Are you brave enough?

Traveling through Poland a country that has been ravaged by war over and over again makes it seem like there are stories to be told in every corner, town and village. No matter where we go, people share the memories, the losses, the triumphs. This time the story is of one woman’s bravery and the vines.

I often wonder if I would be brave enough to endure such hardship. I wonder if I would risk my life or that of my family for a neighbor, friend or stranger who is be taken away to a concentration camp. I wonder if I would just give in.

These thoughts came flooding in my mind as we (my husband and I) found ourselves driving through the countryside in the village of Dlugiesiodlo. This is horse country. Since the 16th century Poland has been breeding Arabian horses and has used them extensively throughout their cavalry with much success.

We happen across a horse show for young teens and watched as these majestic creatures pass by. Now mainly appreciated and owned for their beauty, the Polish Arabian horse can bring upwards of $100,000 at the Autumn Arabian Auction in Janow Podlaski.

As the horse show comes to an end we follow the horses and their riders to the stable to get a closer look. The horses are handled with kit gloves and well attended. The young female riders busy themselves by braiding the mane and tails of their horses in a loving way. There is a deep connection between the rider and the horse. The Arabian’s are brilliant and very inquisitive, preferring humans over other horses.

We walk around the beautiful property and come across a lovely stone home covered in ivy. In some places the ivy is so thick that it has even covered the windows. I wonder why the owners would not cut the vines back? Maybe they’re too old or simply not bothered by the darkness that lay inside the home.

As I stand and ponder, which I often do, an older gentleman exits the door. He notices me standing there staring. He begins to talk to me, in Polish of course, and I grab my husband to come translate. He tells the story of his aunt who lived in the home during World War II. She was the brave one.

Nazi’s were on the hunt for Jews. The Nazi’s scoured every inch of Poland pulling Jews out of their homes and off to the concentration and extermination camps in Auschwitz and Birkenau where over 1.1 million people died. This home was no exception.

Imagine the terror. You live alone in the country, surrounded only by fields and woods and then comes the knock on the door. A banging really. You rush to see who is there and the Nazi’s, in full uniform, come bursting through your door. Rummaging in every closet, every nook and cranny, opening every door. Your heart pounds. You are overcome with fear. But the vines know. It’s in God’s hands now.

The Nazi’s leave nothing to chance. They ransack everything as the woman stands in silence praying to be spared. They yell and threaten. She is alone and vulnerable. But the vines know.

Finally, the ordeal is over. The Nazi’s have left. She stands still making sure there is silence and that all is safe. She runs up the stairs to the second floor. Quickly opening the door to the bedroom that was pillaged by the army. Everything is in a shambles. She glances at the window, it is closed, the vines know.

Gathering up her strength she runs to the window and opens it. They are safe. The vines knew. The vines that covered the home were so thick that the Jewish neighbors were able to hide behind them as they stood on the edge of the balcony, holding their breath for dear life. They survived this time.

So, as I ask if the vines will be trimmed to allow light in the room, the man just shakes his head “no.” The vines will keep them safe. The vines will remain. The image of this home and the story he told still shakes me to my core. The fear this young woman must have felt overwhelms me. What would I have done? How brave would I be?

To bravery,

Merry Lynch

P.S. If you enjoyed my journey through the Polish countryside you may also enjoy this:

Poland, a place to visit and fall in love

Don’t take offense, it’s a cultural thing

Want to travel the world but just can’t seem to find the resources, time or money. Don’t let another year go by without living the life you have dreamed about. Learn how to set intentions that lay the foundation for you to build a better life. It’s FREE! Sign up here and begin your dream journey. Live Life Fearlessly Through the Power of Intention

3 Life Lessons I Learned While Talking to a Stranger

After traveling to Lowicz, Poland to watch the Corpus Cristi procession, a woman walked past me with a beautiful crocheted dress. I didn’t know if she spoke English or not but I was compelled to tell her how fabulous she looked. At that moment I turned to follow her and finally caught up and walked beside her. I gently touched her arm and told her in English that I thought she was beautiful and that the dress she had on was fabulous.

She stopped and turned to me as a big smile took over her face and she replied, in English, “thank you very much.” Then immediately began to talk about the time she had spent traveling through the United States. My husband grabbed the video camera and began following us, as he thought it odd that I could just walk up to a stranger and hold a conversation. Hahahahaha, thankfully she spoke English.

Interestingly enough, she had something very important to share. Here are the 3 Life Lessons I Learned While Talking to a Stranger:

Lesson no. 1 – Don’t complain. You have the choice to look at any situation from a different view. Don’t go dragging others into your drama. Deal with it. Dissect it. Chew on it a while and try to find the lesson and solve your own problem. There is always an answer.

Lesson no. 2 – Stay active. The woman that I spoke with is over 80 years old. Her secret…stay active. Go places. Do things. Meet new people. Keep your mind active.

Lesson no. 3 – Sex. Although I certainly wasn’t expecting her to say that, I have to agree with her. Sex is important. Intimacy and that deep connection with someone you love builds a bond that can help you get through anything.

Never underestimate the stories or lessons the person walking past you on the street has to share, even in a foreign country. If someone looks beautiful, tell them. Make someone’s day! You might just find that your day will turn spectacular in return!

Enjoy!

Merry Lynch

P.S. Looking to build a life you will love to lead? Try setting intentions! Here is a FREE How to program that I created just with you in mind. You’ll find videos, downloads and a workbook to help you easily lay the foundation of building a life of love and laughter. LIVE LIFE FEARLESSLY THROUGH THE POWER OF INTENTION

 

Health benefits of eating seeds

SEEDS –  good for your health and your life

Hanging out in a foreign country during the summer has many benefits, one being the harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables where the farmers line the streets to share their abundance. Polish farmers, no matter what size their plot of land always have something to share even if it is a bag full of paprika’s or pears picked fresh off the tree and left by roadside for you to enjoy. The honor system is in place here where you take what you want and leave the payment behind. Everyone gets to share in the abundance.

You might think that growing up in a small New England town where the farm stands were plenty, that I might have planted a few tomatoes along the way. But actually, I never really thought about where my food came from or how it grew. It just always seemed to appear on my plate.

My mom, a stay at home mother, was not a gardener. She did have window boxes that she loved to tend to but never planted anything that we could eat and certainly never grew anything from seed. Gardening all seemed very foreign to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get my hands dirty, I never knew where to begin. As a young girl, when not at school or at the beach you would find me in the closest tree with pine sap all through my long curls and all over my hands and clothing. So, getting dirty never seemed to stop me from doing anything. I just didn’t have a role model or even know of anyone that gardened or grew their own vegetables.

Poland has a history steeped in gardening with a love for the soil. During the centuries of death and destruction, gardening was one way they could keep food on the table and be able to barter with the neighbors who may have milk cows, chickens or pigs, maybe even some honey. We met with a farmer at Hala Mirowska, the Warsaw farmers market, whose family has had a stand there for over 100 years and have no plans of doing anything else. They are farmers to their core.

 

This love for the soil continues and the abundance at the farmers markets is both beautiful to see and mouth-watering to taste. There are many things that surprise me about the food that the Polish farmers produce, the size, the different varieties of the same fruit or vegetable, the taste, the color. They even have farmers that only sell eggs, which are left out in the sun in a basket, and you can purchase the eggs based on the flavor or nutrients you are looking for. The chickens are feed different kinds of food to produce different nutrients and tastes. Food is eaten by season, something that I certainly had to get used to when first moving here. I have heard that eating by season is healthy but never really experienced it. It’s really quite different and was very frustrating at first.

Coming from America where I could get anything I wanted at any time, made it a hard adjustment in my cooking style. The summer harvest is colorful and tasty where the fruit or vegetables seem to burst with flavor in your mouth, while the winter harvest is made up of cabbage, sauerkraut, potatoes, pickles and root vegetables. Quite a different recipe collection and color on your dining plate, especially since the meat selection is generally made up of pork or chicken. So your winter dinner plate can look pretty bland, still tasty, but bland looking.

Summertime in Poland is when you find people of all ages wandering the streets with giant sunflowers (some bigger than the size of my hand), leaving behind a trail of seed hulls wherever they go. I am a big fan of sunflower seeds but had never thought of eating them right out of the flower. Sure, they are messy and maybe your hands get a little dirty, but it is fun to grab a flower and munch wherever you may be heading. It’s a summer thing. You can’t do this any other time of year. That is what makes it so special and silly all at the same time.

What I didn’t realize are the health benefits from eating sunflower seeds. For instance, one quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides your body with over half of the amount of copper that your body needs for the day. For menopausal women, these seeds are packed with vitamin E which helps to reduce hot flashes as well as reduce the risk of colon cancer. They are also packed with magnesium, which helps with your mood and depression. The seeds also provide vitamin B1, B3 and B6 along with selenium, phosphorus and folate providing the body with the nutrients it needs to ward off stress. And don’t let me forget that it’s kind of meditative to sit and pull the seeds out one by one and eat them.

So even if you can only purchase sunflower seeds packaged in a bag, go out and get on the summertime bandwagon of enjoying this nutrient packed powerhouse of what Mother Nature has to offer and leave your own trail of sunflower seed hulls wherever you go.

Enjoy the fruits of summer!

Merry Lynch

P.S. Many people ask me how I did it. How did I pack up everything and move abroad? How did I bust through fears, anxiety, financial implications, and just do it? If that is you, the one thing I can share is that I set an intention. I set an intention on every vision board that I created. I set an intention on my screen saver on my computer. I set an intention and would say it to myself when I looked in the mirror. I felt it, I could smell it, and I could taste it. It takes igniting and aligning each of the senses so that your sub-conscious begins to believe it and places before you the tools and opportunities to make it happen. Then all I had to do was act.

Here is a FREE program I created to teach you how to that. It’s called LIVE LIFE FEARLESSLY THROUGH THE POWER OF INTENTION. It worked for me and I know it can for you as well. Go ahead, it’s FREE. Get your life back and going in the direction that you dream about. There is a great workbook that you can download as well that will take your right through the process as well as videos to keep you on track. Get it today!

 

What We Can Learn From An Eruption

Whether in human form or an earthly event an eruption can send feelings of danger, fear and loss of control to all who come in its path. The energy that an eruption emanates can be felt long after the outburst happened. It is said that a negative confrontation can take up to a minimum of four hours to shake off. Has anyone ever cut you off on the road? What about the effects of a cranky sales person or an argument with a loved one. You can spend hours going over and over the conversation in your head, let alone the time you spend sharing the episode with others.

Unlike Mother Nature, we can make choices as to how we react if we are aware. Emotions can attract and others repel, some violently as we have seen in the recent eruption of Halemaumau crater at the summit of Kilauea in Hawaii. The folklore of the Hawaiian culture says that Pele, the goddess of fire, is “cleaning house.”

Early on in my career as National Sales Manager for a prestigious stationary company, I learned about the effects of “cleaning house” and the emotional baggage that it brought. Whenever the President of the company would go out of town, he would demand that one of the department managers (of which I was one) fire an associate. It was turmoil each and every time he left because everyone in the organization knew that they could be next. The emotional shock-wave could be felt long after the firing happened.

“We have learned to live with her (Pele)” said Dr. Jonathan Osorio, Dean of UH Manoa’s Hawai’inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Have you ever said this about someone, “we have learned to live with her”? Could you benefit from understanding this person on a deeper level or from learning how you might react differently?

I’m sure that you have been in the presence of a “screamer.” The person that is out of control and wreaking havoc in any given situation. Think about this for minute and what kind of reaction you had emotionally and the amount of time it took to let these negative emotions go? Our emotions and how we react to them says a lot about who we are.

If you have experienced this and want to STOP THE MADNESS, take an Emotional Intelligence assessment (Core Emotions Action Plan) TODAY and put the Law of Attraction to work for you.

 

Sign me up!

 

 

Now think about another instance where you were in the presence of someone that was soothing or calming in their demeanor and their words. A totally different experience, I would say. Would you agree?

Emotional Intelligence is just that. It is the part of you that effects every aspect of your life. Understanding the root cause of your emotions and how to use them can help you to effectively communicate with others at all levels either in business or personal life.

At the executive level, Emotional Intelligence is said to be more important than either IQ or product knowledge. Our self-esteem is entrancingly linked to our emotions, giving us power and a sense of peace or happiness, or frustration and defeat.

Being able to control or adapt our emotions is the best way to build confidence and enhance our feelings of being worthy. Emotional Intelligence teaches us about how to self-manage and self-regulate; how self-aware we are and how self-motivation plays into our interactions; and why having empathy fosters and builds relationships. Emotional Intelligence is the energy life force that can align your dreams, goals and aspirations through fostering relationships that will attract the vehicle you need to bring forth the desired outcome. It’s that important.

If you believe that relationships matter then, take the first step in building a better life TODAY!

 

Stop The Madness

 

 

Do you have people in your life that you struggle to communicate with? Would you like to understand others better? Would being more aware of your emotions help you in your personal or business life? If you answered “YES” to any of the questions above, then taking an Emotional Intelligence assessment (Core Emotions Action Plan)will help facilitate exponential personal and professional growth.

Letting off steam in Pele’s world may be acceptable in the eyes of many native Hawaiian’s but in dealings with people this way of communicating is destructive and can have adverse effects. Don’t let that happen to you. Take an Emotional Intelligence assessment (Core Emotions Action Plan) and put yourself back in the drivers’ seat of your life.

Emotional Intelligence will teach you to:
• Make more rational and well-planned decisions
• Gain an appreciation for others leading to stronger relationships
• Reduce stress levels and physical illness

As an Emotional Intelligence certified instructor, for more than ten years, I took this information a step further and created a self-awareness tool called Confidence in a Can, to assist people in understanding first hand how their emotions or perceived emotions have an effect on themselves and others. This Emotional Intelligence tool has been used in organizations around the US and in my workshops given throughout the US and Europe.

It so simple to use that even your kids can use it!  Confidence in a Can can be used alone, in a group setting, at the breakfast table or in confrontational conversations. It helps to get to a level playing field and see first hand the difference between our perceptions and reality. Pick one up for yourself here to give it a try!  After all, who couldn’t benefit from a little more confidence and emotional understanding?

Because I believe in the power of Emotional Intellgence so strongly for a limited time you can take an Emotional Intelligence assessment with an individualized, downloadable findings report that goes directly to your inbox AND receive a personal strategy and debrief tele-session with me at a substantial discount. The Core Emotions Action Plan is normally priced at $75 (USD) but for this limited time is discounted to $49 (USD).

You and me together in a tele-session creating an Action Plan! It doesn’t get much better than that! Sign up and begin building your dream life today!

 

 

I'm In! Let's Do This!

 

Are you ready for change? Let’s get started!

Now is YOUR time! You can do this!

Merry Lynch

Goals VS Intentions

Goals VS Intentions – What’s the Difference

Everywhere we turn we are constantly bombarded by references to goal setting and how important it is. And yes, I too, believe that goals and moving forward are key to a rewarding and fulfilling life. But goals are about the future. Goals help guide us to plan, define our lives and stay the course. Often times goals are things we can not touch because they are in the future.

So how do we bridge the gap between the future and the present? What is that thing that will help us to manifest our dreams, goals and desires with ease and grace? That my friends, is an INTENTION. Intentions are a short string of words that will remind you to be present. Intentions are who you need to be or how you need to show up.

For instance, if your goal is to become CEO of the company you work for then this goal will require you to be different. To show up to work in a new way. That might mean you would begin to speak up in meetings, come up with new ideas and present them, dress differently, stand differently. Setting an intention could define how you will appear to others or how you want others to describe you. Intentions are about your values which provide purpose and inspiration for your life.

Intentions help us to focus on the present. A goal is future based.

You can set a daily intention as a focal point for your day or you could write one that becomes a sort of personal mantra. The one pictured above is one that I created for myself. If this resonates with you feel free to use it. I keep this as my screen saver and have it posted on my office wall. It helps to guide me throughout my day and keeps me on track to my goals. My vision board is close by which depicts my goals and desires for my life. Both goals and intentions are important as we begin to define and build the life of our dreams.

To help you along on your journey in creating intentions that are solely based on your dreams, goals and desires, I have put together a short workbook that will help with the process. Simply click SET YOUR INTENTION and download the workbook. Let me know what you come up with so that I can support you in your vision. Post your intention in the comment section below!

Until next time, live outrageously!

Merry Lynch

PS: For support in your journey, come join me and other like minded women over at The Confident Woman Private FB Group. There is never any need to feel alone as we try new things, experiment with new ways of being or in building a new life. We are there to give a hand up to every woman, listening to your desires and your challenges. We’ve got your back, come join us.

4 Ways to Practice Forgiveness

Living in a foreign country puts me in situations that I have never experienced before. These are not bad situations, or scary, just different. Many people stay stuck just where they are because of this. Doing something different doesn’t always feel good but that in no way means it’s a bad thing.

As adults, we go to the same restaurants, eat the same food, use the same words, drive the same roads and then talk about a life we are not willing to grab. But what if you were? What could you do?

For instance, maybe you want to live abroad? You could begin reading about others that have already moved away. Or study the countries you are interested. Make a pros and cons list. Maybe join an international expat organization, many of them are free. Plan the date of your garage sale to begin “right sizing”. Language classes maybe?

With 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, there is no time like the present deciding what retirement means to you. We have choices and lots of them. There is absolutely no reason not live an extraordinary life at any age. So just what does all this have to do with forgiveness. EVERYTHING! This “forgiveness” stuff smacked me in the side of the head while driving through Spain.

Driving to church in the south of Spain, my husband and I began to quarrel. I was driving, our big ol’ 1998 black Mercedes, that we shipped over when we began our overseas journey in 2015. I had never driven in Spain although I have visited on several different occasions. Time to learn a new skill!

My husband and I, gave ourselves more than enough time to get to church. What we did not realize was the GPS signal would be blocked by the walls of the old buildings in the historic town and we would have to find our own way.

The streets wound up and down getting narrower as we traveled. At times it felt as though the side mirrors would snap off from being rubbed against parked cars or sides of buildings. People darted in and out between the cars, and the bicyclists seemed to come from everywhere. Then it was the buzzing sound of the moped creeping up behind me nudging me to move over, so it could pass.

I felt totally out of my element and out of control. Then on top of it all, we were now late. Making some wrong turns and not finding any parking was making this short drive unbearable. My husband telling me to go faster, turn here, go there, do this all while the sites and sounds were clashing around me made us bicker. It was the blame game. I know you know the one. Pointing the finger at someone else, it’s his or her fault. It seems to instantly appear and more so when trying new things. Hence, why as adults, we do the same thing over and over again expecting different results instead of going through being uncomfortable for a while.

BAM! There it was. I realized what was going on in my head as the tears are streaming down my face as we solemnly walk through the church doors. I was mad…at my husband. And then, I realized that I needed to cut myself some slack and him too. So, I headed off in another direction to have some me time.

I walked into a small enclave at the side of the church and was overcome by what I saw. The small room boasted a statue of Mother Mary surrounded by hundreds of fresh bouquets and newly lit candles in celebration of Lent.

The message was loud and clear. Forgive. Instead of being mad at my husband, I needed to forgive myself. Learning something new, like driving through the narrow streets of Europe, takes time to master.

I noticed how mad I was. I was pointing the finger at my husband, instead of realizing that it’s ok to be embarrassed, to make a mistake, to not know what to do. But it is not ok to blame someone else, to feel guilty that I don’t know, to be embarrassed, to feel shameful that this is my first time in driving the narrow, windy streets of a city that is centuries old.

So, as I stood looking up the statue of Mother Mary, I begin to turn my thoughts around to being overcome with gratitude for the life I have. I began to be thankful for having the fortitude to try something different and not give up. To be grateful that I have a man beside me that loves me so deeply.

Doing something different is not always easy but that in no way means you should not try. It does mean you must forgive yourself and leave the shame, guilt and embarrassment game at the door.

Here are my 4 Tips to Practicing Forgiveness:

  1. It’s About You. Take the finger and point it back at yourself. Now matter what the circumstance, you played a part.
  2. Recognize It. Don’t let your thoughts take you down a rabbit hole. Grab a hold of them and stop the blame game. Be okay with the part that you played. End the emotional roller coaster.
  3. Where are these thoughts coming from? By noticing just how quickly our thoughts move outward and onto someone or something else will help to bring you back to the present moment.
  4. Let It Go. Seems kind of cliché to say this but it is so true. Don’t go hashing and re-hashing the circumstance. Learn from it and Let It Go so that you can GROW.

Mother Teresa says, “if we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” So, the next time you venture out into the wide world and attempt something new, begin by forgiving yourself, have a laugh, then go out and enjoy the journey.

Enjoy!

Merry Lynch

PS: if you like what you read and want more stories delivered to your inbox, sign up and receive a free download of how to begin living stress free.

 

It’s called Fat Thursday for a reason

Maybe it’s because I feel “fat” after eating my way through the downtown of Warsaw in search of the best Paczki? That would make total sense to me after seeing people stand in line, many since midnight, waiting for the first batch of these delicacies to be served up fresh and warm. It’s reported that from eating one paczki you would have to work out for twenty-five minutes to rid yourself of the calories you just consumed. But, that didn’t stop me or the thousands of other people from feasting on more than one of these traditional rose jelly filled yeast delights. Andy Kryza wrote that millions of paczki are sold within just a few hours.

Fat Thursday is a day of feasts, hence the name. This is the day you get to eat without guilt. The day marks the final week of the pre-Lenten celebrations so pick your paczki place carefully. In Warsaw, the shop, “Stara Paczkarnia” sells only paczki, and only from a take-out window, what a concept. People will stand in long lines for very long times to get their paczki right out of the fryer with the glaze still dripping. I opted out for a seat in a restaurant and a warm mug of mulled wine.

During Lent it is common for people to give up eating sweets, so it makes perfect sense that you would eat yourself sick during this day. Fat Thursday is celebrated by Christians signifying the last Thursday before Lent, warning you that you have only six days left to party before the forty days of Lent begins. Fat Thursday is always six days before Ash Wednesday, which begins the Lenten season.

In Poland, generally sweets, pastries and other goodies are given up or sacrificed during the Lenten season. The ten most common things worldwide, according to openbible, that people give up for the forty days of Lent are: chocolate, social networking, alcohol, Twitter, Facebook, school, meat, sweets, coffee, fizzy drinks. Are you thinking of giving something up for Lent?

Mental Floss describes how other Christian countries celebrate Carnival and Fat Thursday. Denmark, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Spain, just to name a few, all have their own special events and delicacies that are created specifically during this time. Traditions make this experience rich. Searching a city for the best paczki opened my eyes to a day filled with history. Everyone gets excited, young and old, it doesn’t matter. Everyone talks about where they are going to eat, who they are going to meet, it is a very festive day.

I stopped to chat with an Uber Eats delivery person as he exited the pastry shop with his backpack filled with paczki. He said, he has been working since early morning to get all the deliveries out, and that he would be working till the wee hours of the night. After all, this is the end of Carnival, so the party must go on, time is running out!

How are you preparing for Lent?

Cheers!

Merry Lynch

 

5 things I would tell my younger self

5 things I would tell my younger self (even though I know I wouldn’t listen)

It’s taken me over sixty years to feel as though I can call myself a “wise woman.” For some reason the age of sixty was a benchmark for me in what I refer to as the wise people community. It didn’t have anything to do with my hair having to be grey, even though it is. And I didn’t feel as though I had to have a face full of wrinkles or a body that was bent and aging. It was more of a certain confidence that I noticed in others as they age. A confidence that comes from exposure to different experiences, struggles, successes and relationships. A time in your life when you can hold your head up high and not care if anyone else agrees or disagrees with you, it just is after all your life.

After spending time with family and friends over the holidays and sharing stories, some funny, some tragic and some just plain stupid, I thought about my life and what I could offer for advice to myself. I know, I know, I’m not going to listen, but I thought about these bits of advice anyway.

Here are the 5 things I would tell my younger self:

  1. Friends and family: You know the saying “you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family”? I never really thought about what that meant until I moved overseas. Moving to a country where I had no friends or family opened up a world of possibility of just who I wanted in my life. Have you ever given any thought to being more selective of who you spend time with or interviewing possible friend candidates? Usually friends come through us from school, work or other introductions and we rarely reach out ourselves to meet someone new. In moving to a new country, I knew that one of the things that would help make this bold move a positive one was to find new girlfriends and fast.

I have to say that I was a little intimated to seek out new girlfriends as I was in a country where I did not speak the language. I got all caught up in my head about how embarrassing it would be to say to someone “hey, you wanna be my new friend?” So, I decided to hide under the social media cloud until I gained more confidence. In that, I began kind of stalking women on the social media sites I belonged to. I was seeking women in the city that I was living in that had similar interests or similar postings and I began reaching out to them to meet for coffee. Sounds kind of creepy as I write this but that is exactly what I did. As you can imagine some women never responded and quite possibly blocked me from their social media feeds. Other women, possibly being in the same circumstance, welcomed me with open arms.

So, my friendship speed-dating type interviewing began. I realized that I had a choice. I realized that I didn’t have to like everyone and that not everyone was going to like me, and that it’s all okay. Wow! What a load was lifted from my shoulders.

The result is that I live in a foreign country with women from all different nationalities, religions and cultures and I get to call these amazing women my friends. We have rich and deep conversations. We teach one other new recipes and uses for spices. We share our experiences and our thoughts of world views. We show one another our countries own unique traditions, music and share traditional costumes. My life is so rich from these new friendships. The action of taking an active role in discovering new girlfriends has given me a fearlessness and courage to be able to replicate this wherever I travel or move to, knowing that there are women just like me seeking new, healthy and rich girlfriends.

  1. Career: I was one of the fortunate ones. I knew at a very early age what I wanted to do. I think I came out of the womb knowing that I would have a career steeped in retail that would lead me to taking part in developing leadership programs for others. I saw retail as a way to communicate. Once I had the confidence of being one of the best in my field I began to pull out the disciplines that I enjoyed most and began to share those. That served me well in building my life full of passion and purpose.

Now I get to travel the globe, work with international companies in team building and bridging the gap in cultural differences to enhance the work place and profit margin. My work with individual female clients takes a deeper dive into helping them to create a life of soulful purpose using past experiences to design a life filled with passion. Although this unfolding took time, I had layers of negative thinking that I had to release. Layers of self-doubt and perceived unworthiness that needed to be dealt with, but the work and the learning has paid off in ways that I never dreamed of. Doing what you love, even if it is one tiny aspect of your work and learning all that you can about that one thing will take you places you have yet to uncover.

  1. Do what you love: Undoubtedly you have heard the quote, “do what you love and the money will follow?” I was lucky enough to have a great role model that made this quote come alive. My Dad was a Chiropractor when it was illegal. As a young athlete he had been helped by a Chiropractor and decided that he wanted to do the same.

He fought long and hard for his beliefs and for his profession and taught us (my brother and sisters, who are all entrepreneurs) to do the same. It’s not always easy and you don’t always get it right the first time in being an entrepreneur or tackling a profession or career that you love but once you find that “thing” that makes your heart sing, with patience and nurturing the pay off is huge in more ways than one.

Doing what you love for me is a layering process. There were many “things” that I loved doing throughout my life. Many “things” that I enjoyed learning about. It wasn’t until I began noticing a trend that everything began to click. I noticed that I was always placed or gravitated toward leadership positions, I noticed that the teams I built were solid, strong, with little or no turnover, I noticed that these skills could be used anywhere in the world, I noticed that my one on one relationships were more comfortable and deeper with my female clients.

Doing what you love is a mastering of a few small skills or interests and doing it better than anyone else you know. One of my biggest lessons in doing what I love is just being authentic and those that are ready for the message will gravitate toward you.

  1. Live where you love: This seemed to take me forever to understand or grasp. As a mother and now grandmother I had all kinds of perceived ideas of who and what I was supposed to be. Yet, somehow in my mind that did not equate to the life I dreamed about or the life that was playing out in actuality. I was racked with guilt and shame as my role of a mother seemed to veer of course. I was sure that my children would be damaged for life and that there was no one to blame but myself. I had no other role models that I could look up to for inspiration or support.

Then the grandchildren came. I began to have anxiety about what that role meant. I didn’t have the big house with the wrap around porch that I saw in all the movies. I had a career that took me all over the country and parts of Europe. How could that possibly compare to what being a good grandmother looked like in my head? Then the big blow came, the blow that changed everything.

One night while on a Skype call with my granddaughter, who was 6,000 miles away, she said, “you’re the Grammy that lives at the airport.” Although some or many of you may be chuckling at this statement, for me on the other end of the phone I struggled to hold back the flood of tears. What I heard was, I was the Grammy that was not around, I was the Grammy that had no home, I was the Grammy that was not there. My heart felt shattered into a million tiny pieces. All the voices of friends and family that told me I would never last living overseas were blaring in my head.

Then, after the sobbing ceased, I saw the other side of the conversation. I saw the Grammy that could show my little granddaughter the world, I saw the Grammy that could instill a confidence that anything is possible, I saw the Grammy that could help her bridge the gap in cultural understanding and acceptance of others. This Grammy could now stand up tall. This Grammy didn’t have to fit the mold, this Grammy could provide something else. I love living a life abroad. I learn something new every day, either about the place I am visiting or myself. It is an ongoing love affair. One that I hope more people will venture to discover.

  1. Money: It is impossible to talk about life long advice without touching upon money matters. Money is said to be an exchange of services rendered. Ok, sure, in your chosen profession the dollars you are paid may not seem enough and usually are not. But that’s not all that this is about. How do you take care of your money? What are the things you spend your money on that are not worthy of it? How many things do you purchase that you don’t need but what you want? How many things that you purchase do not enhance or provide joy in your life?

After reading the book, “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo, I realized just how much money or exchange of energy that we waste. Moving to a foreign country and going through the process of down-sizing or in my terms “right-sizing” was life altering. My husband and I had accumulated lovely antiques throughout our life together. Our home was welcoming and warm. Yet when the time came to leave it all behind, the never-ending task of emptying the drawers, closets, garage and storage seemed too much to handle.

None of our children wanted anything. We were burden with stuff, mementos, furnishings that somehow, we thought defined who we were. Then the process of giving it all away began. We struggled in letting go. We moved things from one pile to another seeking to hang on for just a while longer. Then the deadline came. The home was sold, the airline tickets purchased, this was real. It was happening. We dreamed it, we are doing it. Sadness, joy, elation, anxiety came flooding in all wrapped up into one big mixed up emotional mess.

We were told by financial advisers that we needed several million dollars in order to retire or live this lifestyle. We were told that the life we dreamed of was not achievable with our current financial forecast. We were told we didn’t have enough. There is it, that not enoughness again. It took me years to get rid of that scarcity thinking and I wasn’t about to begin adopting it again. So, I began to research. An all-consuming research of others that had lived a life abroad. Of others that didn’t have millions or that had lost their savings in the stock market or poor investment choices.

I knew there was a way, and that meant that keeping scarcity and fear out of the conversation was important. There was no place for the word “no” without a conversation of where it came from. I left no stone unturned. I looked to the internet and found articles on grandparents.com and Time magazine on couples that threw in the towel for plane tickets. I joined internet communities of people that were transferred for career opportunities around the globe, looking at what they did for work, how often they moved and where to, as well as how they lived. Come to find out, it was achievable. I wasn’t making this up and I certainly wasn’t the first one to do this. Fear and scarcity have no place here, the money conversation is about what you want out of life. Stuff or experience. We each have our own answer. By becoming convicted to your dream, seeking a way to make that happen (legally), and then stepping into it without guilt, shame or embarrassment can be done. “What your mind can conceive and believe, your mind can achieve” and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

So, to you, my younger self, I know we must learn from our own mistakes. Each of us uses life lessons in a different way and they mean different things to each of us. Try to remain present, stay away from the blame game, and keep your eye on the prize – no matter how big or small. Live your life, not that of those around you. Listen to your heart, not of those that you see in the movies. Create your world full of the richness that beautiful friendships can offer, work to become special and unique at one thing and share it with the world, do what makes your heart sing, love wherever it is you lay your head at night, and believe that your experiences are not limited to the amount of money in your pocket but are limited to whether or not you choose to have that experience.

What are the things that you would tell your younger self?

To your journey, make it yours!

Merry Lynch

 

5 Ways to Rock Your World in 2018

5 Ways to Rock Your World in 2018

It’s here!!! 2018 is here, so let’s get ready to wipe the slate clean and begin a new. Each and every day we have an opportunity to show up in a different way. We get to make new choices, hopefully better ones, than the day before. We get to show up in a new way, should we choose too, to get different results. Are you ready?

In order to move from where we are to where we want to go and grow we need to get rid of the old to welcome in the new. You must be ready, willing and able to step into a new way of being, thinking and acting.

So, let’s get grounded and ready to make 2018 your best year yet! Here are some suggestions to prepare for creating an amazing 2018! Oh…in order to do this, you first must drowned out the negative voices of not enoughness (did I just make up that word).

  1. Where do you dream to take your life?

That’s kind of a load question and can sometimes bring about a lot of anxiety or confusion. Take some deep breaths and just think about it. What if…..you could (and you can by the way) do that thing, move somewhere, work somewhere, be somewhere else. Where would that be? And then…why there? What does that person, place or thing provide for you? Begin to describe these thoughts in detail, down to the minutest detail. Describe what you look like and feel like once you have that thing.

  1. What are you willing to give up?

Oh no, it’s true. In order to get different results, we must become a different person. So, what do you have to give up about yourself in order to receive or be ready to get something different? Maybe you need to let go of the negative self-talk, or jealously, maybe it’s guilt or shame you need to release. It’s different for everyone. Fear shows up a lot in this question. If that speaks to you, what kind of fear do you need to let go of?

  1. Reflect on your life

Here is where we get to take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is after all part of who we are. There certainly are parts of me that I don’t like to look at or talk about but sweeping things under the carpet never works for long. This is a great opportunity to take a look at your accomplishments over the past year, where you may have failed or missed an opportunity, and what you are most proud of. We all experience set backs, disappointments and misunderstandings. Here you can look at them, resolve the underlying feelings and move on. It’s also the place to be able to pat yourself on the back for accomplishing something or trying something new.

  1. Practice forgiveness

I have to be honest, this is my stumbling block. It’s not very pretty but it is part of me and something that I am aware of and work on often. Forgiveness is not just about forgiving others, it is also about forgiving yourself. If you are like many, you find it hard to come up with a list of accomplishments but have not problem listing the disappointments or set backs. Look at where these thoughts come from and move these thoughts to a place of kindness and laughter. Forgiving is a process of releasing the ego. When holding judgement of yourself or someone else you actually are giving that person control instead of allowing your dreams to manifest. Holding on tight to the wheel never did anyone any good. Now is the time to have faith in yourself and others.

  1. Build upon your past

We all have them. Sometimes they are messy, sometimes they are freaking awesome; but we all have a past. By looking at the good, the bad and the ugly we then can begin to lay a solid foundation to build upon. Where did you rock the world? Do a time line. Take your age and divide it by 3. Take each section of your life and look at your accomplishments. (For instance: age 60 divide by 3 = 20)

Ages 1-20 accomplishments: first girl to run on the boys track team, President Future Homemakers of America, captain of the cheerleading squad, got married

Ages 21-40 accomplishments: had two daughters, got divorced, opened my first business, married my soul mate

Ages 41-60 accomplishments: became a grandmother, moved to and worked in Poland, learned how to thrive with lyme disease, launched my first website

Your list can go on and on, so don’t be shy about it. It’s for your eyes only. Now circle the one thing that makes you the proudest, makes you feel like you rock the world, makes you giddy with excitement. Describe that person, that feeling, the way you looked. These are the words that we will use in crafting your vision board and your next steps.

Once you have an opportunity to review these five steps, then you’ll have an idea and an open mind to be ready to receive all the goodness that the world has to offer.

Happy New Year!

Merry Lynch

Come join me and other like minded women as we discuss goals, set backs, challenges and triumphs. Hang out with us, we’d love to have you: (CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN UP)

 

10 Things I Have Learned From Living Abroad

Being brought up in a small town in Maine, I used to dream about a life abroad. I wanted to travel and meet people from different places. I wanted to see how they dressed, what they ate, what their daily lives were like. I was a dreamer.

We were very fortunate as a family; my father was a very successful entrepreneur which afforded us to travel throughout the United States and parts of Canada. The one caveat that my father had was we were not to leave the country until we had seen all that the United States had to offer.

Well, as you can imagine, we never left the country, other than a weekend trip to Quebec City. Which I might say, is not a bad thing and is not a bad caveat that my father stated but it did not curb my appetite for wanting to travel abroad.

The first opportunity I had to get on a plane and leave the country was in 1976. I was newly married and my husband and I were going to Venezuela and Aruba for our honeymoon. When we arrived, the streets were lined with army personnel loaded down with machine guns and there were tanks parked on the street.

I was nineteen years old at the time and my mind was spinning with questions. When we finally arrived in Aruba, I saw a different kind of life. The resort life and the way the natives really lived. That image of such disparity has stayed with me all of my life and helped to form the person I am today.

My next trip abroad was in 1994 to Poland and Germany. This time with a new husband, a native of Poland, wanted to show me his world. I was hooked. I loved it, the people, the food, the history, the stories that were around every corner. I swore to him at that time that I would live abroad someday.

Now, fast forward to 2017, it has been a full three years of living abroad and traveling the globe. It has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Not only have I grown exponentially as a person, woman, mother and grandmother, business woman, and wife; but I have come to realize that we are all just humans looking for connection, acceptance, and love.

My sixtieth birthday was spent in a park with thirty-one other people from seventeen countries. Now that’s what I call living!

I have danced the salsa on the streets of Warsaw

helped to deliver a baby calf in the countryside of Poland

went topless on the beaches of France

 

dropped my cell phone in the Grand Canal of Venice

went snorkeling in the coral reefs of Australia

 and bought my first pair of underwear from a street vendor in Spain

spent a few nights in a Polish hospital when my lyme disease decided to act up

and so much more. And as an added bonus, I have made the most spectacular friends from around the globe.

But how do we get to that point if we are too embarrassed to make a mistake learning a new language for instance, full of guilt or judgment of what others will think about us, or believing that we can’t or shouldn’t. Too often I run across people that are in awe of my life, and although that is flattering, anyone can do this. The list below hopefully will give you the courage to take a step toward your dream life.

10 things I’ve learned from living abroad

  1. Learn to say: hello, good-bye, please and thank you in the native tongue of every country you visit. Learning to live like a native will exponentially enhance your travelling experience.
  2. Introduce to strangers. I know you were told as a child to never talk to strangers. Well…here is your chance. Say hello on the bus, talk to someone at the coffee shop, speak with the cashier, befriend a waitress. People are proud of their country and where they live and are always happy to make your stay enjoyable.
  3. Share your gifts with the world. People are inquisitive by nature. Share a tradition, a recipe, a way to do something different. Even share a smile. In some parts of the world smiling is a lost art.
  4. Learn to laugh at yourself. Living or travelling in a foreign country is fraught with embarrassing moments. Get over it and see the humor in life.
  5. Experiences are more important than stuff. This I know for sure after selling or giving away all of our belongings except for 50 pounds worth of clothing, my life is so much richer now than ever before.
  6. Being inquisitive is a great gift. By being present in the moment you will reap the rewards. By saying “yes” to adventure a whole new world will unfold before you.
  7. Make sure to check out websites like interntations.org, check in with the local American Chamber of Commerce office or the American Embassy during your travels. There are people just like you all around the globe seeking new friends.
  8. When trying something new you’ll suck at it and that is OK. Lighten up, your new life is just on the other side of fear.
  9. Never live on a street name that you can’t pronounce. I know this may sound silly but when ordering a taxi, calling in an emergency situation, or ordering take-out it helps to be able to clearly pronounce your destination.
  10. Even though I live abroad it does not make me any less of an American.

Where is it that you want to go, what do you wish to experience, how do you see your life playing out and how can you impact the world?

Be Authentic and let your light shine. The path will appear.

Lovingly,

Merry Lynch

If you liked this post, please share it with a friend. You never know when you just might change someone’s life.

Check out these other posts that you may find of interest:

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives

Share A Smile With A Stranger

5 Ways To Unsuck Your Life

Feeling stuck and don’t know where to begin, fill out my quick Let’s Get Acquainted Questionnaire so that I may guide you in the direction of your dreams. I am here for you! If you are ready to live life on your terms, guilt and shame free then make a move today. Let’s Get Acquainted! 

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