Posts Tagged ‘Health’

What if…I Embrace and Even Nurture My Ego?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Again and again, when I read or listen to people that I greatly respect. Folks who are quite magnificent teachers. Leaders in the New Age world, it seems that the ego is a problem.

Now I don’t mean that ego is referred to as an itty bitty problem, something like having an irritating pebble in your shoe. Nope! Ego is often referred to as a great big problem. As though it’s a huge steel door that is standing between me and my goal of becoming an evolved spiritual being. In other words, the ego has simply got to go.

Oh my, this is beyond distressing to me. In fact the very thought of tamping down, stomping out, eliminating my ego makes me want to push back with both hands. Both feet and then I feel a strong urge to lean forward and push back with the top of my noggin’ as well.

Stomp out my ego? Unh-uh! I don’t wanna, I’m not gonna. And nobody can make me. Whoops. Maybe that is the three year old that seems to have a very vibrant life within me expressing herself. Just the same, the grown up me thinks that she is absolutely right. And here’s why.

If we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and I believe that in fact that is true, then having a healthy ego is quite necessary. It’s a vital part of us as human beings. Our healthy ego is what keeps us standing upright when doubt surrounds us. It’s what propels us forward when obstacles keep showing up in our path. A healthy ego is what allows us to be kind in the face of cruelty, compassionate in times of pain and courageous in times of great fear.

Now I’m not for one moment suggesting that we should overfeed our ego, to do so may be to create a monster. Nope, nope, nope.  An over sized ego makes for an arrogant and often uncaring human. This leads to incredible selfishness, almost an inability to consider or think about others or to care about them as they simply are not as important as our great big hairy monster ego.

On the other hand, an ego that is starved leads to true poverty of confidence and self-esteem. If the ego is not nurtured and cared for then we come to believe that we don’t matter at all. We may tell ourselves and even others, that everyone else’s needs are more important. That we really don’t matter very much. This can mean that we not only tolerate being ignored and even shoved aside, but it can also lead us to believe that we deserve to be abused in some way. This starving of the ego seems like a very bad idea.

Balance. There’s that word that I love so much. To my way of thinking our ego needs to be treated with firm kindness. Maintained with gentle, loving thoughts and words. This is balanced by compassionate honesty so that the ego does not become the afore mentioned monster.

Having this balance; which can admittedly become a tricky thing to maintain, is really a very important part of the human experience. Perhaps this learning to find and maintain balance is one more lesson that our spirit is learning by having this human experience.

Ahhhhhh, balance. It’s a desire, a goal, an intention. As humans we often fall short of our goals, that’s okay. That too is part of our experience. Each time we fall short in some way we have the opportunity to look back, reflect, learn, fine-tune ourselves. And then we do better.

My ego is part of me. I fully expect to embrace and nurture my ego because this is part of my very human experience. I invite those that I trust to let me know if I’m over-feeding or starving my ego. I happen to have some pretty honest friends who are quite happy to help out with this task. I’m a lucky gal because the simple truth is that I don’t always see this for myself. This too is part of my human experience.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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.

Meditation Musings – Mindfulness

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Mindfulness has been defined by the psychologist and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmental.  Mindfulness is also a meditation technique in which one allows thoughts, images, feelings, and body sensations to pass through the mind without reacting to or becoming involved with, those things.

If, while meditating, one notices an itch on the end of the nose or in the middle of the back the meditator recognizes the sensation and allows it to pass. Simply, ‚I have an itch‚  No attachment, no internal discussion, just ‚ I have an itch. Most of the time, after acknowledgment, the itch fades away and your mind has already moved on. We use the gentle, persistent returning to the Now to dismiss these sensations from our mind.

If you are a regular meditator and particular thoughts or sensations keep arising during your sitting you will take note of them, return to the moment and ponder them at a later time. Quite often simply becoming aware of the recurring thoughts or images can provide a very clear picture of what’s causing us to lose our center and/or grounding.

Please note the particulars of the definition cited above: on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.

We practice mindfulness on purpose. We decide it is a useful aspect of meditation, we become sensitive to it and it becomes part of our life. When we practice mindfulness in the zendo and with our sangha it’s very hard not to take it out into our daily lives.

We practice mindfulness in the present moment, in the Now. The Now is the place most meditation starts but when moved into our daily world mindfulness in the Now provides us with the real context of the events and emotions we experience, not the context we impose upon them.

We practice mindfulness without judgment. We accept what is, simply because it is. As the author R.A. Heinlein once wrote, ‚the observed phenomena requires no explanation, it simply exists‚. Observing without judgment keeps us from jumping to conclusions. How many times have we made hasty assumptions about a situation or person and later discovered that if we had just kept ourselves open and nonjudgmental we would been saved a great deal of embarrassment? This same concept dispels the ‚why me?‚ and it’s not fair‚ kind of thinking. Whatever it is, it just is.

Mindfulness can be used to help us relieve stress and anxiety simply by allowing it to pull us back into the Now. Stopping the whirling thoughts helps us move to a more stable mental place. When our technological world starts to overwhelm us a return to the Now of nature can reset our physical and mental clocks from the frantic pace of today’s techno-environment to the unique tempo nature imposes upon herself. We must never forget that it’s also our natural tempo and anything else is artificial.

Personally, I think I’ll go outside and mindfully feel the breeze on my face, smell the flowers in the garden and enjoy the Now.

Namaste
Jim

Will Reiki Cure Me?

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Maybe, maybe not.

I bet you wanted more than that didn’t you? Here’s the full scoop, I simply cannot say and neither can anyone else. When I offer Reiki to someone it’s with the intention that the Reiki do for that person what is for their highest good. I simply cannot predict nor judge what that will look like.

Reiki is by definition life-force energy. Our personal energy becomes disrupted by negativity or imbalance of any sort. Thoughts, emotions, physical distress, all can knock our energy out of balance and may manifest as ailments on any level, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. When you receive Reiki the energy flows to offer you balance once again. However, how and when you receive that energy is up to you on both a conscious and subconscious level.

When I offer Reiki to a client I ask them to intend that the energy will help them to release the negativity which no longer serves their highest good. It is important however to note that I have no way of knowing what the receiver is ready to release. If we are ready on all levels to heal then the healing may well begin. That healing may begin on a spiritual level and offer physical relief, either partial or complete. The balance that is restored to a client begins the healing on whatever level is for their highest good at that moment.

Healing has many definitions. It may the complete resolution of a problem, or it may be temporary relief of certain symptoms. For instance, I occasionally suffer from shoulder pain. While I may ask for relief from this pain during a Reiki session, until and unless I am ready to release the mental and emotional issues which manifest themselves as that pain, it will recur in time.

Am I asking for temporary relief or long term healing? Am I willing to make the changes to my life which will bring about healing? These changes may mean respecting and loving myself enough to take excellent self-care. It could be forgiving someone who has hurt me, releasing old grievances, reducing work or family stress, etc.

When my dog Indy had his strokes, I found myself offering him Reiki to heal him on whatever level was appropriate for him. I had no way of knowing if this meant restoration to his former strong, athletic self or minimizing his discomfort and bringing him peace as he passed form this life. All I knew for sure was that the Reiki would calm Indy, and do what was truly best for him.

What all of this means is that I can and will make absolutely no promises about what your Reiki experience will look or feel like. I assure you that Reiki can never do harm, only good. While some clients report dramatic healing experiences that is not the case for everyone. Reiki will offer you restored balance and as we return to the balance which nature intended we are restored to our personal best.

I encourage you to give me a call for your own Reiki session. Then you will have the opportunity to explain to me just how the experienced has offered benefit to you.

Namaste,

Sandy

Join Team Ameriprise/Serenity!

Monday, July 19th, 2010

I don’t know anyone whose life has not been touched by cancer in one form or another. Ovarian cancer is often referred to as ‘The Disease that Whispers’ because it is often undetected in early stages. WOCA, or Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance is working hard to change all of that. It is their mission to educate the public regarding the symptoms of ovarian cancer so that it is recognized in it’s earliest stages when the survival rate is extremely high. They also make it their mission to offer support and advocate on behalf of women with ovarian cancer. These ladies are hard working, but always cheerful and optimistic. They know they are making a real difference in the world.

September is ovarian cancer awareness month. WOCA holds many events during September and one of them is Nancy’s Run, Rock N Stroll on September 18th. One of my favorite people suggested forming ‘Team Serenity’, a few team members will undoubtedly run the 5K and some will walk. This is your invitation to participate as part of Team Serenity.

You are of course most welcome to participate on your own or form your own team! For more information, visit the WOCA website. http://www.wisconsinovariancancer.com/news-and-events.php The brochure is also attached.

There are many other wonderful events happening, particularly in September, including the month long event ‘Turn the Towns Teal’ when they ask us to simply raise awareness of ovarian cancer by tying teal ribbons (gladly provided by WOCA) on your mailbox, lamp posts or at your place of business.

Serenity is donating $10 from each coaching and Reiki appointment scheduled in September to WOCA, it is our privilege to support this wonderful organization.

Give me a jingle, or drop me a line via email if you’d like to join Team Serenity. Of course we’ll have a great time and we will be making a difference. How cool is that?

Namaste,
Sandy

Meditation Musings

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

As Serenity expands it’s Group Meditation offerings I’d like to take a few
moments to talk about how we view meditation and how our groups tend to work.

Modern science tells us of many benefits of meditation including lower blood
pressure, stress level reduction and better sleep patterns. Most of us who
practice meditation would add to the list, a better understanding of ourselves
and a generally calmer attitude towards life’s travails and petty indignations.
Some form of meditation seems to be a part of most civilizations and some
methods have been in use for thousands of years.

I was an occasional meditator for many years and mostly practiced when I felt
the stress in my life becoming overwhelming. One day it dawned on me that if
meditation could help when I was under a heavy stress load, perhaps, if used on
a regular basis, it could keep my stress load from building up in the first
place.
As I practiced on a more regular basis I began to study the different types of
meditation disciplines. I was struck, not by the differences, but by the
similarities. I also found that my own meditation technique (crafted  by 40
years of intermittent practice) fell into none of the traditional methods. And
yet, I benefit enormously from my practice.

I don’t find it surprising that humans have found such diverse ways to touch
that place we touch when we meditate. We are an endlessly creative species. And
the similarities within all these practices? Well, how many shapes can a wheel
be? They were all created to get us to that place we go when we  sit. That is
their greatest commonality.

My friend Sandy says that when she prays she’s talking to God, when she
meditates she’s listening to God. I start my meditation each morning with the
affirmation “I sit, I sit because it is what I do, I sit without thought of goal
or gain‚Äö√Ñ√π. Our respect for each other’s Way is evident and when you come to our
group your Way will be equally respected.

If you’ve never meditated before we can certainly help you find your own Way.
There’s nothing magical or difficult about it. You don’t have to sit
cross-legged on a funny cushion (but please don’t mind if I do). You don’t have
to “stop your thoughts” (unless you want to). If you do nothing but sit quietly
in a calm and supportive atmosphere you will begin to reap the benefits of
meditation.

Our groups usually meet for 90 minutes. First we typically have a short reading
and/or discussion about some aspect of meditation. We then have 30-45 minutes of
meditation, which could be a guided meditation recording, meditation appropriate
music, or guidance by a group member. We then have a short time to unwind,
discuss the day’s meditation, journal or sit quietly. Whatever the group
prefers.

We presently have our Wednesday morning group which meets from 9:30-11:00 am but
if you would like to see a group at another time or in another format, let us
know. We will be expanding to evenings and weekends as new groups form. We have
a $5 fee per session to help defray the cost of the space, tea, and water.

As these groups grow I’m excited about meeting people with techniques new to me
and those who wish to begin meditating for the first time. Who knows what we’ll
learn?

Nemaste,
Jim