Sandra Magsamen says, wishes are "hope in action." Sandra has touched millions of people with her products for over 35 years, one heart at a time. As an artist, art therapist, mom, and award-winning author, Sandra uses her own creativity and spirit to design gifts, books and collections that help people express themselves and connect with one another. She reminds and teaches us to explore and experience each day with more heart, meaning, purpose and joy.
Sandra is a best-selling author of over 60 adult and children's books and has sold over 10 million copies to date. In her latest book, “I Wish, Wish, Wish for You,” Sandra has a much bigger global mission and everyone can participate. She'll tell you all about it -- and she'll give you her step-by-step plan to help you make your wishes come true. Plus, get a history about wishes you most likely never knew about. We have a feeling you’ll be thinking about wishes in a way you may have never thought of before. It'll give you a new sense of grace and motivation.
And Sandra shares her own captivating and inspiring journey -- and the importance of having your own personal mission statement. It's one Aha! Moment after another.
Also, this podcast is extra special because Sandra has been a mentor and part of Robyn's extended family for the last 25 years. She's had the privilege to learn from her and her journey…and received the gift of love, compassion and support.
In addition to being a best-selling author, Sandra has designed successful products and collections for department stores, specialty and mass market through her national lifestyle brands. You may have also seen and received her exclusive collections in partnership with 1800flowers.com.
Find out more about Sandra, her books and products and specifically her "World of Wishes Campaign" at SandraMagsamen.com
You can also follow Sandra on social:
For more from Robyn + Karen, and to sign up for Weekly Inspo visit seekingcenter.app
You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram at @seekingcenterrobyn
[00:00:00] robyn: Sandra Magsamen has touched millions of people. One heart at a time. Her products have been warmly embraced for over 35 years as an artist, art therapist, mom, and award winning author.
[00:00:12] Sandra uses her own creativity and spirit to design. Books and collections that help people express themselves and connect with one another Sandra reminds and teaches us to explore and experience each day with more heart, meaning, purpose, and joy. She has designed successful products and collections for department stores, specialty and mass market. Through her national lifestyle brands. You may have also seen her exclusive collections in partnership 1-800-FLOWERS dot. In addition, Sandra is a best-selling and award-winning author of over 60 adult and children's books and has sold over 10 million copies to date.
[00:00:51] And Sandra has been a mentor and part of my extended family for the last 25 years, I've had the privilege to learn from her and her [00:01:00] journey and receive the gift of love, compassion, and support. So today is extra special for me. And we're so excited because we're going to talk about Sandra's new children's book.
[00:01:10] I wish, wish wish for you, which is a beautiful book with a much bigger mission. Sandra will tell you all about it and how you can participate. We have a feeling you'll be thinking about wishes in a way you may have never thought of them before your own journey with a new found sense of grace and motivation.
[00:01:29] sandra: Sandra. Hello ladies. What a gift to be here today. Thank you for sharing time with me. And I'm so excited to talk with you today. we feel so
[00:01:37] karen: much the same,
[00:01:39] robyn: talking to you today in this arena is very, very special.
[00:01:43] sandra: Well, we've been having a conversation for a really long time and
[00:01:47] robyn: all different places
[00:01:49] sandra: too. and to see what you're doing today and really seeking and learning, and your curiosity is so beautiful. and of course, I didn't exactly know where you would follow your path, but this is the perfect [00:02:00] path for you.
[00:02:00] It's meant to be
[00:02:01] robyn: Well, talking about paths and journeys. Let's talk about how. Your whole world has come to be, because you really have followed your heart and something that Karen and I always talk about are these whispers that we have from when we're younger.
[00:02:19] Did you have those whispers and how did you follow them?
[00:02:22] sandra: The beginning of the beginning I think it starts when we're really, really young. I've been on a book tour with a wish, wish, wish for you.
[00:02:30] And, and almost every school, every child, someone at a school asks me, when did you start wishing and what did you wish for? And I can say that honestly from the time I was a very little girl, I always wanted to be an artist and I always wanted to be an illustrator. And when I was a little girl words really did fail me.
[00:02:48] I'm a twin. I have a twin sister named Susan who really was verbal and I was really non-verbal so drawing and making things with my hands was really the way that I communicated. [00:03:00] And it took me a lot of years and trauma really for me to begin to integrate words and imagery together. And of course that's what an author and an artist and an illustrator does.
[00:03:10] They combined words and images. When I was 12, I was in a very severe accident. My parents had a farm and I was helping in the field. And we were told not to walk behind a certain tractor because we were throwing rocks in it.
[00:03:21] We were getting the rocks out of the field and I walked behind it. And the The machinery failed and this big trailer fell on my leg that was filled with the stones that we'd been putting in it all day long. So I was trapped underneath of this piece that weighed well over a ton. And I yelled and yelled for my.
[00:03:37] Twin sister to help me, the men couldn't lift it. And Susan was in a little bit down the field. She came in with out any effort at all, lifted the piece off of me. I crawled out and then was taken to hospital where I had compound fractured my leg. And I spent the better part of a year in a home in hospital school, which meant that I was on a headset.
[00:03:57] I'm on a computer. Learning my lessons [00:04:00] and the children who were on that school with me were kids who had cancer, who had had accidents who couldn't attend school either. And so I made a lot of friends and I had to learn to speak because I was on a microphone with other kids. And that year I learned.
[00:04:15] The most valuable lessons that I've taken with me my whole life. And that really are the core of everything that I do. And, one is that love is the most powerful, powerful thing in the world. My sister lifted that huge weight off of my leg because she loved me so much and I was able to survive.
[00:04:32] And the second gift that I learned is that we aren't promised tomorrow. We're only promised today because many of those children passed away from cancer who were on that call with me. I was given the gift of life and was able to continue on. So my work, if you look at all the things that I've done in my career, Focus on love, and it's always the message from the heart.
[00:04:51] It's what we express in whatever way we express it, our messages and our, and the messengers and the way we communicate are all different [00:05:00] from one person to another. I may use images and words. Someone else may be a dancer or somebody else may be the best carrot cake you've ever had. someone else might make blankets for children and we all do things and connect and communicate in our own way.
[00:05:14] And that's the work that I've done since I was about 12 years old in various ways for various people. And I became an art therapist to help other people who couldn't use words but needed visual ways to communicate. And that work led me to create products to, communicate and connect the things we most want to say with the people in our lives.
[00:05:33] robyn: I mean, first of all, I did not know that story. You didn't, I did not know that story and I just want to cry
[00:05:38] sandra: my story, I had the grace and the opportunity to share my story. So when you are asked to share your story, you can begin to put those pieces together to see those points, that connect to lead you to where you are today.
[00:05:54] And I think listening to everybody's story and that's part of this wish project, it honors a human [00:06:00] being and it asks them to begin to look at what matters to them and. that moment in life when that horrible thing happened to me, changed my life for the better and forever. and I'm the woman I am today because of the girl I was when that accident happened.
[00:06:14] robyn: Solutely and that whole idea of using art in that way, and then tying it with words. How did you know that there was even such a thing as art therapy to study in college?
[00:06:25] sandra: I went first to art school, so I studied and I have a degree in fine art.
[00:06:29] And then as I did my work, I started making large prints with words on it. So I began to explore the relationship between images and words. So I was doing large canvases and large prints in that way. And as I began to look at, when I go to graduate school and fine arts, what I want to be when I grow up, you know, the idea of art therapy really just began surfacing in my research.
[00:06:50] And I started reading, Carl Young and people who were looking at symbols as I was trying to understand my symbolism, Joseph Campbell was talking at that time about [00:07:00] symbols. And so that led me to discovering the field of art therapy. And we happen to have one of the. Grandmothers of art therapy.
[00:07:07] Roberta Schumacher worked at a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland where I lived, so I was able to call her. I've always been very curious and because I think I realize that life's so short, I've never hesitated to pick up a phone or today to send an email or to text somebody or an Instagram to see if I have a question to talk with them, just trying to get an answer.
[00:07:26] I'm just curious that way. And so I wrote Roberta and I went over to the hospital and she told me about what our therapy was. And I ended up coming back to Maryland and doing my master's degree in art therapy and I thought I would be in hospital or in therapy with patients one-on-one for my career.
[00:07:43] But again, we don't know necessarily where a path takes us. So as the path unfolded, worked with criminally insane men in a forensic hospital in Maryland for a while, we worked with children who were deaf. I work with geriatric patients and all the while, as I kept meeting people who needed [00:08:00] support, who needed mental health care, it became really aware of that.
[00:08:03] It almost didn't matter if you needed mental health or you just were person in the world who were trying to be healthy. we all stumbled on the things that we most wanted to say to resolve conflict or to learn about ourselves. And so I began writing down what I called the messages from the heart, what people wanted to say.
[00:08:19] And often it was I'm sorry, or I forgive you, or I love you. Or I want to get to know you better. there were things that their grandparents had sent to them that they wanted to say to their children. So I was I collected all these messages of the heart. I started writing them on ceramic plaques because I was working in nursing homes and all those gals had kilns because they were making little dogs and Christmas trees and selling what their bazaars and the ladies taught me how to use clay.
[00:08:43] And so I started carving and making ceramic plaques. And before I knew it, I was selling them on the weekends at crafts fair and people wanted them. And this little business grew up. Making things that had meaning and that helped people connect my heart at a time.
[00:08:55] So that's kind of the way the story unfolded. Perfect.
[00:08:58] karen: Example of how you [00:09:00] take in something that is your passion and created. It's almost like you, we like to say, we talk about channeling a lot, but it's really, you're channeling this through your heart readily for other people, which is why I'm sure your business was so relatable and grew so fast.
[00:09:13] sandra: can I just ask a quick question? Just
[00:09:14] karen: take it back for a moment. I just have to ask you, do you remember the first time that you drew something and you felt it was good and it was something that inspired you to do more of it?
[00:09:25] sandra: I can remember several things drawing, and I thought, I just felt proud of myself. it, there was a sense of pride in my, mother and my grandmother lived with us. And so my mother was always very, very supportive. And I think that, as we talk about granting wishes down the road, the support is so invaluable. And, I was one of five girls or five daughters.
[00:09:43] So my parents, we had small house. My parents built a little two bedrooms in the basement for my twin sister and I, and we had like, I could've called a sitting area outside And I asked my mom if I could paint a mural and she was like, yes, you can.
[00:09:54] And so I was allowed to paint a mural on this wall, in our bedroom, and I [00:10:00] loved it. And I, felt so proud that I, it was a big picture for a little girl to paint, but it was there forever. I felt like I.
[00:10:08] Was a real artist. I can remember doing that. And then my grandmother taught us how to knit and crochet. And I remember as a very little girl knitting and making, blankets, and that made me feel really proud. the idea of manifesting with my hands, like something that I had done. this whole idea of completion and something coming from my head through my hands was always something that gave me great pleasure and pride, and I still don't think I'm the best artist.
[00:10:35] I know. I mean, I struggle all the time, but I try, I always say, perseverance is my superpower. I'm not the best in anything. I'm just passionate about it. And I try and I try and, I keep going and, I'll get letters from people or emails and things, and they'll be like, oh, I want to talk to you about an idea.
[00:10:51] I want to do something. I want to be just like you. And I'm like, no, no, no, you want to be just like, you. Everything that I've done has been a little step that led [00:11:00] to the next step to the next step. and then along the way, the path that I thought I was going to be on it, diverged in the woods, as, Robert Frost would say, because something else that I never would have thought of manifested at as result of the last thing.
[00:11:13] And I just had faith and belief that what's the worst thing that could happen. I've always, and I think most people would, if they really ask themselves this, there's very few things that have come into your life that you haven't been able to get through. So I always thought what's the worst that can happen.
[00:11:27] I'll get through that. And that's not right. I'll go to the next. And that kind of attitude was really generated by my mom and my grandmom, go for it. And then also
[00:11:35] robyn: even living through what you did from that accident, knowing that's pretty bad and you lived through it and you became stronger.
[00:11:42] Having that is going to help.
[00:11:44] sandra: And I find that a lot of people who tell me their stories often have these events in their life, like I've described to you, it's out a leg, something else happened, or they lost someone in their life that was so valuable. There's a perseverance and a continuation of trying that comes out of that survivor [00:12:00] story, And that's what came out of mine. I learned how to communicate actually from that and then, and realize so many of us need support and assistance in communicating and really saying what we most want to say, because at the end of the day, we just want to be connected. We just want to belong and we want to love.
[00:12:17] And so. All the work I do is about helping people find ways to belong even more closely to connect more tightly and to love more largely. I mean, that's really what I care about. That's, what my work is about. It's about love
[00:12:30] robyn: that. she is, she really is a quote a minute, which actually also leads to the similar question that you were also asking, which is, I remember working with Sandra when I was firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:12:44] We worked on several projects together. one of which I remember talking about something that we were going to work on. And Sandra said, I'll just come up with an idea or a quote for every day of the year. Like just herself. And I remember saying,
[00:12:58] sandra: what are you, are you sure? [00:13:00] And she said, oh, that's nothing.
[00:13:02] She literally was
[00:13:03] robyn: like, that's nothing. And so to your point, Karen, asking Sandra does it just comes like flows through you. Is that, would you consider that in some ways, channeling?
[00:13:12] sandra: Yeah. Yes. I just try to remain as open as I can to the universe and to spirit, I mean, I, before I do anything, I just, , hold my hands, open it.
[00:13:20] And I just say, make me an instrument, help me share what's most important. Whether I'm speaking to a group of kids or I'm speaking to book club, whatever it is, I want to be in service to help another human being. And however I can be that and I try to remain open. I think the thing that perseverance is definitely something that I think is a super power.
[00:13:40] I also think That at some point in my life, because I didn't use words well, I was a good listener and I think listening and honoring and hearing you can then I think your body and your spirits synthesizes what's matters the most. If you really listen with your heart. And so that's really what I try to do is slow down and just listen and then see how [00:14:00] I can be of service.
[00:14:00] that's what matters
[00:14:01] robyn: most to me. Well, and I want to point out to people listening that when you talk about having that headset on and being in school for almost a year, when you were recovering. you weren't able to see the other person we're talking about, literally being on the phone.
[00:14:16] karen: So glad you asked that question because I was trying to envision in my head what that was, tell them more about that.
[00:14:22] sandra: So
[00:14:23] robyn: that's quite being to me, you're in the listening. And then also being able to communicate. Something in a more visual way. So you see it probably in your mind's eye
[00:14:32] sandra: I think that really honed that ability. And I will tell you if I go to a poetry reading, I can't look at the poet reading. I have to close my eyes. I can't hear it until my eyes are closed because I'm so visual, zoom calls too. I feel like in many ways zoom calls have been, when I don't have the screen on, I can hear what that person says, because I'm not looking at them noticing how beautiful they are, the color of lipstick or what they're wearing, or what's in the background.
[00:14:57] I hear them. and I hear them, and there's a [00:15:00] listening where you really hear. But yeah, when I was a child, we had to just hear and then I made so many friends and then they would call after.
[00:15:07] And there was nothing to look at. It was just on the telephone with a headphone and they brought a special, , unit in to the house and we did. Talk. and then this was really fun. At the end of the year, they had a luncheon for those of us who were still there and who could make it to a luncheon.
[00:15:22] And it was so extraordinary. My mom and I went to meet the children that I had net, they, no one, I don't even think, I even thought about what they looked like, but it was just like this miracle of human beings that work try was trying to connect their voice to their face into their body. And that was really just fascinating.
[00:15:41] And and it was wonderful, I had known them so well and they had known me. We shared so much. in voice and in spirit
[00:15:50] robyn: and it's authentic, There's an authenticity because you remove some of those other layers.
[00:15:55] karen: it goes away, right? Yes. Really hearing them from the heart versus all the other [00:16:00] peripheral.
[00:16:00] sandra: What do you hear the soul? You hear who that person is without all the accoutrements, what they're wearing, where they live, you know, and what they look like.
[00:16:09] You don't have any of that. It's, who they are. it's the heart of it I think that's why podcasts are so good because you're not seeing people, you hear them. And you begin to understand the patterning of their thoughts and you build a relationship with that.
[00:16:22] There's an intimacy to it. Exactly. Yes. Well, so speaking of, so there you were, and I love how you were, when we were talking about how your business really came to be and how you had this thought that you really were going to take that degree in art therapy and work within institutions.
[00:16:41] And yet the universe had to do. Dream for you. It makes me think of the universe can dream a bigger dream than you can dream for yourself, which Oprah says, and really what you said that like one step in front of another, in front of another. So what happened from there? How did that then.
[00:16:57] sandra: Well, so, when my daughter was born [00:17:00] 33 years ago, and that year was really the year that I was really making these messages on ceramic plaques, going to junk shops, taking jewelry apart and beating them because I love that vintage feel
[00:17:10] and so I filled her, her nursery with all sorts of messages that, of course I wanted to share with my daughter. And then as my sisters came over, they would steal them and say, I want to give that to my friend. And my friend wants you to write one that says, in a world where you can be anything, be yourself or something that her grandmother used to say.
[00:17:26] And I was like, Okay. So I started making them, making them, I unplugged the dryer in the basement and plugged in a little kiln and started going. And before I knew it, the business, I was working full-time as an art therapist, I was having a new baby in the house. I was making pottery and didn't craft shows on the weekend.
[00:17:40] And I thought this is kind of it's a little too much. I don't think I can keep doing all of this. And I felt like the therapy work had extended beyond the walls of the hospital where I was. And I think this was maybe one of the experiences that, that helped me decide.
[00:17:56] And I think there are signs and messages that we all look for. And this [00:18:00] was one for me and my mom had a friend whose daughter had breast cancer. And my mom told me the story, this whole situation, and the mom asked me. On behalf of her daughter to make ceramic plaques that said certain things on them.
[00:18:12] And on the day that the daughter realized that she wasn't going to make it, the chemotherapy hadn't worked, she was going to pass. She had her mom bring all these plaques to the hospital and invited her friends and her sisters and her mom. And she gave them all the message that she wanted to leave with them as she passed.
[00:18:27] And so they were left with my work, from her heart that she would leave. And I realized that my work could have real meaning outside of the walls of the hospital and in the lives of human beings on a day-to-day basis. And so I started thinking about a business model that might work for me, that I could really share.
[00:18:46] things that people wanted to say that would bring wellness and and peace. And so I decided to do a gift show, a wholesale gift show, cause I didn't want to go. I'd already been doing that for months, going to craft shows on the weekends and then going to work on [00:19:00] Monday. And I did a craft show.
[00:19:01] My mom watched a baby and my husband and I carted our stuff up to Philadelphia to a wholesale shell. And It was like the universe had called every gallery that I'd ever wanted to be in, into my booth. We wrote orders all day long for plaques and plates and bowls and ceramics that had messages and images on them.
[00:19:19] And at one point, this has long before cell phones, I would found the payphone and I'm like, say to my mom, oh my God. She's like, how in the world are you ever going to make this stuff? And I had no idea. I really didn't know. I just thought, well, I making this relationships. People want them, I've got orders.
[00:19:35] So when we got back to Baltimore, my mom sat us down and my mom's really good at organizing still is. And we had an order form. So there were numbers on it. And she put them in order of when we took them and she goes, okay, you've got six months of work here. I think you can get in.
[00:19:48] So we started making the work and shipping it out, and then we got reorders and we're like, oh my goodness, where do we put the reorders? And then this is all in the living room of my house and the killings in the basement. So our whole house was a shipping, living room was [00:20:00] shipping. You know, we had kiln in the basement.
[00:20:02] We were packing, which is crazy. And so within months we realized that we had a business. So we. starting growing it to the next level, we ended up renting a bee farm that was an old dilapidated farm. but there was a bee that beekeepers had a warming room for the honey, and that's exactly what we needed because when we made our ceramic plaques, we slab them out, we cut them and then they needed to be in a warm space to dry.
[00:20:24] So it turned out to be the perfect place for us to grow our business. And we made business was called table tiles, cause we'd done some tables and then messages from the heart. And we worked with 3000 galleries all over the country and department stores. And in Japan we ship things and we had 13 employees, , nine or 10 kilns that ran 24 hours a day.
[00:20:44] And by that time I was doing the New York gift show. I was during the Atlanta show, we have a really big business and it was in the early. 19 90, 19 91, I tell you to where companies started looking at the American craft movement, which we were part of handmaking ceramics. [00:21:00] And everybody was buying in the USA by America.
[00:21:02] That was really huge. And gift companies that they could begin to license artists and have the work made in different parts of the world and could be more gift stores. hallmark and other, big gift stores, and there are a lot of independent stores and hospitals stores and all of that.
[00:21:16] So we were starting to be approached to license my images and my. In pottery for gift company. So the first company I licensed with was Sylvestri and then department 56, and some of those big, American gift companies, Lennox and at the same time, publishers were beginning to look at the work.
[00:21:34] And because my work was so poetry driven with the messages I was writing I was approached by publishing companies to begin to write books, gift books. And then, I had written a poem for when I was expecting my daughter. And it was, it was called. Welcome little one was the poem that I shared.
[00:21:51] That was a promise that I made to my unborn daughter. And it was how I, as a mother would follow her dreams, [00:22:00] help reach for the stars, be there no matter what. And that I would love her forever and always, and this book has just been like, The promise and the love letter that all mothers want to share with their, children.
[00:22:12] So the book is now done in so many different formats from board books to picture book fabric books. And it really has been the cornerstone of my publishing for children. And it really goes back to that whole idea of letting that person in your life, in this case, a child know that they belong, that they're loved and that you're there for them, you believe in them.
[00:22:30] And so it kind of grew from there at my children's publishing business. And now, as you say, we're over 60 books, created still going strong. My curiosity led me into developing formats that didn't exist before. Like I invented books with ears and using felt, calling heartfelt books that had textures and things that you go through and lift the flaps.
[00:22:49] And so I'm always developing new formats for books. And I work with Scholastic who does incredible board books, and they're called novelty board books. And next year we have a whole line of books coming out that [00:23:00] are like really groundbreaking in terms of taking a book and making it into an object that is so interactive that it helps with learning and connecting and experiencing and together time with family.
[00:23:11] So it kind of just went from there to there and Like everything. It's about relationships, so, whether you're talking about friendship or family or business, it's always about building authentic relationships with the partners that we work with. And I think that's the key to the success there creating and collaborating together. Well,
[00:23:29] karen: I see more to it though in you is that there's no ego in you at all.
[00:23:33] It totally all came from love because I'm listening to you tell all these stories about all these different products. how did you stay centered in who you were during that period of time when you were being asked to do all these different projects and pulled in so many different directions?
[00:23:47] sandra: Well, I always, say this now to, entrepreneurs and women and men who write me today, I asked them to write a mission statement.
[00:23:54] And that's what I did. Any work that I did was in the service of helping people connect [00:24:00] one heart at the time. That's my mission statement. And it doesn't matter if I'm baking bread to go to a friend's house. It doesn't matter if I'm designing a greeting card. It doesn't matter if I'm designing flowers or 1-800-FLOWERS.
[00:24:10] It doesn't matter if I'm designing fabric. Doesn't matter if I'm designing a book, it could be anything I do. I'm working on an Airbnb project and I want people to connect one heart at a time when they come and stay for a weekend and reconnect with their families or their friends. I design into that mission of helping people connect one heart at a time.
[00:24:29] So there is no modality. There is no way to do that. That's off the table. I mean, anything would work if it's authentic and I can use it in the service of connecting people one heart at a time. I also had. A really great infrastructure in my, life. As I share with you, my mom was there from day one, helping me.
[00:24:48] She had the first computer in our family. We're talking 33 years ago. Mom was able to do our invoicing and keep me straight in the calendar. My husband was very supportive.
[00:24:57] was able to drive our daughter to school in the morning and pick [00:25:00] her up and do the shipping in the middle of the day while I was, running around doing this. My twin sister at the same time was building a business. So we really talked a lot about best practices. we worked on getting professionals to support us, and then we hired an accountant and someone who also was a business strategist.
[00:25:16] And I went and talked to people, when I started working with Scholastic, I had a meeting with the then publisher Barbara Marcus because she really was mentoring women and really wanted to help and, asked her what she thought my next step should be. So I've been a seeker as well.
[00:25:30] You know, I love that you guys use that word and that's really the heart of what you do, because I think I firmly believe that. People are there to help, but first you have to ask and you have to know what you need help with. So every step of the way as I needed help, I sought out someone who I thought could help me.
[00:25:47] And, even as Robin was sharing, my work got to a place where I was writing and, I'd done a book called living artfully. So it was talking about the way that people could really express who they are in their own unique way, which is [00:26:00] artful in whatever way they express themselves creatively to connect more closely.
[00:26:04] And that led us to work together with Oprah and writing for oprah.com to really. Magnify the work that I was doing to get that out there, I didn't know how to get that message out. And then, you know, talking with Robin, she's like, well, this might be a way we know you could write in that way.
[00:26:20] And I'm like I'd love to write in that way and we reached, I don't even know how many people were reached at so many people in that way. And we did a PBS show came out of that, about living. So really just asking the questions and following that passion will take you to the next place, sadly, I can't tell you how many people who have written me over the years.
[00:26:38] I had this great idea and want to do it. I'm like, great. What's the idea. And so they tell me the idea. I'm like, well, have you done it? if it's a book, have you written the book? Oh, no, I haven't written the book yet, but it's really going to be a great book. And I'm going to write that book I'm like, great.
[00:26:50] Write the book because you have to take, the idea is just the idea, which is where everything starts and you just gotta be passionate. It has to be an idea, but so [00:27:00] often. People don't take that next step, which is to manifest that piece, even if it's written on a piece of paper and then it was written on a piece of paper, then what's the next step.
[00:27:08] Then maybe you go to a company like blurb, or you do some kind of a self-published piece. You can see what that book looks like. You have to walk the piece, it has to be born so that other people can help it to grow. So often we keep the idea inside germinating, but it's never born. And I always say, give birth to that idea, manifest a physical object in whatever way you can, so we can then see it and it can then grow in the world and it will be supported by people.
[00:27:36] So like in a lot of things to birth in that way. You're speaking to two people who
[00:27:41] karen: say the same
[00:27:41] sandra: things all the
[00:27:42] karen: time, and it is it's scary, And mean putting things physically in a physical form from your head or your heart out to the wall. This is a scary thing to do, but you're right as Robin.
[00:27:51] And I
[00:27:51] sandra: learned
[00:27:52] karen: it once you do it, it, then it even evolves from there.
[00:27:55] robyn: So
[00:27:56] sandra: imagine you can imagine, and it can continue to grow inside of [00:28:00] you. You can keep deepening and understanding the idea and exploring it. And that's beautiful, but it comes a time like a baby that it won't grow anymore.
[00:28:08] There, it has to come into the world. and then it will continue to grow in that way as you nurture it and give it things that it needs to really be able to develop to its full potential.
[00:28:19] robyn: Well, and so speaking of ideas, where did the idea for your latest book come to be? Where did this idea and this book and campaign around.
[00:28:29] sandra: I wrote this poem about three years ago before COVID, and I had been really thinking a lot about the state of children in the world and reading all too much about the increase suicides and children the increase in anxiety and depression dysfunction, the increase of families who are separating and children really feeling abandoned.
[00:28:50] And, I just really have been spending a lot of time thinking. About children and what their needs were globally. within my own community and the world, and certainly within, even in [00:29:00] my own family. And so I wrote this poem, as I always say the good ones. You don't even remember. They just fall out.
[00:29:07] I love Elizabeth Gilbert when she spent a lot of time talking about where does. This creative work come from, how does it come to you? And there are times where it just flows through me.
[00:29:17] And I just started peddling around and writing, and this poem literally fell out of me called I wish, wish wish for you. And it certainly was a wish for my own daughter and a wish for the children and my community and, and as much as it was that it was also the wishes for children all over the world for every child to have these wishes granted.
[00:29:35] So I wrote the poem and they shared it with my publishing company and they. Right away. Yes, let's publish this. And so we spent some time talking about the illustrations of the book and I really wanted it to represent, I wanted any child from all over the world and one of them to be able to look and see themselves in the imagery.
[00:29:51] And if you know, my work, my work is very graphic. I really wanted it to be a little more representational than the way I drew.
[00:29:57] So our publishing company was able to [00:30:00] find a young illustrator would never. Made a book before. So we were able to work with her and grant her wish to have her first children's book illustrated. So she I thought did a beautiful job, really representing so many different kinds of children.
[00:30:14] there's a child who's missing a leg in the book. There's a child who's, you know, who has a prosthetic, there's a child in a wheelchair. There's children of every skin color. This children are very size and shape. And that's really what we wanted to have it be broadly representative of many, many, many children.
[00:30:28] So they could see themselves in that.
[00:30:29] robyn: Wow. Well, I know you're going to read the poem for us. You read that and then I want to talk more about wishes because I walked away from our last conversation, learning about wishes the history of wishes, and I'd never known. So first let's listen
[00:30:42] sandra: All right. I wish, wish wish for you. I believe that wishes really do come true. So here's what I wish, wish wish for you. I wish that you find beauty in ordinary things like the sunrise, the mountains and butterfly wings. I wish that you laugh and laugh and laugh out loud and that you [00:31:00] know how it feels to feel really proud.
[00:31:03] I wish that when you look at the stars that glow and twinkle at night you'll know that you're a part of it all and you to shine bright. I wish that you will always know that on the other side of sad, there are many more moments when you will feel glad. I wish that your adventures take you far and wide and that you never pass up a wild and fun ride.
[00:31:24] I wish that you try many things that are new and that you learn. There's nothing you can't do. I wish you way more do's and don'ts and lots more. I wills then I won't, I wish that your dreams take you very far and that you always stay true to who you are. I wish that you make friends who believe in you and that you're a good friend to them too.
[00:31:44] I wish that lots of sunshine and smiles fill each day. And when it rains, you look for rainbows as you play. I wish that you come to know that kindness is always the best choice and that you always speak from your heart when you use your voice. I wish [00:32:00] that you see the strengths in people who are different than you, and that you stand up for equality, fairness, and justice too.
[00:32:07] I wish you everything. And so much more. I wish you all the beauty that life has in store, but most of all, the biggest wish that I wish wish wish for you is that, you know, I will love you always and forever too.
[00:32:20] It's like the message from
[00:32:21] karen: your soul to you, like a thinking it's like if your higher self where your soul could actually speak to you,
[00:32:27] sandra: yes, I want every person young or old, young at heart, to know these things about themselves. I think there are universal truths and I wish it for every person on the planet.
[00:32:37] robyn: it is so beautiful. Actually hearing you read it out loud I think it's energy There's a frequency from those words that comes through and it just, it does reach you really at the core of
[00:32:49] sandra: your soul. Well, it's so funny, I have absolutely zero.
[00:32:53] I probably minus zero talent when it comes to singing, but music is one of those things that moved me, like [00:33:00] nothing else in terms of frequency and feeling. And I've been listening, this morning with love can build a bridge by the Judds, since she passed away this weekend.
[00:33:07] And I just, that song has just touched me so much today and I would love to set these words to music because I think. It would be in terms of really touching the heart again, another way another modality to do that, because there is something I think about the melodic tone of the poem, that would be just really beautiful set to music.
[00:33:27] So that's my wish be able to move that into music. Cause I think it really is. Frequency and would be beautiful to do that
[00:33:33] robyn: well. And people don't realize that you are actually sitting in a music room by
[00:33:37] sandra: the way. So talk about what you're manifesting and wishing to
[00:33:42] robyn: the world. Can we just
[00:33:43] sandra: point that out?
[00:33:44] I love music so much and it moves me and I celebrate it and I listened to it all the time and I just, it fills my life yet. I have no talent. As I've shared in about three years ago, we were able to buy. In Vermont, where a music room was [00:34:00] the cornerstone of a music room built in 1907. It was moved here in 1931.
[00:34:05] And it's this beautiful old structure. And it was moved here because of two women who happened to fall in love. And their family said, we love you guys. But our church said, we can't have you live on our property. So we'll move the music room up the street because both of them were music musicians. So we now live in this space that is really celebrating love and celebrating music.
[00:34:26] So I
[00:34:26] robyn: have a feeling that your poem will be set to music
[00:34:31] sandra: itself. Ms. Dolly Parton of your listening. I think fabulous. maybe there's a group of children That'd be amazing. Oh my God. That would be amazing.
[00:34:41] I would love that. Love, love, love. So what happened as I started sharing this book children would say to me, as I read to them, well, I love those wishes, but I've got other wishes. You know, I've got something to share and they started sharing their wishes. So as this sort of started the snowball, we came up with this campaign called the world of wishes campaign, where I will go [00:35:00] on tour as always sharing the book.
[00:35:02] But. Asking kids to share their wishes with me. So I've been on a zoom tour. I'm in west Africa, I've been in Ghana and Malawi and Uganda. I've been Costa Rica Puerto Rico. I've been all over the country. And I just came back from a week in Denver, where I met with 700 students and lots of independent bookstores and have been collecting wishes.
[00:35:24] So we've collected thousands of wishes to date and what I share with the kids and the why I think this matters so much is that these wishes are the wishes of I think most people in the world for children and for people in the world, but, I'm, getting down the road now, and I think that the next generation, the kids are really the future.
[00:35:42] They are the change makers. They are who we need to be listening to really make the map of where we're going to be going. And I think what I've tried to do is share with kids that what they wish for and what they think is missing in the world and what they desire and what they see needs to be resolved is where we need to listen as [00:36:00] adults and we need to listen as leaders.
[00:36:01] We need to listen as countries and I think their wishes matter more than ever. So I've asked them to really focus on what they think the world needs and to create wishes that way. And then we've given them the four steps, which sort of talk about how to make these wishes, how to manifest them.
[00:36:16] And certainly there's Magical thinking, continuing throughout it, but there's also a practicality of making a wish come true. And we looked at lots of kids in the world who have done that. Like Gretta Thunberg was somebody that we talked about this week. And, she was a young woman in junior high, high school who really believed that her country needed to pay attention to climate change and they needed sustainability or school needed sustainability practices.
[00:36:40] And she really put into play. She studied it. She made the wish that she wanted to make the world a better place. She believed in her wish, which is number one, making the wishes the first step number two, believing in your wish and believing in herself as number two, number three. Is asking for the ability to study and to learn and to know what it is that you [00:37:00] really want to wish for and the curiosity and the expansion, and really learning about it.
[00:37:04] And she did that very well. She studied, intently on the real facts of what's happening on the planet. And the fourth is to ask for support and she has, she's asked from her. Countries she's asked for her school. She's asked for the United nations in 2019, she went to the United nations and said, we need every single leader in the world to come together and do something.
[00:37:24] And she said, the children of the world are watching you, we will help, but you cannot leave the. To us like this. So those four steps, we see them over and over again, you can apply it to almost any of the wish that you go out there. And as we discussed at school, wishes, aren't always granted exactly the way that you put them out there as is your journey in exactly the way you put it out there, but putting it out in the world, recognizing it, owning it, letting other people hear it is so important and believing in it.
[00:37:53] And that's really what this whole project is about is collecting the wishes and we're sharing them. We are making videos of all these [00:38:00] wishes they're going out, through tons of social media channels are going out through the schools are going out through newsletters are going out all over the world in an effort to really say that.
[00:38:09] They matter. And to really identify what kids are saying or the things that have to be changed on our planet and the things that they wish for. I always say that a wish is hope in action because the wish will allow that hope to be manifested. And we all look at it. And one of the great things in the Robin was talking about this cause it, it caused me to really research, which is I thought, who the world started wishing on our whole planet, where did we start wishing, like where did that come from?
[00:38:33] Because which is different than a prayer, that's different than a dream. And as I did my research, I uncovered that you can go back 2000 years to the ancient Greeks and they were really. the inventor, the manifestors of wishes because they spoke to their gods and goddesses.
[00:38:49] And what they were looking for was a way to communicate and connect to the gods that lived way up high, Mount Olympus and other places. And so the first wish the [00:39:00] way they wished was to figure out a way to communicate from the mortals on earth, to the gods up high. So the goddess Artemis is the goddess of the moon.
[00:39:07] So they would bake. In the shape of a round moon and white icing and a candle, and they would make the wish and then blow the candle out, allowing the smoke to be the venue and the vehicle to take the wish up to the goddess Artemis. And of course we do that every year on our birthday, we have a round cake with a candle.
[00:39:25] And so many of us have been wishing to the goddess Artemis without even knowing it for many, many years, but that smoke being the venue to carry it up into the heavens to the gods
[00:39:35] karen: I never even thought that that's what
[00:39:38] robyn: I said to Sandra. Last time we talked,
[00:39:40] karen: it's fascinating.
[00:39:41] sandra: did we not know that? And there are many ways, you think about all the ways that have been identified to wish upon. We wish upon a shooting star shooting stores. Another one of those that connects from one place to another, a rainbow connects from one place to another, a wishing, well, you throw a coin and it takes the coin somewhere.
[00:39:57] An eyelash, you blow it off of your [00:40:00] cheek, into the wind dandelion seed. You blow the seeds into the wind to be dispersed into the universe. So all of those are metaphors and symbols about letting the wish out of your heart, into the world. So by just simply making the wish and believing in it, it sets off that universal chain to carry it out into the universe
[00:40:19] robyn: how would somebody participate in this world of wishes campaign?
[00:40:24] sandra: So anybody can young or young at heart. I mean it, anyone can participate and if you go onto our website, there's a wishes page, right. At the top of the first page and just scroll down and there's a paper in there that talks about it.
[00:40:36] You can draw your wish there and right. I wish for, and whatever it is, we'd like to have the wish written on the picture of the piece of art. And then we will share it with folks. And I ask people before they make the wish to sit and give yourself 30 seconds, 60 seconds of time, just to check in with yourself, close your eyes and just ask yourself, what do I wish for and what bubbles up.
[00:40:58] I think is [00:41:00] really the answer that is most important for today. And honor that honor your space on your time, honored sitting with yourself and seeing what really, comes up and then share it,
[00:41:10] robyn: believe it,
[00:41:10] sandra: the kids in Uganda, this one young girl said I wish to have. Best orphanage in Uganda. That's amazing. Why would you want to best support vintage in Uganda? She said, well, I didn't have parents. I was orphaned and I lived in an orphanage my whole life and it was not good.
[00:41:24] Now I want to make an orphanage when love and play and kindness is, how we raise children. So that's what I want to do. So she is now studying. I talked with some of the teachers that's her wish. So this organization that I was working with is helping her to really understand what are those structures, what has to happen?
[00:41:41] how can you actually build an orphanage? And isn't an orphanage that you build or does she, is she first able to foster children? Like what are the practical steps? And that's why you need the support. you do the research, understand what it is, and then get the support to be able to manifest.
[00:41:55] Yeah. Cause it's
[00:41:56] robyn: adding that energy
[00:41:57] sandra: to yes, yes. Yeah. And in all [00:42:00] the schools that I'm in, I always ask the children when we get to the support step, turn to your neighbor, if you will, if you'll make the promise and tell them that you're going to help them make that wish come true. So all the kids, I haven't seen any, not turn to their neighbor or many neighbors.
[00:42:12] It's always a fun time to get 700 students to stop talking after they started talking. And they're like, yeah, I'll help you. That's a great wish I'm going to help you with that. Yeah, I'll do it. What Ms. Support you and then the teachers support them and their family supports principal supports it. And then before, you know, it.
[00:42:27] wishes being granted.
[00:42:28] karen: Yeah.
[00:42:29] robyn: Well, and if adults could remember that too, and you may not be in a classroom setting, but we now all have the ability to ask for support in other ways.
[00:42:37] sandra: So like for the example of, like maybe there's someone who's feeling really lonely and they wished that they don't feel lonely and they can, can share their wish and maybe the, it's sharing the wish, believing in the wish.
[00:42:48] And the third step is doing the research. Maybe they could see, is there a club in the neighborhood? Is there something that I could belong to? Is there something that I want to do that I haven't done before, but then that supportive, you can ask somebody to support you to help [00:43:00] you then right there, you're no longer alone.
[00:43:02] karen: back to where we started. Right. Which is like where two or more put their energy gives them much more power to manifest.
[00:43:08] sandra: Absolutely. Yes. Yeah. And it's just about sharing and connecting. It's always about connecting and belonging,
[00:43:14] robyn: Thank you for following
[00:43:15] sandra: your heart and your passion.
[00:43:18] Well, I didn't know what else to do. it's not extraordinary. it really just is what's essential, to really, again, live with love and believing that we're not promised tomorrow. it's one heartbeat at a time, It's just being who we are, each one of us and honoring yourself and believing in yourself that you matter in you can make a difference and not in huge big ways. And just the littlest ways of saying hello to someone or acknowledging them or smiling with the grocery store. we're not talking about big steps.
[00:43:46] It's just really being yourself and connecting with other people on the planet. we're all in this together. Could not agree
[00:43:52] robyn: more.
[00:43:53] karen: I love
[00:43:53] sandra: it because it's so simple. done simple.
[00:43:56] That's the thing it's, I mean, people, there's nothing [00:44:00] complicated about this way to live. It's in fact, the more I can strip it down from the nonsense, the happier that I am, it's really not, it's not complicated. It's just really to be you, Well, and that's what,
[00:44:13] robyn: even your whole journey.
[00:44:15] I mean, when you look at it that way, that's what you've done
[00:44:18] sandra: And it's the same thing. Connect one heart and time me connect one heart at a time. And it doesn't matter who it is. It could be with my daughter, it could be with my husband. It could be, with my neighbors and it could be in business.
[00:44:29] And then how do you do it? Well with my family, sometimes it's cooking. Sometimes it's doing a garden, with work. Sometimes it's books, sometimes it's cards, sometimes it's fabric. Sometimes it's speaking at a conference, it's just, once you get that mission, once, what. You value and for me, I struggled so much to connect as a kid.
[00:44:48] I couldn't say what I wanted to say, but once I knew that connecting to another person, that's where I felt alive. That's where I knew something mattered in the world. Then I could just keep [00:45:00] doing it in different ways. and that's the fun part because there's so many, ways to do it's infinite, in terms of how do you connect,
[00:45:06] robyn: Yeah. And you live it. I mean, you live it every day. And I love what you said that, no day is promised. And so if you're speaking from the heart so that those messages and you're connecting each day, then you can go to bed. feeling said everything you needed to say, you've done everything you needed to do.
[00:45:23] And then hopefully you get another day on this, something magnificent. And magnificent. Can be connecting to one other person that's magnificent. Right. But if you don't, you did it.
[00:45:33] sandra: Yeah. there's, it kind of is like this it's a continuing cycle, but then what's so beautiful.
[00:45:38] Is that you have these experiences and this magic that happens that you don't even know because as long as you agree that you're going to go out and connect, you don't know who you're going to connect with or what their story is.
[00:45:48] And I think being present, like again, back to listening, I think, I hope that when kids read my books, I'm talking to them directly.
[00:45:55] And then when I go into a school, they know that I've listened to them, when they [00:46:00] come back and talk to me about what was in the story, they're like, oh, how did you know that? How did you, they, there's a connection made. And I think that's really so important, because as I said, we all want to be connected.
[00:46:10] We all want to love, we all want to be loved. I mean, it's universal, it's not, I mean, we can be defensive and we can be cool and we can put up our walls. But at the end of the day, nobody really wants to hold a wall up. We all want to connect to one another, we really do,
[00:46:22] robyn: well, we're grateful that we get to help spread this world of wishes campaign and tell people about your journey and share your mission because it really is a universal mission, And so thank you for putting this out in the world and continuing to put it out.
[00:46:39] No matter the modality, I can't wait to hear this song. That's going to come
[00:46:43] sandra: out of testing that. Oh gosh. Well, it's been a real gift to be with both of you and I'm so excited about your journey and every time I get the email from you guys, I'm so right on it. I love everything I have listened to and learned [00:47:00] so much.
[00:47:00] And I still have a bag in the freezer with the things I want to, from your first podcast of the scene that I wanted to like put away on a free. We hope it helped you. We hope it made a difference.
[00:47:15] I love that kind of physical moving forward and consciously identifying those things. I wanted to stop and freeze in my life. It was really good.
[00:47:23] it was very cognitive and very concrete. And I liked that. I like really identifying those things and doing something with them. Empowering without inflicting anything on anyone else.
[00:47:33] robyn: I can take my power back. Yes. Well, we are excited to be on the journey with you and to connect our hearts together today and really put out love.
[00:47:43] And piece into everybody's hearts that are listening
[00:47:46] sandra: today. love that. I think that's really the goal of, everybody. So we'll do it together and bigger and bigger.
[00:47:52] karen: I am
[00:47:53] sandra: so
[00:47:53] robyn: excited that Karen got to actually meet you so
[00:47:56] sandra: much and
[00:47:57] karen: it's just, I'm never disappointed meeting a friend [00:48:00] of Robin's, I can just feel your warmth and your authenticity. And it's just
[00:48:05] robyn: such an honor And you really are a mentor and thank you for doing everything that you have done and are doing, as two women who are entrepreneurs now.
[00:48:13] We get to look and see what you have done. That just in itself is so helpful.
[00:48:18] sandra: And it is step by step, and just taking it piece by piece and just making sure that you stay true to that mission. Yeah. And
[00:48:25] robyn: everybody should do that. I think we do that in business, which we have done, but really we all should have our own personal mission statement.
[00:48:32] I think that
[00:48:33] sandra: is Everything comes back to it.
[00:48:34] Well, thank you girls so much. I'm so, so grateful and I've loved this time together. I hate saying goodbye.
[00:48:40] Thank you. My pleasure.
[00:48:42] robyn: Love you.
[00:48:43] Thank you, Sandra. We are so grateful. We were able to talk to you and help start to spread the world of wishes campaign. For those of you that want to find out more about Sandra for books and products, and specifically her world of wishes campaign, you can visit Sandra [00:49:00] magsamen That's spelled S a N D R a M a G S a M E n.com.
[00:49:08] Sandra sandra magsamen.com you can also follow Sandra on social, on Facebook at sandramagsamenstudio and on Instagram at Sandra magsamen I am so fortunate that I get to do this today. love you. Thank you.