We are so pleased with the comments on our Holiday Hope and Healing Event (for hospice family members and survivors) and thank you for being our guest speaker. Your message was just great and resonated with many in attendance. We appreciate your joining us!
Ridgeview Home Health Services
Our community was blessed by Mary’s presentation. Mary was easy to work with. She returned calls and emails promptly. She accommodated our schedule and our budget. Mary’s approachable countenance and gentle spirit put our senior residents at ease. While the subject (of ‘thin places’) is a sensitive one, Mary presented it in a way that our residents could be receptive. Those in attendance were thrilled to get personalized messages in the books they later bought from Mary.
Should you have any questions, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presbyterian Homes and Services
Thank you for speaking in the 2007 Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI), co-sponsored course for the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota titled: Refresh the Well Within: Maximize Your Healing Potential with Integrative Medicine.
Your presentation on Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells was well-received by participants and generated a lively discussion on Celtic spirituality, including the concept of thin places, where the veil between this world and the next one is very ‘thin’ and anam caras-the gaelic word for soul friends. The stories you shared from information contained in your book, Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells, allowed participants to delve into their own stories of synchronicity, intuition, and the sacred time before, during and after the death of loved ones.
You successfully created an experiential experience of Soul Friends. Participants shared what heals and what enables us to discover and discern the meaning of the thin places in our lives. It was truly a spiritual experience that affirmed faith and fostered hope in something wondrous beyond this life.
Thank you for the generosity of your time, speaking to this group from your own heartfelt experiences. I look forward to other opportunities to recommend your work and future collaborations with you and your colleagues at Well Within.
Catherine (Cass) McLaughlin
University of Minnesota
Center for Spirituality and Healing
I am pleased to recommend Mary Treacy O’Keefe as a dynamic, passionate and knowledgeable speaker and presenter. HealthEast Hospice was privileged to have Mary speak to our hospice volunteers about the journey she and her family experienced as they faced the many challenges and blessings that were present during the decline and death of her parents. Her description of “thin places,” those divine moments that are present in many of our interactions, was particularly helpful to our hospice volunteers. Mary help us see the possibilities and wonderment of being present to the dying and of recognizing signs and signals that are more than “coincidental.”
Mary’s stories are poignant, tender, humorous and compassionate. I was most impressed with her “presence” before, during and after her presentation and I’m recalling a moment of grace that she shared with an audience member who was struggling with her own terminal illness. This woman was able to share a private recollection of a “thin place” and was very comforted by Mary’s genuine compassion, insight and understanding.
I highly recommend Mary as an outstanding presenter and gifted spiritual companion.
Mary Conway -Jast
Coordinator, Hospice Volunteer Services
HealthEast Care System
David Emerald is the author of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic for Diabetes. David explains the concept of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic which comes out of his work with leadership within various organizations. Three basic questions can answered by TED: What do you put your focus on, problems or outcomes? How do you relate, to others, experiences and yourself? What kind of actions do you take, reacting to problems or do you choose how to respond to life’s circumstances?
Regarding how to relate to others and to various events, he explains the “dreaded drama triangle.” Within it, a person can decide if they want to be a victim of circumstances, a perpetrator or the rescuer within different circumstances. Rather than just reacting, one can choose to be a “creator” when we ask “how can this (person, event, circumstance) enable me to learn and grow from it?” David also explains how to “take baby steps actions in response to events”, thus shifting from drama to empowerment.
He explains his own situation of responding to the health crisis of a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. For him and many others, a common reaction to a crisis includes five stages called SARAH: Shock, Anger, Rejection, Acceptance, and Help. His book was written to be a resource for family and friends of someone who lives with any chronic illness. Tune in to learn how to improve your own health outcomes by using The Empowerment Dynamic, not only for Diabetes, but any challenging situation or crisis. For more information, please visit: http://powerofted.com/
Listen: TED The Empowerment Dynamic for Diabetes with David Emerald
Michael Addis, PhD, is author of Invisible Men: Men’s Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silence. He says that many men have emotional and often physical pain that is often hidden because of cultural pressures that men feel. Although his interest in the invisibility of men was sparked by a specific experience that he observed, much of his work is based upon research done on the psychology of men. Dr. Addis shares some of the statistical differences between men and women including how men have much smaller social networks than women, thus have less support. Men are half as likely as women to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety yet are much more prone to take their own life. Men are less likely to recognize when they need help for emotional issues. Physicians ask men fewer questions than they do of women. Cultural stereotypes also come into play, including how most men feel they must be able to control their emotions so they don’t feel comfortable expressing them. Dr. Addis and host Mary Treacy O’Keefe discuss some specific ways for creating a more supportive environment for the men in people’s lives. For example, women need to stop being emotional caretakers of men as it’s not good for either the man or women. Some ways to be more present to men include respecting the man’s difficulty in talking but let him know you are available if needed. Timing is also important. His book gives specific ideas for helping men become less ‘invisible.’ For more information, please visit http://tinyurl.com/9p385rs .
Listen: Invisible Men with Michael Addis, PhD
Heidi Thompson, author of Calm Focus Joy: The Power of Breath Awareness – A Practical Guide for Adults and Children, speaks passionately about a simple, yet highly effective focus-training and stress-reducing exercise called breath awareness. Breath awareness is one of the simplest and most effective focus training and mind-developing exercises available today. It is proven to promote brain growth, improve learning, increase focus, reduce stress, and develop empathy. Adults and children who practice regularly gain an abundance of self-knowledge and insight into their amazing mind/body phenomenon. Most everyone who practices feels more peaceful and happy. She discusses how this technique differs from other meditation techniques and the benefits of using it. She provides a simple exercise for using the breath awareness technique. For more information, please visit http://www.calmfocusjoy.com
Listen: Power of Breath Awareness with Heidi Thompson
Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical doctor and naturopath, is author/co-author of 29 health books. She discusses how up to 90% of health issues are stress related. Magnesium, the ‘anti-stress supplement,’ influences overall health of our mind, emotions and bodies. Lack of this important mineral contributes to heart problems. low energy, and many other serious health issues. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include anxiety, depression, and being cold. Dr. Dean discusses how traditional western medicine often doesn’t know how to treat magnesium deficiencies. She also recommends other supplements to help treat various ailments. For more information, please visit www.nutritionalmagnesium.org or www.drcarolyndean.com.
Listen: Miracle of Magnesium with Dr. Carolyn Dean
Former RN, Hospice Chaplain and author Becki Hawkins discusses her new book Transitions: A Nurse’s Education about Life and Death. She first explains how she began her nursing career by working with cancer patients. Then Becki discusses the importance of being a compassionate listening presence to both oncology patients and to those living with terminal illnesses. It’s important for her to take good care of her self while caring for others. She prays and meditates, spends time in nature, has good boundaries in order to be truly present to her patients. Becki shares several inspiring stories from her book that show how the terminally ill can teach us how to live as fully as possible. For more information, please visit www.ladyhawkpublishing.com.
Listen: How the Dying Can Teach Us about Living with Becki Hawkins