As her 50th birthday approached, Sandy Flores knew she wanted to do something special to honor the next stage of her life, now that she and her husband, Bill, had an empty nest. She always dreamed of completing her college degree and thought this would be the perfect time to focus on her and her passions.
As she looked at schools and curriculums, nothing seemed to fit her personality, interests, and goals. That is, until late one night, while looking at schools on the internet, she stumbled upon the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). Just reading the College’s name alone seemed to bring a stir of excitement. Each and every class she scrolled through sounded interesting and life-affirming, which was something she desperately longed for during her mid-life crossroads. She felt butterflies in her stomach as she read that the school offered online classes for distance students. She began to entertain the idea that perhaps finding SWIHA was no coincidence at all. The next morning, Sandy called and spoke with an online advisor and by the end of the week, she was fully enrolled to study Holistic Nutrition and Hypnotherapy. The most exciting affirmation to her decision came when the advisor told her the starting date for her classes – Sandy’s 50th birthday!
Sandy took the leap of faith and paved her own smooth transition into the world of online learning. Sandy pushed through initial concerns about connecting all of the necessary technology for her online classes, and the SWIHA staff made sure she had everything she needed and understood how to utilize the technology.
Sandy pushed through initial concerns about connecting all of the necessary technology for her online classes! She made sure she had everything she needed and understood how to utilize the technology.
The curriculum encouraged her to dig deep, experience and practice the skills being learned, and open herself to unlimited possibilities. Sandy credits one of her most valuable lessons learned during her studies was: “It is OK to be me. March to the beat of my own drum.”
A lifelong learner and engaged student, Sandy still keeps in touch with several of her instructors and fellow classmates because of the bonds she has developed through her program. She discovered lifelong friendships can be made in an online class. Sandy stated sharing on a soul level allowed her and her classmates to grow in trust and care for each other.
In fact, she and her online classmate, Virginia Blank became close friends and took the leap of faith and friendship to meet in person for the first-time by embarking on a cross-country drive or “Pilgrimage to the Homeland of SWIHA” in April of 2014.
As a practitioner, Sandy is incredibly loving and gentle. She has guided me to some of the most profound awarenesses I've ever experienced. As an online classmate, Sandy had the most effect on me. We became quick friends and she helped me to become more comfortable with my own spiritual path - again with her gentle, loving nature. I notice that I experience more magic in my life when I'm around Sandy. For all of these reasons (and more) I'm proud to be her friend and peer.
Sandy also shared the privilege of walking fellow SWIHA classmate and friend, Melissa Hammond Medlock down the aisle at her wedding. Sandy believes wholeheartedly that “SWIHA magic happens on campus and online!”
As she was nearing completion of her first certificates, 100 hours of Hypnotherapy and 200 hours of Holistic Nutrition, Sandy knew she wasn’t finished with what SWIHA had to offer. She contacted the online advisors and with their counsel and guidance, Sandy signed up for the Holistic Wellness Practitioner program. Sandy realized the more she put her heart and soul into her studies, the more she received and grew. Her intention was always to learn methods for helping others find healing and was surprised at the deep healing she personally experienced every step of the way. Sandy attributes her leap of faith to attend SWIHA as being a transformational experience!
Sandy realized the more she put her heart and soul into her studies, the more she received and grew.
Sandy was in the first class selected to become Ordained Ministers in an online ceremony. There were tears all around as KC Miller, founder of SWIHA, led the beautiful and touching ceremony with two of her on-line instructors, Kathy Shimpock and Ramona Sandoval, assisting.
Sandy found it so special to be in their presence, along with her ordained classmates, as she gave her first blessing to her husband, Bill – which she chalks up to another amazing affirmation of being a student at SWIHA as her ordination was held on the 7th anniversary of Bill’s “new” life, thanks to a quadruple bypass. Topping off the divine timing and confirmation of Sandy’s alignment with her purpose was when Sandy’s graduation as a Holistic Wellness Practitioner commenced on her 20th wedding anniversary. Sandy felt she had signs every step of the way SWIHA was exactly where she was meant to be and had she not taken the various leaps of faith throughout the process, there’s no telling what amazing opportunities, friendships and healing she’d have waited longer to experience.
Since graduation, she has had the opportunity to work with many people; clients, friends, and family. She specializes in working with middle-aged women who are facing the same mid-life she experienced. Group meetings, vision board evenings and learning to walk a labyrinth are among a few of the experiences Sandy has led for the women she has served.
She realized as she works with women, oftentimes the beliefs systems which prompt their need for self-healing stem from childhood. Since opening the eyes of her clients to childlike wonderment and joy, Sandy has found her 15 years as a former preschool teacher has supported her in offering healing arts with children as well. Sandy loves the way children open to the various concepts and techniques she presents. She has found that night terrors, monsters in the closet, bedwetting, bullies and other childhood issues can be expressed and healed through artwork, guided imagery and flower essences. Kids love to help make their own aromatherapy “monster” spray, flower essence “special drops” and recently, her granddaughter created, deemed by many children clients as “Me” cards – because they see themselves in the animated characters on each.
Sandy often felt like an outsider in her own life, as if she spoke a different language or marched to a different drummer than the rest of the world. Finding SWIHA was like coming home. She found kindred spirits, the language of her heart and her purpose. Sandy shares her mission through her business, Nourishing Spirit, to help others feel a deeper sense of connection in their lives. She wants people to remember they are special and God is guiding them every step of the way.
Sandy Flores wants people to remember they are special and God is guiding them every step of the way. She wants each person to celebrate their uniqueness and Soar!
Sandy was thrilled the day she started her journey as a Holistic Wellness Practitioner and affirmed her career and life passion are one in the same. It is a part of who she is at all times. The skills, gifts, and healing she found within herself while at SWIHA are now being used to help others find nourishment within their own spirits. Sandy Flores wants each person to celebrate their uniqueness and Soar!
If you are interested in being fully support to dance to the beat of your own drummer, while learning to create your own holistic private practice the way Sandy Flores has done please call of a coaching session with one of our Admissions Coaches ~ 480-994-9244 or go to www.swiha.edu