there for awhile since we've been intentionally cooking/eating in).  I highly recommend it. We asked if our favorite waitress was working. No not tonight, said the hostess. We enjoyed sharing our flatiron steak, garlicky Ceasar, grilled veggies. We ran into friends. Nice. Normal. 

And then, as we were leaving, the hostess stopped us...and took us privately into the foyer. And told us why our favorite waitress wasn't there (you know, the one who loves the Mississippi River like we do. The one we've shared books with. And pictures of our kids. And celebrated life moments. The one who has been there with us in OUR health and body rollercoastering of life). Her only daughter had been tragically killed in a car accident three days ago. This beloved restaurant family was reeling. And she wanted us, her customers to know.  

Stopped dead in our tracks.

This morning, as is a common practice of mine, I mentioned to someone my very own age that we won't live forever. That today could be our last day. It's a tremendously helpful perspective. Changes everything. This afternoon I drove to the memorial service for a dear friend's father. A few hours later, I mailed the sympathy card I'd written to our waitress and walked back to our house noticing the cool, crisp evening. Checking my email, there was a message, sent from the iphone of the same person I'd spoken to earlier. She said you know that thing I was saying about how today could be our last day? Well, she'd almost been killed in a car accident tonite. Had it not been for the fast braking of her husband, she would have been hit side-on.

Stopped dead in our tracks.   

What a wake-up call! There's no denying. I really am alive right now. So are you, if you are reading this. Everything really is possible. Suddenly I get it. I realize with a new fervor that I want to be alive in my tracks. Yes, alive and messing up. Alive and trying something new. Alive and grateful. Alive and curious. Alive and making a difference. Alive and risking my significance. Alive and I know it. I feel a surge of gratitude for these two beloved women, the messengers. Women who faced death. Women who brushed up next to death. Women who helped me see that I am...

Alive in my tracks.