Posts Tagged ‘Emotions’

Fear

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Fear seems to be the topic of many conversations lately. So, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Feel free to weigh in here with your own thoughts and feelings, you have great wisdom; please share.

In the past few months I have been pondering my place at various gatherings. I was feeling mightily intimidated! Although the truth is that it took me a few months to realize that is what I was truly feeling. Yep, the life coach can be very resistant about recognizing her own stuff.

Now let me be very, very clear about this; my feelings of intimidation had nothing to do with anything that anyone else at these gatherings.  It was all self-generated; surprise! 🙂

I would listen to people I care about, each of whom is very dear to me and I realized that I was measuring myself against their successes. This one generates this sort of money and has a very successful history of being a financial success – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one is steadily building her business and we all see her success growing day by day as her client base grows – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one has released that negative person from her life – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one has gone through this, that or whatever – that’s not me….I think you get my point.

So, after lots of hours pondering my own issues, I realized that I was intimidated. Had to think that through some more. What did that really mean to me? It meant that I was afraid. Ahhhh, there it is – fear! It’s something that all people deal with, but in many different ways.

After having a chat with one of my dearest friends on the phone about fear of success recently, I felt a though it was time to address this issue of fear. For me, and if it resonates with you, then for you as well. 🙂

While I was very busy being intimidated, I was using fear to build that up into something that felt as though I didn’t belong. This gave me the very handy, dandy excuse not to take the time to define success for myself. And if I didn’t define it, then whew, I couldn’t fail. Fear was keeping me from failing, but it was also a very convenient way to avoid measuring my own success. Is it possible that this is true for you? In any aspect of your life?

Here’s the thing, fear – which you realize is no longer in red! Is a very human emotion. Normal and completely reasonable – when it’s kept to its appropriate place. It keeps us from running into traffic and it prevents us from wanting to play with badgers in the wild. I’m pretty sure you’ll all agree that a healthy amount of fear about certain things is appropriate.

First step to dealing with fear is to acknowledge it. So, here goes.

Success – what is your definition? Not how you think any of the rest of will define success, but how do YOU define success? For you and only for you.

– How can you measure that success?

– How will your life change if you are successful?

Beware; that last one is possibly the trickiest question that I ever use in coaching. I really want to encourage you to think about all the aspects of success.

What is someone is working to become free of alcohol. If she is successful and releases alcohol from her life then she will be expected to take on more responsibilities at home, which already feels overwhelming for her. She wants to release alcohol and being free represents success to her, but there is a very strong; perhaps even compelling reason in her mind to keep drinking. She feels incapable of taking on more at home and it is quite a process for her to open herself up to the possibility that perhaps someone else can step up and take on the other responsibilities at home.

Someone else may be experiencing with poor health. While she is suffering loved ones, family and friends call and check in on her. They let her know frequently how much they care about her, she matters in their life. If she gets well, if she is successful – will they go away? There is strong reason for her to stay sick. Working to make those connections regardless of health is how she is overcoming this very real fear which has stood in the way of good health.

Are there any reasons for you to stay in a less than successful position? When you think about all that will change in your experience if you are successful – as defined by you. Please include those that feel good and those that worry you as well.

Are you ready to embrace success? If so, to what degree? How can I support you in your success?

Now I am completely open together on this process. Either privately or in a group. Ng How about you, are you open to welcoming your success?

Are you ready to face fear, face it head on, look fear in the eye and put it back in proportion to what is healthy in your life? I am and I invite you to do the same.

You deserve to be happy, and I mean silly happy! It’s my most sincere desire for you to know that as well.

Namaste,
Sandy

Expressing Thoughts and Feelings – Not a Competition

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

It happens quite often. Someone will be telling about a loss, a worry or fear and another will say something like ‘at least you are not going through what I am’. Pretty effectively causing the first person to feel that they have no right to feel what they do or to express that feeling. To which I respond, ‘ugh!!!!’

If feelings and emotions are not good or bad, and for the record I agree with that notion, then why is it so often than the one-up game is played? I suspect that there are various reasons why this happens, and since I’m in the mood to share I’ll do so.

Fear of being left out. Ohhhh, that feels like it a hit on the nail head. After all, if you tell me that your child-hood pet has died. This pet is the one who comforted you while you went through a tornado,  stayed by your side through illness and licked your face when your friends ignored you; I might feel that I simply have no business sharing the fact that I’m feeling really sad for no discernible reason at all. Would it be possible that I need to share what I feel but that since I don’t think my feelings measure up to yours that I can’t do it? That might make me feel left out. Is there an alternative?

How about the thought that if I’m not in more pain, sadder, angrier, more helpless or alternately if I’m not experiencing more joy, happiness, absolute bliss that I’m moving through some situation wrong? In other words, if I measure my feelings, thoughts and emotions against yours and mine are not as big, then perhaps I’m not a caring, loving, worthy person. Yikes!

If we talk about what you think or feel than its entirely possible that everything won’t be about me! That simply cannot happen, because if the focus is not on me all the time, perhaps I’ll cease to exist in some manner.

Now these are just a few thoughts that occur to me, but they all feel like they have a bit of truth to them.  You go through stuff in your life, so do I. In fact we all do, it’s the human experience. Some of this stuff is fabulous, some okay, some not so good and some is truly dreadful. You naturally have thoughts, ideas and feelings about what is happening in your life. That’s the way life works.

Are you ready for an example? My youngest son died in December 2010. My other two incredible sons live quite a distance from home. One evening I was feeling a bit low. I hadn’t slept the night before, so I was tired and grumpy in general. Hubby was at work so I had time to myself. I spoke to each of my boys on the phone during the day and enjoyed it. However, by that evening I was incredibly tired, and simply missed all three of my boys. I shared this with a good friend of mine (who is an amazing lady) and her response set me to thinking about this entire process. She apologized for sharing her own feelings of missing a child who has moved away from home. Why is that? She misses that person very much and I’m honored and privileged that she shares those feelings with me. I pray that I am supportive of her. Are her feelings any less valid because her experience is different than mine? I don’t think so.

For my money, it’s okay to experience a situation along with someone else and to respond differently. Not only is it okay, it’s inevitable. It doesn’t make us any more less loving or caring individuals if we respond differently than someone else to any given situation.  We’re simply different people responding in our personal ways. Not better. Not worse. Just individual.

Feelings and emotions are not good or bad, they simply are feelings and emotions. My hope is that when we talk with friends and loved ones that we do feel it is safe to share. The key word here is ‘share’. If we can listen and appreciate that there is great value in hearing what is being expressed perhaps we can release the need to compete. Trusting that we offer great value regardless of whether we are sharing or listening.

I have a challenge this week. Accept it if you choose, but for me I’m going to give it a whirl. The challenge is not only to listen, but to really hear what is being said to me. Without judgment. Without feeling as though I need to top it to be of value. I wonder how it will change how I feel about the people I’m listening to. I wonder if it might change the way they feel about me. Learning and growing friends, not competing. Just living, learning and growing.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

When I Grow Up I Want To Be More Like My Dog

Monday, October 25th, 2010

I’ve decided that my dog knows quite a bit about living life to the fullest. When he’s tired, he simply heads to his favorite spot in the sun and takes a nap. When he wants his belly rubbed he comes and makes it clear just what he wants. When Indy’s hungry there is no doubt that he would like a meal. You know when Indy’s in the mood to play because he simply starts playing. Smart guy!

Because Indy is so clear about what he wants he is seldom disappointed. Indy is a brilliant life coach! He’s teaching me lessons every day and I’m doing my best to learn from him.

When I work with clients, whether life coaching, Reiki or meditation, I am always encouraging them to practice excellent self-care. While I may forget to practice this myself from time to time, my buddy Indy offers gentle reminders. If I’m a bit too serious, he reminds me that life is to be enjoyed by showing my just how much fun there is to be had in a short wrestling match.

One of the life coaching lessons I continually strive to learn better is to embrace and express certain emotions. While laughter and joy are very easy for me to share other thoughts and emotions are more difficult for me to express. Fear, anger and grief are very difficult for me to share with others or to simply release. In the past I have found that I had a tendency to stuff or simply deny these feelings. Here’s the thing, although I may prefer to deny these emotions they do still exist. The body, mind and spirit has a full range of emotions, and whether I like it or not, my body, mind and spirit will find a way to express these emotions. They are not intended to be denied, bottled up or stuffed. They are there for a reason! A full range of emotions keeps us healthy and it’s vital that we each find a non-destructive way to express these emotions.

What do you do? For me, writing is therapeutic; digging in the dirt, walking and of course being with my buddy Indiana is extremely helpful. When Indy’s sad or upset he doesn’t hesitate to come to me and indicate that he simply wants my company. Sometimes it’s enough for him to just hang out with me, other times he needs some real exercise. I have a lot to learn from my dog.

I am learning, though to be honest I am sometimes a slow learner. 🙂 At the very young age of 49, I am slowly becoming more comfortable sharing feelings, thoughts and emotions that I have always accepted in others easily. Life coaching, Reiki and meditation have all helped me to understand that being sad or angry is no more destructive or negative when present in my life than they are in anyone else.

This is a good time to acknowledge and appreciate not just my resident life coach Indy, but also dear friends and family. These folks not only allow, but at times even gently prod me to share as much as I feel comfortable. I’m so grateful for that. Equally as important, they do not demand that I share; they simply hold the safe space and remind me that all emotions, thoughts and feelings are welcome and safe. That’s powerful stuff and I can’t say how grateful I am.

Indy reminds me every single day that it’s okay to have a full range of emotions and to share those emotions with others. You will have absolutely no doubt when my buddy is happy, that nub of a tail wags so hard that I’ve often thought how remarkable it is that it’s still attached.

What do you do to express yourself? Do you dance? Perhaps you retreat to a private place with your thoughts…maybe writing is your thing. There are so many ways to express yourself, talk to a loved one, call a friend, laugh and or cry at a movie. Exercise or take a bath, read a book and let your emotions pour themselves out. I don’t know what’s right for you and you may not know at this moment either. If you can’t figure it out by yourself, give me a call and I’ll be happy to help you figure it out.

I’m going to keep studying and allowing my own personal life coach to assist me in this growth, Indy’s really quite good at this whole process. I encourage you to find discover what allows you to express yourself. In the meantime, I will continue to strive to live life more like my dog. In the moment and expressing all emotions to the fullness that is appropriate this very moment.

Namaste,

Sandy

Reiki for Self-Care

Friday, June 25th, 2010

What do you do to take care of yourself? You may exercise, eat right, meditate or a variety of other activities which offers relaxation and the opportunity to ‘unwind’.¬¨‚Ć May I suggest that you consider adding Reiki to your daily practice?

Reiki, defined as Universal Life Energy, is an excellent addition to your daily routine. When I teach Reiki I always encourage my students to give themselves Reiki every day.¬¨‚Ć Reiki is a gentle, hands on healing technique which offers balancing of your life energy. You don’t need any special equipment or tools to do Reiki. Simply your time and intention. It doesn’t get much better than that!

When you give yourself Reiki you learn to become more aware of your own energy, when you are out of balance and the subtle shifts as you come back into balance. Reiki helps you on all levels, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. And here’s another wonderful detail, you don’t need to know where the imbalance is or on which level you need to heal. Because Reiki is channeled through you from our Higher Power, it goes where it’s most needed for your highest good.

You may want to spend an hour or more giving yourself Reiki everyday, or you may only spend a few moments with Reiki. What sort of time do you want to give to yourself? It’s all up to you and it’s always going to work for your benefit. Personally, I often give myself Reiki while I relax in the evening, even while I’m watching television or reading a book.

Once you’ve been attuned to Reiki, by taking a Reiki class, you will discover that it’s available to you at any time, simply hold the intention that Reiki flow and the energy flow begins. Ahhh, love that!

As always, I encourage you to take excellent care of yourself. I’d also like to suggest that you consider adding Reiki to your daily routine. It’s a lovely addition and an excellent method of self-care.

Namaste,

Sandy

Reiki Yesterday, Reiki Today, Reiki Tomorrow

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

I’m very grateful to have Reiki in my life.¬¨‚Ć I use Reiki daily; it just seems so natural to me now.

I came to Reiki at the gentle prodding of my son Jeff. As a young man in his early 20’s he tried Reiki primarily to prove to himself that there was nothing to it. He was currently going to school, working a full time job and of course was also an entrepreneur growing his own business as well. In short he was exhausted and extremely stressed. One session with a Reiki practitioner and he was hooked. Before long he was insistent that I give it a try as I had a few issues myself.

Here I am a few short years later. Not only do I give myself Reiki every day, my dog receives Reiki daily as do my loved ones. Sometimes I’m able to offer Reiki to them in person, but most actually receive distance Reiki. I’m grateful to be able to offer Reiki to my clients as well. Of course some come into my office for their Reiki session but others are open to receiving Reiki from a distance. It’s not at all unusual to feel the Reiki begin to flow during my weekly MasterMind, meditation sessions and often during life coaching sessions. When I feel it I simply let the participants know that I feel it flowing and ask their kind permission.

Still I’m reminded on a regular basis that even those closest to me sometimes don’t understand why I’m offering them Reiki. My youngest sister recently asked me why I offer her Reiki, after all she’s not currently sick and told me that she thought Reiki was primarily to heal one if they are in pain or physically ill. I’m so grateful that she asked about Reiki again, even though we have of course had conversations about Reiki often in the past. It gave me the opportunity to explain to her one on one, that while Reiki does of course offer very gentle healing when one is ill, Reiki always supports our best health as Reiki serves to bring us into balance on all levels. I explained that Reiki helps us to release what no longer serves our highest good, while offering us energetic balance on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

One of the most important points that I strive to make clear to those new to Reiki as well as to those who experience Reiki on a regular basis is that Reiki can do absolutely no harm. I will never, ever suggest to anyone that Reiki is a substitute for medical attention, but rather that Reiki is a wonderful complement. For instance, if I develop a headache when I’m out in the sun for hours, I do a few things all at once. I drink a glass of water, and depending on the severity of the headache I may or may not take an aspirin, but I will most definitely give myself Reiki. My thought is that the headache may be because of dehydration, or it could be a reminder to release stress of some sort. The Reiki will address the cause of the stress and if I’m ready to be in balance again, I will achieve that balance and will feel better.

Will Reiki heal someone of their pain? Perhaps, however it’s very important for me to remember that Reiki is not mine to control. Reiki may well alleviate or eliminate the pain of someone who is on my table, that is often the result. It’s also been my experience that someone I have offered Reiki to may still have pain. My Dad is a prime example. A quadriplegic for 36 years he is often in intense pain. When I visit of course I offer him Reiki. He has told me that after receiving Reiki the pain is eased, but not eliminated. I don’t question the pain that remains but I do offer my gratitude for the relief that he experiences from Reiki. I have no way of knowing how the pain serves him or to what purpose he uses the Reiki, but I trust that the Reiki is bringing him into balance in the way that serves his highest good at the moment.

For now and in the future I will continue to give myself Reiki, I will offer it to family, friends and clients as I know how much better my life is with Reiki. My spiritual faith is stronger, my mind is clearer, my emotional and physical well being all are improved when I give myself Reiki on a regular basis. So, I offer gratitude that I have experienced Reiki in the past, I will most definitely share Reiki today and I’m excited to share Reiki with others tomorrow.

This week I wish you all the blessings that I know Reiki can bring into your life.

Namaste,

Sandy

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

Apple Mystery

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

I don’t cook or bake very often anymore, my husband John likes to do it and he’s really very good at it as well. Hooray for me!

Today I decided that I should do a bit of baking. It’s a lovely autumn day, the rain has finally stopped, the dog has been walked and John is outside chopping wood for the fireplace. It seems like the only thing left to do is bake, so I decided to make an apple slab cake. Yummy.

I meandered off to the kitchen, found a recipe and started working on the apples. John came into the kitchen and we chatted a bit, disturbing my rhythm a little, but I didn’t get too far off track. After all, this is one of the things I used to be able to make without a recipe, so I went back to work.

As I got a bit farther along, I realized I didn’t have one or 2 key ingredients. So, I looked at 2 or 3 other recipes. John came in offering suggestions and thoughts before I finally chased him away for good. In the end I wound up making something that I’m going to call apple mystery. I have no idea what this is going to taste like, in fact I’m not even sure what it will look like. But I’m a bit excited to find out.

As I was finishing cleaning up the mess I made while making my apple mystery it occurred to me that this is just what my life is like, and I suspect it’s a bit like yours. So the holistic life coach that lives inside of me decided I needed to share this epiphany with you.

We make plans for where we are going or how we are going to spend our life. But stuff happens, we find out that the plans need to be changed or that we may have to operate without a plan at all. Our lives are an apple mystery.

The fun part of this is that we never know just what today or tomorrow are going to look like. We may have a pretty good idea what we expect but if a few ingredients change, it can all change in a moment.

Is there a lesson here? Sure, but I doubt very much that it’s new to either of us. Go ahead, make plans, set goals and live your life. But when changes occur, when your plans are altered without warning, roll with it as much as possible. Enjoy the apple mystery.

Warmly,
Sandy

Changes

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

DSCF0535Optimistic. Happy. Excited. Those are some of the words I would use if asked how I feel about life these days. I realize that there are big changes going on everywhere. Many people are losing their jobs and we are told many times a day that times are tough. We are in a crisis. Things have not been this dire in years. But that’s just not the way I feel.

I find myself turning off the television and radio and simply ignoring most of the newspaper. It’s not that I’m hiding my head in the sand to avoid reality, it’s just that I’m selective about which reality I want to immerse myself in. The truth is that I’m happy and healthy and so are most of the people that I know. Some have lost their jobs and yes, many have tightened their belts and had to make substantial changes in their lifestyles. What does that mean? It simply means change. Change is neither good nor bad on it’s own, but it does offer options to us.

It seems that many large businesses are closing or paring down. At the same time, many small businesses are healthier than ever.

Many of the people I know, friends and clients are entrepreneurs, others work for small businesses. Most of these people acknowledge that the way they do business has changed substantially, but most of them are enjoying abundance and prosperity at a level that is not being described in the media. Why? Because scary is more dramatic, it sells better. The truth is that I’m not likely to watch the news if I think the announcer is only going to talk about the fact that the businesses operated just fine today. All the children showed up on time, healthy and happy for school and all is generally A-okay all over town.

We get excited, all worked up about bad news. It motivates us to get out there and save someone or something. That’s great! Now let’s get just as excited about the good news.

I have to say that life is changing for me, personally and professionally. Particularly this time of year I find that I really enjoy the changes. I deliberately make changes in the house from rearranging items to changing colors. It elevates my mood and helps me to get ready for the holiday season and colder weather.

What can you do to learn to flow with the inevitable changes that life brings? I suggest a few things. First and foremost I encourage you to simply turn off negative messages whenever possible. That may mean only listening to the television or radio news long enough to hear about the weather and sports. Better yet, why not read a newspaper and select which articles you want to read. That way you have control of what messages you are receiving and when. If you find yourself surrounded by negative people, either change the subject or simply excuse yourself as soon as possible.  Refuse to add to  the conversation when gossip starts.

Another of my favorite tools is color. Most of us react very strongly to color whether we realize it or not. Wear colors that make you feel happy. Surround yourself with these colors if at all possible. I don’t mean that you have to refurnish entire rooms, adding pillows, candles or even flowers can bring in colors which have a dramatic affect on your mood.

Music is another powerful tonic to gloomy days. Most of us have a favorite song or CD, listening to it always puts us in a good mood, so put it on whenever you have the opportunity.

Of course I add Reiki, it always helps me to regain my focus and balance and to relieve the stress in my life.

Making a list of the things I’m grateful for, the blessings in my life, reminds me that while my life may be unfolding in a way that was not originally part of my plans, I always have much to be grateful. This always helps my mood.

It’s important to be sure to use good self-care when going through stressful change. It can help to balance the emotions and of course¬¨‚Ć things like eating right and exercising not only keep you healthy, but make you stronger in mind and body to handle whatever is happening, hopefully in a more positive manner. The holistic life coach in me just couldn’t wrap this up without getting in a plug for self-care.

Change is inevitable. Some changes will be tougher to get through, but I know we will do better if we stick together and work together to make the outcome positive for all. In short the outcome is not pre-destined, we have options. Arm yourself with a few tools for tough situations and know how to lighten up your tough days. We can and will get through these changes and more will come. Exciting isn’t it?

Wishing you a fabulous week of changes.

Warmly,

Sandy

Let Your Emotions be Your Guide

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

DSCF0533They had an argument. In fact she said it was pretty much a knock-down, drag-out fight, loud and ugly it left them both hurt and feeling cut-off from one another for the next 24 hours. Pretty unusual for them because they generally get along very well. Here’s where it gets interesting. She told me that she knew the day before that a real argument was coming with him, she could feel it.

As both a life coach and a Reiki practitioner, I strongly believe and work with my clients to understand the law of attraction. Quite simply that means that what we put our attention on, what we think about, what we expect, what we ‘know’ is going to happen will in fact come into our experience.

When we talked about this unfortunate argument she shared her thoughts the day before that an argument was about to happen. So, we talked about ways it could have been avoided. Oh, not the discussion. The subject they covered probably should have been addressed, but it could have been handled in their normal loving manner, quickly and easily.

We began with her thoughts and feelings the day prior to the fight. She was feeling great and was on top of the world. When she spoke with her husband he was not as supportive as she would have liked him to be and she was very disappointed. She noted how she felt and although she didn’t take the time to think about it at that very moment, she later realized that she had a few options. She could have reached for a slightly better feeling, possibly frustration as this would have begun the process of lessening her feeling bad. Instead, she became angry, which moved her to a feeling that made her feel even worse.

She held onto that anger all evening and by morning she had moved further on the emotional scale. Unfortunately, she hadn’t moved to a better feeling but instead to a worse feeling, insecurity and guilt. In short, she was pretty much primed for that fight. She knew it was coming and she was bringing it on, not altogether unconsciously.

As we chatted, we talked about the emotional scale. It’s a tool that I find invaluable as a life coach, working with Reiki clients and of course in my everyday life. An awareness of how we feel is truly a very practical and easy guide and it helps us to take our lives in the direction that we truly want to move.

She talked about how her disappointment, anger and insecurity had brought about the argument, then she moved onto ways it could have been a useful and productive discussion. As she talked through the event she began re-framing thoughts and comments in a manner which made her feel a bit better. Progress! This continued, the more she thought and discussed the more she repeatedly found ways to make small, incremental movement up the emotional scale. She was feeling better and better. She was able to re-frame the comments she heard as well as the comments she had made. In this way she was able to forgive both herself and her husband as she realized that there is always more than one way to say and look at every situation.

We chatted a few days later. She had been very deliberately paying attention to her gut, how she felt as well as to her thoughts, were they negative or positive. When her feelings or thoughts were not pleasant she was taking the time to reach for that ever so slightly better feeling or thought. She was very excited with the progress that she was seeing. She noticed that when she was putting her attention on what she wanted rather than what she didn’t want that she was getting much more satisfying results.

Of course I will continue to coach her to make this awareness of how she feels and what she is thinking a natural part of her life. It will become easier and easier.

For any of us, as we see positive results, we are encouraged to do more of what is bringing about those results. Success leads to success. Fabulous!

For today, I encourage you to really pay attention to how you are feeling during the day. When you make decisions or say something, how do you feel? What are you thinking? Become aware and reach for a better feeling and I feel very sure you will have a better day.

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