Imagine putting a tablespoon of salt in a glass of water. Now imagine tasting that water…it would be pretty salty and most of us would find it disgusting. Now imagine putting a tablespoon of salt in a large lake and then tasting the water…it would barely be detectable, if at all. When we fill our lives with things that matter to us (the water in the lake), like pursuing purpose and meaning, when the negative things show up (the salt), they are there, but don’t make such a big impression. However, if we don’t have a lot of things that matter to us in our lives (the glass of water), when negative things show up (the salt), the negative things seem HUGE and very distressing.
The field of mental health can be inconsistent on a lot of things, but it is unified in recognizing how important it is to have a sense of PURPOSE and MEANING. It has been shown over and over again that optimal mental health requires having a purpose and meaning in our lives.
Sometimes purpose (our reason for getting up in the morning) is connected to our sense of meaning (our belief and ability to contribute to something beyond ourselves). For example, my family and my work both capture purpose and meaning for me.
Sometimes they are not really connected. For example, if I see my job as just a means to an end although it gives me purpose I may get my sense of meaning from creating music or helping vulnerable people across the street or volunteering at a nursing home. What matters is not to connect them, but rather to have BOTH.
Here is an example of what finding our purpose and meaning can look like- from someone who keeps SHOWING UP, TRYING and ADJUSTING course when necessary. Who knows, you may even be able to find or experiment with some of yours by joining her or being inspired to take action by her courage.
Meet Mindful Dragon (Mindfuldragon.com) aka Jeana B. and some of her recent initiatives as she shares her journey, living what she is preaching in her work as a Life Coach (TheCoachingConnection.ca).
- Mindful Moments is a program designed for groups of preschoolers (ages 3-6) which involves introducing children to mindfulness. Mindful Moments is an opportunity for children to build self-awareness of their emotions, their surroundings, and practice calming their bodies and mind. It is designed to be comforting, relaxing, and educational. Mindful Moments teaches children strategies they can try throughout the day to increase their sense of calm, and provides resources to caregivers making it easier to implement mindfulness into their daily routines.
Each session includes practicing a deep breathing technique, a guided imagery meditation or story, group discussion, practicing a calming/self-soothing strategy, an interactive mindfulness activity (listening games, making sensory bottles, playing with sensory playdough, etc), and finishes with another breathing activity or short meditation.
With the generous support of Inspired Living Medical, The Coaching Connection Inc. is excited to be able to offer the Mindful Moments program to the community starting this January. There will be no fee for participation; however donations will be collected, with all proceeds going to support the Sew A Hug -weighted blanket comfort campaign (See below). Find out more about Mindful Moments (http://thecoachingconnection.ca/wellness-in-action/mindful-moments-in-the-community/) , or click here to register! (Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/BdfsIIwopQWrP1pT2 ).
Mindful Moments summary:
- Program Dates: January 8, 15, 22, 29
- Time: 9:00- 9:45am
- Location: Sobeys Bedford South (Larry Uteck), Event room
- Ages 3-6
2. Interested in Mindfulness Programming for children 6+? Check out the Mindful Me – Promoting Emotional Resilience with Mindfulness starting in January for Ages 6-12 (http://thecoachingconnection.ca/mindfulness-coaching/mindful-me/).
3. Sew a Hug is brought to you by the Wellness in Action Initiative from The Coaching Connection Inc. (http://thecoachingconnection.ca/wellness-in-action/sew-a-hug/)
Sew a Hug was developed in hopes to provide a weighted blanket to anyone who would benefit from one. Developed to be a collaborative effort between those who donate money to purchase materials, those who sew the blankets, and those who receive the blankets; Sew a Hug aims to have everyone involved benefit and feel connected to the entire process, and the people behind it.
Weighted blankets are pure joy because they provide pressure and sensory input which increase levels of calm, comfort, and security. Many people can benefit from a weighted blanket, including individuals with: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dementia, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Insomnia, and Anxiety. The blankets can be used as a calming tool or for sleep. The pressure of the blanket provides proprioceptive input to the brain and releases a hormone called serotonin which is a calming chemical in the body.
With Sew a Hug, your connection to the project doesn’t end with your donation or when you’re done sewing; you will continue receive a picture and thank you card from the recipient of the blanket you helped provide.
Sew a Hug believes part of what makes this comfort campaign so special is that it brings people together with the purpose of spreading comfort and love – creating connections, just like hugs.
Sew a Hug was launched November 11th, 2016 and has already provided two blankets to two very special recipients. Since then, Sew a Hug has received 17 new requests, with more coming in every day. We are currently in need of more donations to make these blanket wishes come true. Learn how you can be part of making these wishes come true at (http://thecoachingconnection.ca/wellness-in-acti…/sew-a-hug/ ) or on Facebook @Sew a Hug .
Link for Gift a Hug request: https://goo.gl/forms/OMneeD7I6JBQ7Vt22
When we are on our journeys, it is important to find like minded people to support us along the way. Sometimes we have to look fro a while before we find them, and other times less so.
Mindful Dragon chose to apply for our Learning for Life Initiative both in 2015 and in 2016, which in her words… “allowed me to pursue one of my passions of teaching mindfulness and empowering young minds, and it also helps me live my value of contributing to the community by being able to offer this program at no cost to participants, as well as support another project (Sew a Hug) for the community at the same time”.
If none of these things fit for you, that is ok, there are tons of options.
- For example, if you are a former patient and you are interested in being a practice patient for Psychiatry residents’ practice exams next Thursday & Friday (Dec 15 & 16, 2016), contact us (info@InspiredLivingMedical.com) and we can connect you. There is even a $25 honorarium paid once you are done.
- If right now you are more focused on connecting with healthy tribe, join us at the Inspired Living Medical Holiday Potluck next Sat, Dec 17, 2016 from 10-12 pm for a Waffle Brunch. All friends and family of people connected professionally or personally with Inspired Living Medical are welcome. Please just RSVP to Julie at the email address above and bring a some sort of food, a waffle topping (fruit, whipped cream, etc) or something to drink (egg nog, juice etc).
- Don’t forget about ACTing it out! A closed Facebook group for present and past members of ACT who want to support each other in using what was learned to create the life they want.ACTing It Out! is a safe meeting place for all fellow ACTers (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) where we can experience HEALTHY TRIBE! Share SMART Goals! Be seen & heard! Validate each other! Celebrate wins! Ask questions about ACT strategies or get help brainstorming ideas on how to address situations that arise or how to implement strategies into your everyday life! Find a healthy tribe buddy to join you in an activity or try something new!
Join us for in person meet ups or events!
I will leave you with two questions….
Do you have purpose and meaning in your life right now?
If not, what are you going to do about it?
Have a great week and we hope to see some of you next weekend at the Potluck!