Let Go And Let The Miracles Happen



This isn’t one of those gooey diatribes on “if you love something, set it free”. This is about what is possible when you let go of your attachment to an outcome… when you detach yourself from the picture you painted of the way it ‘should’ be and let the way it is – right now, in this moment – be exactly just right! This is about letting go of the if onlys and what ifs and embracing the IS… with all the joy and gratitude you can muster up!

Let me share a story with you…

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she exclaimed, with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old hugging her new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room – just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.

It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

I’m practicing to be her when I grow up! Her level of non-attachment is inspiring. Her joy and satisfaction is not about the circumstances of her life, it is about what she makes those circumstances mean… and she makes it ‘all good’. When life gives her lemons, she celebrates ‘the shipment arriving at her lemonade stand’!

I have a client who has been pretty much estranged from his semi-adult son for years. On a coaching call with him – about a year ago – I could hear that something was ‘off’, so I asked him what was going on… His son, he told me, had called (a rare occurrence) and, using language that would embarrass a truck driver (apologies to all truck drivers) told him to fornicate himself to death and never never never even attempt to make contact again. “It’s my son. My only child and he hates me. What can I do?”

My advice was simple: Keep loving him. Expect nothing from him. Send him a short, simple and very clear text. Tell him that you love him… you always have and you always will – no matter what. Let him know that you will sadly honor his request. And let him know that you will always be his father and be there for him – if and when he’s ready.

It took a while, but my client relaxed into the role of ‘absentee father’. He continued to send simple cards at holidays and birthdays (just signed love, your father who will always love you) – no emails, no letters and no calls.

He chose to love his son no matter what the circumstances of that relationship looked like… and relaxed into the way it was. Letting go of the way he ‘wanted it to be’ and detaching from his ‘story’ about the way it was ‘supposed to be’, my client had literally opened up the space for a miracle. Then, last week – after almost14 months of silence, the prodigal son called.

There was no mention of the previous call. No arguing. No anger. The conversation ended with: “I’ll call you next week on your birthday, Dad.”

Here’s one of my favorite aphorisms from Werner Erhard: “Life is a rip off when you expect to get what you want.  Life works when you choose what you got.“




“When you meet someone who has no smile… give ‘em one of yours.”
~Sandye Linnetz and countless others

There’s a very cool piece of art hanging on the wall just outside my bedroom. I see it as I fall asleep and when I first wake up. It says: ”Your Day Will Go The Way The Corners of Your Mouth Turn”.  And it makes me smile.

I come from a long line of smilers and I have that happy gene. My grandma, Ida (or “Idie Pidie” as I called her), was blessed with dimples so big that when she smiled it looked like her face was caving in! Seriously the most joyous and contagious smile I’ve ever seen.

I have dimples, too (thank you, Grandma), and although I don’t have the face-caving-in variety, they do show even when I’m not really smiling. For years I was surprised when total strangers spoke to me and confused by how often they smiled, nodded or waved at me. Then one day, as I glanced at the mirror, I noticed this happy face smiling at me and realized that although I wasn’t actually smiling, I had a smile on my face! That made me smile… and think.

This is so easy! I don’t have to do anything; except be awake – and be around people – to involuntarily spread joy. And the crazy thing I’ve noticed is that when people think I’m smiling at them (even when I’m not), they smile at me. And then, BAM!!! I smile back. I can’t help it. It’s automatic.

Sharing a smile is right up there with a Rube Goldberg machine. It’s ingeniously cool and performs a simple task. Each smile you give begets another smile and another and another… And those smiles are ever so likely to translate into kind words, good deeds, love, friendliness and a myriad of other happy stuff.  That easy, unassuming, uncomplicated smile; the one you gave (or got) made the sun shine and life good for everyone in its reach. There’s magic in sharing a smile.

And then there’s the ‘pay it forward’ element. A smile has the capacity to instantly produce happiness and joy in the person who gives it, the one who gets it and then, as a byproduct, to pretty much everyone else who comes in contact with either of them! It’s the happiest virus in town.





Finding JOY in My Demons

Inner Demons

I’m on a Journey to Joy (depression begone!), and I had an ‘aha’ today. It’s time for me to make friends with my demons. Not like jump ship on my joyful self, rather to include all of me in ME. I like being the happy, skippy, jumpy Sandye; the one who always finds the pony in the poop. I’ve been ‘Susie Sunshine’ for so long that it’s become my identity…  but, based on the way I’ve been feeling, there’s more to me than that. I see now that as I scoop the poop, looking for the pony, I’ve been inadvertently burying my demons.

I always say that step one is awareness. Well, I’m there. I admit it, I have a dark side and I can no longer pretend it’s not part of me. Sometimes I’m not nice – or thoughtful or even loving. Sometimes I’m scared (and scared of being scared). In the past I treated insecurity, fear – and even anger  – as an unwelcome invasion from an outside source. Now I get it. It’s part of me. And then the big question pops up: What if it’s a necessary part of me? Isn’t ignoring it being inauthentic (something I don’t want to be)?

Burying my demons (aka my fears, insecurities and dark side) only puts them out of sight, it doesn’t eliminate them. Eventually they always seem to dig their way out to terrorize me again. So I had this thought… What if I got to know them? What if I invited them out into the open? Would I find them less ‘fearsome”? Time to ‘google’ my mind and ask myself some positive, open-ended questions. What is possible if I actually embrace all of me? How can I use my demons to be the best me possible? How can I use my demons to increase my joy? Where do I start…?

As expected, reaching out for universal answers is literally deluging me with amazing (and somewhat unexpected) results! And, it’s happening at such a rapid rate that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now!

Sharing my Journey to Joy with you is a powerful step in accepting who I am… in finally owning my humanity – the good, the bad, the ugly and the magnificent. If it’s true that ‘fear of falling’ has us fall (and I do believe that it does), then it follows that knowing that I could fall, but not fearing it – just being prepared for it if it does happen – is likely to keep me upright. And, if I do fall, it’s just a fall. It doesn’t have to ‘mean’ anything about me. Hmmm, that’s comforting.

So I have this dark side.  I don’t have to live there (or live in fear of living there), I don’t even have to go there (except maybe to check-in occasionally and water the plants), and if I do, I can always leave when I want to…

And, besides, I have a VERY bright ‘lite side’… I think I’ll hang out there!



Got Joy


With thanks to Lucinda Williams for giving me the words to describe how I’ve been feeling lately… I’m not actually depressed. I’m not suffering from anxiety. I’m just not very happy. I’m not actually enjoying my amazing life (which so deserves to be fully celebrated!). Something’s ‘off’, life doesn’t feel ‘right’ and whatever that something is, it’s taking a nasty toll on me. I miss my JOY and I want it back!

My work is getting done, but instead of it being a huge turn-on and bringing me it’s usual gallons of enormous joy, it feels routine, just what I do – along with cooking and cleaning and driving and making beds and watering plants. Now, don’t misunderstand, I love what I do – it’s my passion! I can’t imagine doing anything more fulfilling. But it used to be fun, too. And, right now, it’s not fun. It just is.

Not surprisingly, my work turned ordinary about the time I got to feeling ‘meh’.  It’s as if I’m living in a construction zone – can’t turn the way I want to turn, traffic is backed up, someone keeps stopping me when I want to go… get the picture? I’m living in a temporarily NO FUN zone!

To the average observer, I am still Susie Sunshine, bubbling with energy. Outwardly I look happy. I smile. I’m nice. I have occasional bouts of ‘that’s nice’, but inside me I feel ‘off’. Not just as in ‘off my game’, but like someone actually flipped a switch and turned me OFF! I Laughing, being silly, giggling as I uncover the hidden humor in life – that’s what’s missing. I haven’t awakened with a smile in what seems like an eternity. Food is kinda tasteless. Life feels bland, too.

I know what’s wrong. I lost my joy! I forgot the steps to my happy dance! This is so not okay with me! I lost my JOY and I want it back!

My Grandma Ida (the one with the plentiful, encompassing hugs whose dimples were so big that her face caved in when she smiled) used to have two simple methods for finding anything that was lost. Step one was to turn over a glass. That was it; just turn over a glass on the counter. Step two wasn’t much more complicated. Lift up the toilet seat and, after a non-dizzying 360 turn, spit into the toilet two times. Her system never failed me. I am a terrific finder!

As I type this out, a light is coming on inside my head (I was planning on that when I sat down to write). I think I might know where I lost my joy. I think it’s with the sleep I haven’t been getting, the water I haven’t been drinking and the healthy food I haven’t been eating! I saw a glimpse of it when I put down the car windows and turned up the volume on my 60’s music. Had a sighting when I snuggled with my grandson. Spotted it when I shared my current state of joylessness with my Mastermind Group and they suggested that I get my butt into action!

Okay, I know what to do. First I’ll turn over a glass. I’m getting my joy back!



By Sandye Linnetz

Most discussions of STRESS generally focus on its negative side. Yes, ‘bad’ stress (aka distress) can be at the root, the cause, of so many problems, but there are other degrees and types of STRESS, too. The question is not “Do you have STRESS”, because the answer will always be “YES” if you are alive. It is, instead, “What kind of STRESS do you have”? (And in a future blog the question will be: How do I manage my stress?)

Physical Stress (head aches, adrenalin rush, indigestion, insomnia – lots of sick days, high energy, quick movement, sudden strength)

Social Stress (feels like all you do is work and sleep, excitement, find yourself withdrawing, the thrill of ‘wowing’ the crowd)

Cerebral Stress (feel brain dead, come to work and can’t even get started, unexplainable brilliance)

Emotional Stress (clinical depression, endorphin release, adrenalin rush, love, addictions – might be shopping or coffee, elation)

Spiritual Stress (joy, feeling of helplessness – want BIG changes, rapture)

So STRESS isn’t really a totally bad thing, then? No… not all stress…

Good stress (aka eustress) is manifest as drive, energy or excitement. It’s what makes you want to get up in the morning and get started on your day. Good stress is what you feel when you are standing at the top of the mountain ready to ski down, when you are about to make a presentation or when you are defending a co- worker. Good stress gave the firefighters at the World Trade Center the energy they needed to rescue people. Good stress gives us the adrenaline boost we need to jump out of the way of the car that ran a red light and is speeding toward us. Other examples of good stress might include physical exercise, mental challenges, emotional elation or spiritual fulfillment. Many or most of the activities that we enjoy, place us under pressure; so, we are technically under stress while performing them. The difference is that we are wholeheartedly – and consciously – choosing these pressures. There is no conflict within – we enjoy the experience of good stress.

We embrace these kinds of pressures and stimulation. Without good stress, we grow complacent, indifferent or simply bored, but with good stress we are constantly growing – we feel truly alive!

In order to know joy, we must feel stress. I experienced joyful stress when my daughter announced she was pregnant… and again when I saw my grandchild for the first time.  Think of the best times you’ve ever had; your heart beats wildly, your emotions surge (your adrenalin is definitely flowing) but because it’s a pleasant reaction, we don’t generally label it as a stress reaction. Yet it is. When you go to watch your favorite hockey team play, the adrenalin flows. And depending on which team scores, you experience joy or disappointment. Either way, your arousal rate is very high, your system is pumping out chemicals. You are being STIMULATED! Thank you, stress.

Good stress is the excitement you feel on Christmas morning, or when you see your child perform in a concert, or you get a call unexpectedly from a dear friend, or you smell cookies baking, or you win at bingo, or you hear a golden oldie on the radio that fills you with cherished memories. (Sometimes good stress is good sex, too!) These are all positive healing stresses.

At work you experience positive stress when you are about to deliver a presentation, find out you are getting a raise or promotion with new responsibility, solve a problem, move to a new office, get a new assignment, meet a new co-worker, receive praise, know you did a good job and as you wait for acknowledgement.

We all need a degree of stress to get up in the morning; it is critical to feeling motivated and interested in getting on with your life. And beyond that, and the real reason that we’d never want to be ‘un-stressed’, is that stress has us jump out of the way when we are about to collide with a car or falling object; when we are in danger and that fight or flight thing kicks in. Don’t poo poo it, celebrate it! Stress can do a body good!

Just How Awful Is Your Life?

By Sandye Linnetz

What do you say to someone who constantly moans and groans and is all about everything that’s missing and crappy in his/her life? Sure, if it’s an ‘acquaintance’ you can probably tune it out and ignore it, but what if it’s a family member or an old friend who you are unwilling to simply ‘disappear’ from your life? Annoying, isn’t it? It’s easy to simply cut the negative people out of your life – and that may be the best choice, but I’m a sucker for the opportunity to empower people to turn it around! So, when you want to empower someone to see life from another perspective, What do you say? What do you do?

I, personally, love to start with sarcasm (it’s my ‘go to’ attitude with family and close friends)… Sarcasm, which, I admit, can be undeniably offensive, pretty much forces someone into ‘defend’ mode and that’s right where I want them. (Remember, we’re talking about habitual complainers not someone with a serious and immediate issue!)

I say, make those glass half empty, doomsday spouting, pessimists defend the junk that they’re putting out. Never mind that they usually can’t defend their position without sounding so nutso that even they finally see it; throwing their stuff right back at them literally puts their nose into their own shit! At some point all of their whiney rants and moans sound ridiculous even to them! Yes, I do START with sarcasm, but I almost immediately follow up with a possibility and an alternative way to look at things:

Me: “Are you looking for more evidence to prove that you’re right about how shitty your life is? No problem. Based on all that stuff, your life really stinks. I am happy to help you assemble the boatloads of evidence – it’s everywhere! Let’s look really hard and find more! It’s so obvious that your life absolutely sucks! You’re a giant sucky magnet. If it’s true that you get more of what you focus on, WOW are you focused on sittin’ right in the middle of a dung heap! The view is hellish from down there, huh?”


“Personally, my life doesn’t always fit my pictures of what I ‘expected’, either, so I know how you feel. The stuff life can throw at me, the curve balls, sometimes rock me to my shoes… if I let it. What works for me is that I choose JOY and focus on that instead of the circumstances! I’d rather dwell on all that I HAVE and be wildly grateful, instead of dwelling on what’s missing from my life and making it even worse. And, it’s funny how the what’s missing part disappears in the abundance.”

Yes, I am a full cup gal. It works…