This past week I led a ‘Mindfulness 101’ seminar for an amazing group of pediatric physicians. It’s a passion and joy of mine to share this work with people who are in service, and who need personal self-care tools as well as a practice that will ripple forward to the patients and families they touch. In fact, this is why and how I began my own journey over 25 years ago. As a clinical social worker, I was working with a high-risk and disenfranchised population. What I learned in the process was that I needed my own tools for myself as well as extra tricks ‘up my sleeve’ to offer the people I was working with. This weeks Mindfulness seminar was held in a conference room within a Pediatric Hematology / Oncology outpatient area. As I walked through the doors to settle in and glanced at the waiting room, I instantly felt my heart space fire up and my tummy flutter. I won’t describe the scene, just know that I needed to use my own grounding, breathing and mindfulness practice to transition and take the seat as a ‘teacher’ to these extraordinary caregivers. In that moment I was immediately transported back in time to my original relationship with what we now call ‘wellness’ - which was 100% connected to my own commitment to service. We sat around the conference table and began our work together. This was not a pretty meditation center with candles and plants, it was a hospital with all that implies. We talked about stress and pain, we discussed self-care, and we practiced meditation. We only scratched the surface in terms of this conversation, but we began the conversation and we breathed. I have walked around for the rest of the week feeling in deep alignment with my own work, journey and contribution, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity. On the topic of gratitude and service, November is Philanthropy Month. For the entire month of November, we will be focusing on giving back - what it means to you, me, and others, and how it affects the world around us.