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Showing posts from 2015

Talking Volumes: Elizabeth Gilbert on being whole

I have been a little ticked off lately.

Actually it’s more than ticked off.  I am actually angry.  Angry that our minds are apparently shrinking day by day with fear and judgement.  Angry that there is so much  . . . crap on the air waves that it is hard to tell the truth from the lies. Angry that it’s not opinions that we are sharing, but pure rage.  Angry that a woman would be beaten while merely picking up her children at school just because someone has decided that it’s all her fault. Angry that this is who we are.  Angry that we are not learning from the past thousands of years. That we can’t kill someone else without killing ourselves too. That we can’t eradicate the bad, without eradicating the good too. Angry that this world is not safe to go to a movie, a school, or a restaurant. Angry that I could be randomly shot, or someone I love, or even someone I don’t know yet, while walking down the street, in my city, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, North America, The World.  Angry that we jump to conclusions about who is t…

Why making deals is not a good deal

Four years ago, my life was levelled.  Not plateaued.  Levelled. The difference is this: When something plateaus, it is said to be existing on a stagnant plane.  Sort of an inactive, constant, and possibly complacent state.  When one is levelled, it means to be decimated. To be sent back to the beginning.  If one were a number, one would be a zero.

So four years ago, I went from a six digit income and a career to . . . nothing, because I chose to stand up and not back down. I chose to say no, instead of yes. I chose, some might say, selfishly, to act on my own integrity and well being.  In short I chose  . . . me.

I have to say the fallout was not what I expected. I wasn’t thinking about fallout. I was thinking about survival at the time. Survival of the moment.  Of finding my way past this terrible impasse and moving beyond it.

I did inevitably find my way past the impasse because I gave myself a deadline, and I drove the process to my deadline.  There was fallout for about two year…

Prairie Child

Silent

I have something to say. Something that you may not want to hear. Something that scares me. Something that I have a hard time admitting. But I can’t say it.  I just can’t.  It’s just too difficult. Too embarrassing.  Too humiliating.  It’s not that I can’t find the words. It’s not that I am speechless. It’s just that once I say these words aloud You will see me as a I am. And you will never be able to unsee that sight. And so, I hold this truth inside of me. And so, I choose silence. 

Yoga can’t teach me what time has.

It’s been a while since I graduated from my yoga teacher training course.  I have, over the past two years or so as a teacher of yoga taught approximately 100 hours. Before that, I taught bodies to move in yoga-inspired sequences for about two years. And before that, I have been moving my own body all my life through yoga postures, because it just felt good to bend, fold, breath, stretch and lengthen my body.

In my yoga teacher training program, I clocked 300 hours of yoga ‘learning’, attending classes and teaching.  I have read the books with markers and such, and written in the margins all the nuggets of knowledge that I knew would some day be important. I use these books a lot when I am building a class.  But mostly, I try to stay true to my own practice.

When I was a student of yoga, I used to hear people talk about their practice.  To be honest, I had no idea what that meant. Nor could I rattle off Sanskrit like it was a second language (because it’s not. I am a writer, and I us…

Human

"Your Body on Meditation" Dr. Sara Gottfried at Wanderlust's Speakeasy

What a monk can teach us - reposted from Tina Hnatiuk

What a monk can teach usabout tigers Hello Gorgeous,

I am proud to say that I went to my first baseball game this weekend! Yup, I did, and it was a lot of fun. Any excuse to sit outside in the sunshine seems like a good one to me, and having a very patient husband to teach me about the subtleties of the game helps a lot too!

The baby is steadily growing, and I already feel HUGE at 24 weeks. It seems crazy to me that I’m still going to be getting bigger for the next 16 weeks. How’s he going to fit in there?

Baby and I are doing great so far though, and he’s a wiggly little bean that is totally making himself known with his quick jabs and kicks. Dave even felt him for the first time last week! Pregnancy is a magical and very weird thing to go through…but isn’t everything in life when we really pay attention to it?

Today I’m going to tell you an old teaching story that I love, and have said to my classes many times over the years and the message always serves as a good reminder.

It starts with…

Just a woman.

Freedom.
I write this word every day and in many ways.
I don’t think you will ever understand how free I wish I was.  
You will never know how much you contain me
with your ideas of who I am,
or what I should be,
what I should wear or
the colour of my hair.  
And because you try to define me the way you wish I was,
you will never know who I am.
I am no one to you, after all.
Just a woman.

Yoga, Bliss and the Water

"Vitarka vicharanandasmitaroopanugamatsampragnataha"“In the state of conscious awareness or sampragnata samadhi, special logic is accompanied by the appearances of, or experience of meditation in which all experiences and thoughts exist, accompanied by bliss and the experience of just ‘I am’.”
- Patanjali Yoga Sutra #17
There are perfect moments in yoga and in life when we are both grounded and lifted, holding on and letting go. These moments are rare, at least for me. Usually my mind is continually working and thinking about something or someone. I worry about my business, my children, the future. I worry about getting older, and I am conscious of time, all the time.  There is not enough time, I tell myself, to do all things that I want to do.

And while I live in this constant chatter that is chattering on, I take refuge in the small moments in between - in the spaces between here and there. In fact, I go in search of those moments.

Yesterday I participated in a workshop in…

The Secret That I Keep

I have a secret that only me and my closet know.
This secret is inconsequential to most, as I am just a woman among millions since the beginning of time.  But nonetheless, I am a woman, and this is my story, my secret, my cross to bear.   Every day, I walk into my closet, naked.  I stand there, in the middle, looking from end to end, from suits and coordinates, to jeans, and dresses.  I gaze upon the shoes on the shelves, hoping for inspiration to begin dressing this body.  Every day, I ask myself - who am I today, and what will I wear?  How do I feel?  On those days when armament is a necessity, I select an appropriate piece.  I emerge, strategically clothed, body parts carefully concealed, as a woman coming out of my closet. 










I am bigger than a business card.

People say I am crazy doing what I am doing - well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin. When I say that I am OK, well they look at me kind of strange. Surely you’re not happy now you know longer play the game.  People say I am lazy dreaming my life away. Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlightened me. . . . - John Lennon, Watching the Wheels
My name is Lynn Armstrong. I am a pink flamingo in a brown duck pond.  
I am insecure, flamboyant, gregarious, friendly, impatient, and I have a general problem with being controlled and I detest the word 'no’.

If you are the kind of person who needs to be in control of others to be in control of yourself, I terrify you.

One of the biggest things I have had to overcome is that I am bigger than a business card - that my ‘job’ does not define me.  We live in a world of status-seekers - where “who I am” is “what I do”.

We also live in a world where our financial worth equates almost digit for digit with our…

Sinéad O'Connor performs 'How Nice a Woman Can Be' - The Saturday Night ...

Therapeutic Yoga for the Flu.

Therapeutic Yoga for the Flu.



Now on my 6th day with the flu, where I can honestly say I have no memory thereof, and I now detest the taste and smell of chicken noodle soup, there is still yoga, hot baths, yoga, hot baths and yoga.



Thanks to the Rebelle Society for summing this up so nicely for me to share with you.



Namaste and feel better soon.

Sweet Child O Mine / Taken by Trees

Makes me think of my daughters who are both living their lives and striving to be the person they envision themselves to be. As a mother, it’s hard to let go, but as a friend said today, ‘you raised them to be intelligent, thinking people, and so they are.’ Sweet child of mine.

Speaking of Voice

I wonder if when men speak of over coming challenge, do they refer to potty training a child? Or perhaps bringing a perfect recipe over the finish line?  Do they talk about their physical features with their friends? Do they make plans for their lives hoping the women in  their lives will follow then and forsake their own plans?
That last one is a trick question.  To that, I might say, more often than you think.  To the first three examples, I seriously doubt, but maybe I am wrong. 
As a business person, I pride myself on doing an above average - no excellent - job at what I do.  I bring in my projects over the finish line on time with objectives realized and I do it in such a way that my customers know that they are appreciated.  The job that I do has nothing at all to do with the fact that I am a woman.  
And so when we attach titles to women who are in business, as “women in business” I find it demeaning.  I am a woman, according to all the gender determinations set forth by natur…

Janis Joplin - Cry Baby

The ultimate song about looking for the life that is living right in front of you.

I.love.you.

Valentine’s Day is now four days behind us, and it’s safe to say what I could not say before.  I love you.  I love the way you walk. I love the sound of your voice. I love that you cry over movies about dogs. I love the greeny blueness of your eyes.  I love your turned up nose. I love the way you scratch your nose. Actually it’s not so much the way you scratch your nose, as the way you smoosh it.  I love the way you ask me ‘do I look fat in this outfit’ - when we both know it’s a trick question.  I love the way you turn every experience in to words on a page in some form or another. I love that you are passionate about writing. I love that you are relentless in going after what you want.  I love that you know when to walk away. I love your vision and that you are not afraid to express it. I love that you care about other people and often put them first.  I love your defiance. I love that you can tell someone to FO with a smile on your face. I love that you love to look good and feel …

A Tribute to Anne Larson 1914-2003 - The Angel and I

This is dedicated to my grandmother, Anna Benjamin Larson, who was born February 14, 1914, and who taught me that we were born to fly.  Anna passed away 2003 at the age of 89, after valiantly fighting cancer.  I was asked to deliver her eulogy.  Here is what I said about the woman who taught me to fly.  An angel spoke to me today.  She said, “Follow me and I will glide over this beautiful earth, down canyons, over mountains, over water, and down on land.”  “But how can I fly with you?” I asked in awe.  “I have no wings or magic carpet in which to follow you.” “Oh, yes you have,”  she answered in a deep mysterious voice. I was intrigued and, after pondering over what she said, I decided to see how she would to this.   “Yes,  angel, I will explore all these wonders with you, if you show me how.”“It’s all up to you,” she said.  “I know you can do it if you let yourself do my bidding.”  With that she said, “Sit back in your chair, close your eyes and let your thoughts float with mine.”  …

Dear Page 48

I am writing to wish you a happy anniversary.  Today is the day that I affectionately call my day of emancipation. This is the day that you set me free in the most unusual way.

Today is the day of that fateful meeting - you remember the one that angered me, that made me cry, that hurt me to the core, that made me question everything about who I am, from the sound of my voice, literally, which you said was irritating, to the structure of my sentences, to the way I dress, the way I walk and breathe.  You made me question my life, my choices, my existence.

You made me wonder why I stayed so long, when I  knew this day would come. You made me wish I had listened to my instincts, when every fibre of my being told me to fly that day. You made me wish I was someone else.  You made me afraid.  You made me grieve.

I made me strong, but still there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you.  At first, I admit, the thoughts were angry; my body would quake when I thought of you.  I w…

The Greatest Pink Show on Earth

When we fly, we paint the sky.

(Hilarious) Andean flamingo mating dance | NATURE | "Andes: The Dragon's...

Flamingos dance.  Ducks waddle.  That’s pretty much the basics of How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond. This video inspired my first post on May 14, 2010 on my Lynear Thinking blog. http://lynearthinking.blogspot.ca/2010/05/how-to-be-pink-flamingo-in-brown-duck_14.html

Annie Lennox - Nostalgia (Album Trailer) - Suffused with Attitude

I am a huge fan of Annie Lennox. Her view of the world, and the places she goes to find the song are inspiring to me as a writer. Every story is an opportunity to find a new voice, discover a new element.  Tell a truth. Inspire somebody.  Shine the light on the work that we do, because work is such a defining element in our world, and as always been.  I like how she talks about the human journey, and the element of risk, and the painful dark twist in every truth.



She talks about the process of writing a book, how the character brings the story forward.  Singing, she says is like that. It is about bringing pictures to life . . . "suffused with attitude.”







Suffuse - Merriam-Webster Onlinewww.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suffuse to spread over or through in the manner of fluid or light : flush, fill <the northern horizon was suffused with a deep red glow — P. M. Leschak>. — suf·fu·sion

Ujamaa.

Tonight I had dinner with a friend and journalist who will be joining me as a contributing writer for SKY Magazine. We talked about life, holding on and letting go.  We talked about standing at the precipice and deciding to take a leap of faith, with courage and conviction, to fly, or to retreat.

We talked about how retreating is so easy to do, if one doesn’t mind giving up one’s soul.  We talked about letting go of relationships and impulses that do not serve us.  We talked about taking a leap of faith so that we may fly.

“And when we fly, we paint the sky.” 

Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond is the story of taking flight, after more than 20 years of standing on the runway, where my job was to help companies find futures, while looking at my future, knowing that it was close enough to see in my heart, but too far to reach out and touch.  It is about standing on the precipice of my own making, the final place from which I finally jumped.

At first I thought I was pushed, and in a way…

Ani DiFranco - 32 Flavors (HQ)

This is for those who think we need to be less than they are.  Thanks D for reminding me it’s out there.

Pieces of paper.

I wrote it down in great detail
the day you tore me down the day you made me feel small the day you tried to hurt me.  and then I tore it up  into small pieces  and discarded your memory and your carelessness  and your thoughtlessness I smiled as I saw the pieces  of paper fall away from  my finger tips, carelessly drifting into the resting place of yesterday. 

Brandi Carlile - Dreams

A recommended video from one of our readers. Thank you. :)

Here's to the Crazy Ones, Think Different - Apple

Launch of Pink Flamingo in Brown Duck Pond

I am a writer. That’s what I do.  I write.  And so I did. It’s as simple as that.  I started the book a long time ago.  I love story telling and so throughout my life time, I have told stories in one form or another.

A part of me says enjoy this moment. The other part of me says this moment is too big, and so I opted for a soft launch, for now so that I can establish a marketing plan and determine how exactly ‘we’ enter the world.  I reflect upon the reasons that I wrote this book in the first place. 

Story telling is powerful.  There are thousands of stories one can imagine and tell, but the story must begin with an intention.

Sometimes story telling can be positive and illuminating if taken to heart. Sometimes it can cause barriers if taken to heart. In writing this story, I had to make a decision to tell the story that would illuminate my path and the paths of my readers and relieve my heart and allow the story that hurt me a peaceful ending.

When I started writing this story, I …

The Second Coming: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
THE SECOND COMING
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouch…

Big

I have dreams and aspirations
I step forward to take the leap
of faith in myself.
And then I became afraid.
I ask myself, who am I?
Why me.  Who do I think I am?
Why should anybody listen to what I have to say?
He pushes me to the precipice,
so that I might jump just to get it over with,
because that would be easier than listening.
And so I retreat secure in my smallness.


45 - From “How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond”

When they look at me They see someone else
Someone’s mother,
Someone’s wife
Someone’s something.

I know my freedom is near
Deep down inside me
But so far away
So distant that I can’t touch it
Can see it
Don’t know what it looks like

I am alone in this journey
Because everyone has something to gain
By my staying the same.
Everyone has a stake
In my never changing.
The courage that it would take to let go
To freefall
To land wherever
And to pick up and go on

As I look out on my life
I don’t know what is out there now
I just know that I feel trapped
On the other side of my life
Where lives my potential, my voice.
Needing to be heard.
But I don’t know what to say.
Needing to be seen
But afraid to show myself
Needing to be free
But chained
When is it ok to let go
To be free

What if letting go
Means losing everything
That I have and know
What if letting go
Means starting over

What if letting go means not being the kind of wife that I used to be
Not being the kind of mother they need me to b…

This labour of love, of visions of sky, flamingos and ducks.

I’ve got to take a little time / A little time to think things over. / Better read between the linesIn case I need it when I am older. / This mountain I must climbeels like a world upon my shoulder / Through the clouds I see light shine / It keeps me warm as life grows colder . . . From “I want to know what love is”, Foreigner 

January 2015.  The new year. A second chance.  A time of vision and intention, of clarifying the path ahead, of culling those things that no longer work, and making space for new things. 


I set out on this path three years ago with the intention to do what I love, and to love what I do, to live and work with and for purpose, and to live in freedom.  Change is in the air for SKY, as it must be for all things. Today I am thinking about the journey so far, what I have learned and what the future looks like from this vantage point of experience. 
My Intentions 
I would publish stories that are read world-wide about interesting and inspiring people who live and work in …