Posts Tagged ‘Kindness’

Expressing Thoughts and Feelings – Not a Competition

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste,

Sandy

 

Contrasts Offer Opportunity for Reflection

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Within a short span of eleven days we will have attended 2 funerals and 2 weddings. This has caused me to think about the cycles, the circle of life.

One of these deaths was swift and totally unexpected. An apparently strong and healthy man of only 63, his family was shocked and will undoubtedly spend quite a bit of time moving through the trauma until they are able to begin understanding how their life will move forward.

The other death was an elderly woman in her 90’s. Dearly beloved by her family and friends, she was sharp and witty until almost the very end. The last few weeks of her life were spent still teaching family and friends how to live life.

And of course 2 weddings. To me there is very little that represents more optimism than a couple in love, promising to spend their lives caring about and for one another.

Beginnings and endings. We spend most of our life somewhere in between. Thank God for that. While the beginnings and the endings are times when we really focus on what life is about, the time in between is where we learn and practice. Sometimes we do well, sometimes we could do better. Still, these significant events cause many of us to step back and ponder life in ways that we may not do otherwise.

What do the weddings represent to you? These couples are people who have learned to love one another, and with any luck they have learned to really like one another, which I think can be much more important. When I look at these couples I wonder, what sort of language will they use to ask one another not to leave wet towels on the bed? Will they be kind or harsh when one tells the other that they really need to get stronger deodorant? Are they prepared to go through times when one is ill? How will they show one another appreciation or express disappointment? When they fall out of like with one another from time to time, will their love prompt them to re-discover what brought them together in the first place?

And the funerals. Oh my, I’ve learned so much about people at funerals. One particular woman comes to mind for me. I had grown up hearing nasty things about her, very little that was good. She wasn’t particularly kind to me and in short I was pretty sure that she was not a nice person at all and probably had never been a nice person. At her funeral I learned that she was much more complicated and interesting. People I didn’t know shared incredible stories about how she had gone out of her way to help them when she was very young and was living with unimaginable difficulties herself. I learned that she was a very strong woman who cared deeply about people who were in her life, regardless of whether or not they were relatives. The stories went on about her talents; she was an amazing cook, generous with her time and love. The woman I knew was a product of a very difficult life, but even during those years, many people experienced another side of her altogether.

When someone dies it offers us the chance to come together and share stories. If we allow ourselves to listen with an open heart and mind we can lean things that change our lives. Perhaps forever.

To me the weddings represent beginnings of a sort; however the funerals don’t represent an end. I firmly believe that our souls go on living, so this transition is simply an opportunity to reflect on what has been learned. Truly a new beginning.

I wonder what these things represent for you. So many beginnings in our life, and each offers us the opportunity to step back and reflect on what we believe, what we know, what we have learned. May the learning continue.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sandy

 

 

 

NO, Your Dog Absolutely CANNOT Crap in My Yard!

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Alternate title: It’s Okay to Maintain and Protect Your Boundaries 

I’m fascinated by boundaries and the way we set and guard them – or don’t. It seems that quite often we’re pretty wishy-washy about what is okay and what is not okay. Why is that?

When we listen to others, we’re usually pretty darned clear about what is and is not an acceptable way for others to treat them. However, when it comes to ourselves many of need a gentle reminder that it’s perfectly acceptable to expect others to respect our privacy and treat us with consideration and respect.

Have you ever had anyone ask you to do something and even when you say ‘no’ they push for reasons why? Or completely disregarding your response, keep pushing for a ‘yes’? That’s because your boundary is not clear to you. If it’s not clear to you and if you are not willing to protect that boundary, how in the world can you expect someone else to be observant and respectful of that boundary?

Yes, I’ve had to learn a few lessons about boundaries myself and it’s an ongoing project. I’ve found that it’s not only okay to set and protect my boundaries, but it’s essential if I want to keep my sanity. This benefits others as well, because if I am able to acknowledge and respect my personal boundaries, I’m much more likely to acknowledge and respect theirs as well. This pretty much keeps me out of trouble.

It’s perfectly okay with me if someone asks me personal questions. I answer the questions that I want to answer, but if someone asks something that I do not want to answer I simply tell them that I prefer not to discuss. If they push, I ask why they want to push regarding something that I’ve already made it clear is not open to discussion.  I ask this sincerely and then I shut my mouth. The conversation never fails to change directions. I’m protecting myself. Picking and choosing what I will and will not discuss. Trust me it gets easier each time.

Same thing works very easily when someone asks me to do them a favor or invites me somewhere. I’m usually very happy to accept, but if I decline with a simple, ‘no thank you’, I feel like that should be enough. If pushed, I once again ask why they want to push. Hmmmm…the results can be very interesting. Usually, the subject drops or changes.

One of my favorite people on the planet made a very wise observation recently. I’ve got to paraphrase because I didn’t write down her precise words. But this is the gist of her wisdom. If we believe that our souls are eternal (I do!) then our bodies are simply playing host to our souls. Why in the world would we treat this beloved guest with any less consideration, love and respect than we offer to others? Wow! That was very profound and I’m grateful to her for sharing.

This makes it even easier for me to protect my boundaries with love, kindness but absolute clarity. After all, my soul is my constant guest and deserves kindness and the most excellent treatment and this guest is absolute going to receive that sort of kindness.

This does not mean that I don’t reach out to others to ask questions or engage in other ways. I absolutely do! However, I try to be aware of the signals that they send out to me and respect those signals. I simply ask them to do the same. It feels very good. This is self-care.

The truth is that if you are a family member, friend, or even a client who comes to me for life coaching, Reiki or hypnosis you have heard my views about self-care again and again. I think it’s vital that we take good care of ourselves. When we do so, we are much more able to treat others well.

How about it? Are you ready to recognize your own boundaries? Are you able to see and acknowledge the boundaries established by others? I encourage you to really listen to yourself and others. What feels okay? Find that place of comfort and good feelings and simply, lovingly but firmly protect your boundaries. Practicing that self-care gets easier and easier and others will learn from you. This is good for you and good form them as well.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sandy

 

 

 

 

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

Monday, October 25th, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste,

Sandy

A Kind Word Changed My Day

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Generally speaking, I wake up before my alarm has the chance to ring, however, on this particular morning I couldn’t seem to open both of my eyes at the same time. I heard the alarm and instead of turning it off, I selected snooze…three¬¨‚Ć or 4 times. I didn’t actually fall back to sleep, because each time I knew I was getting nearer and nearer to the time I actually had to leave the house and that thought was making me anxious. Yes, the life coach inside of me knew the easy and best solution would have been to talk to myself about the advantages of getting up, and then sit up, but I simply didn’t.

By the time I did get up I was running late for meeting with one of my favorite non-client groups. Things weren’t progressing particularly well. My watch battery had gone dead, my hair, well let’s not talk about what my hair was doing, and did I mention that I couldn’t find my glasses? I got to the meeting and had to ask one of my friends to set my alarm reminding me of departing time. I couldn’t do it myself because I couldn’t see the teeny, tiny buttons. No glasses means no bi-focals, means no clear vision… When I was asked a simple question I was all foggy and it was just about all I could do to speak my name coherently.I sooooo felt like I needed to go back home and begin my day all over again.

Then it happened, the magic which changed my day. I like the gentleman who was sitting next to me, he’s a bit quiet, means what he says when he does speak and is a man of integrity. In short, I like and respect him and what he has to say. He paid me a compliment. Nothing huge, but a very nice, sincere compliment. My whole day completely changed. Every time I thought about it, I smiled. I felt calmer and more self-confident. From that point on my day went better than I could have imagined.

My point here? Our words have strength, they affect others in ways we often don’t expect or even imagine. hurt someone with a thoughtless or curt comment, damaging their self-esteem and perhaps inflicting long lasting damage. However, if we offer a sincere smile, a friendly compliment or offer a kind gesture we may change their day. Which of course this person may then pass along to the next person, etc. Hmmm, it seems to me we have the opportunity here to change the entire world, one kind word at a time.

By the way, that compliment I mentioned, it’s almost a week later and it still makes me stand a little straighter and smile. Thank you my friend.

Namaste,

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

Another Lesson from Indiana

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Indy and DukeI’ve written here about my buddy Indiana before. He’s the charming, good looking, friendly and ever so clever boxer dog who lives with my husband and me. Indy will be five years old in just a few weeks, so he’s now officially a middle-aged gentleman in the boxer world. All my life I’ve had the privilege of living with dogs and they have always had so much to teach me. Indy is no exception.

Recently our son Jeff who lives in Los Angeles decided he really wanted a dog to keep him company. He’s been raised with boxers and really missed Indy, so he adopted a boxer that he named Duke. Duke is a big, beautiful boy, friendly and very mellow, somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. The rescue wasn’t sure of his age as they had no idea where he originally came from. This dog seemed perfect to live with Jeff and so they went home together.

They bonded instantly and became best buddies. The problem is that Duke couldn’t get over the noise and constant activity of LA. The poor guy actually started loosing his hair. After consulting a behaviorist, veterinarian and trainer who each independently told Jeff that Duke was clearly not going to adjust to being an urban dog, Jeff decided to re home his buddy. So, he made arrangements for Duke to go to Texas to live with his elder brother Bill and his wife Felicia. The only problem is that they could not take him for 3 months and Duke clearly could not stay in LA, his stress level was just escalating.

Road trip! Duke and Jeff made their way across the USA to Milwaukee. Duke is going to hang with us until Bill and Felicia are able to take him home in a few months. All of this is well and good, we were pretty sure Indy would be happy to have a friend for a few months as he’s always done well with doggy company. But Duke has little or no experience with other dogs, so we really didn’t know how this would go.

I should have known that I could trust the dogs, particularly Indy to handle the situation perfectly. From the moment Duke walked into the yard, Indy reined in his normally exuberant behavior, walked over to Duke and in their silent language invited his new pal to stroll through the yard with him and look it all over. Duke was only slightly hesitant. Indy was calm and patient, luring him when Duke was shy and playing a bit now and then when Duke showed a bit more interest.

This has been going on for a few days now. I’ve been walking them together each day so that Duke is more comfortable with me when Jeff leaves and to of course reinforce his training and give them both needed exercise. The life coach in me is pleased and somewhat surprised to see that the doggy training continues between the two of them regardless of what I do. They walk on opposite sides of me, but Duke is still watching Indy and taking all of his cues from him. In the house they are also learning about one another. Indy continues to lure his new friend into the occasional game of chase or tug, exhibiting patience that I did not for a moment expect from him. Meal time is interesting as well. Duke is a big boy; a bit underweight and not filled out yet. As such he eats considerably more than Indiana. They get separate bowls and when Duke is finished he invariably heads over to Indy’s bowl. He will gently and politely put his face near the bowl. If Indy is done he will back off and let Duke finish the food. If Indy is not done he simply pushes Duke away with a short growl that says ‘not now buddy’ and Duke quietly goes about his business.

I refer to the coaching lessons that they are both teaching me; because it strikes me that they are teaching me every moment that I watch them together. Indiana is a terrific life coach to Duke. He is patient but he also clearly has expectations. He will lure or invite Duke to do certain things, if Duke accepts they work on it together, like playing with a tug toy, a totally new experience for Duke. If Duke refuses, Indy simply walks away without taking it at all personally. He simply tries something else a bit later. What a great life coach! Indy offers, suggests, provokes just a little bit. Then he waits to see the results. If they are pleasing he lures and asks for a bit more. If the results are not successful, he tries something else. Have I mentioned that I think my Indy is a bit of a genius? lol

Both dogs are of course receiving Reiki everyday. It’s simply part of the daily routine around here. I strongly believe that Reiki is much of the reason that Indy has made such an amazing physical recovery from his stroke a few months ago. I can only imagine how it has helped him mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Of course I want Duke to enjoy the same benefits as much as possible. He’s a very special dog and deserves to know the love and benefits of people who care about him very much. Reiki is part of that experience while he’s involved with this family.

Once again, I’d like to thank the animals in my life for the simple yet profound lessons that they teach me again and again. They keep the lessons easy and straightforward. That’s greatly appreciated and I will keep applying these lessons learned while I work with my own holistic life coaching clients.

This week I encourage you to take a bit of time. Observe the animals in your life. Maybe they’re your pets, or even the squirrels and birds in the yard. It doesn’t take long to realize they are all teaching us and if we pay attention we can learn an awful lot.

Warmly,
Sandy

Frustration

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

DSCF0524The theory is that as a holistic life coach and Reiki master, I won’t experience frustration. Yeah, right.

There is a situation with someone in my family that could easily drive me nuts. The particulars are not really all that important. Regarding most issues, I only add my thoughts if they are solicited. This is really a hard and fast rule regarding my children, especially since they are all grown and have every right to make their own decisions. When I keep my opinion to myself until it’s actually asked for, they give it more weight, take it more seriously and actually ask for it quite often.

So, why am I having such a hard time keeping my yap shut this time? This person is simply dragging his feet, refusing to act on a matter that could affect his finances for the rest of his life, and not in a good way. It’s not that he doesn’t have options, he does and they are readily available. He’s simply not taking any action.

If I were my own life coaching client how would I handle this as my coach? Well, I’d probably start by asking a few direct questions.

Q – What is it that you think you can resolve by constantly bringing up this
situation.
A – I would like to motivate him to take positive steps toward resolving this
situation.
Q – Do you have the ability to change the outcome of this situation?
A – No
Q – Is it your responsibility to handle this situation?
A – No
Q – Have you expressed your concern in a calm, rational manner to the person
involved?
A – Yes
Q – What is likely to be the affect on your relationship if you keep bringing this
up this subject?
A – He will stop asking for my advice regarding other situations.
Q – In general, is he responsible? Does he handle his finances and other ‘grown up’
responsibilities well?
A – Yes, he’s generally very responsible.

That last one just wrapped up the question and answer session done for me. The fact is that he is a generally responsible young man, and even if he weren’t, my forcing my opinion on him will not assist him to learn more responsibility.

The truth is that I am the one bringing on my own frustration. I have explored options with him, shown him the benefits and the drawbacks, now it’s up to him to make the decision that is right for him.

I truly have no way of knowing what is in his mind and heart. And it’s none of my business even if I did. It’s time to trust, back off and relax. Sometimes we need to allow others to make mistakes on their own. If he makes a mistake regarding this situation it will be something that he has to deal with, but it may well prevent him from making a much larger mistake in the future.

So, having worked through this, I feel the frustration melting away. I will trust him to make the right decision for his highest good. I have asked him if he minds my sending Reiki to him to help him to make the decision that will serve him the best and then let it go. He’s agreed and I feel as though I am doing what I can to assist him without interfering.

Truly, that’s the only option I have anyway.

My wish for you is that you are able to take positive action steps to change situations that are yours to change. And that you are able to relinquish those that were never yours to begin with.

Warmly,
Sandy

Saying Good-bye

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

I spent time with a friend of mine today, I’ll call her Cindy. Cindy’s mother is dying, Cindy knows it, her mother knows it and the doctors confirm it.

As I chatted with Cindy it was clear to me that she is at peace with the situation. Now don’t get me wrong, Cindy loves her mother and expressed her feeling that sixty-seven is simply too young to expect her mother to die. On the other hand, she told me that she feels her mother is done with life. Recently she has expressed as much, she misses her son who died very young, most of her dear friends have passed and with the exception of her beloved husband, most of her relatives near her age have passed away as well. She misses them dreadfully and feels as though she is simply done with what she was supposed to do here in this life. She’s not depressed; she’s just ready to move on. The disease that is ravaging her body is simply the vehicle that is taking her on this final journey.

Cindy is determined that her mother enjoy the time she has left. Cindy has learned so much from her mother. She was a loving, fun mom to grow up with and has become a trusted friend to the adult Cindy. She showed Cindy that it was possible to not only love her husband but that it was possible to like him and to enjoy being his friend. And now she is teaching Cindy that it is possible to die with grace, dignity and joy.

Unfortunately, Cindy is getting a bit of flak from some people. Apparently there are those who have hinted that Cindy is doing something wrong because she is not crying, wailing constantly and pushing her mother to accept painful treatments that will extend her life, but not improve or even preserve the quality of what is left of her life. So, Cindy asked me for my point of view.

Oh boy. It was time to not only think and feel as Cindy’s friend, but to think this through as the holistic life coach and Reiki master that Cindy knows I am. So, we continued to talk. I asked her how she was dealing with all of this. She told me that she is definitely heartbroken to be saying good-bye to her mother, but that she is saving the tears and grieving for her time with her husband and a few trusted friends. She’s not stuffing her feelings or denying them, simply expressing them to those who know and love her best. Because her mother is determined to enjoy the time left, Cindy is determined to enjoy it with her. She’s told her and will continue to tell her how much she loves her, has enjoyed being her daughter and they talk about the fun they’ve had together. They laugh, tell stories and simply spend time together being happy. Cindy has made it clear to visitors that her mother has requested the time remaining be happy and so she has asked visitors to honor those wishes, in fact she’s insisting on just that. She’s taking special care of her father, again honoring her mother’s wishes and doing what she simply feels is right.

The truth is that both Cindy and her mother are at peace. Her mother is getting ready to meet her God and Cindy is very appreciative of the opportunity to spend this time with her before she passes, she’s now learning how to say good-bye to loved ones and to die with grace, dignity and joy.

Before I left, I gave Cindy a long hug, told her that I would pray for her, her mother and all of her family and friends and I thanked her. While Cindy is learning one more lesson from her mother, she is teaching many of the rest of us as well.

I hope that if I’m ever faced with a similar situation that I am able to move through it with the same peaceful heart, love and gratitude that is demonstrated by Cindy and her mother.

This week, I wish you all the opportunity to express your love and gratitude for the special friends and relatives in your life. I am grateful for Cindy and I thank her for the lesson of love and gratitude.

Warmly,
Sandy

Who Knew?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

DSCF0531Good or kind deeds. If we give it some thought we might think of the Boy Scout offering to help the elderly lady across the street. That qualifies!

Do you know what these deeds accomplish? So much more than you may immediately realize. When a good deed is done the serotonin levels rise, this is the ‘happy’ chemical in the brain and the immune system is strengthened. Who does this happen to? Who reaps these amazing benefits? The recipient as we may well expect, but also the person who is offering the kindness.

Wait! It gets better!!! Not only do the recipient and receiver realize these valuable boosts but every single person who observes the kindness also gets this amazing boost.

Now this may well be the Boy Scout and the elderly lady, but it can be any kindness or good deed. Helping the small child to tie his shoes, offering a hug to someone that is down, picking up someone’s keys when they’ve dropped them, or of course paying college tuition for a total stranger would also qualify.

So, in this hurried world, take time to offer kindnesses, small deeds. We all reap the benefits.

Wishing you a fabulous day, noticing and appreciating kindness and good deeds.

Warmly,
Sandy