Posts Tagged: Thea Satrom

Probituary: A notice of life! Sigrid Peterson

Sigrid Peterson, 95 – birthday March 11

Interviewed by granddaughters Thea Satrom & Tatum Schilling

TatumTheaSonjaGrandmaOur grandmother is the most loving and kind woman, and she is one of our greatest blessings. Her spirit is a bright light in our lives and the lives of countless others, and we did this interview to honor her and all that she is. It was a joy to learn more about her wonderful history, and our mother, Sonja – grandma’s sixth-born – and her six other children: Beth (Betty Ann), David, Rick (1952-2013), Connie, June, and Lyle. As she always says, “ingenting å takke meg for.” (Nothing to thank me for.)

What’s some of the best advice you can give?

You learn something everyday. And if you don’t you’re not listening.

Thea’s note: Grandmas advice to me before I left for yoga training, “Oh honey, just have a wonderful time and forget all your troubles because they’ll still be here when you return.”

Can you tell me about one of the people who has been kindest to you in your life?

Oh, my no. I can’t pick one.

You can pick a few.

There’s so many, honey. I really can’t pick one because they’ve all been so wonderful.

Grandma_LiftingUpIs it your children?

Yes, yup.

You don’t have to pick one; that’s okay.

Okay, that’s better because they’re all wonderful.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A soloist or professional singer. I spent one year at Concordia College for music. And my daughter, Sonja, and son, Lyle, also went to and graduated from Concordia.

What work did you do as an adult?

I worked at Luther College helping translate the Decorah Postan for about two and a half years and, when the grant ran out, I needed to continue working. So I moved up to the Cities to work with Mrs. Anderson of Anderson Windows, who needed a cook and companion. I worked with her for about 10 years, and then I retired.

What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

Be truthful. And always be helpful, if you can. My mother was helpful. I think I’m kind of taking after her. And maybe doing some things myself that I know I need to do.

GrandmaPastCan you describe one of your happiest memories?

Well, vividly, I could. That is when Gordon (grandma’s first husband) came back from the service. Then it was just Betty Ann and I. When I hugged daddy, why, she hugged daddy. “I hugged daddy, too.” And everything that I did she had to do, too. It was a joyful life even if it had been a long, long trail.

EagleWatchingWhat’s one of your favorite things to do?

I enjoy watching the birds and taking Ole (her pushcart) for walks around the neighborhood. I love to move. It’s wonderful to stretch and have good posture. I am always working on it.

What are you proudest of?

My seven children. Yes, really. There could be lots and lots more hardship but yes, we all go through it. I was blessed with wonderful children and wonderful people that I could live with.

What is one of your favorite features of where you live now (with daughter, Sonja, and son-in-law Harlan Satrom)?

Oh, I enjoy being around family. We have dinner together with the family and we converse about our daily lives. When you get to be this age, life can slow down quite a bit, but we can still be grateful and enjoy life anyway.

How would you like to be remembered?

Well, that I showed my kindness and my happiness toward all.

How to Meditate: Some Tips!


By Thea Satrom LMT & Certified Zone Therapist • Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

Become present, calm, and inspired. Begin meditating for 5-10 minutes today!

KEY QUESTION:  Why do you want to meditate? Do you want less stress? Less worry? More focus? Sometimes the day goes by, and we realize we didn’t take any time for ourselves at all! Write down your meditation goal. It’ll be the driving force when things get rough or you fall off the meditation wagon.

First, let me say this: Meditation can be difficult. It isn’t like exercise where you can see and feel results immediately. It can be hard to see progress or to justify “simply sitting.” And yet, the brain is a muscle we can train. Britta Hölzel, PhD, one of the leading researchers of mindfulness meditation, says: “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.”

Step 1: Choose a time of day to sit for 5-15 minutes. This could be in the morning after a nice cup of tea or coffee, during a break in the day, or even before bedtime. It is helpful to choose the SAME time of day to meditate.

Step 2: Find the right space to sit. A quiet space, free from distractions, is preferred.  Dim the lights or sit in darkness, if you can. Sometimes lighting a candle can also help calm and focus the mind.

Step 3: Get comfortable! It is best to keep your spine straight as the mind becomes easily distracted. Find a few blankets or a cushion to sit on in simple cross-legged position on the floor. If this isn’t comfortable, you could try sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor or lying down on the floor. However you can get comfortable, a straight spine is ideal. Make sure to note what relaxes you most – music/no music, special scents, warm or cool – every person is different.

Step 4: Focus on your breath. Begin breathing in and out through your nose. Notice how your body feels and become aware of your thoughts. Then, bring your attention to the breath. Bringing your attention to the breath connects us to our bodies and helps us become present.

Meditation #1

Begin to count your exhalations. Inhale and on your first exhalation, internally say “one”.  Inhale again and on your second exhalation, internally say “two”. Notice that the “monkey mind” may have already brought you back to your work or the stress percolating or all the way to your dream vacation in Fiji. If your mind wanders, start back at “one.”  See if you can get to “five” the first time around. This is surpisingly easier said than done. Our minds love to wander as they have not been trained to relax and be still.  Practice this for a few days and see if you can get up to “ten.”

Meditation #2:

Envision your spine as a hollow tube. As you inhale, imagine a cold blue wave coming from the bottom of your feet to fill your spine up to the crown of your head. Once you reach the top of your head, on your exhalation, envision a warm red light coming down all the way to your feet. Repeat this for 5-10 minutes depending on how much time you have. Take a few breaths through your nose again and check in. How is your body/mind?

Notice some days are easier than others. Be gentle. This is for you. No one else knows what’s going on inside your brain so be content with your progress whatever it might be. It can be incredibly frustrating, but try to bring your attention back to the breath. It takes discipline and determination, but once we can drop the baggage and simply be, this process will lead to peace of mind.

Step 5: Stretch. Stretching before or after meditation brings better results. It is important to be comfortable when you sit.

Step 6:  Get a meditation book or attend a class. There are many different styles of meditation: mindfulness, transcendental, Zen, Kriya, and Buddhist Meditation, to name a few. Experiment with different styles to see what resonates with you. I found it easiest, at first, to be guided through the meditation practice. After attending various meditation classes, I discovered the style that resonated best for me, and you will too!


Thea began Vedic meditation in 2001. In 2005 she attended Naropa University, an accredited Buddhist University where she was introduced to Mahayana Buddhism. Shortly after, traveling to New Zealand, she studied Iyengar yoga and Zen meditation with a former Zen monk. In 2009 Thea was initiated into Kriya meditation in Seattle, Washington and was fortunate to travel to India with her mother last March to study Kriya from Gurunath Yogiraj Siddhanath at his ashram in Pune.

Thea and her mother, Sonja Satrom, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and seasoned meditator, currently offer ongoing meditation classes in Decorah. They invite you to come and learn simple, effective breathing and meditation techniques during a 7-week meditation series. (at 402 Upper Broadway in Decorah) Please call or e-mail Thea Satrom 303-913-6326 to register.

Or check out other meditation classes in the area here!