Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Successful Life – Bouncing Back

Sometimes we try at something in life and it does not turn out the way we would like. The key to success is to bounce back even after feeling defeat. Those who make defeat just an opportunity to reassess and reorganize find themselves living a successful life.

In yoga that which is taken from us is replaced by something we need more. This sometimes can be hard to accept especially when what comes into our lives is not exactly what we want. But if we learn from it and seek out the lesson, life has a miraculous way of bouncing us back.

Recently a friend of mine had a terrible problem with her home. It was discovered that it had a sink hole underneath it. She was devastated, I told her that whatever was to come of it she would be alright and that this was a good thing leading to something better. They were able to sell the house to a sink hole company and ended up buying a new house in a new area which is far more suited to her taste.

I just completed a project that did not go as smoothly as I had wished. I felt a bit of defeat. The next morning I got up and bounced back after assessing the situation. I learned a lot and because of the failure realized I had a lot to learn if I was going to make a success of this project.

When you feel like you failed it is not failure but simply an opportunity to readjust your plan of action. There is something in your plan that needs to be addressed and if you are aware and open it will appear making room for a new approach to any situation that life hands you if you simply bounce back.

Doctor Lynn


Monday, November 29, 2010

A Successful Life –A Counter Balance

They say idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Time on your hands with nothing to do can lead to destructive behavior. That is why it is always good to be busy. Keeping active mentally and physically has always been a great antidote for some of life’s ills. When we keep busy and accomplish even the smallest of task there is a good feeling about accomplishing something of value.

When I’m busy I am the happiest. I look forward to time off. I appreciate the simple things like taking a few moments to drink a cup of hot tea on a cold morning, listening to music, visiting a friend or playing with my grandsons. It is precisely because I am so busy that I appreciate the time to relax.

A successful life balances productivity with time to relax and has an appreciation for both ends of the spectrum but strives to maintain a balance somewhere in-between.

Doctor Lynn


Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Successful Life a little turkey wisdom

I spoke with my daughter yesterday. She is young and struggling like most young parents to keep the bills paid, raise a child and work. It is such a difficult time in your life and yet it is the height of your energy and ability to maneuver through life. The energy and the strength exist but the years of experience make it seem like such a daunting task to be an adult. I remember those days all too well and although I assured her that she will get through it; the hard work of being young and raising a family is still very difficult. Thanksgiving rolls around so we take time to give thanks for what we have because what we have even with the struggles is not so bad. Things will get better. A little turkey wisdom.

Suddenly it seems you are free of the responsibility of children. Finances are better. The struggle to get ahead gives way to the satisfaction of a job well done. The middle years set in. The time in your life when you still have your health, you’re fit and able and money is available for travel and leisure. But still it was a long struggle to get here. You remember with no desire to return to those early years.

I would not go back and be thirty again. Forties’ are nice because you finally get a sense of yourself you have a little money behind you, the kids are older and you still look pretty good and have a lot of energy. Then you hit your fifties and to my surprise have a lot of energy and a very different outlook on life. And if you have taken care of yours elf over the decades – well you may not be a spring turkey but you can cook a juicy bird.

I was telling my next door neighbor about my trip to Africa. She is in her eighties, sharp and cute. Her husband is in his nineties, a very nice man but now requires around the clock care. She said to me – travel all you can and do everything you want because some day you won’t be able. She is wise. She always wanted to go on Safari and now regrets she didn’t when she was younger. We as humans have a habit of either spending beyond our means and getting into trouble or waiting until we can afford something and that time just never seems to come. A bit of wisdom tells you to do what you are capable of doing when you can. The key word is capability. Spend a little more for the turkey because it is the center of the dinner. Fid a recipe that works and stick with it. Don’t wait until u can afford a good bird but don’t break the bank on a dinner that is meant to be enjoyed.

My daughter is making Thanksgiving dinner. She has his relatives coming and although they mean well the food they bring is mostly blah. So I told her to make a cranberry relish (my special recipe) because it will add flavor and really works well with the turkey meat. It is tangy so it mixes well with blah vegetables and if it should happen can save a dry turkey. She thanked me for my Turkey wisdom.

I then reassured her that no matter how tough things can get something always comes along. Life can take you pretty far down a long dark road and just when you think you can’t make it something comes along to bring you back up. The secret is to ride each event with a sense of balance. But this comes from experience and experience is what brings us wisdom. And that comes with age. Never buy an old bird – they’re just too tough.

My best friend and I talked about wisdom the other day. She reminded me how she had said she was happy with the wisdom that had come with her age. She would not want to be young again But this day she changed her mind. Her back hurt and she could feel in body and mind the sixties just around the corner. Wisdom she told me is great but a strong tight little body sure sounded good today. She would love to be succulent, lean, spry and able to outrun the inevitable (turkey sacrifice) for another year. But then who would cook the turkey and pass down the special family recipes? The wise old bird.

Happy Turkey day. Here’s to wisdom!

Doctor Lynn


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Successful Life –Sharing with Friends

When you share something with a friend and it makes them happy it makes you feel good. You feel like a good deed has been done, especially when they benefit from it. When others benefit from your efforts put worth with a sincere desire to share; positive energy comes back to you three times over. The reverse is also true; do something evil and it will come back three times over.

Now my good deed was nothing miraculous but it did come back to me in a positive way. There is this little second hand shop that has the best stuff at ridiculously low prices. In hard economic times it sure is nice to find a place where you can shop and be happy with spending very little money. I have scored many times at this little shop. So I decided to share it with a few friends and they benefitted greatly. I too have benefited.

Mostly the benefit was helping my friends and seeing the delight in their eyes when they scored a great bargain at an affordable price. However I have also scored a few things.

Last week I found a 1950’s ceramic large ashtray with a lion artfully placed in the center. It had never been used. Now if you are my age you remember everyone had a large ashtray sitting in the middle of a coffee table in their home. In those days everyone smoked and every home had a large coffee table piece. This one was burnt orange, red and yellow. The lion is primitive and playful and the bowl is perfect for a fruit bowl. Yes I said fruit bowl! It has character and at the same time functionality.

So when I found it I had already spent too much money. I told myself if I went back in a couple of weeks and it was still there I would buy it. I went back yesterday and it was still there. It was still priced at $18.00 and of course I wanted to pay less. I asked and the woman in charge and she said she would give it to me for $15.00. And of course I bought it.

This morning it sits on my counter full of persimmons and bananas. It reminds me that one good deed deserves another. I need to email my friend who I took to the shop as I told her I would go back and if it was there I would buy it in a few weeks. It will make her laugh. She thanked me for introducing her to the shop and has been back since I took her that day.

My little lion ashtray also reminds me that I just got back from Africa where I was no more than ten feet away from a wild lion while on safari. Lions are beautiful and quite gentle when they are not hungry but like my little ashtray can be quite deadly if used ( provoked) for the wrong reason.

So when doing a good deed make sure it is a deed that will benefit all. Always do things for the good and you will be rewarded three times over. But don’t do it for the reward. Do it because the joy you bring to others is the reward in and of itself.

Doctor Lynn


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A successful Life – Survival of the Fittest

It’s the beginning of a new week after having surgery last week. I’ve recovered and am now ready to get back to work. It’s early in the morning and I’m about to leave and teach a cycle class.

Survival of the fittest is the story of evolution. When we think of evolution we think of Darwin but actually it was Herbert Spencer who coined the phrase. By 'fittest', of course, Spencer and Darwin didn't have in mind the commonly used meaning of the word now, i.e. the most highly trained and physically energetic. The 'fittest' referred to here are those animals which are the most suited to their environment, i.e. those which are best fitted to survive.

I’ve always bounced back faster than the doctor’s predicted. I am strong and seem to have a healthy immune system. My cancer surgery humbled me because for the first time in my life I could not bounce back. It was a long arduous process however I did go back to teaching long before I expected in part due to my good physical and mental shape prior to the surgery.

My environment like most modern humans is full of stress, anxiety and constant competition. Today’s environment demands that we are energetic and quick to change. Technology has made it so that change is happening at such a fast rate. Mental alertness and agility allow us to adapt. Mental agility and alertness are enhanced by a good diet and exercise. So I would argue that today the survival of the fittest is those who strive to stay in good mental and physical shape. The adaptation to any environment is so much smoother when you are healthy and strong.

My surgery last week was minor compared to my cancer surgery but still it took it’s toll on my body and my mind. It set me back a pace or two and gave me reason to pause. In the pausing phase I realize the fragility of my health and how we as humans take it for granted. It is only when our health is taken away from us that we truly take the time to appreciate.

My energy has not returned. I still need time to heal. I look forward to the day ( and I hope it will come soon) when I feel full of energy without any pain. There is nothing like a day when everything comes together and you feel at the top of your game. When those days come, appreciate them. Survival is found in appreciating the nature of life with a respect that strives to more than simply survive; it strives to truly live with passion and joy.

Doctor Lynn


Monday, November 22, 2010

A Successful Life to have someone love you and take care of you

I don’t always appreciate the things my husband does for me but he is always very caring and sweet when I am sick or injured. Yesterday I had mouth surgery. He was given the task of caring for me. Now we all know what it is like to be the care giver to someone who is under the weather or just had surgery. I do it for him and he does it for me. I’m lucky to have a person in my life that cares for me and I care for him.

Children are wonderful (most of the time) but children do not unless needed come around to take care of you. We understand that they are busy with lives of their own and families of their own to care for. It’s not until you get old and can’t care for yourself that they step up to the plate. But the day to day health occurrences of life are left mainly up to you and your mate.

There is a woman who lives in my building. She is about my age. She is a widow. I have never seen her with anyone significant ( meaning a lover or even a date). Her husband left her quite well off but she seems so lonely and sad. I wonder who takes care of her when she is sick, depressed or scared.

My husband and I share the burden of care giving with each other. We don’t always take the time to appreciate just how much we each do for the other but we do try very hard to acknowledge the caring and the love. Life has funny little gifts that cannot be bought with money. Someone who truly loves you and takes care of you is a wonderful gift and a real sign of a successful life. It does not need to be a lover, husband or significant other. It can be a friend, a relative or a child. Next time someone cares for you show a little appreciation and you will experience a moment in a successful life.

Doctor Lynn


Friday, November 19, 2010

A Successful – a little dried elephant dung to ease the pain

Yesterday I had mouth surgery. Everyone I told about the procedure recoiled. Seems that the consensus is that any surgery to mouth is pretty “awful” for most people. Now surgery is not fun but when it comes to the mouth most of us hate the dentist and really hate the thought of dental surgery even more. The only consolation is they put you out and give you “good” drugs to get through the healing.

I wish I had a little dried elephant dung. What? Elephant dung? When I was in Africa we had a guide that was from one of the local tribes. He would take us on bush walks teaching us about the plants, birds and medicinal plants that could be found in the wild.

We came upon a pile dried of elephant dung which is quite prolific in the wilds of Africa. (lots of elephant) He gave it a swift kick and told us that when he was a child he and the other children in the village would use dried elephant dung as a football or soccer ball, as we know it.

He went on to tell us that an elephant eats most of the herbs, barks and plants that the medicine man or woman from the villages use to treat a myriad of things. It is great for treating a headache, sinus problems and toothaches. We looked at him with curious caution.

He explained that if you take the dry dung and burn it you can inhale the smoke up through your nose and it will hit the back of your head and cure a headache, clean the sinus and dull pain. One good snort and the pain will be gone. Now none of us (which included a German medical doctor) had a headache, sinus problems or a toothache but for the sake of the experience we agreed to take the dried dung back the camp and have a whiff.

Once back at the camp our guide broke open the dung which really resembled a small bundle of dried twigs and plants. It was the consistency of a small bundle of dried hay. He lit it on fire and then blew out the flames so that a smoldering funnel of sweet smelling smoke drifted out through the center. He handed it to us one by one as we deeply inhaled the smoke up through our noses. He was right. The smoke wet straight into the back of my skull with a thug and I am sure if I had a headache or any othr kind of pain it would be gone.

As I sit here after my surgery I wonder what would happen if I had a little dried elephant dung to take the edge off this jaw ache that I now have from the surgery. I told this story to my cycle classes. In one class a nondescript woman in the back yelled out, “Sounds like Lynn has been smoking some good shit!” We all laughed. To ease our pain should it be drugs or dried elephant dung? I wonder? Wish I had some dried elephant dung to give it a try.

Doctor Lynn


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Successful Life – Solving a Problem

When faced with a problem to solve there is no better feeling than successfully solving it. It has been said that there are only two creative things we humans do; make decisions and solve problems. Take away the need to make decisions and solve problems and what would we do with our time?

The first stage in problem solving is identifying the problem. In my case it was how to streamline music over the internet and at the same time be able to hear it. Now that may sound simple but it involves a lot of wiring and careful thoughts. We had to break the problem down into smaller parts. The first part was how to stream music live from my computer to other people’s computers via a host site. I won’t bore you with the details but with a little thought and for about $2.00 we solved the problem with a “Y” jack. But then we were faced with the problem of me hearing the music. You see I could transmit but could not hear.

Now for some reason I wondered if my IPOD in my Boise hooked into the computer would both let me stream and hear at the same time. Again with the help of a wire and a jack we were able to solve the problem. Eureka! It worked! What a great feeling to solve the problem and now be able to make my new project work.

This was a relatively easy problem to solve when you step back and look at the big scheme of things in life. However there is a fundamental process to solving problems. Most problems are not solved in isolation. They involve other people. In my case it was the host company which was only too happy to help me solve this problem because they could not solve it so if we could work cooperatively to solve it we would both win. A mutual goal between two or more parties makes for easier problem solving. So a mutual concern and desire to solve a problem is essential.

When attempting to solve a problem never assume that others share your mutual concerns. If you do; you may be setting yourself up for failure. Brainstorming before attempting to solve a problem will let you know if you are on the same page. Before we attempted to solve my transmitting problem we had a phone brainstorming session. I agreed to get all the equipment together and be ready to transmit at a specific time. We had an alternative plan should the first one not work. But it was the prior brainstorming that let everyone know the possibilities and what everyone needed to do to make this work.

Problems to solve are fundamental to life. The ability to successfully solve a problem involves many facets. First and foremost you cannot solve a problem until you can define it. Second you must be sure that if others are involved that mutual concerns and desires exist. Do not believe that you can solve a problem in isolation. Brainstorm and listen to what others have to contribute. When we work together towards the solution of a mutually shared problem or goal there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

Problem solved;check it out at http://www.doctorlynn.com go to my website and click the Physiic button and take my new class Doctor Lynn’s X-ercise for a Sexy Body Mind and experience the solution to my problem.

Doctor Lynn


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A successful Life – to remain calm when perturbed

The very definition of being perturbed is to be bothered, upset and thrown into confusion. We all get perturbed with a variety of situation. Some appear valid and some seem to come from nowhere. To be perturbed cause perturbation or the disturbance of motion, equilibrium or orbit or an object such as a celestial body. In yoga we would call this losing your balance.

One of the main aims of yoga is to reach a place of total equilibrium or balance where even the smallest of things cease to disturb our sense of total balance. We become unperturbed by events in our life. We observe them without letting the emotional energy carry us into a whirling turmoil of anger and confusion. But this takes work and does not come easy.

This perhaps is the greatest challenge in life; to reach a place of total balance where nothing disturbs the body, the mind and the soul. That is why the fundamental process of yoga is to find and maintain balance. We obtain this by lifting our thoughts and feeling to a higher state of consciousness.

Most of us deal with life from the level of the ego. The ego is where balance and reality get distorted. This is because the ego is the false sense of self. It is unreal from the standpoint that perceptions are transitory and subject to change. The ego is how you see yourself and is based upon your experiences and judgment.

The ego is not a negative “thing”. It is necessary for evolution and enlightenment. The problem is in believing that the ego is the final reality. When we get caught up in the ego we stop at this point and no longer evolve. The technical term for this is ignorance. We stop reaching beyond the reality of the ego towards something deeper.

To be unperturbed by a situation takes stepping back from the ego which always seeks to be right and calmly evaluating the situation for what it really is…nothing more than an opportunity to learn, to observe and to grow.

When life is seen not as a challenge to the ego but rather as a way to bring about balance the ego steps aside and conscious awareness allows for a deeper and more insightful view of the world. Let the ego get in the way and stress, anger, anxiety and perturbation will ensue.

In the psychical world, maintaining constant balance is impossible. That is because everything in the physical world is constantly changing. Everything is transitory. Only the spiritual essence of life is permanent. And it is the very connection to this spiritual essence that constantly brings balance to a transitory world.

Be mindful of what is happening in your inner universe. Is it the ego or the spirit directing your energy? To remain calm when something perturbing happens in your life, let your spirit be your guide.

Doctor Lynn


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Successful Life – Appreciating the morning

I woke up early today to teach my 7AM cycle class. Monday morning and getting up early can seem like such drudgery. The alarm goes off and it is the beginning of a new week. Who wants to get up and go to work? I ask myself why I am teaching this early morning class.

I stumble out o bed and make a cup of tea. The tea is warm and wakes me up. As I’m drinking my tea I notice the sun beginning to rise. It’s quiet and the early morning sun plays softly and beautifully like a stream of golden light gently waking the world. Shadows begin to disappear. Lights fade out and the sounds of the morning gives rise to a new day.

The morning has its own sounds and its own light. Most days we rush past it. But occasionally we stop and connect totally with the waking day. There is a peacefulness that permeates everything as the sun begins to rise. It’s the same at sunset accept with the sunrise there is a slow and deliberate awakening. Sunset brings the opposite effect. Energy builds as we prepare for the day.

It is cold and quiet as I leave my home and make my way to gym. The parking lot is not full. There are plenty of parking spaces. The gym is quiet. Even those working out are almost still asleep. Quietly waking up as they push their bodies to perform.

Monday morning cycle class is always quiet. It is my job to wake everyone up and make sure they get a good workout to start their day and to start their week. So I start off gentle and build to a full all out energetic fully awake conclusion to the class.

I pack up and leave. No one lingers to talk as most people are on their way to work. As I navigate my way through the gym and towards to front desk to clock out I notice the level of energy has increased. The gym is full. The parking lot is full. The day is in full swing.

I feel good and am so happy I teach this early morning class. It gives me the opportunity to appreciate the sights, sounds and feel of sunrise on just an ordinary Monday morning. It was a nice to take an ordinary day and appreciate it. Far too much time is spent complaining and rushing about. Every moment brings an opportunity to experience something so simple and yet so fundamental to our lives as the sun rising in the morning and the world awaking to just another ordinary day.

Doctor Lynn


Monday, November 15, 2010

A Successful Life – To teach and get a thank you

I’ve been teaching fitness classes for longer than I like to admit. Admitting the length of time will surely give away my age. I’ve done it over the years because it is something I love to do. My students tell me that it shows.

I’ve gotten many thanks over the years. I am constantly told from someone new to my class that they have taken plenty of classes and mine is the best. They make a point to tell me that they loved the class.

Now I am not so naïve and full of myself to believe that other instructors do not get the same comments. Teaching styles and music are very subjective. Anyone who has taught for any length of time has gotten the same comment from someone. But still it makes me feel good.

My regular students thank me on a regular basis. They continue to come to class because they like my style and my dedication. Over the years we’ve become friends even though we only see each other for short burst of time.

New people constantly come into a class. Some stay and some are never to be seen again. I’ve been teaching so long that there are hundreds of people that once were my students only to have moved onto other towns, other gyms and other lives. I can see some of their faces but probably don’t know their names.

The class structure changes and along with it the personality of the class changes. I adjust to the structure and welcome the change. I’ve matured along with my class.

The thank you(s) and the comments are what keep us motivated. I suppose this is true for most all of life. It is the little things that give us such a lift and make it all worthwhile. A smile, a laugh and a hug feel so much better than a pay check and yet the paycheck is what we need to keep our lives on track. We do forget sometimes in the scramble for money how little satisfaction it gives us. Money gives us more options and more options do give us a bit more freedom and it does make life easier but it doesn’t give us the same satisfaction as a thank you and an acknowledgment of our work.

Some days I wonder if I’ll ever stop teaching. Then I think of an instructor I know who is 80 and still teaching. She may be only doing a stretch class from which she mostly directs without participation but she is still teaching and has a following.

As I age I feel the difference in the movement of my body and I must admit I have my aches and pains but the love of teaching keeps me constantly seeking new poses, new music and new ways to express and motivate in a way that has always brought health and fitness to my students.

I can’t think of anything more rewarding than spending an hour making people feel better, look better and get healthier in body, mind and soul. And the thank you(s) are the added benefit that make it all worthwhile and make for a successful life.

Doctor Lynn


Friday, November 12, 2010

A Successful Life – Being annoyed and not getting mad

There is something that has annoyed me. It is something that has bothered me for a long time. It keeps resurfacing from time to time. It is something that someone close to me does that upsets me. It used to make me mad. I would lose sleep and be frustrated for days. Now I am learning to accept it for what it is and move on. I no longer linger in anger and frustration.

It takes conscious effort to experience an annoying situation, know there is nothing you can do about it and without nay resentment or anger simply release it and move on to a better place. But how do you do that? You must let go of everything but what you need to work on within yourself to bring peace and harmony to your life.

What does it take? It takes patients and acceptance. Patience has been defined as: the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.

Acceptance has been defined as: Acceptance is when a person agrees to experience a situation, to follow a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.

So I need to not get irritated when something annoys me and then I must be willing to experience it without trying to change it, protest against it or exit the situation. That’s a tall order!

The real enlightenment is that I am the one who needs to focus on doing the work. I cannot ask another person to change or even to look at their shortcomings. I can only look at mine and then decide if I am willing and able to undertake the work to if not completely change at least learn how to control and temper my own shortcomings. It takes maturity to face yourself and face that you are partly at fault. As well as something may effect you in a negative way it is your inability to deal with it effectively that cause you discourse.

The wonderful thing about practicing yoga is that it constantly brings you up against uncomfortable situations. It brings into being conscious awareness of yourself and your relationship to the world. Yoga presents a basic understanding; that which is taken from you or not present in your life and is replaced by something else is exactly what you need in your life to bring about self awareness and wisdom. The problem is we resist that which makes us uncomfortable and that which we distain. And isn’t that exactly what we need to confront in order to bring patience and acceptance into our lives?

Although it is difficult to accept an annoyance in my life and truly a struggle to not let it become a major factor it has opened my eyes. Life is full of annoyances and sometimes people annoy us in ways that make it difficult to relate. But what if that person doesn’t mean to be annoying but just can’t help it. It’s part of their nature and we have invited them into our life.

I look at the annoying factors and then with patience and understanding I can look at the other side which is the side that is warm, loving and giving. Accepting the annoyances without irritation brings balance and harmony to the situation. And isn’t that the chief aim of a successful life….balance and harmony even when faced with annoyance.

Doctor Lynn


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Successful Life - A day to myself

Today I have no deadlines to meet, no classes to teach and no commitments. I can work at my own pace and in my own time without answering to anybody. I can be as creative as I like. I can do nothing if I like. It is a pleasure and a gift to have a day to yourself with nothing to do but whatever you choose to do. Will I work? Yes I will because there are things I want to get done and I am not a person to sit ideally.

Sometimes you have to work awfully hard to get a day to yourself. They don’t come easy when you have a family, a job and commitments. But I am lucky today because my time is my own. I’m writing this blog because I want to write it and not because I feel the need to do it.

Lately I’ve met a few people who are having a hard time finding the time to take care of themselves. There is a guilt factor that sets in when we have others dependent upon us. This is especially true for women. We are the care givers constantly meeting the demands of our families. Add to that that many of us are working and there is little time to call our own.

I do have friends who don’t work. Their children are grown and they have financial security. Their days are filled with task that are only stressful when they self impose deadlines upon themselves.

I don’t need to work. That is a strange and awkward statement for me to make. My whole life I have been under the pressure to work and at this point in my life I am in a position of financial security and yet I still feel the need to be productive. I still need to feel a sense of accomplishment each day. I teach exercise classes for very little money but it gives me a sense of purpose and a fulfillment. I write my blog because I like doing it and I am promoting my new book and exercise DVD because it is a project that I want to see to completion. Whether I make money or not is irrelevant. It’s more about the fulfillment. What a nice place to be in life.

I have seen so many people in such tragic and hardship situation. Makes you wonder about life. It seems so unfair. Some people get lucky and some people struggle forever. In the end we all end up in the same place with nothing of significance to take with us.

I have a lot of self imposed tasks to do today and I will make it a productive day even if nothing really has to get done. I will feel a sense of accomplishment simply based upon myself imposed discipline and my enjoyment of accomplishing things at my own pace and in my own time.

I will enjoy the day to myself to do as I please. To appreciate the gift of a simple day with no deadlines is a mark of a successful life. Enjoying a simple day as just a day filled with simple things and wandering time is a wonderful gift.

Doctor Lynn


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Successful Life – Back from Vacation

Today I officially came back from vacation. It’s Monday morning and the start of a full week or work. My Monday’s begin at 7AM teaching a cycle class. Sometimes it is hard to get up at 6AM and get inspired to teach so early. Today I returned to teach after being away on vacation for two weeks.

The class was happy to see me and anxious to hear my stories from South Africa. They let me know that they missed my class and thanked me for coming back to teach. They appreciate the time and effort I put into my classes even though there is very little monetary return. I don’t do it for the money. I teach because I love doing it and because it is something I can do to make others feel good and fosters good health. There are very few things in the world we can do to make others feel good and stay healthy. Teaching an exercise class is one of those things. It about giving without your eye on the dollar.

It only takes a few minutes into a class and I lose any resistance. I suddenly lose track of time and find myself absorbed into the moment. And of course that is the main goal of teaching…to help the students absorb the moment and all that it is possible to gain from the experience.

My work is to help others let go of the stress of their work and take a little time to take care of their health. Sometimes there are those who refused to give in. They cycle all the while texting or chatting. I don’t take it personally because the majority of the class is focused and working hard.

I finished the class and realized I am now officially back in the swing of things. I’m on schedule and back to work as if I never left for vacation. The transition is an interesting process as we slip back into our routines and the memory of the vacation begins to fade only to be relive through pictures and the occasional conversation that asks for insight into our personal escapes.

Vacations take us away from our everyday routines and if we are lucky we successfully let go of all our worries and stress and engulf ourselves in the new environment and the new experiences. It refreshes us. A change is perspective is always good. Especially when we get stuck in a rut and the routine of our daily lives becomes dull and empty.

I did not want to return from my trip to Africa. I did not long for my routine which I have done before at the end of a vacation. I could have extended it for a few days more. I did not miss my home or my things. Most times by the end of a vacation I’m ready to come back home. This time it was different. I’m not sure why accept that I felt so relaxed and peaceful in a world that was so primitive and natural. I was in a world of basic natural survival. Life was simple. Eat and try not to get eaten.

After my class today a new student came up to me and thanked me for the class. She said she had taken many cycle classes and mine was the best. She loved the music and my energy. She never once looked at the clock. I kept her motivated. I felt appreciated. The welcome back was warm and sincere. I felt inspired to keep up the work. And although I still miss the simple pure elements of the African wilds I am thankful for a place to call home and for all the wonderful people that enrich my life.

A vacation helps us to regroup. It also helps us appreciate. I keep thinking of the woman in the little village I visited, scrubbing her clothes in a small tin pan with water she had lugged on her head from the community well near her mud hut. She worked away so peacefully taking pride in her work. I believe she received some kind of a sense of accomplishment. It cannot be measured in dollars but only in the sense of fulfillment that you get from a job well done no matter what the nature of that job. I’m glad to be home.

Doctor Lynn http://www.doctorlynn.com/

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A successful Life -discovering something new

Before I left for Africa I had a few white South African wines that I really liked. There are a few restaurants in Los Angles that carry South African wines on the menu. I had never had a red African wine and guessed they probably weren’t very good. Nobody I knew had any exposure to the reds.

Now my trip to South Africa was not about the wine. It was about the safari, the culture and the cuisine. The wine was an afterthought. In fact we opted to not go to the wine country and instead take the time to explore the Cape of Good Hope.

When we arrived at our first destination in Cape Town; a lovely bed and breakfast our host told me that in a short time we would be having sundowners. I quickly asked what was a sundowner? She told me it was a South African phrase for a drink to be shared with others as the sun was setting.

She served wine, beer and small appetizers. I had the white wine which was very good as I had always experienced South African white to be. With the other guest I had my first sundowner.

That night we went to dinner at a restaurant that served South African beef grown locally and grass fed. The owner of the restaurant had a large farm where they grew the vegetables and the beef. The waitress suggested a red wine with the meal. She suggested a Pinotage a South African red. To my surprise the meat was not very good as it was over cooked and a bit tough. The salad and vegetables were fresh but not any better than anything I’d had in the states. But the wine was unique and very good.

The next night simply by happenstance we found a local restaurant just around the corner from our bed and breakfast. It was the kind of place where the locals would go for sundowners and for good local food. It was not a tourist spot. We had met a waitress at lunch time who told us about this place called the Bombay Bicycle Shop. It sounded Indian but it was not. It was totally local cuisine.

We made a reservation as it is very small with a constant waiting line. We melted in with the locals and enjoyed our first game meal of Springbok shank, South African cheese and for dessert malva which is a pudding we get in Los Angles at a restaurant owned by a South African couple. Malva means mother pudding and everyone makes it different. It was very good but surprisingly not as good as the chef in Los Angeles. Hedley’s, a little restaurant in Los Angeles is the best malva and the food although not South African is also very good.

We wanted to have some red wine with dinner. The waitress suggested Pinotage. We ordered it and I was hooked!

Throughout the rest of the trip we ate local game each time enjoying a glass of Pinotage. On the occasion when I would revert back to a white wine I would regret that my meal did not call for red. I did not expect to return from South Africa with a love for Pinotage. In fact I didn’t even know what Pinotage was until I went to Africa.

Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and the more obscure Rhone varietal, Cinsault, born in South Africa (There the latter grape was called “Hermitage,” giving the new grape the second half of its name). Pinot Noir is renowned for its aromas and flavors, but can be difficult to grow, whereas Cinsault yields an abundant crop and is cheerfully resistant to disease. Both could learn something from the other.

Like all of Africa there is a volatile nature to the wine making and the status. Africa is a country with a deep heritage that at times is not very pretty. And yet there is a simple warmth that permeates the landscape. Pinotage is an earthly blend without the sophistication of European or American wines and yet has a uniqueness that give it soul. I never expected to find a red wine in Africa let alone something so local and unique. That’s truly a successful moment in life when you discover something new that never existed in your world before and it truly leaves an indelible image and taste that lingers long after the last drop is drank.

Doctor Lynn


Monday, November 08, 2010

A successful Life - Back to Work

Today I began my reentry back into the workplace. The vacation is officially over. Memories and a few souvenirs are all that is left. I’m finding it hard to settle down and get back into the swing of things. Partly because I’m still quite jetlagged and partly because I am resisting letting of the total escape from the world I just experienced. Two weeks without a paper, a television or the internet. The world disappeared and all that lay before me each day was the excitement of the safari and the adventure of experiencing the lost art of being one with the environment.

I’m back to work and although I am moving slowly I’ve had two meetings, answered two emails about being published in magazines, taught my two classes, written my blog, paid my bills and organized my work for the week ahead.

We all dread coming back to work after having a vacation that allows us to escape from the pressure and the stress. But what if we can’t ever escape? What if our lives are one continuous work in process of survival? That is what it is like in a third world country where the people work to exist.

I gave myself a full day to recover from my jetlag, resting within the confines of my luxury home. Just two days ago I visited an African village where the women cooked on an open fire and carried water from a hand pumped well to their mud huts where they lived alongside the chickens and the pigs. Each day they worked to exist, patching their mud huts, carrying water and cooking what food could be had from the chickens, goats and gardens.

I work to fill time and to feel a sense of accomplishment. I push myself, working hard and then tell myself I need a break. I take a vacation.

The women of the village work hard all day. At the end of the day they take a break. They take a few moments to sing and give thanks for another day.

Successfully back to work is relative.

Doctor Lynn


Friday, November 05, 2010

Successfully Back to Work

Today I began my reentry back into the workplace. The vacation is officially over. Memories and a few souvenirs are all that is left. I’m finding it hard to settle down and get back into the swing of things. Partly because I’m still quite jetlagged and partly because I am resisting letting of the total escape from the world I just experienced. Two weeks without a paper, a television or the internet. The world disappeared and all that lay before me each day was the excitement of the safari and the adventure of experiencing the lost art of being one with the environment.

I’m back to work and although I am moving slowly I’ve had two meetings, answered two emails about being published in magazines, taught my two classes, written my blog, paid my bills and organized my work for the week ahead.

We all dread coming back to work after having a vacation that allows us to escape from the pressure and the stress. But what if we can’t ever escape? What if our lives are one continuous work in process of survival? That is what it is like in a third world country where the people work to exist.

I gave myself a full day to recover from my jetlag, resting within the confines of my luxury home. Just two days ago I visited an African village where the women cooked on an open fire and carried water from a hand pumped well to their mud huts where they lived alongside the chickens and the pigs. Each day they worked to exist, patching their mud huts, carrying water and cooking what food could be had from the chickens, goats and gardens.

I work to fill time and to feel a sense of accomplishment. I push myself, working hard and then tell myself I need a break. I take a vacation.

The women of the village work hard all day. At the end of the day they take a break. They take a few moments to sing and give thanks for another day.

Successfully back to work is relative.

Doctor Lynn


Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Successful Trip to Africa

I’m back from Africa. The safari was amazing and the hunt for the big five was beyond successful. I saw more animals than expected and developed a love for Africa’s wildlife. I saw animals I never knew existed and found myself absorbed into the culture, nature and the environment.

There is something very exhilarating about sitting in a safari jeep ten feet away from a lion, a leopard, a cheetah and a rhino. There is something even more exhilarating about being in a jeep sitting in the middle of a herd of elephants, watching the beast stare you in the eye. But the most memorial experience for me was the day we saw a kudu ( which is like a very large deer) about ten feet away staring straight into my eyes with its head raised and it’s magnificent spiral rack of about four feet lifted high.

Yes seeing the big five was exciting but it was the unexpected animals, birds and plant life as well as the experience of being in the culture with the African people that made the trip so special. Africa is a beautiful country full of wildness but also a place of poverty and crime. It is an unstable world where many people starve and children go without shoes, food and proper healthy care.

The last day of our trip we went to a cultural village where the people actually live in mud huts without running water or electricity. The huts where made of a stick structure with mud layered to the outside and a grass thatched roof. There was one main house about the size of an American bathroom and then two small closet size stick structures for cooking over an open wood fire and one for a toilet. Chickens and pigs lived side by side with the natives. They had a community well where the women would go and hand pump water to carry back to their huts. There was no running water and no electricity.

Although it seemed so primitive and you could say the people were poor, they all seemed quite happy and relaxed. It was a way of life so far away from the modern world and yet so peaceful and happy. Makes you wonder just what makes for a successful life?

I was promised the big five and I did see the big five but I also saw so much more and that is what made my trip to Africa a success.

Doctor Lynn