This week Awesome Stories brings you mindfulness, compassion, singing nurses, gratitude and life reflections.
Paul Kalanithi wrote about his sense of altered time after learning about having lung cancer. He described the rush of time in the operating room as a physician versus time flattened and slowed down as a patient. His post, Before I Go, ponders life, meaning and mortality. More than anything he realized the preciousness of life and hopes his daughter remembers him and knows how much she touched his shortened life. Sadly, Paul died on March 9, 2015 at the age of 37. The article offers photos, a video and interview if you care to explore more.
Mindfulness in Schools
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have done mindfulness studies with young children. They taught them to be aware of their breath, care for their body, offer kind thoughts and practice gratitude. In addition to improved academic performance, the children demonstrated more compassion and mental flexibility than the control group who were not taught the self-care tools. By demonstrating the interconnectedness of mental, emotional and social skills, they hope to push for integrating these approaches to daily school curriculum. Imagine how wonderful schools could be if we nurtured the whole student, not simply their minds.
This is another thoughtful post by Glennon of Momastry. She writes about the needs of dealing with mental illness and people who are different. Often, they are considered ill and needing to be cured like with other diseases. But Glennon asks, “what if the problem really isn’t them, but the world? Maybe my inability to adapt to the world is not because I’m crazy but because I’m paying attention. ” I love her perspective that the mentally different need respect and might have something to teach the world. “With a little help, we can be your prophets, healers, clergy, artists, and activists. Help us manage our fire, yes, but don’t try to extinguish us.” Go Glennon!
This is a touching story about a nurse who happens to love singing. Patients would hear Jard Axen singing in the hall and ask to hear more. Now, his singing is an integral part of his patient care. Awesome! Wouldn’t it be fun for patients and staff to mix more passion and TLC into our health facilities, and all our work spaces!
Many of us already practice gratitude, but in case you need more motivation, here is a good article highlighting the many benefits of gratitude. Gratitude has been shown to reduce our materialism, helping us realize that true happiness is not found in money and stuff. Other research shows that gratitude strengthens relationships. So if your relationships are lacking zest, maybe it’s time for some gratitude! Research shows that even a few minutes spent journaling or writing about gratitude each day can significantly boost our feelings of well being. Writing a hand written letter and delivering it in person seems to be a turbocharged gratitude practice.
I am very grateful for our community here on WordPress. Surprisingly, I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years following an impulse and friend’s suggestion to try blogging. With your comments, caring, encouragement and sharing, I’ve grown as a person and writer. I’m learning about community, integrity and living my best. Thanks for being part of my journey. In case you’re wondering, this is my fourth year, with about 400 posts, 900 subscribers, 8,000 visitors and 30,000 views! Thanks to each of you for enriching my life with an outlet for sharing my heart.