Mindful pain management...for good.
I was standing in the family kitchen at Dana Farber Cancer Institute trying to decide if my 4 year old daughter would rather "try to keep down" apple juice or ginger ale while she received her chemotherapy that day. Finally, I looked up and dared to peer outside my own bubble of worry and stress. I realized that the parents around me were shells of who they once were. And I knew I needed to do something to help.
The summer of 2012, sparked the birth of The Bija Institute. While my daughter was battling cancer, my community of yogis and other mindful friends stepped in to support our family. They took over just about everything from providing meals to cleaning the house and making sure that bills were paid on time. They even pitched in to give me and my husband time away to gather our senses and re-organize around our "new normal". This 'gift of space' gave my husband and I time to process, to be sad, to be afraid, and even angry. We were able to breathe deeply and soften because, for that brief moment, we didn't need to be strong for our children. We returned better equipped to take care of both our young daughters.
As a veteran yogi, mindfulness based tools, like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises, to manage stress were already part of my life and using them to help my daughter through the rough spots of a long hospital stay came naturally to me. Many families are not well acquainted with mindfulness-based practices or how to apply them to their everyday situations.
The Bija Institute was founded in 2015 to teach chronically ill children and their caregivers how to use mindfulness like a superpower. Our mission is to help lessen the impact early childhood hospitalization has on families and improve their health. Bija uses technology to bring mindfulness and meditation directly into the hospital to enhance treatment protocols, change the users relationship with stress and, ultimately, improve their overall sense of well-being.
We appreciate your support.
Founder & CEO, The Bija Institute