Oct 19th, 2016
I wanted to share with you my personal story about why I have decided to take part in this fundraiser.
I only started meditating a year and a half ago, and it has already had a big impact on my life. Outwardly, nothing in my life has changed much. Inwardly, however, I have been able to fundamentally redefine my "relationship" with my thoughts.
I used to believe that I could not control my emotions. That I could not do anything to prevent my mind wandering when in an important meeting or when being part of a precious moment. That I could not be comfortable connecting with people emotionally unless I knew them well.
I have found (as many others have) that the antidote to these afflictions is the simple practice of “living in the moment”, or “being present”. It’s a simple practice, but not an easy one. A regular mindfulness and meditation practice enables us to be more present in our daily lives.
While mindfulness can help everyone live a happier and more fulfilling life, I also sincerely believe that it has the potential to help many people who struggle emotionally and mentally. This fundraiser in particular makes this practice accessible to people in need who suffer from depression, anxiety, social isolation, addiction and other mental health issues.
It only costs $75 to deliver an 8-week mindfulness program to a disadvantaged individual. How much can you donate?
Everyone deserves to be safe, happy, healthy, and to live free from hardship. Whatever amount you donate will be graciously accepted.
PS: To learn more about the program and how it’s helped people, watch this video.
Oct 25th, 2016
Some of you had questions about the fundraiser that I’m participating in (helping underprivileged in the community suffering from mental health issues).
Thank you for emailing me your questions! I’m following up with answers to all of them (even the less serious ones). So here goes…
1: “Have you been hacked?”
No. The more astute of you have noticed that the “from” email of my email message is not my actual email address (email@example.com). This is so that I could use the fundraising platform’s email system to email everyone (which is a bit easier than using Gmail).
2: “Have you joined a cult?”
Haha, no. Well, I don’t think so. Maybe the right question is, would I even know if I did? ;-)
3: “Why did you email me?”
Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve been been in touch with some of the people I emailed. In fact, you may be one of these people. I’ve sadly fallen out of touch with many people who’ve influenced my life in important and significant ways. I’m sorry about this; there’s really no excuse for this happening.
Despite this, I pushed myself to email as many people as possible. Even if it may seem odd to some that I’m sharing such a personal story with them. I did this because I sincerely feel that it’s for an important cause. It’s more important than the temporary awkwardness of sharing something personal with someone that you haven’t been in touch with for a while.
4: “Does this go to a good cause? Do they really help under privileged people?”
The organization behind this fundraiser (The Centre for Mindfulness Studies) is a registered charity, with a highly-qualified faculty of physicians, social workers and psychotherapists.
All funds will go to The Centre for Mindfulness Studies and will be used for its Community Program, which trains social service agency frontline workers to deliver mindfulness programs to their clients and provides bursaries for The Centre’s own therapeutic programs.
I have personally met a number of people involved with the organization on various levels (both as staff and as volunteers), and can personally vouch for them.
5: “You’ve already hit your fundraising goal. Are you going to raise it?”
Yes! I’ve increased the goal to $2,250. I am deeply grateful to all of the generous donors for their support. If I achieve the new goal, it means enough funding for 30 disadvantaged people to be provided with an 8-week mindfulness program.
That’s it for the questions so far. If you have any more, please ask away!
Lastly, if you haven't donated yet but are interested, there are only four more days until the event. So please donate soon. :-)
Oct 29th, 2016
The support for this cause from many of you has been outstanding. Nonetheless, I feel like a final follow-up is in order, as I think that some of you still want to donate. :-) The meditate-a-thon is tomorrow, so today is the last day to donate before the actual event.
I can't express enough thanks to all of the donors. I wanted to share some of their messages (with their permission):
"Paul - saw your email about the Mindfulness Challenge. I came to Mindfulness as a way to reshape my OCD and returned to it in June of this year to help with severe anxiety. This cause is near and dear to me and I would be more than happy to donate to this event."
"Paul: the impacts of mental health issues on my family have been devastating. I respect your efforts to make alternative solutions accessible."
"This is cool man. I don't know where my OCD would be without treatment, of which mindfulness was a big part. Thanks for doing this."
"Hi Paul, it has been a while, but I’m really glad that you reached out. I think Mindfulness is such an important part of life, and I’m proud of you for sharing such a personal story. I have actively managed my mental health my entire adult life, and I see it as a positive aspect of my life. I look forward to donating - thanks for sharing."
"Happy to help. I am a strong believer in supporting mental health issues... and am happy to support your fund raising efforts :-) All the best Paul!"
These messages come from people from all walks of life. Regardless of gender, age, or background, mindfulness offers real promise to many.
The messages have also made me appreciate that many people struggle with mental health in secret, which makes it extra challenging due to the lack of support.
You donation not only makes a meaningful impact to making support more accessible, it also helps raise awareness and helps dispel the stigma of mental health issues.
You can either donate via the website (click the "Donate button at the top of the page), or you can donate in person. If you prefer the latter, reach out to me directly and I can pick up your donation in person (or we can arrange another way to transfer the funds). I'm not going to let technology be the reason you don't donate! ;-)
I hope everyone has an awesome Halloween weekend!