Thank You Honored Veterans

S3000001I want to say a most sincere and profound Thank You to each and every one of our American veterans.

These incredible men and women put each and every one of us before themselves. They do it because they believe in every cell of their being that it is the right thing to do. And so they serve.

Young and not so young. I have the great privilege of knowing many of these people personally. Many in my family have served in various branches of our military. Some for a few years, others have made this service their career. All have been changed by the experience, each and every one have them have said that it has made them better people. Well, I’m not in a position to judge that, I suspect these folks were always of outstanding character.

Some of the young who are currently serving spent quite a lot of time in my home as they were growing up. It’s always a pleasure to see them when they visit. They are unfailingly modest and grateful. Let me repeat that, they are grateful to our country for the opportunity to serve. Wow, that is amazing. I don’t hear bragging from them, they share stories of the people they have met, the places they have been. There is a quiet pride and dignity in the squaring of their shoulders as they salute, shake hands or hug those who have served before them. These men and women undoubtedly represent the very best of what America has to offer and does offer to the world.

Now I’ve got to be honest, I’m possibly a bit biased. One of my sons, Bill spent six years in the US Air Force. He speaks about his time serving in terms of what he learned, and the incredible bonds he forged with others who served with him. In many ways he is closer to some of those men than most of us will ever be able to imagine. We missed him around here while he was serving far away from home, but always understood that he considered what he was doing to be necessary and valuable. To Billy, I offer not only gratitude and respect of a citizen but also the pride and love of a mom.

Each and every one of these veterans is someone’s son or daughter. Many have husbands or wives, some have children. Each has left home, leaving family and friends to serve our country. Personally, I make no distinction between those who serve at home in the United States and those who have gone to far away places. They wear the uniform with pride and I am proud to salute each and every one of them.

To all of our American veterans, from all era’s, please know that I think of each and every one of you with pride and I offer you my most sincere thanks.

With love and appreciation,                                                                                                                                                        Sandy

Job Loss Means New Beginning

We hear about it on the news every day, people are losing their jobs. At the moment it’s a reality in America and folks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are not exempt.

Mike went to work on Thursday, to a job that he liked. By the time he left at 3pm, he had joined the ranks of the unemployed. I had the opportunity to talk with him in depth a few days later. The holistic life coach in me could not help but be impressed with his point of view. Mike told me that this will be a good thing in the long run. He liked his job and made pretty good money. However, he knew that as long as that job was there, he would probably not seriously look at other options. Mike is young, not quite 22 years old and very aware that the world has quite a lot to offer him. He is taking this opportunity to reflect a bit, think about where he wants to live, what makes him happy and where he can imagine himself in the future.

Mike’s considering going back to school, but that really does not hold a lot of appeal for him. He is, however, considering a wide range of opportunities including the possibility of going into business for himself. We chatted about the jobs that he is applying for and the range is amazing.

Naturally, since I’m a life coach and his mom, it was important for me to hear a bit about his plan. Mike is putting together an honest and thorough resume. He’s decided to grow his hair a bit and to shave off the thing that’s been hanging from his chin for so long. He’s asking his eldest brother about the most appropriate way to dress to put in applications and to go to job interviews. He’s also re-learning about the appropriate follow up to job interviews, thank you cards, phone calls, etc.

In short, Mike is optimistic that life is changing in a positive, exciting way for him. He told me that this experience is teaching him some very important lessons and that he looks forward to the next few months. He knows he has options that many do not. His parents have offered to let him move back home and they would welcome him, but that’s something he would prefer to avoid. Still, the reassurance of knowing he has that option removes much of his stress.

For my part, I support and applaud Mike. I will continue to offer him Reiki to keep him stress-free. As a holistic life coach, I will continue to chat with him about the choices he is making, I will encourage him to move in the direction that feels right to him, in short, to follow his gut which of course means to follow and discover his bliss. Mike is taking positive action steps to bring about the future that he desires and I have no doubt that all will unfold in an amazing way for him.

I wish Mike and all of the unemployed in Milwaukee and all of America a week of personal and professional growth, calm and optimism as their future unfolds before them.

Namaste,
Sandy

Teachers

I was thinking about my parents the other day when the most obvious conclusion came to me, they are and have always been awesome life coaches.

From my earliest memory, my parents have taught me to try to find the positive side to almost any situation. They never denied whatever circumstances existed, they simply put their efforts into improving that situation and they taught their children to try to do the same.

Back in 1973, my dad broke his neck in a diving accident. The result was that he became a quadriplegic. During the next year, my mom split her days, going to the hospital for several hours in the morning to be with my dad, learning about his new disability and being his strongest supporter. She would then come home to be with us four kids, my elder brother was fourteen at the time, I was 12 and my two younger sisters were 8 and 3 years old. My mom would supervise homework and dinner and then taking one or two of the kids with her she would return to the hospital until 9 at night. She kept this routine day in and day out. While I remember her crying and being naturally upset, she didn’t dwell on it. I don’t remember her ranting or carrying on, I simply remember that life changed and she rolled with it well. She kept in close contact with my aunt and uncle who lived nearby, accepted and appreciated their amazing support. My mom is a terrific life coach.

When I would go to see my dad he would smile and laugh as he always had. He showed us how he was learning to do wheelies in his wheelchair, telling us all about the physical therapy he was going through every day as he learned to walk again and making sure that we got to know the other men in the ward, all of whom had suffered some type of spinal cord injury. He did all he could to put us at ease and to teach us that while everyone there had some sort of injury, each one of them had plans to go back to his life and family as soon as possible. In short, life goes on and he taught us to look forward to it with optimism and enthusiasm. My dad is a fabulous life coach as well.

As the years went by, my mom went to nursing school to become an LPN, she always told us that my dad being disabled gave her this opportunity as he was now home with the kids. She took positive action and made positive strides forward, again showing all of us that she was a great life coach.

My dad accepted his newfound limitations, taking on the roles of head cook and chief babysitter. He always told us and tells us to this day, that every day is a bonus. As the years went by my dad continued to work hard to keep the mobility that he had gained in the year after he got hurt. The doctors told him that he would never be able to walk again, but he did, showing us that having a goal and a positive, determined attitude makes anything possible. I told you he was a terrific life coach.

Time has gone on. In 1973 my dad was told that he had an outside chance of living for another 15 years. I remember that he used to laugh at that, and I think he’s still laughing. It’s now 35 years since his accident. He no longer walks, using a wheelchair to get around now as his condition has deteriorated in recent years. But here’s the thing, my parents are still showing us how to move forward in a positive manner. They are not a sweet, cuddly couple that’s likely to gush about one another. Instead, they are loud, friendly and sometimes crabby, but underneath all the noise as they laugh, tease and make good-natured fun of one another, there is no doubt about the respect, optimism and love that they still demonstrate very clearly. Each of their children and grandchildren has been blessed to be witness to this behavior and attitude and I have to believe that we are all the better because of their teachings. I’m very grateful to have been raised by amazing life coaches and teachers.

Wishing you a day filled with optimism, enthusiasm and wonderful life coaches.

Namaste,
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

Positive Motivation

We all need motivation. What does it for you? As a life coach, some people firmly believe that I always feel positive, motivated and ‘up’. While that’s true to some extent because I am simply blessed with an optimistic nature, a lot of it comes from learning to find the positive in situations. We can all do the same.

Here’s an example. It’s Saturday morning, there is no reason in the world why I can not sleep in a bit. I have nothing pressing to do and the house is clean. What’s more when I opened my eyes and peeked out the window it was clear that it had been raining and I think the weather is forecast for gloomy and sprinkles all day. On the other hand, while the temptation to lie in bed is rather strong I do have a lot of things I would like to do today, and the truth is that I like getting up early rather than late.

What to do, oh, what to do?! I got up again, looked out the window and noticed how incredibly beautiful the leaves look; they are in full glory as it is mid-October. I reminded myself how much I thoroughly enjoy rainy days and that autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I thoroughly enjoy the color, the brisk air and watching the squirrels scamper around the yard as they search for food to stash for the upcoming winter. After getting up and getting dressed to go to the gym I took a short walk outside. The sun was peeking through those glorious leaves and the birds were singing, just for me, I know. Guess who’s feeling completely and totally motivated now.

The point here is that everyone is motivated by something different and that something may change from day to day or situation to situation. I mentioned that I am not a fan of going to the gym. Never quite got the thrill of lifting heavy things and sweating if it wasn’t doing something that I enjoy like gardening or playing an outdoor game with my dog. But the fact is that my body needs more exercise than my day to day activities were providing. I joined Curves, a gym for women. I love going there! The music is lively and fun, but best of all the women are all friendly, welcoming and supportive. Works for me, knowing that I get to go somewhere see people that I really like and that I’m doing something good for my health in just a short timeframe is motivation enough for me to go and sweat. A good friend of mine is motivated to exercise at home for exactly the opposite reasons. She very much enjoys the quiet and solitude of working out in her basement. It lets her gather her thoughts and she feels terrific and ready to face the day when she is done. I would be bored and more than a bit crabby with her option, and she would absolutely despise mine, but each of us is motivated by the choices we have made.

So many things you can do to motivate yourself or those around you. Take the time to discover what makes you feel great; what shifts your attitude from ho-hum to gung-ho. It might be music, a conversation with certain people, a walk outside. Truly it could be anything.

I would suggest that you pay attention to that part of you that says this is fun, exciting or simply makes me want to do more of what I am doing. When you get that message, you are being motivated. Your attitude is shifting to feel more positive and that is always a very good thing. Take note, you will want to re-create that feeling again, there is no doubt about it.

Wishing you a day filled with positive motivation. Doesn’t it feel fabulous?

Namaste,
Sandy