4 things I learned this weekend…

4 things I learned this weekend…

On Saturday, I was privileged to host the first Philadelphia Ataxia Support Group Meeting.

It was great meeting local people who are living with ataxia.

But chances are, you don’t have ataxia. (Only about 150,000 people in the United States have it, however, if you do want it– I’ll gladly give you mine.)

Nevertheless, my four biggest takeaways from our meeting might help you with whatever you are going through.

1. Healing begins with acceptance

Acceptance is acknowledging the realities of life. And acceptance begins when you no longer fight the realities of life, but accept them, use them to grow and move forward.

2. Physical activity is emotionally empowering

If you’re like me, when things aren’t going our way we have a tendency to get lazy and fall into a bucket of self-loathing and fried chicken. But it’s in these difficult times when we should turn to physical activity. Take a walk, lift some weights, play basketball. Yes, physical activity is good for your physical health but it’s also a steroid for your self-esteem.

3. Outward empathy stimulates inward empathy 

Empathy is our ability to understand and emotionally connect to another person. However, how easy is it to become an emotional stranger to ourselves?

Empathizing with others helps you to love yourself. Not in a look-at-me kind of way. But empathy reminds you that you are human. Your terribly flawed. So is everyone else. Your spouse. Your kids. Leonardo DiCaprio.

“Not only are you more likely to engage in helpful behaviors when you feel empathy for other people; other people are also more likely to help you when they experience empathy.”

4. Human connection is a healthy practice

We are social creatures. We need to be apart of teams, tribes, fantasy football leagues, and PTAs. Isolation instigates anxiety and depression. Social support is a vital human need and gifts us confidence, fellowship, and improves our self-esteem.

Remember, everyone, including yourself, is fighting a deeply personal battle. Be kind to yourself and your fellow man.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” ~Marcus Aurelius 

Here is a picture of the great people I met this weekend at the first Philadelphia Ataxia Support Group meeting!

Be well,


My 2020 resolution is to learn more about and practice more forgiveness. There is growing research that forgiveness is the key to a happier and healthy life. Check out my forgiveness journey and share with someone you think may be interested.

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