One week ago today, we had a full house for The Power of Compassion with Kim Barthel at Entre-Suites in Medfield, MA (just outside of Boston). It was an absolutely fantabulous group of peeps who had traveled from near and far via planes, trains, and automobiles. They came with an open mind, and an open heart, to learn about the science and Wisdom behind compassion. How it changes everything…from our DNA strands to our brain to our relationships to our experience on this planet. And we had the best teacher evah! (insert Boston accent)

It was an AH-MAZING day. Introducing Kim on the stage at the start of the event proved to be a tricky one for me, as it would’ve been easy to stand up there for hours, filling folks in all of her awesomeness! Not only is she a great friend, colleague, mentor, and person, but Kim’s knowledge, experience, and Wisdom are both wide and deep. She’s an expert in occupational therapy, anatomy, neurobiology, advanced neuro-developmental treatment, myofascial release, cranial sacral therapy, and developmental biomechanics, just to name a few. She’s the author of two books, has taught in over 15 countries, and the current emphasis in her work is the sensory processing and the neurobiology of attachment, abuse and addiction…which, of course, requires a magnitude of understanding about the wisdom and the science of compassion.

Today, I’ll share some nuggets from the event with the larger Create Vibrant Health: BodyMindSpirit® community (that’s you!). It would be impossible for me to “nutshell” what I took in during that splendiferous day. I have dozens of pages of notes, and a heart and mind that feel both full and connected. There’s also the issue of taking things out of context, especially from such a full and rich curriculum. But I feel this pull to “share the love,” so here goes.

First, I’ll share the simple working definition of compassion that Kim shared:
Compassion is the desire to alleviate suffering and to remove the causes of suffering.
With that as the foundation, these would be my Power of Compassion event…

Top 5 (easily-absorbed-out-of-context) Takeaways

  1. Holding on to judgement is the main barrier to compassion.
  2. We tend to focus on someone’s BEHAVIOR (and judge), instead of being curious about what’s BEHIND the behavior (compassion).
    This made a lot of sense to me. It’s similar to our culture focusing on body SYMPTOMS (which is usually what “bad” behavior is), instead of what the root dysfunction(s) is in the body.
  3. It’s never about what we do; it’s about HOW we do what we do.
    For instance, we may act or react poorly, without compassion, in the moment. Cuz we’re just a human bean! And then, we always can take the opportunity to practice self-awareness, then self-reflection, then regulate ourselves, and then circle back with a more conscious choice or response.
  4. We can re-wire the (potentially messy) past through the (mindful and compassionate) present. (Yay!)
  5. The most potent effector on the health of our genes is love and compassion (!!!).
    (This is science, not opinion. A close second is food 🙂

And here’s a random bonus takeaway, which has nothing to do with compassion, that I found interesting:
People learn 80% better when they’re standing up. (!!!)
Ha! First off, that explains why I have a hard time staying seated at conferences. Second, I wonder what would happen if school kids were free to stand during class? Hmm. Anyhoo.

Every single participant left the day overflowing with new understanding, new ideas, rich reflection, and important take-aways. Here’s a tiny sampling of the email feedback that I’m receiving on Kim and her work with us:

The amazing a-ha’s that came to me in this workshop, while rooted in Kim’s deep study, scientific research, and vast travels and experience, were not delivered in some lofty techno-speak. Kim’s clear and compassionate messaging was spirit-lifting and life-affirming for me in its simplicity.
– Monique, Franklin, MA

The Power of Compassion seminar offered by Kim Barthel was a life-changing event.  It was a full day filled with actionable nuggets of information about how we can heal ourselves, and help other people to heal.
– Lucille, Medfield, MA

Kim touched my heart, mind and intellect through the way she expertly intertwined her many years of experience through the art of story! I had many realizations and “aha” moments as I sat in awe of her knowledge of the psyche, and of her ability to translate compassion from my head to my heart. I now find myself in conversation, using tidbits of information she shared with us.
– Dr. Patti Giuliano, Westwood, MA

Kim’s workshop emphasized how important it is for educators to be compassionate. As a second grade teacher, I’m now more mindful of the tone I use, the words I say, my facial expressions, and the body language I use with students. As an educator, I feel empowered to support children where they are emotionally, and work with them for their growth.
– Ali, Boston, MA. 

Inspiring!
If you missed this event, the great news is that it looks like they’ll be another related event in the future with Kim. The overwhelming response was: “bring that woman back!” We’ll see if we can squeeze on to Kim’s already very full dance card for next year. In the meantime, all participants were left with plenty to process, and put into practice, for years to come. And my hope is that this love note brings you in on the event a bit, and provides you with some nuggets to explore and work with.

AND, you can bet that you’ll be seeing some Soul Food posts from me in coming months that will provide a weaving of my own research and experience with the power of compassion, combined with the wealth of learning that I took in last week. Stay tuned 🙂

With love & joy,
Laurie