Healing – It can be Messy Stuff

When I think about grief, particularly as it’s associated with the death of someone we love; I find that it’s really easy for me to think of it as a static thing, maybe a closet of sorts. Something that simply exists as the result of a loss. This makes sense because we experience pain and sorrow when we lose someone to death.

This line of thinking causes a shift within my being. Grief goes from being static, which to me can be overwhelming, to something that is fluid. This means that it can move, shift and evolve. Even typing that out, I feel lightness within my being.

I was thinking about this recently. Hubby and I were out walking one early evening. As I admired the beautiful yards and watched the kids playing outdoors, I completely forgot to watch my feet and where they were being placed on the sidewalk. As a consequence, my face met that sidewalk and no, the result wasn’t pretty. My sunglasses broke and cut my forehead. Lots of blood, which seemed to really impress the little boy who lived there. He was pretty adorable.

A short trip to the local Urgent Care got the cut glued up in no time and I was quickly on the road to healing.

Here’s the thing, healing didn’t mean that the wound immediately went away. Nope, instead, my face swelled pretty impressively. I got headaches with too much movement for a few days which caused me to sleep more than usual and to rest. Which my body needed for effective healing.

No, grieving and healing are not always pretty. I think of the tears I’ve shed as a result of grief and the truth is that it was loud, snotty and possibly a wee bit horrifying for anyone who might see me. I’m not a pretty crier, I would not be filmed for a dramatic role in a movie. Messy indeed, but it gets the job done.

Sometimes we are less than kind to those who are trying to support us. Or we misunderstand what someone is trying to express. It can take time and work to sort this out, but it’s worth it.

Grieving and healing are messy. Plain and simple. We may become fatigued, we may be cranky, we may have needs that we have difficulty explaining. All natural, normal, human parts of this process.

I like to think of it as a messy closet. Imagine having a closet jam-packed with thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We can think of this closet as grief. That static something that I referred to earlier. It can take an enormous amount of courage to open that closet door, but it’s a very important first step.

One by one, taking items out of that closet. There may be experiences, emotions, memories scattered all about, but that’s just fine. It’s part of the process.

For a moment, or however long you need, hold them each. Feeling and acknowledging each and every one allows them to begin to release their charge. We then can decide if they go back into the closet or if it’s time to let them go. No right or wrong, simply progress. If we decide to hold on to them, we may well find that they are a bit lighter, they don’t take up as much space in our closet. The extra space is now occupied by a wee bit of healing.

Yes, healing is a messy business. No doubt about it. This line of thinking causes a shift within my being as it reminds me that it’s okay to grieve I the way that’s right for me. Grief shifts from being static, which to me can be overwhelming, to something that is fluid. This means that it can move and evolve. This is where healing happens.

Namaste,
Sandy

 

 

 

 

Reiki and Grief

As a Reiki master/teacher, I’ve been very fortunate to work with many during very difficult times in their lives as well as when they are simply looking for a bit of relaxation.

I also have the ability to flow Reiki for my own self-care, to bring balance back to my entire system. Most often this is a gift that I cherish and deeply appreciate, the healing energy of Reiki always feels so very good to me. What I didn’t realize until I was plunged into my deepest grief, was how extraordinarily beneficial I would find receiving Reiki from others.

A week or two after my son died, one of my dearest friends, who is also Reiki, invited me to have a session. Even now, I remember driving there, anticipating the processing of emotion and beginning to feel lighter. That gift was something that I needed far more than I realized and I still appreciate it greatly.

Yes, receiving the healing energy of Reiki helped me to process thoughts and feelings that I was struggling to release. And they most definitely need to be released.

I appreciate that Reiki does not force anything, but rather allows the flow, the movement, the release that’s right for the person receiving. This was incredibly important for me then and continues to be just as important now.

Laying on that table, relaxing. Feeling the hands very lightly touch me and trusting that the Reiki energy was doing just what was right for me. I’m grateful. Grateful to be able to flow the healing energy for myself and those I care about as well as those I work with. I’m grateful for the friend who shared that gift with me as well. Reiki, the energy gift that keeps on flowing.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear

Fear seems to be the topic of many conversations lately. So, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Feel free to weigh in here with your own thoughts and feelings, you have great wisdom; please share.

In the past few months, I have been pondering my place at various gatherings. I was feeling mightily intimidated! Although the truth is that it took me a few months to realize that is what I was truly feeling. Yep, the life coach can be very resistant about recognizing her own stuff.

Now let me be very, very clear about this; my feelings of intimidation had nothing to do with anything that anyone else at these gatherings.  It was all self-generated; surprise!

I would listen to people I care about, each of whom is very dear to me and I realized that I was measuring myself against their successes. This one generates this sort of money and has a very successful history of being a financial success – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one is steadily building her business and we all see her success growing day by day as her client base grows – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one has released that negative person from her life – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one has gone through this, that or whatever – that’s not me… I think you get my point.

So, after lots of hours pondering my own issues, I realized that I was intimidated. Had to think that through some more. What did that really mean to me? It meant that I was afraid. Ahhhh, there it is – fear! It’s something that all people deal with but in many different ways.

After having a chat with one of my dearest friends on the phone about fear of success recently, I felt as though it was time to address this issue of fear. For me, and if it resonates with you, then for you as well.

While I was very busy being intimidated, I was using fear to build that up into something that felt as though I didn’t belong. This gave me the very handy, dandy excuse not to take the time to define success for myself. And if I didn’t define it, then whew, I couldn’t fail. Fear was keeping me from failing, but it was also a very convenient way to avoid measuring my own success. Is it possible that this is true for you? In any aspect of your life?

Here’s the thing, fear – which you realize is no longer in red! Is a very human emotion. Normal and completely reasonable – when it’s kept to its appropriate place. It keeps us from running into traffic and it prevents us from wanting to play with badgers in the wild. I’m pretty sure you’ll all agree that a healthy amount of fear about certain things is appropriate.

The first step to dealing with fear is to acknowledge it. So, here goes.

Success – what is your definition? Not how you think any of the rest of will define success, but how do YOU define success? For you and only for you.

– How can you measure that success?

– How will your life change if you are successful?

Beware; that last one is possibly the trickiest question that I ever use in coaching. I really want to encourage you to think about all the aspects of success.

What if someone is working to become free of alcohol. If she is successful and releases alcohol from her life then she will be expected to take on more responsibilities at home, which already feels overwhelming for her. She wants to release alcohol and being free represents success to her, but there is a very strong; perhaps even compelling reason in her mind to keep drinking. She feels incapable of taking on more at home and it is quite a process for her to open herself up to the possibility that perhaps someone else can step up and take on the other responsibilities at home.

Someone else may be experiencing poor health. While she is suffering loved ones, family and friends call and check in on her. They let her know frequently how much they care about her, she matters in their life. If she gets well, if she is successful – will they go away? There is a strong reason for her to stay sick. Working to make those connections regardless of health is how she is overcoming this very real fear which has stood in the way of good health.

Are there any reasons for you to stay in a less than successful position? When you think about all that will change your experience if you are successful – as defined by you. Please include those that feel good and those that worry you as well.

Are you ready to embrace success? If so, to what degree? How can I support you in your success?

Now I am completely open together on this process. Either privately or in a group. Ng How about you, are you open to welcoming your success?

Are you ready to face fear, face it head on, look fear in the eye and put it back in proportion to what is healthy in your life? I am and I invite you to do the same.

You deserve to be happy, and I mean silly happy! It’s my most sincere desire for you to know that as well.

Namaste,
Sandy

Meditation

When I used to think of meditation, I was absolutely convinced it was totally beyond me. After all, I believed that meditation required a quiet, calm, very disciplined mind. Let me be very honest here, not one of those adjectives would be used to describe my noisy, active sometimes scattered mind.

Imagine how relieved and excited I was when I learned that meditation comes in many varieties, there is no ‘one size fits all’. This led me to re-think the entire meaning and to discern just what meditation is for me.

When I asked myself a couple of questions, it really became quite clear.

* What allows me to become so absorbed that I am both energized and deeply relaxed at the same time?

* How do I feel after engaging in this activity?

That’s it; there really were only two questions for me. Remember that busy mind I mentioned earlier, well the simple fact is that two questions were quite enough. I was off and running with this idea that I could be a Master Meditator. By the way, there’s no need to look it up, I made up that term. 🙂

I asked myself, what absorbs, relaxes and energizes me? Gardening, being in or on the water, walking my dog. To name a few. How do I feel after any of these activities? I feel refreshed, relaxed and just plain good. I get lost in these activities, lose all sense of time and often have little or no interest in what is happening around me. This my friends is meditation.

These activities allowed my mind to rest, and that is very therapeutic. However, I have found that other forms of meditation serve me in other ways. Listening to guided meditation relaxes me anytime I listen to it. If I’m having a stressful day, I often will simply put on a guided meditation and let it run in the background. Whether I am deliberately focusing on the meditation or not, I notice that my stress level begins to dissipate.

In December of 2010, my 23-year-old son took his own life. To say that suicide is traumatic is perhaps one of the greatest understatements of all time. The stress was pretty much off the charts. One of the ways my body and minds responds to stress is insomnia. This has been an issue on and off for me for many years when stressful situations would occur in my life.

I admit that it took quite a while for me to remember after losing my son that I had tools at hand to help myself. However, when I did remember and when I was able to begin using the tools of meditation, I began feeling better. Not fixed, not healed, certainly not over it. But better. And that mattered a great deal.

It’s only been a bit over a year since losing Mike and I readily admit that I frequently need to remind myself that meditation is helpful for me. Sometimes it’s simply too much for me to get out and walk the dog or participate in one of the activities that usually bring on the calm, restful state. However, for me listening to guided meditations helps tremendously. Particularly when I am experiencing insomnia. I use either an mp3 player with headphones or a simple cd player to allow the meditation to play. Sometimes I try to concentrate on the words, other times I simply trust that the meditation will guide me to a relaxed state and a gentle sleep usually follows. If I’m having a particularly difficult time with sleep, I usually put the meditation on repeat and let it play.

Our mind, our body and our spirit all need rest and calm if they are to serve us well. Meditation facilitates this rest, healing and rejuvenation. The more one practices, the easier and more effective it is in bringing on that healing rest. However, rest assured that the benefits are there for the casual user and beginner as well.

I strongly encourage meditation for anyone. Particularly for someone who is experiencing illness, trauma or stress, meditation can make all the difference.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

Hypnosis – Pregnancy and Childbirth

I remember a couple of hundred years ago, when I was moving through pregnancy; we attended a couple of childbirth classes where they told us to find something to focus on during childbirth. We were told that if we focused on our chosen object that the entire experience would be much easier. I don’t remember being told why it would be easier, or perhaps I just wasn’t listening. That is entirely possible. Oh yeah, I also remember learning that we should not make our partner or spouse our focal point. Good news for John as he figured I focus on him enough while screaming and yelling on a normal basis, not what he wanted during the stress of welcoming our baby.

You are probably aware that pregnancy and childbirth are completely natural occurrences. Yet I distinctly remember the horror stories beginning as soon as I told anyone that I was pregnant. Oh my goodness! I learned that I would be incredibly uncomfortable for the entire time. Morning sickness would be horrible. I was told again and again that by the time that baby put in an appearance I would be incredibly grateful to have this experience over. Really? And then there were the scary stories about childbirth itself. I won’t even go into some of the horrific stories that were shared with me about giving birth. I remember thinking that I just didn’t believe it had to be that way. I hoped to have more than one child and if the entire experience was that horrific, then even child #1 was going to have a lot of making up to mama in the years after birth.

From some of the things I heard and read it sounded as though this process was really the most outlandish, complicated and unreasonably painful idea ever. In fact, I couldn’t believe that the human race had continued if indeed this was the way pregnancy and childbirth were fated to proceed.

The truth is that I had pretty easy pregnancies. I went through childbirth 3 times, each one very different, but each resulting in a strong, healthy baby boy. I felt good during pregnancy. Yes, I experienced morning sickness; in fact, it lasted most of my pregnancy each time. But as silly as this sounds, it really didn’t bother me that much. Other than that, I felt strong and very healthy. Almost like this was a normal, human experience.

The same thing goes for childbirth and recovery. Oh never doubt that I tell my boys precisely how long each delivery took, but it was not nearly as horrible or painful as I had been led to expect, and recovery was a breeze for me.

Pregnancy is a normal, human experience. Your body will change to accommodate the baby, but you don’t need to suffer while these changes occur. Morning sickness is mostly a result of hormonal changes that your body is going through, again for the baby. Well, like all chemical changes that occur in our body, this is controlled by our mind. There’s some really good news here. Hypnosis can help. Hypnosis is a natural, easy way to deal with morning sickness and other discomforts generally associated with pregnancy. Working with a hypnotist is a terrific way to release the feelings of nausea and truly enjoy your pregnancy. After all, this is the time when you are getting excited about welcoming a new little one into your family. Because hypnosis is simply enhanced focus and concentration, it is completely, entirely, absolutely natural.

You experience hypnosis on a regular basis, whether or not you are aware. When you are so engrossed in that new book that you don’t hear anyone in the room until they tap you on the shoulder, you’re experiencing a trance. Now come back down from the ceiling and let’s explore a little bit more.

Anyone can have a good hypnotic experience. And the good news is that the more frequently you deliberately go into trance, the better you are at allowing beneficial changes to occur for you. Be assured that as your hypnotist I cannot make you do anything against your will. You will still be who you are, but hypnosis allows you to the opportunity to make some changes that allow you to live a happier, healthier life. Like moving through or simply not experiencing morning sickness. Now I say that is an easier way to move through pregnancy.

Of course, hypnosis can address other pregnancy-related issues. In fact, you name it and we can talk about it. To your benefit.

Childbirth. Are you ready for it? Let’s face it, no matter how much you are now enjoying this pregnancy, at some point that little one has got to come out. And despite the horror stories that abound, the truth is that childbirth is also a completely natural occurrence. It is entirely possible to have a fairly comfortable delivery. Again, hypnosis is a wonderful alternative to receiving drugs which can have a multitude of side effects. Now let me be clear, I would never say not to listen to your doctor, that would be foolish. What I’m saying is that if you use hypnosis, you may not need any sort of medications for pain relief during delivery. This may also save your spouse or partner from having crushed hand syndrome which my hubby insists was the result of my drug-free deliveries. But I digress…

Now, it’s important that I point out that it’s not reasonable to find yourself in labor and then decide to use hypnosis to get through this process. You really need to begin either before or during pregnancy. This will allow you to physically, mentally and emotionally prepare for the process. Be assured that when you are prepared, you will know just what to do with that focal point and it will come naturally to you. Just like this entire experience.

Hypnosis is simply one more tool that you can use to move through your pregnancy feeling better. It can help alleviate morning sickness, aches, and pains that may occur as your body is stretching to accommodate Little One. Hypnosis can relieve insomnia that often accompanies pregnancy as well as a myriad of other discomforts. Planning for your delivery using hypnosis is a very healthy choice. It is an excellent way to minimize discomfort and distress for Mom and as everybody knows, if Mama is happy, everyone else is happy as well.

Namaste,

Sandy

http://www.sandywalden.com/hypnosis/

 

 

In Reiki the Only Absolute is No Absolutes

The first time I experienced Reiki it changed my life. Sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it? Well, for me it was just that. I had been experiencing severe shoulder pain for quite some time. I vividly remember being on that Reiki table and as the hour neared ending I was getting very concerned, actually, I was preparing to be angry. You see, at that time lying still for a period of time usually ended with me being in quite a lot of pain. I had gone through two shoulder surgeries which resulted in my shoulder operating properly but left me with chronic pain. Visits to my doctor had led me to believe that I would simply need to live with this pain, nothing else could be done.

The pain was not all that had let me to seek Reiki. At the time I was experiencing stress from several fronts and really was not being successful in releasing that stress on my own. My son Jeff advised, implored, nagged and generally badgered me to try Reiki as it had helped him with stress. Finally, I caved and went to check this out for myself. And if I admit the truth, I wanted to have a reason to ask Jeff to be quiet.

During our pre-session chat I asked questions, I wanted to know just what Reiki was going to do for me. The practitioner that I was visiting was very patient. She explained that Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy and that it would assist me to release negativity which no longer served my highest good. She went on to explain that this would assist me to heal on whatever level I was ready. Despite my many questions, or more accurately I might say that despite my badgering her to tell me precisely what to expect, she simply smiled and told me that my experience would be unique for me. She could not and would not tell me absolutely what to expect. Okay, I decided to give it a whirl.

That first experience was unlike anything I had ever encountered. As I relaxed, my mind quieted, bit by bit. I felt myself becoming calmer and I thoroughly enjoyed the downtime. However, as I said above, as the session neared its end I found myself becoming a bit nervous about the pain I knew I would experience when I got off the table. The shoulder pain I continually experienced was worse when I was still for an extended period of time. I fully expected to be in quite a lot of pain when I got up from the table. Imagine my surprise when instead of being in pain, I felt better than I had in quite some time. What happened? What was this Reiki that I could feel so much better? Had Reiki achieved this miracle? Would Reiki accomplish this calming effect each time I went for a session?

So many questions filled my mind and I asked each and every one of them after this first session. What the Reiki Master who was my practitioner told me, quietly and gently was that Reiki had allowed me to calm and relax and I was healing to the extent that I was ready. While I accepted that response, it didn’t feel concrete enough for me. So I persisted. I began reading books, visiting websites and questioning anyone and everyone I knew who either offered Reiki or had gone for sessions.

Eventually, I came to accept what I had been told after my first experience. No matter what the level of the Reiki practitioner, from Reiki level one to Reiki master, the Reiki which flows is offered to the recipient by the practitioner, but the level of healing is up to the recipient. There are absolutely no absolutes when discussing Reiki.

There have been times when I have been profoundly moved while receiving Reiki, tears of emotional release have flowed. Other times I have wanted to giggle I have felt such joy. Deep relaxation is not unusual, nor is it an odd event for my mind to flit from one topic to another. The only constant is that I now know, Reiki is flowing from practitioner to recipient and it is entirely up to the recipient to use in the manner which serves their highest good.

Mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Reiki works on all levels, but it’s not for me to say to what degree at any given time. The intelligent energy of Reiki works on the level which we are prepared to accept. I find it exciting and reassuring that I do not know just what will happen. For me the trust is everything.

I know that Reiki only works for the highest good. I know that Reiki works on the level that the recipient is ready to accept. I know that Reiki is complementary with all medical treatments, that it can never do harm. What will that look like to me or to you? I can’t say for sure. That’s why once again I offer when working with Reiki, there are absolutely no absolutes.

I encourage you to experience Reiki for yourself. The experience may simply offer you an opportunity to relax and recharge…or it may change your life.

Namaste,
Sandy

Reiki Yesterday, Reiki Today, Reiki Tomorrow

I’m very grateful to have Reiki in my life. I use Reiki daily; it just seems so natural to me now.

I came to Reiki at the gentle prodding of my son Jeff. As a young man in his early 20’s he tried Reiki primarily to prove to himself that there was nothing to it. He was currently going to school, working a full-time job and of course was also an entrepreneur growing his own business as well. In short, he was exhausted and extremely stressed. One session with a Reiki practitioner and he was hooked. Before long he was insistent that I give it a try as I had a few issues myself.

Here I am a few short years later. Not only do I give myself Reiki every day, my dog receives Reiki daily as do my loved ones. Sometimes I’m able to offer Reiki to them in person, but most actually receive distance Reiki. I’m grateful to be able to offer Reiki to my clients as well. Of course, some come into my office for their Reiki session but others are open to receiving Reiki from a distance. It’s not at all unusual to feel the Reiki begin to flow during my weekly MasterMind, meditation sessions and often during life coaching sessions. When I feel it I simply let the participants know that I feel it flowing and ask for their kind permission.

Still, I’m reminded on a regular basis that even those closest to me sometimes don’t understand why I’m offering them Reiki. My youngest sister recently asked me why I offer her Reiki, after all, she’s not currently sick and told me that she thought Reiki was primarily to heal one if they are in pain or physically ill. I’m so grateful that she asked about Reiki again, even though we have of course had conversations about Reiki often in the past. It gave me the opportunity to explain to her one on one, that while Reiki does, of course, offer very gentle healing when one is ill, Reiki always supports our best health as Reiki serves to bring us into balance on all levels. I explained that Reiki helps us to release what no longer serves our highest good while offering us energetic balance on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

One of the most important points that I strive to make clear to those new to Reiki as well as to those who experience Reiki on a regular basis is that Reiki can do absolutely no harm. I will never, ever suggest to anyone that Reiki is a substitute for medical attention, but rather that Reiki is a wonderful compliment. For instance, if I develop a headache when I’m out in the sun for hours, I do a few things all at once. I drink a glass of water and depending on the severity of a headache I may or may not take an aspirin, but I will most definitely give myself Reiki. My thought is that a headache may be because of dehydration, or it could be a reminder to release stress of some sort. The Reiki will address the cause of the stress and if I’m ready to be in balance again, I will achieve that balance and will feel better.

Will Reiki heal someone of their pain? Perhaps, however, it’s very important for me to remember that Reiki is not mine to control. Reiki may well alleviate or eliminate the pain of someone who is on my table, that is often the result. It’s also been my experience that someone I have offered Reiki to may still have pain. My Dad is a prime example. A quadriplegic for 36 years he is often in intense pain. When I visit of course I offer him Reiki. He has told me that after receiving Reiki the pain is eased, but not eliminated. I don’t question the pain that remains but I do offer my gratitude for the relief that he experiences from Reiki. I have no way of knowing how the pain serves him or to what purpose he uses the Reiki, but I trust that the Reiki is bringing him into balance in the way that serves his highest good at the moment.

For now and in the future I will continue to give myself Reiki, I will offer it to family, friends, and clients as I know how much better my life is with Reiki. My spiritual faith is stronger, my mind is clearer, my emotional and physical well being all are improved when I give myself Reiki on a regular basis. So, I offer gratitude that I have experienced Reiki in the past, I will most definitely share Reiki today and I’m excited to share Reiki with others tomorrow.

This week I wish you all the blessings that I know Reiki can bring into your life.

Namaste,

Sandy

Choose Happy

A few days ago a man that I greatly respect, Hamid Sean Farjadi asked a question, ‘Happiness. Where does it come from? Does it ‘just happen’? Do you create it?’ Sounds like a simple enough question on the surface, but it bears thinking about.

For some of us happy comes very easy. Frankly, I don’t like being unhappy, it simply does not feel good for me. When I’m down or even mildly depressed I find that I get headaches, which makes me grumpy and hard to live with. For me, it’s almost always a very deliberate and conscious decision to feel better. I will listen to music that makes me feel better, think of a wonderful event in my life or spend some time with my dog. Each and every one of these things is guaranteed to move me up on the emotional scale, a notch or two makes a huge difference. Smiling when I don’t feel like it also makes me feel better. Before long I wind up happy. I think I’m just wired that way.

What if your wiring is different? A definite possibility. For many people feeling and being happy does not seem to feel as easy and natural. I certainly understand that sort of personality. I see Reiki and life coaching clients who tell me that it is more natural for them to feel less happy or even down. In no way do I believe that they are doomed to be unhappy.

Reiki helps so much to release negativity and increase healthy energy flow. As one releases negativity it is on all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Feeling better can help us to take a step up on that emotional scale that I spoke of earlier. Can you move from very unhappy to happy? Maybe, but it’s much more likely that you will incrementally feel relief, and that relief can lead to a somewhat better feeling and in time, that may lead to happiness.

Meditation is a wonderful tool. Anything from a few minutes to a few hours a day or as often as you feel called to spend in meditation can make a real difference in your life. When we take time to quiet our mind and listen to our soul it allows us to understand a bit better how we want to move forward with our lives. This is a very useful tool to release and move through ‘stuff’. Again, for some people this is a very easy process, for others, it’s a struggle. I know so many people who are able to put themselves in a deep meditative state very quickly. They find this not only helpful but absolutely essential to their well-being. For me, it’s much different. My mind flits around and resists being quieted; I need to indulge in active gardening or a like activity to reach that state. Still, I still spend at least a short time every day in meditation but it’s generally a very different experience for me. That’s okay! It’s very beneficial and I always feel calmer and a bit happier after I’ve done it. Here’s that word happy again.

I believe that happiness is a deliberate choice on many levels for most of us. There are more tools to improve our level of happiness that I can even begin to address in this short message. What makes you feel good? Exercise, quiet time with a family member or friend, maybe it’s dancing, if it works for you, it’s valid.

I encourage you to spend a few moments thinking about how you feel right now. If you make the conscious choice to be happier how does that affect you? Try it and see how it feels. None of this is cut and dried. As human beings, we are endlessly complicated and fascinating. That’s very exciting, it means that we have lots of possibilities and so much more potential that most of us have ever thought about, including the potential to be happy.

This week I hope you spend a little more time being happy.

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