Sandra Valks: Unapologetic From Great Depression to Great Expression

Stretching across continents and impacting millions of lives, the Great Depression shifted humanity into a new era of reflection and re-evaluation. It forced governments, economists, and policymakers to confront the shortcomings of existing economic systems and re-examine long-held beliefs.

The lasting impact of the Great Depression reverberated through generations, shaping the way we understand and navigate the complex world of finance, trade, and governance. Lessons learned from this era of turmoil laid the groundwork for the development of more resilient and adaptable economic institutions, paving the way for future generations to face economic challenges with greater preparedness and insight.

As we look back on the longest and most severe depression in the history of the industrialized Western world, we recognize its enduring influence on our economic landscape. The Great Depression stands as a reminder of the power of adversity to incite change, to challenge prevailing notions, and to push societies to strive for greater economic stability and equity.

The impact of the Great Depression and the struggles it brought were deeply ingrained in the fabric of everyday life for decades. We invited Sandra Valks, a seasoned financial manager from Canada to take us on her Memory Lane and explore the impact on her mindset as an adult.

As a child, Sandra absorbed the unspoken burdens and expectations carried by her parents and their ancestors. The weight of duty, resilience, and the necessity to work hard shaped her worldview from an early age.

As the years unfolded, Sandra’s fiery spirit led her on a winding journey of self-discovery. She harnessed her background in Finance and melded it with her passion for effective communication and Toastmasters, forging a unique path of her own. Through decades of diverse experiences, she mastered the art of self-expression, inspiring others to unlock their own inner greatness.

In this interview, we looked at Sandra’s story as a testament to the resilience and unwavering spirit that can thrive even in the most challenging of times. From her farm days during the Great Depression to her illustrious career as a Financial Planner, Toastmaster, singing waitress, and elementary school teacher, Sandra’s life unfolds as a vibrant vault of triumphs, setbacks, and profound self-reflection.

Her journey serves as a powerful reminder that our individual stories have the power to inspire, uplift, and transform, no matter the circumstances we come from. Prepare to be inspired by Sandra Valks—her resilience, her courage, and her unwavering commitment to great expression. As we only uncover the first chapter of her extraordinary life, her childhood, we will be reminded that within each of us lies the power to rise above our circumstances and craft a life of purpose, passion, and profound self-expression.

brown field near tree during daytime

Sandra takes us all the way to her childhood, when “children never felt poor”.

“Our community also had a little one-room country school – same one my Daddy went to! As I think of it, our home was the same one Dad was born in! The school house all 8 grades in rows of desks and would be usually 26 to 29 children. When it was bursting at the seams, I believe we reached maybe 36 children. And we were blessed with brilliant teachers who made sure our education included stage plays, parties, social gatherings, nature outings…”

She remembers her childhood as a time when vegetables did not come from the supermarket and children had to bring the cows home from the fields and milk the cows. “It was a healthy life with sunshine, rain, snow and even ice on our windows during those bitter months. Farm life was busy. Money was scarce but food and sunshine was abundant. Our meat was on the hoof, in the pig pens, in the turkey slatted pens and in the hen houses with the eggs. Our vegetables came from our own ground. The milk was picked up and our butter was delivered.

As children, we had to bring the cows from the fields, milk the cows, clean the stables, put calves on the cows if we weren’t milking, slop the pigs, collect the eggs, water the horses, weed the gardens, and slide on cardboard boxes down the snowbanks!”

Growing up, Sandra witnessed the strength and resourcefulness of her parents and the community that surrounded her family. Her parents ability to make the most out of limited resources instilled in her a sense of frugality and gratitude. “We may not have had lavish possessions, but we had each other and a connection to the land that sustained us.”

As I listen to her story I could see her mother in the kitchen, testing her creativity every day, just to make sure her children know they are loved.

“Mother was brilliant with her quick mind in making work into a game. The old kitchen tiles would be scrubbed and covered with paste wax. Then she’d give us big towels and blankets as our magic carpets, so that we could chase each other across the floor, squealing and shouting, until that floor sparkled and shone! “

Her childhood was nothing short of miracles and a new fridge was the best Christmas gift.

“I smile and chuckle as I remember being allowed to just run in the rain and jump in the puddles. I don’t remember little swimsuits – too fancy I think – but probably just underwear and bare feet! Splashing and squealing – but never in a thunderstorm… Shortage of cash would show up when we would celebrate a new fridge for Christmas as a presents for all of us. Or I remember another Christmas that Mom prepared our turkey in the night, crying quietly because there were no presents for the children, and when we awoke, guess what! We had new kitchen chairs! And each chair had a name on the bottom… a new chair for each of us. We guarded our personal chairs for the next 6 months, I’m sure. We thought that was exciting!”

a well in the middle of a grassy field

While her childhood was filled with simple joys and a strong sense of community, there were subtle messages that seeped into her consciousness. The need to conform, to fit into predefined roles, and to suppress certain aspects of her true self became ingrained. She felt the pressure to live up to the expectations of others, to be what she believed they wanted her to be.

“So with such a joyful childhood, why on earth have I spent all these decades trapped inside the ‘Impostor Syndrome’?”

Through the years, Sandra discovered the power of her voice through singing and public speaking. These gifts that she nurtured to mastery allowed her to express herself authentically, despite the lingering fear of success, resurfacing from the depths of her being, when she least expected. The gratitude from fellow men, the accolades and recognition from institutions and corporations she received felt both validating and fleeting.

“On the surface, I look like a grand success! Sometimes I even FEEL like a grand success! But the truth is, that much of the time, I feel like I’m swimming and floating around in this huge space, wondering which thread I should latch onto, in order to find my way to some harbour where I can tie myself and BE.”

Despite these internal struggles, Sandra Valks remains steadfast in her commitment to embracing her true self and sharing her authentic voice with the world. Her story if fuelled by compassion the power of resilience while navigating the complex landscape of self-expression and the courage to confront the shadows that occasionally clouded her path, one challenge at a time. Through the many storms she has weathered, Sandra always remembered that She is “the sky, everything else is just weather.

people in conference

About Sandra Valks

Sandra Valks is a seasoned professional who has earned her freedom and unapologetic self-expression through a lifetime of diverse lived experiences. With a background in Finance and a passion for all things Communication and Toastmasters, she has merged these worlds seamlessly to create a unique path in her 7th decade of life.

As a Communication Specialist, Sandra embraces her calling to empower others in becoming effective communicators and guides them through the complexities of both financial matters and emotional well-being. Drawing from her extensive knowledge in Finance and her natural ability to connect with people, she excels in unpacking the intricacies of money management while nurturing personal growth.

Throughout her career, Sandra has cultivated a rich tapestry of skills and experiences. With four decades in the financial industry as a Financial Planner, she has honed her expertise in guiding individuals towards financial security and prosperity. Additionally, her thirty-year involvement with Toastmasters has fuelled her passion for communication, public speaking, and fostering confident self-expression.

Sandra’s unique approach as a Communication Specialist goes beyond the technical aspects of finance. She recognizes that true wealth encompasses not only financial stability but also emotional well-being. With empathy and deep understanding, she helps her clients navigate the interplay between money and personal growth, empowering them to build a life of abundance and fulfilment.

With Sandra Valks as your guide, you can expect a supportive and transformative journey towards effective communication, financial literacy, and holistic well-being. Her wealth of knowledge, coupled with her genuine care for her clients’ growth, makes her a trusted partner in their pursuit of a flourishing life.

Embrace the opportunity to work with Sandra Valks, and discover the power of effective communication as a catalyst for personal and financial success.

The impact of the Great Depression and the struggles it brought were deeply ingrained in the fabric of everyday life for decades. We invited Sandra Valks, a seasoned financial manager from Canada to take us on her Memory Lane and explore the impact on her mindset as an adult.

With Sandra Valks as your guide, you can expect a supportive and transformative journey towards effective communication, financial literacy, and holistic well-being. Her wealth of knowledge, coupled with her genuine care for her clients’ growth, makes her a trusted partner in their pursuit of a flourishing life. Embrace the opportunity to work with Sandra Valks, and discover the power of effective communication as a catalyst for personal and financial success.

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Discover the joy of working with Sandra

Do you want to share your story and inspire our readers ? Know that every story is paving the way for a brighter, happier future.

North America Editor
North America Editor
Articles: 18

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