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Outer space, lactic acid, and a bathroom stall—inspiration

In her book, The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Building Social Confidence, Lynne Henderson wrote

There are people everywhere who are working to make the world a better place and to build trust among all peoples. (2010, p. 55)

Each time I recall this line, I find it comforting, uplifting, and connecting—connecting to so many people everywhere trying to make a positive difference, showing courage and care.

Looking at the google+ posts I made over the month of January to date, I see that a theme could be examples of Lynne’s reminder above. I thought I’d share three examples with you, with the hope that they might offer inspiration.

1. Outer space

Two words: Chris Hadfield.

I picture the most demanding challenge; I visualize what I would need to know how to do to meet it; then I practice until I reach a level of competence where I’m comfortable I’ll be able to perform.

—Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield, 6 Stellar Life Lessons from Chris Hadfield.

Interestingly, compassion is not so different. We picture the challenge and visualize what might be needed to meet it with compassion. Then, as best we can, we also practice; we take actions, make efforts. We gain competence and confidence. (We also sometimes, if not often, miss the mark, but still we reflect and practice, we try.)

2. Lactic acid

I am intrigued by research conducted by Dr. David Smith (Calgary) looking at ways to help cancer survivors be less debilitated by fatigue. His research involves using blood lactic acid levels to help guide exercise programs, instead of the more usual “target heart rates” applied in a standardized way to all people based on age. Here is a link to a CBC news video clip on the topic. This is a link to a presentation by Dr. David Smith posted on youtube.

3.  A letter of compassion on a bathroom wall

In a radio interview with Sook-Yin Lee of CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera, Kierston Drier tells the story of reading stories of girls’ and women’s most painful experiences written on the wall of a bathroom stall and of her decision that she had to do something. The result was a beautiful letter of love, respect, and compassion Kierston wrote to these girls and women and all others, posted on the same stall wall, a letter which thankfully did not go unnoticed.

Until next time,




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Posted in Articles, Compassion