The Bio and The Rest of the Story
"We are one person with one life. Love and live to the fullest, no matter where you are. "
Here’s the official bio: Lynn Carnes accelerates change and unleashes leadership performance in organizations; especially in the context of challenges without easy answers. She has over thirty years of experience in leading people, managing change projects, developing leaders, and client management. With a background in banking and finance, she quickly grasps the essence of a business and what drives its success. Lynn approaches change management, leadership development and coaching with a practical focus that connects effective concepts and principles to real work. Sounds very business-like, right?
Now here’s the rest of the story. In the late 90's, I was completely immersed in the corporate world, climbing the well-worn "ladder to success” at a major bank, checking all the boxes for a good life defined by external forces.
Inside I was miserable, yet I was so numb that I didn’t even know how miserable I actually was. I had cloaked that misery with all the trappings of the corporate world. I needed to look good, I needed to win at all costs, I needed to get that next promotion, and most of all, I needed to always be right.
Somewhere under that misery was the simple but daunting question. What if it could be different? Through a series of seemingly random and meaningless events, a journey to wholeness began. It is a journey that continues and it is marked by a life of joy that comes from sharing, guiding, and growing with others who are asking themselves the same question – What if it could be different?
"Through a series of seemingly random and meaningless events, a journey to wholeness began...
What happens if I turn everything upside down and wrap my work around my life instead of the other way around? What if it could be different?"
One of those random events occurred in a meeting where my team decided to “assume positive intent” as a core value. You can hear more about that experience in my TEDx talk and read about it in my book The Elegant Pivot. Another event involved facing a major setback at work that prompted me to flee to the mountains to gather myself. Another was meeting an acquired team during a merger that was actually grounded and calm instead of flustered and panicked. They introduced me to teachers that would guide me on a self-awareness journey. That was also the year I got my first glimpse of Lake Lure, the place I now call home.
A devastating fall from a horse in 2017 led me to a choice point. Would I ever get back on a horse at the age of 59, or would I walk away? The Tao Te Ching says “When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready... The teacher will Disappear.” In my case, another set of teachers appeared as I sought out guidance from a variety of horse trainers, who helped me see myself and horses through a totally new lens. They also helped me better understand my impact on others. Most importantly, I’ve changed my relationship to pressure, a force which none of us can escape. Eventually, I did get back on the horse, and have ridden over 70 different horses since my accident, including Mocha, the horse who did not intend for me to fall off of him. My latest book, Dancing the Tightrope, What Falling Off a Horse Taught Me About Embracing Pressure, Fear and Uncertainty came out of this leg of my life journey.
Both my significant life events and lots of baby steps have added up to evolve and create a completely different life. Tiny shifts in perception created huge differences in actions. New questions began to emerge. What happens if I begin to write in journal? Does meditation really work? Is it possible to follow a passion and still make a living? What happens if you actually eat right, moderate alcohol, and joyfully exercise? What would it take to be an artist? What shifts can I make to bring me closer to who I truly am? Can I live out of a true purpose? What if I turn everything upside down and wrap my work around my life instead of the other way around? How can I use pressure to elevate me rather than crush me?
I’m still answering those longstanding questions while regularly finding new ones. Today, my life is full of athletic endeavors (water skiing, horseback riding, sculling), art (pottery and watercolor), flying airplanes, farming with my awesome husband, and working with clients. Perhaps my greatest insight has been this: We are one person with one life. Time is your most precious asset. Treasure it to love and live to the fullest, no matter what part of the journey you are currently on.
"Tiny shifts in perception created huge differences in actions. New questions began to emerge."