Live, Love, Engage Podcast Interview

The following is an introduction of an interview conducted for me, Sondra Joyce,
from Gloria Grace Rand on her podcast, “ Live, Love Engage” in September, 2021:

“Dr Sondra Joyce and I met through a mastermind program several years
ago. Sondra is a great mix of honing both her business and transformational
skills. She has been a realtor for the last 21 years, currently with EXP realty in
SW Colorado. She’s a property manager for a health and healing complex. She
has 40 years of combined experience as a therapist/coach with a bachelor’s
degree in social work, a master’s in psychology, and a DA in coaching and
counseling. Sondra has a healing and wholistic background. She was the first
massage therapist in Fort Collins, Colorado and opened and operated the first
spa there for 17 years! She is an author, mastermind facilitator and has led
transformational retreats in Mexico for women for years. Sondra, tell us all about
your exciting endeavors in helping women in midlife.”

I am passionate about learning and expanding my horizons so am always taking
classes, courses, trainings, and hence so many degrees. And, as I look back
over my life, the number one thing that I’ve been passionate about is
transformation and personal growth since I was a very, very young person. So
that is my core, regardless of any degrees or trainings. And because of that
core commitment, I am super passionate about helping other people. My tribe is
helping women in midlife make the rest of their lives the best of their lives!


I get a lot of juice and joy out of seeing somebody being in one state and then
moving to a different place in their lives that serves them. I also am a total
renegade. I don’t know why that is, but I’m always on the leading edge of new
thought and unconventional thinking. Examples include starting the Colorado
Wholistic Health Network before people new about “health” food, studying Feng
Shui with a French architect when most people were totally unfamiliar with the
term which helped me create healthy and happy homes, helping to start and live
in Heartwood Cohousing and being the first Eco Broker in my area.


Transformation and new thought is what I thrive on. It’s led me down many
creative paths.


In my psychotherapeutic studies, I worked to create a program for myself that not
only including traditional therapeutic approaches, but also Jungian Dream Work,
and personal work with the top health and healing experts in their respective
fields. I was studied Tantra with Margo Anand and Charles Muir, the Passionate
Marriage with Dr. David Schnarch and worked with Gay and Kathleen Hendrick’s
Body Centered Psychotherapy, to name just a few.

While therapy may approach healing old wounds as a catalyst to moving forward,
coaching is a bit of a different approach. Questions are what’s happening now?
Where do you want to go? How can I help you get there? It doesn’t mean not
addressing a past healing trauma. But it’s a different take on life. Helping people
move forward to a more passionate life is my desire.


In the last five to 10 years, I’ve become passionately interested in women in
midlife, and just what those challenges and joys are. Once a woman has gone
through menopause, and is past the initial stages of nurturing a child, there is a
new world that opens. I’m so excited about this, because it’s a world where there
can be a lot of movement and transformation, but there also can be some really
difficult times.


I’m a joyful person and I was faced with some new challenges such as my mom
passing away, going through midlife myself, experiencing bodily changes and
weight gain, and looking at my legacy and what my life will be like going forward.
My son moved out and now is contemplating moving out of state and we’re
extraordinarily close, so I, like many other mothers, have been experiencing
empty nest syndrome. Those are just a few of the challenges that I was dealing
with.


There are many, many more. What helped me was taking the stance that I am
100% responsible for my life. I am 100% responsible for my health. I’m 100%
responsible for my happiness. And that led me to taking better care of myself and
letting go of what no longer serves me. I made a declaration that my health, my
happiness and my transformation was and is the most important aspect of my
life. And I will do whatever it takes to create that energy for myself, and anybody
else who wants to come on the journey with me.


I think all of us have an aspect of us that people allude to. For me, people often
say I have a radiant presence. I looked at a picture of myself with a girlfriend of
mine and was horrified! Where was my spark? Where is the radiant being that is
me? My friend challenged me. She was worried about my health, being
overweight, not attending to my spiritual being and not exercising like I used. She
also touched a nerve asking me what it would be like to leave your son too early
in this life when he needs you. She asked what is the next 20-30 years going to
be like for you if you don’t take care of yourself?


If you or anybody is worried about a friend or a family member’s health and
wellbeing, take that stance that she did with me. It was October of 2020. I
decided that I needed to get out of my environment and create some time alone
and really face my own music or static.

I went on a retreat in Mexico with a health plan I created for 3 weeks, then
decided that in the middle of the pandemic, I could be here in this very healthy
environment, so I stayed for another 3 months. I was outside, eating organic
food, walking and eventually running on the beach, and decided to commit to
weighing myself every day and tracking that, meditating, practicing yoga and
water aerobics, journaling, having accountability partners, engaging in therapy
and generally shaking my life up! I still worked at least 4 hours a day in the
afternoon, but the mornings and evenings were dedicated to me.


I took a scale with me and did not weigh myself until I got there and guess what?
I needed to lose a minimum of 40 pounds! That seemed unfathomable to me.
As Mary Oliver says in one of her poems, I saved the only life I could save which
was my own, though voices tried to pull me in different directions.


I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a weight loss expert. I am someone who decided I
needed to save my life, and implemented various techniques based on research
and was successful. I lost 40 pounds and feel fantastic.


Most of the women I know are passionate and amazing women who offer
tremendous value into the world. It’s difficult to take a deep look at a picture of
yourself on Facebook or look into the mirror and realize that it’s time to leave
behind an old part of yourself. The weight is there for a reason. It’s much deeper
than calories in and exercising, although that’s a part of it. After menopause, the
change in hormones really come into play.


When I returned home, I grabbed two 20 pound weights, I put them on my hips,
and I walked around with that weight, and I felt what it was like for my body to
carry those 40 pounds. And then I put them on top of my shoulders and felt what
I call the emotional weight that was weighing me down.


So here is my question to you. What is weighing you down? What’s keeping you
up at night? Are you stressed out about money? Health? Relationships? Work?
Children? Climate change? Politics? Or not being the highest and best version
of yourself that you know you can be? Whatever’s keeping you up at night, those
stories that you’re telling yourself repeatedly is likely the old energy that’s playing
in your mind, that is the inner and outer weight that is holding you back from a life
of purpose and joy.


I don’t have any idea what your body is supposed to look like. I think we’re
changing our ideas about bodies all the time. Because not every body needs to
be skinny or look a certain way. It isn’t a one size fits all approach. And I don’t
think that any woman should feel like there’s a certain weight that they have to be

or they can’t be happy or healthy. However, when facing personal factors such
as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a large weight gain, depression, lack of
energy or sleep, stress over personal factors, then what are you going to do
about it? Do you want to be healthy and happy? Are you willing to do what it
takes? I wanted my radiant self-back! Do you?


Shedding the physical pounds goes hand in hand when you are also releasing
emotional weight. I kid you not, it took a lot of perseverance, and 100%
accountability and having a team of people that I was accountable to make this
happen.


Since I said I was going to get up at 6:30 in the morning and walk the beach, I
did, even when I didn’t want to. Everyday I went to yoga class. I think what
happens when you commit 100% you create an internal muscle, a spiritual
muscle along with your physical muscle. And that spiritual muscle just pumps out
the energy that says I will do whatever it takes to be that healthy, happy person
that I want to be, no matter what. And so that spiritual muscle gets stronger
inside of us. And then that’s how we can let go of things that no longer serve us
and that tend to get piled on in midlife.


I’ve always been somebody who has a successful business, whether massage,
owning a spa, real estate, property management or therapy. But I’ve also always
been involved with an aspect of transformation. The transformational part for me
after being in this experience was creating the retreat Bury Your Weight in the
Sand to assist women in what’s weighing them down.


Even though I’m in landlocked Colorado, I’m a beach person. I would gather one
or two special shells on my morning walk while in Mexico, wash them and put
them in the sun. I charted my weight. When I would lose a pound, I would take
one of the shells with me on my morning walk down to the beach. Ceremony
time! That pound had served some purpose, So I said,” Thank you, thank you for
your service. And I needed you, but now I’m letting you go, so goodbye. I lost
you, and I’m not going to find you.” That is how the title came to be Bury Your
Weight in the Sand.


How many many times we have said “I lost weight!” “I lost 15 pounds!” Only to
find those pounds again and again. I want to stop that cycle, and deal with the
root cause as to why it’s been happening anyway!

The retreat is about letting go of what no longer serves us as women. It will be
offered a couple times a year. It’s an intimate gathering with 4-8 women, working

together, supporting each other with a commitment to losing what is weighing us
down and to let it go. The retreat includes cultural events and many fun activities
as well as plenty of personal time. I’ve led several workshops in my life. I’ve
created many ceremonies and ritual. I’m really excited about what I have
planned for women who decide to take this step and join me.


There are multiple places on my website to sign up for Healthy Habits, coaching
or to fill out a questionnaire to be considered for the retreat. I will be hosting
zoom calls to talk about what your needs are. I’m super excited about
connecting with the women who want something new in life, wanting to transform
body and soul. Let’s make the rest of your life the best of your life. That’s my
tagline!

Nobody knows how many years we have left! Nobody. The time is NOW to get
focused on taking care of yourself and being your best self ever by changing
habits and transforming what is weighing you down. There is a lot that we can do
together and I’m here for you.


Please connect here, emails sondra@sondrajoyce.com, or text/call me at 970-749-6120

May the rest of your life be the best of your life. Together we can create magic!