Awesome Stories 220

This week Awesome Stories brings you mindfulness, compassion, singing nurses, gratitude and life reflections.

Pondering LifeKalanithi-daughter-medres

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.

Mentally Different

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!

Singing Nurse

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!

Grateful Hearts

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.

Blessings, Brad


28 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 220

  1. A few tear jerker stories here Brad.. And Yes wouldn’t it be wonderful if all staff in hospitals could hold that same thought of patient care and healing in a kind word or smile.. Let alone a lovely song as this wonderful Nurse is doing..
    Also Congratulations Brad on your 4 yrs of blogging.. and all of your posts etc.. I am so pleased our paths crossed..
    Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.
    Sue x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The singing nurse brought up memories of Pops who died recently. I sang to him, at his bedside. I don’t know if he heard me, though I think he did. It might have been one of the last sweet moments of his good, long life, a little pleasure despite such pain. I sure hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very much enjoyed reading the post written by Paul Kalanithi and his story ~ so very sad, but uplifting as well. He had that view of life that I wish I could capture as well ~ thanks for passing it along Brad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the video about the singing nurse! And I’m looking forward to digging deeper into the other stories you posted in the coming week, they sound like good ones! Thanks for compiling these each week, Brad! 🙂


  5. So much beauty& intelligence in this post! I love it so much !! Thanks for sharing such wonderful & powerful stories filling the world with knowledge,enpowerment, love&hope! Glad i follow u!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What inspiring and touching stories. I love the info on teaching children mindfulness. I read a book to my girls tonight by Louise Hay. I think. I am. It teaches the power of thoughts and how to do affirmations. We read in it every couple of months and it is good for the whole family as we create our own at the end of the book. Here is one for you: I am grateful for you Brad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another lovely bouquet of beautiful stories, Brad. Thank you as ever for gathering and sharing them. And yes … go Glennon with the ‘mentally different’ and that evocative, lens-opening question, “What if the problem isn’t with them, but with the world?” At the very least, it opens to other possibilities and conversations! Happy 4 year blogging anniversary. Blessings, Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your bouquet description Jamie! Did you skip ahead and read my flower power post? 🙂 Glennon has a wonderful gift for writing and insight into human nature. Thanks for your contribution Jamie. 🙂


  8. Thanks, Brad! Congrat’s on 4 years and 400 posts! I read the story about Paul and was touched by his experiences of facing life from a new, time(less) perspective, and the way desire flattened out into a present moment experience. I was also really interested in his description of being a surgeon at the top of his article. That was wild. To think that surgeons are drilled on being, first and foremost, fast! Is a little unsettling… 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks Michael. It’s interesting what captures each of our attention. For me, it was the contrast in Paul’s sense of time and roles. I’ve had a fun 4 years and wonder how long I’ll ride this wave!
    to peace in the now…


  10. Four years — WOW! We are ever grateful to have you here among our fabulous community!!! Loved all your stories (even the heartbreaking ones), but the singing nurse going above and beyond to connect with his patients??? Can you imagine a world where everyone took this approach toward their jobs/presence in society. Oh my…What a wonderful world it would be!! Thank YOU, Darling Brad and congratulations on ALL you’ve accomplished here!!!! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your enthusiastic support for my blog and journey Shauna! I completely agree. What a wonderful world if we all took as much care with our work as this nurse (and I suspect you!) 🙂 I am grateful to know you… ❤


  11. The first story of Paul Kalanithi and his baby girl Cady touched me so deeply, it has stayed with me so ever since I read it some weeks back. I remember thinking of his letter to her while riding on the bus one day going to the hospital for my check-ups. Thinking of a love so big as to keep a man sated. A father’s love. It’s funny how we never get to meet so many wonderful souls and yet their lives, their hearts touch us, change us, inspire us more than we can ever realise. And in life, and in death, their light live on. Thank you Brad. You know why. Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your words and compassion touch me Sharon. That you would carry Paul and his story with you and ponder what it means to live beyond our time. The idea of legacy is hard for me, not having a family or created a career that I am inspired by. Though I hope I’ve touched a few people in person and with my words here on WP. blessings,

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Mindfulness in schools is a wonderful idea! There are so many kids that go without good nurturing at home because the parents don’t know how, from their upbringing, that by the time the kids get to the school system the teachers are forced to deal with situations that they are not properly trained to handle. So much of the burden falls on teachers who are not properly compensated in the first place which makes this an issue that needs to be addressed on a broader level. But implementation of a mindfulness program will not only nurture the kids but help the teachers to better understand how to cope. I see this as being a two-fold benefit.

    Ahh, more passion and TLC in our health facilities! Just today I was discussing this with my mom. Everything I have my blood pressure taken (over the last 6 months) my readings have been excellent. And yet I am always amazed at this feat since every time I’m at the doctor I am annoyed beyond measure since the front desk staff can be SO RUDE! Mind you, the doctors and nurses are fine, it’s just the front desk personnel I have issue with. Then there are the doctors who, even if polite and friendly, don’t listen and are in too much of a rush to diagnose (aka write a prescription or tell me I’m fine) without hearing my issues completely or without a proper examination. How could I be told I’m fine without a thorough exam? That baffles me! But today, I met a doctor who not only listened, but checked for all possible reasons that could be causing my discomfort internally and externally and for the first time in years I felt like I’m being heard and on my way to proper treatment and relief for my ailments. A little TLC certainly goes a long way: from the nurse who offered me juice and crackers after my biopsy, to the doctor who took the time to be kind to my daughter, and yes even to that sweet nurse in your post who comforts his patients by singing. Knowing someone cares about the quality of work they do is always something that warms my heart. He will certainly be blessed!

    Congrats on your 4 yrs of blogging. I’ve only just discovered you and already have been enriched immensely by this great post. Look forward to more of your work. Blessings to you and yours ^_^


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