Do You Want to Be a Weed or a Plant?

When I’m out tending to my garden all types of ideas and revelations come to me. One issue that I find to be most time consuming is the act of pulling weeds.

I have no idea where these weeds come from. They just sort of appear out of nowhere. In some cases they pop up overnight. Weeds sometimes grow when there’s no sun or water. Some varieties spread their seeds liberally as a way of trying to "take over." They are almost like parasites, taking resources (sun, fertilizer, water, nutrients in the soil) but never really giving much back to the world.

On the other hand you have plants. Plants get their name because they were specifically seeded by a farmer or gardener. They are needed and wanted. They take resources but they also give something back to the world, in the form of healthy food, beautiful smells or colorful flowers.

So the thought that came to my mind on this particular day was how some people are like weeds and others are beautiful plants. What type of people do you have around you? And which one would you want to be?

Weeds…
Weeds spread and propagate on their own. No one (except agricultural experts) really knows where they come from. They blow with the wind and land where they may. When they do settle into a spot, they dig in and get comfortable, not caring who the land belongs to or if they’re welcome. They just grow and grow, take and take, without much of a purpose or benefit to the landscape. Some theorize that they help protect soul by covering the ground, but they don’t seem to care if that ground is already occupied with plants or grass. They can impede the growth of plants. I liken them to an unwelcome distant relative coming into someone’s living room and putting their muddy boots up on the brand new couch.

Plants
Plants, like vegetables or flowers, have a clear purpose for being. They flourish and grow so that they can be a blessing to others. They stand tall and confidently, basking in the sunlight. They feed people with healthy nutrition (and bees with nectar).

Yes, plants are used up, and they will eventually wither away, but they leave behind valuable seeds that regrow and flourish year after year. The fruit and seeds that they produce are valued and cherished indefinitely into the future. They help people become and feel healthy, and have even been known to heal diseases. People will pay a pretty penny for a good piece of fruit or a beautiful flower.

So do you get the analogy? Unlike vegetation, we humans are blessed with the choice to be more like a weed or like a plant. We can be a blessing to the world instead of being a burden.

We have the choice to take the seed that God planted in each of us and let it flourish, so that it can be a blessing to the world.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Boxing Yourself In (Fortress Building) Is Not Empowering #LoveLynn

There’s a chapter in Robert Greene’s famous book The 48 Laws of Power that says the following:

“Do not build fortresses to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous.” (Law #18)

His main point was that putting a fortress around yourself limits your access to information, knowledge and new experiences. We’ve been taught from a young age that information is power. Experience is the best teacher.

Yet in this day in age (2015 is the year I’m writing this post) many of us choose to box ourselves in and separate ourselves from the rest of the world.

I believe that our wide access to the internet, social media and countless ways to watch tv (Netflix, cable, Hulu, Youtube) has made it much easier to build these personal “fortresses” and refuse to let others in. All you have to do is get under the covers, turn on a movie and get lost in someone else’s world until you fall asleep. The urge to get out and have contact with others diminishes more and more over time.

Shielding Yourself from Being Hurt Again
I know all about how easy it is to start boxing yourself in. It often comes from a deep seeded need to shield yourself from being hurt after being hurt SO many times in your life. So many people have offended, disappointed and betrayed you that you begin to believe the whole world is out to get you.

And that’s not a healthy place to be if you want to thrive in life. You can’t be empowered when you’re in complete isolation.

Human beings have an innate desire for purpose. Deep down we all want to be useful, necessary and important in this world. And it’s hard to do that when you choose to separate yourself from others.

You need contact with other souls in order to be healthy, wealthy and wise. How can you learn and grow if your only contact with other people is the fake, manufactured personas that you see on television or the internet? How will you ever have a chance to come in contact with a soul mate if you cut the world off and box yourself in forever?

Offenses Will Come
Like someone wise once said, there will always be offenses to contend with in life. There will always be that someone who gets on your nerves. There will be that girl at the department store who tosses you an attitude, or a family member who brings up something hurtful to try to bring you down.

But that’s a part of life, and more importantly it’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you choose to react to it. That’s what makes all the difference when dealing with others.

When you get back out there into the world and someone offends you, you have to think about the proper reaction in order to stay empowered.

When the girl at the department store gives you an attitude, just smile or laugh and tell her to have a good day anyway. When your family member comes to you with that same old story, this time laugh and make light of it. They only bring it up because they know it irks you, and they crave that negative reaction from you.

When others offend you, don’t join them in their misery.

Getting Back Out There
Here are some ideas to help you start coming down from your ivory tower:

– Go to Meetup.com, choose a group and randomly go to an event near you. You can go alone (make sure it’s a safe, public location). Go with a positive attitude and smile a lot.

– Join a cooking or painting class. Look for an “intimate” class of about 10 people where you’re almost guaranteed to have to speak to someone.

– Go to an adult learning class that will pique your interest, such as starting a business or managing your money. Ask plenty of questions and become the teacher’s “pet.”

– Wave hello to a friendly neighbor once in a while and smile at people you see when in town. 8 times out of 10 they will smile back. There’s a powerful energy exchange going on there–soak it in as much as possible.

Start with these ideas and use them to fuel more inspirations for how to rejoin the world. In exploring your interests (known and new) you will start to feel yourself coming out of that box and back into a place of power.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Watching TV Is an Escape… and a Potential Trap – Here’s Why #LoveLynn

I read a post recently that said you spend 12 years getting a basic education, four years in college and then the rest of your life working hard to pay bills.

When you put it like that life sounds pretty depressing doesn’t it? But the fact of the matter is that people *choose* this as their life — it doesn’t have to be that way.

Some people do what they love for the rest of their life. Some people choose to live an extremely modest life so that they can pursue their art instead of working at a job. Some people work 10 years then retire and travel the world. They all made a different decision.

Is Too Much TV Zapping the Life Out of Your Goals?
One of my mentors in my head, Zig Ziglar, said that one of the reasons why many people aren’t successful is that they spend too much time watching television. I had to take a look at my own schedule and admit that he was absolutely right. Whenever I turn on the TV, it’s like the hours fly by and I’ve barely gotten anything done. When I turn it off, I get so much work done.

Here’s an important question to ask yourself this week — how many hours per day do you spend watching television?

Television is a mental escape for many people. It allows them to take a temporary vacation from real life and visit the lives of others. Except in most cases those others are simply actors playing a role (not real). Even though we know they are actors, we often shape our lives and our thoughts based on what we see daily on television and in the media. That’s why I say it’s a potential trap, because in addition to losing time, you could lose yourself in the images you’re watching.

Watching TV vs Sleeping
I have a theory that the time you spend watching TV would probably be better spent sleeping. That’s because when you watch TV you’re in a sort of a mental sleep anyway, except that you are exposed to so many messages from the outer world that could be negatively affecting your life.

When you watch TV you are exposing yourself to the mindset and opinions of the writers of the show you’re watching. In many ways they shape public opinion and also how you perceive the world. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate what you allow yourself and your children to watch.

When you watch TV you also expose yourself to commercials that influence your behavior. How many times have you seen a fast food commercial on television and hours later or the next day you’re going through the drive thru, breaking your diet goals.

So I would say that sleeping for the same amount of hours per day that you watch TV would be preferable. Why? Because when you sleep you are regenerating your cells, rejuvenating your body, dreaming and exposing yourself to your own mind. It’s a chance to get in touch with your thoughts and possibly become inspired to do something really special with your life. Maybe you’ll even come up with an idea that will allow you to have a much better life story then just going to school for 16 years and working at a job you don’t really like for the rest of your life.

Not all TV is bad. Some programs and movies inspire and educate. But unfortunately the majority are solely designed to entertain and get the biggest audience so that money will be made. They aren’t written with your best interest in mind.

An Even Better Choice
Truth be told, neither sleeping nor watching television is the best use of those precious hours if you want to avoid a humdrum existence. I believe those hours are best spent working on your talent, trying new things, meeting new like-minded people and discovering your purpose. I don’t think our Higher Power intended for us to use them watching other people “live” in television, or just sleeping the day away.

A Different Perspective
This post is not meant to be judgmental — it’s meant to give you a different perspective on your day and on how you choose to design your life. If you’re not satisfied with the idea of working hard at a job until you can’t work anymore, then it’s up to you to change that narrative. It starts with making better use of the precious hours you’re given — the sooner the better.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Everyone Has an “Unfair” Advantage — What’s Yours? #LoveLynn

Have you ever been envious of another person’s talents or perceived advantages? Such as really good looks? Extreme intelligence? Or artistic ability?

I’ll be the first to admit it, yes! I remember in high school there was a guy who was ridiculously smart and always #1 in every single one of my honors classes. No one could ever beat him at any assignment… it was uncanny. Though I also had a good class rating, I was still envious of his effortless intelligence.

Another example. I had a friend who had a natural ability to attract new friends and people around her. If I brought someone new to meet her, they would almost always fall in love with her and want to see her even more than me!

You might call these types of skills and traits “unfair advantages” and bemoan the fact that you don’t have them. But the truth of the matter is that everyone has at least one “unfair” advantage over others. Do you know yours?

One of my unfair advantages is my ability to write off the cuff — an idea will pop in my mind and I’ll write an entire blog post about it in about 15 minutes. Another is my ability to tell a good story. I naturally know how to use cadence, timing and eye contact to engage and amuse someone with a story. When I write a story, I write it in a way that allows you to visualize each scene in your mind, like a movie.

So have you figured out one of your unfair advantages yet? Is it cooking a specific dish? Is it that children are naturally drawn to you? Is it that you’re an interesting tweeter? Is it your wit or sense of humor? Are you photogenic no matter where you take a picture?

Or maybe it’s that you can sense what someone else is feeling without them saying a word?

Maybe once you identify your “unfair” advantages, you won’t feel the need to envy the advantages that others possess. Maybe you’ll begin to understand that they aren’t actually unfair, but a powerful God-given trait that you’re meant to use to make a positive change in this world.

You are enough, and YOU MATTER.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

4 Easy Things You Can Do Today for a Better Week

Feeling a bit down, very tired, no energy or lacking clarity? Here are four easy things that you can do today for a better week. They are quick, simple and free in some cases — all that’s required is your commitment to setting aside a bit of time in your day to do them.

Do This 15 Minute Yoga Session
When I tried my first yoga class it was an hour long, painful and a little embarrassing because I couldn’t hold every position, so I never went back. However it did make my body and mind feel good afterwards, so I still do yoga on my own at home. If you want to feel better than usual this week, do this 15 minute yoga session today.

Turn Off the TV and Your Phone and Meditate in Nature for 30 Minutes
The television and your cellphone are major distractions in your day. If you’re not careful, they could begin to direct your life in negative ways. So set aside at least a half an hour today to turn off all electronics and meditate. If it’s a nice day, go out into nature to enjoy the outdoors while you meditate. If you think you’ll be bothered by bugs, just spray yourself with a repellent (I like Skin So Soft) or light a citronella candle.

Just sit in peace and listen to the sounds around you. If you want, you can also listen to meditation music in the background. Close your eyes and allow your whole body to relax, from your temples all the way down to your toes. Sit like that and allow relaxing thoughts to come to you.

Listen to 1 Short Motivational Audiobook for 1 or 2 Hours
You may be surprised by how much listening to one short audiobook can improve your week. There are audiobooks that are only 1 or 2 hours long–just long enough to finish while you’re commuting, cooking, cleaning or resting. Start an Audible membership with your Amazon account and use it to get a good audiobook for free, or purchase it outright (most short ones are under $8).

Happy Lady
It’s OK to Be Happy

Add a Handful of Greens to Each Meal
Ask any nutritionist and she will tell you that one of the most important food categories to have in your diet is “green leafy vegetables.” That includes spinach, kale, collards, romaine and green leafy lettuce. Add a handful of the greens you like best to every meal today. So for instance, you might put a handful of spinach into your omelet in the morning (delicious), a handful of green leafy lettuce to your sandwich for lunch and a handful of cooked collard greens to your dinner plate. Try to turn this into a habit, and you will start to feel and look much better. You may even be inspired to create your own small organic vegetable garden this year to grow your own “healing greens.”

Think you can do these four easy things today or tomorrow? I think you can. Your biggest challenge may be turning off the TV and social media for a while, but you can do it. You don’t have to climb mountains in order to make positive changes in your life. Start with small but significant gestures that only take small portions of your day to complete.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Programming Your Life & Mental Programming

When the producer of a show starts to develop the programming, there are a few crucial elements needed:

– she has to develop a relationship with a director
– she needs a cast of characters
– she needs a script, theme or storyline to follow

Without these things, there’s no program and the quality of each of these things determines how good or successful the show will be.

Well I submit to you that programming a television show is a lot like programming your life. You, as the producer, have total control of how your life “show” will turn out.

For instance, if you don’t have a good, strong, communicative relationship with your Director (God, Divine Providence, Higher Power) then the whole production lacks direction.

If you choose a cast of characters (think of them as your friends and associates) who are problematic and hard to get along with, your program will run into all sorts of roadblocks and obstacles. You’ll likely spend most of your time fighting or breaking up arguments.

And finally, the script is the most important part of the show. How have you chosen to write the story of your life? Is it a sad, pitiful and low energy story line that doesn’t have a clear purpose? Or is it an exciting drama full of climaxes and new experiences that educate and enlighten you along the way, illuminating an important and useful message to others?

There’s also another crucial factor in how successful your production will be … YOUR belief in it as the producer. In fact, a good program can’t even come to fruition unless and *until* you program your mind to think positively about it in the first place. You must first envision your life’s program for it to then become a reality.

If you could equate your life with a movie or television program, what would be the title and plot summary? If your program isn’t a 5-star production yet, what can you do to improve it starting today?

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Going Against the Grain or Going Along to Get Along?

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
– Mark Twain

Have you ever gone along with something, whether it was an idea, an action or a joke just because most of your friends or family members agree with it?

Yet something deep down inside tells you that something’s not quite right. That is your intuition talking to you, but unfortunately sometimes we ignore that voice. We choose the path of least resistance and just go along to get along.

Going against the grain (a euphemism for going one way when everyone else is going the other way) seems too difficult a task at first. You may have to deal with ridicule or judgment for your choices. Wouldn’t it just be easier to just agree with everyone and go with the crowd?

But there is SO much freedom in going against the grain when it’s warranted. For one, your conscience is FREE, because you know deep down that you’re doing the right thing. And you’re also freeing yourself from the mental slavery that comes with “group think.” The more people who go along with a certain belief, thought, obsession or action, the tougher it is to resist joining the ranks.

When I first decided that I would work for myself and own my own business, many of the people around me laughed and judged me. I frequently heard “why don’t you just go get a *real* job?” Today many of those same people struggle in careers they don’t really like. I decided to go against the grain, and I love what I do. It’s not always easy work being an entrepreneur, but I earn, have freedom AND I’m able to express my creativity every day.

People are always trying to impose their views and opinions on others — you have the free will and right to not agree if you wish. Exercise that free will at every and any opportunity!

Don’t ever be afraid to go against the grain when necessary. Your skin might get “prickled” a little along the way, but you may look up soon enough to clearly see that you chose the right path for YOU.

Love Lynn

Now Available at Amazon & Audible.com!

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Shed the Old to Make Room for the New… #LifeAdvice

Have you ever heard the saying that we change every 7 years? Well, it turns out that this “old wives tale” may actually based in a scientific fact. Experts say that parts of the body (namely the skeleton/bones) completely renew every 7 years. So in a way, you’re a different or new person every 7 years. Some cells renew as often as every 7 days.

But in order to allow any of those new cells ROOM to grow, old cells must perish and leave our system. It’s impossible for the “old” to stay and occupy the same space.

Knowing this to be true, it begs this question: is it possible that many of us are crowding our lives with old stuff instead of making room for new things to come in?

Let me give you an example. My house was full of old items and furniture that I barely used for many years. I wasn’t happy with it. With the assistance of some loved ones, I cleaned it up and removed most of the “stuff” that was crowding up the living space. It is like it is a whole new place and I regularly get new ideas for how to make it even more comfortable.

Another example. Do you have friends in your life who may be holding you back from making progress? Maybe they put you down, talk behind your back, discourage you or stand you up when you’re supposed to go out together. You might have to “shed” those “friends” from your life first in order to make room for some better ones who will support and encourage you.

Why Does It Take So Long for Good Things to Happen?

One of the questions that I address in my book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is “Why does it seem like it takes so long for good things to happen in my life?” Maybe one answer to that question is that you must first first sweep away the old, not so good stuff that’t there before the good things can make their way into your life.

Are you holding onto some old stuff from your past that needs to be shed? Maybe that’s part of what’s holding you back from taking a positive step in the right direction. Think about it and then take the necessary action.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Is It Really a Good Idea to Have a Plan A B and C?

Throughout much of my adult life I lived by the belief that it’s always good to have a plan A B or C in case your initial idea doesn’t pan out. In my mind, the plans after “A” would have been settling into a permanent job; plan B is a good job I like, “C” is not as good of a job and so forth down the alphabet.

But that conflicts with the teachings of my mentors who say that if you have a major goal, nothing should distract you from it. Many say that having a “backup plan” is a bit like predicting the failure of your first goal.

Now I feel the need to adjust the line of thinking that I’ve always clung to about having a backup plan. Now I think that it’s important to have a plan A B C D through Z that specifically moves you toward your ultimate goal or dream of choice.

I agree with my mentors, like Les Brown, who say that if you have a dream you want to achieve you hang onto it like a mad dog with a bone. At the same time it’s still a good idea to have a plan A B and C for pursuing that dream. That’s the key.

There could be many roads that lead you to your ultimate goal — some are smooth, “safe” and curved while others are more “tricky” or risky but they might get you there faster. Each of those roads to your goal are labeled plans ABC. The more backup plans you have the better in this case — if you believe in your dream, you will do what is necessary to achieve it.

Even if you do decide to put your plans on pause for a moment, that doesn’t mean that your “trip” is over. For instance, if you decide to pause a business venture and get a job, let that be a time to regroup, save some money and get refocused on your business plan. In this case, getting a job isn’t plan B for your LIFE… it’s just PART of plan B for achieving your ultimate goal.

Avoid negative people who try to discourage you. Keep learning and growing. And stay focused on your dreams and goals — they help give your life meaning and purpose.

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”
– Les Brown

Watch this motivational video by Les Brown: http://youtu.be/KlUMrzwmbyo

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Success Rarely Happens Overnight (Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts)

Say one day you decide to plant a sunflower. After 2 weeks, there’s a tiny sprout. After 3 weeks there’s even more of a sprout but not quite a sunflower yet.

Do you give up on your sunflower, yell at the sun, stomp on the dirt and pour antifreeze over the sprout because it hasn’t become a full grown flower yet?

Or are you encouraged by the small bit of progress, and continue to water and feed your soon-to-be flower?

Choosing the first option sounds RIDICULOUS doesn’t it? Yet people do that all the time to their goals, dreams and pursuits of success. You make a bit of progress, but it’s not enough, so you abandon the whole thing after a short while. You don’t see the “fruit” from your efforts quickly enough, so you pour antifreeze all over your plans and scream at the sky.

One of the questions in my book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is “Why do good things take so long to happen for me?”

We tend to be very impatient about progress. We want results now, or even better YESTERDAY.

Well a fact of life is that success takes time — it rarely happens overnight!

Pursuing a goal is like planting a seed in the ground. You water it, feed it and let the sun bless it. It grows slowly and perfectly until one day there’s a beautiful flower in the dirt.

And each seed has its own timeline. Some will be ready for harvest in just a few weeks, while others (like bushes and trees) take years to fully mature.

How many times have you given up on a new workout or nutrition plan, just because you didn’t see flatter abs and less pounds on the scale in 2 or 3 weeks? (Sometimes days!) It takes months and years for a shift in your diet and exercise plan to show significant results, and consistency is key.

Have you ever tried to learn a new skill, like dancing, playing an instrument, or painting and after a short time gave up because you didn’t think you were good enough?

Do me a favor right now and look up the early/first paintings of iconic artists like Salvadore Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Many famous artists didn’t start off painting “perfect” masterpieces. There was a progression in their art that came with time, practice and inspiration. The same is true for many of your favorite musicians and entertainers.

Then there are the trials of starting your own business. You opened the business and no one flooded through your doors the first week. That doesn’t mean you and your business idea is a failure! It means that more time is needed, more new ideas or maybe even a slight shift in your business plan. Steve Jobs didn’t turn Apple into a multibillion dollar corporation overnight — it took many years for him to finally get his footing.

And sometimes, some seeds just don’t ever turn into flowers for any number of reasons. Maybe the seed didn’t get enough water or the weather wasn’t warm enough. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or that you’re a failure — it simply means that you have to plant more seeds until you start to see some sprouts coming in. The soil’s still good! So keep planting.

“If you really believe in what you’re doing, work hard, take nothing personally and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up.”
– Laurie Notaro

Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts
If you are the type of person who gives up on your goals and dreams quickly, keep these words in mind:

Don’t stomp on your sprouts. Keep watering, watching over them and loving them instead — they need time and plenty of love to flourish.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.