Sandra Answers Top Questions
What vision do you have for your life and your coaching practice?
I’ve always seen my life and my life’s work as being one and the same—seamless. My life has been a quest to experience “centered” wholeness within and to inspire others to do the same. My purpose is to learn and serve.
Whether I am working with individuals, couples or organizations, the exploration is the same…coaching for skillful living and appreciative relationships. The practices that I offer support personal responsibility, relational harmony and integration of body, mind and spirit. My motivation is to unleash the energy that is fettered by beliefs, judgments, resentments and resistance to being fully present and vibrantly alive. It is with this energy that we can change the world for the better.
What are the top three things you love about coaching?
I love watching and participating in “ah-ha” moments—the whole body experience of insight and awareness! It is beautiful to see a lifetime of defensiveness crumble; to watch a human heart opening to love; to see someone shed a perspective that has kept him or her massively stuck.
I love being the space where another person can open to their deepest emotions. To bear witness to the radiance of authenticity and the profound realignment that occurs when genuine feelings have been experienced and expressed.
In short, if you can’t tell already, I love my job!
Before I started coaching I …
…spent 14 years sitting at a potter’s wheel. I made my living selling functional and decorative stoneware and porcelain pieces at craft galleries throughout the country. Those years were an immersion in centering, patience, precision and presence.
What makes you laugh?
Most reliably—my grandchildren!
The legacy I want to leave behind is …
My passion is to elicit the vibrance and creativity that we all possess so that we can leave a legacy of sustainability for our children, grandchildren and beyond.
Who are your top three people you would want to coach and why?
I am interested in coaching anyone who truly cares about waking up and leading a skillful life. We all contribute in equal measure to the quality of consciousness on this planet and each person living an awakened life touches the lives of countless others. I work with whoever shows up, trusting that their presence in my life and my presence in their life is purposeful.
What were the greatest benefits you received from studying at the Hendricks Institute?
First and foremost, learning to love myself unconditionally, for no reason. I will never forget Gay’s invitation, “Go ahead and love yourself the way you love your children…” At that time, it seemed like an outrageous suggestion and moved me to tears!
Beyond this, the development of affectionate curiosity, deep listening, playful awareness, integration of body and breath has provided benefit beyond measure. Everything that I learned in my time with Gay and Katie continues to inform my daily life and it is with great gratitude and affection that I bow to them both for all that they so generously and diligently offer to the world.
The movie that inspired me most was…
I’m not sure about inspired—maybe uplifted…I thought that The Road was an amazing movie. First, because it was so true to how I imagined the book and the sense of redemption, salvation—continuity…faith, trust, gratitude…love…was so powerful.
The book that inspired me most was…
The book that I can always return to and learn from is A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg.
What brings you the most joy in your day to day life?
Walking in Black Rock Forest, iChats and visits with my grandchildren, snuggling with my husband, practicing yoga and meditation, cooking, coaching people who truly want to wake up, spending time with my children and extended family and friends, spending time “behind the lens” of my camera…in no particular order.
What ten things could you not do without?
This question touches off a hurricane of thoughts…particularly as my recent trend has been to divest myself of a lot of “things.” I could say, all my “i” tech; iPhone, iMac, and especially iChat. I could say, my Nepresso machine and Aeroccino. I could say fresh water, flowering trees in spring, fall leaves, the smell of lilacs, sunlight on crystalline snow, the aroma of Indian food, my yoga mat and meditation cushion…I could say mostly my dear family and friends.
What are you up to today?
In the grander scheme of things, here’s what I’m up to today. Last year, I completed the Practicum in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, created by Jon Kabat-Zinn and taught by senior staff at the Center for Mindfulness in Massachusetts. Since then, I’ve designed an eight week course in Mindful Eating that I taught last fall and have been partnering with my friend Donna Hammond, chef extraordinaire and owner of the Hudson Street Cafe, to offer Mindful Meals to our community as fund raisers for the local soup kitchen and other community projects.
I am currently in conversation with the Palliative Care director at our new Littman Cancer Center about how mindful practices can be incorporated in their offering to patients and their families and recently facilitated a day of mindfulness for the Hospice staff. One of my colleagues has signed a contract with West Point to provide therapeutic massage to soldiers returning from active duty. We are now exploring how this program can be expanded to included the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction material.
Fun on my horizon includes taking a knife skills class with my daughter at the Institute for Culinary Education in Manhattan. I’m a total fan of Top Chef and Top Chef Masters and a few years ago I was given an awesome Misono knife. Now I’m going to actually learn how to slice, dice, chop and hopefully keep all my fingers!