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LIVE LIFE ON YOUR TERMS

In our younger years our view of self was determined by what others taught us and thought of us. We bought into it because we knew no better. What society deemed beautiful, worthy, and of value we believed was the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Little did we know there was a greater resource of truth inside of us. That when we start to question the validity of what others say, do, and act and begin to look within we discover a whole other way of looking at life.

Stepping away from how you were told to live life and what is right, at first, is confusing. But when we continue to dive deeper separating our belief system from others and tap into our own beliefs that make sense to us a sense of freedom is encountered.

Finding beliefs that help you live a kinder, more joyful, and peaceful life is worth the effort. Stepping away from your original worldview, which for all of us was defined by those outside of us, at times will feel disloyal, but continue the journey.

Study, ask questions, and step outside your comfort zone. Explore on your own and you will find there are many ways to living a fulfilled life. Find one or two that help you grow into a more authentic you.

When you first quit living life from the way others think you should you’ll get resistance. People will try to pull you back into their view of the world. It’s just the way it is, it’s human nature. Feelings of rejection, doubt and fear will tag team, but keep going, find your way.

Be a trailblazer. Live from your heart and not by others standards or opinions on what and how you should live.

Find a path that’s right for you, a path that brings more joy and peace, a path that radiates your loving self, a path that makes your confidence and self worth soar.

We are each a unique expression of life. It’s okay to be different, to not think the same way as what you first thought was the right way.

Grow.
Educate.
Deep sea dive into your heart.
Find your way.

We need your beautiful unique expression of love and compassion in this world.

-Sandy Powers, Life Coach

PHASES IN LIFE

We go through different phases in our lives. There are ups and downs and all arounds. We carry sadness or anger or joy, or excitement, or… the list is endless, each is carried for a period of time. The emotion camps out in our being and after a while when it has done what it has meant to do it shape shifts into something else.

What could negative emotions be meant to do?
What could positive emotions be meant to do?
What is it we need to become aware of?

Reveal to me what I cannot see is my prayer. I know I will repeat the same cycle of emotion over and over again, being triggered in the same way, with the same energy coming at me, until my lenses clear, and my Spiritual self knows I’ve heard what it has been trying to share.

Everything is energy. Everything. As human beings we have been given the gift to shift the energy and use it in ways that serve us and others instead of draining us or dragging us down. But we can’t change and become energy shape shifters until we become mega energy managers, becoming aware of where we spend our energy.

No matter what you’re going through it’s ok.
It’s ok.
It’s ok.
Be with it.

Everything is in Divine order. Everything.

Over time we really start to get it, we’ve become master sleuths, finding the gifts of positive and negative experiences. We’ve invested in the best flashlights, invested in incredible magnifying glasses, and are willing to go wherever the emotion takes us. Often it takes us deep into the darkness. That’s ok, a master sleuth has it’s tools. We almost always uncover long ago buried debris. We examine what is found with the powerful tools in our toolbox. We’re members of the sleuth organization and utilize various members to help us discover meaning and understanding that sets us free and brings more peace and joy.

Discovery, clarity, getting it, is cause for celebration. Feel the joy. Feel the crazy wonderful joy. Stay with it. Don’t minimize the discoveries. Wash your body, mind, and soul, with what you’ve found, breath it in and breath it out. This is what awakening is all about.

Listen. Love. Laughter.
Listen with intention.
Love whatever you discover.
Laugh as you celebrate freedom.

Breathe your thoughts in, bring them home to the heart, the place where they can rest and just be for awhile. Breathe it in and breathe it out. Call them home. Breath them in, feel them making their way back into you, into the place where the only peace can be found.

You are your own safe space.
You are a magnificent energy of love.
You are more than enough to handle any situation.

Celebrate the joys. Celebrating is just as important as the listening and love. Stay with it. Re-energize yourself. You are worth it.

  • Sandy Powers, Life Coach

BRUISED EGO

What can’t I see? What behaviors need to be looked at?

What bad habits still run amuck in my life?

When I experience someone else’s bad behavior I wonder if Life is trying to show me something about my behavior. I’m a bit shocked when I realize it is, my ego argues with me, no way, we’re not like that. No way, no how, was I like that person. After the shock, and I’m calmer, I take some deep breaths into my heart, the place where the calm wisdom self resides. I’m immediately humbled. My heart rewinds the tape of my life showing me snapshots of recent experiences and there is always one if not more examples of how I treated someone in exactly the same hurtful rude way I was treated.

I can be so self-righteous at times. Well I’m more spiritual aren’t I? I’ve healed more than they have, haven’t I? I’m not as rude, or hurtful… am I? Yes at times you are Sandy. We’ve been trying to show you that and this time finally you get it. Bravo!

We always have stuff to work on, it’s life. We are perfectly flawed human beings. And that’s okay, in fact it more than ok, it’s the way it is.

I’d much rather find, admit, and correct behavior that hurts others then never have a chance to correct my rude behaviors. I don’t want to be rude.

Now can I control how others perceive healthy boundaries? No. Can I control anything about someone else? No. But what I can do is continue deep sea diving into my own stuff and cleaning up as much as I can, that’s all any of us can do.

Life is good, even with ego pinches now and then.

  • Sandy Powers, Life Coach

Lean Into What Hurts

Lean into what hurts.

Find at least one person who will just listen, no fixing, no special words, just listen and care.

When we experience someone caring it creates a safe space for the light of our heart to be revealed.

What a blessing when who we are sharing our hearts with offers a caring smile, or looks at us with gentle eyes, and by their actions we know judgement is no where to be found.

This type of listening brings peace and hope, that everything will work out. We may not know how, but our heart assures us with a feeling of peace. We know, if only for a moment, it will be ok.

That is the power of kindness, of compassion, of love.

It doesn’t take any special talents, every person has the capacity to listen and to care for another human being.

We need each other to build a caring and compassionate community.

Never doubt the impact of your caring heart.

FIND THE SANCTUARY WITHIN

     Listen with respect to those outside of you, but go within for the answers. As Rumi states “the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.”

What sanctuary? The one given to you at birth. When the Creator blew life into us we were gifted with a place where unlimited, love, peace, and joy reside, it is housed in the heart.

If you can make your way through the overgrown path life’s hardships have pummeled you with you will discover we do indeed have everything needed for the road ahead.

Faith helps us access these treasures, but regardless if we believe or not they remain in us and await our embrace.

Utilize this inner resource and watch life respond in ways you never dreamed possible.

As the poet Attar says,

“Let love lead your soul

Make it a place to retire to,

a kind of cave, a retreat

for the deep core of being.”

     Heal, do whatever it takes but make your way to this inner sanctuary. It is yours forever more no one can take it from you, no one.

BE A MASTER SURFER

 

 

Kohl CHristenson surfing cloudbreak july 2011

As we wake up to our best self we “learn to ride the waves of our feelings rather than becoming submerged in them.”
 

We need to be aware of our emotion-of-the-moment. If it’s an emotion that can make smoke come out of our ears by riding the wave we don’t have to be submerged in it.

Hair trigger reactions, not thinking just reacting, usually are old unhealthy ways of responding to hurt feelings.

Developing our inner self is key. The gift of self-awareness is when the emotion-of-the-moment strikes we know it which gives us just enough time to pause. We are able to take a breath, tap into our heart instantly, creating an opportunity to respond in a way that serves the situation verses makes it worse. We learn to ride the wave and not fall.

It sounds easy, but it isn’t. It takes ongoing spiritual development, and deep intentional heart-healing. With those two tools under our belt we become mega energy managers.

The blessing of our work is relationships are taken to the next level.

With a desire to learn how to surf you’ll soon see the ton of tools and resources out there to master this craft.

I love life.

Sandy Powers, Life Coach

Quoted part – John Welwood

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OWN THE MONSTER WITHIN

We all have the good, the bad, and the ugly in us… the challenge is believing they all serve.

    Forgive, and love those parts that hurt so much they thought the only way to cope was to hurt back.

When we forgive ourselves we create room to dig deeper, heal what needs to heal, and develop healthy coping skills to handle painful experiences/triggers.

I was a monster of my own making back in the day. Super kind to those that were easy to love but a mega monster crushing folks with a single glance to those I felt hurt me.

Healing isn’t for the faint of heart for sure. But oh my goodness the freedom, peace, and joy experienced is totally worth it.

Now I’m only a monster on rare occasions just ask my hubby.

– Sandy Powers, Life Coach

COMPASSIONATE LISTENING IS PEACE IN ACTION

COMPASSIONATE LISTENING IS PEACE IN ACTION

It is a direct connect to the heart where the deepest wisdom is found.

Building a Compassionate listening practice requires three components.

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-knowledge
  3. Self-care

Benefits of these three components.

  1. More peace and joy.
  2. Get needs met.
  3. Self-confidence.
  4. Self-healing.
  5. Healthy boundaries.
  6. Ability to get raw and real with self and others.
  7. Healthier relationships.

Self- Awareness

  • Reduces negative self-talk
  • Motivates to build new coping tools.
  • Identifies areas that need healing.
  • Starts the process of moving from victim to victor.
  • Helps you to quit beating yourself up.
  • Makes you aware of habits that don’t serve.

Self-Knowledge

  • Shows you where a habit or belief started and gives you an opportunity to see if it still fits with your life today, or if it needs to be changed.
  • Gives understanding and compassion to areas of yourself you may have judged harshly.
  • Offers an opportunity to remove guilt and shame.
  • Reflection and contemplation increase self-knowledge which allows healing to occur.

Self-care

  • Raises toleration.
  • Allows the virtues of patience, compassion, and love to flourish.
  • Increases times of happiness, peace, and joy.
  • Creates space for awareness to take priority.
  • Gives you more energy to offer self and others.

Benefits of Self-Love

  • Healthier coping skills
  • Knowing love is strong not weak.
  • Healthy boundaries.
  • Healthy relationships.
  • Relationships are transformed.
  • Unhealthy relationships fall away on their own.
  • Healthy relationships deepen.
  • Intimacy and connection is felt by both parties.

Next steps

  • Create a daily practice.
  • Work with a friend who will hold you accountable.
  • Hire a Life Coach or Counselor to help you in each area.
  • Join a group, or find a way to practice with others who are working on living authentically.

 

The above is from a program I facilitate – Mastering the Art of Compassionate Listening. It is my hope this handout will take your Compassionate Listening skills to the next level.

The goal of becoming a Master Compassionate Listener is to connect to self, and others on a deep level. Respect, understanding, and compassion are three qualities this type of listening increases.

Compassionate listening serves all relationships and increases the quality of your life.

Sandy Powers, Life Coach

ARE YOU A GOOD LISTENER?

ARE YOU A GOOD LISTENER?

  Are you able to listen without the need to fix?

 Is it hard to give undivided attention and not be checking your phone, or reading emails, or thinking about a deadline?

How about the ability to shift your posture towards the speaker to show respect?

If you want a better bottom line, healthier relationships, more satisfaction with life, learn to listen. Good listening is a skill requiring ongoing development.

Everyone wants to be heard. Someone genuinely listening is showing they value and respect the one talking. When we are heard, we are more engaged and energized to accomplish the task at hand. Feeling appreciated makes for a happier human being. A happier human being is more productive and more creative.

When we are not heard, or feel brushed off, or are competing with a TV, or any other device or project, anger and frustration tag team to make their voice known. They may try to go undercover, but they are there. The first thing the menacing duo accomplish is to lower our level which brings out the worst in us and when that happens everyone pays. Feeling drained and undervalued does not do much for the bottom line.

Listening demands for us to shift gears, to slow down, to stop, and hit the reset button. We have to put down the have-to-get-it-done attention grabber we’re in the middle of and pay attention. Our brilliant mind screams in our ear, “YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO. MULTITASK. LISTEN AND CARRY ON.” Don’t do it. That form of listening is not listening, it’s disrespectful.

When our personal agendas and judgments are put outside the room compassion shows up. When compassion enters the room a safe space is created where reenergizing can occur. With emotions tended to a sense of calm returns.

Caring is felt. Giving someone our attention is an energy booster. The one we’re listening to doesn’t want our brilliant wisdom, or to be fixed, only to be heard. In a safe space pent up emotion is able to pass through instead of getting stuck. Stuck emotions build up, and build up, until we feel like we’re going to explode.

A good listener doesn’t retaliate, or get emotionally charged by the speaker. When the body is heard peace returns. Feeling more at peace we are better able to have a conversation, to discuss differences, and come to a solution.

Remember, as a listener, we don’t have to have the right words, only a caring presence, and the ability to sit in uncomfortable silence. Uncomfortable silence is another thing we need to listen to. It is actually the place where the speaker reaches deep inside to access their own truth, their own understanding, their own wisdom. It seems crazy at times, like why didn’t they know the answer all along, but as the story goes pent up frustration clogs the pathway to inner wisdom.

Allowing someone to express themselves while listening compassionately serves not only the person, but every other relationship in their life. When we are calm, we are more peaceful, we are kinder. At the end of the conversation where we compassionately listen, the speaker feels good, and so do we. We know we did something good and that feels great.

Here are some easy steps to start being a good listener.

 •Stop – whatever you’re doing.

 •Breathe – with a deep breath you will clear your mind.

 •Connect – offer kind eyes, and an easy posture, it shows caring and respect.

Things to remember:

  • Less is more. The less talking you do the better it is for the other person. Zip it is my mantra to myself.

 •Don’t get defensive. This isn’t the right time. There will be a time to make your point, but the time isn’t now. The speaker won’t hear you.

    •Don’t challenge. This isn’t about you, it’s about them. Go back to less is more.

    •Be willing to sit in uncomfortable silence while the speaker gathers their thoughts. This gives them time to access their own wisdom.

   •Acknowledge the feelings of the speaker. This shows you’ve heard them.

  •Repeat back what you hear, not what you think.

Being trusted with someone’s emotions is an honor. Before the conversation gets going check in with yourself, am I in a good place to give this person my full attention? If not it’s better to let them know than trying to fake it. Acknowledge the importance of the conversation and give them a time when you can listen.

We know when someone is not listening. Body language is a dead giveaway. Be honest. Tell them the truth. For example, “I really want to give you my full attention, because I do want to hear you, but right now I can’t give you the attention you deserve. How about in an hour? Will that work?”

People feel our words, and feel the tone of our silence. Be present.

Reflect on this quote from, “Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity.” By Catherine Whitmire.

“We are not called to conform to the ways of the world, but to the motions of love that rise in our hearts. It takes courage to align our personal lives, our work, and the way we spend our days with what we hear when we listen within.” The author also says, “The integrity we are seeking lies within the sanctum of our individual and corporate souls. It is there we must struggle with moral complexity and the consequences of the values we adopt. Plain living is about trusting the place the words come from and aligning our lives and our integrity accordingly.”

Side note:

The menacing duo, anger and frustration, aren’t really that menacing. They aren’t bad guys. They happen to be parts of us trying to get our attention. They want to be heard. Anger can flare in a second when we don’t feel heard. We end up saying things we don’t mean. Sarcasm rules the roost. Rolling of the eyes, turning our body away from the person, the list goes on are ways anger and frustration beg for us to speak up and find someone to listen.

– Sandy Powers, Life Coach Mindful Healing Junction

 

THE MASK WE WEAR

THE MASK WE WEAR

We all wear a mask. A mask in this sense is what we want to believe about ourselves and what we want others to believe about us. But to live authentically we intuitively know shedding the mask must happen.

John Sanford in his book The Kingdom Within shares, “Shedding the mask means confronting something in ourselves that is unpleasant and that we do not like.”

Being real, being genuine, living authentically is all about bringing into our awareness what has been hidden in the unconscious.

We hide our so called bad parts, the negative shadowy side of our self, our jealousy, our envy, our hatred, our resentment, our murderous thoughts, our fundamentalism. We hide all the unpleasant parts behind the mask.

It’s true they aren’t our most redeeming qualities. They aren’t pretty parts, fun parts, loving parts. They are parts we try to get rid of, deny we have, and usually are the first to say, “I’m not like that.”

The truth is we are that. We are fundamentalists at some point. When we know we’re right and the other person is wrong and we’ve closed the lid on listening to another’s viewpoint that’s when we’ve put on our fundamentalist hat.

One thing I love about Buddhism is to acknowledge whatever emotion arises into our consciousness, to welcome those feelings, to acknowledge they exist. The trick is pausing long enough to identify how we’re feeling.

Who wants to make friends with our negative feelings? It goes against the grain. Denying we have them is more the norm. And again, most of the time we’re quick to spot those parts in others, but can’t see them in our actions, inactions, and reactions.

A person I know and love is 9/10 negative, negative, negative. When I leave her presence I’m drained the only place I want to be is in my safe serene home. The other day after I got home I started complaining to my husband about this person. He agreed and for about 10 minutes we joined forces complaining. Then all of a sudden it me.

I’m her.

I’m complaining about her being negative and I was doing exactly the same thing. So self-righteous I can be. I started to laugh, finally getting it, finally realizing how I am what I hate at times. It taught me a lot.

Self-awareness gives us a moment to catch our thoughts, and quickly reflect on how we want to react to things.

When a negative thought or feeling comes out of hiding we aren’t here to judge it. We are here to make friends with it. To be compassionate with our self and 9/10 a healing begins. We begin to explore and understand the why behind the reaction and take care of our self.

You see negative thoughts/actions aren’t bad guys they are valuable and when listened to and not denied will make us a more humble, loving, compassionate human being.

Thank you for all the inner work you do. The work you do to wake up and catch yourself. The world is a better place for it.

– Sandy Powers, Life Coach