Friday, December 31, 2010

A Successful life a New Focus

As I look ahead to the New Year I can’t help but setting new goals for myself. Can I see these through to the end or will I simply make a few resolutions and quickly forget? Will they lose their importance? Will I have the self discipline needed to stay focused?

This year I am going to take French lessons. I’ve always wanted to learn to speak French. We’re going to France in late May of 2011 and I would like to be able to practice a newly learned art of communication.

Now it’s been something I’ve been thinking about doing for a few years and never got around to it. Then about two days ago I saw an ad in the paper for French lessons. Two nights later I found the flyer for the language school in a local restaurant. The price is right, the time is right so I think I’m going to do it.

I’ve always wanted to live in France for a short while as I would love to absorb the culture in a way that can only be done by living in a place. I did that here in Los Angeles when I moved from Maine to LA!

Yesterday as I was driving down Wilshire Blvd and then onto the freeway, I realized how easily I moved about the city. I have become absorbed into the Southern California culture. When I first moved here it was all so over whelming. I would get exhausted and over stressed from the noise, activity and traffic. Now all those things are simply annoyances that most days I simply accept as part of my life.

8 weeks for 80 minutes a week at $225.00 to learn to speak beginning French. It’s a commitment that sounds like fun. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for years. Perhaps it’s time to stop thinking about it and just do it. That’s how goals get met and success is found.

Looking back over the year – I spent quality time with my family, no one was sick or injured, I went on Safari in Africa, my marriage got stronger, I finished and published my book, I got a new porche, my friendships endured, I saved a little money, I passed the two year remission mark for cancer, and I really appreciated every day - for if you have your health – you have it all. Not a bad year!

Doctor Lynn

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Successful Life Things Don’t Add Up

The party was a bore. It was very small and mostly comprised of the new girlfriend’s friends. No ex’s and very controlled. She seemed to be in charge which seemed strange but at least there wasn’t a parade of people all connected through romance gone stale.

My intuition and observation told me that things did not add up. The connection was not clear. The host was from another time and place while the girlfriend and her friends were from a much younger era and clearly not in the same league as the host. Things just didn’t add up. Rock and roll early fifty meets artsy seventy-five? But that was just my observation. I’ll reserve judgment and watch quietly as the story unfolds.

Today it is raining and I don’t even want to go out. I would love to stay home all day nestles in my warm cozy robe and do nothing but read and sleep. But that would be lazy of me. Things don’t add up. It’s not like me to be lazy. Usually I’m up and moving even when I’m not feeling good. But then I realize I’m not feeling good and that’s exactly why my energy is low – so things do add up.

Some times in life things don’t add up. 2 + 3 don’t equal 4! And 2+2 cannot be found. Have you ever been in a situation where things didn’t make sense? Or was it your own perception that clouded the view? Most times if you examine the situation things become perfectly clear. But when you get that odd feeling that things aren’t as they are made out to be – it’s a good idea to listen with your eyes, your ears and your perception.

Your intuition is a good guide if you don’t let judgment and critical thinking get in the way. Last night I observed quietly the nuances of the situation. I left with a haunting perspective that only time will tell if my intuition is right. Either way – the party was a bore and adding things up is not something I think I will focus on today. Today I’ll focus on feeling better. May-be I’ll just stay inside on a rainy day and be grateful that I don’t need to venture out into the world today. I’ll just get up- get dressed and make the most of the day. That way things will add up just like 2+2 = 4!

Doctor Lynn

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Successful Life Dreading a Party

Tonight we are going to a party. I am dreading it because the last time I went to a party at this person’s house the scene was uncomfortable. It was birthday/house warming party. He was also introducing us to the new girl he was dating. When we arrived not only did we meet the new girlfriend but we also met about 6 of his past girlfriends and his ex-wife. The party was more about his conquest than about his birthday or may-be that was the point – he was getting older and wanted to reassure himself he was a virile man.

The woman he was dating seemed very perplexed. The ex-wife got drunk. The other women paraded around with new boyfriends. It all seemed quite bizarre. I’m not looking forward to a reenactment. The woman he was dating has long since disappeared. There have been several others since her but none have lasted.

So why am I dreading this party? It’s an opportunity to watch people on parade. I think it is because he likes to brag about his conquest. I find it distasteful to hear about women referred to as anatomy and notches on his belt. But that is my problem. I am being judgmental where observation would be a better approach.

To observe without judgment is a very difficult task. We all like to add our own point of view. In yoga we use the witnessing consciousness to step back from a situation and learn to observe without judgment. The need to judge is removed for often times our judgments are wrong. Everything we ob serve is simply an opportunity to learn. There is no wrong or right but simply a choice to make.

It is best if I reserve my judgment and approach this whole event as simply an opportunity to observe. It is not up to me to past judgment. Life becomes what life does and the actions one takes creates the direction of one’s life. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another person. It is up to each of us through careful observation to decide what is right for us and not to judge others for the directions they have taken.

I am still dreading the party. I don’t enjoy parties where women are pitted against each other like objects or trophies that have been won. But that is my issue. These women either knowingly or unknowingly participated or perhaps they were manipulated into believing that they were being invited to be someone special again. Whatever the cause I’ll try to observe and rise above the need to judge.

Doctor Lynn

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Successful Life – Bad Habits

Just what is a bad habit? Isn’t a bad habit a subjective thing? May-be we could define it as something that does more harm than good to your life. There are lots of psychological explanations for why we develop bad habits. Basically psychology tells us we are trying to fill a void. Something is missing so we fill it with destructive habits. Yoga defines this as greed.

Psychology would have us look at the habit and how it affects our life. Then we would look at how eliminating this habit from our life would make our life better. We should work to replace one bad habit with a good habit. Of course a good psychologist would work to have us get at the base of our unhappiness and why we feel compelled to act out in a way that is destructive. Yoga would approach this task a bit differently. It would ask us to take a vow between you and you. Only you can decide that a habit must be changed. The idea is to achieve a state of happiness and peace of mind. This can only be done by inner refection or gathering the life force. The life force is an undisturbed mind.

To practice a vow from a state of an undisturbed mind is to achieve peace of mind. Peace of mind can only be found when we move beyond the conscious thought and into the realm of the unconscious. It works like this – if you take a vow to not eat candy anymore and then you spend the rest of the time craving and thinking about the candy the mind is disturbed. It is far better to “moderate.” Allow yourself to eat one piece of candy and not the whole bag. Unscatter the mind by approaching all things with moderation and when you cannot fully keep your vow do not get disturbed. Work to reach the subconscious mind. This is the place of pace and serenity. Seek out wise ways to quiet the mind so that the subconscious mind – the mind beyond thought is at peace. Peaceful souls naturally act in peaceful ways because from the subconscious mind all energy negative and positive springs forth.

The practice of yoga is far more than the poses and postures. It is about taking the conscious mind into the subconscious realm and reorganizing it to produce genuine happiness and gentleness. A habit cannot be changed on any level until we recognize that it is peace of mind that insures balance and it is balance that makes all things joyful.

Psychology teaches us to choose between the action that makes us feel good about ourselves and the one that makes us feel bad. Yoga teaches us to simply be at peace with ourselves. Being a t peace erases the need to choose between good and bad because ultimately there is no good or bad – it’s subjective. A quiet mind and a steady being at the heart of the soul brings a life of peace and a life of peace lives freely without the constraints of the so called bad habits.

Doctor Lynn

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Successful Life Surviving Family Drama

There is always some kind of family drama in every family. It’s the stuff that bonds us and tears us apart. Sometimes we console and reconnect in a warm and intimate way through problems. It gives us the connection.

Every holiday brings some kind of drama to everyone’s life. What was yours? Mine was a situation I have been sworn to secrecy not to tell but gave me an opportunity to be a friend and a confidant as well as a mother to my son and my daughter. This is something we haven’t done in years. I have full confidence that only the best will come from all of this drama…that now exist in my world.

Why do we have such a love /hate relationship with emotions and drama? Without a little we do get bored. Nothing we love anymore than a little family gossip to keep things interesting. Family gatherings give us a chance to share memories and to gather new material and information. We reconnect through blood ties with people we hardly ever see but still somehow have such meaning in our lives.

Of course the best kind of drama is when we can step back with a smile and take it all in stride. Who cares if the dinner was a little over done, someone is always late for the party and plans need to be adjusted or changed. It’s our ability to be flexible and roll with the “snowballs” that make the difference between a family gathering that is enjoyed for all its idiosyncrasies and an event that is full of rigid frustration.

Soon the festivities are over for another year. The drama loses its grip and we all move on. It’s a time of patience and a time to remember that the true meaning of family gatherings is the bond and the love we share and not the drama of the moment.

Doctor Lynn

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Successful Life Merry Christmas with a Birthday Twist

It’s that time of year for celebration, family, friends and good cheer. Another year has passed us by. It is a time to reflect and a time to set new goals. For me it’s another year older as I approach my birthday which happens to be December 23rd.

Now I know for most people the older you get the harder the birthdays come…but to have your birthday in the middle of the Holiday season adds a twist to all the nostalgia. Anyone who shares this birthday time with me knows what I mean.

There is so much hustle and bustle about that your birthday can slip through the cracks unnoticed due to all the holiday parties that somehow take presentence over your birthday. There are presents to buy and holiday treats to bake. Who wants to stop and by a birthday card, a present and bake a birthday cake in the middle of all the celebrating?

When you were young you got the same toys for your birthday that you got for Christmas. Other children who had birthdays in the spring or the summer got new bikes. You got skates and a sled…just like all the other children got at Christmas time.

As we get older some birthdays hit us harder than others. Thirty hit me hard and I must say the transition to forty-five was a bit of a wakeup call. Forty-five just seemed like an adult. But up until now I’ve just rolled with the years. I won’t share with you how old I’m about to be…that would be ungracious of me but let’s just say it’s giving me time to pause. The years roll by so very fast. I realize that now is the time to do the things that I want to do and now is the time to enjoy my present state of being because I will never be any younger than I am now. Now is the time to enjoy a fading decade.

This year on my birthday I orchestrated a birthday party for me in Maine. My immediate close family will be there to celebrate. It will be a festive and joyous time for our family. A quiet dinner with my parents, two children, daughter in law, two grandsons, my brother and my husband – my family.

I haven’t been home to Maine or had my whole family together to celebrate my birthday and Christmas in twenty years. Next year when I reflect back I’ll be very glad I was born two days before Christmas so I could orchestrate a family party just before Christmas when the chaos of gifts opening, last minute parties and holiday feasting sometimes overshadow a special family gathering that is all about sharing a birthday cake with the one’s you love.

Another year and another reminder to live and enjoy NOW! Happy holidays.

Doctor Lynn

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Successful life Cheesecake Indulgence

Last night I shared a piece of rich and creamy New York Cheesecake with my husband. It was real New York Cheesecake; the kind I remember from living on the East Coast. It was delicious. It was a self indulgence of calories that once eaten made me realize that although it was delicious if I continued to eat more cheesecake it would leave an indelible mark. Self indulgence in small quantities can be fun and feel so good at the time but it is the end result that matters. For every action there is a reaction. Every cause has an effect.

Now you may be thinking – a little cheesecake indulgence is not all that bad. That’s right - it’s when the one piece turns into three that a little self indulgence becomes out of control. After I ate the cheesecake; I thought about the cheesecake. I reflected upon its ability to please my palette but only for a few short moments and then it was gone.

I’ve self indulged in things before. But always with a sense of control. I never wanted to step over the line of destruction. Actually I’m quite self disciplined. I wonder if this is an in bred gene or as the result of needing to maintain control because I never felt there was anybody there to take care of me.

As I ate the cheesecake last night I thought to myself – it’s a good thing I’m teaching two classes tomorrow. I need to balance out this little self indulgence with a little self discipline. That’s balance and balance is I believe the key to living a life that has joy, fun and play while at the same time keeping your feet on the ground and your center intact.

Doctor Lynn

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Successful Life Star Spotting and oh that laugh

Last night I was in a restaurant in Brentwood California when I spotted another star or who I thought was a star. Hollywood and the vicinity are full of look a likes so one is never sure if it is really a celebrity or not. It’s also a bit of a surprise to see a star in real life. They are out of context and often times don’t resemble the image you see on TV or in the movies.

My husband looked around the room and then asked me if it was her. I wasn’t sure but it sure looked a lot like her. She looked good for a woman her age. She must be in her eighties. So I watched her carefully without letting on that I was in a sense stalking her.

I’m sure most stars are used to being starred at in public places. Sometimes people stare at me in public places. I’m never sure why. Do I have something on my face? Is my hair a mess or do I have one of those faces that people like to stare at. We are all voyeurs of sorts and when we have someone really interesting like a star to watch in real life and in real time it makes it even more interesting.

There is an art to watching stars in a public place. Never get caught starring and if you do subtly look about the room as if you hadn’t even noticed they were sitting in the same restaurant. Nonchalantly you appear to glance but really you are taking in every detail while craftily not getting caught.

Suddenly her mouth opened and she let out a laugh that could only come from the real deal. No one could mistake that laughter for a anyone else than Phyllis Diller. I nodded to my husband – she’s real that’s her alright!

Our food was served. My stalking ended. The next time I looked up she was gone.

Doctor Lynn

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Successful Life a lunch date with the girls

Girl friends and girl talk is very important to most women. Perhaps it takes us back to the days when we were nestled together in a village totally reliant upon each other for emotional and survival support. Sometimes the little chats I have with my girlfriends after exercise classes are so enriching.

When a new student comes to my class and especially if they are new to the area they often seek me out at the end of the class. They want to chat. They seem to need the soothing and reassuring voice of a woman friend.

I remember all too clearly moving to Los Angles without any family or friends. I can still feel the loneliness that comes from being in a new place without a network of support. That is why I make it a point to welcome new people to my class and to reach out and give them a little support.

Recently I have met two women who are here from foreign countries. Their husband and fiancé brought them here because of their work. These women were very lonely and a bit lost. They found their way to my classes. Some days it was their only connection with the outside world. To see them smile when I said good morning and extended myself to them left me with a good feeling. I remember all too clearly the few people who reached out and befriended me when I was alone in a city that sometimes can be so cold.

Today I’m having lunch with two women who have become friends. Not especially close friends but good friends. I now reach out and work hard to maintain my friendships even though we all get busy. It takes work to make and maintain friendships but it is worth the effort.

Chatting up and laughing is what we all do best. Sometime we shed a few tears, but that is ok because it is all kept sacred between girl friends.

Doctor Lynn

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Successful Life… and the fog rolls

Its early morning in Southern California and the fog has rolled in around my condo. We just had two days of sunny and 80 degrees weather in mid December. It was a nice break but the fog and the cold of winter has now returned.

Mother Nature in her all powerful way from time to time and from place to place breaks the patterns of seasons with changes that bring relief and sometimes bring us such destruction. Today is simply a return to the normal winter weather of Southern California.

Most of the time here in sunny California whether it be summer or winter the fog is present in the mornings. There are days when I can’t even see the street below because the fog is so thick. It’s just another day and life moves on.

What does a foggy morning have to do with living a successful life? Taking the time to notice the intricacies of life. Taking time to notice the every day events and when something out of the ordinary happens – like a warm sunny day breaks through the fog of winter- taking a moment to appreciate and marvel at the wonders of Mother Nature – that’s living a successful life.

We’re several hours into the morning now and the fog is still with us. It is beginning to feel like rain is in the air. Moods change and behaviors change according to the dictates of nature. The ability to flow with life whether the day be sunny and bright or dark and gloomy is a maker of living a successful life.

Doctor Lynn

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Successful Life A Community Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Only in Malibu California can you sit at a local bar and share a grilled cheeses sandwich with four strangers. Travel forty minutes outside of Westwood/Beverly Hills area and you enter a very different world – Malibu California. It’s not all surf, bikinis and beautiful people. It’s so much more.

Last Sunday we went to Malibu for brunch at a funky place called the Old Place. It’s a bit of a hole in the wall but with a lot of character and charm. It’s located off the beaten path in a rural area. It’s a local hangout with a reputation. We read about it in the Los Angeles Magazine so thought we would give it a try since the food sounded good and the ambience sounded like fun.

We pulled into the driveway and entered the tavern through an open door that stepped right into what looked like an old time saloon. There were only four tables – all occupied and a long community bar. We took two seats near the end of the bar. Soon another couple sat next to us and then another couple next to them. Everyone was friendly, smiling, chatting and having fun.

We ordered the special cinnamon rolls which are absolutely wonderful! Then we followed it with a frittata that was enormous and equally as good. Everyone was drinking mimosas which consisted of a 16ounce glass filled ¾ with Champaign and ¼ orange juice. Let’s just say that at noon on a Sunday everyone was in good spirits!

The couple next to us ordered the French toast and a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread that looked delicious. It was lightly grilled in truffle oil with three kinds of cheese melted and gooey inside. The woman next to the couple asked if the sandwich was good. The woman told her it was to die for and offered her a bite since it was far more than she could eat. So the woman next to her took a couple of bites and moaned with delight. Her boyfriend then took a bite and shook his head and licked his lips. They then passed the half eated sandwich to us and we each took a bite and then returned it to its rightful owner. Three couples all strangers sharing a grilled cheese sandwich while drinking mimosas at a bar on a Sunday afternoon. Only in Malibu!

If you live near Malibu try the Old Place. The food is great and it’s a fun place to meet people and if you’re lucky share a grilled cheese sandwich with perfect strangers. Look up Old Place Malibu on the internet for directions, times and menu.

Doctor Lynn

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Successful Life – Time to myself

I’m a busy person. Seems these days we’re all very busy doing a lot of “stuff”. Taking time for you to do nothing is a luxury for me. With a busy schedule, children and a husband I often get lost in the fray. That’s when I know it is time to do nothing but reconnect with myself.

Some people are afraid to be alone with themselves. They feel lost and disconnected. For me time alone is a pleasure especially when I can do as I please which often times would be quite boring to another person. Ever wonder what people like to do when they’re alone?

I like to listen to music and dance around the house or clean my closet, organize my clothes or take a long hot bath. Shopping on line is fun but it can get you into trouble!

I’ve always liked my space; meaning I have never minded being alone. I am one of two children. My sibling is a brother so I always had my own room and my own space as a child. I grew up in a very rural area so I had plenty of time to wonder along the seashore or through the woods by myself. I have always appreciated the sounds of nature and the solitude of being one with the world.

But at the same time I love to talk with friends and socialize. Given the choice I would become a recluse. Why? Because sometimes it’s nice to not have to talk or entertain anyone. Sometimes it’s nice to just be alone with your thoughts.

Yoga has taught me many things over the many years I have taught. One of the things it has taught me is that time to yourself, to get in touch with myself is good for the body, the mind and the soul. It’s hard to hear the voice within when we are constantly being bombarded with noise.

I always start my yoga classes with a few moments to get quiet and reconnect with the inner self. And I likewise I end the class with a few moments of reconnection. Hopefully the moments of quietude resonate within and remind others that a few moments given to you is sometimes all it takes to gather the energy to give more to others.

Doctor Lynn

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Successful Life A Spa Treatment

What a luxury to treat yourself to a spa treatment. Mine was a facial and a body scrub. I feel very clean and soft! It was nice. I’ve had better. I went because I got coupon for half off and could not pass up a 50% off deal. Would I go back? May-be for 50% but not for full price. Why? The spa lacked the luxury of a spa that charges the rate.

When I traveled around the country and lectured on aromatherapy I visit many different spas and retreats. I was often times compt a treatment. I’ve been in some very nice spas with excellent treatments. So I am a bit bias.

The Egyptians are considered the inventors of western cosmetology or beauty treatments. They created beauty treatments such as scrubs and massages that have endured to the present day. The Greeks considered spas to be very therapeutic and healing. Many ancient cultures have accounts of using spa type treatments as healing aides. So although we often think of spa treatments as a luxury they can in fact help to relieve stress, stimulate circulation and release toxins which all good for the body, the mind and the soul.

May-be sometimes we get health and luxury mixed up. Especially in the United States. May-be it is not a luxury to take care of yourself, to relax, to play and to take time off. May-be a trip to the spa every once in a while will calm frazzled nerves. May-be it will change my state of being?

I had a sugar scrub. I wonder if it has made me sweeter.

Doctor Lynn


Friday, December 10, 2010

A Successful Life – Doing what matters to you

Ever done something simple like clean your closet and feel really good at the end of the process? It’s a feeling of accomplishment and that is a feeling of success. When you get to do something that matters (to you) life takes on a happy glow. We all like to have time to do the things that matter to us even if they are simple things that in the big scheme of things mean nothing at all.

Yesterday I wanted to get my Skype up and running. I’ve had it connected for over a year and never used it. I decide it was time for me to make it work. It mattered to me that I accomplish this goal. So I took the time and set it up. I feel successful even though this is such a minor feat. The reason I feel successful is that I wanted to do it and I did it. I was proud of myself especially given the fact that most of my life I have been a “technofobe.” Suddenly I willing to test the boundaries and grow beyond my comfort zone.

Getting stuck and losing sight tend to make most people feel sad and unproductive. That is why learning something new gives us a sudden burst of energy. We are challenged and the challenge stirs emotion and the emotion stirs hormones and peptides and suddenly the body-mind is firing away with energy and enthusiasm.

If you want to lift yourself up – do something that matters to you, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, says or does.

Doctor Lynn

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Successful Life Staying Balanced

Last night I did not sleep well. Perhaps you’ve had nights where the nature of your work or the problems in your family keeps you tossing and turning. You think of things you need to do, things you should have done and mistakes you have made. It’s hard to let go of problems especially when the night is quiet and you are trying to sleep.

I usually sleep very well. I love to sleep;the more the better. It’s not that I didn’t sleep. It’s that my sleep was light and a bit fitful so I woke up feeling tired. I’m teaching yoga this morning. That will bring me back into balance.

Balance is found in quietude. It takes simultaneously stillness and focus to reach a state of balance. When moving into a balancing pose one must be still but also focus the body and the mind on one spot, one position and one breath, to find both physical and mental balance. It only happens for a moment and then suddenly we change poses and the process begins again. And isn’t that life?

As soon as we find a state of inner balance life challenges us with change. Change is a constant and something we must continually confront in an attempt to maintain balance and stability in our lives. That is why it is best to seek balance in all things and in all things find balance.

Doctor Lynn

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A Successful Life Music for Stress

Are you spending big bucks to chill out at a spa? A study reported in Depression and Anxiety found that patients who spent time relaxing using deep breathing and listening to soothing music reduced stress and anxiety by 50 percent.

Relaxation and meditation have long been used as simple and effective tools for reaching altered states of being. Simply relaxing for fifteen minutes a day every day can reduce stress, anxiety and produce long lasting changes in your levels of pleasure producing neurochemicals. If you have a daily session for two weeks, you may undergo a “threshold effect” in which you go through dramatic and long lasting personality changes.

Don’t have fifteen minutes to spare? I bet you can find five minutes a day to relax. Download my relaxation meditation video complete with five minutes of soothing music. Just five minutes a day through a guided meditation will give you long lasting and significant changes in the energy of your body and your mind.

Go to my website where you can download the guided meditation video or download the fifteen minutes of soothing guitar music; listen, relax and focus on releasing your stress and anxiety.

There are many things we can do to relieve stress and anxiety. Taking a long walk, laughing with friends, doing yoga and simply sitting quietly breathing deep and listening to soft and soothing music are natural and healthy things that have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

Music or sound vibrations are great natural health tools that resonate with the body-mind bringing balance, peace and serenity. Just give it a try and observe what happens to your body and your mind.

Doctor Lynn

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Successful Life A Monday Morning Workout

Every Monday morning at 6 AM the alarm sounds. It’s time to get up and go teach my 7AM cycle class. It’s cold, dark and I am not awake. Every Monday morning, I think to myself; why am I doing this? But nevertheless I get dressed and head for the gym.

It’s a small class but a dedicated class. About an average of ten people all trying to get their workout in before they start their day and their week. Everyone is quiet. It takes me about fifteen minutes to wake them up and get them going.

At the end of the class everyone waves good-bye and nods and thank you to me. We all feel good. We all feel strong and ready to begin another week of work, play and life. It is the moment at the end of the class when everyone is smiling, awake and feeling good that I realize the reason I get up and teach this class is because feeling good with a smile on your face is the best way to start the week. It takes discipline to get up early and go to an exercise class. I’ve always noticed that those who implement a little self discipline into their lives seem to be happier people. Happier people create a successful life. That’s why I do it!

Doctor Lynn

Monday, December 06, 2010

A Successful Life – to discover your passion

What is passion? It means to have a very strong feeling or emotion about a person or a thing. It is the one thing all of us desire to experience. Everyone wants to find their passion and express it in a meaningful way.

I found my passion quite early on in my life but could not find the means of expression that would bring about monetary gains. Like many people I equated success with the accumulation of money while doing something you truly loved. I have since discovered that love or passion and money don’t always go hand in hand. In fact sometimes it is the drive for money that kills the passion of the soul.

If a person should make money while doing the things that passionately fulfills them they will seldom say they did it for the money. It is done for the love of doing and the rest follows.

Sometimes we fear passion because it does not conform to the standards of society. It puts us outside the misconstrued constructs of what society deems “normal”. I believe this is at the basis of all mental and physical maladies.

How do you know you have found your passion? It’s the expression of something that transcends all time and space. When you are expressing it or feeling it time and space disappear and you slip into that place known as the zone or as the Zen master’s put it – the moment.

Science has studied this state of being and has found that the chemistry of the body and more specifically the brain changes when in a total state of passionate expression. It is a high that most people would return to over and over again. But you cannot get there without a little effort. It takes awareness and focus to bring about starts of creativity and passion.

Just as the physical fitness revolution of the last several decades has proven that the human body needs stimulation, challenge and exercise to stay healthy, there is now a wealth of brain research proving that the brain like the body also needs stimulation and challenge to work optimally. By exercising the brain we can actually strengthen it.

One of the ways to exercise the brain is through meditation. To reach a state of meditation one must reach a brain wave state that allows for a deep relaxation without sleeping. The brain works on four brain waves; beta with alertness, arousal and concentration; alpha with relaxation; theta with creativity, memory, integrative experiences and healing; and delta with sleeping, profound rest and releasing growth hormone. Meditation takes us to the theta state.

A series of studies involving skill Zen monks found that when they went into deep meditative states they did go into an alpha state but the most skilled meditators went into a theta state. Studies conducted on other individuals showed that when subjects were taught to reach a theta state they had life altering experiences. They fell in love, discovered new talents, decide to change jobs and to strikeout in new and more interesting directions. The test showed that these individuals became more psychologically and physically healthier. Could it be that theta is the gateway to discovering passion and discovering your passion makes for a healthier and happier person?

Studies also showed that lovers who could reach the same relaxed brainwave state of mind were more likely to experience a deeper and more fulfilling sexual experience. Sex books are constantly telling us to pay attention to our partner. Perhaps by sharing brain wave states we can really get in touch.

Followers of tantric yoga believe that the universe was creates when the Hindu gods, Shiva and Shakti united sexually and spiritually. In a tantric text Shiva says to Shakti;

You, O Shakti, you are my true self; There is no difference between you and me.

Relaxation and meditation have long been used as simple and effective tools for reaching altered states of being. Simply relaxing for fifteen minutes a day every day can reduce stress, anxiety and produce long lasting changes in your levels of pleasure producing neurochemicals. If you have a daily session for two weeks, you may undergo a “threshold effect” in which you go through dramatic and long lasting personality changes.

Music and color/light therapy have been used as tools to help us reach a state of relaxation. The mind needs something to focus on and when we give it soft sounds and mesmerizing colors and designs it releases itself from it’s every day grip and slips into a deep and relaxing state.

I created my meditation DVD, which combines 15 minutes of soothing music. It takes fifteen minutes daily to create the effect. Sit quietly listen and observe. Go to my website where you can download Meditation for the Body, Mind and Soul, use it as a nice backdrop of music for holiday gatherings.

Doctor Lynn

Friday, December 03, 2010

A Successful Life A Problem turns into a Gift

Several weeks ago I ordered a product from a company and elected to have it home delivered through a service that promoted itself as being associated with the company. The product never arrived. When I tried to get a response the delivery company ignored me. So I emailed the manufacturer direct and told them the problem. Seems they did not know that the delivery company was offering to deliver the product and in fact had not given them permission to promote it as such. I had uncovered a glitch on their website.

I love their product and it is hard to find in the stores because they are a new company. So I asked if I could now order some product. They offered to send me some for free as a thank you for helping them. I had originally ordered about 6 bottles. They delivered me four cases of different flavors for me to try. They want me to be an ambassador for the product. That’s easy because I really like it and it’s a good product.

So we are going to meet next week. The problem turned into a gift for me and a voice for them. The local delivery company did not even have the common courtesy to return my email and try to fix the problem. I don’t want to bash them but if you ever see Dr Soda…don’t opt for delivery!

Now the product I will disclose in my newsletter next month. It’s free and only comes once a month through your email. I promote from time to time great health and fitness products as well as health tips and yoga moments (taking a few moments to reflect on life). Just go to and sign up for the newsletter. Don’t worry your email is safe. I respect your privacy ad safety.

If you have anything you’d like to send me ( if I like the product I’ll promote it)

So you see a problem sometimes can find a solution that comes in the form of a gift. And if you are lucky it benefits not only you but helps a fledgling as well. That is success; getting a gift while helping another succeed!

Doctor Lynn

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Successful Life – a good friend who appreciates your efforts

Having a friend who takes the time to give you constructive feedback and support you through all of your efforts is living a successful life. It has been said if you can count the number of good friends on one hand you are a lucky person. People come and go in our lives but some remain friends forever.

Working hard and having others appreciate your efforts makes the difference between success and failure. When you work hard because you truly love what you are doing and then it is reflected back with appreciation is one of the highlights of life. Every one likes to be appreciated.

One of the fundamental aspects of a healthy and good relationship is to appreciate each other. It takes work to show appreciation. Often times, especially in close relationships we only see the negative. It’s easy to find fault and express criticism. Appreciation takes thought and thoughts become the manifestation of our reality. When we see others, and the world for that matter, through the eyes of appreciation our reality softens. The world looks a little brighter and life takes on a tinge of joy.

Sadly sometimes it takes a major issue in life to make us stop and appreciate the good things. Everyone has something to appreciate. Perhaps if we would take the time to stop and reflect upon our lives we would see the beauty, the gifts and the pleasures that are bestowed upon us. Most of those come through our relationships. Friends and family are the support and foundation of a successful life.

Take a moment today and appreciate someone and something that makes your life a pleasure. Focus on it and watch what happens to your body and your mind. I bet you’ll smile and feel a sense of happiness and joy and isn’t that what it’s like to live a successful life?

Doctor Lynn

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Successful Life – an interview

Today I was interviewed on talk radio. Haven’t done talk radio in a long time. Many years ago I had my own show about health and fitness. I loved the medium and the exchange. Today’s show was such fun and the host Tracy Mallett and Beth Aldrich were so professional. They have hit the stride of living a successful life.

To work hard and get some recognition for your hard work is truly a feeling of success. To laugh and enjoy the fruits of your labor makes all the work worthwhile. And to equally appreciate the hard work of others is a model of success. When you can appreciate the effort of another person; you appreciate your own level of success.

Tracy and Beth, I believe are in their late 30’s or early 40’s. Both are bright dynamic and full of great energy. I can easily flash back to that age and remember the determination and focus. I admire them for their hard work and proudly now can watch their accomplishments as young women forging forward in the world and making each of us proud of the energy they propel into our lives.

I love women in their late 30’s and early 40’s. They have a mature sense of themselves and a good perspective on life and at the same time look great and are so full of energy. The forties are the best time of your life. You’ve matured, financially you are a little more secure and you still look and feel young. This is when I think women are the most beautiful. The beauty then folds into elegance and sophistication as we mature through the following decades.

I enjoyed my interview with these two women so much and thank them both for making my day a success!

Doctor Lynn

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 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

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to successfully take a break -

I’m leaving today for a 2 week trip to Africa by way of Dubai. We’re going on Safari and are promised we’ll see the big five. My sense of adventure is high and I feel the need for a break from work. I’m quite well organized as I usually am with a few things to finish up before we board the plane this evening.

I am really looking forward to taking a break from work and from the normal daily grind. I love what I do and am very busy six out of seven days a week with teaching and launching my new book and video but there is a time when you feel tired and ready to let go. I am fortunate that I have the ability to travel around the world which is one of my life long passions.

To successfully take a break you need to let go at some point. There will always be things to do at the last minute and lose ends that don’t get tied as you wish they would be, but you need to surrender and just let it all go until you return. Take a break from it all. Otherwise the stress of getting ready to travel will overwhelm you. Pack early but not too early or you’ll forget what you packed and these days with the airlines you need to pay close attention to the number of bags and the weight.

Cancel the paper, leave the phone message, have the mail collected, call the family, shut down the computer, shut off the lights, turn off the heat, close the door and catch the cab to the airport – I’m off to see the BIG FIVE! That’s what it takes to take a successful break!

Doctor Lynn

Monday, October 18, 2010

What does it take to live a successful life?

To find the best in others. It is so easy to be critical and complain. It is quite another thing to seek out and focus on the best in other people. This is the path of compassion and understanding. We are all humans with the same human needs, wants, emotions and motivations. When we see each other as simply extensions of ourselves and learn to appreciate both the sameness and the differences, we have the opportunity to experience the best in others. Take a moment and focus on the best thing about a person close to you. What happens when you see this person in the best light? You may experience appreciation and this appreciation may in fact bring appreciation from others back to you. For when we appreciate the best in others it is a reflection that bounces back on us. Finding the best in others is the mark of a truly successful and well balanced soul living a successful life

Doctor Lynn

Friday, October 15, 2010

What does it take to successfully wake up in the morning?

First it takes a good night’s sleep and second enthusiasm about the day ahead. There are many theories on what it takes to get a good night’s sleep. Most have to do with avoiding certain foods, alcohol, stress, light and other stimulants. Now I would agree to try and avoid all of the above before bedtime but I would add that sometimes sleep simply eludes us without direct cause.

Yoga has always been a source of relaxation and a good method to help with sleep. Here is an easy yoga technique to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day or when you can’t sleep.

Sit up in a cross leg position or relaxed in a chair but keep the back straight .Bring the heels of the hands together. Make a fist with your left hand leaving the thumb pointing straight up. Cover the left hand with the right hand and bring the thumbs together so they touch and rest against the index finger of the left hand. There will be a hole between your thumbs.

Bring your elbows up against your ribs and forearms are angled up so the hands are about eight inches in front of your mouth. Inhale through the nose and exhale out through puckered lips into the hole between your thumbs Do this for five to ten minutes just before bedtime or if you wake up in the night.

This meditation Chata Chya Kriya will help you to stay young and healthy. And being relaxed, vibrant and healthy makes waking up in the morning a success!

Doctor Lynn

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What does it take to turn a “bad” day into a success life?

Yesterday morning I taught my yoga class. Before I left I had a slight disagreement with my husband and was feeling a bit ungrounded. I always start the class with some kind of message because yoga is much more than simply the poses and postures. So the message was about how your feeling influences your thoughts and how your thoughts influence the outcome of your day. Get in touch with your feelings, bring quiet balance to your feelings, then balances your thought and those thoughts will bring balance to your life.

The student’s eyes always open wide when I hit a nerve. Everyone can relate to being unbalanced and chaotic feelings that quickly move into unbalanced thoughts. Everyone can understand how those thoughts affect their day. But it is another thing to take the time to quiet the feelings and balance the body-mind through the experience of yoga. Ask yourself; what am I feeling in this moment and how is it affecting my thoughts? What can I do to quiet my mind and bring balance to my life?

And just where do feeling come from anyway? With a little insight you might turn your day into a success.

Doctor Lynn