Archive for November, 2009

Sweet Indiana

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Silly Indy. Rolled up his favorite blankie to lie down, but he kept stumbling and falling down. Never fear, he’s a clever boy, he eventually braced himself against a chair and just slid down. He’s managing very well.

Indy is my boxer buddy. He turned five years old this past July and is in the prime of his doggy life. But he’s hit a few bumps this past year.

Indy and Duke, Thanksgiving Day

Indy and Duke, Thanksgiving Day

Indiana, just watching the world go round.

Indiana, just watching the world go round.

Indy had a stroke last spring. Things looked pretty grim for the first several days;  in fact we were all spending as much time with him as possible as it looked as though he would surely die. On the day that I thought would be his last, he started to recover. From there on he made steady progress to an almost full recovery.

Fast forward to this week. All was well until one night Indy was restless around 2:30am. Completely out of character as this boy likes his solid 12 bedtime hours of sleep. I got up with him and he stumbled down the stairs, falling for the past few. This happened a few times in the wee early hours and I knew what had happened again. I had to leave very early that day so I told Indy when I would be back and explained to my husband all of the particulars and how to help Indiana the most.

By the time I got back in the afternoon I didn’t know just what to expect. Not what I found, that’s for sure. I returned to find my now ’tilted’ boy, playing and trying to engage everyone else in play. Clearly he was in no pain and I got the feeling that he wanted us all to know just that.

We lay down on the floor and Indy allowed me to give him Reiki for well over an hour. We then took a nice long nap and both felt much better.

That first night Indy went upstairs to sleep just like normal, but the journey up the stairs was clearly difficult for him. By the middle of the night we were both back down on the first floor. He curled on his favorite blanket and went to sleep. Since then, he hasn’t tried to go upstairs at all. Our youngest son Mike has been staying with us and he has been sleeping on the couch so that Indy won’t be alone and has someone nearby if he needs them.

I’m once again being reminded of so many things. The life coach in me admires the common sense and good nature that Indy is exhibiting. He can’t go up and down the stairs so he’s simply not, excellent self-care! Duke, the boxer that we once fostered has been here for the past few days and Indy really likes him, so when Duke goes outside so does Indy. They stroll around the yard and Indy even tries to coax Duke into playing with him. Imagine this normally very graceful dog trying to run around, stumbling and tipping a bit, but showing Duke that he’s willing! It could be heart-breaking I suppose, but I see it as quite wonderful. Indy knows what he can and cannot do and is quite determined to enjoy everything that he can.

We went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for both Thanksgiving and a birthday party. Guess who was lined up first at the door? Yep, Indy was determined not to be left out of these gatherings. He got to the truck and turned around and just looked at me as if to say ‘Okay, I got this far, now you lift me up please.’ Naturally I did. While at the gatherings, he got plenty of ear rubs and did his best to be sure that little baby faces were kept clean. Another job well done.

I really don’t know what’s ahead for my pal. He’s middle-aged, really at the time most boxers are at their peak of strength and endurance. I’m grateful for that, as I’m sure it’s serving Indy well. I’ll continue to offer Reiki to him everyday, he clearly knows how and when it helps him and I love having the opportunity to offer it to him, more cuddle time for both of us.

We won’t eliminate playtime or walks.¬¨‚Ć We will of course let Indy set the pace and the time frame. This smart boy clearly knows what he wants and what he can do, so I’ll just let him tell me.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to learn from Indiana. He’s happy! He wants to participate in family activities and he will. When he’s had enough he simply lies down and we are doing our best to be sure that his favorite spots are a bit extra fluffy and warm. Excellent life lessons for me. Enjoy everything I can and take a rest when I’m tired. Find a way to do what you want to do and don’t worry if it looks silly to anyone else. And oh yeah, don’t forget to be affectionate at every opportunity.

This week I hope you take the opportunity to  enjoy every moment, make the most of what you have and expect the very best outcome. Most of all, be happy whenever  possible.

Warmly,

Sandy

Life Changes

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

We’re dating. By ‘we’ I mean my husband of 27 years and of course me. John decided a few months ago that he wanted to make some major changes. I had no idea what was in store for us.

John has always been incredibly conservative. Watching every penny, worrying about every event, predicting all possible outcomes and then sort of holding his breath to see if his predictions would come true. These qualities may sound dull as you read them, but the truth is that they’ve made him a terrific husband and devoted father. We’ve always known that John had all eventualities covered. The boys and I have always felt entirely secure regarding finances and knew that John was totally and completely devoted to us all.

Apparently John has now decided to do a 180! The man is changing right before my eyes, and it’s not only surprising it’s a ton of fun.

He came home one day and told me that we were signed up for ballroom dancing lessons. Okay…sounds like fun to me. Then he told me the date of the first class. It was actually last Friday when I was co-hosting a retreat. No worries, he went by himself. Anyone who knows my husband knows that this was totally and completely out of character. He’s always been quiet and reserved. Apparently, he’s getting over it. He went to the class on his own, danced by himself and asked the very pretty young woman who is one of the instructors to dance with him. John spent all of the days between that first class and last week doing the rumba around the house. I suspect he held off somewhat at the firehouse as I didn’t get any calls. But it’s been terrific watching him have so much fun.

He’s signed us up for cheese tasting classes, checking the movie listings and even planned a cruise for January. Why do I tell you all of this? Because I have to tell someone! Alright, that’s part of it, I am incredibly proud of the way he is embracing change. But most of all, it’s to point out that we can make any changes that we truly want, at any time in our lives.

First of all, we have to want to change. We don’t have to know exactly what we want our lives to look like, but an idea certainly helps. For instance, John didn’t know that he was going to become someone who wanted to go places as frequently as he now does. He’s always been a homebody. But, he did decide that it was time to embrace a more light-hearted approach to life. He made the decision that he would find ways to get out from time to time with his amazing wife (that’s me) and that he would enjoy what life offers, knowing and trusting that his hard work and diligence has laid a good foundation. He’s not become frivolous by any means, but he is having more fun than ever.

How can this happen?¬¨‚Ć First and foremost John knew he wanted his life to start looking a bit different. He was tired of worrying. Tired of pinching pennies. So, he worked with a holistic life coach and Reiki master (yoo hoo, me again) to develop some practical and easy methods. He started re-framing his comments and statements to be more positive. Instead of focusing on events in his life or in the news that were upsetting or negative, he acknowledged them, discussed them with his life coach or others, but then he worked on letting them go if there was no way for him to change them. That’s huge! His personality is such that it was important for him to talk about things that bother him, that’s fine. But now, he tries not to end on a negative note. Instead he tries to see a lesson or a potential positive outcome.

Another of the things John has done is to stop berating himself for mistakes made in the past. After all, what’s done is done. We can look at the past, we can learn from it, but we have absolutely no ability to change it. I’m proud of him for beginning to accept that the past is done and to forgive mistakes made by himself and others. Again, a big step.

Probably the biggest change in John is that he is focusing on the¬¨‚Ć amazing life he has led and intends to go on living. He frequently brings up the fun we had raising our three sons. He speaks with pride about their accomplishments, no matter how small. Reminiscing about camping trips and time spent being active in Boy Scouts. He’s excited when he talks about them visiting us or a vacation to see any of them. In short, this man has become hopeful and silly excited about his future. Hooray!

I often speak to my clients, whether Reiki clients or coaching clients about re-framing their speech to see a positive viewpoint. It truly changes the way we feel and think. Affirmations are a powerful tool that we can use as well. Writing and talking to ourselves about the positive changes we are bringing about in our own lives. These things are sometimes overlooked or forgotten because they are so very simple. But they work. It’s pretty much that simple.

So, I’d like to applaud John for the life changes he’s made. I know it hasn’t been all that easy for him. He’s a 52 year old man who had a pretty firm pattern set in his life. But he’s making changes and from all the signs he’s enjoying them incredibly, just as he deserves.

Just one small positive change this week could improve your entire life. Go ahead, give it a try. I can’t wait to hear all about the positive life changes you are making.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice my fox-trot and rumba steps so that John doesn’t go off dancing into the sunset without me.

Warmly,

Sandy


John has always been incredibly conservative. Watching every penny, worrying about every event, predicting all possible outcomes and then sort of holding his breath to see if his predictions would come true. These qualities may sound dull as you read them, but the truth is that they’ve made him a terrific husband and devoted father. We’ve always known that John had all eventualities covered. The boys and I have always felt entirely secrue regarding finances and knew that John was totally and completely devoted to us all.

Apparently John has now decided to do a 180! The man is changing right before my eyes, it’s not only surprising, it’s a ton of fun.

What did you Expect?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

IMG00061My co-host and wonderful new friend, Melissa Heisler and I welcomed a group of five (5) women for our Relax and Recharge Retreat this past weekend.

We had talked about  our hopes and plans for the retreat and created an outline to guide us as well as letting the participants know what to expect. That plan pretty much flew right out the window, and it was to the benefit of all of us.

Everyone came for their own reason and of course those reasons and personal stories will remain confidential. What I found most interesting though was that all of the participants had desires and intentions in common, even if they were not aware of these desires and intentions went they registered for the event.

The weekend seemed to fly. Bonds were quickly and firmly established. Some ladies slept in, getting some much needed and well earned rest. Others spent those early hours in quiet talk. We walked for miles while we shared precious stories, sometimes all of us together, other times one on one. There was opportunity for Psych-K and Reiki and we all participated in guided meditation, taking our own private journeys in our mind while listening to our souls. We even spent some time creating our own vision boards. And do these ladies have vision! Each vision board was of course very different from the others. Another step toward creating the future that each is bringing about in her own life.

We ate well, nurturing our bodies while we nurtured our souls. It was a weekend of discovery and remembering. Recalling the laughter and pure joy of youth and simple pleasures.  Life coaching went on almost constantly, and some of it was even offered by the coaches; Melissa and me. The support and positive suggestions offered by each of these women to one another was heartwarming and genuine. They were positive, supportive and kind, most of all they were right on point, time and again.  Tears flowed, but there was also laughter. So much joy, I can hear it even now.

Can you bend spoons? Me too!  But Melissa shared this skill in a whole new way. Instead of using force to bend the spoon, she taught how to make the spoon pliable and easy to bend by using your heart and mind. Love that! And yes, it worked.  I was smart enough to buy some extra spoons from the accommodating diner down the road or I suspect I would be looking for new spoons for my lake home even now. They bent easily and it was just so cool to see the looks of amazement and happiness of the faces of the amazing ladies. They were always powerful but now they realized it in a whole new way. Very exciting stuff!

While it was our original plan to include Reiki, Psych-K, meditation, life coaching, etc., we soon realized that the schedule was not important at all. The days and nights unfolded perfectly. It’s pretty tough to ask for more than that.

I’m grateful to each of these women for sharing and participating. I’m also grateful to them for reminding me of a powerful lesson. I had certain expectations and plans when Melissa and I were putting all of this together. And while I still believe it’s important to have expectations and plans, I was gently and wonderfully reminded that it’s very important to let go of expectations when something much better comes along.

I wish you a week where your expectations are not only met but exceeded in surprising and most fabulous ways.

Warmly,

Sandy

Thank You Honored Veterans

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

S3000001I want to say a most sincere and profound Thank You to each and every one of our American veterans.

These incredible men and women put each and every one of us before themselves. They do it because they believe in every cell of their being that it is the right thing to do. And so they serve.

Young and not so young. I have the great privilege of knowing many of these people personally. Many in my family have served in various branches of our military. Some for a few years, others have made this service their career. All have been changed by the experience, each and every one have them have said that it has made them better people. Well, I’m not in a position to judge that, I suspect these folks were always of outstanding character.

Some of the young who are currently serving spent quite a lot of time in my home as they were growing up. It’s always a pleasure to see them when they visit. They are unfailingly modest and grateful. Let me repeat that, they are grateful to our country for the opportunity to serve. Wow, that is amazing. I don’t hear bragging from them, they share stories of the people they have met, the places they have been. There is a quiet pride and dignity in the squaring of their shoulders as they salute, shake hands or hug those who have served before them. These men and women undoubtedly represent the very best of what America has to offer and does offer to the world.

Now I’ve got to be honest, I’m possibly a bit biased. One of my sons, Bill spent six years in the US Air Force. He speaks about his time serving in terms of what he learned, and the incredible bonds he forged with others who served with him. In many ways he is closer to some of those men than most of us will ever be able to imagine. We missed him around here while he was serving far away from home, but always understood that he considered what he was doing to be necessary and valuable. To Billy, I offer not only gratitude and respect of a citizen but also the pride and love of a mom.

Each and every one of these veterans is someone’s son or daughter. Many have husbands or wives, some have children. Each has left home, leaving family and friends to serve our country. Personally I make no distinction between those who serve at home in the United States and those who have gone to far away places. They wear the uniform with pride and I am proud to salute each and every one of them.

To all of our American veterans, from all era’s, please¬¨‚Ć know that I think of each and every one of you with pride and I offer you my most sincere thanks.

Warmly,

Sandy

A Good Deed

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

DSC01004I’ve posted about this before, but every time I think about it I become very excited, so I thought I’d share with you.

Our mother’s taught us that we should be nice to others because it’s the right thing to do; I tried to teach my kids the very same thing. I remember from time to time one of my boys would ask why they should help out their brother, what was in it for them? Well, I was the grown-up in the house, so in the most gentle, loving manner I could muster I would calmly explain that what was in it for them was the opportunity to sleep inside the house that night and with any luck the next night as well! I tried hard to be a generous and helpful mom.

I wish I had known then what I know now. It turns out that every time we do something kind for someone else, from helping them find their shoes to untying them from the railroad track just before the speeding train arrives, raises our serotonin levels. In short it makes us feel good. Here’s where it gets even better. You would probably expect the formerly tied up on the track person to feel pretty good about the new situation. But guess what, you will too! That’s right not only are you doing just what your mama told you to do (rest assured, Mom’s feeling pretty good at the moment now as well) but your serotonin levels go up just as a result of your doing the right thing. Hot dog, you’ve got to love that. But wait, it gets even better!

This is not just a win/win for both the good deed doer and the good deed recipient, but it turns out that anyone witnessing the event also experiences a rise in serotonin. How cool is that? That explains why I felt so good when I would watch one of my boys help the other to build a snow fort. They thought they were simply doing it to protect their corner of the yard from the opponents on the other side of the yard, and in truth that’s what they were doing. But they undoubtedly felt good as a result of the kindness, their brothers felt good and I now realize that this act in full view of the neighbors probably made them smile and feel just a bit better as well.

Now the life coach in me realizes that even if I didn’t intellectually understand this all those years ago that I probably intuitive understood it and that others probably do as well. But how cool is it that we now actually know intellectually what we felt all along?

I’ve had conversations with other Reiki people about this from another angle. For instance, while I give myself Reiki frequently I most feel the wonderful effects of Reiki when I am offering it to another. That is definite motivation to be sharing Reiki with anyone and everyone who is open to the experience. It just feels good and makes me happy.

What to do with this information? Perhaps just knowing it is enough to make you smile and feel good. You might share the info with others and hopefully motivate them to do an extra  kindness.

In truth I don’t care just what the motivation was that made my little boys help one another out from time to time. They did and clearly they got something from the experience as they are all now adults who don’t hesitate to assist others cheerfully. I feel better just having that knowledge.

I wish you a fabulous week, offering, receiving and observing kindness and good deeds.

Warmly,

Sandy