Posts Tagged ‘Personal’

Losing Mike – Celebrating Mike

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that it’s often very personal. Today is the most intensely personal blog I’ve ever shared. Still, I feel that I have to share before I can move forward in any meaningful way.

Tuesday, June 2, 1987 was one of the most amazing days of my life. At 6am we welcomed Mike, our third and youngest son to our family. To say we were complete may be an understatement.

Fast forward, 23 years. At some point on Friday, December 17, 2010 the world stopped spinning, perhaps even wobbled as Mike took his own life.

A very real part of me was stunned in the days after losing Mike. After all when someone of great importance to the world dies, we usually see it on the television day in and day out. We hear it on the radio and read it in our newspapers. Headlines like ‘A Nation Mourns’ or ‘The World Says Goodbye’. It was incredibly strange not to see or hear that the lives of every person on the planet had been changed; because I feel sure that it had.

Moving forward is the only option left to any of us who knew and loved Mike. Be assured, to know Mike was to know laughter, enormous hugs, endless debates and great fun. To have Mike in your life was to know a special sort of love.

We will never know for sure why Mike felt it necessary to end his life. He didn’t leave a note or an explanation of any sort. Family, friends and acquaintances were all shocked. Mike suffered from Addison’s disease and we have come to believe that it affected him much more than any of us were ever aware. We may be right or it’s entirely possible that we are simply grasping at an answer that allows us to move forward. The simple fact is that we will never know for sure.

I have found that there is no gentle way of telling others that my son has died. Clearly everyone who knew Mike was affected. The loss is no more or less profound for any of us; it simply is different for each of us. We all knew and loved Mike in different ways. While we grieve and find our own way through the mourning, I find that it’s necessary for me to celebrate every moment of the 23 years that Mike breathed life on this planet.

It’s very meaningful to me that while family and friends stormed the house offering hugs, condolences and of course never-ending food; they also came armed with stories. Mikey-isms for lack of a better term. We have gone through more tissue than I ever imagined possible as we have cried oceans of tears. But in the past 8 weeks, there has also been more laughter shared that I could have imagined possible.  Mike not only was much loved, it’s clear that all who knew him felt loved as well.

Memories of being pregnant with Mike have been resurfacing lately. I’m short and he was one big baby! At the end of my pregnancy, many of my maternity clothes didn’t fit, so it was no surprise to welcome this 9 pound wonder into our lives when he finally joined us.  Mike was a content, happy baby and that is pretty much the way he lived his entire life.

Our other sons were 3 1/2 and not quite 2 years old when Mike was born. Mike changed all of our worlds. While most babies wake up crying, by the time he was a few months old we knew Mike was awake because we would hear babbling or even laughing. Are you getting the picture?

As he grew, Mike spent much of his time laughing, chattering or simply expressing joy and contentment in various ways. When the boys were small they spent most of their time together. It seems that our elder sons would frequently ask me to find a way to quiet Mike. He would simply wander around humming or singing under his breath. Happy and content. Needless to say, I never did quiet Mike, it was so much fun to see and hear someone so happy.

As the boys grew, they remained close in many ways although they were and are strongly individual and independent. Mike loved to tease his brothers about being taller than either of them, and often stood on his toes, even in cowboy boots to accentuate the height difference. Still his brothers were always protective of Mike. Standing up for him always. Mike simply took it as his due. When either of them would tease him about being the baby and being a bit spoiled, he would grin and say ‘Yep!’. Quite the interesting crowd, my boys.

Mike loved playing music. Learning to play the violin when he was a little boy, he bought himself another violin just a few years ago. He played and collected guitars for a while, beginning with the base guitar. And let me tell you, he was pretty good. We thought he had sold or given away all of his guitars, but learned after he died that he still played with a small group of his friends almost every week. Surprise.

Brewing beer, making wine, pickling eggs and hunting. So many things that Mike liked to do and that he shared with family or friends.

We absolutely know that Mike realized completely how deeply he was loved and valued by all. I also believe that each and every person in Mike’s life knew that Mike loved them as well. He shared those feelings with hugs, grins and jokes. Laughing easily and frequently. That’s who Mike was, a joyful, loving young man.

Why? Well, it’s my personal belief that we are born to learn and to teach lessons. For our souls to have human experiences. When those lessons or experiences are complete, I believe that is when we leave this life. It may be by way of natural causes, illness, accident or as in Mike’s case, by suicide. It’s entirely possible that my view may change as time passes, but this has always been my belief.

Mike was not a push-over. He stood strong and loud for things he believed in, enjoying the debate and arguing until he was sure you had to have accepted his point of view. Stubborn at times, especially when it came to talking about politics or spirituality. He was also open to hearing your point of view and would then share with great eloquence all of his reasons why you were wrong. 🙂

Classic country music was his favorite, pretty unusual for a young man his age. But we shared favorites and some of my favorite memories are recent shows we had seen together. We saw Charlie Daniels and had so much fun going to see one of Mike’s all time favorites, George Jones. He invited me to go with him because he said no one else he knew would get why he wanted so much to see him perform. It was just flat out fun.

The last week with Mike gave no hints that he planned to go. Leaving for work early each morning and arriving home in the late afternoon. We learned later that he hadn’t gone into work at all that week, but we simply didn’t know. The evenings were spent cooking, eating, laughing and watching television. In short, no indication that anything was amiss. Again, leaving us with questions, but truly with no regrets.

I have realized how incredibly blessed I continue to be. our daughter in law continue to be amazing. I know that each is suffering and moving through this grief in their own way as they each knew Mike in their very own special way. Each has memories that are private and some that they share. My husband is remarkable. He frequently talks about the fun he had with Mike, cooking and planning meals. How he used to sit at his computer in the living room around the time Mike was expected home so that he could serve the meal soon after Mike arrived. Hubby loved that and so did Mike.

When I share the news of the loss with others there are so many reactions, none of which are wrong of course. Some people move in for a hug, some recoil as though physically assaulted. It’s not personal at all, it’s simply the way they react and momentarily cope with the shock of losing someone so young and in such an unexpected way.

I refuse to acknowledge or accept that there is any stigma attached to suicide. In the past I thought that it was an incredibly selfish act. I ask forgiveness of anyone with whom I ever shared that belief. I no longer hold that belief at all. You see, Mike was one of the least selfish people I’ve ever known. He hated to inconvenience anyone, always thanking others for doing anything for him and apologizing if he felt they had to go out of their way for him. In fact he used to thank me for giving him shots when he was sick.  Not the behavior of a selfish person.

I have come to believe that suicide was simply the illness that ended Mike’s earthly existence. I don’t believe that he wanted to die. It was clear and remains clear to me that Mike truly enjoyed life. Still, there was something that was simply too much for him to bear and so death must have felt like the only alternative. Or, perhaps it was simply his time. I just don’t know.

There’s no blame, no anger, no recriminations. Simply lots of love, feelings of being blessed to have had him for the time that we did and profound sadness that he’s no longer here to share our days.

I’m not at all sure how to wrap up this one. I could go on and on – yes, even more than I have already! I guess I’ll simply offer my gratitude for having this remarkable person in my life for 23 years. I’m grateful to have the love and support of an amazing husband, incredible sons, fabulous daughter-in-law and more terrific family and friends than I can begin to acknowledge here.

I would ask you not to worry about any of us. If you knew Mike, a lovely acknowledgment or tribute to him would be to smile and laugh. Watch a crummy old science-fiction movie and enjoy it. Laugh out loud when you hear a joke and hug someone just because you feel like it. Mike would like that, it would make him smile, and Mike smiling was a very good thing

Namaste,

Sandy

What if…?

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

This is one of my favorite questions. What if? It can be paralyzing if we stop there, but if we take it a few steps further this little question can also be a wonderful way to open our mind and heart to new, exciting possibilities.

Sometimes when we are faced with an opportunity or a challenge we start the questioning in our mind. What if I’m not welcome? What if they don’t like me? What if I make a fool of myself?

Those are all valid questions and in many circumstances they are very real possibilities. My response when I’m working with life coaching clients is to take this scenario a bit further.

Okay, so you go to an event and you are not immediately welcomed? What then? Do you have to stand there alone or is there something you can do about it? Well of course there is something we can do about it; we can be uncomfortable and lonely, we can even leave, or we can begin to introduce ourselves to others. This can be far easier said than done, so we may role play a bit, helping the person to find an easy way to introduce themselves to that first person. Putting a smile on your face and greeting the first person will immediately allow you to feel just a bit better. What if you actually enjoy the experience? Oh wow! I know a young man who was very shy, almost painfully so. He made up his mind that he wanted to meet new people, so he put himself into situations where the only way he could talk to anyone was if it was someone new. He went places by himself. Smiled and offered his hand in greeting. This young man now loves to go places where he is a total stranger. He collects new friends like I collect shoes. What if you tried to do the same?

What if you didn’t enjoy the experience? What would happen to you then? It’s a possibility isn’t it? So, I ask you to consider that in your mind, how does it make you feel and where is the feeling located? Would it ruin your day? Does that have to be the outcome? Would you be able to learn from the experience and take it as an important life lesson? What if the lesson helped you to realize that others are possibly unsure when they attend an event? The result could be that you take it on yourself to welcome new people, which will often make you the most deeply appreciated person in the room. Hmmm, not so negative at all now, in fact it sounds pretty darned good, if that’s what you want. What if, what if, what if?

What if your dream of great wealth came true tomorrow? Sounds fabulous doesn’t it? What would happen then? Some people immediately begin to imagine the opportunities they would have to change their lives and the lives of those they care about. Other people immediately begin to worry about the taxes and the new bills they would accumulate by over spending. So, take each of these scenarios a few steps further. How would you change lives? How would that make you feel and how would you begin? Worried about all of this? What precisely are you worried about? What steps can you take to know that you would be responsible? Oh yes, that’s right! We are in charge of our own destiny here, none of these things needs to happen. Taxes and bills can easily be managed by being responsible, or engaging the assistance of someone who is honorable and trustworthy to guide us. Then what, that negative feeling or fear is greatly diminished, now we can see the possibilities of¬¨‚Ć how we can change our lives for the better.

When we ask this question I like to remember and to remind others that it’s all about moving through the immediate feeling. Instead of answering the initial what if and stopping, take it another step or two or even fifteen. Ask yourself; are any of these scenarios written in stone? Do I have the power to change them, if so how? Remembering that we have the ability to tweak and change our lives with a thought, a feeling or a smile is very empowering.

What if you allow yourself to enjoy this question? What if you allow yourself to clearly see many possibilities and then realize that there is no pre-destined outcome. What if?

Wishing you an exciting week, knowing that when you ask what if, you are asking to see alternatives and opportunities for yourself so that you can move forward in a manner which serves you best.  After all, you always deserve the best, which is what I always wish for you.

Warmly,

Sandy

Life Changes

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

We’re dating. By ‘we’ I mean my husband of 27 years and of course me. John decided a few months ago that he wanted to make some major changes. I had no idea what was in store for us.

John has always been incredibly conservative. Watching every penny, worrying about every event, predicting all possible outcomes and then sort of holding his breath to see if his predictions would come true. These qualities may sound dull as you read them, but the truth is that they’ve made him a terrific husband and devoted father. We’ve always known that John had all eventualities covered. The boys and I have always felt entirely secure regarding finances and knew that John was totally and completely devoted to us all.

Apparently John has now decided to do a 180! The man is changing right before my eyes, and it’s not only surprising it’s a ton of fun.

He came home one day and told me that we were signed up for ballroom dancing lessons. Okay…sounds like fun to me. Then he told me the date of the first class. It was actually last Friday when I was co-hosting a retreat. No worries, he went by himself. Anyone who knows my husband knows that this was totally and completely out of character. He’s always been quiet and reserved. Apparently, he’s getting over it. He went to the class on his own, danced by himself and asked the very pretty young woman who is one of the instructors to dance with him. John spent all of the days between that first class and last week doing the rumba around the house. I suspect he held off somewhat at the firehouse as I didn’t get any calls. But it’s been terrific watching him have so much fun.

He’s signed us up for cheese tasting classes, checking the movie listings and even planned a cruise for January. Why do I tell you all of this? Because I have to tell someone! Alright, that’s part of it, I am incredibly proud of the way he is embracing change. But most of all, it’s to point out that we can make any changes that we truly want, at any time in our lives.

First of all, we have to want to change. We don’t have to know exactly what we want our lives to look like, but an idea certainly helps. For instance, John didn’t know that he was going to become someone who wanted to go places as frequently as he now does. He’s always been a homebody. But, he did decide that it was time to embrace a more light-hearted approach to life. He made the decision that he would find ways to get out from time to time with his amazing wife (that’s me) and that he would enjoy what life offers, knowing and trusting that his hard work and diligence has laid a good foundation. He’s not become frivolous by any means, but he is having more fun than ever.

How can this happen?¬¨‚Ć First and foremost John knew he wanted his life to start looking a bit different. He was tired of worrying. Tired of pinching pennies. So, he worked with a holistic life coach and Reiki master (yoo hoo, me again) to develop some practical and easy methods. He started re-framing his comments and statements to be more positive. Instead of focusing on events in his life or in the news that were upsetting or negative, he acknowledged them, discussed them with his life coach or others, but then he worked on letting them go if there was no way for him to change them. That’s huge! His personality is such that it was important for him to talk about things that bother him, that’s fine. But now, he tries not to end on a negative note. Instead he tries to see a lesson or a potential positive outcome.

Another of the things John has done is to stop berating himself for mistakes made in the past. After all, what’s done is done. We can look at the past, we can learn from it, but we have absolutely no ability to change it. I’m proud of him for beginning to accept that the past is done and to forgive mistakes made by himself and others. Again, a big step.

Probably the biggest change in John is that he is focusing on the¬¨‚Ć amazing life he has led and intends to go on living. He frequently brings up the fun we had raising our three sons. He speaks with pride about their accomplishments, no matter how small. Reminiscing about camping trips and time spent being active in Boy Scouts. He’s excited when he talks about them visiting us or a vacation to see any of them. In short, this man has become hopeful and silly excited about his future. Hooray!

I often speak to my clients, whether Reiki clients or coaching clients about re-framing their speech to see a positive viewpoint. It truly changes the way we feel and think. Affirmations are a powerful tool that we can use as well. Writing and talking to ourselves about the positive changes we are bringing about in our own lives. These things are sometimes overlooked or forgotten because they are so very simple. But they work. It’s pretty much that simple.

So, I’d like to applaud John for the life changes he’s made. I know it hasn’t been all that easy for him. He’s a 52 year old man who had a pretty firm pattern set in his life. But he’s making changes and from all the signs he’s enjoying them incredibly, just as he deserves.

Just one small positive change this week could improve your entire life. Go ahead, give it a try. I can’t wait to hear all about the positive life changes you are making.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice my fox-trot and rumba steps so that John doesn’t go off dancing into the sunset without me.

Warmly,

Sandy


John has always been incredibly conservative. Watching every penny, worrying about every event, predicting all possible outcomes and then sort of holding his breath to see if his predictions would come true. These qualities may sound dull as you read them, but the truth is that they’ve made him a terrific husband and devoted father. We’ve always known that John had all eventualities covered. The boys and I have always felt entirely secrue regarding finances and knew that John was totally and completely devoted to us all.

Apparently John has now decided to do a 180! The man is changing right before my eyes, it’s not only surprising, it’s a ton of fun.

What did you Expect?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

IMG00061My co-host and wonderful new friend, Melissa Heisler and I welcomed a group of five (5) women for our Relax and Recharge Retreat this past weekend.

We had talked about  our hopes and plans for the retreat and created an outline to guide us as well as letting the participants know what to expect. That plan pretty much flew right out the window, and it was to the benefit of all of us.

Everyone came for their own reason and of course those reasons and personal stories will remain confidential. What I found most interesting though was that all of the participants had desires and intentions in common, even if they were not aware of these desires and intentions went they registered for the event.

The weekend seemed to fly. Bonds were quickly and firmly established. Some ladies slept in, getting some much needed and well earned rest. Others spent those early hours in quiet talk. We walked for miles while we shared precious stories, sometimes all of us together, other times one on one. There was opportunity for Psych-K and Reiki and we all participated in guided meditation, taking our own private journeys in our mind while listening to our souls. We even spent some time creating our own vision boards. And do these ladies have vision! Each vision board was of course very different from the others. Another step toward creating the future that each is bringing about in her own life.

We ate well, nurturing our bodies while we nurtured our souls. It was a weekend of discovery and remembering. Recalling the laughter and pure joy of youth and simple pleasures.  Life coaching went on almost constantly, and some of it was even offered by the coaches; Melissa and me. The support and positive suggestions offered by each of these women to one another was heartwarming and genuine. They were positive, supportive and kind, most of all they were right on point, time and again.  Tears flowed, but there was also laughter. So much joy, I can hear it even now.

Can you bend spoons? Me too!  But Melissa shared this skill in a whole new way. Instead of using force to bend the spoon, she taught how to make the spoon pliable and easy to bend by using your heart and mind. Love that! And yes, it worked.  I was smart enough to buy some extra spoons from the accommodating diner down the road or I suspect I would be looking for new spoons for my lake home even now. They bent easily and it was just so cool to see the looks of amazement and happiness of the faces of the amazing ladies. They were always powerful but now they realized it in a whole new way. Very exciting stuff!

While it was our original plan to include Reiki, Psych-K, meditation, life coaching, etc., we soon realized that the schedule was not important at all. The days and nights unfolded perfectly. It’s pretty tough to ask for more than that.

I’m grateful to each of these women for sharing and participating. I’m also grateful to them for reminding me of a powerful lesson. I had certain expectations and plans when Melissa and I were putting all of this together. And while I still believe it’s important to have expectations and plans, I was gently and wonderfully reminded that it’s very important to let go of expectations when something much better comes along.

I wish you a week where your expectations are not only met but exceeded in surprising and most fabulous ways.

Warmly,

Sandy

A Good Deed

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

DSC01004I’ve posted about this before, but every time I think about it I become very excited, so I thought I’d share with you.

Our mother’s taught us that we should be nice to others because it’s the right thing to do; I tried to teach my kids the very same thing. I remember from time to time one of my boys would ask why they should help out their brother, what was in it for them? Well, I was the grown-up in the house, so in the most gentle, loving manner I could muster I would calmly explain that what was in it for them was the opportunity to sleep inside the house that night and with any luck the next night as well! I tried hard to be a generous and helpful mom.

I wish I had known then what I know now. It turns out that every time we do something kind for someone else, from helping them find their shoes to untying them from the railroad track just before the speeding train arrives, raises our serotonin levels. In short it makes us feel good. Here’s where it gets even better. You would probably expect the formerly tied up on the track person to feel pretty good about the new situation. But guess what, you will too! That’s right not only are you doing just what your mama told you to do (rest assured, Mom’s feeling pretty good at the moment now as well) but your serotonin levels go up just as a result of your doing the right thing. Hot dog, you’ve got to love that. But wait, it gets even better!

This is not just a win/win for both the good deed doer and the good deed recipient, but it turns out that anyone witnessing the event also experiences a rise in serotonin. How cool is that? That explains why I felt so good when I would watch one of my boys help the other to build a snow fort. They thought they were simply doing it to protect their corner of the yard from the opponents on the other side of the yard, and in truth that’s what they were doing. But they undoubtedly felt good as a result of the kindness, their brothers felt good and I now realize that this act in full view of the neighbors probably made them smile and feel just a bit better as well.

Now the life coach in me realizes that even if I didn’t intellectually understand this all those years ago that I probably intuitive understood it and that others probably do as well. But how cool is it that we now actually know intellectually what we felt all along?

I’ve had conversations with other Reiki people about this from another angle. For instance, while I give myself Reiki frequently I most feel the wonderful effects of Reiki when I am offering it to another. That is definite motivation to be sharing Reiki with anyone and everyone who is open to the experience. It just feels good and makes me happy.

What to do with this information? Perhaps just knowing it is enough to make you smile and feel good. You might share the info with others and hopefully motivate them to do an extra  kindness.

In truth I don’t care just what the motivation was that made my little boys help one another out from time to time. They did and clearly they got something from the experience as they are all now adults who don’t hesitate to assist others cheerfully. I feel better just having that knowledge.

I wish you a fabulous week, offering, receiving and observing kindness and good deeds.

Warmly,

Sandy

Life Coaching Basics

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Life coaching is not about therapy, consulting, counseling, or advice. It is basically a process that addresses business successes, personal projects, transitions and general conditions among others especially in the client’s personal life and profession by putting efforts on the current situation, discovering the barriers, challenges and selecting the course of action in order to make life be how you would like it to be.

Life coaching involves the coach and the client and the relationship between the two of them, giving all the power to the client. It is believed that one knows the answers to every single question or problem he or she may be facing in his or her life, though the answers maybe hidden or concealed. As a life coach, my skills revolve around knowing the right questions to ask a client, being equipped with helpful tools and techniques that empower you to get to the answers that you already have within yourself.

One may ask, why work with a life coach? What each and every person dreams of is success, achievement, happiness and joy. Working with a life coach assists the clients to uncover their own blocks so that they are better able to manifest and allow the life they truly want to live.

As a holistic life coach, I assist an individuals in identifying and setting the goals that he or she really wants without basing them on others interests. My role as coach is to assist clients in clarifying their personal values in order to attain something better when it comes to setting the goals. Remember that when the goals are based on the things that the client value most, they become more naturally motivated.

As your life coach, I’m with you for every step. As a client you will learn to forgive your past mistakes and see them instead as valuable lessons. We are going to work together to focus on your very best self.

For this week, I wish you focus and balance in your life. Please feel free to send me an email or give me a call for your free life coaching consultation.

Warmly,
Sandy

The Shack

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I read a wonderful book the other day. It had been recommended and even loaned to me by one of my favorite life coaching clients. ‘The Shack’ by Wm. Paul Young spoke to me on many levels.

As a life coach I encourage clients to acknowledge and appreciate their faith, if they do indeed believe in a higher power. This book tells the true story of a man who lived through a brutal childhood. Later he married and had children, settling into a wonderful if somewhat ordinary life. God as he knew him was pretty unavailable and not someone he felt that he could count on. Tragically this man experienced a horror that is every parent’s nightmare. Sometime later, this man is invited up to a place referred simply as the shack. During his time at the shack his life changed forever.

I’m not going to tell you too much more because I do not believe I can do the story justice.

Reading this book helped me to deal with many questions. Maybe predictably, it prompted many more questions as well. Most of all it reminded me of the connection I feel with my God and reminded me that it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. It’s really pretty straight forward, a relationship of love and trust. Beginning, middle and end.

Why do I feel the need to share this with you? Because I think we all need something that we believe in and depend upon. For me this is my faith. Life coaching and Reiki have both helped me to become much clearer about my faith. Each has helped me to eliminate some of the junk that I always associated with faith. For me this process has been simple yet incredibly profound.

I encourage both life coaching and Reiki clients to take a bit of time each day to meditate. Time to simply be. When I do this it helps me to clear my mind and open my heart to ideas, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes these thoughts and feelings are new to me. Often they are old thoughts or emotions that I had sort of shelved in the past. Now when I give them a bit of time, they are more easily dealt with, as I simply ponder them from a detached point of view. I’m not consistent about meditating every day at a certain time or place, but I expect to get better about it with time. I know that it has served me well and I absolutely appreciate that fact.

For today I hope that you are able to take a few minutes to spend all by yourself in peace and quiet. Not thinking, just being. I hope that this will help you to find a bit of peace and guidance.

For a very good read which just may change your life, I strongly recommend reading ‘The Shack’. I know I’ll be buying several copies and keeping them on my lending bookshelf. This book is too important not to share, which is why I just shared with you.

Warmly,
Sandy

Let Your Emotions be Your Guide

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

DSCF0533They had an argument. In fact she said it was pretty much a knock-down, drag-out fight, loud and ugly it left them both hurt and feeling cut-off from one another for the next 24 hours. Pretty unusual for them because they generally get along very well. Here’s where it gets interesting. She told me that she knew the day before that a real argument was coming with him, she could feel it.

As both a life coach and a Reiki practitioner, I strongly believe and work with my clients to understand the law of attraction. Quite simply that means that what we put our attention on, what we think about, what we expect, what we ‘know’ is going to happen will in fact come into our experience.

When we talked about this unfortunate argument she shared her thoughts the day before that an argument was about to happen. So, we talked about ways it could have been avoided. Oh, not the discussion. The subject they covered probably should have been addressed, but it could have been handled in their normal loving manner, quickly and easily.

We began with her thoughts and feelings the day prior to the fight. She was feeling great and was on top of the world. When she spoke with her husband he was not as supportive as she would have liked him to be and she was very disappointed. She noted how she felt and although she didn’t take the time to think about it at that very moment, she later realized that she had a few options. She could have reached for a slightly better feeling, possibly frustration as this would have begun the process of lessening her feeling bad. Instead, she became angry, which moved her to a feeling that made her feel even worse.

She held onto that anger all evening and by morning she had moved further on the emotional scale. Unfortunately, she hadn’t moved to a better feeling but instead to a worse feeling, insecurity and guilt. In short, she was pretty much primed for that fight. She knew it was coming and she was bringing it on, not altogether unconsciously.

As we chatted, we talked about the emotional scale. It’s a tool that I find invaluable as a life coach, working with Reiki clients and of course in my everyday life. An awareness of how we feel is truly a very practical and easy guide and it helps us to take our lives in the direction that we truly want to move.

She talked about how her disappointment, anger and insecurity had brought about the argument, then she moved onto ways it could have been a useful and productive discussion. As she talked through the event she began re-framing thoughts and comments in a manner which made her feel a bit better. Progress! This continued, the more she thought and discussed the more she repeatedly found ways to make small, incremental movement up the emotional scale. She was feeling better and better. She was able to re-frame the comments she heard as well as the comments she had made. In this way she was able to forgive both herself and her husband as she realized that there is always more than one way to say and look at every situation.

We chatted a few days later. She had been very deliberately paying attention to her gut, how she felt as well as to her thoughts, were they negative or positive. When her feelings or thoughts were not pleasant she was taking the time to reach for that ever so slightly better feeling or thought. She was very excited with the progress that she was seeing. She noticed that when she was putting her attention on what she wanted rather than what she didn’t want that she was getting much more satisfying results.

Of course I will continue to coach her to make this awareness of how she feels and what she is thinking a natural part of her life. It will become easier and easier.

For any of us, as we see positive results, we are encouraged to do more of what is bringing about those results. Success leads to success. Fabulous!

For today, I encourage you to really pay attention to how you are feeling during the day. When you make decisions or say something, how do you feel? What are you thinking? Become aware and reach for a better feeling and I feel very sure you will have a better day.

Warmly,
Sandy

Reiki All Day Long

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

If you had met me as little as five years ago, you would have met a hard-working, level headed, successful owner of a faux finishing business, wife and mom. My feet were very firmly in what I called ‘the real world’. I have always had firm faith in my God, held the belief that all things are possible and that a positive attitude was necessary for success in the world. Together with my husband I raised three level headed sons and truly believed that life in the real world meant dealing with events head on just plugging through. I also thought that those who were interested in anything new-age lived in the ‘woo-woo’ world. If you had asked me my opinion I would have patiently explained that these folks just didn’t get it.

What a difference a few years makes. My hard work ethic led to a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder and pretty much put an end to my faux finishing business when surgery resulted in a partial recovery. At around the same time I was experiencing incredible stress in my personal life for a variety of reasons. Enter Reiki.

The first time I experienced Reiki I did so to pretty much shut up one of my sons. He was of course aware of the shoulder pain and stresses in my life and he knew how I felt about taking medication, which was pretty much that I avoided it unless absolutely necessary.

My first Reiki session resulted in great pain relief and a general relaxed feeling of well being. I was so surprised and pleased that I told anyone who would listen about my experience. I continued to go and soon realized that there was something to this ‘woo-woo’ stuff. I won’t pretend that I understood how or why it helped me, but it did and that was good enough for me.

Fast forward a few years. I continue to receive Reiki as often as possible. I have become a Reiki master and added Reiki to my business, so that many of my clients receive not only holistic life coaching but Reiki as well. This benefits me, my clients and everyone that any of us associate with on a daily basis.

I have come to realize that those people I had always thought just didn’t get it, did indeed get it much better than I. I have learned to appreciate and respect the positive attitude that always came naturally to me, for I now know that same positive attitude and belief in a positive future is what creates that wonderful future. I have always trusted my gut, but I didn’t know why. I now realize that instinct and intuition; gut responses, are gifts that we all have and that our lives are generally much better if we trust them. My new friends and colleagues are not out there as I always believed; in fact they are generally some of the most grounded people I’ve ever met.

Reiki has now become something that I use all day, everyday. I offer Reiki to my gardens when I am outside, planting or simply walking through the path. My dog Indy receives Reiki several times a day. It’s become second nature to offer Reiki to anyone who is feeling less than well, to offer Reiki to my husband when he stubs his toe or has a headache. In fact it now feels completely normal to offer Reiki to my husband as we fall asleep at night and first thing in the morning. I send distant Reiki to my grown sons living far away, to family and friends on a daily basis and to the world at large for peace and health.

I will always have a foot firmly planted in what I used to call the real world, that’s my background, my personal history and it helps me to connect many of my clients, family and friends. I truly appreciate and am grateful for that. This new-age world that I am coming to appreciate more each day is not new at all. These friends and colleagues help me to embrace and appreciate the past, my present and my future.

Reiki has helped me to appreciate both my old and new friends. I am so grateful. I now say with great love and amazing respect that I do embrace the woo-woo and I encourage others to do the same.

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