Friday, March 29, 2013

It's the full moon

It's late. I want to sleep, but my brain is keeping me awake. Whenever I have a sleepless night like this, at some point I give up on sleep and get out of bed. I always stop and look out the back window to check the moon's status. Tonight, it's full. Of course. What is it with me and the full moon?

I'm so tired, but not sleepy. I worked out every day this week. I've earned a good night's sleep, haven't I? Wouldn't it be great if we could occasionally get a tune-up of the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The stories I hear

I know I've been quiet lately--I've been making new friends and indulging my ADD on Twitter. That being said, I miss blogging and think about my blog every day. There are still a lot of thoughts in my head that need to be explored and put into some sort of order. I'm working on that.

In the meantime, I want to share something that has been making the rounds in my world of refugee resettlement. UNHCR asks the question, if you had to flee your country, what would you take with you? Why? I actually explore this question with the people who attend my seminars and presentations. What you think you would take is probably not what you'd end up with at all.

When I first looked at this slide show and read the stories that accompany the pictures, I broke down and cried. The reaction surprised me because I hear stories like this--first person accounts of loss and survival--on a regular basis. Only the names and locations have changed.

I encourage you to take the 15 minutes you'll need to look at these pictures and read the accompanying stories. Working with people like those profiled here is the core of my life's meaning. It's the reason I haven't killed myself, and it's the reason I get up on the days I don't want to. I try not to indulge that dark side of myself because I believe I have something to offer to those who who are in far worse circumstances than I have ever experienced.

I'm not sure if this will help you understand me better or not, but these people are exactly the kind of people I try to help every day. I can't change anything that happened to them, but I can help guide them as they try to navigate a new chapter to what has often been a heartbreaking story.

The most important thing
"What would you bring with you if you had to flee your home and escape to another country? This is the second part of an ongoing project that asks refugees from different parts of the world, “What is the most important thing you brought from home?” The first installment focused on refugees fleeing from Sudan to South Sudan, who openly carried pots, water containers and other objects to sustain them along the road.

By contrast, people seeking sanctuary from the conflict in Syria must typically conceal their intentions by appearing as though they are out for a family stroll or a Sunday drive as they make their way towards the border."