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

 

 

 

 

Self-Care, Yes, it Matters

If we’ve worked together for anything, you’ve heard me suggest… encourage… alright, I nag about self-care! Because it matters so very much. Self-care is right at the top of the list as far as I’m concerned.

Why? Because if you are not taking good care of you, you cannot possibly take care of anyone or anything else.

What does self-care mean? It means something different to all of us and it’s quite likely that it may mean something different this evening than it does at this moment. Put as simply as possible, it’s giving yourself permission to do what you need most at this moment.

For example, a cup of coffee and a stroll around the yard in the very wee hours of the morning is excellent self-care for me. The coffee feels warm in my hands even while the morning dew refreshes my feet. Taking a peek at plants as they are opening up, some showing off brand new blooms put me in a very excited and at the same time very tranquil frame of mind. It’s good for me.

Later, I pretty much need a walk. On nice days, I may need a couple. Walking, stretching my legs calms me and reminds me that I am strong and capable.

As the day winds down, I almost always feel a strong longing to spend time in the bathtub. It may be 10 minutes or an hour. Here’s the thing, it truly is a very intense feeling, my body and body are telling me to carve out time to spend in the water. I always feel like my very soul craves being near water and whenever possible, in the water.

Other days, self-care means checking off boxes that are on my list. Maybe cutting the grass or cleaning the house. Please, please, please let it be cutting the grass and not cleaning the house! 🙂

It might be realizing that concerns or worry are money related. The act of acknowledging and understanding what is prompting this feeling helps to find a solution. Perhaps cutting an expense or picking up a few extra hours at work. Also, excellent self-care if the feeling within you is good.

The very process of discernment, what is mine and what can/should I delegate? Making those decisions are excellent self-care as this brings around a calm which relieves stress.

It’s absolutely, completely, entirely alright to ask for support! We can’t do everything for everyone all of the time. It’s a gift to others as well as ourselves to ask for and allow support and caring. To share a hug, a meal or a conversation.

Self-care is about treating yourself with at least as much kindness, compassion and courtesy as you would a stranger.

Notice what your body is telling you, is it being nurtured with healthy food in the right proportions? Hear what your heart is saying to you. Are your thoughts and feeling being expressed in safe and healthy ways?

Excellent self-care is not any one thing. It is many small things. It’s making yourself a priority. After all, there’s only one like you. I know this to be true because I heard it from Mr. Rogers.

“Taking care is one way to show your love. Another way is letting people take good care of you when you need it.”
― Fred Rogers

Namaste,
Sandy

Your Feelings are Valid!

What you feel matters. It is important that your feelings, your emotions are acknowledged, accepted and respected as valid. Because they are valid.

Far too often we think about and even label emotions or feelings as negative or positive. I don’t feel that’s accurate at all. I think of emotions are sign-posts or indicators of what is happening inside of us. They tell us where we are in any given moment.

Here’s one way of looking at this. Pulling out a map of the United States, perhaps I am quite determined to walk my path until I arrive in Olympia, Washington. Sounds just fine, doesn’t it? I hear things are pretty swell in that area.

Without knowing where I am currently, I have no clear way of discerning that direction that I would prefer to walk. Now to be clear, there is no right or wrong way to get there! Perhaps I would walk north for a while, taking long rests along the mountains and appreciating the solitude. The steps to take and the direction to move is always a very personal decision. However, if I don’t know where I am beginning, I will only hope to arrive at Olympia, Washington. I won’t have any way to know if I am getting closer, circling around the edges or even if I’m smack in the middle of the place – unless there is a sign, an indicator which tells me where I am.

That’s what our emotions do for us. They indicate our mood and tell us what we need. Anger, resentment, and frustration deserve every bit as much awareness, acknowledgment, and respect as happy and content.

Knowing what these indicators help us to use safe, healthy, effective strategies. Sometimes there’s nothing to be done except acknowledge and support. There are most definitely times that the best we and those who love us can do is to simply breathe together. To know that it is okay to feel the way that we do. For as long as we need to. It’s okay, we’ll take steps when we’re ready. And our emotions will indicate that to us as well.

Human beings are amazingly intricate, fabulously multi-faceted beings. As such we are capable of an incredible range of emotions. I encourage you to close your eyes for a moment and really notice what you are feeling. Let go of any judgment, simply notice… acknowledge and know that whatever you are feeling is a sign-post for you.

Namaste,
Sandy

 

 

Grief to Healing

Grief is a noun. Sometimes I think about the word grief and I feel almost as though the word describes a thing, a place, a state of being. Grief. I wonder what it would look like if I could visualize it…

You’ve experienced a profound loss. It may be a person, a relationship, a financial situation or a myriad of other experiences. When we experience loss when we are faced with a profound change in our status of being. We may well feel as though we are victims. Fair enough. You are now in Grief. I visualize a sign-post designating this place.

Depending on many factors, we may spend quite a lot of time in that place without much movement at all. This is not unusual and may well be what we need at that time and possibly for a while. That’s alright, it’s where we are when we begin.

At some point, we begin movement. Healing. It can happen incredibly slowly or more quickly than we expect. We process our thoughts and emotions, we make strides along that path, through grief into healing. We are taking action. Up ahead is a new sign-post, it clearly says Survivor.

Grieving is a verb. An action word. Safe, healthy, productive grieving is taking place. So very important! As the pain is released, it makes room for healing to happen.

The Victim is now taking action, walking the path, moving forward to that new situation. The Victim is transformed into a Survivor. When I think of a survivor, I easily call to mind the image of someone who has been through something that has changed life as they knew it. They are changed, forever. The person is now a Survivor.

How would it be to deliberately continue to process thoughts, emotions, all of the aspects of grief? To continue walking that path, through grief into healing? Up ahead there is another sign-post you know.

Keep doing the work! Each step you take toward that new sign-post is an important gift of self-love that you give to yourself. And you deserve it!

Processing the hurt, finding out who you are now. Learning to love yourself in new ways and to integrate your experience. Celebrating all that you treasure from your past, appreciating your now and looking forward with joy to your future. You are evolving with every step, you are growing, you are healing.

You are a Thriver! Of course, I want to share the definition of thriver with you.

To grow vigorously; flourish.
To be successful or make steady progress; prosper.

This is you and me as well. We all begin at that same place, regardless of how we got there. Grief. As we do the work, we walk the path, together. We move at whatever pace is right for each of us. But each of us has within ourselves the ability to be a Thriver.

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

 

Are you Judging Your Bloom?

I spent some time walking around the gardens this morning. The early spring flowers are showing off their color and it’s fabulous.
When planted, many of these flowers were the smallest cuttings, some were planted as seeds or bulbs. Often so small as to be barely there.
They began to grow, nurtured by the sun, soil and rain. In the beginning, some may have said they didn’t have much to add to the garden. They needed time to mature. But they had promise, they existed and their presence was enough.
As time has gone on, each began to display their own unique beauty. Greenery that was shaped and colored differently from other plants. Even their short-lived blooms change from day to day. They are evolving as they mature.
It made me wonder if these plants ever doubted themselves… did they compare themselves to their more mature neighbors and find themselves lacking in some way? Were they ‘less than’ because they were still growing into their own magnificence?
As they bloom today, are they able to recognize and acknowledge the contribution they make to the gardens? Because each of these plants makes the gardens more complete.
A daffodil cannot be a lungwort, nor should it try! The phlox that is beginning to break ground has no need to compete with Asian iris, each has its own gifts that does not need to be compared to those of its neighbors.
None of these plants are ‘fakers’ or ‘impostors’ just because they are different than the other plants.  Each has it’s placed in the garden and is valued greatly for what it brings.
So, on this blooming day in spring. it’s my hope that you smile and acknowledge that you are really quite perfect just as you are.
Namaste,
Sandy

What if…I Embrace and Even Nurture My Ego?

Again and again, when I read or listen to people that I greatly respect. Folks who are quite magnificent teachers. Leaders in the New Age world, it seems that the ego is a problem.

Now I don’t mean that ego is referred to as an itty bitty problem, something like having an irritating pebble in your shoe. Nope! Ego is often referred to as a great big problem. As though it’s a huge steel door that is standing between me and my goal of becoming an evolved spiritual being. In other words, the ego has simply got to go.

Oh my, this is beyond distressing to me. In fact, the very thought of tamping down, stomping out, eliminating my ego makes me want to push back with both hands. Both feet and then I feel a strong urge to lean forward and push back with the top of my noggin’ as well.

Stomp out my ego? Unh-uh! I don’t wanna, I’m not gonna. And nobody can make me. Whoops. Maybe that is the three-year-old that seems to have a very vibrant life within me expressing herself. Just the same, the grown-up me thinks that she is absolutely right. And here’s why.

If we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and I believe that in fact, that is true, then having a healthy ego is quite necessary. It’s a vital part of us as human beings. Our healthy ego is what keeps us standing upright when doubt surrounds us. It’s what propels us forward when obstacles keep showing up in our path. A healthy ego is what allows us to be kind in the face of cruelty, compassionate in times of pain and courageous in times of great fear.

Now I’m not for one moment suggesting that we should overfeed our ego, to do so may be to create a monster. Nope, nope, nope.  An oversized ego makes for an arrogant and often uncaring human. This leads to incredible selfishness, almost an inability to consider or think about others or to care about them as they simply are not as important as our great big hairy monster ego.

On the other hand, an ego that is starved leads to true poverty of confidence and self-esteem. If the ego is not nurtured and cared for then we come to believe that we don’t matter at all. We may tell ourselves and even others, that everyone else’s needs are more important. That we really don’t matter very much. This can mean that we not only tolerate being ignored and even shoved aside, but it can also lead us to believe that we deserve to be abused in some way. This starving of the ego seems like a very bad idea.

Balance. There’s that word that I love so much. To my way of thinking our ego needs to be treated with firm kindness. Maintained with gentle, loving thoughts and words. This is balanced by compassionate honesty so that the ego does not become the aforementioned monster.

Having this balance; which can admittedly become a tricky thing to maintain, is really a very important part of the human experience. Perhaps this learning to find and maintain balance is one more lesson that our spirit is learning by having this human experience.

Ahhhhhh, balance. It’s a desire, a goal, an intention. As humans we often fall short of our goals, that’s okay. That too is part of our experience. Each time we fall short in some way we have the opportunity to look back, reflect, learn, fine-tune ourselves. And then we do better.

My ego is part of me. I fully expect to embrace and nurture my ego because this is part of my very human experience. I invite those that I trust to let me know if I’m over-feeding or starving my ego. I happen to have some pretty honest friends who are quite happy to help out with this task. I’m a lucky gal because the simple truth is that I don’t always see this for myself. This too is part of my human experience.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                          Sandy

 

 

 

Reiki Class – Level 2

Are you ready to move to the next level? When you move on to Reiki level 2 you increase your vibration, increasing your flow of Reiki energy. As always, this class is very relaxed and interactive. You are encouraged to share your experiences and ask questions. Discussion is strongly encouraged as we all have unique experiences and learn from one another.

I’m very fortunate in that I am able to welcome my good friend and trusted colleague Helen Mork to co-teach this Reiki class. Making it even more interesting and giving greater variety of experience.

Reiki Class – Level 2

Sunday, November 18th
9:00am to 2:00pm
$150.00
Oxford, WI

http://www.sandywalden.com/reiki/reiki-classes.php

To register for this class either visit the link above, give me a jingle at  (414) 378-8764 or drop me a line via email at: Serneity@SandyWalden.com

Remember, this is your Reiki journey. Are you ready to take the next step?

Namaste,

Sandy

Just What Do You Deserve?

Probably the most common theme that I hear in my office, is the idea that the person is not deserving of the best life has to offer. This feeling seems to recognize no boundaries. I hear it from women as well as men. Young, middle-aged and elders. These people seem to think that they must put themselves last – always.

What some of these people think they do deserve is something less than others. A woman I know was very concerned. After all, she believed very strongly that when one is faced with an argument or conflict of some sort,  that there are two choices. Be kind or attack. As she is a very nice woman, her typical response has been to be kind to others, at her own expense.  I got the call from her when she wanted to discuss her most recent behavior. She had stood up for herself! She was direct and straightforward, realizing that she deserved to be treated with respect and appreciation. This is where we all stand and shout ‘wahoo!’.

An incredible person recently offered this thought. Is our body a vessel or host to our spirit? If you answered yes, keep going with me. If my body is host to my spirit, then my spirit is my ever-present guest. How do you treat guests in your home?  If you’re like me, you always offer guests the very best. The pretty little soaps in the bathroom. The best chair at the backyard fire. The finest cut of the entree served at dinner.

If I’m always offering the best to others, but refusing to accept quality for myself, I am treating my own guest very badly. This fascinating concept rang true for me, so I began sharing it with my clients. What I am discovering; to my absolute delight is that it rings true for others as well.

So, does this mean that I advocate being out for myself regardless of effects or ramifications to others?  Nope, not at all. It does mean that I believe in treating myself with the same sort of appreciation and respect that I offer to others. And I encourage my clients to do the same. It feels good, in fact, it feels terrific!

A very nice side-effect of treating myself with the same appreciation, respect, and kindness that I offer to others is that I don’t feel short-changed when I do something nice for someone else. Nice bonus, huh? Think about it for a couple of seconds and I’m sure it will make complete sense to you as well.

If you are always putting others before yourself, you are being short-changed. It’s completely natural and reasonable that resentment would build and that anger is likely to follow. Let’s circumvent this entire situation by simply bringing a bit of balance to the situation. That means acknowledging that you deserve to expect and receive the best that the world has to offer. I encourage you to expect that from now on.

Balance isn’t all that difficult when we practice. If need be, you may want to think of yourself as Spirit, after all, that is an integral part of you. What does your guest deserve? Offer the best to your Spirit, your ever-present guest, and everyone will benefit.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

 

 

NO, Your Dog Absolutely CANNOT Crap in My Yard!

Alternate title: It’s Okay to Maintain and Protect Your Boundaries 

I’m fascinated by boundaries and the way we set and guard them – or don’t. It seems that quite often we’re pretty wishy-washy about what is okay and what is not okay. Why is that?

When we listen to others, we’re usually pretty darned clear about what is and is not an acceptable way for others to treat them. However, when it comes to ourselves many of need a gentle reminder that it’s perfectly acceptable to expect others to respect our privacy and treat us with consideration and respect.

Have you ever had anyone ask you to do something and even when you say ‘no’ they push for reasons why? Or completely disregarding your response, keep pushing for a ‘yes’? That’s because your boundary is not clear to you. If it’s not clear to you and if you are not willing to protect that boundary, how in the world can you expect someone else to be observant and respectful of that boundary?

Yes, I’ve had to learn a few lessons about boundaries myself and it’s an ongoing project. I’ve found that it’s not only okay to set and protect my boundaries, but it’s essential if I want to keep my sanity. This benefits others as well because if I am able to acknowledge and respect my personal boundaries, I’m much more likely to acknowledge and respect theirs as well. This pretty much keeps me out of trouble.

It’s perfectly okay with me if someone asks me personal questions. I answer the questions that I want to answer, but if someone asks something that I do not want to answer I simply tell them that I prefer not to discuss. If they push, I ask why they want to push regarding something that I’ve already made it clear is not open to discussion.  I ask this sincerely and then I shut my mouth. The conversation never fails to change directions. I’m protecting myself. Picking and choosing what I will and will not discuss. Trust me it gets easier each time.

The same thing works very easily when someone asks me to do them a favor or invites me somewhere. I’m usually very happy to accept, but if I decline with a simple, ‘no thank you’, I feel like that should be enough. If pushed, I once again ask why they want to push. Hmmmm…the results can be very interesting. Usually, the subject drops or changes.

One of my favorite people on the planet made a very wise observation recently. I’ve got to paraphrase because I didn’t write down her precise words. But this is the gist of her wisdom. If we believe that our souls are eternal (I do!) then our bodies are simply playing host to our souls. Why in the world would we treat this beloved guest with any less consideration, love, and respect than we offer to others? Wow! That was very profound and I’m grateful to her for sharing.

This makes it even easier for me to protect my boundaries with love, kindness but absolute clarity. After all, my soul is my constant guest and deserves kindness and the most excellent treatment and this guest is absolutely going to receive that sort of kindness.

This does not mean that I don’t reach out to others to ask questions or engage in other ways. I absolutely do! However, I try to be aware of the signals that they send out to me and respect those signals. I simply ask them to do the same. It feels very good. This is self-care.

The truth is that if you are a family member, friend, or even a client who comes to me for life coaching, Reiki or hypnosis you have heard my views about self-care again and again. I think it’s vital that we take good care of ourselves. When we do so, we are much more able to treat others well.

How about it? Are you ready to recognize your own boundaries? Are you able to see and acknowledge the boundaries established by others? I encourage you to really listen to yourself and others. What feels okay? Find that place of comfort and good feelings and simply, lovingly but firmly protect your boundaries. Practicing that self-care gets easier and easier and others will learn from you. This is good for you and good for them as well.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sandy