Hi There!

Welcome to my island of sanity and serenity. I'm Sandra Pawula - writer, mindfulness teacher and advocate of ease. I help deep thinking, heart-centered people find greater ease — emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Curious? Read On!

An interview with myself

33 Questions for An Interview With Yourself is from Dragos Roua and his brilliantly better personal development blog.  I found answering these questions a very useful exercise in getting to know myself better and becoming more fully aware of my current personal trends and my challenges as well as my strengths.  You might also like to try this fun and thought-provoking assignment!  Just follow the link to see the full description for each question.  Here are my answers. 1. What Do You Do For A Living? Writing is my passion. I've worked as a freelance copywriter, fund-raising consultant, and director of a national nonprofit.  I am a great advocate of meditation and currently instruct online meditation courses. 2. Who Do You Love? My aspiration is to love everyone equally.  I'm not there yet, but this is my goal. 3. Do You Have Enough Money? Yes. I live simply and have sufficient money for my chosen lifestyle.  I don't believe that happiness comes from earning scores of money. Over-consumption is harming our environment. 4. Are You Healthy? I'm recovering from chronic illness and environmental sensitivity.  My body seems to have a certain endurance and resiliency that I appreciate so in that sense I feel fundamentally healthy.  I believe that health extends beyond the body and do my best to keep a healthy mind and spirit too. 5. Do You Think You Are a Good Person? Yes.

6. How Old Are You? I have a youthful spirit. 7. Who’s Your Best Friend? My husband. 8. What’s Your Childhood Dream? My childhood dream was to be a writer.  When I finally did become a writer later in life, it was such a perfect fit for me and brought so much satisfaction. 9. How Often Do You Laugh? Not enough! I would love to laugh more! 10. What Makes You Smile? Puppies and children, well some of them!  Morning hugs.  Sentimental gifts. My husband. E.T. 11. Who’s Your Most Dangerous Enemy? I don't believe in the idea of enemies.  I try to see everyone equally and with compassion even if they have done something that I perceive as harmful. 12. Where Do You Live? I live in Hawai'i.  This is the perfect place for me at this time in my life.  My body appreciates the fresh air, sunshine, natural surroundings, and relative quiet.  Our house is older and relatively non-toxic. There's a large garden and raised beds, giving me an opportunity to learn gardening and get more in touch with the earth element. 13. Do You Think You’re Strong? I have endured quite a bit in my lifetime so in that way I am strong.  I have a strong spirit.  I have a tendency to be hypersensitive physically, which is teaching me many lessons.

14. What Was The Most Important Thing You’ve Done So Far? Immerse myself in the study and practice of Buddhism and follow an authentic spiritual master. 15. What Was The Most Stupid Thing You’ve Done So Far? Oh goodness, there must be far more than one, but honestly nothing pops in my mind.  I'm not dwelling in the past in this regard. 16. Do You Love Yourself? I'm always trying to love myself more so I can naturally extend that love to others. 17. What Do You Fear The Most? I've been working with the fear of death and letting go.  The fear of death seems so fundamental to most other fears. There are very liberating moments, but then more layers appear that take time to peel away. 18. What Is Your Favorite Word? Optimism is my favorite word for the moment. 19. When Was The Last Time You Cried? I cry easily, let me count the times! 20. What Is The Best Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now? The best thing has happened.  I've met and continue to study with a great Buddhist teacher.  I have a lovely husband.  I am living in a beautiful environment.  I have the time to relax, enjoy, and pursue my Buddhist studies and practice.  I am a very fortunate person, indeed. 21. What Is The Worst Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now? There are so many "bad" things that can happen in this world, just look around.  As difficult as it may be, whatever life brings is the fuel for our spiritual evolution.  Therefore, I've found it's useless to only want 'good' things to happen and to have aversion for 'bad' things.  'Good' and 'bad' are only a matter of perception.  It's more useful to use whatever comes as fuel for personal development without affixing too many labels.  That's not always easy, but it is my ongoing aspiration. 22. Picture Yourself In 5 Years From Now In five years time, I see myself as physically healthy, having a kinder heart, a more spacious mind, and being less prone to being perturbed.  I imagine I will be living a similar simple and quiet lifestyle, but contributing to the betterment of the world in one way or the other. 23. Do You Regret Anything? Sure, but regret is not a big issue for me. 24. What’s The First Thing You Do In The Morning? Meditation, generating compassion. 25. What Are You Thinking Just Before Going To Bed? Relaxing the mind, quiet visualization. 26. What Was The Highest Point You’ve Ever Been To? I don't like heights. 27. If There’s One Thing In Your Life You Want To Change Right Now, What Is It? I would love to be healthy.  In the world around me, I would love to see an end to hatred and violence and more tolerance, love, and compassion. 28. What Are You Proud Of? I'm proud of having dedicated my life to positive causes and on a personal level striving to live simply with more clarity, kindness, and compassion.  I'm far from perfect, but this is my aim in life. 29. Sum Up Your Life In One Sentence Dedicated to making the world a better place and becoming a kinder and more compassionate person. 30. Name The Thing That Annoys You The Most Noise annoys me unbearably — sawing, hammering, loud music….and the beat goes on... 31. What Is Your No 1 Question To God? I'm a Buddhist and Buddhism is a non-theistic tradition!  Irregardless, I don't have a question for God. 32. Do You Have Secrets? Is it necessary to be overly confessional?  I find it's good judgment to be discerning and to not spill all the beans, all the time. 33. What Makes You Laugh? The movie, Ms. Congeniality with Sandra Bullock.  Puppies.  Victor singing in the pond.  Odd mis-communications.  Jokes.  Tickling. 34. Are You Happy? Yes, but like all of us I have my ups and downs too.



It's no one's fault

10 Favorite Books on Meditation