Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Memorial Day

Monday, May 31st, 2010

I want to take this opportunity to offer my deep and most sincere thanks to all of the Veteran’s who have served our country.

Too often we see this long weekend as simply an opportunity to gather with family and friends and throw a few burgers on the grill. I’m all for the gathering, but would like to remember but I hope that we take a few moments out during these gatherings to remember those who put themselves on the line to ensure our freedom.

Thank you for all that you have given up for us. At the very least, you have given your time. You have left your family and friends behind, often you have left your job or education behind. Whether serving in peace time or war, here at home or behind enemy lines, you have offered to give your all for your country. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice and will never see their loved ones again. A Veteran is a man or woman of honor,  each and every one of you is my hero.

Mere words can never express how deep my gratitude goes. So, once again, let me simply say thank you.

Warmly,
Sandy

Thanks Mom!

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

I’m pretty lucky; I’ve got an amazing mom!

My mom married young and it’s probably a good thing she did. She’s had an awful lot of life to pack into her years of being a mom and she shows no sign of slowing down.

My mom made it very clear when we were growing up that she had very high expectations for all of us. Her expectations didn’t relate to jobs or what she expected us to earn in the way of finances. It had to do with the way we were expected to treat one another and anyone else we happened to come across. Heaven forbid if you were caught bad-mouthing someone or being nasty just because you could. While my mom gave the best hugs in the world, there was no escaping her gaze and tongue when we were out of line. As she always managed to be very eloquent there was never any doubting just what needed to be adjusted in our attitude.¬¨‚Ć And then it was over, never one to hold a grudge, when something was fixed it was over. Whew! I’ve always wondered why more people don’t operate that way.

When I was growing up, my house was where everyone gathered. My parents had finished the basement of the small ranch house we lived in. There was a fireplace, jukebox and a ping pong table. All were welcome and my mom made sure you knew it. You were fed if she thought you looked hungry, scolded if you were out of line and hugged…well, just because she thought you should be. I won’t go into the times friends were handed sweatshirts because my slender mom was always cold, if she was cold you needed a sweatshirt. There was no point in trying to escape any of it, my mom would hang out with us and she knew what you needed, regardless of whether you knew it or not.

When I got married and had children of my own, my parents became the chief baby-sitters. My kids loved it! There is nothing they wouldn’t do for my parents. One of my sons is coming to visit next month and he has already made arrangements with my mom for doing a few yard chores. He can’t wait to hang with Grandma!

Now my mom is a great-grandmother. Those lucky little girls are learning all about being chased for a hug, playing in the dirt in the backyard and curling up in Grandma’s lap for a nap. Knowing it’s the safest place in the world to be.

My mom has been a great role-model and I suspect she will continue to be for quite a few years to come. While she retired a few years ago, she shows no sign of slowing down…I think she may have revved it up a bit, she’s on the go all the time, busier than ever.

Thanks mom for all that you taught me. When I make my own boys crazy I point to you and tell them it’s all because of you, someone has got to take responsibility!

You’re the best and we love you,
Sandy

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

You are an Energy Super Hero

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

I was reminded by a wonderful gentleman the other day of the power we have over one another. Pull out your super hero cape; you’ve got the power too.

Did you ever go into a room and know that something very unpleasant was going on, even before anyone said a word? Perhaps the room felt tense or just generally unwelcoming as you entered. You were feeling the energy of at least one person in that room, possibly that of everyone in that room.

Alternately, do you know someone who just makes you feel silly happy to see them? Most of us know at least one person like that; we are truly blessed if we know many. These people share their loving energy as naturally as you and I breathe.

Sounds like super powers to me. You have this power as well. Experiment a bit if you don’t believe me. Go into a room and smile; deliberately think of sharing loving ‘vibes’. Most likely you will quickly notice that others are smiling back. Probably approaching you, offering hugs or handshakes. You are sharing your loving energy and infecting others with it. Wahoo!!! You are using your super powers whether you are wearing the cape or not.

You do this innately. But here’s the cool part. Now that you are conscious of this ability, you can be very deliberate about it as well. Naturally, I encourage you to use this power for good, not evil.

Take a moment before you enter a room, answer a phone call or start a conversation. Consciously align your thoughts to the vibes you want to give out. If you want to be cheery, recall a happy thought, notice that feeling, intend to share that energy with those you are about to speak with and put a big smile on your face. It will come through loud and clear. If it’s your intention to spread calm, take a few deep breaths; remember a place or occasion that made you feel calm and content. Hold on to this feeling and intend to share it with others. You’re on!

The gentleman that I spoke about earlier has come to realize this power in a very profound way. I applaud him for recognizing and wanting to share this with others. He now makes a very conscious point of starting conversations with a smile and asking for the other person to share something good that has happened to them today. I love that! He’s automatically releasing any thoughts or feelings of negativity, asking for and giving thoughts of happiness or joy.¬¨‚Ć He’s not only feeding his own sense and feeling of well-being, but he is sharing that same gift with others at the same time. Well done my friend!

This awareness strikes me on all levels, particularly professionally. As a Reiki master, I always encourage my clients to deliberately release any negativity they no longer need and to allow themselves to accept  positive energy as they are ready. As a Reiki teacher I encourage my students to develop awareness of their own energy so that they offer only healthy, positive energy to others as much as possible. Of course any of my holistic life coaching clients hear the same thing.   These energy shifts may be subtle, but they influence our thoughts, feelings andDSCF0521 behaviors. Powerful stuff.

I encourage you to consciously put on your cape every day. Take a few moments to think about what you would like to project to others as well as what you hope to receive from your interaction with others.¬¨‚Ć See what happens. Make a few mental notes, and notice that the more deliberate you are about sharing love, compassion and joy the more you receive of the same.¬¨‚Ć I’m willing to bet that you will very soon realize just how much you are able to positively influence the outcome of every situation. Intend to share, focus on those thoughts and feelings, notice the results, offer gratitude and begin the process all over again.

Try this for a day or two, I bet you’ll be hooked. I hope so. Then go on, share the secret with someone else. You’ll be giving them their very own super hero cape.

Warmly,

Sandy

Thank You Honored Veterans

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmly,

Sandy

My Dog may be the Smartest Person I Know

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

DSC01071My dog is a five year old boxer named Indiana. Indy has been through a lot and is always teaching me lessons, for which I’m grateful.

Today as I sit here I realize that Indy is teaching me about self-care. Interesting because it seems that during each and every session with any client, be it Reiki or life coaching, we always spend some time chatting about the importance of self-care.

A few days ago the boxer that we had been fostering went to live with his new family. Duke appears amazingly happy and I’m grateful for this. While Duke has lived with us for the past few months, Indy has adjusted and made room for him to be a part of our pack. Way to go Indy.

They would lie on either side of me to get their Reiki nearly every night, each knew just what position the other would occupy when we went on walks and they quickly fell into a mealtime routine that was easy for Duke. Indy made all of these adjustments with a no muss, no fuss attitude and I am grateful.

Now Duke is not here. Indy is adjusting again. I think he’s missing his buddy a little bit and feeling as though he needs a little more of my attention. He’s generally telling me this in gentle ways. Coming to sit on my feet or curling next to me on the couch (generally a big no-no). He’s also finding ways that are not quite so subtle. Stealing food from a counter top which is something he’s never done before. Doing a little bit of digging in a great big plant, again something he has never done before, not even when he was a pup.

Indy is taking care of himself by letting me know in as clear a manner as possible that he needs a bit more attention from me right now. And he’ll get that attention. His ways of asking may seem naughty, but let’s face it, he has limited options for communicating with me, I don’t understand the subtle body language of my canine friend as well as I would like and good behavior is expected and easily dismissed. So, he has resorted to a bit of misbehavior. Perfectly understandable.

No, Indy is not being scolded nor reprimanded in any way. I didn’t catch him breaking the rules, simply discovered the results. What he is getting is more cuddle time. More walking, training and Reiki time. More time focused on Indiana and taking care of his needs. It’s always a delight to do these things and I really appreciate that Indiana has reminded me of the need to spend more time together.

I really like and appreciate that Indy knows what he needs and is doing his best to communicate these needs to me. He’s clearly feeling a bit sad and lonely and he knows that spending time with me doing the activities that he likes best will make him feel better. Indy knows himself and he is taking care of himself to the very best of his ability.

I will continue to encourage all of my Reiki and life coaching clients to take the time to focus on their own needs. Are these needs being met? Are your needs being met? If not, how can that be remedied. Consider taking a little bit of time to listen to your heart and soul , it always tells us what we need to know. I encourage you to then find the courage to meet these needs.

For me, Reiki helps an awful lot. For my husband it’s exercise, for Indiana it’s a combination of Reiki, exercise and companionship. What works for you?

This week, I’d like to thank my buddy for sharing his wants and needs with me. I’m honored to be able to be part of his life and I’m grateful that he’s willing to continue teaching me.

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

Attitude Adjustment

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

I seem to recall that in the 80’s the phrase ‘attitude adjustment’ was used again and again. I’m not sure why it went away.

In the real estate world, I’ve learned that agents, buyers and sellers say that everything is location, location, location. I’m convinced that in the real world everything is attitude, attitude, attitude.

This is proven to me again and again. One of my favorite clients just announced that she has just completed her best fiscal year ever. She isn’t devoting more time to her business, she’s still the most devoted wife and mom and her church isn’t seeing any less of her either. What’s changed? Her attitude! She expects to bring in more abundance and prosperity, in all facets of her life. And she is doing just that. We continue her coaching sessions and she has added Reiki to her sessions as well as she has also discovered that self-care makes her more relaxed and more productive as well.

On a day to day basis life happens. We always have two options regarding any situation, no matter how dire or fabulous the situation may appear at first glance. We can celebrate the good, or positive aspects of the circumstances or we can bemoan the negative. This applies in all circumstances.

Yesterday, just about every bit of electronics that I own broke down or mal-functioned in some way or another. I couldn’t seem to find the directions to forward calls on my cell phone, then a few hours later it crashed altogether. No cell. My son had completely crashed and reconstructed my laptop less than a week ago, all cleared of viruses. Yesterday it was struck by another virus. It kept going down. For the life of me it seemed that I wasn’t able to figure out how to work the DVD player or the VCR. Two options. Get frustrated and upset, which wouldn’t have solved any of the above. Or enjoy a cup of tea and read one of the books I have around from one of my favorite authors. Guess which I decided to do.

Today, I am assured that the cell phone is covered under insurance and my virus protection found the virus for my computer, isolated and removed. Getting upset yesterday would have made me feel lousy and it wouldn’t have changed the situation. In other words a rotten attitude would simply have resulted in a rotten evening. Instead I enjoyed my book very much, and the tea eventually became a relaxing glass of wine. A quiet evening spent doing one of my favorite things with the dogs. Just what I needed. I woke up refreshed and relaxed today. In fact, I felt so good that I decided today would be more of the same. The only electronic time today is spent writing this blog. :)I am feeling blessed and grateful today.

We are always with the options of attitude regarding our circumstances. It’s that simple. My step-father, the man I’ve always called Dad, broke his neck and became a quadriplegic at the age of 29. He and my mother decided that wasn’t the end of life. He recovered enough to come home and raise children. She went to nursing school, something she had wanted to do all her life. They used the opportunity to benefit all of us, in fact my dad still refers to each day as a bonus. My parents are amazing life coaches.

This doesn’t mean that there are not frustrations, aggravations or grief in our lives. However, we have the choice to move through these emotions and reach for a slightly better feeling every time we experience them. Attitude counts.

I would encourage you to stop several times a day, notice how you are feeling, what sort of thoughts are going through your mind and what words are coming out of your mouth. If they are harsh, unkind or simply negative I would encourage you to take a few moments. Think and feel your way to a slightly better feeling, a slightly kinder approach. Adjust your attitude and I’m willing to bet your entire life will become just a little bit better.

I wish you a fabulous day and it will be if you choose to see it in just that way.

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

Independence Day

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Independence Day. It’s important to me to remember that the 4th of July is much more than burgers and watermelon. Now I love the parades, picnics and the fireworks, but there is a reason why we have these celebrations.

We celebrate the birth of the United States of America. I feel honored, blessed and proud to be an American. This nation offers so much opportunity for me and my family, just as it has for generations before me. As a nation I believe that America is strong and generous. Oh we’ve stumbled from time to time, no doubt about it. But when we pull together, work together in a compassionate way to build one another we all grow and become stronger.

This week my message is very short. I simply want to offer my gratitude and thanks for the opportunity to be an American.

Wishing you all a wonderful Independence Day,
Sandy