“Happiness is contagious, as is pain.”
In this Speakeasy talk from Wanderlust Whistler 2014, James Maskalyk shares his experience working with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and explains how his journey shaped a practice of mindfulness that inspired social change.
As an emergency medicine physician at one of Toronto’s inner-city hospitals and a teacher at the University of Toronto, James has always been driven to help those in need. Yet despite all the good he accomplished with MSF—flying into disaster relief zones and working in refugee camps across Africa—he found that witnessing constant pain and suffering took a toll on his psyche. He realized that as a culture, we do not cultivate self-care. We are expected to bear the emotional weight of those around us and move forward, no matter the consequences. James knew that without balance, he could lose himself in the misery of others. This sparked a realization he now treasures: That in order to truly heal the sick and mend the broken, you must first learn to value yourself.
“It wasn’t until I learned the practice of surrender, of letting go, that I understood what stood between me and happiness.”
For more information, visit jamesmaskalyk.com or follow him via social: