Monday, August 30, 2010

"Loving Daddy"

If this video doesn't work for you, try clicking inside the black box or follow this link:
"Loving Daddy" on YouTube

"Finding Your Voice" is a workshop I developed with Project Compassion. In 2010, the Train the Trainer version of this workshop was launched and 6 videos were developed to accompany new trainers in teaching their friends, neighbors and community members about patient advocacy, advance care planning and organ/eye/tissue donation. This is the one of three videos made for the donation education module. For more information, see and

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Joy: Salt in the Wound or Hope for Tomorrow?

Before writing this, I wanted to look up the definition for the term "mindfulness." It is language I am using more often and the basis for this blog entry. However, it took me seconds (via google and wikipedia) to learn the term has many meanings and I could not find a definition for how I use it personally. Hmmm. Did I make it up and all this time I have been misusing this term?

Either way, mindfulness as I defined it somewhere, somehow, along the way is being aware of oneself (internal and external awareness) while also being aware of how one's actions, speech and thoughts might effect others. For me, this primarily means the people I care about because I feel far to overwhelmed when I consider being mindful of everyone on planet earth!

So, with this approach in mind, I find myself with a question for my blogging friends.

There are so many people in my life who are suffering. Many of them are friends I don't know IRL (in real life) but their struggles permeate my thoughts often despite the lack of physical presence. In addition, people in my RL are struggling in a variety of ways. Primarily I am referring to physical struggle, serious illness etc, but at times this can mean emotional struggling also.

More and more, I find myself feeling a compulsion to hide or downplay the sweet parts of my life. It is not that I don't have struggles, I do, but they pale in comparison to the people I know living day to day for another breath.

This compulsion comes from a place of "mindfulness" as I define it. It seems hurtful to me to sing the praises of my life when I know others are suffering so. I feel as though I should keep any of my good fortune to myself out of respect to those who are sad, scared and hurting.

I suppose I have some silly notion that when everyone is "all better" and the suffering is gone, I will again shout from the rooftops my love of this life. But, of course, the suffering will never end. One person will recover and another will suffer. This is life. One day the suffering will be mine again.

So, am I ridiculous? Can you relate? Am I on to something or out of my mind?

When you are suffering, do you like to hear of the joy in other's lives or is it like adding insult to injury?

Should I follow this instinct I have and practice my made up version of mindfulness or should I share my happiness even with those who currently suffer?