Just a thought… The purpose of life is a life of purpose. [Robert Byrne]
Oops! Thanks to all who wished Rob a Happy Birthday yesterday. I mentioned it was this week but it happens to be Thursday. So he’s feeling much love already, which, happily, takes some of the pressure off me in what he likes to call his birthday month. Um, yeah
Do you ever stop and think of what a miraculous time we live in? Yes, there are some serious drawbacks to having the internet at our fingertips and I’m finally just starting to fight back against the firestorm of negativity that I awaken to daily when I am reminded of how much I dislike some people in government these days. But instead of going straight into my Twitter feed or email, I now go to my meditation app.
In the time it takes Rob to bring me a cappuccino (yes, yes, I’m spoiled, even during his birthday month) I can listen to and enjoy 10 minutes of meditation. It’s a lovely way to start the day and one that I could never indulge in during my working years; as soon as the alarm went off, I went into full work mode, trying to get my brain synapses fully firing! Now, thanks to those quiet ten minutes, I can handle whatever comes my way – or, more appropriately – whatever I choose to let in.
Don’t worry, I’m not proselytizing and won’t mention meditation every day. But since a few asked yesterday, I happen to use the Calm app, which costs money if you don’t cancel it at the end of the trial period (and I forgot to, so I’m making the most of it).
It turns out that may have been a blessing after all, as I not only meditate along with them in the morning for ten minutes, but I also enjoy their bedtime stories. There are fairy tales, walks through national parks and even a long meandering story to which I’ve twice fallen asleep, told by Matthew McConnaughey. Each one helps me to turn off my brain at night. Insight Timer is a free app that allows you to meditate with people from around the world. That’s another you may want to give a go.
But what I really wanted to share with you today was the little internet miracle that let me talk on my laptop camera to a classroom full of students at my alma mater, Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario yesterday. Some time ago, I’d been contacted by an instructor there, Laurie Pratt. She’s a professor for social service workers’ courses and asked me to weigh in about grief and Mourning Has Broken.
For about 45 minutes, I talked about my career, the day that we found out Lauren had died and the aftermath, including the book. Most importantly (hopefully) I was able to answer Laurie’s (and her students’) questions and to discuss how it feels to be on the receiving end of people’s condolences, the words to use (and not to use) and different elements of moving on in the wake of something like this happening. I hope social workers dealing with grief, hospice and so on are able to take with them some of the lessons we learned through our experiences and have shared in the book.
See, I always thought I’d like to teach. And yesterday, through the book, through the magic of the internet, through the promise that some good can come of the worst, maybe I did a little of that. Who knows what the future holds? But I’m feeling pretty excited about the prospects these days.
Have a great day and I’ll be back with you here tomorrow.