Did your mother keep a baby book? Mine did.
She wrote “he loves to tell and listen to stories”, “imaginative”, “sensitive”, “loves to tease”, “shy”, “loves his dog”….well, still mostly true.
I’m a dyed in the wool Midwesterner.
During my senior year in high school, my great-grandmother left me a wad of money. I bought a pair of Infiniti speakers and squandered the remaining amount on college. In college, I majored in religion. While this decision didn’t help me figure out the big picture, it did buy me a ticket to seminary and a graduate education. Unfortunately, seminary didn’t help figure out things. But, while in seminary, I did learn about family therapy—something I found positively invigorating.
I left a vocation in the United Methodist Church, married, began a family and earned a certificate in family counseling at the Family Therapy Training Institute in Milwaukee.
Family life introduced me to deeper debt, great joys, diapers, insomnia and later, a stress reduction program. In the stress reduction program, a kind instructor named, Katherine Bonus, took me under her wing and encouraged me to teach. I first refused. With Katherine’s encouragement and the blessing of my family, I stepped into this uncharted territory of teaching mindfulness. It frightened me. Still does, at times. And, it continues to humble and inspire me.
I have taught the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course at UW Health Mindfulness Program over 25 times during the past decade. Have written curriculum. Have participated in research studies. Have developed and facilitated “A Week of Compassion” at my work. Have given talks, presentations, orientations and practices on mindfulness.
It’s in the blood.
I must also admit that I am a beneficiary from all kinds of accidents, misfortunes, dumb luck and generosity throughout my life. This continues to be the case.
I worked as a family counselor for human services in a small county north of Milwaukee for almost 24 years. I continue to teach at UW Health Mindfulness Program. I provide training and education for major health organizations, businesses and educational institutions throughout Greater Madison and Milwaukee Areas. I hope for opportunities to bring my experience to you as well as “a few stories” I have picked up over the years.