Posts Tagged ‘Blessings’

Forgiveness Matters

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Forgiveness is something that I think is often mis-understood and because of that, often over-looked or put on the back burner. However, it’s my firm belief that before healing can happen forgiveness must begin.

So, let’s talk about forgiveness.  First and foremost offering forgiveness is not, absolutely not condoning the incident which offended or hurt you. That’s really important, so I will repeat it. Forgiving does not mean saying that what occurred was alright! What forgiveness means is that you no longer feed energy into the pain, hurt; resistance and you allow healing to begin.

Ahhhh, we’re getting to the meat of the matter right off. Healing. That’s what forgiveness is all about, at least in my mind. Here’s how I see it.

Let’s create a scenario. Let’s say that someone has said something truly hurtful to me, hurtful enough to wound me deeply. Ouch! While I am hurting I find that I withdraw my energy. A bit like a turtle may pull his head into his shell to prevent further injury. Perhaps I go over the words again and again, feeling the wound, reliving the words each time. It hurts!

As time goes by, I may well find myself becoming angry. Anger is not a bad thing, it’s simply an emotion and there are real and valid reasons to feel anger. For one thing it’s got a higher vibration that the desolation and depression that I was likely feeling just one paragraph ago. It’s normal, reasonable and completely human to feel anger. But what to do with it? If I keep feeling it but do not express the anger, it can become very toxic. Stuffing the anger can actually make me sick, physically, and emotionally. Simple fact here, it is healthier for me to find a safe way to express that anger. When I feel the appropriate, healthy way to begin to release the anger, it’s a bit like pulling the plug in a water filled tub. The resistance, strong energy begins to dissipate. Perhaps the turtle once again considers sticking his head out of his shell.

This is all part of the forgiveness process. I forgive so that I feel better. Simple as that. When I decide to forgive, and yes, for me it is often a very deliberate, conscious decision, I begin to feel better. That easier, more gentle feeling makes way for healing.

In the scenario painted above, I have been hurt. The words that were spoken may or may not be valid. Finding a healthy, safe way to release the resistance, the energy that is my anger, allows me to determine the truth or falsehood of the words spoken. That feels a bit better. Regardless of what I decide, I am still hurt by the words that were said to me. There’s work for me to do.

I begin by honestly acknowledging to myself that I have been hurt. For me that can take a bit of work as I would really prefer to pretend that I’m too tough to be hurt by others. Not so, the truth is that I am as human as the next person. I’ve been hurt, I’ve gotten angry. Both acknowledged and felt. For me the next step is to look for a blessing in this situation. This part really irks some people, and I get it, really I do. But I do believe that there is a blessing or a lesson if you prefer,  in each and every happening, even those which hurt us deeply. Again, returning to the above scenario, I would ask myself what the blessing or lesson looks like. Perhaps there was truth in the words expressed to me; can I learn from the words? Or it could be that the hurtful words were totally bogus, perhaps the lesson is that the person who uttered these falsehoods feels safe enough to express themselves to me. It could simply be that this person is not good for me and I need to say away from them. Maybe, none of these fit, I will search until I find what resonates with me.

Finding a blessing allows me to feel somewhat better; I begin to feel stronger as forgiveness begins. The energy that doesn’t feel very good, the resistance begins to be released, and healing is starting to happen.  That’s what forgiveness is, healing. The hurt, anger, bitterness energizes me in a way that feels pretty crummy to me, but finding a blessing, learning a lesson, deliberately deciding to look for a truth allows that icky energy, that resistance to begin to go away. Remember that water filled tub I talked about above? Well, the plug isn’t all the way out, the tub isn’t empty. But the trickle has begun and it feels good. That’s what forgiveness is about, feeling better. And beginning to heal. This has not one thing to do with whether or not the person was justified in saying what they did. Not for one moment would I condone deliberately hurting someone with an untruth. But if the words were true, I can learn from them. If they were false, then I have taken the time to find the blessing, to learn a lesson.

Another little phrase that causes a lot of trouble is ‘forgive and forget’. I’m not a fan at all. My dog teaches me a very simple lesson about that, because animals offer unconditional love. They get hurt, but they learn the lesson, forgive and move on. If I’m out walking with Indiana and he keeps walking in front of me, there’s a very good chance his foot will get stepped on. He learns the lesson, forgives and walks alongside of me. But he doesn’t forget! He remembers that if he walks in front of me his toes will get smashed.

We can take a lesson from this. If forgetting serves us well, then we will forget in time, easily and effortlessly. However, if the words brought a lesson that we can use, by all means, keep it in your memory. Again, let’s return to the original scenario. If the words spoken to me were hurtful for the simple reason that person has their own ‘stuff’ to deal with, then I will likely remember and not put myself into a position to be hurt by them again. However, if the words were true and helpful, I may well remember them, learn from them and recall them when they are again helpful. Forgive; yes. Forget; only if it serves your best and highest good.

I’ve spoken about hurtful words because that seems to me to be the most common wound. But wounds come in all sorts. It could be the wound of a relationship that has ended, the death of someone you cared about, a car wreck or any number of other scenarios. The work is the same. It’s a step by step process. No one size fits all here. There is no time-line. The process may be very fast, a matter of moments, or it could be over years. Whatever is right for you is right.

What are you holding onto? Is there something that you are ready to begin healing from? Big or small, forgiveness is done for you, and it begins with that first step. When you are ready to begin healing, forgiveness is part of the process. And the turtle once again pokes his head out of his shell, going on about his life, wiser and more prepared to life today.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

Contrasts Offer Opportunity for Reflection

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Within a short span of eleven days we will have attended 2 funerals and 2 weddings. This has caused me to think about the cycles, the circle of life.

One of these deaths was swift and totally unexpected. An apparently strong and healthy man of only 63, his family was shocked and will undoubtedly spend quite a bit of time moving through the trauma until they are able to begin understanding how their life will move forward.

The other death was an elderly woman in her 90’s. Dearly beloved by her family and friends, she was sharp and witty until almost the very end. The last few weeks of her life were spent still teaching family and friends how to live life.

And of course 2 weddings. To me there is very little that represents more optimism than a couple in love, promising to spend their lives caring about and for one another.

Beginnings and endings. We spend most of our life somewhere in between. Thank God for that. While the beginnings and the endings are times when we really focus on what life is about, the time in between is where we learn and practice. Sometimes we do well, sometimes we could do better. Still, these significant events cause many of us to step back and ponder life in ways that we may not do otherwise.

What do the weddings represent to you? These couples are people who have learned to love one another, and with any luck they have learned to really like one another, which I think can be much more important. When I look at these couples I wonder, what sort of language will they use to ask one another not to leave wet towels on the bed? Will they be kind or harsh when one tells the other that they really need to get stronger deodorant? Are they prepared to go through times when one is ill? How will they show one another appreciation or express disappointment? When they fall out of like with one another from time to time, will their love prompt them to re-discover what brought them together in the first place?

And the funerals. Oh my, I’ve learned so much about people at funerals. One particular woman comes to mind for me. I had grown up hearing nasty things about her, very little that was good. She wasn’t particularly kind to me and in short I was pretty sure that she was not a nice person at all and probably had never been a nice person. At her funeral I learned that she was much more complicated and interesting. People I didn’t know shared incredible stories about how she had gone out of her way to help them when she was very young and was living with unimaginable difficulties herself. I learned that she was a very strong woman who cared deeply about people who were in her life, regardless of whether or not they were relatives. The stories went on about her talents; she was an amazing cook, generous with her time and love. The woman I knew was a product of a very difficult life, but even during those years, many people experienced another side of her altogether.

When someone dies it offers us the chance to come together and share stories. If we allow ourselves to listen with an open heart and mind we can lean things that change our lives. Perhaps forever.

To me the weddings represent beginnings of a sort; however the funerals don’t represent an end. I firmly believe that our souls go on living, so this transition is simply an opportunity to reflect on what has been learned. Truly a new beginning.

I wonder what these things represent for you. So many beginnings in our life, and each offers us the opportunity to step back and reflect on what we believe, what we know, what we have learned. May the learning continue.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sandy

 

 

 

Forgive and Forget – I Don’t Think So!

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

I’m all for the forgiving part, but as for the forgetting – not so much. Let’s walk through this just a little bit and I think you’ll understand my point.

When I forgive a hurt or a wound of some sort, I do it to release myself from further anguish. I forgive for myself, not for anyone else. For me it is often a very deliberate choice. I may decide that I’m tired of being angry, irritated, depressed and defensive. In other words, I’m tired of feeling crummy! When I’ve had my fill of feeding those emotions which I do not enjoy one little bit, I am ready to begin thinking about forgiveness. I know that when I do forgive, that I will be able to release those feelings that are dragging me down and that I’ll experience relief. That relief is healing.

So, I decide that I want to forgive so that I can feel better. The person I’m forgiving may or may not know about my decision and my feelings. Remember, this really is all about me. I want to feel better, so I forgive. I believe that when my energy changes to become lighter and more loving that the offender so to speak, benefits as well, whether they realize it or not. But primarily I am taking this step to forgive someone or something so that I feel better. Me, me, me!  This is taking good care of me and I deserve to feel good just because I am me, a child of God. Whew, that feels better.

The process of forgiving is simple for me and no, that doesn’t mean that it is always easy. But sometimes it is easy and that’s okay too. In fact, it totally rocks. Forgiveness is sometimes a very deliberate process, other times it simply happens a little at a time with little thought or deliberation. Either way it unfolds just about the same – for me. It begins with a decision that I want to feel relief, that I’m ready to stop feeding the pain, irritation and anger, all of that crummy stuff we talked about earlier. That leads me to begin looking for a blessing in the incident. Strange as that may seem, I believe that everything has a lesson and if I can find a lesson I can see it as a blessing. That allows me to begin releasing my pain and embracing the relief. Sort of like a balloon that is not popped, but has a slow leak, as I embrace the blessing I feel the pain ebb. Aaaaaah, that feels really good, and so forgiveness begins.

Now, about this forgetting stuff. That is a whole other kettle of fish my friend. After all, if each experience is a lesson of sorts, how is it helpful for me to completely and entirely forget about it? Makes no sense to me, because once I’ve experienced a specific wound I’m generally pretty much okay with not having another just like it. I’m hopeful that I learn not to put myself in such a situation again and if I forget all about the incident it seems that I’m much more likely to be hurt again and again and again. Now of course, you do what is right for you. As for me, I prefer to learn and move on.

From personal relationships to global tragedies this line of thinking works for me. No matter how small or how large. If we forget what brought about atrocities than we are likely to repeat the experience. If a friend has hurt me, I want to forgive that hurt so that I can move on feeling good, not being eaten up with anger or other general icki-ness. Whether or not I renew that friendship is another thing entirely. If it’s a friendship that I want to continue, I have the ability to learn and decide if it is to my own benefit to put myself in this situation again. The wound may have been unintentional, what can I learn from this? How can I move forward in a healthier manner? Perhaps the relationship has run its course. Forgiveness allows me to bless the time that was spent together and still release the relationship feeling good. But, and this is a great big but – I don’t want to forget the lessons learned.

There are tools that I use to support myself in this process. I find that Reiki not only balances my energy but Reiki also enhances my general sense of well being; of course. The flow of Reiki makes it much easier for me to move through these steps. Okay, let’s be very honest here, the Reiki just feels so darned good that I welcome it at any time. Coaching helps too, no doubt about it. Whether I work with another life coach, coach myself through the situation or remind myself of the steps that I use when I work with my life coaching clients. One step at a time, using the appropriate tool for that situation. Hypnosis is also really helpful to me as I work through my own issues. Dovetailing and very nicely complementing  the Reiki and life coaching. You see the life coaching allows me to become aware of what I prefer. The Reiki assists me in releasing negativity that is not serving me well. The hypnosis speaks to my sub-conscious, that incredibly cute but amazingly stubborn 4 year old that lives in my brain. Hypnosis speaks to her and reminds me that I don’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do. Because hypnosis speaks to my thriving subconscious it supports my choice,offering the reinforcement that it is not only okay but my choice to move in this direction. Now all of these tools have not always been available to me, and of course I was able to forgive then as well. But I’ve got to say, I find that having hypnosis,  Reiki and life coaching all in my little tool box assists me in the process. What works for you?

Forgive and forget if it feels right to you. As for me, I’m a project that is still in the works, still in the process of development. I’m still working on forgiving some people and events, but it’s coming along nicely and that offers me lovely relief. As for forgetting, I’m okay with the remembering. After all, once the pain is released the person, incident or event simply becomes a bit of history. Something I have learned from, something that has blessed me. And that makes it all worthwhile.

For this week, I wonder if you are ready to begin forgiving someone or something from your own life. How would it feel to release some of that pain or anger and welcome a bit of relief? It’s up to you of course, but I encourage you to give it a try. C’mon, you can do it. I know you can! When you’re ready.

Namaste,

Sandy

Reiki Healing Circles in New Berlin, WI

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Recently we all have spent quite a lot of time hearing about and watching events unfold regarding the oil spill in the gulf.¬¨‚Ć It’s always gets our attention when something of that sort happens. While it was gut wrenching to watch the news about it every day, I believe these things always happen for a reason.

About this time I started to hear people ask for Reiki to be sent to heal the planet, others asked to pray for animals, still others offered this intention during meditation.  It quickly became clear to me that the reason I was hearing this again and again within a very short time frame was so that I would be prompted to do my part.

What does that look like? Well, I’m very excited to share with you that I have begun Reiki Healing Circles at Serenity, located in New Berlin, WI. Twice a month from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. On the second Monday of the month, this gathering is held for the intention of healing the planet and all non-human life. Of course this includes our oceans, mountains, trees, birds, animals, etc.

On the fourth Monday of the month we meet at the same time for the intention of healing all human life.  Those who gather are welcome to offer specific intentions for those they love, whether or not those loved ones are in attendance.

These gatherings are called Reiki Healing Circles, because I am a Reiki Master, Teacher and during these gatherings I offer Reiki as do some of the other participants. However, I would like to welcome anyone of good intentions to join us, offering Reiki, prayer, loving thoughts, whatever feels right to them. While I am happy to welcome anyone who is able to join us in person, please know that you are welcome to participate from where ever you are. Your loving intentions are all that is necessary.

I encourage you to spread the word, begin your own Reiki Healing Circles, prayer groups or spend time in gathering to simply share your intentions in any way that feels right to you. Together I absolutely believe we will make a difference to the health of the amazing planet we live on and those we are honored to live alongside.

Namaste,
Sandy

Serenity Life Coach
13825 W National Av Suite 100
New Berlin, WI 53151
www.SandyWalden.com
(414) 378-8764

Why on Christmas?

Friday, December 25th, 2009

First of all, if you celebrate Christmas I would like to wish you a most magnificent day! However, for a variety of reasons not everyone does celebrate Christmas, what does that say about them and how are they treated?

I happen to be a Christian so for me Christmas is a no-brainer celebration. After all, as a Christian my faith tells me that this is the day to celebrate the birth of our savior. In honor of that amazing fact, we as Christians gather together to sing praises to our God, we often exchange presents and offer good cheer to those we meet. So far, so good. I have many friends who are not Christian, no problem. I wish them a most blessed day on religious holidays that I know are important to them and they return the heartfelt wish on the days important to me. And then there are my friends who are agnostic or even atheist, no problem. Many of them celebrate the day in a totally secular manner, again that seems to be considered¬¨‚Ć acceptable to most people, Santa Claus visits, egg-nog is enjoyed and the world continues to spin to everyone’s satisfaction.

Enter Jeff. One of my favorite sons, Jeff¬¨‚Ć was raised Catholic,¬¨‚Ć however he has decided that’s simply not his belief system. He doesn’t rain on anyone else’s parade; he doesn’t disparage our celebration he simply doesn’t ‘do’ Christmas himself. It’s interesting what sort of conversations and interesting comments take place when he mentions this fact to others. Apparently this actually aggravates some people, my question is why? It seems that the common thought is that he is somehow a living, breathing, unreformed Ebenezer Scrooge because he doesn’t buy or expect presents or put up a tree. Huh? While I have no problem with folks celebrating in any way they choose it seems to me that we should be just as tolerant of someone who simply chooses not to celebrate.

I’ve heard some pretty disparaging comments about this and I don’t get it. Jeff¬¨‚Ć frequently asks simple but thought provoking questions, such as why so many people pretend to like one another this time of year, but can’t tolerate one another next week. Why do they spend money buying presents for these people if they don’t truly care for them? Why are people expected to overspend to show they care about one another even if they cannot afford to spend money?¬¨‚Ć Do any of those things have to do with the birth of Christ? From what I understand Jeff considers this sad and more than a bit hypocritical, I tend to agree. So, there are very unkind comments about him being unfriendly, stingy or even uncaring. While I don’t know the situation regarding every person who chooses not to celebrate Christmas I happen to know this is not the fact with this young man.

Jeff is always thoughtful about the feelings of others. If he is in town for Christmas or Easter he even attends mass with his Dad and me, not for himself, but because he knows it makes us feel good. I consider that very thoughtful. He’s absolutely not cheap or unwilling to spend on others; he is very generous without any special occasion in mind, because that’s just who Jeff is and the way he likes to treat people. More to the point Jeff and others I know who do not celebrate this particular holiday tend to treat people pretty much the same, day in or day out. Willing to know strangers before they judge them, loyal to friends and pretty firm in their stand regarding those they dislike. Now that seems very fair to me.

It seems that Jeff had a few things to say about this himself, you can read his thoughts if you visit Walden Ponder. http://www.waldenponder.com/2009/12/christmas-comes-every-year

Today I am celebrating Christmas with the members of our family who are in town. We will eat, open presents and enjoy being together all in the name of celebrating the birth of Christ. I’ve got to say that I appreciate Jeff and others who don’t celebrate for the gentle reminder they offer. I will try to keep his position in mind all year long, hopefully it will be a good reminder for me to keep in contact with those I care about, offer my love and generosity throughout the year and not only on particular days. I have to believe that is the best way I can honor my own Christian beliefs and respect the beliefs of others at the same time.

For those of you who celebrate, I wish you all the most wonderful blessings of this marvelous day. For those who don’t celebrate, I still wish you all the blessings of this marvelous day. Gosh that feels good.

Warmly,

Sandy

Economic Downturn or Awakening of Blessings?

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

It’s interesting to me. Last week I blogged a little bit about giving back. I am so energized by the response that I have received. Many have contacted me directly to tell me how they have found increased blessings in their lives. Not one complained about the economic losses of the past year.

What does this tell me? It tells me that while I pray, offer Reiki, share life coaching, spend time in nature, with family and friends to connect with that ‘happy place’ inside of me, others are finding the joy in life in their very own way.

Almost every person who responded told me how the blessings in their life has compounded when they share these blessings with others. Some talked about offering money, others services, from Reiki to building homes, working in senior centers to helping out at school. It seems everyone has their favorite way to contribute to the community and all have found it rewarding.

What I found most exciting was the energy in these responses. Excitement and warmth. People talked about the renewed closeness with family or friends. The heart connections they have with certain organizations. On and on, I heard a message of love.

Many consider this their opportunity to give back in some way; others see it as a way to pay it forward. I see it all as a blessing that has me grinning from ear to ear.

So, this week when you have the television or radio on, when you are reading the newspaper and read more news that could easily make you believe all in life is dire and terrible. I encourage you to put the paper aside, turn off the broadcast and go say ‘hi’ to a neighbor. Call a relative you haven’t chatted with in a while, or simply sit and be grateful for all of the blessings in your life. And please, remember that you are a blessing in the lives of many others as well.

Warmly,
Sandy

Giving Back

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

pig roast 047One of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, is when I have the opportunity to give back in some fashion. I’m not alone in this feeling.

I’ve noticed lately that more and more my family, friends, clients and fellow entrepreneurs have been talking about giving back and the creative ways they are finding to support causes or charities that they feel strongly about.

I’ve heard on the news again and again that charitable contributions are way down due to economic circumstances. What I’m seeing and experiencing is actually very different. These are some of the things I’ve seen lately.

My brother and sister-in-law make several meatloafs once a month to feed the hungry in their church parish. Steve & Marge, you continue to inspire me.

Kathy Engel of Mary Kay, http://bit.ly/14H2gV is offering 10% of her proceeds to be donated to the charity of the clients choosing. Love that Kathy.

Baker’s Square, http://bit.ly/tLbEx is generously giving 10% of sales between 5-8pm for 4 days in September to WOCA, Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Jeanette organized and ran with the entire project. You rock Jeanette.

My mom continues to baby-sit for the great-grandchildren now that the grandchildren have grown. She insists that there’s nothing she would prefer to do, I know my niece appreciates it tremendously.

Friend Nancy volunteers once a week at the Willow Creek Ranch in Waterford, WI. Nancy assures me that she gets much more out of this time than she gives. Nancy you always lead by generous example.

For my part, I am so excited about the opportunity to offer free Reiki today at the WOCA fundraiser, Nancy’s Run, Walk and Stroll. www.WisconsinOvarianCancer.com. I’m also really pleased to be able to contribute $10. of each Reiki session scheduled in September to this amazing organization. I’m blessed.

My point here is that we all contribute in a way that feels right for us. I’m hearing more and more from friends, family and clients about the pleasure they get sharing their time and talents with others. Not one of these people feels that it’s an obligation. Each of them feels that it’s privilege to share.

I believe when we give back we get so much more than we give. It’s that simple and yet that wonderfully profound at the same time. Such a good feeling.

For this week, I hope that you find an opportunity to share a bit of yourself with another. You’ll both benefit and the good that’s generated will continue to be passed along.

Warmly,
Sandy

The Shack

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I read a wonderful book the other day. It had been recommended and even loaned to me by one of my favorite life coaching clients. ‘The Shack’ by Wm. Paul Young spoke to me on many levels.

As a life coach I encourage clients to acknowledge and appreciate their faith, if they do indeed believe in a higher power. This book tells the true story of a man who lived through a brutal childhood. Later he married and had children, settling into a wonderful if somewhat ordinary life. God as he knew him was pretty unavailable and not someone he felt that he could count on. Tragically this man experienced a horror that is every parent’s nightmare. Sometime later, this man is invited up to a place referred simply as the shack. During his time at the shack his life changed forever.

I’m not going to tell you too much more because I do not believe I can do the story justice.

Reading this book helped me to deal with many questions. Maybe predictably, it prompted many more questions as well. Most of all it reminded me of the connection I feel with my God and reminded me that it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. It’s really pretty straight forward, a relationship of love and trust. Beginning, middle and end.

Why do I feel the need to share this with you? Because I think we all need something that we believe in and depend upon. For me this is my faith. Life coaching and Reiki have both helped me to become much clearer about my faith. Each has helped me to eliminate some of the junk that I always associated with faith. For me this process has been simple yet incredibly profound.

I encourage both life coaching and Reiki clients to take a bit of time each day to meditate. Time to simply be. When I do this it helps me to clear my mind and open my heart to ideas, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes these thoughts and feelings are new to me. Often they are old thoughts or emotions that I had sort of shelved in the past. Now when I give them a bit of time, they are more easily dealt with, as I simply ponder them from a detached point of view. I’m not consistent about meditating every day at a certain time or place, but I expect to get better about it with time. I know that it has served me well and I absolutely appreciate that fact.

For today I hope that you are able to take a few minutes to spend all by yourself in peace and quiet. Not thinking, just being. I hope that this will help you to find a bit of peace and guidance.

For a very good read which just may change your life, I strongly recommend reading ‘The Shack’. I know I’ll be buying several copies and keeping them on my lending bookshelf. This book is too important not to share, which is why I just shared with you.

Warmly,
Sandy

Peace at Last

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

DSCF0525My father died on Friday, December 29, 2006. It was much more painful than I expected.

My father and mother divorced when I was very young. My mom soon married again to the man who raised me, the man I have always considered and referred to me as my dad.

I was raised to respect and care about my father. While I grew up in Wisconsin he lived and worked in Louisiana. Generally I saw him once a year, though sometimes it was less often. He made regular phone calls while I was growing up and I’m sure he did the best he could to build a relationship. But as you might expect it was never as close as I somehow thought it should be and always hoped it would become.

I grew up, married and had a family of my own. My father continued to call fairly regularly and to visit when he would be in the area. As he had been raised in northern Wisconsin he made visits to the Milwaukee area most years.

This was always a tough relationship, looking back I think it was tough for both of us. There’s no doubt that I could have and should have tried harder on my end. I always thought that he could have and probably should have tried more as well. Sadly, when I think about it now, I realize that I had no idea how to bring about the relationship I desired or if I even knew what I wanted. I always just sort of felt that there was something missing. Frankly, I don’t know even now if he was satisfied with the way things were either, or if he thought there should be more as well.

My father’s two younger brothers died a few years before him. After their deaths I had the strong feeling that he was much more aware of his mortality. He definitely made more of an effort to connect with me and my grown children than he ever had before. He spent a few weeks at a time in Wisconsin and made much more of an effort to connect. While I appreciated this effort, and we had some very good times, the truth is that it was often very strained. Still it was progress.

The phone call came in September of 2006. My father told me that he had terminal cancer. I knew it was now or never. We kept in touch much more frequently and I drove down to Louisiana to spend a few weeks with him. I’m so glad that I did. Still, in the manner of people who have full hearts but do not feel comfortable expressing their emotions to one another, we left much unsaid.

When I learned of his death I thought that I would be able to close that particular chapter of my life. We had cared about one another, but truly not known each other as well as we probably could have. I really believed that it would be a matter of shedding some quiet tears and saying goodbye. Wrong.

What I found out was that I cared much more deeply than I knew. I relived and experienced feelings of loss and grief from my childhood on. I thought about the experiences that we had missed out on, the fact that he hadn’t attended my wedding and had never held any of my children when they were babies. I had to acknowledge the anger and resentment that I had felt at never feeling like I was a priority in his life. I had to acknowledge these feelings and allow myself to truly feel them before I was able to let them go. Of course that meant that I also had to acknowledge my feelings of shame and guilt, I had to honestly take ownership of my part in this relationship. The finger pointing and blame game was not acceptable anymore. It was important to acknowledge and apologize for not making my feelings clear to him while he was still here.

Reiki helped me so much as I went through this process. After I went through the blame and anger I was finally able to acknowledge that someplace deep inside I had always known that my father really did love me very deeply. He simply did not demonstrate it in the manner I had somehow expected. Receiving Reiki on a regular basis and practicing life coaching skills helped me to move into a place of love and forgiveness, for both of us. To be honest, it took an awful lot of thinking about him, praying and meditating to be sure that he was aware now in the afterlife that I had always had very deep affection for him as well. Eventually, I was able to come to a place of peace.

So, here I am. More than two and a half years later I am now able to think about my father and smile. The bitterness, anger and hurt needed to be allowed, acknowledged and finally released. Now there are the feelings of forgiveness and acceptance for both of us. There is acknowledgment that few people live storybook lives where emotions and feelings are demonstrated to the expectation and satisfaction of all involved. Most of us feel that others should say or do things in a different manner to be most effective, but emotions and feelings are complicated and the should of, could of is irrelevant in the end. That’s just life.

I have no doubt that some of these feelings will resurface from time to time. Occasions of one sort or another may make me think about the way things actually happened or the way I wish they had been. But now they are much easier for me to deal with. I realize that while we both had our shortcomings, we actually did the very best that we could at the time. I have no way of knowing what was in his mind or heart in the past, but I am sure and always have been sure that he only wanted the best for me. That makes memories and resurfacing emotions much easier to allow, and to move through with love, forgiveness and blessings.

For me, it’s very important to remember that my memory is selective at best. My thoughts and emotions at the moment have always colored my memories and they always will. I can’t change the past, so I choose to appreciate and be grateful for the lessons I have learned. I choose to live in the moment. At the moment I choose to feel good. I choose to forgive myself and others. I choose to love. I choose peace at last.

I wish you a day of forgiving and allowing yourself to be forgiven. I wish you a day of love and blessings. I wish you a day of peace.

Warmly,
Sandy

July Reiki Healing Circle in Milwaukee

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Good morning,

I’m so excited that we will be holding our third Reiki Healing Circle tomorrow, Saturday, July 11.

Each month I have been blessed by meeting new Reiki practitioners. Each month we have had the honor of sending Reiki to more families. What an incredible feeling. If you haven’t read about this before, I’d like to explain a little bit.

I am honored to be the co-founder of Milwaukee Reiki Healing Circles for special needs children, their families and caregivers. This monthly event is entirely free of charge. While we are happy to welcome all who are able to attend in person, it’s important to remember that Reiki is not limited to space or distance, so we are just as happy to offer Reiki to those who are far away. Likewise, Reiki practitioners of all levels are invited to participate. If possible in person, if it is not possible to participate in person, we invite you to send Reiki.

Our healing circle is held at 2534 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 10am to 12 noon on the second Saturday of each month. We ask that special needs families who would like to participate in person please register for this free event by calling my co-founder Sally O’Brien at 414-257-1931. Alternately, simply email me at Serenity@SandyWalden.com to have your family added to those who are receiving at a distance. Each special needs family will receive Reiki for 15 minutes. Again; please remember that Reiki is healing energy, there are no space or distance limitations. We are happy to send to anyone who would like to receive. This is an on-going event. Please share this information with anyone you think may be interested in participating, either as a Reiki practitioner or as someone who would like to receive Reiki.

Future Reiki Healing Circles will continue to be held the 2nd Saturday every month, beginning at 10 a.m. Dates for the remainder of 2009 are below.

August 8
September 12
October 10
November 14
December 12

When we offer Reiki to others healing and blessings are not only received by those who are present, but also by all involved. When you have shared this information with others, you are part of this circle and we will send you blessings as well. So, the simple fact that everything we think, say and do not only goes out to others but comes back to us is confirmed once again. Thank you for sending your love to this project and for sharing this information with others. I know this is going to be a fabulous event and that all will benefit.

Namaste,
Sandy