Category: Growing

Lucy Movie Review: Women Accessing Their True Potential

I went to see the movie Lucy on opening weekend. This is one of the first movies in a very long time that I’ve supported in the theatre because I really like the premise — unlocking the full potential of your brain.

But even moreso I loved the fact that this is the first mainstream movie I’ve seen in a while where the woman is the main character and isn’t a) oversexualized or b) desperately looking for love. She’s highlighted solely for using her brain.

Now Scarlett Johansson’s character may have been the classic girl “looking for love in all the wrong places” at the very beginning, but as soon as she became more knowledgeable she realized that there were more important things to think about besides finding a man. She used her sexuality to get what she wanted in a couple of cases, but suggestively and not gratuitously.

I try to avoid movies, shows and music where women are objectified and used for their bodies, because I believe women are capable of SO much more. We’ve been told by society that our best assets are on the outside, which is why so many women settle on careers and goals that require them to use their bodies for profit. We grow up with that message — that our bodies and looks are all that matters. (Men learn that as well, which is why they are so focused on looks when choosing a mate.)

Meanwhile men are free and open to any pursuit they can dream of, whether it’s working as a high paid computer programmer, a top salesperson or traveling the world making business partnerships. The social media site Twitter recently released their diversity report and found that their workforce (most techies) is 90% men!

This isn’t a coincidence, this is socialization. Women and girls are being told that they aren’t smart enough to pursue brain-bending jobs like IT or programming.

Sexual Liberation or Exploitation?
Everywhere you turn in our modern society you can find a woman’s body parts on display, whether it’s a music video or a magazine cover. Some call it sexual liberation or empowerment, but for something to be truly liberating or empowering don’t we have to look at the motivation behind it?

When we see a woman half-naked on the cover of magazine, what is the motivation behind it?

– to attract attention of men
– to make another woman jealous of that woman and insecure about her own body so that she’ll try to change herself
– most of all, to make money for the magazine

Are those aims empowering and liberating and if so, to WHOM?

Certainly not women.

The Movie Lucy Has Empowering Themes
In one scene of the movie Lucy, she is underestimated by a large group of men who assume they will get rid of her without a problem. She’s just a “mere” woman after all. Boy were they wrong, and she didn’t even have to break a nail.

It makes me think of how much we women could change this world for the better if more of us chose to unlock our potential, not by using our bodies but by utilizing more of our brain power.

So this is why I really appreciate a movie like Lucy and was happy to support it opening weekend. One complaint: it was too short! I wanted it to delve deeper into the secrets of our brains. I just may see it again to catch a few things I may have missed.

And I can only hope that it’s successful enough to prompt more writers and producers to create empowering films like Lucy for young girls and women to consume.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular dating advice book for women entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Drop the Hot Coal: Letting Go of Anger

There’s a popular quote that makes plenty of rounds in the self-development world that goes: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” -Buddha

When I experienced an extremely difficult time in my life, I watched as everyone who I thought was a friend or loved one quickly drifted away. The one person who definitely would have been there was gone now, he had passed away onto the next plain.

I developed a lot of resentment and anger for the people who were still around, who I thought I could count on. I’d never gone through a time as trying as that and naively assumed someone would understand.

But this was no sitcom — this was real life, and in real life most people are pretty much doing their own thing.

Anger Thoughts
Over time this anger grew stronger and stronger, perpetuating and strengthening the depression I was suffering. I day dreamed about ways I could get them all back one day, how I would curse each of them out so bad if I ever saw them again and how I would make them feel like tiny ants that I could step on. I quietly seethed.

I was so consumed by that anger that I had no room for thoughts of prosperity or growth. I remained stuck in a holding pattern, unable to move forward with anything in my life.

Over that time I noticed a number of physical changes happening to me. It was weird. I gained weight in all the wrong places on my normally slim and trim body. My normally smooth and supple skin became blotchy. I developed allergies to things that I had never had a problem with before. Even my digestive system started acting up.

When you harbor inner anger, hatred and resentment toward others it really does only affect YOU. Only when you act on it does it hurt others, but it still comes back to hurt YOU. It might not burn your hand as in the metaphor from Buddha, but it can hurt you in myriad other ways.

Drop it ‘Cause It’s Hot
When I finally FINALLY decided to drop that hot coal of anger that I was harboring toward certain people in my life, I felt such a wave of relief rush over me. I finally managed to put things into the proper perspective — they didn’t owe me anything, and I don’t owe them anything. Even though I would have been there for them in a trying time, they still don’t have any *obligation* to do the same for me. We all have free will to choose what we’re going to do for others. If you do find a friend or loved one who holds you down in a time of trouble, you have a really good thing. Please make sure you do the same for them.

It’s not a surprise that my peculiar conditions slowly began to clear up soon after I “dropped the hot coal.” I felt light-footed/hearted and things began to progress in my life. My businesses regained momentum and I started to see the beauty in going outside on a sunny day again.

Can You Relate?
Are you holding onto a metaphorical “hot coal” of anger toward someone in your life? Maybe an ex-boyfriend, a family member or a friend from the past?

How does holding onto this anger benefit you in the short and long run? Is it really hurting the other person?

Contemplate these questions and I sincerely pray that you can one day find the strength to let go of that anger and move forward with your life. Anger is a poison and it needs to be eliminated as soon as possible.

Remember: you are the only one who is responsible for your own happiness in life. Claim it!

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

What Gives Your Life Meaning? (Questions to Ask Ourselves)

I believe that we all have to have something or someone worth living for — a goal, dream, aspiration or person who makes waking up every morning, bright and early, worthwhile.

Many people fall into depression or cycles of hopelessness because they don’t feel as if there’s anything or anyone worth living for. But I think each of us does have a purpose for being here, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.

If you’ve been feeling a bit down lately or like you don’t have much of a purpose in life, it may be that a drastic change has to happen in your life so that you can finally see it. And you’re the only one who can initiate that change — we all have a choice.

Here are a few motivators that keep many of us pushing forward, even when the road gets rough.

Watching your kids grow from little babies to adults is one of the most satisfying experiences for many women. Then you get to see the whole process continue when you become a grandparent and then a great grandparent. Children are a major motivator for women — they make life full, rich and meaningful.

A Life Partner
In many cases, a person holds onto life tightly because she has a partner who is counting on her (and vice versa). When you have a life partner, a soul mate, a best friend, you want to cherish every moment with that person. They make life special and interesting.

A Cause
Some people find their purpose in a cause. There’s a saying that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. This cause could be charitable (like volunteer work), political, religious, cultural or motivational in nature. It’s something that you’re passionate about. When you feel like you’re making changes in this world, even in very small ways, it gives you a spring in your step, a shot of espresso in your coffee to keep you motivated each day.

A Hobby or Creative Distraction
It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we stop taking time to ourselves to do what we really enjoy. This is a shame because in many cases, a hobby or distraction can be the one thing that adds a spice to your life when you feel that there’s not much else.

What about music? Maybe an instrument like the guitar? Maybe singing for fun?

Tae Kwon Do – learn how to kick some butt.

Youtube tutorials – teach others how to do stuff you know a whole lot about.

What you may find by exploring your hobbies is that people will eventually start to follow you and look to your for guidance and inspiration. That alone is something to inspire YOU to live life to its fullest and keep progressing.

A Dream
Some motivational speakers talk about the importance of living in the “now.” They say that we should focus on today and ignore the past and future. But I think there is value in thinking about the future, at least in terms of pursuing a dream or goal. When you have a goal in mind, whether it is to start your own company or to travel the world, it helps keep you positive and motivated about living your day to day life. Each day is a progression toward that goal, but the key is to have a plan that you’re implementing each day, little by little, so that it will actually become real.

First Things First
After much personal reflection, I think that life is about growing and creating. We’re here to grow, create, innovate and evolve into something even grander. Each of us can play a significant role in that process while we’re here, but we first have to pinpoint why we’re here and what motivates us to keep going in the first place.

What gives your life meaning?

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Behind Every Successful Woman Is…

They say that behind every successful man is a good woman. If you look at the vast majority of successful men, there is almost always a good woman they’re married to who helped them achieve great things in life. Smart men get married to the right women.

But what about successful women? We don’t always have a good supportive husband or boyfriend to provide the same positive influence in our lives when we want to reach higher heights. Yet and still there are loads of ambitious and successful single women out there. So who or what do we have behind us when we achieve great things? Here are a few possible answers:

A strong belief, faith and commitment to God. When I scan social media the majority of faithful followers who constantly Thank God for supporting them are women. They have no shame in talking about how God took them through a hard time and are often involved in some type of business enterprise. Whether they have a husband behind them or not, these women continue to achieve.

Our hard working mothers. When you see your mother working hard and persevering for countless years, it becomes ingrained in your psyche. Single, successful women almost always have a supportive mother in their corner.

Children as motivators. One of my favorite people in the world Lisa Nichols often speaks about how her son was a major motivation for her to succeed at life and make more money. She is now a millionairess. Children are often a strong support and motivation for single mothers who strive to achieve.

Our real friends. If you have a real friend who cares about you and is there for you even in the hardest times, you have to hold on tight. These friends (our truest girlfriends) stand with us and help us achieve great things. Now I’m not talking about your acquaintances or “party friends” (the ones who only call when they need a partner to party) — I’m talking about the friend who calls you to see how you’re doing “just because” and is the first person to buy/promote what you’re selling when you start a business.

Other woman entrepreneurs. A lot of women think that other women are their enemies due to the way that they are taught from a young age (don’t trust women). But if you get a mentor or join a women’s network of fellow entrepreneurs you may find a much different reality — positive and encouraging women who want nothing more than for another woman to succeed.

Our inner strength and drive. Ever since I was young, I always crunched my nose up at the idea that women were “the weaker sex.” We may not be as physically strong as men, but I believe that we are stronger in the ways that really matter. We dig deep to do the things that no one wants to do, like raise kids alone, care for our family members in need (it’s estimated that up to 75 percent of caregivers are women), juggle multiple tasks and remain resilient even in the face of adversity. Even if a woman doesn’t have anyone in her corner, she can call on this inner strength and drive to keep doing whatever’s necessary to succeed in life.

While having a life partner in your corner to help support you in your dreams is awesome, it’s not necessary for you to be successful. As women we may not always have a strong man behind us to help us succeed, but we do have other sources to tap into for support and encouragement.

Keep moving forward.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

To Think of Yourself is Human… To Consider Others, Divine

I know someone who has a very high self-esteem. She honestly and truly believes that she is the most important person walking the earth. She is completely unconcerned with a matter until it directly affects her. She seems unable to relate to or care about anyone else’s inconveniences, struggles or issues.

And she is the most important person… in her world.

It’s good to have very high self-esteem; a lot of women don’t, which is why they often get jerked around here and there by men and life.

But I think it’s even better, maybe divine, to have a healthy self-esteem. This means while you put yourself first, you are still in-tuned with the needs of others.

I believe each of us is put here to make a contribution to make this world better somehow, whether it’s in a small or large way. If we hold an ultra narcissistic viewpoint, the only person we’re contributing to is ourselves.

I have had to learn the hard way that doing the right thing for and by others doesn’t automatically mean that special blessings will come your way. This belief is why a lot of good people find themselves depressed and stressed. The truth that I’m learning is that our special blessings and successes in life have little to nothing to do with kind works — you have to truly believe that you deserve good things in life for them to come to you. This is why having a healthy self-esteem is so important.

But I do believe that when you consider the feelings and struggles of others… that when you’re kind to others when they need it most… that when you’re bold enough to step up for someone when everyone else steps back, you are recognized by the Universe as a divine entity rather than just a plain old human. It does matter. You’re contributing to the world in ways that you may not even realize are making an impact.

It’s perfectly fine to put yourself first in life (no one else is going to do that but you). But when you’re up (or even when you’re a little down), try showing someone else some concern, love and support once in a while — it might be just the thing they need to keep moving forward boldly and to develop their own healthy sense of self-esteem.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

In a Hurry to Get… Nowhere?

Have you ever found yourself bustling around doing errands here and there and rushing from place to place? You’re annoyed and impatient as you wait on the line. You speed past motorists and honk at people who you feel are driving too slowly.

Then you finally get home and do… nothing. Maybe watch some television. Maybe you hurry through making a meal or crash after all that hustling around and fall asleep.

When that happens you’ve just spent an entire day hurrying through your life for little to no reason at all.

You were in a rush to get nowhere, and when you did get there (nowhere) you probably felt as if the entire day was a blur.

When you do this you’re missing out on your life. Our life is NOW, in every moment. Revel in it, enjoy it, benefit from it, learn from it.

Life isn’t supposed to be a mad dash to the finishing line. If it was, think about what that finishing line really is… Do you really want to hurry things along?

Or do you want to enjoy life to the fullest?

A few minutes of your life have ticked by since you started reading this post. Did you enjoy it? Did you benefit from it? If so, good! Now do that with everything that you choose to do in your day.

Stop and sniff the roses every now and again. Bring a book to the coffee shop and read it with a mug of hot coffee instead of getting one to go. Take a walk around the park or sidewalk in your town checking out new shops. Take your lunch at work outside when it’s nice outside instead of eating it at your desk. People watch. Call a friend you haven’t chatted with in a while.

And whenever you find yourself rushing around from place to place, ask yourself why? What do you have to do later on that is so important that you can’t enjoy your precious moments now? You can’t get those moments back.

Happiness is not some destination in the future — we can have it RIGHT NOW.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

One Day… Why Not NOW?

A lot of us go through life, going through the motions. We wait for the day that someone will show up and vindicate us for all the hard work we’ve done. We wait for the day when someone will recognize us for the struggle we’ve gone through.

We hope for that “one day”… someone (maybe Jesus, maybe a boyfriend, maybe a woman friend) will come into our lives and say “I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that” or “You are a saint for what you’ve tolerated.”

And this very well may happen some day. But the longer you wait for it to happen, the more and more resentment and anger builds up.

So instead of waiting for that one day, why not make it happen today? You don’t have to wait for *another person* to let you off the hook. Let YOURSELF off of the hook. Tell your own self those things that you so desperately want to hear:

– you are so special
– you are amazing for what you do
– you are so hard working
– God is so proud of you

Whatever it may be.

Start living for YOU today.

One Day I Will… When…
There is another kind of “One Day” some of us secretly hold in mind. The one that says:

One day I will ___(fill in the blank)___ when I __(fill in the blank)___

– One day I will get a better job when I get my degree

– One day I will go to the spa when I get vacation time

– One day I will start my own business when my credit gets better

– One day I will move when I save enough money

This phrase is often an excuse to delay action today. Talk is cheap — action matters.

So if you really want to make those things happen, what can you do TODAY to make them more of a reality?

– Instead of waiting for your degree for a better job, start researching better paying jobs that you may be qualified for. You may find that you can make a lot more money RIGHT NOW doing something that you’re already skilled at.

– Instead of waiting for time off to act on going to the spa, make an appointment RIGHT NOW — even if it’s a couple of weeks from now. If cash-flow is an issue at the moment, you now have a clear goal in mind to save up $50 or so for a good massage and facial!

– If you want to start a business, you don’t need perfect credit to do so. You may need good credit to get financing, but there’s nothing stopping you from getting started on a business plan TODAY.

– If your ultimate goal is to move, do you have a clear idea in your mind of WHERE you want to move? Do you know exactly how much it would cost to do that? Even if you don’t have enough cash for the deposit or moving costs, you can take steps RIGHT NOW to get things rolling in that direction.

Let’s stop using that phrase “One Day” and start embracing the idea that there are actions and steps we can take TODAY to achieve our goals and get satisfaction out of life.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer, transformational blogger and author of Survive, Live or Thrive? a self-help guide for people who feel stuck in a rut, and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

New Book: Survive, Live or Thrive? by L. Lynn Gilliard

New Book:

Survive, Live or Thrive?

by L. Lynn Gilliard


Simple Life Tips for Those Who Feel Stuck in a Rut

This is a guide for those who feel that they may be stuck in a rut in one or more areas of their life, including:

– pursuing your dreams
– making good money
– dating and love relationships
– family relationships
– self-love

Though the book is specifically targeted for women who are experiencing challenges in their lives, the concepts apply to everyone. Fueled by the idea that life is meant to be easy and enjoyable, it is loaded with stories, blog posts from Lynn’s websites and other inspirations and thoughts to help propel you to the ultimate goal: THRIVING in every area of your life.

Get the Amazon Paperback Here


Audio version – Coming soon

Opening Up and Reaching Out: The Lesson a (Formerly) Stray Cat Taught Me

photo 2photo 3 Last night this little black and white cat was outside wrangling bones out of the garbage and sleeping in the cold. Now he’s in my lap, warm and toasty, purring.

I saw him earlier in the day milling around in the freezing cold. He came up to me and meowed like he had something to tell me. I left some food out. Later on that night something made me look outside.

There he was looking right back at me.

I smiled and shook my head. “Come on in kitty,” I told him, and he did.

Reaching Out — Sometimes You Just Have To
I’ve always been the type of person who keeps things in instead of reaching out for help. I have mostly saved my tears and moments of distress for late nights under my covers.

But what I’ve been learning more and more over the years is that sometimes you have to open up and let people in (even just a bit) if you want to live a better and more fulfilled life. Sometimes you need a little help, even if it’s just a positive word of encouragement, and you may be surprised to learn that there are good intentioned people who are more than happy to give it to you.

This little cat helped drive that point home for me. If he hadn’t come up to me to say “hi,” approaching me in such a friendly and open manner, I probably wouldn’t have taken him in, fed him and given him a warm place to sleep. He’s now officially a house cat with a home.

Trust Your Intuition
The main lesson here is that you can’t live your life in fear of people judging or rejecting you, because there’s always that chance that reaching out to one special person will open you up to a new and better opportunity. You have to follow your intuition and do bold or scary things sometimes to unlock those doors.

Hey, thanks for looking out!
Hey, thanks for looking out!

I don’t think that you should trust *everyone* that you meet, but you should trust your intuition, always. If you feel it is strongly telling you to reach out for help from someone in particular (like kitty over there), don’t let your fear get in the way. Do what you need to do to be healthy, happy and whole.

Love Lynn


Lynn Gilliard is a writer, transformational blogger and author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.