Category Archives: New Beginning

Naturally Reflective: New Year’s Review and Reset

I am very happy to have today off!  Since it’s New Year’s Eve, a coworker asked me yesterday with a smirk if I was going to “party hard.”  The sarcasm stems from the fact that I am the only introvert in an office replete with extroverts.  It’s common knowledge at work that “partying hard” is clearly not in my wheelhouse.  In fact, I stopped trying to “fake it in order to make it” years ago.

I prefer to focus more on starting the New Year off on the right foot.  So, New Year’s Eve for me is a good time to reflect back over the last year.  I saw a great quote on Facebook the other day from the ageless and wise Mimi Kirk:

“2016- Life is like a garden, keep the things that worked last year and get rid of the things that didn’t.”

Oh how I love a good gardening analogy!  It seems like sage advice for non-diggers as well.  Removing clutter from our lives has become a popular theme in recent years, as the minimalist trend has gained momentum.  I applaud the idea of careful consumption and avoiding the accumulation of items that aren’t loved or needed.

What about habits and behaviors that don’t benefit us and keep us from living our dreams?  This is the question I will be pondering today.  New Year’s Eve is a good time to look back over the past year and see what worked and what didn’t.  I am going to follow Mimi’s advice to weed out what is not serving me.  I also want to recognize with gratitude what did and plan to cultivate those practices.

How are you spending New Year’s Eve?  Will you be spending time in reflection and gratitude?  Partying hard?  Little of both? Leave me a reply.  I would love to hear from you.

Happy New Year!  May 2016 be your best year ever, filled with love, happiness, prosperity, laughter and many beautiful blessings!

Many blessings,

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page.

justdragonfly

 

Natural Gifts: Do You Know What Yours Are? What Would You Like To Be Doing?

My thriftiness was the inspiration that got me started making jewelry 13 years ago.  I was too cheap to pay $10 bucks for a bead change on my belly ring (Nope, I don’t have one anymore) at the tattoo place, when I could get a whole package for less than half that.  The only dilemma was what was I going to do with the rest of the beads?

I like to learn new things and since they string beads at kids’ summer camp, I figured making jewelry wasn’t beyond me.  So, I bought my first pair of pliers, some crimps, wire and catches and off I went.  First, I made an anklet, then earrings, then a necklace and bracelet.  I was hooked.  I learned how to bend wire (LOOOOVE bending wire and banging it into designs.) Very quickly, I outgrew the jewelry aisle at the craft store and began going to bead shops, mail order companies, metal companies and lapidaries for semi-precious stones and silver.  I made gifts for friends and eventually starting selling my one-of-a-kind pieces in 2006 under the name Chickyrhumba (a nickname my mom had for me when I was little.)

I closed the business in 2012 but I still enjoy making jewelry and I am proud of the work that I did.  The funny part is I am not sure I would have ever pursued it directly if it hadn’t been for my now defunct belly ring.  Honestly, I am just like that.  Life tends to have to inspire me to try new things indirectly or I need to ease into them somehow…slowly, sometimes VERY slowly.  I practiced yoga for several months on my own before I ever went to a class, just so I wouldn’t feel like a complete spaz doing it in public for the first time.

I suspect I am not alone when it comes to being a bit fearful about trying new things, even things I suspect I would enjoy.  Many of us are probably a bit nervous about looking foolish or fear that we may not be good at the chosen activity we admire or maybe, we don’t even know why we don’t make the effort.   Perhaps, there has just been an underlying current of subliminal messages in our minds telling us things like, “I don’t come from artistic people,” or “I have never been good at any sports.”  So, we stay stuck in our little safe box.

The cool thing is that if you manage to reach beyond your comfort zone, you just might amaze yourself with what you accomplish.  There are so many quotes about going beyond your comfort zone, it’s hard to know which came first.  I like Robert Allen’s “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”  (It just sounds so promising!)  More importantly, it’s a good way to take care of yourself.  You may find a new vocation that makes you successful beyond your wildest dreams or you may just find something you really enjoy doing.  Either way, it’s time well spent!

So, what have you always wanted to learn how to do that you have been putting off?  I would love to hear from you.

Love and Blessings to All,

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page.

justdragonfly

A Year after Super Storm Sandy: Challenges, Tumbles and Surviving It All with Gratitude!

A year ago when all the hubbub started about Hurricane Sandy, like so many people in the area where I lived on the water in Amity Harbor, I didn’t take it very seriously.  Although, I lived on a canal, the warnings that were being issued seemed extreme. I had stayed home through Hurricane Irene the year before without the water even coming up my back steps.  So, in my mind, Sandy would probably only be slightly worse.

Chauncy and I hunkered down on October 29, 2012 with every intention of waiting it out.  And for most of the day, it appeared I had taken the right course.  Then around 7pm, things changed radically.  I waded through knee high water to move my car to higher ground.  Forty minutes later when I finally left with my dog and one bag that same water was up to my thighs and had begun pouring into my home from every conceivable point of entry including the sinks and toilet.

I was oddly pretty calm for someone driving around in the midst of a hurricane.  I picked up a stranded driver who was soaked to bone.  He warned me not to go west on Merrick Road because that was where his truck got stranded.  I deposited him at the pizza place where the emergency workers were staying.  I couldn’t stay there with Chauncy.  So, I had to move on.  (There are very few safe public places during catastrophes on Long Island for people with dogs.)

Chauncy was freaking out as we weaved around fallen trees on Sunrise Highway.  He kept trying to crawl inside me practically.  So, I eventually threw an entire bag of treats on the passenger seat to distract him.  First, we tried going west to my folks, and made it about 10 miles before the road was blocked off.  So, I turned around drove further East than where I started and ended up at a friend’s house in Bayshore.  Thankfully, her family was willing to take us both in.

The next day I went to my folks’ house and have been here since.  I thought by now I would be in my new apartment with Hurricane Sandy fading into an increasingly distant memory but a short five months later, I experienced an event that made Super Storm Sandy feel like a mere inconvenience.  On March 2nd, the day after I launched this blog, I fell down the stairs at the Madison Square Garden Entrance to Penn Station. I broke my upper jaw, lost a front tooth, damaged seven more top front teeth, ripped my upper lip completely through, sprained my wrist and broke my nose.

Given the opportunity to take that moment back and hold the handrail, I most certainly would take the mulligan.  I won’t have anything close to my smile back before 2015 (…and we are talking closer to 2016.)  However, several people have told me I would find the blessings in these events and they were right.  When something like this happens, at first you just want to crawl into a hole and disappear.  You wonder what you might have done to deserve such a shitty, fucking thing to happen to you … and in my case two shitty things in row.  You wonder, “is this going to be what breaks me?”  Then a little voice deep inside answers very confidently, “no, it’s going to make you stronger than you have ever been.”  Then you pick your head up and start noticing all the things you have to be grateful for like your family, your friends, your dog, the perfect strangers (who turned out to be paramedics) who stopped to help when you fell, all the flowers, cards, prayers, well wishes and good, competent doctors to help put you back together.  There is so much I have to be grateful for, I couldn’t possibly fit it all into this one blog post.  That is how fortunate I am!

There is one other thing I want to share with you and then I’ll wrap it up!  That is the lesson.  The most profound shift I have experienced since all of this happened is what I thought mattered before… most of it… doesn’t matter at all.  I used to sweat everything: my boss yelling at me, getting a ticket, a friend being distant, paying bills… any little negative thing could tip my mood.  The worse thing on my mind before I fell was that my car had a leaky head gasket.  It seems so silly now ruminating about how I was going to find a new apartment, furnish it and get a new car at the same time.  I thought THAT was something to feel sorry for myself about.  Now, I am looking at a $30K-$40K dental reconstruction.  It’s okay though because getting my smile back to me is priceless!

Love and blessings to all.

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page.

justdragonfly

Ready to Switch up Your Life?: An Uncaged Interview with Rebecca Tracey

Do you want to make a change, a BIG change in your life?  Are you ready for a new career, lifestyle, to start your own business or a big bold adventure?  Are you feeling too stuck or fearful to move forward with your dream?  Then read on to find out how Life Switch Coach Rebecca Tracey coaches her clients (and maybe kicks their asses a little) on how they can achieve their goals and create the life they really want.

Cynthia Lenz: So many people think that Joseph Campbell’s “Follow Your Bliss” Concept makes so much sense but so few people actually do it.  Why do you think that is?  How would you advise people to be able to?  What are your top three tips?

Rebecca Tracey: Follow your bliss is really vague advice. When I hear that I don’t even really know what it means! It sounds great conceptually, but it’s not always easy figuring out exactly what your bliss is, let alone how to follow it. So my work with people always starts with helping them get really clear about what their bliss is (though I don’t think I have ever used that word before!). What do they value? What do they believe about the world? What kind of life do they want?  So my best tips for people are 1) to get crazy clear about what’s most important to you in life, and make sure you build that into your lifestyle 2) to do it your own way, and not try to copycat anyone else’s life, and 3) to try different things out. You never know what you’ll love and what you won’t until you actually try it. I always say that “figuring it out” is not intellectual, it’s experiential. You can’t just sit at home and think about what you might like to be doing. You actually have to get out there and try it out, with no pressure, and see how it goes. Then tweak and change as you go.

Cynthia Lenz: I love tip #2 “to do it your own way, and not try to copycat anyone else’s life.”  Often, I think people get frustrated because they follow all the steps someone else laid out but it doesn’t work for them because it’s not authentic to whom they are.  Do you find a lot of people struggle with feeling it is okay to just be themselves?  And once they accept and enjoy themselves for who they are that life begins to open up for them?

Rebecca Tracey: Yes!! It’s so common. We’re all human. I have even struggled with this myself in my business. I wrote a really important post about this. (Click here to read Rebecca’s post.) I find that when you really let yourself be exactly who you are, quirks and weirdness and all, you show up as a leader. All those things that make you who you are; are what people admire about you. So it’s really a shame to hide or change them. They are also really good clues about what you are meant to do in the world. When you can tap into your strengths and natural abilities, you can start to do your work YOUR way, instead of always having to try to change to fit your work.

Cynthia Lenz: I love the way you communicate while unapologetically dropping F-bombs and incorporating slang expressions.  You manage to strike a nice balance, where other people sometimes come across as unprofessional or less knowledgeable when using similar language, you still sound clear and intelligent.  Were you ever hesitant about being so bold or fearful about being taken seriously with a more casual, in-your-face style?

Rebecca Tracey: I don’t think I ever really thought about it. I was very conscious of not wanting to fall into the typical “life coach” trap of using language that feels airy fairy, and quite frankly, too vague for people to actually understand. So I decide to just write the way that I talk. Sometimes when I’m feeling really passionate about something, I swear more. When I’m feeling really grounded and grateful, I can be a bit more serious. I have a lot of different facets to my personality, and I knew right away that I wasn’t willing to compromise on any of them. And I was never really worried about sounding “professional” because I knew that the people who would resonate with me, would resonate with ME, and that if I tried to be something I wasn’t, they’d be sorely disappointed if they actually hired me. Now my ideal clients come to me, and they come with a really good sense of what I’m all about because it’s right there on my site. Nothing to hide. It’s probably the best way to attract clients that I know of!

Cynthia Lenz: Life-switch Coach is such a great title.  “Life Coach” sounds very broad but Life-switch coach implies imminent action.  Where did you get the idea from?  Did you coin the term?  If so, was there a moment that inspired it?

Rebecca Tracey: I think my very first copywriter actually came up with the title, and it kind of stuck! At the end of the day, I’m all about helping people switch up their lives for more exciting ones. Getting people out of ruts and into lives, they love, is what I’ve always cared most about, and that title just sounded way cooler than “life coach”!

Cynthia Lenz: Is there something that all your clients have in common beyond wanting to make a change? Maybe a common trait or experience…feeling?

Rebecca Tracey: Yep. My clients all want to start business, work for themselves, and be their own boss. They’re sick of the 9-5, they dream of travel and adventure and time with their families and random Tuesdays off. My clients are total freedom seekers. But they’re also super committed to making this kind of lifestyle happen. They understand that it’s a lot of work and it’s not all as glamorous as it seems, and they are willing to do what it takes to create it for themselves. That’s actually what sets them apart from most people. They are willing to do the work.

Cynthia Lenz: Would you give me an idea of what your life was like prior to being a Life-switch Coach?

Rebecca Tracey: My life was, in a word, fun. (And it’s still fun, I might add!). I was always a bit of a rebel and I hated the idea of working for someone else, so I managed to find ways to avoid work as much as possible. I traveled for several years straight after University, working odd jobs as I went. I’d often come home for just long enough to bank some cash, then I’d take off again on my next big adventure. I managed to live this life pretty easily, and even pay off $25000 of school debt in the process. I kept hearing from people how “lucky” I was, and I always responded with “This isn’t luck. I chose this. I made this happen!” I eventually figured I’d have to get a real job at some point, and ended up in nutrition school (thinking I could start my own nutrition business). What I realized very quickly was that what I was really passionate about was helping people make a choice about how they wanted to live, how they wanted to feel. So I left the fine tooth meal combing to someone else, and I started my coaching business. My business now is a really sweet mix of all my strengths and skills and experience and values – and it’s all centered around what I really believe about life – that it can be whatever you make it.

Cynthia Lenz: Do you have a client success story you could share where you got to celebrate a client reaching a goal that seemed impossible to him/her at one point?

Rebecca Tracey: I have one client who mentioned in passing on our first call that he wanted to write a book. It was one of his secret childhood dreams. It had nothing to do with what he was coming to coaching for. When he talked about writing I could tell how excited it made him. On our first call we talked about what it would be like to finally start writing, and he decided he would start that night. Within a few weeks he had written his first short story, and now, less than a year later, he has finished two novels and is looking into getting something published. It’s been so cool to see him really do something that makes him come alive, and to also see how much he has learned about himself in the process. My job is so fun!

Cynthia Lenz: Do you have any plans for an “Uncaged Life” Book?

Rebecca Tracey: You know, you’re the 4th person to mention a book in the past few weeks. I think the universe is trying to give me a hint. I’d love to hear what people would want to read about! It’s on the long list of to-do’s, but nothing in the works just yet.

Cynthia Lenz: Since my blog is all about being healthy and happy in a natural way, would you share what role nature plays in your life?

Rebecca Tracey: Oh wow. Well since I spent the majority of last year living in a van and rock climbing my way around the US, I’d say nature plays a pretty big role. I never thought of myself as an outdoorsy person (or a sporty person for that matter). But about 5 years ago my life shifted dramatically when my mom died suddenly. It sent me on the search for something, some kind of self-healing maybe?  I found my way to nutrition school. Long story short, I started taking really good care of myself: eating well, doing a lot of yoga, I stopped partying, started really making choices that made me feel good. Part of that included really dedicating myself to rock climbing. I fell in love with it, and it kind of took over my life (in a good way!). I now try to get outside as much as I can, whether it’s riding my bike around Toronto (which is an adventure all its own), slack-lining in my local park, or climbing up north of the city on the weekends. It’s so important for me to be able to get outside!

Rebecca Rock

Ready for more Rebecca Tracey?  Check out her website www.theuncaged life.com.  She has a lot more tips posted and a free downloadable workbook to help you get started on creating the life you have been dreaming about.

Love and blessings to all,

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/naturallyhealthyhappy

My First Blog Post: A New Beginning …

May I just say, starting a new blog is a little intimidating!  My mind is swirling with so many thoughts: 1. Will anyone read it?  2. If they do…will they like it?  3. And the most frightening thought of all: What should my first post be about?  Hmmmm…

Then I came across this quote:

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings…

Meister Eckhart

So, that’s what my first blog post is about: A new beginning!  What could be more appropriate?

Cynthia Lenz’s Naturally Healthy and Happy Blog is a new beginning for me in so many ways.  Starting this blog today begins a new life purpose for me… but please allow me to back up for a moment and tell you about some recent endings.

Like so many people who lived along the waterfront in the Northeastern U.S, my home was flooded by Hurricane Sandy.  Thankfully, I had a warm, safe place to go and stay with family; where I currently still reside.  Then in December, after six plus years, I decided to close my business, Chickyrhumba.  It was an emotional decision but selling my handmade jewelry has been a struggle in the current economy.  So, suffice it to say, selling it, wasn’t nearly as joyous as making it.  Although I still really love making jewelry, I feel called to a higher purpose which is helping people get fit, happy and healthy in a natural way.  And this blog is where I shall begin.  Thank you for joining me!

So, what can you expect to see here on weekly basis?  Essentially, all things in regard to health, happiness and living more closely aligned with nature (have I mentioned I can be very literal sometimes?) If you are a girly girl or a metro-sexual male, don’t worry!  I won’t be writing odes to living on a hippie commune or coming up with little ditties on and when not to flush the toilet to save water.

Life is about growth, not perfection.  I will be sharing information I have found over the years on how to feel great, look great, be kind, eat well and take better care of Mama Earth while you take care of yourself.  We’ll be getting into all the different facets of wellness in the weeks, months and hopefully years to come.  From time to time, I’ll include some of my own struggles with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as, the solutions I have found to alleviate it over the last twenty plus years.   And, of course, there will be much MUCH more but let’s keep a little mystery for now, shall we?

Thank you for reading my first blog post.  I appreciate your time and would love to hear from you as this journey continues.  What would you like to get started? Let me know what you plan to begin and about the magic comes from it.

Love and Blessings to all,

Cynthia

Follow me on twitter! My handle is @cynthialenz.  Please LIKE my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/naturallyhealthyhappy