You Know What I Mean

Diane MYM COH
“Happy Diane” (front left)

“You know what I mean…” “Happy Diane” would say that with a wave of her hand when she got stuck trying to come up with a word. Funny how those little things bring a smile to our faces when we get together to grieve our loss when someone we love makes their transition from this life to the next.

“Happy Diane” got her nickname because she was always positive and encouraging. Accepting that we would have to go forward without her was another team effort. The brain can play tricks – the word we want is just out of reach. Playing “Senior Charades”– with our friends helps us connect our wandering thoughts to elusive words. It’s definitely a team effort!

We go to coffee each day after water aerobics to share stories and laugh together. How many of us would keep coming if we couldn’t count on that time together and the mutual support of friends? We do it to benefit our bodies, but spirit and relationship boosts are maybe even more important. We need each other to stay healthy.

Remembering habits and characteristics somehow makes it easier for us to turn the bubbly things she would say and do into precious memories. Sometimes when leaned on us to help her remember, the word would pop up, other times we just nod and smile. We knew exactly what she was trying to say. Good friends can often finish each other’s sentences. Sharing a history with special people brings us together in a very satisfying way. No one needs to feel alone even when we’re not physically with our friends. Our hearts connect over time and distance.

Diane and I first met our freshman year at then WSU-Eau Claire when we stayed in the same dorm. What fun to reconnect with her when another group member invited me to join the group all these years later. We didn’t skip a beat as we shared 40 years of family and career history. Making new memories actually enriches and adds depth to the original ones. We wish we could go on making more with her.

Saying good bye to dear friends is heart wrenching. Loss leaves big hole in our lives, even our identity changes. It seems to happen more often every year. But we can appreciate having loved and the memories that are ours to keep. Over time, that may get easier, but the hole simply becomes a part of our lives. We are different for having loved.

Thank you, Happy Diane, and to God for sharing her with us. She was God’s dear child, showing unconditional love throughout her lifetime. We’ve been blessed. Please let your friends know how much they mean to you in the precious present.

Tools for Calming Down

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The Cozy Comforter

Weighted vests can calm an agitated nervous system. These folks based out of Menomonie make them to order: www.weightedwearables.com

CVLA Interview Mind Maxing Conference

Hope you can join us to Max Your Mind on Saturday, October 6 at The Center (Day Retreat Center) Eau Claire

http://www.weau.com/content/misc/4-PM-INTERVIEW-Chippewa-Valley-Local-Authors-490363541.html

Mind Maxing Conference

Bless the Boost shows us how the brain grows stronger as we age. Fight the Fade offers tips to slow the fade we experience through the years. We will focus on these through a morning and afternoon session at The Center on Hwy 12, Eau Claire WI, Saturday, October 6, 2018

“Making the Most of the Memory We’ve Got Left” will be our morning session focus 10:00-11:30. We sometimes find that life has left us with less energy and enthusiasm. The afternoon will help us “Return to Joy” 12:30-2:00. Choose either half or full day workshop.
Reserve your spot today! Choose a half day morning or afternoon for $40 or a full day for $75 on or before Sept 30. After October 1, $45 for half, $80 for full day.

Choose a Session

Contact Sandi

Return to Joy! Tips and tricks to get your brain back on the happy track

Enjoy this presentation to learn some easy tips and tricks to invite more joy into your life.
“Max Your Mind” is available on Amazon.com.
Sandi is available to give a presentation for your organization!

For more info, please contact Sandi!

WEAU Interview for “Return to Joy”

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I had a great interview with Judy at WEAU to talk about my upcoming workshop, “Return to Joy.” Come and learn how to reclaim the child-like joy with in yourself! Tuesday March 13th from 11-12 at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library (Downstairs in the Eau Claire room). I’ll see you there 🙂

Challenges – Gifts?

The sticky kitchen floor needs to be mopped. Not a big deal–except this is my way of celebrating 6 weeks since my knee surgery. Nothing is easy anymore. Cleaning most anything while using a walker is a challenge, but it needs to be done. Learning new ways to do daily tasks frustrates me, but it also puts my brain through its challenges, making it stronger and creating new connections.

The brain loves novelty, doing ordinary things in new ways. That’s exactly the story of my life now that I’ve returned home after a month at the rehab center. No need for creativity to generate new brain pathways; that used to mean coming up with a new route to the grocery store or brushing my teeth with my non-dominant hand. Now they ambush me many times every day. Positive focus tells me to be grateful for the challenges. They will indeed help me to learn and keep my brain active–this time with physical rather than mental tasks.  In a couple of weeks, my surgeon will lift the weight restrictions and I’ll be able to go back to my habitual approaches–or not. I’ve discovered I actually enjoy setting up my “office” in a bookcase next to my recliner rather than climbing the stairs to my working desk. Maybe that’s how progress happens.

Snorkeling Sensory Peace

Senses were our gateway to fully enjoying each present moment during our pre-Christmas family vacation to Puerto Morales, Riviera Maya, Mexico. The 100 degree difference in temperature was our first clue that something was different. We left -20, and arrived to 80+ with high humidity. Once at our resort the children discovered coconut ice cream, fresh lemonade, and could still get the hamburgers they loved. Brightly colored flowers, deep blue sea and lazily waving trees and thatched roofs helped us enter a wonderful peace.

My personal sensory smorgasbord awaited in our snorkeling excursion. It brought a brand new kind of peace, helping me overcome the panic I experienced the last  time I donned the mask several years ago. Amancio, our tour guide, noticed my less-than-elegant attempts to manage my life vest, flippers, mask and mouthpiece and took me on as a special project. He recommended that I use the vest as a raft instead of being strangled by it. He put a film of toothpaste—yes toothpaste!—on the inside surface of my swim mask to prevent the fogging that messed me up the last time. He suggested that I just hold on—eventually I relaxed my death grip–and he towed me around the beautiful inlet. I would have missed the colorful fish along the way without his pointing them out. Entire schools of fish swam just beneath us. I reached out to touch them, but they slipped out of reach.

When I relaxed enough to rest in the water, face down and ears in the water, a new sort of tranquility wrapped around my body and spirit. Interesting that most of my body was still above water, but my senses took in only the underwater world. I was able to inhale peace and exhale joy. The experience reminded me of the central role of senses in our existence. Stress melted away when I heard and felt only the unhurried world under the water’s surface. I did “run the tape” to save the experience to recall during future meditations at home.

We also snorkeled in an ancient cave, with only natural light through the cave’s ceiling. Again, unusual sights, sounds and sensations filled my brain and spirit with unusual gifts that I was able to bring home with me. Amancio helped me overcome my apprehesion to again put my face with mask and mouthpiece into the water. My fear melted away as I entered the soothing world below me. He photographed the moment, and our driver photobombed the event. What a blessing this trip was for me.  I thank God for this gift!

Max Your Mind with Chippewa Valley Local Authors on WEAU TV

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)– “Max Your Mind It’s a Faith Based book written to give hope. To help maturing individuals recognize and appreciate the gifts of growing older. It’s not all downhill from here,” says author Sandra Stanton.

Searching since age 13 for an explanation of how the brain works, Stanton began her research during her Master’s Counseling program at UW Stout in 1977.

“I explain it as ‘a good friend on my bookshelf’ type of a book. It’s meant to be a conversation piece that incorporates a humorous side of science,” says Stanton.

The book is made up of 4 parts; brain, body, spirit and relationships. It’s available on Amazon.com, and in Eau Claire from the Local Store, BAM, and through www.SandraStantonAuthor.com for a signed copy.

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Max Your Mind on WEAU-TV

mym_cover_240Max Your Mind was featured on WEAU-TV’s Today Show. Special thanks to Noelle for promoting the literary art of Chippewa Valley Local Authors!

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http://www.weau.com/content/misc/TODAY-INTERVIEW-Chippewa-Valley-Local-Authors-396060511.html

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