Balancing Act.

Light rail bridge being constructed over Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Photo taken on a kayak trip on July 22, 2013.

Light rail bridge being constructed over Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Photo taken on a kayak trip on July 22, 2013.

It has been some time since I’ve posted here. I thought that this photo captured the concept of balance very nicely. Balance. A strong, simple word. Yet, I struggle with finding balance. I believe many of us experience this dilemma; a challenge to be many places, in many roles. I’ve often operated on the assumption that at any given time, one (or more) of the important aspects of my life will be neglected in some shape or form, to some degree, however slight or significant: my family, my full-time professional job as a first responder, my career as an officer in the Coast Guard Reserve, my adjunct faculty gig at a local community college. This theory has played out, seemingly, with accuracy.

This blog has been neglected, for sure. Ironically, because I’ve been working hard on a project to bring Mindfulness to my police agency. Success. It’s a good feeling to graduate 20 professionals in police work from a 9 week course (based after Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. See: http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/stress/index.aspx) in meditation, resilience and self-awareness. I’m now working with my (external) team of professionals to design and deliver another course this September. More to follow on that journey.

At then end of the course, several students commented that although they weren’t sure how the course applies to policing, they found that they slept better working the night shift and found that the course helped them with their family relationships. Mission accomplished. The data from our pre, mid, and post course self reporting surveys is being analyzed and we’ll have some evidence to support the efficacy of meditation soon.

In the mean time, we seek balance.

About Richard Goerling
Thank you for visiting my blog! My goal is to create a place that allows us to learn from each other, support our first responders, and, perhaps, find ways to facilitate human sustainability and cultural evolution in public safety. My expertise is in policing, yet we share similar occupational stressors, experiences, cultural attitudes and behaviors with our friends and colleagues in the fire service, at the dispatch centers, and in the field and emergency departments with our medics, nurses and doctors. Trauma bonds us. It goes without saying that all of this is relevant for our brothers and sisters serving in the military. I've learned most of what I know about stress management from these great warriors. Let us learn from each other. This blog will explore that trauma bond. We'll look at the work of authors, professors, journalists, and other subject matter experts in diverse disciplines in an effort to improve the resilience (wellness, health, attitude, motivation, etc.) of our first responders. Join us here in the dialogue and let's work together to make a difference, one conversation at a time. Peace.

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