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February 2020 HBB President Update

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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

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