Footprints in the Sand: Our Journey Begins With Lyn Vaughn

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Introducing Lyn Vaughn:  I am a southern girl with a bit of northern attitude, combining manners and grace with metropolitan style and a natural face. Black is my favorite color. I am the youngest of two girls, born in the 50's to a career educator, where learning, hard work and compassion ran deep in our veins. My life work includes birthing two amazing young men who are changing the world. I have been married for 37 years, some good, not so good and some of them great, but we produced happier endings from our worst moments.  

I send smiles, prayers and joyful phrases to lift and encourage others daily. I give and love freely, sometimes with disappointments but mostly with reciprocal rewards. I replenish at the beach, listening to the peace of the sunrise, the invigorating roar of the waves and the inspiration of endless possibilities along the horizon. 

What moves me? God, air, the ocean and the love of family and friends. What inspires me? My grandparents, my mom, my kids, those less fortunate and God. 2018 mantra: Push Through! (Push through life, push through hard times, push through obstacles, push through difficult people, push through a hard workout routine, push through bad attitudes, push through health issues, push through death, loss, division, anxiety and fear, push through, push through, push through!) WHY? Because on the other side, we get to rise up to a place of the new and improved versions of ourselves. 

What will I do next? Ease into retirement, start a small business, write a book or two and design the new palette of my next 58 years. 

Abundant peace and blessings,

Lyn


Footprints in the Sand is an interview series that explores the journey of the stars and rising stars in our community who are growing into their greatness by claiming their purpose, living a purpose-driven life and leaving impactful footprints in the sand for others to follow.  Interview by @JanetAutherine

WHAT DOES GREATNESS MEAN TO YOU?

Greatness to me, is a sense of personal fulfillment, knowing that my words, actions and behaviors represent what is pleasing to God, despite what people may think. 

WHO HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON ON YOUR LIFE (POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE) AND HOW HAS THAT PERSON CHANGED YOU?

My mother has been my greatest influence.  She taught special needs children as well as “traditional” students throughout our lives. Her approach to teaching ALL children was an individualistic approach, considering their needs and what would help each child to achieve success.  We were not allowed to show bias or to judge any of her students, despite what any of their handicaps may have been. 

This impacted my approach to people in general and greatly influenced my career as a manager, knowing that everyone is different and it is possible to achieve the same goals without using the same approach. It also helps me daily in my ability to accept friends and people for who they are and the good they add to my life, rather than focusing on any negatives or shortcomings. 

FEAR STOPS MANY OF US FROM GOING AFTER THE DREAM THAT IS IN OUR HEARTS. HOW DO YOU HANDLE FEAR?

When I am dealing with fear (almost daily, even if it’s small stuff), I will often step back and question what part of what I’m dealing with is what I’m afraid of. I pray that God will strengthen me in that area and give me courage to push through.  In fact, “Push Through” is my mantra for 2018.  It applies to my physical, mental and emotional being so that I can get past my fears faster.  Faster is key because it doesn’t mean I don’t still feel the fear, I just don’t allow it to paralyze me and prevent me from moving forward. 

I also have a core group of friends and advisors who are stronger than I am in many different ways, so I will reach out to get their help.  

SMALL STEPS HAVE MAJOR IMPACT.  WHAT SMALL STEPS ARE YOU TAKING DAILY TO MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT IN YOUR OWN LIFE OR GLOBALLY.

I don’t like to work out but after experiencing a major physical disability last year, I needed to strengthen my body and my mind to push past the pain.  The small steps I’ve taken are to do 15 minute increments of exercise for a minimum of 3 x/day, equating to a daily 45 minute regimen.  It doesn’t feel unattainable when I’m doing the 15 minutes at a time, so I’ve adopted this approach to other areas of my life. 

I’ve been able to help my friends and colleagues who are dealing with “big” issues to use this approach and break it down into small, manageable parts so that they don’t get overwhelmed and feel like quitting. 

WHAT QUOTE (YOUR OWN OR FROM AN INSPIRER) RESONATES THE MOST WITH YOU? OR WHAT BOOK HAS HAD A MAJOR IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE AND WHY?

“Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.” ~Brian Tracy

WHAT FOOTPRINTS DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE IN THE SAND AS YOU TRAVEL THE ROAD OF LIFE? WHAT STEPS, IF ANY, ARE YOU TAKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?

I would love for people to remember that giving has a greater impact than taking does and that kindness cures. 

I try to implement both of these things daily, with everyone I meet. I give anonymously and encourage others through compliments, helping them to find their smile and to encourage them through tough situations. 

HAVE YOU HAD ANY NOTABLE SETBACKS? IF SO, HOW DID YOU BECOME RESILIENT ENOUGH TO KEEP GOING AFTER THE  SETBACK?

I have had financial setbacks, relationship setbacks, issues with my children, illness, etc.  The one consistent source of strength and power in my life is my FAITH in God.  My faith was deepened with each experience through prayer and focus on God and the outcome, instead of the process.  The “process” can wear us out if we let it but if we hold fast to our faith and our belief that God is always in control, we can overcome anything and have a testimony on the other side. 

NAME 3 THINGS THAT BRING YOU PURE JOY? HOW DO YOU CREATE A POSITIVE LIFE BALANCE SO THAT YOU ARE ENGAGING IN THE THINGS THAT BRING YOU JOY, ATTENDING TO YOUR WORK AND FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES WHILE ALSO ACTIVELY PURSUING YOUR GOALS AND DREAMS?

My children. The beach. Bringing joy to others.  

Although my children live in another state, we speak daily and have a bond that is inseparable. They know that I am their #1 fan and nothing they need to talk about or experience is off limits with me. 

The beach is my place of solitude. I love the power of the ocean, the peace of it, and the quiet reminders that even beyond what we can see (the horizon), God is still in control. 

Bringing joy to others helps me to forget what isn’t right with me and allows me to refocus negatives into positives. My attitude often changes when I see the joy I have brought to someone else. A giving attitude, especially if outside of an organized effort (just do it on your own!) can make a world of difference. 

WE ARE ALL UNIQUE. THE SKILL, TRAIT OR GIFT THAT HAS ALWAYS COME NATURALLY TO YOU IS LIKELY WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE AND WHERE YOUR GREATNESS LIES.  HAVE YOU TAPPED INTO WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE ELSE? IF SO, PLEASE SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED. 

The one thing that people often say about me is that I am a giver and I try to bring out the best in everyone rather than focusing on what isn’t right.  I learned this from my mother, and she still lives this every day.  She is friends with Vice-Presidents and with crackheads.  She instilled this in us and I am often asked by people, “WHY am I having a conversation with a stranger or helping someone I barely know?”  I was taught to respect the janitor as much as the CEO. Interestingly enough, I am able to call in a few favors when I travel because I know more than the person in charge; I actually know the people doing the work. 

The toughest part of this is when people don’t appreciate what I do and I have to remind myself that I am not doing it for the recognition or a show of appreciation, it is to do what is pleasing to God. 

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED BY YOUR LOVED ONES AND BY THE WORLD? 

I would like them to remember my laughter and love of music. 

That giving and kindness can change the world.  If we all just shared a piece of what we have, no one would be homeless or hungry. 

That my home is an open door and we always have more than enough to share. 

That I love my children more than life itself and they are the two people on the planet I would give my life for. 

That I worked hard and made a lot of money but money was never what I worked FOR. There was always a face at the end of my efforts…making my mother proud, setting a good example for my children, keeping a roof over our heads when my husband lost his job, helping to support my stepmom when she quit her job to take care of my dad while he was bedridden, helping my child to achieve his goals on a non-traditional path, being able to freely give to others, etc. 

I would like them to remember that nothing is worth more than your integrity and your relationship with God