1 – Burrell & I led our first two-day training, and it was FANTASTIC…and FUN!
In December 2018, we had the honor of designing and leading a 2-day training for nearly 50 staff members of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Participants included trauma surgeons, training & development managers, nurses, chaplains and others. We introduced mindfulness, compassion, and self-compassion as tools to mitigate empathy fatigue and burnout and to help them create a culture of compassion.
This is some of what we heard from participants:
- This was awesome – the entire hospital needs to be aware of this topic
- The engagement with colleagues and content helped me think through personal and organizational needs to plan my/our next steps
- I will definitely practice these skills in my day to day life and try to role model them for my colleagues. Also I will try to introduce these ideas and practices to my team members.
- Fun, good energy and use of games and movement for engagement.
I especially loved reading comments about how much people appreciated the humor and fun Burrell and I brought to a serious topic.
2 – Sara led CCT in a women’s jail and a men’s prison
Thanks to partnerships with San Diego’s nonprofits Prison Yoga Project and Brilliance Inside, I had the opportunity to lead Compassion Cultivation Training for new audiences. This is the first time CCT has been led at a women’s correctional facility, and it certainly won’t be the last. I was deeply moved by the transformation of the ladies and their willingness to open their hearts and minds to compassion.
The men at RJ Donovan Prison, too, surprised me. They were eager to learn and put compassion into practice on the yard. Learn more about that experience here.
3 – We helped someone prevent a potential school shooting
I received an email from the father of a teen girl in Pennsylvania, and it blew me away.
Thanks, in part, to her Compassion It wristband, the young woman reached out to a vulnerable young man in her school. He shared with her his plans to enact a mass shooting at school. This brave young woman alerted authorities, and the police found several firearms in his possession. Read more about this incredible story here.
Side note: After publishing the post about this in February 2018, one of our WONDERFUL Compassion It customers asked me to anonymously send the courageous young woman 25 pairs of wristbands so that she could continue to spread compassion in her community.
4 – We now have over 150,000 wristbands out in the world, and we reached thousands through in-person trainings in 2018
We continue to cultivate compassion and self-compassion through in-person trainings, like the one I led for the Tri Sigma National Sorority (see above photo). In fact, we reached 1,998 adults, 883 K-12 students, and 485 college students through in-person workshops and talks in 2018.
We can’t forget about our “magic” wristbands which continue to prompt compassionate actions around the world. We still get heartwarming feedback about our wristbands. The below statement came from a woman who brought wristbands to a residential treatment facility for teens:
I visited one of Pressley Ridge’s residential centers in West Virginia for a holiday party last month. There were teenage boys and girls in attendance – ages ranging from 12-18, I believe. Emotions were all over the place as some of the residents were planning home visits and some were staying through the holidays.
After dinner I read them a few passages about you and your movement and I gave them all a bracelet. I had no idea how the bracelets would be received in this crowd. Well, I am happy to tell you that they LOVED them and were soon practicing compassion and turning over their bracelets. I made sure to remind them that self-compassion is just as important as acts toward others. They really seem to embrace that!
5 – We were featured in an online show
The Facebook show An Imperfect Union featured Compassion It in an episode that now has over 125,000 views. The show invites two people with opposing views on a current issue to discuss and debate the topic, and then they volunteer side-by-side for a nonprofit.
The show’s participants debated the #MeToo Movement and then came together to spread compassion in San Diego’s Waterfront Park. My team and I enjoyed watching the two “enemies” begin to eventually warm up to each other as they recognized their common humanity.
6 – We played and improvised
I teamed up with Gary Ware of Breakthrough Play and Jeff Harry of Play-Well TEKnologies for Global School Playday on February 7, 2018. We led a compassion- and play-focused experiment for High Tech High School 10th graders, because we were curious about the question, What happens when compassion meets competition?
Read more and watch the video about our experience here!
7 – San Diego Magazine gave us a shout-out
Check out the December edition of San Diego Magazine and see Compassion It mentioned near Oprah. That might be as close as we get to her, but we’ll take it!
8 – Sara still writes for the Chopra Center for Wellbeing
The monthly article I write offers me the chance to learn more about certain topics and also share what I’ve learned. My most recent post about self-compassion as your #1 New Year’s resolution is my favorite article from this year.