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Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_mindfulness.jpgImage is from Pixabay and used under a Creative Commons license

February 2020 President Monthly Ezine

"Life is a mixed blessing, which we vainly try to unmix." ~Mignon McLaughlin

I find myself in the midst of two strategic visioning processes at the moment. At the university, I am a member of the executive committee steering the strategic visioning plan. Simultaneously, the Board of Directors is fleshing out a plan based on our discussions during our strategic visioning work at the conference last year. In both cases, these groups of volunteers are striving to come up with optimistic, inspirational, and aspirational ideas, goals, and actions to serve the respective organizations over the next several years. And in both cases, I am mindful of the necessity that we be authentic to who we are, warts and all.

Authenticity is at once the hardest and easiest thing to do. It requires honesty, humility, courage, and tenacity. Authenticity is all about the mixed blessings in the quote above. It is something that some shy away from, while others cannot exist any other way than to wear their authenticity on their sleeves. To me, it means acknowledging and embracing your perceived flaws in the journey toward remembering your wholeness.

At the university, we're juxtaposing the current climate around racism, bigotry, and xenophobia, the institution's history (rosy and not-so-rosy), and who we want to be. For Healing Beyond Borders, we're weighing past, present, and future with changing demographics and health care systems. Where do we fit? How do we lead? What is our role? How do we flourish? Those seem to be questions I continually ask myself during life transitions or when existential angst creeps in.

The thing that is making both of these strategic visioning processes less onerous are the people involved. Both at the university and amongst the Board of Directors, I am fortunate to work with passionate, compassionate, and enlightened individuals. In both settings, we're taking this seriously and approaching it with heart. While one wouldn't expect anything less for our Board, it's rewarding to know that I work with such people in all walks of my life. For that I am grateful.

Additional thoughts...

What I'm reading
Mary-Cathrine Campbell introduced me to a book she inherited from Alexandra Jonsson titled Pocketful of Miracles by Joan Borysenko. It's a unique book of daily meditations that incorporates a lot of spiritual traditions. I started incorporating it into my daily routine last fall, but this is the first year that I've started it from the beginning.

What I'm listening to
I seem to have India. Arie on repeat these days, specifically her album titled SongVersation: Medicine and especially the song Soulbird Rise.

What I'm keeping in my awareness
In addition to being mindful, I've discovered for myself a need to be purposeful. I am quite aware of my levels of stress, pain, etc., but often that's as far as it goes-acknowledging the state of what is. For that to change, one way or the other, I must be purposeful in how that might take place and in taking action to do so.

In light,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hawaii.jpgPhoto by Joel Anderson

 January 2020 President Monthly Ezine

As I write this ezine, I am sitting in the lobby of the Grand Wailea on Maui. I have been here for the past week to attend the Hawaiian International Conference on Systems Science, which has occurred in Hawaii for the past 53 years. In recent years, the conference has expanded to include health and health care information systems, as well as how society uses digital technologies such as social media. These new tracks overlap nicely with my research to support family caregivers of people with dementia and how these caregivers use technology to manage the caregiving experience.

I first visited the Hawaiian Islands in 2014 when my friend invited me to join her on Kauai at her timeshare. I immediately fell in love with Kauai, feeling a deep spiritual connection to the island. That first trip was magical, and I have been fortunate to return to these islands several times since.

On previous trips to Hawaii, and to this conference, I have traveled with a friend or colleagues. But this trip was just me. This solitude offered the chance to enjoy many moments of reflection and meditation. And while I may not be traveling with my friends this time, I do have the pleasure of meeting up with Sarah Porter for dinner on my way back to the airport this evening.

It is comforting to know that most any place I go, I can connect with our Healing Touch community. This is especially true and poignant given the news of the day, with tensions high in the Middle East, bushfires raging across Australia, and extreme weather popping up around the globe. It is one thing to know that you are part of something bigger than yourself; it is another to have tangible proof of that. That tangibility and connection is one of the many things I cherish about our Healing Touch community.

Sitting here in these lush surroundings, I am full of gratitude for the privileges of my life and the many compassionate, heart-centered people who populate it, many of whom are members of our Healing Touch community.

May we continue to carry the vision and mission of Healing Beyond Borders into this new year, supported by the Attributes of the Heart and a deep-rooted commitment to community.

With aloha,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_dec-ezine.jpg Photo by Joel Anderson

December 2019 President Monthly Ezine

I continue to observe something that I've written about before in Perspectives in Healing - folks actively searching for the Attributes of the Heart. This also was how I talked about the movie shown at our conference this year, Won't You Be My Neighbor. I think this movie and the current Renaissance around Fred Rogers is an excellent of example of for what people are starving.

Think it's all in my head? Well, there's a more recent biopic starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. There are numerous articles about this resurgence. And there's this new podcast called Finding Fred that explores the very idea of why everyone is being drawn to Mr. Rogers in today's world.

As healers, we know the answer to this question. He eloquently demonstrated healing presence, unconditional love, compassion, and innate harmony, which were funneled into his joyful service. These Attributes of the Heart are not foreign to us. We work to incorporate them into our heart-centered approach to life each day. Many of us also work to include gratitude and dignity as well.

As we watched the film before our conference opened and when I listen to the podcast, I remember Mr. Rogers' presence in my life. Growing up in rural Appalachia, educational resources were limited. My elementary school made use of public broadcasting and shows like Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood to fill the gaps. For a kid on a mountaintop on what seemed like the middle of nowhere, public broadcasting showed me the world and all of its wonders. It sparked my imagination and inquisitiveness, traits that serve me well today in my professorial role.

But it fed the fire of compassion just as much. During movie night, I saw the thread of the Attributes of the Heart through my life and how one of the first people really to display those traits to me in such an adept way was Fred Rogers. And for that, I am grateful.

As the solstice nears, the seasons change, and the year comes to a close, I have been thinking about all that has occurred in 2019 and all of the promise of 2020 and a new decade. Being students, practitioners, and instructors of this heart-centered work of ours, we are aware of energetic flows. Our theme this year of "the Art of Compassion and Healing" reflects not only the unwavering ability of our community to hold an energetically vibration high, but to do so with tenderness, strength, and finesse.

Since the founding of our organization, our mission and vision of spreading healing light and restoring wholeness on Earth has been a beacon to those seeking wisdom, healing, and holism. May it ever be so.

Each of you provides compassionate leadership and unconditional love to our planet and all of its beings. During the holy days ahead, on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Healing Beyond Borders, I wish you peace, hope, and prosperity.

In light, 

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

Matching Grant Opportunity

Participate in Blessings Overflowing!


Last month, I wrote to let you know of a fabulous opportunity to support Healing Beyond Borders. An anonymous donor was so inspired by our conference this year that they offered a matching grant for donations received through December 1, 2019. If we can raise $10,000 by December 1st, they will match that amount!

We're one month into the challenge and to date we've received $400 in donations, or 4% of our goal. Together, we can do this!  If each of our members contributed $10, we'd reach our goal. If everyone on this mailing list contributed $1, we'd more than triple our goal!

I recognize that we all get lots of calls to contribute to society in monetary ways. I also know that we're not all in the position to give as much as we would like. It's hard to ask for monetary contributions when you're a non-profit organization. We're not supposed to make money, right? Quite the contrary! The work of our organization requires financial energy and input and having money in the bank is crucial to our ability to manifest our vision and mission.

This year at conference, we held strategic planning sessions with the Board of Directors and group brainstorming during the instructor leadership meeting. We came up with incredible ideas of how to extend our work and support our vision and mission as an organization and community. Some of those ideas are simple and require just a little elbow grease. But a lot of the ideas require a monetary investment in the short term to reap dividends in the long term (fingers crossed).

That's just one reason why this matching grant opportunity is so important right now. It truly will go a long way in helping to support and sustain the vision and mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

I hope you will consider making a contribution toward this important goal! You can do so via check or making a donation or grant via our website store. Please mark for general fund.  I thank you in advance for your generous support. 


Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

Photo by Joel Anderson


October 2019 President Monthly Ezine

It's hard to believe that a few weeks have now passed since the close of our annual conference. While I plan to write more about that experience for the upcoming issue of Perspectives in Healing, I have to say that, as always, I left conference with a great deal of hope, reflecting on the opportunities for growth ahead personally, professionally, and collectively.

Our conference seems to be a time of hope for so many of us. It's expressed in the laughter, tears, smiles, and moments of serenity, emotion, and realization that you see and hear throughout the conference hall. Folks were so inspired this year that I am happy to announce that an anonymous donor has offered a matching grant for donations received through December 1st. If we can raise $10,000 by December 1st, they will match that amount!

This represents an excellent opportunity to support the work of our organization. I've just put my check in the mail. I hope you will consider helping us to meet this goal! You can do so via check or making a donation or grant via our website store. Please mark for general fund. Thank you!

Member Spotlight

Got a story to share? Let me know! If you'd like to share what you're doing in a member spotlight, please use this form to let me know what you're up to! I'll incorporate these stories into Perspectives in Healingand future ezines to share with our global community. 

Quarterly Group Read

I've chosen two reads for the fourth quarter of 2019. The first is Waking Up White by Debby Irving. I read this book while at our conference in 2015 in Naples, Florida. I was reminded of it during our instructor leadership meeting at this year's conference. During our open discussion, David Rabinowitsch raised the important topic of the lack of diversity among our instructors and, indeed, our membership. The instructors talked about what diversity and inclusion means for our organization and community. It wasn't an easy conversation and it's far from over. But it was a much-needed beginning. The second book I thought of during this conversation wasThick by Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, which I read this time last year. It is a powerful collection of essays that explore the sociology of race and inclusion. Hopefully these books will offer some insight as we continue this conversation. 

Meditation for October

When looking for a meditation to share this month, this one from Meditative Mind immediately caught by eye because of its title: The Butterfly Effect. What a lovely way to remember the symbolism behind one of the images in our conference logo from this year.

Become an Evergreen Supporter

Join me in becoming an Evergreen Supporter of Healing Beyond Borders. I've pledged to support the mission and vision of Healing Beyond Borders through an automatic credit card deduction each month. For more information, including giving levels, visit the store on our website and click on the Evergreen Support tab

Online Store

And speaking of our store, have you seen all of the new products in our online store? There are quite a few new resources, supplies, and gifts that can support your learning, practice, and teaching. Profits from the sale of products from our online store directly support the mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

In light,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors