Grief and Healing. What do the Words Mean to You?

I only speak one verbal language, English of the American variety. The truth is that I looooove words! I find language, the nuances, the various ways that we use words to express a variety of meanings to be absolutely fascinating.

Something that I realize more and more is that phrases and words may not mean the same thing to you and me. While I find some words or phrases to be helpful others may find them hurtful. The reverse is also true.

For example, the phrase ‘You never get over it.’ I’ve been assured by more than one rather brilliant professional with all of the appropriate letters after their names that assures me they are licensed counselors, that phrase is true. Hands down, no discussion, it’s true for everyone who is experiencing grief due to death.

Each time I explained that I find the phrase absolutely terrifying! For me, it feels as though I am being told that I will suffer, hurt and never laugh again and that neither will anyone of those I love who have also experienced grief.  Ever. It feels final. A bit like being shackled and tossed to the back of a dark cave. As I said, a horrible feeling – for me.

At the same time, I realize full well that many are comforted by that phrase as they are reminded that it’s perfectly natural to have difficult moments, hours or even days long after the one they love has died.

The same phrase, but very different responses.

I often read websites or books that tell us what to say and what not to say to someone we are endeavoring to support through grief. As I read those books and those websites, I greatly appreciate the kind assistance that is offered. At the same time, again and again, I find myself wanting to suggest that those are not hard and fast rules. What feels good today may be painful tomorrow… or not.

* Forgiveness
* Healing
* Life after death

To offer just a few. I know how each feels for me, what the meaning is for me. At the same time, I am very aware that they may land differently for you.

I offer this thought, or perhaps a suggested exercise. When you are speaking about your own grief or with someone about theirs, ask how these phrases and words feel to them. Discuss what feels helpful for you and be open to hearing what is true for them in their own experience.

Yes, we share a common language. But the most helpful conversations are when we feel welcome and supported to understand one another.

Namaste,
Sandy

 

Reiki Level One – Class coming up

Are you ready to welcome the gentle vibration of Reiki?

Reiki is energy work which supports relaxation and the release of stress. As stress is released, balance is restored. Ahhhhh, don’t you feel better already?

Completely safe, Reiki supports your best overall health.

This interactive class provides plenty of opportunity to share your thoughts, ask questions and of course, to both give and receive Reiki yourself. It’s a hands-on experience.

Dress casually in comfortable clothes.
You may want to bring paper and pen for notes, though this is not required.
Water and a light snack will be provided

To register, contact Sandy.
Serenity@SandyWalden.com
or follow the link: http://www.sandywalden.com/reiki-classes/

Namaste,
Sandy

 

Reiki Level One – Class

Are you ready to welcome the gentle energy of Reiki into your life?

Reiki is all about releasing that which no longer serves us and welcoming balance into our lives. This is very gentle, but don’t let that fool you – it’s quite powerful. In fact, it can be life-changing.

Serenity is offering a class for Level One Students

Friday, June 19th
10a – 3p                                                                                                            Oxford, WI

Participants are always welcome to share their own thoughts, beliefs and experiences and expectations about Reiki. We will discuss the history and philosophy of Reiki, all in an interactive, safe environment. The Reiki class experience includes learning about traditional Reiki hand positions as well as discussion about trusting your own Reiki intuition. Each class member will give and receive a full Reiki session.

Each will be attuned to Reiki. You will receive your own Reiki manual and of course a certificate of completion for Reiki Level 1.

To register for this class, please contact Sandy via email:  Serenity@SandyWalden.com

I look forward to sharing this Reiki energy with you.

Namaste,
Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reiki Healing Circle in Oxford, Wisconsin

Reiki healing circles are a most wonderful, healing activity. Ahhhhhhhhh  

This months Reiki healing circle will be held Wednesday November 14th at Sky Blue Dreams.

Sky Blue Dreams
136 Ormsby St. (Hwy 82)
Oxford, WI 53952

Time: 9-10:30am

Fee: Donations welcome

What happens at a Reiki Healing Circle gathering? Well, it’s really very simple. Anyone who would like to receive Reiki healing, or would like to request Reiki healing for themselves, another or even would like to send Reiki healing to an event joins us. We share the name and or the event or circumstances for which we are requesting Reiki energy. And then we simply spend time in quiet meditation, sending and receiving the gentle healing of Reiki energy.

That’s all there is to a Reiki Healing Circle. Don’t let the simplicity fool you! The energy is profound. Reiki is defined as Universal Life Force Energy. It heals on all levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. That which you are ready to release is released so that you can embrace the positive Reiki healing. Reiki balances your energy.

If you would like to be remembered during our monthly Reiki Healing Circle and cannot attend, send me an email and I will be sure that you are part of the Reiki Healing Circle from a distance. If you would like to receive the Reiki energy and are free to attend, I look forward to seeing you there.

Namaste,

Sandy

Hypnotism – It’s Not Like in the Movies

When I used to think about hypnosis or hypnotism, I had lots of ideas from old movies, many of them great fun, most of them a bit scary. It turns out that none of them were accurate. That’s really good news!

The better news is how very useful hypnotism is for anyone who chooses to participate. And I do mean participate. I can’t hypnotize you if you choose not to be hypnotized. You can only imagine what a relief that is to my husband and grown sons.

Recently a man came into my office to relieve a bit of wound up nerves. In short, he wanted to become more calm and relaxed. His greatest fear was that he while he was under, he would tell me very personal, even embarrassing details about his life. Wasn’t going to happen. I began by assuring him that he would hear everything that I would say to him, and I mean everything. No secrets here.

Second of all, I assured him that because he was so concerned about answering questions with embarrassing details I simply would not ask him to speak at all while he was in the hypnotic trance. This is not always the case. Sometimes while a client is in the hypnotic trance I will ask a question or even several questions. That would have only escalated this gentleman’s fear and ramped up his nerves. So, I assured him that his hypnosis session would only consist of my talking to him, his only job while experiencing hypnosis was to focus on my words. Easy enough. He was also incredibly reassured to find that if I  had asked questions, he would not have answered them if he preferred not to. You do not lose control when you experience hypnosis. You still have choices and you will make the choices that are right for you.

It’s important to me for all of my clients to know what to expect when they experience hypnosis. We chat and I do my best to answer any questions that they can come up with and probably a few that they hadn’t thought of yet as well.

Be assured that you will not spill the beans to me while under hypnosis unless that is truly your preference. You are entirely and completely capable of lying if that’s what you want to do. You are in control. This is not the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits.

Hypnosis is about allowing you to make the changes you choose to make in your life. Only you have that control, not me. As a recovering control freak, I find it very reassuring that I still retain control, even while under hypnosis. Whew, that’s a huge relief!

Please rest assured that if you come to me to change your life, but you really don’t want to change. You will get the result you truly desire. Your brain is a wonderful and powerful tool. Your conscious mind may think one thing, but it’s your sub-conscious that calls most of the shots. That’s why we chat and chat and chat some more. It’s important for me to understand what you really want to occur in your life. That way while you are under hypnosis or in the hypnotic trance I am able to offer you suggestions that will be effective.

It’s all up to you. You make the decisions. Your first really good decision is to investigate hypnosis. What can hypnotism offer you? Ask questions about a hypnotic sleep or hypnotic trance. Ask and ask and ask, until you are totally comfortable. After all, this isn’t a movie, it’s your life and you are writing the script.

Hypnotism, it’s not at all like I imagined when I watched the movies. Instead, I find that hypnotism is much more exciting. Being hypnotized allows me to improve my life and that of my clients. That’s what hypnosis would look like in the movies if I were making the movies.

Namaste,
Sandy

What if…?

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

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

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

Okay, so you go to an event and you are not immediately welcomed? What then? Do you have to stand there alone or is there something you can do about it? Well, of course, there is something we can do about it; we can be uncomfortable and lonely, we can even leave, or we can begin to introduce ourselves to others. This can be far easier said than done, so we may roleplay a bit, helping the person to find an easy way to introduce themselves to that first person. Putting a smile on your face and greeting the first person will immediately allow you to feel just a bit better.

What if you actually enjoy the experience? Oh wow! I know a young man who was very shy, almost painfully so. He made up his mind that he wanted to meet new people, so he put himself into situations where the only way he could talk to anyone was if it was someone new. He went places by himself. Smiled and offered his hand in greeting. This young man now loves to go places where he is a total stranger. He collects new friends like I collect shoes. What if you tried to do the same?

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste,

Sandy

My Life is Soup

I got up this morning and had a taste for good veggie soup. Yummy. So I got on the Internet, found a couple of dozen recipes that sounded interesting and finally printed one.

The adventure had begun! A short visit to my favorite grocery store yielded all the perfect ingredients. A clean kitchen meant that I had nothing to stand in my way. So, I banished hubby to the garage to split wood and I began to make my soup.

I started off following the recipe – honest I did! However, it didn’t take long before I realized that the recipe I had searched out was serving more as a very loose guide, more of a suggestion than hard fast, specific directions. Soon the kitchen filled with the delicious aroma of garlic, sweltering onion and lovely vegetables blending their flavors like instruments blend their sounds, to yield something fabulous and almost magical. Alright, I was really hungry and it smelled pretty darned good! It turned out pretty good too if I do say so myself.

What’s the point of sharing this story with you? I wanted to share my epiphany. I had the very profound thought that I run my life pretty much exactly like I cook. In short, my life is soup.

I make plans, do diligent research and then refine those plans. When everything feels right and I’m silly excited, I get moving. Sometimes I stick right to the plans or the ‘recipe’, but I’m pretty amazed how often I throw the entire thing right out the window. Still, I’m almost always pleased with the result. The soup almost always turns out at least as good as I planned, often much better.

This is going to be short today because I’m pretty sure you understand my point pretty clearly without me elaborating very much more. Especially if you are a Reiki or holistic life coaching client of mine, then you could probably finish this all by yourself. But I’m going to spell it out anyway.

The point is simply this. Go ahead, make plans, think things out and organize your future from where you are right now. However, be open to a change here and there, it may yield something remarkable and quite wonderful. Today’s soup wouldn’t have been nearly as tasty without the turnips, and they weren’t in the recipe at all.

My life is just like my soup and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I encourage you to make soup my way from time to time. You may like it!

Wishing you a most delicious week,

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

Apple Mystery

I don’t cook or bake very often anymore, my husband John likes to do it and he’s really very good at it as well. Hooray for me!

Today I decided that I should do a bit of baking. It’s a lovely autumn day, the rain has finally stopped, the dog has been walked and John is outside chopping wood for the fireplace. It seems like the only thing left to do is bake, so I decided to make an apple slab cake. Yummy.

I meandered off to the kitchen, found a recipe and started working on the apples. John came into the kitchen and we chatted a bit, disturbing my rhythm a little, but I didn’t get too far off track. After all, this is one of the things I used to be able to make without a recipe, so I went back to work.

As I got a bit farther along, I realized I didn’t have one or 2 key ingredients. So, I looked at 2 or 3 other recipes. John came in offering suggestions and thoughts before I finally chased him away for good. In the end I wound up making something that I’m going to call apple mystery. I have no idea what this is going to taste like, in fact I’m not even sure what it will look like. But I’m a bit excited to find out.

As I was finishing cleaning up the mess I made while making my apple mystery it occurred to me that this is just what my life is like, and I suspect it’s a bit like yours. So the holistic life coach that lives inside of me decided I needed to share this epiphany with you.

We make plans for where we are going or how we are going to spend our life. But stuff happens, we find out that the plans need to be changed or that we may have to operate without a plan at all. Our lives are an apple mystery.

The fun part of this is that we never know just what today or tomorrow are going to look like. We may have a pretty good idea what we expect but if a few ingredients change, it can all change in a moment.

Is there a lesson here? Sure, but I doubt very much that it’s new to either of us. Go ahead, make plans, set goals and live your life. But when changes occur, when your plans are altered without warning, roll with it as much as possible. Enjoy the apple mystery.

Namste,
Sandy

July Reiki Healing Circle in Milwaukee

Good morning,

I’m so excited that we will be holding our third Reiki Healing Circle tomorrow, Saturday, July 11.

Each month I have been blessed by meeting new Reiki practitioners. Each month we have had the honor of sending Reiki to more families. What an incredible feeling. If you haven’t read about this before, I’d like to explain a little bit.

I am honored to be the co-founder of Milwaukee Reiki Healing Circles for special needs children, their families and caregivers. This monthly event is entirely free of charge. While we are happy to welcome all who are able to attend in person, it’s important to remember that Reiki is not limited to space or distance, so we are just as happy to offer Reiki to those who are far away. Likewise, Reiki practitioners of all levels are invited to participate. If possible in person, if it is not possible to participate in person, we invite you to send Reiki.

Our healing circle is held at 2534 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 10am to 12 noon on the second Saturday of each month. We ask that special needs families who would like to participate in person please register for this free event by calling my co-founder Sally O’Brien at 414-257-1931. Alternately, simply email me at Serenity@SandyWalden.com to have your family added to those who are receiving at a distance. Each special needs family will receive Reiki for 15 minutes. Again; please remember that Reiki is healing energy, there are no space or distance limitations. We are happy to send to anyone who would like to receive. This is an on-going event. Please share this information with anyone you think may be interested in participating, either as a Reiki practitioner or as someone who would like to receive Reiki.

Future Reiki Healing Circles will continue to be held the 2nd Saturday every month, beginning at 10 a.m. Dates for the remainder of 2009 are below.

August 8
September 12
October 10
November 14
December 12

When we offer Reiki to others healing and blessings are not only received by those who are present, but also by all involved. When you have shared this information with others, you are part of this circle and we will send you blessings as well. So, the simple fact that everything we think, say and do not only goes out to others but comes back to us is confirmed once again. Thank you for sending your love to this project and for sharing this information with others. I know this is going to be a fabulous event and that all will benefit.

Namaste,
Sandy