Posts Tagged ‘Fun’

A Life Well Lived

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

He completed his earthly journey 5 years ago. But this isn’t about his death, this is about the life that he lived so very well. 

My dad, or as you may have known him, Art Raith entered the world in November of 1942. I’ve heard an awful lot of stories of his exploits as he was growing up, mostly good, always enthusiastic. I think if I had to use one word to describe him, that might be it. My dad had enthusiasm about just about everything.

Many memories have been surfacing recently, mostly silly or fun times. Like when he would come home from work with a fist full of kites early March. Determined that whether or not there was snow on the ground, March was the time of year for flying kites. So, he would put them together, my mom could always be counted on to find fabric to make the perfect tail. Then we would all head over to the neighborhood park to get these things in the air. So funny to watch this big man run across the grass holding on to the kite while yelling to one of us to ‘give it more line!’. Oh my gosh, it was fabulous! Inevitably at least one kite would wind up in a tree, but that too was part of the fun.

Remembering him setting up a bale of hay in the basement when we got bows and arrows for Christmas, so that we wouldn’t have to go outside in the cold right away. Watching him with my own boys years later. Oh my gosh, it made me crazy sometimes! My boys could come in the house carrying a partially eaten sandwich and their Grandpa would simply pretend there was nothing in their hand. He would begin asking the if their mom had fed the anything that day, or would they like for him to make them something special? You can guess what their enthusiastic response was each time.

We argued just like all families. He scolded or yelled, and boy, he knew the most impressive curse words. He controlled the television, sports were on endlessly. We talked about books, he was always interested in what each of us was thinking, doing, planning and he was more than happy to share his opinions. He loved to cook and was amazing. I bet all of us have a favorite or two. I easily recall the endlessly long games of Monopoly… what I wouldn’t give to play another game today. The long hours spent in the yard, doing nothing at all. Long and short, we all knew that we were loved. Without question.You knew you were loved.

So today, my heart is full. Gratitude and love have filled in all of the corners. And I’m remembering Pop. The picture that most often comes to mind for me is the one that I have shared. I swear he looks like a 6’1″ leprechaun. Pretty much perfect.

Today, I’m hoping that you take a few moments to think about someone you love, whether they are still with you on this planet or in spirit. Feel that love, go ahead and share it.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

 

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

New Friends

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Relaxing at the end of the cruise. My husband and I just returned from our first cruise, it will definitely not be our last! We enjoyed everything about it, the beautiful islands we visited, the incredible ship we sailed on, the terrific entertainment on the ship and of course the food which seemed to be in abundant supply and around every corner. But if I had to say what we enjoyed most it would be the people we met.

When John made the reservations for this trip, we didn’t know what to expect. We knew there was a dining room with a set seating plan and that we would have the opportunity to enjoy our dinners in this lovely room every evening if we chose to do so.¬¨‚Ć After chatting with others who are much more experienced travelers, we selected the option of dining with several other couples as opposed to only one other couple. The rationale was that if we didn’t really get on with one or two of the folks, we could easily swap seats to have a pleasant time with people we got along with a bit better.¬¨‚Ć Well, that sure didn’t happen.

We were seated at a table for ten. Now I like and get along easily with most people, but I could not have expected that I would come to really like all of these people. Well, I did, how cool is that?

There was a real mix, people from all walks of life. Teachers, a farmer, an engineer, a salesman, home-makers, an accountant, fire-fighter and of course me, your friendly life coach and Reiki master/teacher. Quite the blend. Most were retired, some had gone back to work part time. John and I were the only people there who claimed to still work full time. All were world travelers except again for us; they shared their wonderful experiences with true generosity and great humor.

It didn’t take long for us to really begin to look forward to dinner time, and not just for the food. Ms. Virginia quickly began the habit of asking everyone to go around the table and share what they did during the day. It was such fun; the stories were colorful and entertaining to say the least. Since our table was so large it wasn’t unusual for smaller conversations to take place as well. We moved our seats around most evenings so that we all had the opportunity to really get to know our new friends. Our friends gave us great tips about visiting the islands, sharing stories of what they had done in the past and what they had learned in their travels.

We found that we had an awful lot in common. How is that possible? William and Virginia hail from New Brunswick, Canada and have traveled extensively due to his position as an engineer. They told wonderful stories about countries I have only heard of in the past. George and Mary now live in Arizona, they too have great stories and they share jokes that made me laugh so hard I cried. Peg and Roger split their time between their farm in Ohio and their lovely home in Tennessee. I don’t remember the last time I saw a couple so clearly devoted to one another and still able to tease and laugh so easily. Each day we heard about the tour they took and somehow they always got a tour that offered rum punch – I really should have spent more time with them! Les and Cathy live in California and from the stories I’ve heard Les has world class gardens, he refers to them as his hobby. Somehow, even though all came from different walks of life we found that we had an awful lot to talk about and share each evening. John and I were always delighted when we would meet some of our new found friends during an excursion or while walking around town. Each meeting just got better and better.

My normally shy and very quiet husband talked to these people as though he had known them for years. I’ve known John for 30 years and I can tell you, that never happens! These newfound friends put John so at ease that he laughed and joked, told stories and never once felt self-conscious about any of it, just one more reason why I’m grateful to have met these folks.

It’s pretty interesting to me when I look back at this experience. While I do like meeting new people and making acquaintance it’s unusual to meet people that I consider friends this quickly. Some of them already feel like old friends and I’ve known them for less than 2 weeks. Color me grateful.

Is there a life coaching or Reiki lesson here? Probably, but I’m pretty relaxed and not really looking for lessons at the moment. I’m simply happy and grateful and looking forward to meeting these wonderful friends again soon.

My wish for you this week is that you meet someone new who quickly becomes an old friend. It’s pretty unusual but very special.

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

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

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

Vision Boards

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I love vision boards! In fact I just made four new ones the other day.

What are vision boards? They are basically a visual guide to help you manifest your best life.

Vision boards are always a surprise to me. The process is really very simple. First of all, I put on some music that feels good. It might be meditative, or energizing, depending on what appeals to me that day. Then I find several poster boards. They can be plain white or colored. This last time I used 3 different colors. I didn’t really make a decision to use colored boards; I simply laid out a variety and selected those which attracted me without thinking about it. The next step was to gather magazines, photos, and ‘things’ that made me feel good. Then the fun started.

I went through the photos and pulled out a few that I liked, some I cut up to use though I didn’t know just how I would use them at that point. Next I went through several magazines. This should be a relaxed, fun exercise. I tore out pages that attracted me for a variety of reasons. Some were simply pretty; others interesting and still others shouted at me that they showed something that I absolutely wanted to bring about in my life.

Next began the process of assembling my boards. I didn’t know how many I would create when I started so this was all a work in progress. I laid out pictures, words that I had cut-out, objects that needed to be a part of these boards. Moving everything around until it felt just right. Then I simply glued everything into place and finished off with writing on my boards where it felt right. My boards have pictures, writing, stones and words, simply things that speak to me.

When the process was complete I actually had 4 vision boards. Each one focused on separate areas of my life. One was about home and personal. Another focused on my business. A third was all about travel and the final board focused on my life coaching and Reiki business.

Now, to use these vision boards. The purpose of making the vision boards is to become clear about what I want to manifest in my life. After all, how can I bring about desired results if I have no idea what those desired results are? This process is very free flowing; I simply explored and felt my way through. For example, I want a new car. I don’t need a new car, lol, but I do want one. I’d like a convertible please. As I flipped through the magazines I pulled out pictures that made me smile when I first saw them. I wound up with pictures of 3 cars, 2 of them convertibles and one in particular is a red convertible. Yahoo! I cut each of them out, added my picture and now when I look at that board I am actually able to see myself driving those cars. It makes me very excited! I feel myself smile automatically when I look at the vision board and it makes my tummy get all fluttery, sort of like Christmas morning when I was a little girl. I know that we get what we ask for, what we expect in this life. So, I’ve decided to ask for and expect things that I want. Like a convertible.

By focusing on these boards every day for a short time, giving thought to vacation time with my husband (one of the items on one of my vision boards), allowing myself to experience the emotion that these experiences bring up I am actually bringing each and every one of these experiences closer and closer. I don’t think about them as something that is going to happen in the future. Oh no, I allow myself to experience the thoughts, feelings, smells and touches that each of these experiences brings about right now. That’s what brings them about.

I update my vision boards when it feels right. I may keep a vision board only a few days, a few months, or maybe years. It’s very exciting to look back and realize that something I originally thought of as a dream has become my reality. And of course that simply keeps the process moving along, bringing in more of what I want to experience.

The vision boards have become wonderful tools that I encourage all of my life coaching and Reiki clients to use. I also offer workshops for vision boards as I find that they are powerful tools for anyone to use.

This week I encourage you to make a vision board. Some variation will of course work as well. Consider collecting a model car that looks just like the full size car you want in your driveway and put it into a special box that you focus on every day. Any variation of this process works. It’s really all about allowing yourself to experience the reality of your dreams coming true. And then they do.

Warmly,
Sandy

Tiling Adventure

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

If you are a loyal follower of my blog, and I know you are, you will undoubtedly realize that I’m a bit behind this week. Why? Because I, your humble holistic life coach and Reiki practitioner was trying my hand at something new. Tiling. Never fear, I’m not changing professions (though it was suggested during this process) but it did keep me busy the entire weekend.

In the 60’s my parents bought a modest starter house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They moved in with 2 kids and thought about the home they would someday move into. Life didn’t work out the way they planned. They are still in that same house, but now it is the beloved home in which they raised 4 kids and where they have lived for over 40 years. Recently, my dad’s wheelchair requirements made a bathroom remodel necessary. My mom is a smart woman, she decided to take advantage of this situation and use it as an opportunity to make the bathroom into the bathroom she has always wanted.

That’s sort of where it got interesting. It became a family project. My brother Steve and two of my sons, Bill and Mike were very enthusiastic about the destruction process. And they were very good it! They beat the living daylights out of that old cast-iron tub, smashing it to bits and then pulled off the old tiling with the sort of enthusiasm that might make you think there was pepperoni pizza hidden behind the walls. For the record, there was no pizza or any other treasure behind the old tile. 🙂 They did it with an awful lot of laughing but it turns out that it didn’t damage the quality of work at all. Thank goodness for my lovely daughter-in-law Felicia and my mom who were right behind them cleaning up the dust and bits of garbage. Steve and the boys then carefully installed the shower pan. They did an amazing job even though I’m not sure any of them had the slightest idea what they were doing until they began.

Along came Saturday. Mike and I went over, thought we’d take Grandma to the store, pick up tile and have it all installed by dinner time. After all, we are completely equipped for this work. Mike is a machinist and as a holistic life coach and Reiki practitioner, who could possibly be more qualified to tile the walls of a shower? Turns out we were slightly off in our calculations. It took 3 hours to select the tile, a couple more hours to run around town and get everything. Did you know that some stores, who shall remain nameless actually think it makes sense to keep a maximum of twenty pieces of trim tile? Naturally that’s the trim Grandma liked, so off we went 20 miles to get the remaining 2 pieces. Never fear, we thought ahead and purchased extra to cover any oops events that may happen. We actually began the work by 3pm. You guessed it; it took Saturday and Sunday to get the tile up on the walls. It was actually an awful lot of fun! Mike was great to work with. He made all the cuts on the tiles, with very few errors. Laughed at me as the tiles would slip and used that eagle eye along with a level to be sure the lines stayed straight.

This evening I will grout and will seal it all up in a couple of days. I still have to repaint the room, but Grandma and Grandpa will be able to finally use their shower by this weekend.

Is there a lesson here somewhere? I think there might be. Once again my parents have reminded us that it’s important to look for a positive resolution to a problem. I applaud the efforts of my family, they didn’t hesitate to jump in and make it all come together. None of us came into this project with any of the skills to pull this off. Think of the professions involved, holistic life coach and Reiki practitioner, two machinists and a security guard. Even in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this doesn’t add up to professional tile talent. But it worked out. Because of a can do attitude the necessary changes were made on a very limited budget, even better, it looks amazing.

Now, how do I break it to my husband that our kitchen and bathroom floors are going to be tiled as well as our shower walls and all he has to do it move the very heavy items?

This week I hope you have the opportunity to find out that you can do something you never imagined you were capable of doing. I know it will make you feel fabulous.

With warmth,
Sandy

Teachers

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

I was thinking about my parents the other day when the most obvious conclusion came to me, they are and have always been awesome life coaches.

From my earliest memory my parents have taught me to try to find the positive side to almost any situation. They never denied whatever circumstances existed, they simply put their efforts into improving that situation and they taught their children to try to do the same.

Back in 1973 my dad broke his neck in a diving accident. The result was that he became a quadriplegic. During the next year, my mom split her days, going to the hospital for several hours in the morning to be with my dad, learning about his new disability and being his strongest supporter. She would then come home to be with us four kids, my elder brother was fourteen at the time, I was 12 and my two younger sisters were 8 and 3 years old. My mom would supervise homework and dinner and then taking one or two of the kids with her she would return to the hospital until 9 at night. She kept this routine day in and day out. While I remember her crying and being naturally upset, she didn’t dwell on it. I don’t remember her ranting or carrying on, I simply remember that life changed and she rolled with it well. She kept in close contact with my aunt and uncle who lived nearby, accepted and appreciated their amazing support. My mom is a terrific life coach.

When I would go to see my dad he would smile and laugh as he always had. He showed us how he was learning to do wheelies in his wheelchair, telling us all about the physical therapy he was going through everyday as he learned to walk again and making sure that we got to know the other men in the ward, all of whom had suffered some type of spinal cord injury. He did all he could to put us at ease and to teach us that while everyone there had some sort of injury, each one of them had plans to go back to his life and family as soon as possible. In short life goes on and he taught us to look forward to it with optimism and enthusiasm. My dad is a fabulous life coach as well.

As the years went by, my mom went to nursing school to become an LPN, she always told us that my dad being disabled gave her this opportunity as he was now home with the kids. She took positive action and made positive strides forward, again showing all of us that she was a great life coach.

My dad accepted his new found limitations, taking on the roles of head cook and chief babysitter. He always told us and tells us to this day, that every day is a bonus. As the years went by my dad continued to work hard to keep the mobility that he had gained in the year after he got hurt. The doctors told him that he would never be able to walk again, but he did, showing us that having a goal and a positive, determined attitude makes anything possible. I told you he was a terrific life coach.

Time has gone on. In 1973 my dad was told that he had an outside chance of living for another 15 years. I remember that he used to laugh at that, and I think he’s still laughing. It’s now 35 years since his accident. He no longer walks, using a wheelchair to get around now as his condition has deteriorated in recent years. But here’s the thing, my parents are still showing us how to move forward in a positive manner. They are not a sweet, cuddly couple that’s likely to gush about one another. Instead they are loud, friendly and sometimes crabby, but underneath all the noise as they laugh, tease and make good natured fun of one another, there is no doubt about the respect, optimist and love that they still demonstrate very clearly. Each of their children and grandchildren has been blessed to be witness to this behavior and attitude and I have to believe that we are all the better because of their teachings. I’m very grateful to have been raised by amazing life coaches and teachers.

Wishing you a day filled with optimism, enthusiasm and wonderful life coaches.

Warmly,
Sandy