About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... building a community around service is awesome!

A good day to me is when ... I have learned something new and/or laughed really hard.

My hero in life is ...My mom.

My favorite book is ...Hard to name just one, but I love A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

One thing I'm grateful for is ... the power of a good hug!

Awakin Chhattisgarh

Dec 25, 2019, 6 smiles Something I have been exploring while I am in India is how to process "compassion fatigue". As a healthcare provider, how do we learn to nourish our own health when the need to care for so many others is expanding. Yes, there are habits we can hone and "self care" tools that we can market, but the true shift has to come from the culture of providing care itself. I spent a few weeks at Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS), a hospital committed to serving the rural and tribal communities in the heart of Ganyari in Chhattisgarh. The doctors here are working around the clock, balancing learning while serving, as the demand never decreases. This isn't a story about that work (but there are many) but more about those who make this work possible. In my time there, I grew so close to these incredible people who made me feel ... Read Full Story

A Bit Delayed But This Beautiful ...

Nov 14, 2019, 12 smiles A bit delayed but this beautiful full moon reminded me our last Awakin in Chicago. A few of us ladies decided to come earlier to create our own healing moon circle and sharing which completely shifted the space before our sit. As always, the circle created its own magic and it was a beautiful evening of connecting, yet releasing. A wonderful way to celebrate the end of fall and enter a new season both figuratively and literally.

Over Diwali Weekend I Had An ...

Oct 31, 2019, 4 comments, 18 smiles Over Diwali weekend I had an opportunity to connect with Nilam Auntie in Detroit to serve as Kindness ambassadors at the Net Impact conference. While there is much to share about that weekend, I wanted to share one special connection I had. DaChana came up to the table and showed me a handful of love letters she has written and wanted to gift. She shared how a few years ago she found herself in a hard place and unable to access social support or therapy, she began writing love letters to herself every day. As the letters manifested themselves, she realized the power of sharing her message and started writing letters and gifted them. She handed me letter #795 as a gift and I gave her a hug in return. A true reminder that small things can leave big impact. She is working on turning her letters into a book but currently has an Instagram page that is flourishing. You can find her at @blaydes_  

The Past Few Months I Taught ...

Oct 29, 2019, 3 comments, 20 smiles The past few months I taught my first cohort of nursing students as a clinical instructor. After every clinical day, we gather for a post conference to discuss the patients and learning from the day. I started to experiment with mindfulness practices to start each session, 1-3 minutes of silence followed by a circle of "gratitude" before going into the rest of the discussion. Honestly, I was apprehensive to how these students would react but it was a great way for me to bridge a connection to the diverse group I had. I didn't know if the students liked it, but seeing this at the end of the quarter was awesome! As healthcare providers, burn out is REAL. My hope is learning these little tools will empower them to advocate for themselves AND their patients. It's incredible what a small shift in perspective can do and I am excited for these future students to be my future colleagues one day!

A Colorful Splash To Chicago's Awakin ...

Apr 08, 2019, 6 smiles A colorful splash to Chicago's Awakin this March to celebrate Holi/Spring/Renewal!

Sunshine (Awakin) Sit In The Chi!

Jul 14, 2018, 2 comments, 21 smiles Our Awakin Circle in Chicago this week ...

Always So Grateful For The Presence ...

Nov 27, 2016, 13 smiles Always so grateful for the presence of PRESENCE in our Chicago Awakin circles. This community continues to ebb and flow in the spirit of friendship, service and lots of laughter. Our now annual Friendsgiving circle was the perfect space for connecting in silence. Excited for another year of holding space here in Chicago and watching this space continue to grow!

A Month Late But Today's Suprisingly ...

Oct 17, 2016, 1 comments, 13 smiles A month late but today's suprisingly beautiful weather in Chicago (80's, woo hoo!) reminded me to share this post from our rooftop edition of Awakin Chicago this past August. Beautiful views + beautiful people made this quite an unforgettable evening. Love watching the circles here ebb and flow.

The Power Of Presence

Feb 11, 2016, 6 comments, 10 smiles As a student nurse, it can feel frustrating on the floor. With limitations in how much we know and how much we are legally allowed to do, there are moments when the eagerness to "do" far outweighs the demand to just "be". I consider this to be an opportunity to practice presence whole-heartedly. After all, if we can't practice meditation and mindfulness in real life, then why bother with it at all? I have found, time and time again, that there is beauty in limitation (even if it takes me a while to see it) because in my lack of doing, I am able to pick up things others miss. Without the stress of juggling multiple patients, charting, or the weight of legal obligations over my head I am allowed to spend my day focusing on the 1-2 patients under my "charge". I am able (and often will) sit with these ... Read Full Story

Awakin Chicago: New Beginnings

Feb 10, 2016, 1 comments, 14 smiles Today we had our first Awakin of 2016 and it was both grounded and surrounded in the spirit of transformation. A beautiful evening of sharing, eating and sitting in beautiful harmony. Excited to watch our circles continue to evolve and grow along side a community adapting and shifting simultaneously. A tradition at our Awakin is to reflect on small gratitudes. Taking time to honor the small moments or the unsung heroes who enrich our lives in a myriad of ways. Despite the numbing cold and darkness that sinks into our bones, the light and warmth in these circles always leaves me re-energized. So grateful to continue to hold this space with my co-anchors in the city I call home.