The power of positive intention and shared compassion

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This year we witnessed the power of positive intention and a huge outpouring of love from the crowd and the determined efforts of the medical team that attended to Bolton Wanders football player Fabrice Muamba who collapsed on the pitch during a match where “The football world was shocked when Muamba collapsed while playing at White Hart Lane on March 17.

He received lengthy attention on the pitch and it later emerged that his heart had stopped for 78 minutes.

Remarkably he made a stunning recovery and left hospital a month later.

But he admitted: “While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for.

“I thank God that I am alive and I pay tribute once again to the members of the medical team who never gave up on me.”

Fans from the opposing side put aside competitive differences as they willed Muamba to get well

Muamba went back to White Hart lane recently to thank those fans

“I can’t express… All I can say is thanks to the Tottenham fans for the way they reacted,” said Muamba

“There are people out there who prayed for me. I want to thank the chairman, and to all the Spurs fans. I am grateful to them. They are awesome fans.”

I think this is one of the year’s best examples and a testament to how we truly care for each-other.

Results from my own study, ‘A phenomenological study of experience of participation in an eight-week compassion focused, therapeutic well-being programme.

Answering the research question “What is the experience for cancer patients of undergoing a well-being programme which focuses on compassion for self and others?”

Showed the importance of sharing and human interconnection and it was “important to note here that discussions occurred in the group where individuals stated their gratitude for the others being there for them and acknowledged the benefits of sharing and feeling supported in a group setting where others are undergoing the same experience.” It brings to mind a quote from Dorothy Ettling that

“Hearing another’s story is often the shortest and most profound entry into the recognition of the bonds we share as human beings”.


This year we have also seen Aung Sans suu Ki free at last and able to share her message of peace, compassion with the outside world in person, and the Dalai Lama inspired so many on his UK visit this year also.

We are blessed with so many to show us the way towards a happier and more fulfilled life.

On a personal note, I did something that I rarely do, I asked for something from my friends on Face book, and my friends and family- in an act of self-compassion, at a time of need I reached out to others- something we rarely do, as I wrote in my thesis earlier this year

“Self-kindness enables us to judge ourselves less harshly and be more tolerant of our shortcomings; it enables an individual to feel connected to others in shared suffering and common humanity when difficult life circumstances occur; it also incorporates mindfulness, being mindfully present in a non-judgmental manner  which prevents an individual from being caught up in their own pain where they may fixate negatively on their situation and not be able to see their situation clearly (Neff 2003b).”  –

I asked them to keep my husband in their thoughts and prayers as he underwent investigations and treatment recently for a heart condition. He is a very precious part of my life and I reflected upon how often I am truly mindful and grateful for his presence in my life.

I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support for both of us, from friends and family, acquaintances past and present. To me, this was a reflection of our true nature as human beings- to have the capacity to deeply care for each other and be compassionate, however great or small the suffering, or the need for that compassion and love.

So, it is with gratitude and love that I reflect on this past year and all of my own learning and healing that I hope to continue to share with you in the months and years ahead.