The SandWorks® Chronicles

The SandWorks® Chronicles

Formerly “Sand Play for the Soul” blog, the “SandWorks® Chronicles”, is dedicated
to the courage and tenacity of the human spirit!



It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Paula Petrovic, The Sand Play Lady on June 13, 2023. Paula served her community for over 26 years as a Consultant, Facilitator, Counselor and Educator. Sandworks was Paula’s empowering tool for self-discovering for her client using Sand Tray Play as an experiential communication tool. Paula was much loved by her clients. Check back for information as SandWorks transitions to keep her work going.



Unexpected Surprise…

The universe caught me by surprise in a most uplifting and unexpected way last month. In my previous blog post, I mentioned I had a wake-up call regarding my health. It caused me to re-evaluate some major life-choices I had made regarding how I was living my life. I concluded that if I did not start taking more time for self-care, my life could come to an end sooner than necessary. It became instantly clear what I needed to do. As the saying goes “Physician, heal thy self.” In my case, the SandWorks® Lady called Paula needed to “heal thy own self” in those areas in need of attention.

Once I realized the full significance of my current situation, I called forth every resource of the “Divine Kind” available to me in this world. If ever there were an ideal time to fully surrender to the Divine, it was NOW! For me the crucial piece was to allow this resource of infinite intelligence to lead the way, not the preconceived idea of what my mind wants to tell me is or isn’t so. If I truly listened and got out of my own way I’d be fine. (In my book, Sand Play for the Soul, I refer to this infinite intelligence as the knowing place of the soul.)

As a result of this surrender, today– a month later, I can honestly and whole-heartedly say I have had one God-sent gift after the other come my way of life-enhancing, life-supporting, and life-loving assistance. Two of those phenomenal gifts came in the form of incredible support from longtime dear friends who put me into contact with brilliant and highly skilled professionals who are able to assist me to return to full health. The second gift came in the form of World Wisdom Conference in Sedona, AZ.

It has been years since I attended a conference of any sort. I had the time of my life. Speakers were “on fire” with wisdom, knowledge and universal force fueling them. Almost everything they said was right on the mark and in sync with my deepest core knowing. I have always known it’s all about ENERGY. Each and every one of us can tap into this universal force in the simplest, most practical manner… AND… it’s free and available to anyone who wishes to make use of this unlimited energy supply. From a very young age I have known this to be true! How ironic that I keep forgetting this very basic and simple truth when it comes to taking care of me when I’m not in work or service mode.

For decades, I have used this energy when counseling and facilitating clients to explore, discover and empower themselves to live the “the truth of who they are in the bigger picture of their lives”. This force guided me when I wrote my book Sand Play for the Soul. For me to forget the existence of this power even for a moment when I most need it is no longer an option. The time has come to allow this unlimited resource to help me live in the healthiest way possible, authentically and without restriction.

Previously when I felt my body trying to tell me something was out of balance and in need of attention, I only half-listened. As a result, I responded by only giving it a portion of the care needed to be a healthy, optimally functional vehicle in which my life can express itself. Today I am being told in clear and absolute terms that I must add “ME” to my list of clients. I must empower myself to love and care for myself with greater ease, joy and surrender to who I am in the bigger picture of my life. As my dearly, beloved and departed Dad would advise, “If something stops working, change your policies!”

“Daddy, I hear you loud and clear!”

Hello to the Awakening

Things can change in a ‘blink of an eye’, though the cause of the change may have been brewing for a long time. Often we do not know the full story of what triggered the unexpected event or in the psyches of those involved. We may think we know, and make all sorts of assessments based on what we think we know, but the reality is we may only know one snippet of the story. 2014 felt like that for me.

Two people who touched my life in a significant manner recently passed away unexpectedly. It gave me pause to re-examine my life and how I live it. Both men had a similar brilliance of spirit and intelligence. One was known on a global scale, the other where he lived. Though I only knew Robin Williams by reputation his death was felt worldwide, and my buddy, Tony C., continues to be missed by the many who knew him. Both men loved to make people laugh and their deaths took us by surprise. The gift of who they are shines on.

I wonder if my dear departed father will cross paths with them at some point in existence as they embark on their new journeys beyond the earthly plane. My dad, much like these two souls, shone bright in spirit, and he too had his own brand of challenges in life. In the last years of his life he found peace within himself. As for Robin and Tony, who were 20 plus years younger than my dad when they passed, the story behind the scenes shortly before their transition remains a bit of a mystery.

Tony came to me in a dream recently and he was looking fit, happy, and having fun in his new place of expression. He asked if I wanted to spend more time with him. I smiled upon waking from my dream. Robin Williams, wherever he may be, is no doubt embarking on the next phase of his journey “beyond!” And my dad… he’s one very happy being! Before he died he spoke at length with me about where he would be after he finished his earthly walk. He knew he was going to a garden oasis, a mirror image of Earth, where paradise was a reality, not a dream. There were times this past year I wanted to join him. And then I had a “wake-up call” health-wise. Everything I thought I knew was being called into question.

It soon became clear the current chapter of my life needed some editing, or the conclusion of “Paula’s walk” on this dear planet might come to an end sooner than expected. I was being asked to title that chapter, “What about Paula?” People of service who love doing the work they do- myself included- sometimes need to modify how their service is done. The reality is our physical bodies are not invincible. Taking time-outs to allow for personal rest and playtime in whatever way the heart fancies, and not feeling guilty about it, has its challenges. The dedicated, responsible self, who excels at service work too often forgets his or her own limitations and need to alter this habit. I know this pattern of behavior well.

It is indeed time for Paula to create new worlds of possibility in her own sandbox of life in a much more expanded, easeful, and balanced manner. My book “Sand Play for the Soul” invites us to dialogue with a innate resource of infinite intelligence through the process of SandWorks® as a means to do just that. As the wise saying goes “We teach what we most need to learn. “ As my dad would say… “Holy Doodle… what are you doing my beloved daughter? You DESERVE to experience paradise on earth. LET LIFE IN! Let the universe feed your soul. You will have that much more to give others… and YOURSELF as well!”

To all, let life’s abundance in. You deserve it! Wishing you a wonder-filled Happy New Year in 2015!

Keep On, or Choose Again

“When something stops working, change your policies.” These are words of wisdom my Dad said to me often as a child. In the last few months these words have been playing out in my mind like continual re-runs of a popular old movie. I can feel my Dad’s spirit nudging me gently trying to let me know that there is something, I am not fully getting and he wants me to take notice. What that is I do not yet know.

Recently I experienced a chapter from the book of life’s trials and tribulations, notoriously known as the “week from hell.” The only thing I could say as I shook my head, shell-shocked and baffled, “Really? It’s happening again?”

If I’m honest I have to admit that it was not the actual events occurring that created my hellish week, it had to do with how I was responding to what had happened. Life was reminding me of the Law of Cause and Effect. All actions have consequences. In this case the lesson was difficult.

Sometimes I have a habit of staying in a situation longer than perhaps I should, often to the detriment of my health and well-being. I tend “to keep on, keeping on”, against all odds, especially if it has to do with someone or something that really matters to me. Nothing and no one, except Divine intervention, can stop me in my tracks.  And that’s what happened. My week got so intense I could not sleep more than three hours per night, and my lower back was so stiff I felt double my age- not an ideal situation for a person who is usually healthy and full of energy.

Normally one might think the “keep, keeping on” approach is admirable and shows strength of character. To this I would respond, “Yes, it does, unless you keep participating in a behavior that brings the opposite result of what you desire.”

The brilliant, thinker and scientist, Einstein, during his illustrious career once defined insanity as doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. These are definitely the words of a wise person. My challenge here is to know when to step away and choose again, and when to ‘keep on keeping on’, when addressing my needs in a balanced manner- in alignment with who I am becoming in the “bigger picture” of my life. Doing so would afford me more opportunity “to be all I can be” and help facilitate others to do the same for themselves.

When taking a moment to reflect on my father’s words of wisdom, and Einstein definition of insanity, I realize that until I value myself as much as I value being in service to my fellow human beings, what I have to offer is significantly reduced. A major “red flag” for me is not including the healthy care of myself while in service to the betterment of humanity and the planet.  Being a person who likes to give it her “all” in everything she does, forgetting to take care of myself in the process is counter-productive to my desire to be all I can be. The lesson for me, and perhaps for some of you, is that sometimes we just need to step back, take a breath, and choose again, in order to create a different result!

The main premise of my Sand Play work at the SandWorks® studio (or when I travel with my work), and in my book “Sand Play for the Soul”, is to facilitate clients to discover the whole story regarding their situations in question. When they are able to do this it offers them the opportunity to make informed decisions in order to create the results they desire. For more info visit this site.

Dear and Glorious Sleep

Dear and Glorious Sleep

If you are someone who has a hard time sleeping throughout the night, more often than not, and feel sleep deprived, daily life can have some unwelcomed challenges. When sleep eludes me, it’s “are you kidding me… I thought the problem was solved… what is it this time?” Those who know about my elusive relationship with sleep often wonder how I can function as well as I do on such little sleep. Most people would never know the adventures I have been on, or the countless attempts made to solve the mystery behind my unpredictable journey with sleep. In an attempt to understand and come to terms with this curiosity in my life, I have decided to simplify my assessment of the matter.

In reflection, I wonder if I am just someone who does not need a lot of sleep, and it’s just me who thinks the problem is worse than it actually it is- since I seemed to be able to function fine with little sleep. Or perhaps I am made of strong genes and come from sturdy family stock; much like the penguins who can endure massive storms and the bitter cold of the great North Country. Whatever the case may be, I know whenever my body becomes too exhausted, it will simply time out and will me to sleep for 7 hours. Or it forces me to lie down and take a 2 hour nap- usual in the afternoon. As a rule, however, 5 to 6 hrs of solid sleep seems to be the minimum amount my body requires in order for me function full throttle; anything less than that and I become only slightly less productive.

I sometimes asked myself if it is my high-spirited, energetic nature that keeps me functioning as well as I do regardless of my inconsistent sleep patterns. I also wonder at times how much more I could accomplish if I were able to sleep more than I do. I was told recently by a doctor that if you dream while asleep the brain has reached the rapid eye movement cycle thus allowing it to enter where it needs to be in order to receive proper rest. If that is the case, than I am in good shape. Regardless of how long I sleep, I almost always have an active dream life. So maybe I will do just fine, health-wise, in the years to come, in spite of my elusive journey with sleep. I must say, if I could, I would love to be able to sleep 8 hours a night on a daily basis; however, after not ever having been able to do so consistently- since early childhood- perhaps it is not meant to be. If that is the case, I may need to simply accept what is regardless of what the medical experts say about the amount of sleep required for maintaining long-term brain health. So far I am doing okay, and will continue to look for solutions to help me sleep more than I normally do. I do after all love the side-effects experienced after a good night sleep. 

Over the years I have witnessed many miracles first hand in my life, particularly with family, friends and clients. Who knows: maybe being able to sleep 8 to 9 hours per night, will be one for the records at some point in my life. The one thing I do know is that usually at the root of every human miracle I have witnessed is the power of the human spirit. Anything can happen in the life dream when Power of YOU is awakened!

Every time I facilitate a Sand Play session I am blessed to watch people interact with the power of their spirit through their sand tray creations. In my book, Sand Play for the Soul, I refer to this innate intelligence as the knowing place of the soul. It is an incredible and vast inner resource we can greatly benefit from if we tap into it on an ongoing basis. For more on my work with SandWorks®, or my book, stay on this site