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Team Gratitude: Meet David Murphy

June 14, 2017

David Murphy professional photoGratitude is a wonderful word. It also can be a challenging practice, particularly when life presents challenges. It did not always come naturally for me. I was raised to say “thank you” and I learned that lesson well, yet my delivery was often perfunctory and distant, consistent with a comfortably numb life.

Four years ago, my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Surgery was followed with six months of chemotherapy. It was a challenging experience with many feelings amped up as never before – fear of death, isolation, feeling overwhelmed, weariness.

Yet, from the moment I was diagnosed, I also felt gratitude. Gratitude for the steadfast support of my loving wife and family. Gratitude for the incredible, humbling response and many kindnesses from my friends. Gratitude for my doctors and nurses that took such great care of me through surgery and chemotherapy.

I never tried to ignore or downplay any hardships of a given day, but I did make a conscious decision to acknowledge and be grateful for life’s many blessings, even when my path was particularly rugged. It is a practice I still try and emulate, four years later.

There is an energy created by gratitude, which grows as it is practiced. The more I practice gratitude, the better I feel, which allows me to strive towards being my best self. There have been times when this gratitude brings joyful tears, at everyday occurrences – the colors of a sunrise, or the harmonies of a beautiful song. Those times are hard to classify – moments of grace? – but they are wonderful and deeply felt.

This year's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will include a Center team whose members will run both the full Marathon and the 10-mile course. "Team Gratitude,” which is the team name for the approximately twenty runners, will raise money to celebrate their own stories of gratitude, and support the Center's Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing website. 

This year marks the Marathon's 36th year, so Team Gratitude has set the target of raising more than $36,000 to advance the Taking Charge website.

Both 5K and 10K races, as well as family events and a health expo, are part of the Marathon's weekend.

I am happy and proud to be a member of Team Gratitude this year.

For more information, contact Dianne at dlev@umn.edu. Go Team Gratitude!

-David Murphy

 

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Mandala cover from fall 2017. The cover features a collage of images of Earl Bakken, and the University of Minnesota's "M"

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu