Posts Tagged ‘Healing’

When Grieving – Become the Observer

Monday, February 27th, 2017

On December 17, 2010 my son Mike ended his life on this planet. died. Yes, he died of suicide. And so began my journey. Walking the path of grief into healing.

Now this walk is not one that any of us have chosen. Many were hurled here without warning, those that did have warning were often overwhelmed before this all began. This sort of loss is complicated, traumatic. It’s sometimes hard to keep our focus and find our direction. Natural and normal human reactions.

When things are the most muddied and confusing, I find it can be tremendously helpful to step back. Sometimes quite literally! Remove myself from the thoughts, feelings, conversations, behaviors of myself and others. Become The Observer.

Imagine what the current situation (whatever it is) might look, sound and feel like to someone who knows nothing about what is happening. Perhaps someone from far, far away. With no history that connects to any of us, what would they see? Most of the time when I do this, I can easily imagine The Observer being aware people who are in great distress. Doing the best they know how to do.

The one who is telling others what they should be feeling, or perhaps tells others that they don’t care? The Observer may become aware that this person is feeling confused about how to express their own fears about those who are also grieving. They may be judging their own behavior of the past very harshly.

The one who… fill in the blank. We don’t know what we don’t know. It’s as simple as that. We imagine that we know and understand what is happening within ourselves and everyone else as well, but the truth is that we can’t know all of these things, at least not as humans. It becomes easier for us once we recognize that reality.

The one who never sheds a tear? That some have decided is cold and unfeeling? Perhaps The Observer is able to see that this person is in such deep pain that they might fall apart if they let the tears begin…

Let your own tears fall. They are cleansing, healing. It’s okay. When the accusations come, let them go on by, remind yourself how much you always loved this person and always will. Feel the love. In the end, the love is all that matters.

The rest will heal. In time and with work, oh boy is it work. But it is work that is so worth it because you see as we continue to do the grief work, we heal and that helps us to feel that ongoing love more fully. To embrace gentle memories. To remember smiles, hands holding ours. The life we will always cherish and celebrate.

This exercise allows us to see or at least consider seeing things from the point of view of others. There have been more times than I can count that people I know love me, said awful things. They didn’t say those things to hurt me, they were expressing themselves as best they could in that moment, from their own vantage point.

Step back. Take a deep breath. Let some of the anxiety go. Of course, it’s easier said than done, it gets easier with practice. Once we are able to take that step back, and hold open the possibility that even those who are hurting us are really doing the best they can in this moment, we experience much less stress. In its place, a feeling of compassion for ourselves and others can emerge. You might be surprised how much easier stepping back gets with practice and more importantly and how your perspective enlarges.

Namaste,
Sandy

Reiki Level One – Class

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Are you ready to welcome the gentle energy of Reiki into your life?

Reiki is all about releasing that which no longer serves us and welcoming balance into our lives. This is very gentle, but don’t let that fool you – it’s quite powerful. In fact it can be life changing.

Serenity is offering a class for Level One Students

Friday, June 19th                                                                                                                        10a – 3p                                                                                                                                   Oxford, WI

Participants are always welcome to share their own thoughts, beliefs and experiences and expectations about Reiki. We will discuss the history and philosophy of Reiki, all in an interactive, safe environment. The Reiki class experience includes learning about traditional Reiki hand positions as well as discussion about trusting your own Reiki intuition. Each class member will give and receive a full Reiki session.

Each will be attuned to Reiki. You will receive your own Reiki manual and of course a certificate of completion for Reiki Level 1.

To register for this class, please contact Sandy via email:  Serenity@SandyWalden.com

I look forward to sharing this Reiki energy with you.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                         Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Connection Heals

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

LegacyConnect members sum up what they do as follows: “grief support groups & expert advice on coping with loss, writing condolences, attending funerals, mourning death and celebrating life.” A sense of community and connection with others is perhaps the most important tool for healing that survivors can find. Getting advice from experts in related fields is something we all long for from the very beginning, but becoming a part of a community in which we can interact and share both pain and healing is something that is priceless, especially to “celebrating life.”

Celebrating life, whether I realized it or not, was something I did naturally, even at the beginning of my mourning for my husband. Reaching out to connect with others was another instinctive healing urge that guided me back toward life and hope. I had always heard this was possible, but I also realized – in 2007 – that I had never encountered this kind of darkness before.

If you think about it, we all learn from others. We start at the beginning of life, and this is one task that never ends. Learning and sharing are as old as mankind, yet we have not learned everything yet. Some things cannot be passed by information alone. Some things have to be experienced. I believe that each person who enters this world leaves a special and unique message that no one else can deliver. I think each person who loses a dearly loved child, partner, sibling, other family member or friend can provide comfort to others that is uniquely his or her own. In this way we are all adding to the body of knowledge in the universe.

It may be that when we have completed our time on earth – no matter at what age that time comes – we are ready to move forward. Our message has been delivered; our impact on the world has been made. For people who love us, there is never a good time to lose us. I cannot ask for more time with my husband in exchange for a date when I must let him go – again. That is something I cannot give. I would never willingly let him go.

Or would I? We two used to talk about things like that in deep conversations that ran long into the night. I suppose everyone has that kind of conversation at some point. How do we want to face the end of life? What are the best decisions regarding the care of our children? Should the one who is left remarry? Are there certain people we should consult for advice if the unthinkable happens?

We had it all planned…except that nothing happened the way we thought it would. Personally, I was sure we would take our lasts breaths together in our sleep one night, passing from one peaceful existence to another wrapped in the arms of each other. We would be well into our ninety’s, and our children would say, “This is how they would have wanted to go because they loved each other so. This is the way is was supposed to be.”

I did not plan for my daughter to walk alone toward her handsome bridegroom. I did not realize my husband’s recounting of his dream in which I wore a yellow dress would be his last. I did not think of holding his grandson in my arms for the first time without his arms around me.

Yet, I celebrate his life every day. I understand the path he took had more to do with saving me than saving him. I look forward to holding that child, who will be so much a part of him. My husband was so much more than the way he died.

When my daughter smiles or my grandson laughs, when I see in a beautiful spring day all the echos of days my husband and I shared that were good, I know I can never return to those innocent days in which I could just read about loss without knowing something else deep in my heart. But I also know, I will share the joy he brought to my life and the way he made the world around him better.

I will tell the stories he used to tell and share stories about the things he did and said. I will sit in a sandbox or push a swing and pass the love he gave me on to someone else who, in turn, will one day talk about the grandfather he never met as if he knew him.

Note: For more information about LegacyConnect, visit www.connect.legacy.com.

Jan McDaniel
www.lostandfoundrebuilding.weebly.com

Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors:
Forum Moderator
Stewards Program Manager

Blog columnist
http://www.allianceofhope.org/blog_/jan-mcdaniel/

Reiki Class – Level 2

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Are you ready to move to the next level? When you move on to Reiki level 2 you increase your vibration, increasing your flow of Reiki energy. As always, this class is very relaxed and interactive. You are encouraged to share your experiences and ask questions. Discussion is strongly encouraged as we all have unique experiences and learn from one another.

I’m very fortunate in that I am able to welcome my good friend and trusted colleague Helen Mork to co-teach this Reiki class. Making it even more interesting and giving greater variety of experience.

Reiki Class – Level 2

Sunday, November 18th
9:00am to 2:00pm
$150.00
Oxford, WI

http://www.sandywalden.com/reiki/reiki-classes.php

To register for this class either visit the link above, give me a jingle at  (414) 378-8764 or drop me a line via email at: Serneity@SandyWalden.com

Remember, this is your Reiki journey. Are you ready to take the next step?

Namaste,

Sandy

Reiki Healing Circle in Oxford, Wisconsin

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Reiki healing circles are a most wonderful, healing activity. Ahhhhhhhhh  

This months Reiki healing circle will be held Wednesday November 14th at Sky Blue Dreams.

Sky Blue Dreams
136 Ormsby St. (Hwy 82)
Oxford, WI 53952

Time: 9-10:30am

Fee: Donations welcome

What happens at a Reiki Healing Circle gathering? Well, it’s really very simple. Anyone who would like to receive Reiki healing, or would like to request Reiki healing for themselves, another or even would like to send Reiki healing to an event joins us. We share the name and or the event or circumstances for which we are requesting Reiki energy. And then we simply spend time in quiet meditation, sending and receiving the gentle healing of Reiki energy.

That’s all there is to a Reiki Healing Circle. Don’t let the simplicity fool you! The energy is profound. Reiki is defined as Universal Life Force Energy. It heals on all levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. That which you are ready to release is released so that you can embrace the positive Reiki healing. Reiki balances your energy.

If you would like to be remembered during our monthly Reiki Healing Circle and cannot attend, send me an email and I will be sure that you are part of the Reiki Healing Circle from a distance. If you would like to receive the Reiki energy and are free to attend, I look forward to seeing you there.

Namaste,

Sandy

Reiki Level 1

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Learning Reiki affords you the opportunity to experience this gentle self-care anytime, anyplace. You will also be able to offer Reiki to loved ones, including your pets.

This powerful energy healing modality offers you balance so that you are able to release stress and heal yourself; mind, body and soul. Relax, calm and heal…ahhhhh, feels so good!

Students in this class will benefit from having two teachers. Helen Mork and Sandy Walden. Both are Master/Teachers; however each has their own unique Reiki journey and unique experiences.

This class is very interactive. Your thoughts, experiences and questions are not only welcome, they are strongly encouraged.

This class provides:
• History and Philosophy of Usui Reiki
• Overview of the Chakra system
• Attunement to Reiki
• Basic hand positions for Reiki treatment
• Practice self-healing as well offering Reiki to another

This class provides the attunement to begin the flow of Reiki energy. Training manual and certification of completion will be provided.

When – Sunday, October 21, 2012
Time – 8am – 1pm
Where – Sky Blue Dreams, Oxford, Wisconsin
Fee – $150. Per student

To reserve your space, contact Helen Mork 608-697-2975.

We look forward to meeting you at the class.

Namaste,
Helen and Sandy

Empathy, Compassion, Support

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Empathy – the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.

Compassion – sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. 

Thank goodness for those who surround us with compassion! It’s so helpful to know that there are those who care about us who are not empathetic; they don’t personally know our pain, but care about us deeply. That’s compassion.

Support – to hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking or slipping.

Ahhh, perhaps the key is to interact with others who are able to provide empathy or/and compassion combined with support.

Traveling the journey of grief into healing is not something easily done alone. When someone offers us empathy, it makes a huge difference. Having the experience of someone looking us in the eye and saying ‘Yes, I get it. I truly know what you are going through.’ Offers comfort as it relieves a bit of pressure. The sufferer understands that they are not alone; others have felt this pain as well. Validating the thoughts and feelings, allowing the sufferer to be witnessed, to be heard.

When it turns out that the person cares about our feelings, we experience the healing of compassion. Our pain matters, someone cares enough to reach out and let us know that they are here for us.

Support. Hearing that others have been through similar pain is not enough. Knowing that others care about our pain is not enough. Combined with support. The open arms offering warm hugs. The card that reminds us we are not forgotten. The written, spoken or silently communicated message that ‘I care’ means so much that there is no way to express it adequately.

Not everyone will offer empathy. Thank goodness, not everyone has suffered the same pain. Not everyone is wired to offer compassion. Some simply are not able to broaden their mind and heart to want to alleviate pain. However, nearly everyone is willing and able to offer support.

Perhaps we would benefit from learning how to ask for the support that we want and need. No doubt, it is a very difficult thing for some to ask, while asking comes as easily as breathing for others.  When we are in pain, if we already have difficulty asking for support it becomes even more cumbersome, perhaps overwhelming. At that time, when it is most needed, those people may well not have the support that they truly need.

Each and everyone one of us has experienced pain in our lives. If we are able to remember how it feels to feel alone, even abandoned it may well prompt us to be sure that no one else ever feels alone. On the other hand, if we have experienced strong, loving support; I hope that encourages us to share that support with those that we care about.

Everyone deserves empathy, compassion and support. It changes the way we feel when we are in pain, reminding us that we are not alone. Likewise, these feelings change our experience when we are able to reach out to someone who is hurting. Well worth considering.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

Forgiveness Matters

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

Meditation

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

When I used to think of meditation, I was absolutely convinced it was totally beyond me. After all, I believed that meditation required a quiet, calm, very disciplined mind. Let me be very honest here, not one of those adjectives would be used to describe my noisy, active sometimes scattered mind.

Imagine how relieved and excited I was when I learned that meditation comes in many varieties, there is no ‘one size fits all’. This led me to re-think the entire meaning and to discern just what meditation is for me.

When I asked myself a couple of questions, it really became quite clear.

* What allows me to become so absorbed that I am both energized and deeply relaxed at the same time?

* How do I feel after engaging in this  activity?

That’s it; there really were only two questions for me. Remember that busy mind I mentioned earlier, well the simple fact is that two questions were quite enough. I was off and running with this idea that I could be a Master Meditator. By the way, there’s no need to look it up, I made up that term. 🙂

I asked myself, what absorbs, relaxes and energizes me? Gardening, being in or on the water, walking my dog. To name a few. How do I feel after any of these activities? I feel refreshed, relaxed and just plain good. I get lost in these activities, loose all sense of time and often have little or no interest in what is happening around me. This my friends is meditation.

These activities allowed my mind to rest, and that is very therapeutic. However, I have found that other forms of meditation serve me in other ways. Listening to guided meditation relaxes me anytime I listen to it. If I’m having a stressful day, I often will simply put on a guided meditation and let it run in the background. Whether I am deliberately focusing on the meditation or not, I notice that my stress level begins to dissipate.

In December of 2010 my 23 year old son took his own life. To say that suicide is traumatic is perhaps one of the greatest understatements of all time. The stress was pretty much off the charts. One of the ways my body and minds responds to stress is insomnia. This has been an issue on and off for me for many years when stressful situations would occur in my life.

I admit that it took quite a while for me to remember after losing my son that I had tools at hand to help myself. However, when I did remember and when I was able to begin using the tools of meditation, I began feeling better. Not fixed, not healed, certainly not over it. But better. And that mattered a great deal.

It’s only been a bit over a year since losing Mike and I readily admit that I frequently need to remind myself that meditation is helpful for me. Sometimes it’s simply too much for me to get out and walk the dog or participate in one of the activities that usually brings on the calm, restful state. However, for me listening to guided meditations helps tremendously. Particularly when I am experiencing insomnia. I use either an mp3 player with headphones or a simple cd player to allow the meditation to play. Sometimes I try to concentrate on the words, other times I simply trust that the meditation will guide me to a relaxed state and a gentle sleep usually follows. If I’m having a particularly difficult time with sleep, I usually put the meditation on repeat and let it play.

Our mind, our body and our spirit all need rest and calm if they are to serve us well. Meditation facilitates this rest, healing and rejuvenation. The more one practices, the easier and more effective it is in bringing on that healing rest. However, rest assured that the benefits are there for the casual user and beginner as well.

I strongly encourage meditation for anyone. Particularly for someone who is experiencing illness, trauma or stress, meditation can make all the difference.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

One of my favorite experiences is to listen to guided meditations while drifting off to sleep.

Reiki and Healing

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Reiki, pronounced Ray-kee is a modality of energy healing. If your response is ‘huh?’ then you’re in good company.

Reiki has been around for quite some time, but only in recent years is it becoming better known and widely accepted.

Energy is of course a very real part of each of our lives. The electricity which turns on our lights is energy. We may not see it, many of us don’t quite understand how it works, but it is there and very effective. Reiki energy is similar in that it is not something that can be seen; however the effects can be felt.

Generally, when one receives a Reiki treatment, you will lie fully clothed on a massage table. The Reiki practitioner moves around your body, gently laying their hands on about twelve positions of your body. During this session, the gentle energy of Reiki flows through the practitioner to the recipient. This allows your own energy to balance and that balance allows healing. Ahhh, now we’re getting somewhere aren’t we? It’s all about the healing.

In the most simple and straight forward terms, Reiki allows your body, mind and spirit to release negative energy. This may be fear, pain, despair, etc. As these less than helpful energies; these toxins are released you are able to re-balance and welcome healing. Our body, mind and spirit are able to heal themselves when we release these barriers.

There is a plethora of research supporting this healing modality. http://tinyurl.com/3hk8u7u This research simply reinforces my own beliefs and more importantly it supports my own experiences with Reiki; as a Reiki master and teacher as well as someone who continues to benefit from frequent Reiki sessions. I smile when friends or family tell me that ‘there must be something to this stuff’, because the well respected Dr. Oz tells of his own trust and confidence in Reiki.

As someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, I appreciate that Reiki has helped me and continues to help me to move through this grieving and healing process. I do believe that the process has been a bit more gentle due to receiving frequent Reiki sessions.

I’d like to be clear; this is not something magical that has taken away my pain. Rather, the Reiki has helped me to move through my pain in the way that is best for me; a little at a time. It’s helped me to become clear about what I feel, to understand what this loss means to me, to forgive myself for not keeping my son alive. While on that Reiki table I’ve shed many tears, but I’ve also felt relief, lovely, healing relief. I’m someone who tends to express my pain or fear in physical terms. Shoulder pain, migraines or an aching back. I’m grateful that Reiki is safe to receive under any conditions. It is safe to use regardless of what medications I may be taking or medical treatment I may be receiving. That offers me reassurance and additional comfort and encourages me to continue giving myself daily Reiki as well as to receive Reiki from other practitioners.

There’s something quite wonderful about being touched by another human being. It offers connection and bonding. However, it’s important to note that Reiki can be offered at a distance as well. After all, it’s energy and energy is not limited to time or distance. This means that I am able to send Reiki to my surviving sons even though they live far away from me. Like the prayers that I offer, I know that they receive the energy in the way that is right for them. I also sit down and intentionally send Reiki to my son Mike who took his life in December of 2010. As a mom it heals my heart to know that I can still offer him something quite wonderful and healing. Of course I would prefer to have any of them on a chair in a room with me or on my Reiki table. But I am blessed to know that the Reiki is just as healing in whatever way it’s received.

I continue to offer Reiki to others and I’m grateful for the balance that it brings to their lives. Gently, sometimes a little at a time, sometimes the balance comes more rapidly. I will also continue to give myself Reiki sessions and to receive Reiki from others. If this life is about learning and moving forward; as I believe it is, then I want to be able to learn, heal and move forward as easily as possible. Reiki helps me to do just that.

Namaste,

Sandy