Let Your Emotions be Your Guide

They 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.

Namaste,
Sandy

Reiki All Day Long

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/teacher 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, every day. 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.

Namaste,
Sandy

Frustration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmly,
Sandy

Saying Good-bye

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste,
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

Balance

If you ever read my blog, you know that I’m a holistic life coach. Why? Because I strongly believe that we must find balance in our lives to move forward in a meaningful way. That means that what happens in my personal life affects my social life, my business life, etc. That’s the holistic point of view.

Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin I am surrounded by people who do not accept change quickly or easily, and yes, I am one of them. We tend to be pretty conservative in that respect. We like to think about things, talk it over and look from all angles. If we see a value, we generally give it a whirl. Once we experience value, we embrace this change and are staunch supporters. This is, of course, a generalization; however, I’m a prime example of this behavior.

I first experienced Reiki at the prompting of my son, Jeff. There were a lot of issues going on in my life, leaving me feeling physically, mentally and emotionally stressed. He recommended a Reiki master in the Milwaukee area. If I say that it changed my life I would be offering an understatement. Reiki helped me to bring balance into my life. Very important to someone who has a holistic point of view. I did have the attitude that comes naturally to most of us from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I had a million questions and prior to the experience, I was not ready to wrap my arms around the experience. However, after my first Reiki session, I knew I had found something profound that would change my life.

Reiki has been a valuable tool for me ever since my first experience. Because of that, I have become a Reiki practitioner myself, pleased to offer Reiki to family and friends as would request it. Now I’ve decided to make Reiki available to my coaching clients as well. Actually, it simply makes sense. The Reiki experience has helped me to experience calm and balance. When I work with life coaching clients we are striving to find a way to move forward in a positive, balanced manner.

Once again, a citizen of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has found a new experience, approached it carefully and come to embrace it enthusiastically. Some of us in Milwaukee may be a bit slow to experience something new to us, but when we do, if it proves to be a beneficial experience, it becomes something we stand behind.

Look for my website to be updated in the next week or so. It is my pleasure to offer Reiki to life coaching clients, but I am also very pleased to offer it to those who would simply like to experience Reiki on its own. My life is very good and I would like to share as much of this wonder, peace, and serenity with others as possible.

I wish you a balanced and fabulous day.

Namaste,
Sandy

Thanks Indy!

Indy in deep thought.
Indy in deep thought.

If you’ve ever read my blog before, or have taken a walk through my website, you probably know quite a bit about me. You know that I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, beautiful but brrrrrrrr cold today. You know that I’m a holistic life coach, that I believe it’s impossible to compartmentalize our lives all that much. And you probably know that I live with a dog. Not just a dog, but a DOG. Indiana, who was named for the movie character Indiana Jones, is a very good representative of the boxer breed. He’s a very pretty boy, with a wonderful smooshy face that actually smiles when he’s happy. Energetic, friendly, playful and loving, he’s also lazy, sweet, cuddly and communicates his happiness or disappointment very clearly. It turns out that Indy also teaches me, on an almost daily basis.

Recently a friend of mine visited. Along with her came her wonderful vizslas. Her boy is named Tugger and her sweet little girl is Max. Now Tugger and Max had never been to my home before, so while they were enthusiastic to go somewhere new they were also a bit shy about meeting a new friend in a new home. Indy was just beside himself. He’s usually very exuberant about meeting new dogs and while generally polite, has been known to offer a few boxer punches to get the play going. Apparently this time, Indy was able to understand the caution of his guests. What followed was very interesting and once again reminded me of some very clear lessons.

All of the dogs went into the backyard. Max and Tugger began exploring but ignoring Indy. Meanwhile Indy went into serious play mode. In the doggy world, it’s polite to ask another dog to play and then to wait for a response. This is what an exuberant Indiana did. He ran all around Tugger and Max, he offered play bows and then waited at a polite distance for a response. Indy tossed his toys their way and did everything he could to entice a game of chase or wrestling. Meanwhile, Max and Tugger became more comfortable with the yard and house. They got closer to Indy but didn’t engage in play. Eventually, all three dogs came into the house and settled into naps in the same room.

Why did I tell you all of this? Besides telling you that I’m very pleased about my Indiana showing good doggy manners, I also think that the dogs were demonstrating very clear lessons. Indy was offering friendship and playtime, he even offered his toys. Max and Tugger were a bit shy but still friendly and very polite. They did not snarl or growl, they simply told Indy that they weren’t quite ready for that kind of closeness. None of them took it personally! For me, that was the lesson. It sounds simple enough, but it can be quite hard to learn and even harder to actually practice.

Here we go, life coach lesson time. Don’t take anything personally. When Indy made the offer to play it was not accepted by Max or Tugger. That didn’t have anything to do with Indiana personally; it had to do with their not being familiar with the house, yard or Indy. Indy didn’t take it as a personal rebuff; he simply understood that they had their own stuff to work through. Wow! It sounds simple enough, but it’s really huge. Did you ever say hello to someone who didn’t respond? Or who didn’t respond in a friendly manner? It’s tough sometimes to remember that we have no idea what’s going on in that person’s life at the moment. Maybe they have a problem that they can’t shake, maybe they simply didn’t hear. We don’t know. At the same time, if we take it personally, we might have our feelings hurt and we could become angry or sad. Why? It had nothing to do with us personally. When we are able to realize that what others say and do has nothing to do with us, that it really is all about them, going through day to day interactions becomes much easier.

So, next time you are in the grocery store and someone is rude or unfriendly, try not to take it personally or to respond in kind. Keep in mind that that person may have something heavy on their mind and let it go. You’ll feel better and you will not have done anything to make the other person’s day worse, you may well have helped them to feel slightly better in your neutral or kind manner.

That’s it. Once again Indy and his new pals reminded me of a very simple yet very powerful lesson. Don’t take anything personally. Thanks, Indy, Tugger and Max, I really appreciate it.

Wishing you a fabulous day filled with simple, sweet reminders of this lesson.

Namaste,
Sandy

Loyalty Leader

Yesterday I attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting. The speaker was Ms. Debra Schmidt, owner of Loyalty Leader, Inc. Her talk was directed to businesses, owners, and managers but everything she spoke about applies to us equally on a personal level. 

 

Ms. Schmidt spoke about treating clients as valued people. Looking them in the eye when they speak and giving them your undivided attention while you are having your conversation. She talked about keeping your promises, something that most take very seriously in business. Unfortunately, sometimes when we are dealing with friends or family we don’t take our promises as seriously, thinking they will give us a pass. As a life coach, I would suggest that you make your relationship with family and friends just as important.

Ms. Schmidt gave many good tips and suggestions in her hour talk. Recognize and appreciate your clients, be sure not to stereotype clients, remember to treat them as individuals. Be willing to admit mistakes and take steps to remedy those mistakes. Give sincere compliments to co-workers in front of others. Thank co-workers and clients alike, again, always with sincerity.

As you can see, while Ms. Schmidt was talking about good customer service and good workplace behavior, every one of these examples also applies to our personal lives. We know that pre-judging and stereotyping people gets us in big trouble, after all, we’ve heard since we were small that it’s a huge mistake to judge a book by its cover and no two people are ever just alike so stereotyping is bound to be wrong. When we admit that we’ve made a mistake and take steps to correct it, not only do we feel better about ourselves, but those that are involved in the situation usually appreciate the honesty as well. Sincere compliments are wonderful! After all, who doesn’t like to hear that they are wonderful? I know I sure do appreciate hearing that I’ve done a great job on the gardens, or that my new red sneakers are fabulous. And here’s one of the best things about compliments, not only does the receiver feel fabulous but so does the person offering the compliment. And of course, we all know that our mom’s told us to thank others for what they have done for us or given to us. Once again, mom was right. The person being thanked knows that you appreciate them, they feel good and are much more likely to do something else that’s nice for someone else or even for you again. And as a bonus, you feel terrific for putting that extra sparkle in their eye.

I’d like to suggest that anyone who would like to learn more about building customer loyalty visit Ms. Schmidt’s website www.TheLoyaltyLeader.com. And remember, what’s good for the customer is almost always good for our family and friends as well. Thank you, Ms. Schmidt, for sharing with all of us.

For today, remember to treat your family and friends at least as good as your clients, I assure you that you will feel fabulous tonight as you brush your teeth and think about your day.

Namaste,
Sandy