The Contract

The words you are about to read are an excerpt from my book, The Acorn Journal: Messages of Connection from The Other Side.

I’m sharing this because Mike has been on my mind in such wonderful ways recently. You see, his birthday is right around the corner, Sunday, June 2nd. This year, he would have turned 32 years old. I’ve been thinking about all the laughter we shared over those 23 years. The squabbling, debating, playing… all of it. And I have to say, I’m so grateful for all of those years.

Mike loved knock-knock jokes, especially of the pirate variety. So, expect to see more of them on my Facebook page in the upcoming days.

As you read The Contract, I encourage you to think about the people you love, imagine the agreements that you made with them. And I hope that your heart feels both more full and lighter, all at the same time.

The Contract

My son Mike was 23 years old when he died. One day I was thinking about Mike and his short life, how much he was loved and how much he loved all of his family and friends. After much soul searching and contemplation, I made up a scenario in my head. What if…

What if before Mike was born I had the opportunity to read a contract. This contract would explain that on June 2, 1987, at precisely 6 am I would give birth to a 9lb bundle of love. As the contract went on it would explain that this hazel-eyed little boy would announce that he was awake by laughing and giggling in his crib. He would grow into a sweet, bull-headed, smart boy who would drive his elder brothers crazy by always humming or singing. He would not care about playing sports or being cool, he would be passionate about books and music. As he grew he would favor cowboy boots and flannel shirts, of the red and black variety.

As he became a teenager he would deal with Addison’s disease, but in his normal manner, he would seem to take it in stride. An intensely private person he would be very open and opinionated about how others should live their life. He would make strong friendships and he would develop interesting hobbies, brewing beer and wine and cooking, as well as hunting.

The contract would go on to clearly state that while we would be able to love and interact with this amazing person, on December 17, 2010, at some point he would end his short life by shotgun. There would be no negotiating this ending, it would be so. It would be written in the contract.

What if I had the option of signing that contract? Would I opt to learn to love this person with all of my heart if I knew that same heart would break in a million pieces on December 18, 2010, when my doorbell rang and a sheriff told me of my son’s death? Would I sign that contract knowing how profoundly my sweet husband would be affected, that I would watch him age years before my eyes? Would I sign the contract knowing that my two surviving sons would never be the same, that they would have to experience the most severe heartbreak imaginable while still in their 20’s? Would I sign that contract if it meant that we would all have to experience everything that we have in the past year?

Yes! I would, again and again, I would sign that contract! And I believe that my husband, two surviving sons, and my daughter-in-law would put their signatures right alongside mine and Mike’s. Without hesitation.

Knowing and loving my son was worth each and every moment of heartbreak. The blessings, the smiles the laughs, the aggravation, yelling, and squabbling were all blessings. And I would indeed sign that contract.

For the record, it is my belief that my soul did sign an energetic contract saying just what I’ve laid out above. That’s my belief and it may or not be yours. But I find comfort in knowing that even if I had known all those years ago how it would end, I would do it again. It’s so been worth it, at least for me.

And that gives me the strength to go forward for another day.

Namaste,
Sandy

Energy and the Penny Wall

What you are looking at – if you are looking at the picture here, is a Penny Wall. Well, that’s what I’m calling it anyway.

A few days ago my friend and fellow Serenity Community member, Andrea Lange asked me if I had ever stuck a penny to the wall using only my energy. While I’ve had some interesting experiences in my life I had to admit that up until then I had never thought of sticking pennies to the wall. Have you?

So, I asked her what we were using to adhere these pennies, some shiny, some dull to this wall in the hall between our offices. Her response shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. Energy and Intention. Do you dig that or what!?

Okay, I thought I would give it a try. Picking up a penny, I pressed it against the wall as hard as I could. As soon as I removed my finger the apparently un-energized penny fell to the floor with a quiet but very distinct thud. Oh. Maybe there’s more to this than I had considered. Andrea only chuckled a little bit; she’s a very kind and gentle woman. We chatted a bit more. Andrea’s instructions were simple, she asked me to intend that the penny easily sticks to the wall. See, feel and believe that my energy was flowing through me, through the penny and into the wall. Know it would stay there if that was my intention.

On the second try, my penny stuck. I was so excited I’m sure many of you heard me shout and perhaps felt the earth shake a bit as I jumped up and down in absolute glee. To say I was absolutely delighted by the energetic penny would be something of an understatement. Andrea stuck her penny to the wall and we both went home.

The next day our pennies were still stuck to the wall. Oh, this was getting even better! So, as I saw clients during the day, I invited them to stick their pennies to the wall. Following the instructions Andrea had shared I encouraged them to use their energy, their intention to feel, see and know the pennies would adhere, easily and totally effortlessly. I should have been taking pictures of the looks in the eyes as one person after another easily placed their penny on the wall.

All of this has a point you know. It’s a visual example of what we can and do accomplish each and every day with our intentions, using our energy. We move through life, thinking one thing and another. Having expectations that are positive or perhaps less than happy. Each of these thoughts, intentions, worries, fears, and expectations has an effect on our lives. The Penny Wall makes that pretty clear.

I think I’m going to take some fabulous colored pencils into the office and ask clients to sign and date their pennies as they put them on the wall. Just a little reminder that our energy, our thoughts, our intentions create our world.

I’m not speaking specifically about life coaching, Reiki, meditation or any other form of energy work today. In fact, I’m talking about all of these things and more. I encourage you to simply take a moment to think about how you would like your life to unfold today. What would make you happy? Allow your thoughts and feelings to flow easily, what feels good to you? Take one more look at the Penny Wall. When I tried to attach my penny using force it fell to the floor. When I gently held it to the wall and asked for it to stay, it did.

No nagging here. The coach is going for another cup of coffee and an apple. I just wanted to share my energy and intention with you. I intend to have a fabulous day; perhaps I’ll put another penny on the wall. If you would like to add yours, come on by. There is plenty for everyone.

Namaste,

Sandy

Crossing Guard, Life Coach

The other day I was on my way to work, a short jaunt from Milwaukee to New Berlin. For some reason I took a slightly different route than was typical for me.  I’m so glad that I did.

As I approached the middle school I noticed that the crossing guard that is usually there was in fact not there today. Instead there was a man I had never seen before. I swear this man simply exuded happiness and joy. It was in his entire being, his simple presence almost shouted in a most cheerful way ‘Happy, Joy, Fun’. Interesting. He wasn’t doing anything all that different than what many crossing guards do; it was the look on his face I think that made the difference.

This gentleman was using both arms to wave to folks driving by. Not in a frenzied, lunatic way that you might imagine as I say he was waving with both arms. Nope, he was simply sending a smile and a greeting to everyone. This man was offering his love to each and every person who happened to be lucky enough to pass him by.

As a life coach, I encourage each person I work with to think thoughts that make them happy, to offer a smile even when they don’t quite feel like it. I ask my life coaching clients to make a deliberate effort to offer peace to the world through their body language, their words, and their energy. This man had all of this down pat and it made my day better to simply see him.

Such a simply wonderful gift. You and I can offer this gift to others as we go through our day as well. It makes a powerful difference to the way I feel if I muster a small smile when I’m feeling glum. I feel just a tad bit better. Hmmm, that’s worth taking a step further. It turns out that offering a smile and a kind word feels even better to me and when I receive a kind word and smile from someone else I remember it for hours and hours. These are such simple, small steps. Practically no effort at all! But it feels so very good.

When I offer a smile and a kind word, I feel better and so does the person I shared with. The life coach in me says that it’s very important to keep this lovely energy going, keep spreading it around. I like to encourage my life coaching clients and even many of my Reiki clients to do a bit of homework. I ask them to make it a point to catch themselves when they want to offer a word that is less than kind when they begin to think a negative thought or get irritated at something that is happening in their world. At that moment, I ask them to make a deliberate offering of peace and love to the situation or people involved. If they can’t quite muster love, I ask them to offer peace and calm. This homework is to continue for a full week.

When we chat about this deliberate offering of peace,  I hear how the clients became more and more aware of their thoughts. As the week went on they more easily noticed their tone of voice, how they held their body and they became very aware of the words they were speaking. This awareness led them to make deliberate choices. They began to ask themselves if offering the words they were going to say would help or hinder the situation and then spoke accordingly. My coaching clients tell me that they find themselves less stressed, feeling better and being more patient with others. Nice, very nice.

All of this is what this wonderful crossing guard does for me each time I see him. He puts me in mind of the cheerful flowers that bloom in my yard. I now find myself deliberately taking that route so that I have the opportunity to share a cheerful smile and a wave in the morning. It feels pretty darned good. This wonderful man is acting as a life coach and I very much appreciate the continuing lesson. Thank you, sir.

Namaste,

Sandy

Reiki for Self-Care

What do you do to take care of yourself? You may exercise, eat right, meditate or a variety of other activities which offers relaxation and the opportunity to ‘unwind’.  May I suggest that you consider adding Reiki to your daily practice?

Reiki, defined as Universal Life Energy, is an excellent addition to your daily routine. When I teach Reiki I always encourage my students to give themselves Reiki every day. Reiki is a gentle, hands-on technique which offers balancing of your life energy. You don’t need any special equipment or tools to do Reiki. Simply your time and intention. It doesn’t get much better than that!

When you give yourself Reiki you learn to become more aware of your own energy, when you are out of balance and the subtle shifts as you come back into balance. Reiki helps you on all levels, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. And here’s another wonderful detail, you don’t need to know where the imbalance is or on which level you need to heal. Because Reiki is channeled through you from our Higher Power, it goes where it’s most needed for your highest good.

You may want to spend an hour or more giving yourself Reiki everyday, or you may only spend a few moments with Reiki. What sort of time do you want to give to yourself? It’s all up to you and it’s always going to work for your benefit. Personally, I often give myself Reiki while I relax in the evening, even while I’m watching television or reading a book.

Once you’ve been attuned to Reiki, by taking a Reiki class, you will discover that it’s available to you at any time, simply hold the intention that Reiki flow and the energy flow begins. Ahhh, love that!

As always, I encourage you to take excellent care of yourself. I’d also like to suggest that you consider adding Reiki to your daily routine. It’s a lovely addition and an excellent method of self-care.

Namaste,

Sandy

A Kind Word Changed My Day

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 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 bifocals, 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 sooooooo 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

You are an Energy Super Hero

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste,

Sandy

Vision Boards

I love vision boards! In fact I just made four new ones the other day.

What are vision boards? They are basically a visual guide to help you manifest your best life.

Vision boards are always a surprise to me. The process is really very simple. First of all, I put on some music that feels good. It might be meditative, or energizing, depending on what appeals to me that day. Then I find several poster boards. They can be plain white or colored. This last time I used 3 different colors. I didn’t really make a decision to use colored boards; I simply laid out a variety and selected those which attracted me without thinking about it. The next step was to gather magazines, photos, and ‘things’ that made me feel good. Then the fun started.

I went through the photos and pulled out a few that I liked, some I cut up to use though I didn’t know just how I would use them at that point. Next I went through several magazines. This should be a relaxed, fun exercise. I tore out pages that attracted me for a variety of reasons. Some were simply pretty; others interesting and still others shouted at me that they showed something that I absolutely wanted to bring about in my life.

Next began the process of assembling my boards. I didn’t know how many I would create when I started so this was all a work in progress. I laid out pictures, words that I had cut-out, objects that needed to be a part of these boards. Moving everything around until it felt just right. Then I simply glued everything into place and finished off with writing on my boards where it felt right. My boards have pictures, writing, stones and words, simply things that speak to me.

When the process was complete I actually had 4 vision boards. Each one focused on separate areas of my life. One was about home and personal. Another focused on my business. A third was all about travel and the final board focused on my life coaching and Reiki business.

Now, to use these vision boards. The purpose of making the vision boards is to become clear about what I want to manifest in my life. After all, how can I bring about desired results if I have no idea what those desired results are? This process is very free flowing; I simply explored and felt my way through. For example, I want a new car. I don’t need a new car, lol, but I do want one. I’d like a convertible please. As I flipped through the magazines I pulled out pictures that made me smile when I first saw them. I wound up with pictures of 3 cars, 2 of them convertibles and one in particular is a red convertible. Yahoo! I cut each of them out, added my picture and now when I look at that board I am actually able to see myself driving those cars. It makes me very excited! I feel myself smile automatically when I look at the vision board and it makes my tummy get all fluttery, sort of like Christmas morning when I was a little girl. I know that we get what we ask for, what we expect in this life. So, I’ve decided to ask for and expect things that I want. Like a convertible.

By focusing on these boards every day for a short time, giving thought to vacation time with my husband (one of the items on one of my vision boards), allowing myself to experience the emotion that these experiences bring up I am actually bringing each and every one of these experiences closer and closer. I don’t think about them as something that is going to happen in the future. Oh no, I allow myself to experience the thoughts, feelings, smells and touches that each of these experiences brings about right now. That’s what brings them about.

I update my vision boards when it feels right. I may keep a vision board only a few days, a few months, or maybe years. It’s very exciting to look back and realize that something I originally thought of as a dream has become my reality. And of course that simply keeps the process moving along, bringing in more of what I want to experience.

The vision boards have become wonderful tools that I encourage all of my life coaching and Reiki clients to use. I also offer workshops for vision boards as I find that they are powerful tools for anyone to use.

This week I encourage you to make a vision board. Some variation will of course work as well. Consider collecting a model car that looks just like the full size car you want in your driveway and put it into a special box that you focus on every day. Any variation of this process works. It’s really all about allowing yourself to experience the reality of your dreams coming true. And then they do.

Warmly,
Sandy