Can You Make Just One?

After a breathtaking hike in the mountains near Termes, France, one of our favorite places to visit, my husband and I took a break to admire the view. We were talking about the views we like best and how they make us feel. One day it might be a white sandy beach with the blue ocean waves gently caressing the sand. Or maybe being high above the desert on a mountain where the stillness in the air sends a sense of calm through the whole body and then there are other times when a hike on a wooded path that opens to an expansive view, will sometimes make me cry. We talked about all of these views and the sensations or thoughts that they provoke and which one, if any, that we could call our favorite.

My husband then said to me as we sat admiring the view before us, “a breathtaking view like this, is like seeing a beautiful woman – they are everywhere. All you have to do is pick one and commit to it” and then he kissed me. Yes, moments like this really happen and I am beyond grateful. And YES, I am a very lucky lady. I will forever seek the beauty that surrounds me and be present in the moment, for that moment is all that we have.

In life, my experience has been that sometimes there are too many things that I want to do or that I am good at and therefore I stay stuck right where I am. I can’t seem to make a commitment to anything. My mind goes into confusion and I find it difficult to stay focused on one thing. Does this ever happen to you?

Knowing that there is enough, enough of everything, can help to ease this anxiety or frustration or lack thinking. Understanding that the universe does provide and that each of us is here for a purpose will help to get your feet out of the cement blocks that they may seem stuck in and into action. Having an abundant mindset will actually help you in commiting. Sounds like an oxymoron but it is true. Abundance isn’t about the stuff, it is about the moments. Finding where your true north lies, or your unstoppable passion, is your only job.

Ask yourself this:

  • What is it that I would do all day long and not get paid for it
  • What comes so damn easy to me that I would be surprised that people would pay me for it
  • Who is it that I want to hang around with or interact with all day long
  • What gets me so excited or jazzed up that it keeps me up at night
  • What is that one skill that I have, that I most enjoy sharing with others

In reality having trouble commiting to anything is about our relationship to abundance. If I said to you, “there is always enough,” what would your response be? Do you have faith that there is enough? I know, it is easier said than done. Through my battle with Chronic Lyme Disease I was given the opportunity to seek counseling. I jumped right on board. I knew I needed someone to talk too. During our first visit and for each visit after that we talked about faith. Not necessarily in a religious kind of way but in an abundant way of thinking. At first I had no idea what she was talking about.

But during that first visit, the counselor asked me if I prayed for myself. I laughed. “Why would I pray for myself when there are so many others in need”, I said to her. She said quite simply, “because you are worth it.” We spent the rest of that session talking about the words to use when asking for help and letting go of lack thinking. It was ground breaking for me.

I realized just how difficult it was to ask for help and to commit to even myself, when everything seemed so dark. What I was lacking was abundant thinking. My world, at that time, seemed to be crashing in around me. I wasn’t able to see the other side.

But once I began to see the abundance that surrounded me, even though the bank account was running dry from the medical expenses and after having my profession riped right out from under me, I still knew that I had something to share. My core self was still intact, although a little bruised and bumped.

That dark time in my life taught me about commitment and that the world will always provide, if you can see clearly the result. Just as my husband had made a commitment to me, I made a commitment to myself. That commitment turned into this blog and my life’s passion to inspire others to take the leap of faith by committing to themselves.

I have been fueled by abundant thinking which has created my life of travel, as I seek to help others globally design a life they most deeply desire, while I am free from having to be in any one location. By having commitment to myself, I can make choices and decisions which indeed make me feel more abundant. How abundant is your world? Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself?

With love and light,

Merry Lynch

P.S. If you need a place to start or a place to set your life in order, then begin by taking my FREE on-line, self-guided course on HOW TO SET AN INTENTION. This two hour FREE program will get you thinking and moving your life forward to your true north. Make a commitment to yourself, right here, right now.

 

Do You Believe In Old Wives Tales?

We hear them all throughout our lives, should we believe them? Do you feel the same? Old Wives Tales are a supposed truth, past down through the older women to the younger generation. So, just like Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy, are they just out right lying to us? Or, do these older women really have some innate wisdom to share?

How do you sift through them and pick out the ones that are really true? Maybe we just have to figure it out for ourselves. Things like, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” is actually true. Eating an apple a day can prevent heart attacks, yup, for real. Or that the “full moon” has magical powers. Right on, grandma! It is scientifically proven that weird things happen on the full moon. Like there are more babies born on the full moon, more women will become pregnant on the full moon, more people take their own lives on a full moon and other weird-ass behaviors.

What about if you are having trouble getting to sleep and you are told to count sheep? Well, it’s not about the sheep in particular, it is about focusing on something that you don’t have to think about. When I am having trouble falling asleep, I lay with my eyes closed and pick a letter of the alphabet. I then recall as many words as I can that begin with that letter. If I exhaust all the words that begin with that letter, I move onto the next. Usually I don’t make it to the next letter, but you could if you needed to.

So you see, maybe there is something to these little old ladies. Wait, I have grey hair, am a grandmother, and am over 60…does that make me one of these little old ladies?

One of my many joys in living life abroad is the abundance of farmers markets. Traveling and perusing through farmers markets in foreign countries will put you face to face with these “old wives tales.” The farmers markets are full of old women and their tales. I have learned my lesson more than once from the little old farmer ladies. The keepers of the soil, is how I refer to them.

My latest lesson was in Konstancin, Poland. Konstancin is a beautiful area outside of Warsaw where the aristocrats lived before the war, (and many still do) in their rambling manor homes. It boasts a magnificent park with walking and biking trails, a spa, wonderful restaurants along the paved pathways, and an outdoor concert arena. On the weekends they also have a great farmers market with local, picked right from the ground that morning produce, eggs, flowers and of course, Polish pickles.

I was urning for a roasted chicken and had my heart set on a farm fresh chicken with freshly picked herbs. My husband and I arrived at the farmers late, just as many of the farmers were closing up for the day. We happened upon a little old lady sitting with her legs spread wide open as her her three freshly killed chickens lay between them. Head and feet still attached. It was a sight for sore eyes. It was an almost comical but what the heck. She had what I wanted.

My husband (in Polish) explained to her how excited I was but she shook her head no. Her chickens, she said were just for soup. What, how can that be? I thought, what does she know? I’m American after all, we do things differently. Not paying any attention to what she said, we purchased one of her scrumptious looking birds and continued on our way to find our fresh herbs.

At home, I quickly warmed up the oven, rubbed the chicken with all the fresh herbs, a little olive oil and into the oven it went. It smelled amazing and I knew it would satisfy my craving. Viola, the meal is ready. We sit down to enjoy the lusciousness placed before us only to find it to be the toughest piece of meat we had ever had.

What went wrong, did I cook it too long? Maybe at the wrong temperature? But, no, the curse of the little old lady was upon us. The chicken, as she mentioned, was for broth only. I quickly learned that there are different kinds of chicken and this one was for broth. Damn it, the little old lady with her old wives tale was right.

Little did I know that there are laying egg chickens, which are good for their eggs and for roasting. Then there are the chickens that do not lay eggs, which are good for the best broth you’ve ever tasted when boiled with feet and all. Am I the only one that did not know or believe this? Was I not paying attention in school that day? Someone tell me they didn’t know either….please!!!

So, yes, there is some truth to these little old wives tales. The next time you feel ill and your mom makes you some chicken soup…eat it! Chicken soup is proven to reduce inflammation which is a cause of your illness.

Trust the farmer!

Eat well, be healthy, love life,

Merry Lynch

P.S. It’s not too late to join the Time Waster Group Mastermind beginning April 4th, 2019. Isn’t it time to stop the procrastination and get on with life?

I AM

Have you ever had one of those moments that took your breath away? I’m sure you have. What was it, where were you, who were you with? These are the moments that will stay with you forever. I am always on the outlook for them. “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away,” a quote by Maya Angelou sums up the way I like to lead my life. Today was no different.

A few months ago, I was looking through some pictures of a retreat that my husband and I attended. One of the images struck me as strong, powerful and courageous. I remember feeling full of love and feeling that my heart was full. I decided to create a post from one of the many pictures, for my Instagram account (howtobemerry) and I wrote the words “I AM” across it.

The retreat we attended was at a Catholic seminary. A quite hamlet in the woods of a small far off village in the east of Poland. The seminary was surrounded by tall red pines and there were trails throughout the forest that made room for quiet reflection. The forest opened onto a field where a tall rock stood. Tall enough for rock climbers to practice on.

We stood in awe of the rock climbers as they worked in teams helping one another to the top and then celebrating their achievement. Rock climbing is not something that I have ever been drawn to myself, but these climbers were certainly hooked.

My husband and I decided to go for a walk on one of the trails and we came across another large rock that we could hike. At the top of the rock was an iron cross. It stood majestically overlooking the town. We hiked up, silently said a prayer and offered our gratitude, and continued our journey.
It was the perfect ending of the retreat.

Today, as I relaxed while my grandson slept in the next room, I listened to Oprah interviewing the late Dr. Wayne Dyer. I met Dr. Dyer when I was a young girl and he was just beginning his writing and speaking career. It was a day I will always remember. I was awe struck and wanted to be just like him. Inspiring people to do incredible things.
The interview took many twists and turns and then Dr. Wayne Dyer began to talk about the “I AM.” It floored me. It was one of those moments that took my breath away.

Dr. Wayne Dyer spoke about “I AM” as being the name that God told Moses that he would be referred to for all future generations.  Abraham Maslow talks about it in this way, “never put into your immagination anything that you do not want to materialize in your life. “Let the weak man say “I AM strong.” So, when you say these “I AM” statements you are also saving the God lives within me. That floored me, gave me goosebumps, made me want to cry.

His words took me back to the day on the rock. I had been very ill with Chronic Lyme Disease and was scared of what my life might look like. I lived in fear of the unknown. I never knew what each day would bring. But somehow, I knew that I was meant to find this rock with the giant iron cross. I felt it was meant for my eyes only, that it was to show me that I belong on this Earth. That I am not done with my mission.

I didn’t understand, as I stood by the giant, iron cross, why or what my lesson was until I listened this to random interview on this random afternoon while taking care of my grandson. “I AM” all that and so are you, if you are ready for the moments that take your breath away.

With Love and Light,

Merry Lynch

P.S. Sharing is caring…go ahead, spread the love today!

 

 

 

 

 

Is your life a little off track? It’s time to re-commit to those dreams and be the light in someone’s life! Sign up for my FREE on-line, self-guided program on How to Set an Intention! If not NOW….when?

Are You Worth More As You Age?

There seems to come a time in our careers when we have reached the pinnacle, the financial gain seems to peter out, even our interest beings to dissipate. Out with the old and in with the new, so they say. Maybe that’s a good thing but for some us, we’re not ready to be downsized or put out to pasture. What happens then? Do you have a plan of what you want to do as you age?

Why is it that food is more expensive as it ages? Who made that a rule? Maybe we are just suckers for good stuff to eat. Wine, cheese, aged beef, soy sauce even, how are they getting top dollar? That was my question when my husband and I arrived at the parmesan cheese manufacturing and curing facility in Parma, Italy.

What I learned from traveling is that food is often named after the city or region that it is from. In the instance of parmesan cheese, the real stuff is to look for in the grocery store is called ParmigianoReggiano. The city of Parma, is in the region of Emilia Romagna, where the co-operative of farmers is that produce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which are under strict guidelines from the Italian government as well as the European Union.

The cows can only graze on a certain type of grass and must be free to roam. Our guide told us that having happy cows is extremely important to the taste and structure of the cheese. So, if you’re a cow this is where you want to live. Is that the answer to a happy life…eating grass?

The cows are milked early each morning and the milk is then quickly transported to the certified manufacturing and curing facilities where the curds and whey is separated. This process makes two types of cheese. First the Parmesan and the leftovers is turned into Ricotta.

The Ricotta goes to market within days of it’s curing but the parmesan will sit on the shelf for years and gets better with age. I’d like to think that I get better with age as well. There is one person that’s only job is to pull the drums of parmesan off the shelf and knock on them with a small hammer. The sound will tell him if the cheese is ready for market, needs more time on the shelf or if it is not saleable.

The difference in taste as the cheese ages is remarkable and all I could think of is the glass of fine red wine that I need to complement my tasting. Italian wine of course, Chianti is my favorite…and there is a region for that also! Interestingly what I noticed most was the focus and skill the cheese producers have. They only make these two types of cheese and are experts.

One thing that I noticed most was the passion that these cheese makers had. Day in and day out they go through the same motions and yet years later they still get excited to be able to taste the fruits of their labor.

Parma, Italy was a wonderful place to stay and visit. The downtown was charming, the Airbnb that we stayed in was perfect, and of course our meals were simple and amazing. I like simple and amazing. This area of Italy whether traveling by train or car is one fabulous food sensation after the next. Frustrated by life’s pressures? Not knowing where to turn? Head on over to Italy and get back to basics. Simple and amazing…one thing, one reason, one passion.

What could you be an expert at if you focused? What is the thing you love most about what you do everyday that you could hone your skills and become the local, national or international expert on? Sure, it has taken centuries for the cheese purveyors to become the best in the world but what do you do, in your own very special way, that you can be the go-to person for?

Having entrepreneurial roots, I enjoy the thought of morphing myself into something new as I learn, grow and spread my wins in the world. For many that is not the case and is frightening at best. How can you take the skills you have amassed over your career or lifetime and turn it into an opportunity, a financial gain, a give back to the world? As I travel around the globe, I see opportunity everywhere. I don’t believe that there is not a community out there that does not need a helping hand of some kind.

Can you be worth more as you age? Are you already or do you have a desire to become an entrepreneur? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Grow Bolder With Age!

Merry Lynch

P.S. Learn how to get passionate, take back time, and focus with my upcoming Group Mastermind – Time Wasters. Check it out here or simply click on the image below!

Today I Met Tom Hanks

Life has a way of teaching us lessons at every moment, if we are present enough to be able to catch a glimpse of them. As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her book “Big Magic,” moments, ideas or opportunities show up when we least expect them and then are gone in an instant if we don’t take the time to recognize them.

Today was no different. I was helping a friend out in her store when Tom Hanks stepped up to the register with an arm full of goods to purchase. He was very kind and soft spoken. And actually, is much better looking in real life than on the screen. I found that kind of interesting. Anyway, as I tallied up his purchase and sent him on his way, I began to think what it must be like to be on the big screen.

What if your life was a Blockbuster Hit? Would you be ready for it? I like to tell my clients to take a look at their life and themselves as though they were having an out of body experience. Never in a negative way, just observing. How are you standing, what are you doing, how are you acting…that kind of observing?

Now, take that a step further. If your life were a Blockbuster Hit, if you were the Tom Hanks in your life are you in the starring role or a supporting actor? Are you following the script, the plan you set out on or are you just sitting on the sidelines of victim-hood playing the “it’s not my job man” role?

So, let’s take a look at “what if”? What if you had everything you wanted? Do you need to be any different? How would you need to show up every day? If you want something different, then you have to be different. Tell me how you would be?

In the book, “Adventures for Your Soul” the author, Shannon Kaiser has these questions to ask in starring in your Blockbuster Hit:
1. If your life were a movie, and you were the leading character, how would you want to be portrayed?
2. If all circumstances allowed (you had enough time and money), what would you really want to do? How would your movie play out?
3. What is your happy ending? What desires are in your heart that want to be freed?
4. Where does your story take place? What location? What is the environment life?
5. What does your ideal life look like?

Once you’ve answered these questions you can go ahead and begin writing your script. Write the movie that you want to live. Write your favorite part. Look at all aspects of your life as a Blockbuster Hit. No need to let the negative voices creep up, it’s just a movie after all.

Tom Hanks is not different than you or me. He just wrote his script and stepped into it. Are you willing to do that?

I can’t wait to see you in the starring role!

Cheers!

Merry Lynch

Are you ready to be the leading lady in your life? Then join Tracey Jones of Tremendous Leadership and myself for Reflect, Revitalize, Renew Mastermind Retreat in Warsaw, Poland! Check out the details by clicking on the image below! Will you be one of the 10 lucky women to attend?

They Didn’t Have a Choice

Sometimes I wonder if in today’s world we actually have too many choices. Having too many options to select from can keep us stuck, out of not wanting to make the wrong choice or not knowing how to actually decide.

That is how I came to be writing about the topic of “choice.” One of the cool things I love about living abroad is how small the world seems to be. On a recent road trip back from Spain to Poland we were asked by a friend, that we drop off something to her mom on our journey back to Warsaw.

I love instances like this when I get an opportunity to see how the natives live and hear their stories. The woman we are about to visit is in her mid-seventies and has lived in a small town all of her life and does not speak a lick of English. So, just in case, I make sure to have a note pad and pencil so that I can draw images as my Polish language skills are pretty bad, even by my standards.

Thankfully, I have my husband, (a native Pole) to do some of my translating. I just can’t help myself from wanting to learn about peoples lives, so my husband always has his job cut out for him as I shoot questions left and right. This visit proved to be no different. Pani (older woman in Polish) was so excited to have us visit that she also invited a neighbor. Sometimes being the “token American” can be fun, especially in a country like Poland where they love America and Americans.

As in most Polish households, the food is non-stop. This visit proved to be no different. Only this time the table was full of tomatoes. Brightly colored and served in every way imaginable, I was interested to understand, “why all the tomatoes?” I knew it was summer time but the amount of tomatoes and the many different varities, made me wonder. I began politely asking about the differences.

Both of the ladies chimed in with an immense amount of information, from discussions of the soil, to the type of water and sun. The information was plentiful and non-stop. So, I dug a little deeper. “Why tomatoes,” I ask? The answer, they didn’t have a choice.

Come to find out, tomatoes are one of the worlds heathiest vegetables. The things you learn when you become present and inquisitive about someone else. This is not something that ever came natural to me. I was always too much in a hurry, to focused on the my goal to stop and have a deep conversation about things like tomatoes. If this sounds like you, then you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that with practice, you too, can learn to be present. The pay off is huge!

Back to the ladies…the answer these women gave, almost took my breath away and made me wonder if not having choices could be a good thing? During their time of high school when college decisions were looming, these two women didn’t have a choice. They were told what they would study, and not by their parents. That was life under communism. You didn’t have a choice. The women were sent to school to study tomatoes and both have master’s degrees in horticulture and are professors at the university. These women are beyond brilliant.

I pressed on asking them about choices and what they would have done differently in their life and their careers. They didn’t have an answer. They had never dreamed of anything else. They just did. Now after having written many published articles and being international speakers at horticulture conferences around the globe, these women have become celebrities in their own world, and they didn’t have a choice. Do you day dream too much? What would it take to you to focus on one thing?

It all gets back to the discussion about focus. I find with many of my clients, as well as myself, that we have many facets to our lives and therefore have many different interests. These varying thoughts keep us spinning on the hamster wheel without the ability to stop and get off to head in one direction. We think of this as lack instead of abundance. When in fact, if we do focus, the abundance is astronomical.

Think of this, if you were told. No, let me refrain that, if you were ordered to do one thing (and didn’t fight it); what would it be? Out of all your interests and all the things that you are seemingly good at, what is the one thing that if ordered to do, you would forge ahead, full force and get it done? One thing? What it is?

Full of love and wonder,

Merry Lynch

P.S. Want to take a break from too much daydreaming and learn to stream line your thoughts and ambitions? Then check out the upcoming Group Mastermind by clicking below!

How to use excuses to drive you

Excuses come in all shapes and sizes. Excuses are quite simply put…dream busters. On the other hand, what if, we used excuses to fuel our passions?

You know we each have the same 24 hours in a day and yet I often here people say they need more time. That the day seemed to fly by, and they have nothing to show for it. Have you ever found yourself saying that?

We have smartphones and tablets, laptops and televisions, coworkers and family members, that pull us away from our tasks in a moment without us even begin aware of it. Running our life on auto-pilot is second nature to us now.
So, what’s your excuse for not living life to the fullest? What is your escape from life? Where do you go to hide? Are you even present? I know these questions might seem kind of abrupt and in your face but too many times people turn to pass the buck instead of making informed, clear, decisive decisions about anything.

Have a look, if only for today or this moment, at what is your reason behind each of the interactions, thoughts, choices and decisions that you are making. Where are they leading you? Are you making the best use of your time? Do you even care?

I was thinking about this question after being on a coaching call with a client who was refusing to take responsibility for the outcomes that she was experiencing. What’s your excuse? It’s a simple question that has great implications.
Excuses place bright shiny objects in front of us, that steal our attention in an instant. It doesn’t matter how big or small, they are all time wasters. Do you know what your biggest time wasters are? Is it clutter, procrastination, inability to say no, daydreaming, putting out fires, poor delegation, no plan, habits, resisting change, a combination of these or something else?

But what happens when we use excuses to push us to do something? For instance, I think about this question even when planning a trip. What’s my excuse for spending money on yet another trip? So, I’ll be perfectly honest here, I travel for food. Yup, I love to eat, but it has to be really, really good food as well as good for me. I have a weird belief that my body is my temple and that what I put into it has to be worthy. Ok, so there are times when I just flat out will eat whatever is available or when I travel to places like Old Orchard Beach, Maine for some Pier French Fries but for the most part I am really concise and clear about what goes in my mouth.

After I’ve had a great meal or read an article about a certain region of the world that is known for raising a particular kind of animal, vegetable or fruit, then my antennas perk up and I am like a hound on a scent. The research begins, I work on a plan and then BAM, off we go. Living and eating like a native is always at the base of the travel plans for my husband and I.

This is exactly how we ended up in San Daniele, Italy. In pursuit of the best prosciutto in the world. It all began after reading an article in Bon Apetit magazine about prosciutto sandwiches. The seed was planted, it was the excuse that fueled the desire. After a short flight, a train ride (my favorite), and a car rental we found ourselves winding through the small villages and towns of the Italian countryside to our destination.

As a little girl there was an Italian delicatessen called Micucci’s Market the next town over, that is still open today. Every Thursday we would all pile into the car and take the weekly jaunt to Micucci’s. I still remember the smells coming from the deli. My dad’s mother was from Italy, so he was very particular about his cold cuts and being a big man, he loved his food. So, this trip to San Daniele had other excuses fueling it. It was a trip that I knew my dad would have loved to have taken.

San Daniele is a small village in the mountains with a population of 8100 but boasts the most magnificent prosciutto in the world. San Daniele, sits halfway between the Carnic Alps and the Adriatic Sea which provides an exquisite micro-climate for the meats aging process, which has been taking place since the 1600’s. The views of this region are breathtaking.

Prosciutto, which translates to “ham” in Italian, is made from the hind legs of the pig. Because of the aging process, prosciutto does not have to be cooked, unlike bacon or pancetta. There are mainly two regions in Italy where prosciutto is famous, that is Parma and San Daniele. There is a long-standing battle between these two regions as to who offers the best prosciutto. I say, you must check them both out for yourself and then you can decide.

There are never any additives to the aging process other than salt and the air and, of course, time. The aging process takes from 200 to 400 days, so just as in parmesan cheese, the older the better or like a fine red wine. Can I say that about myself…that I’m getting better with age? I always have feared about becoming a cranky old lady.

As my husband and I descend upon the small town of San Daniele it is siesta time and the town is quiet and the streets are empty. It is ten minutes to two and we are starving. Hoping to get a taste of this exquisite ham we find ourselves entering a delicatessen where the pig legs are covering the walls. The butcher behind the counter is expertly slicing some prosciutto for his client and offers us a slice. It’s heavenly. As he is about to close up shop for the siesta time, we ask him where he would go to eat.

His eyes light up and he draws a map on a napkin, pointing us in the direction of a small restaurant a few blocks away that is down a side street, off the beaten path. We arrive at the L’Osteria di Tancredi restaurant which is simply charming.

We are seated and ask the waitress to bring us a board of prosciutto, cheese with paired wine. These are the moments in life I seek. When time stands still. The taste, the smell, the wine…life doesn’t get much better than this simple meal.

Then I notice a couple at the next table were just served noodles with this amazing prosciutto on top. I ask them if they speak English and thankfully, they did. They described this dish as their favorite (they are natives) and I quickly summon the waitress as we order the same. Homemade pasta with aged prosciutto and a perfectly paired Italian wine. I can honestly say that there is nothing better than eating food from the region, in the region, served by the natives. They are passionate which makes it even better.

So, if you are ready to start having your excuses work to your benefit, then book your travel next June for the Aria di San Daniele La Festa, which is the annual San Daniele prosciutto festival. Which for you pork lovers would certainly be an event to attend. And while you’re at it, stop by the L’Osteria di Tancredi for a bite of something fabulous, maybe a mouthwatering dessert? My husband was certainly in heaven when our very attentive waitress suggested a bite of something native.

The next time you attempt to point your finger at someone or something as the excuse for you not being able to complete something, then think of this post and flip the script. Stop using excuses for not achieving your goal, instead use the excuse to empower you to push forward and live an outrageous life!

Eat well, laugh often!

Merry Lynch

P.S. Don’t miss next weeks post titled, “Are you worth more as you age?”

The Happiness Scale

Are You Happy or Merry?

What a great time of year to assess this question. Are you happy, or in my world, it would be: Are You Merry? But either way, which is it…are you really happy?

If you think about it, we weren’t put on this Earth to have a terrible time, right? Oh sure, not every day will be…kumbaya but in the overall scheme of things how would you rank your happiness on a scale of 1-10?

Three husbands later, I can certainly say that I struggled in this area for quite some time. The choices that I made were definitely not in line with who I was and what I wanted out of my life. It was almost as though I was setting myself up for failure, but I was totally oblivious to it.

That was until I learned that my ego had run amuck. I had been looking outside myself for the answer…for happiness. It’s so easy to point the finger, to place blame on someone or something else. It was easy not having to look at the choices I made as the culprit.

My ego, often lovingly referred to as, “edging God out”, had been in control all along. My ego had control of the wheel and my life. It doesn’t matter whether you are religious or not, or even believe in God or not, what does matter that looking outside yourself for your happiness doesn’t work…ever. “Edging God out,” refers to seeking or expecting that the world and everyone in it is here to make sure that you are happy and that “your” needs are met. Sounds pretty preposterous when it‘s explained like that, do you agree?

You’re the only one that can make you happy or in my world, I’m the only one that can make me “merry.”

Here is a great exercise I like to use with my coaching clients to help deliver this message. I didn’t design it, I only put a new and deeper spin on it. Download the workbook with instructions here!

This exercise is quite eye opening, if you take it seriously and take the time to do the work.

Now that you are armed with a visual of where your happiness or fulfillment level is, it’s time to take that finger and point it right back at yourself. You have the answer, you are the magic pill, only you can make you happy…merry.

Begin today by noticing how blessed you are. Sure you have some work to do, after all, we’re all “under construction.” Grab a pair of rose-colored glasses and set out to see, feel and experience life on the happy…no, no, no…merry side.

Cheers to going and growing!

Merry Lynch

P.S. Let me know your biggest challenge this year as well as your most passionate area. I love hearing your stories!

What Does Your Dream Team Look Like?

Who Would Be On Your Dream Team?

As the year rolls to an end, it’s a great to reflect on how things turned out for you. Not just about goals that either were achieved or missed but also whether you took the time to be silly, playful, carefree. Did you take all of your vacation time? And while on vacation did you really tune out and turn off home life to be present and grateful for what was surrounding you?

This is also a perfect time to really sit and reflect on what success means to you. Whatever success might mean to you. Make sure that your idea of success is yours and not what others either have planned for you or expect of you. Your life is defined by your decisions, not where you came from, what you do or how smart you are.

Many of the people that we might look of as successful, people like, Richard Branson, Oprah and Bill Gates all attribute their steadfastness and achievement to having mentors or coaches. So, think about that for a minute…who would you have on your “dream team?” What are the skills or characteristics that you want to learn in the coming year, that someone else might be able to help you with?

Do you want to get better at handling money, maybe you want to become more fit or healthier? How about getting better at remembering names or smiling more, would being more in touch with a higher power or more spiritual help you? Could a business plan or a new way to look at staffing bring new life to your idea or organization?

Why not put together your “dream team?” Think of this “dream team” as a group of about six to ten people, either dead or alive, that have some attribute, way of being, resources or mindset that you want more of in your life. Really take the time to research people that have the traits you desire. What are their values? Are they in line with what you believe for yourself? Are they philanthropists? Serving others is the rent we pay for our time on Earth. Do they live where you want to live, hang around with the type of people you want to hang around with? What is it about each person you select that makes it worthy for them to sit on your “dream team?”

My “dream team” played out like this:

Ellen DeGeneres – comedian, because I want to laugh more; philanthropist, because although I volunteer in whatever community I am staying in I want to also be financially giving more than I currently am; authentic, because sometimes I try to please others too much
Charles “Tremendous” Jones – international motivational speaker, because the space I feel most comfortable in is on a stage in front of hundreds of people; faithful, because I feel the need to connect with the Divine on a deeper level
Martha Stewart – teacher of home keeping, because as an etiquette trainer I believe in the importance of sharing food, being welcoming and being kind, female entrepreneur, because she started with a small idea and grew an empire…I’m on that path; vision, because even though times were sometimes tough, she had a vision and stayed the course…I am constantly working on my clarity
Ruth Bader Ginsberg – uses her voice, because I often turn my back on confrontation…that must stop; clarity of purpose, because having a clear stance changes the game; ageless, because there is no reason to slow down
Arianna Huffington – do it anyway attitude, because the world is my oyster and success is within my reach; redefines herself, because as we grow and evolve our interests, goals and life changes and that’s ok
Diane Von Furstenberg – desire to be independent, because I feel powerful when I am supporting myself; self-made female entrepreneur, because for more than twenty years of my life I have been an entrepreneur and I love that about myself
Now that you see my list and understand why I selected each one, go ahead and begin your own list. Remember they can be dead or alive. This is the team you go to when you are stuck. You may look at the whole team or an individual and say to yourself, “what would _______________ do in this situation?” You’d be surprised at the answers you’ll come up with.

Go ahead, make a wish…imagine the outcome…anticipate obstacles…hatch the plan. The new year is upon us, now is your time. Send me a message of your plan for the new year, let’s put it out to the universe and see what happens!!!

Cheers to a fabulous New Year!

Merry Lynch

P.S. Share the LOVE, hit the share button just because it feels good!

My Failed TV Debut

Have you ever heard the saying, “things happen for a reason?” In my head, what I hear is “blah, blah, blah.” Ugh! Sometimes I just hate all these happy horse shit sayings, trying to keep me happy through disaster, yet, that is just what they do.

My husband and I were asked to be on a segment of International House Hunters. The TV producers heard we were looking for a home in Poland, a place they were looking to do a show in. Excited about this adventure we put together our preliminary video. Check it out below – click on the image.

We had a list of wants for our new home:

  • Historic building
  • Parking
  • Elevator or 1st floor unit
  • Storage
  • Budget 50K

The show was on a schedule, so we hat to find a unit and fast. Several realtors later (a story for another time), we found the perfect spot.

  • Historic building – check.
  • Parking – well…does it count that it was down the street and around the corner?
  • Elevator or 1st floor-nope but maybe my thighs could use the workout…don’t they?
  • Storage-well sort of…with 12-foot ceilings we could build it in…can’t we?
  • Budget-under budget but a total redo inside…are we out of our minds…quite possibly!
  • Click the image to see the final project…to see why we were so in love!!

Deal made, papers signed, architect hired. So far so good, don’t you think? Next up the producers needed a video of the flat, so we brought the architect along to finalize the plans.

My husband and I were like newlyweds. He was ecstatic to have his American wife moving to his home country. A place that he was not sure he would ever return to after defecting to America during the Solidarity movement in 1979.

Arriving at the property we see the outside transition of the building taking place, the elegant return of the façade is beautiful, and our minds are a flurry with excitement.

There are construction workers busy at work both inside and out as we climb the stairs to our new home. I pull the video camera out as we open the door. We’ re thrilled! We enter the small foyer area as the architect tells us of his plan. So far, so good and amazing.

We walk down the small corridor into the area were the bathroom and kitchen will be. My mind is bursting with ideas. The architect and I are in sync and I couldn’t be happier, until we round the corner to the living room.

It’s gone…they’re gone..all of the original hand carved doors – GONE. The original oak parquet floors – TORN UP AND GONE. I want to throw up.

The architect is stunned and tells us he can find replacements – at a cost of course. But my heart has already sunk. The vision is gone.

We phone the agent and the developer who do not see the problem. To them they were old, to us they were part of the story that the unit had to tell. I was excited to live in a place that had stories to share. The building had been through a lot and the people that had previously lived there had left impressions or feelings in the space. I wanted to that.

Oh no…the deadlines. Now what? Everything is off-we have given notice to move out from our current apartment. The TV show deadline will be missed. Where will we live, what will we do, where will we put our things? The down payment?

Freaked out, pissed off, frustrated and the real estate agent and developer offer no solution. This is not America, there is no one to sue, no recourse, we just pray that we can get our deposit back. Devastated we pull out from the contract, thankfully our money was refunded (thanks to the photos and videos I had done throughout the journey – thanks to TVN) and my TV debut is squashed.

This was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. The communication problems with the realtor, not understanding the American. Going from 1400 square feet (130 square meters) to 480 square feet (45 square meters) is emotional and no one could understand that. I felt alone and even though I was excited about the experience I secretly wondered what the hell I was getting myself into.

In the end, “things happen for a reason.” Or I could say, “hind sight is 20/20.” Although our wish list of being in a historic building was met, parking our car outside, around the corner and down the street in the winter time would have been a disaster. And hiking up 3 long flights of stairs several times a day with groceries would not have been any fun, even on a good day. As for the storage, we could have built enough in the unit but would have needed a ladder to access it…not on my list of good ideas as we age. And as far as the budget, we certainly were under our 50K budget but this was a total redo and not like in America where the walls are made of 2 x 4’s and drywall. These were 12-inch cement walls with a bathroom and kitchen that did not currently exist. So, all in all, someone was looking out for us. In other words, “things happen for a reason.”

Where has this happened in your life? When have “things happened for a reason” that you might have been trying to force? When did you need to let go of the wheel and stop being in control? When did you have to believe that there was something else out there for you?

After the devastation passed and we could breathe a sigh of relief, we totally did a 180 and ended up buying a flat in a new development outside of the city that was not historic at all, that has under-ground on-site parking, an elevator, private storage unit and a security guard at the gate. Yup, buyers are liars. Which, this in and of itself is another story for another time. Traveling the globe and trying to bring our traditional ways of doing things definitely does not work, even when buying a new unit. Living like a native…does. But we are thrilled with our final decision even though we have a long way to go to the final product…(a story for another time.)

Where is your silver lining?

Cheers to life lessons,

Merry Lynch

P.S. If you have someone in your life that would enjoy this post or that is thinking or dreaming of living in a foreign country…send this post their way!

You can also check out all the other posts on my life overseas at: How To Be Merry

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