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

Sweet Indiana

Silly Indy. Rolled up his favorite blankie to lie down, but he kept stumbling and falling down. Never fear, he’s a clever boy, he eventually braced himself against a chair and just slid down. He’s managing very well.

Indy is my boxer buddy. He turned five years old this past July and is in the prime of his doggy life. But he’s hit a few bumps this past year.

Indiana, just watching the world go round.
Indiana, just watching the world go round.

Indy had a stroke last spring. Things looked pretty grim for the first several days, in fact, we were all spending as much time with him as possible as it looked as though he would surely die. On the day that I thought would be his last, he started to recover. From there on he made steady progress to an almost full recovery.

Fast forward to this week. All was well until one night Indy was restless around 2:30 am. Completely out of character as this boy likes his solid 12 bedtime hours of sleep. I got up with him and he stumbled down the stairs, falling for the past few. This happened a few times in the wee early hours and I knew what had happened again. I had to leave very early that day so I told Indy when I would be back and explained to my husband all of the particulars and how to help Indiana the most.

By the time I got back in the afternoon, I didn’t know just what to expect. Not what I found, that’s for sure. I returned to find my now ’tilted’ boy, playing and trying to engage everyone else in play. Clearly, he was in no pain and I got the feeling that he wanted us all to know just that.

We lay down on the floor and Indy allowed me to give him Reiki for well over an hour. We then took a nice long nap and both felt much better.

That first night Indy went upstairs to sleep just like normal, but the journey up the stairs was clearly difficult for him. By the middle of the night, we were both back down on the first floor. He curled on his favorite blanket and went to sleep. Since then, he hasn’t tried to go upstairs at all. Our youngest son Mike has been staying with us and he has been sleeping on the couch so that Indy won’t be alone and has someone nearby if he needs them.

I’m once again being reminded of so many things. The life coach in me admires the common sense and good nature that Indy is exhibiting. He can’t go up and down the stairs, so he’s simply not, excellent self-care! Duke, the boxer that we once fostered has been here for the past few days and Indy really likes him, so when Duke goes outside so does Indy. They stroll around the yard and Indy even tries to coax Duke into playing with him. Imagine this normally very graceful dog trying to run around, stumbling and tipping a bit, but showing Duke that he’s willing! It could be heart-breaking I suppose, but I see it as quite wonderful. Indy knows what he can and cannot do and is quite determined to enjoy everything that he can.

We went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for both Thanksgiving and a birthday party. Guess who was lined up first at the door? Yep, Indy was determined not to be left out of these gatherings. He got to the truck and turned around and just looked at me as if to say ‘Okay, I got this far, now you lift me up please.‘ Naturally I did. While at the gatherings, he got plenty of ear rubs and did his best to be sure that little baby faces were kept clean. Another job well done.

I really don’t know what’s ahead for my pal. He’s middle-aged, really at the time most boxers are at their peak of strength and endurance. I’m grateful for that, as I’m sure it’s serving Indy well. I’ll continue to offer Reiki to him every day, he clearly knows how and when it helps him and I love having the opportunity to offer it to him, more cuddle time for both of us.

We won’t eliminate playtime or walks. We will, of course, let Indy set the pace and the time frame. This smart boy clearly knows what he wants and what he can do, so I’ll just let him tell me.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to learn from Indiana. He’s happy! He wants to participate in family activities and he will. When he’s had enough he simply lies down and we are doing our best to be sure that his favorite spots are a bit extra fluffy and warm. Excellent life lessons for me. Enjoy everything I can and take a rest when I’m tired. Find a way to do what you want to do and don’t worry if it looks silly to anyone else. And oh yeah, don’t forget to be affectionate at every opportunity.

This week I hope you take the opportunity to enjoy every moment, make the most of what you have and expect the very best outcome. Most of all, be happy whenever possible.

Namste,

Sandy

A Good Deed

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.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                          Sandy

Changes

Optimistic. Happy. Excited. Those are some of the words I would use if asked how I feel about life these days. I realize that there are big changes going on everywhere. Many people are losing their jobs and we are told many times a day that times are tough. We are in a crisis. Things have not been this dire in years. But that’s just not the way I feel.

I find myself turning off the television and radio and simply ignoring most of the newspaper. It’s not that I’m hiding my head in the sand to avoid reality, it’s just that I’m selective about which reality I want to immerse myself in. The truth is that I’m happy and healthy and so are most of the people that I know. Some have lost their jobs and yes, many have tightened their belts and had to make substantial changes in their lifestyles. What does that mean? It simply means change. Change is neither good nor bad on its own, but it does offer options to us.

It seems that many large businesses are closing or paring down. At the same time, many small businesses are healthier than ever.

Many of the people I know, friends and clients are entrepreneurs, others work for small businesses. Most of these people acknowledge that the way they do business has changed substantially, but most of them are enjoying abundance and prosperity at a level that is not being described in the media. Why? Because scary is more dramatic, it sells better. The truth is that I’m not likely to watch the news if I think the announcer is only going to talk about the fact that the businesses operated just fine today. All the children showed up on time, healthy and happy for school and all is generally A-okay all over town.

We get excited, all worked up about bad news. It motivates us to get out there and save someone or something. That’s great! Now let’s get just as excited about the good news.

I have to say that life is changing for me, personally and professionally. Particularly this time of year I find that I really enjoy the changes. I deliberately make changes in the house from rearranging items to changing colors. It elevates my mood and helps me to get ready for the holiday season and colder weather.

What can you do to learn to flow with the inevitable changes that life brings? I suggest a few things. First and foremost I encourage you to simply turn off negative messages whenever possible. That may mean only listening to the television or radio news long enough to hear about the weather and sports. Better yet, why not read a newspaper and select which articles you want to read. That way you have control over what messages you are receiving and when. If you find yourself surrounded by negative people, either change the subject or simply excuse yourself as soon as possible. Refuse to add to the conversation when gossip starts.

Another of my favorite tools is color. Most of us react very strongly to color whether we realize it or not. Wear colors that make you feel happy. Surround yourself with these colors if at all possible. I don’t mean that you have to refurbish entire rooms, adding pillows, candles or even flowers can bring in colors which have a dramatic effect on your mood.

Music is another powerful tonic to gloomy days. Most of us have a favorite song or CD, listening to it always puts us in a good mood, so put it on whenever you have the opportunity.

Of course, I add Reiki, it always helps me to regain my focus and balance and to relieve the stress in my life.

Making a list of the things I’m grateful for, the blessings in my life remind me that while my life may be unfolding in a way that was not originally part of my plans, I always have much to be grateful. This always helps my mood.

It’s important to be sure to use good self-care when going through stressful change. It can help to balance the emotions and of course things like eating right and exercising not only keep you healthy but make you stronger in mind and body to handle whatever is happening, hopefully in a more positive manner. The holistic life coach in me just couldn’t wrap this up without getting in a plug for self-care.

Change is inevitable. Some changes will be tougher to get through, but I know we will do better if we stick together and work together to make the outcome positive for all. In short, the outcome is not pre-destined, we have options. Arm yourself with a few tools for tough situations and know how to lighten up your tough days. We can and will get through these changes and more will come. Exciting isn’t it?

Wishing you a fabulous week of changes.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                          Sandy

Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance

I know we don’t like to admit it, but September is right around the corner and coming very fast!

Why do I bring this up? Because September is the month that Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance or WOCA has most of their events. September is in fact Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer awareness month.

This is an amazing organization, they do so much to spread the awareness of this disease. Helping to educate men and women alike so that the disease is more likely to be diagnosed and treated in the very earliest stages because that’s when a positive outcome is most likely. The events that WOCA runs help to raise money for this education and also for research so that this disease may ultimately be wiped out.

I have had the privilege of getting to know and care deeply about the ladies who started this organization. Their dedication and desire to do all that they can is real and deeply moving.

So, I’m asking everyone who reads this to go to their site at http://wisconsinovariancancer.com/. Read about the symptoms and get to know a bit about Ovarian cancer so that you can spread the word in a positive manner, thus encouraging and supporting good health for every woman in your life.

I will be participating in as many of the September events as possible. I’ve already signed up for Nancy’s Rock Roll ‘N Stroll on September 12th as well as the Brewer game on September 19th. I encourage you to participate as well if it is possible.

Remember, that we also have the opportunity to assist this wonderful organization by making donations. Please visit their site and if you feel so moved, make your donation. It truly will make a difference in the lives of many women.

Everything about these women appeals to me. Nothing about these women is negative, it’s all positive. Rather than dwelling on problems, I see happiness, optimism and hope. How can I not be attracted to this marvelous group of women?

I’ll continue to send Reiki to all of them. Donate my dollars and participate in events whenever possible. If you feel as moved as I do, I encourage you to do the same.

Warmly,
Sandy

Reiki and My Dog

Indiana is my steadfast companion. Not quite 5 years old, Indy is an excellent representative of the boxer breed. He’s beautiful fawn color, with a black ‘mask’. Big black eyes that are amazingly expressive. Sometimes I forget that Indy doesn’t actually talk to me. You see he always has something to say. He grunts, groans, snorts, whines and generally makes his feelings clear on just about any subject. Always up for a good wrestling game or long walk, Indy is just as happy to follow me from room to room and simply lay on the floor close to whatever I am doing. He’s loving, gentle, playful, sassy, chatty, obedient and smart and just a swell guy to have as my buddy.

Here’s the thing. I think there is something seriously wrong with my friend. A week ago I noticed him stumbling now and then coming down the stairs or even walking through the hallway. Now this is not completely unusual for a young boxer. They get excited or their attention wanders and sometimes it’s as though their feet almost get tangled. This is not what was happening. The next day I realized that his head was tilted, just as he does when I’m talking to him and he’s paying serious attention. Except now it’s that way all the time. With his lip drooping on one side the drooling is now constant; it was definitely time for a visit to the vet.

Our vet is amazing. Indy loves to go to the office and has to be reminded all of the time about his manners when he’s there. Everyone there gets lots of sloppy boxer kisses and hugs, in turn they seem to have an endless supply of doggy treats and always time for a good ear scratch. Dr. Stefanie was not able to diagnose what was going on with my buddy except for a mild case of doggy acne, easily treated with an antibiotic. She asked what his behavior was like and was very interested when I told her that Indy had been asking for more Reiki the last day or two. Dr. Stefanie had never heard of Reiki and was very curious. She was fascinated by the fact that Indy lets me now when he wants to receive it as well as when he is done. She also found it very curious that since this ailment had started just a few days prior, Indy has been asking for more Reiki and accepting for a longer period of time. While she didn’t totally understand it, she encouraged the continued practice.

Since then, Indy has also been to a vet internist and again no official diagnosis although again the veterinarian took the time to patiently and kindly remind me that boxers are very prone to cancer. The good news is that we don’t know that’s what is progressing.

As of today, only a short week after all of this has begun, I really don’t know what to expect. Indy is still asking for Reiki frequently, accepting it for longer periods of time than he had in the past. I hope that the energy is helping to heal whatever is afflicting him, it’s my belief that it is helping. He’s still ’tilted’ and continues to be show weakness on the right side, but he’s started to play again. I really missed that in the past week. We’re all up at the lake and yesterday Shadow, the neighbor dog came over. They started playing and running up and down the yard. Each went to the lake for a drink of water and when Indy shook his head he actually tipped right over into the muck, making him a candidate for a full bath before 10am. It was very funny! But the good news is that he got up and continued playing.

As a holistic life coach, one of the things I talk to my clients about all of the time is the fact that every aspect of our lives affects all others. This week has been a very real reminder of that for me. Not knowing what is happening with Indy has affected every person in my family, including my grown sons who no longer live with us. In many ways, Indy is continuing to teach me and to remind me of lessons already learned.

I will continue to offer Reiki to Indiana, he enjoys it and I believe it is helping him to heal on whatever level he is meant to be healed. It also offers me peace as I know that Reiki works on all levels, mind, body and spirit. Indy deserves all of that and more.

This has been a great reminder to me, to offer Reiki to all of those I care about, friends and family, two legged or four. I will also be making it clear to coaching and Reiki clients that there are very real benefits to our animal companions when they receive Reiki. And why not? They deserve the best we can offer them; they already offer us all of their love and devotion.

Wishing you a fabulous week, filled with love gratitude and a deep appreciation for the animals in our lives.

Namaste,
Sandy

Thank You and Welcome

As always, I’m proud to be a holistic life coach who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of the fine states in the United States of America. The events of this last week make me even more proud.

First of all we say so long, but not good-by to a good, decent man who was our president for eight years. President Bush served us with honesty, decency and integrity. I have to say when I watched his farewell address on Tuesday night I was immensely proud. This fine man thanked Americans all over the globe, paid tribute to who have served with him and gave special thanks to our military. As a mom of a former Air Force member, I appreciated that very much. Most important, Mr. Bush assured his fellow Americans that he respects and appreciates and has confidence in our new president, President Obama. Job well done, thank you so very much.

For his part, President Obama thanked the out-going administration for a job well done. He spoke with respect of our past presidents and assures all Americans, regardless of political affiliations that he will be striving to do his best for all.

I see hopeful faces whenever the conversation about politics opens up. Americans have elected our first president of color and for many this encourages them to become engaged in the political and voting process as never before. From my point of view, I encourage all to be supportive of our new president. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter who I voted for, we as a country have selected our new president. It’s now my job to stand behind him, respectfully speak up about policies that I do not like and strongly get behind those that I do support. I do not see our president so much as a Democrat or Republican as our leader. President Obama is the president of all Americans and I believe that we will all benefit if we find a way to work with one another with respect and a positive attitude.

So, once again I would like to thank President Bush for all that he has done for our country, I appreciate it and wish him and his family health, prosperity and peace.

I would also like to welcome President Obama. I wish him success as he works hard for all Americans; I also wish him and his family health, prosperity and peace.

Wishing you a fabulous day, filled with hope and excitement as all Americans celebrate the beginning of a new presidency.

Warmly,
Sandy

Together

It’s been a long time since my entire family was together for Christmas. Our eldest son left for the Air Force right after high school and spent most of the next six Christmas holidays in faraway places. One of our other sons enjoys traveling and he spent last Christmas far away in a much warmer location. This year they are all home, along with our beautiful new daughter-in-law. We are very grateful.

As a life coach, I spend a lot of my time trying to help others see that there are always at least two ways of looking at every situation. We have been very grateful for the past several years that everyone was healthy and happy, focusing on the amazing blessings in our lives and enjoying the emails and phone calls that we shared, even when we were not together.

I realize that it is very likely that next year we will be spending the holiday season in different locations. One of our boys is probably going to be moving south (he is so not a fan of the cold Wisconsin weather) another is probably going to relocate to another state for his job. That means that the third will probably get a bit more attention than he would like, but he’s a good sport and I think he can handle it.

What all of this means is that like everyone, we discover again and again that life is about change. We are determined to relax and enjoy having each other this year. Visiting with grandparents, aunts, and uncles we appreciate all of the blessings that we often take for granted. We don’t know what the next year will bring, except that we can be pretty certain it will be somewhat different than this season. Some of us may be together, some may be far away. I feel sure that we will still find ways to stay close, and being located in other parts of the country gives us all good reason to take a vacation. For our family even when we are separated by many miles, we still know that we are connected by love and genuine affection.

I encourage you to contact and connect with family and friends. If they are nearby terrific! If they are far away you can still be together. Phone calls, emails, cards and letters still connect us in powerful ways. We don’t have to be related to those we love, friends often become our family. This is a wonderful season to reach out to all those we care about and to let them know how we feel about them. Every time we do share that affection we feel a little bit better about our own lives and what friend or family member doesn’t want to know they are loved. The life coach in me loves that! It’s a win-win all around.

So, for this holiday season, I wish you the fabulous feeling of knowing that you care about someone and that they care about you in return.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, happy holidays to all of you my friends,
Sandy

Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance

Recently I had the opportunity to meet truly remarkable women. Back in 1999, their sister and Aunt Ms. Joan Sagan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Dedicated to fighting this disease in 2001 the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance or WOCA was developed. www.woca.net.

Since that time, Ms. Sagan, unfortunately, lost her battle with cancer. Her sisters Sandi and Kelli, along with Sandi’s daughter Erin have been working tirelessly to spread hope, encouragement, and information to families who have been affected by this disease.

Meeting these women and hearing their message touched me in a way that was much deeper than what I expected. Of course, they are passionate about their subject. I expected that much. What really moved me was the way that they quite literally radiate light and hope. They are currently in the process of having their website completely redone by NewAlliance Marketing, www.NewAllianceMarketing.com. Their message is unrelentingly positive. Early detection and education can and does make such an amazing difference in the outcome of this disease. That is, of course, their emphasis. But it’s the way they deliver their message that strikes me. These women are cheerful, uplifting, positive‚, in short, they are hopeful.

Traveling frequently, they share this message whenever and wherever possible. They offer insight regarding how to communicate with someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. They offer some idea of what a person who has been diagnosed with cancer may expect to experience regarding emotions, treatments and so much more.

Sandi, Kelli, and Erin have faced this most feared disease and continue to face it every day. They are not angry, bitter women although many would say they have every right to be. They are comforting, uplifting and darned funny!

I encourage you to watch their new website develop in the next few months; you will see so much more of their dedication come to life on your computer screen. Please consider making a donation to WOCA. No doubt about it, it is time and money well spent.

To contribute, please make your check or money order payable to the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance and mail to:

Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance
P.O. Box 482
Oak Creek, Wisconsin 53154
Fax: 414-764-4492
E-mail: friends@woca.net

Sandi, Kelli, and Erin are fabulous. My hope for all of you is that you allow yourself to be touched by them and their cause.

Namaste,
Sandy

This Life Coach Needs People!

I’m a pretty social person, my husband, however, not so much. Oh, he’s a great guy and he enjoys being with family and friends, but frankly, he gets pretty much all of his social needs met by spending time with our grown kids, the occasional outing with friends and spending those 24 hours shifts with the guys at the firehouse. 

As for me, I need people! I need to work, see, talk to, play with and generally interact with many more people. Much of my daily life is handled on the telephone, and while I appreciate and enjoy this very much, I also have an absolute need to spend time being in the actual physical proximity of other people.

So, I do a couple of things. I attend business networking groups, I’ve joined a book club (I love to read!), I take my dog for lots of walks or to the dog park where I am sure to meet people with similar interests. I go to Curves, a gym for women, it’s chatty and friendly, and I get to fit in the dreaded work-out while I’m having a great time getting to know the other women. Having lunch or seeing a movie with a dear friend is always fun. It’s not unusual at all for me to call a friend or one of my boys to invite them to just come over and hang out; we might have a meal together or simply enjoy a glass of wine outside by the fire.

Years ago, this was a bit more difficult for me. My husband works as a firefighter and that often meant that he was gone. Most of the time I appreciate and enjoy my alone time, but sometimes I need that social contact. For me that meant getting involved in‚ oh, so many things. When my boys were younger, I not only took them to Scouts, I got very involved. It was a great way to get to know the other boys and their families that my boys were interacting with. And it was fun being a leader for so many years. The same with school, I participated in many activities. As my sons got older my social activities revolved around them less and less. Yahoo! It was time for me to be a grown up again. It’s been terrific finding my own interests, Reiki, Life Coaching, Hypnosis, etc. and participating in things that I truly enjoy.

Now, keep in mind I mentioned earlier that my husband would rather spend most of his time with me. That’s fine… when he’s around.  I spend a great deal of time with him, he compromises by doing a few social activities with me and I compromise by doing most of my socializing during his work days. Of course I do spend some time doing my own thing when he’s home, but with each of us doing just a bit of bending it works very well.

So, the life coach in me wants to turn this into a lesson. You didn’t think I was just rambling on, did you? Early on I discovered that I had much more need for social outlets than my sweet husband. We talked about it and decided that the most positive and satisfying way to work this out was just the solution I have already described. That was the action part, in case you missed it. There is no way that my husband can fulfill all of my social needs and for me to drag him everywhere would make both of us miserable. So, our solution is a positive for both of us.

Wishing you the fabulous joys of as much or as little social activity as is right for you.

Namaste,
Sandy