Welcome to The Lofty Questions Blog
This is also a television series that can also be viewed on YouTube @ Lofty Questions with Terry Finnegan Lynch.
Born out of the COVID -19 Shelter in Place experience, my intention here is to help you ask for what you want, discover what stands in the way of getting it and how to actually have it and keep it. Which is, now more than ever, vital to our and happiness in the New Norm.
The reason this show is called Lofty Questions is that over the past 17.5 years I have been practicing something I call the Big ASK. At first, the Big Ask was something only answered by a power greater than me. My life was in shambles so I needed a bit of a miracle. And it arrived on November 11th, 2002. Now, I can ask for what I need and in a quick minute, it arrives because nothing stands in the way of receiving it!
To start off, I like to share a story about what my life was like before the BIG ASK. 18 years ago, I was living in a constant feeling of devastation because I was always trying to stay safe while drinking alcohol. It was my full-time job since I had become unemployable as an active alcoholic! I worked for our family-owned business for years while drinking, but as the company grew HIDING my addiction became impossible. I “retired” to get sober in August of 1999. I went to AA and found myself in a revolving door of sobriety and drunkenness. To complicate the situation, my former husband suffered from extreme anger reaching the level of sociopathic and his family sent him home to work remotely. His behavior was unacceptable in the work setting but no more acceptable at home. So there we were, two highly dysfunctional adults alone with their demons. My hopeless state of mind and body drove me to and created the perfect alibi for his violent response.
So every morning when the three teenage kids drove off to , I would get in my with a bottle of vodka and drive nowhere until the kids came home. Void of all friends by now, and distanced from my family to hide the truth, I felt all alone. I never had a accident. No one ever stopped me. Maybe God sent angels to be my copilot while I figured out how to ask for help. As I put the key in the ignition each morning and headed down the long driveway with nowhere to go, devastation filled my being for the next 8 hours.
I did attend AA, But I couldn’t stay sober, nor could I stay drunk. When the pain of being sober was too great, I would and when the pain of drinking was too great I would get sober. Neither lasted longer than three months. I lived in that revolving door for three years.
I am so proud of my children. They tried everything to help. And eventually matured beyond many grown adults to know it was not their fault or their problem to solve. Despite this conflicting upbringing, my children are incredibly centered, confident, aspiring, loving, kind empowered adults. It was time to bring those same strengths into my wheelhouse!
During those three years in AA, I was hoping for a miracle. I knew my life was shattered. I was at the gates of HELL. But in one clear moment, I knew I did not want to stay. I talked to God for a minute. I said “You’ve got this right? Because I don’t.” The obsession and compulsion to vanished and I have been sober since.
From devastation to restoration, the process began. First I recovered from the hopelessness of drinking through the 12 steps of AA. Then I took a long and thorough look at my habits and realized although they had helped me for a while, they ultimately hurt me beyond measure! My very first real ask in 20 years answered with a miracle. So I honored that gift with an honest journey into wellness. Now I have the capacity to authentically know what I need and have the courage to ask without reservation, it is time to share how this strategy, through coaching, will lead to a fuller life for you.
My devastation led to a brilliant transformation. Are you curious as to how that is possible?
This blog will provide insight as to how that can be done!
Let’s start with this Lofty Question about habits!
“What have I learned about myself I would not have known without this shelter in place experience? The COVID Crisis creates all kinds of challenges and opportunities and they are best discovered when I look for patterns I may not otherwise be paying attention to.
Whenever we are in a crisis of any kind, it can amplify our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Just think back throughout your life of the crises you experienced. It was likely pretty intense. And maybe you asked this question back then…What did I learn about myself in this situation that I would have otherwise not known…or not. The answer was so loud that I could not ignore it anymore. I had become seriously stuck in loneliness. Before COVID, I called my loneliness “my driveway blues.” When I would visit with friends or family and leave to go home, once I put the key in the ignition to depart up the driveway, I would cry. The experience of abundance I was leaving behind, as I headed home to an empty nest, always hurt. But I would call a friend who understood and I would be okay. But now I was quarantined to my empty nest and that intermittent loss of abundance became full-time scarcity. I felt hopelessly lonely.
My coaching model uses paradigms to help sort out questions. What is a paradigm? Although it’s not an absolute truth, it is a useful, clever guide to unlock a new way of thinking. It will expand our view, our perspective, and therefore expand the possibilities that lie ahead.
Today’s paradigm will help us understand the Lofty Question. “The meaning someone makes about what happened is more relevant than what actually happened.” or “The meaning someone assigns to an event matters more about than the event itself”.
Fast forward from 2002 to 2020. I am now a sober senior living alone. When I apply the paradigm to the Shelter in Place experience of hopeless loneliness, challenge, I can learn “What do I need to be okay?”
The degree of significance I make about this can be manageable or not. Unbearable loneliness and separation felt unmanageable but what if I chose this shelter in place experience to mean an opportunity to rest, relax, and renew. For me, it certainly was a combination of the two. On those days that the meaning became I can’t survive being so alone, the intense thought produced an extreme emotion of despair, and my actions included overeating, defeated self-talk, and binge-watching stupid TV. I could not wait for the day to end. Conversely, on the days that I embraced the 3 R’s, the meaning of the shelter in place event was opportunistic.
When I observe patterns of my reaction to the COVID crisis, especially in how significant the meaning is, I can up-level my life. And curiously, the patterns that show up during a crisis exist in a much more subtle way all the time! That’s why this is so awesome. This is why the struggle is a very cool .