The 5th Annual Chisi Awards 2021 and #365DaysOfCompassion in 2022

Two blog posts for the price of one – the annual Chisi awards with a reflection and update on the hashtag. These have been two separate posts previously but this year are combined.

Firstly, the hashtag and am not going to do the stats around it like last two years, partly as I worry that sends out the wrong message about the hashtag. The Facebook group has continued to grow and its great to see people posting there too, alongside the many posts on Twitter. I am glad to have stopped Instagram, so those two are the main social media platforms now, with a Pinterest board acting as store of the daily quotes (of which there are in excess of 900 now on there) . The weekly Reviews work really well on Flipboard, the online magazine format is great and there is quite an archive of Reviews building up on. Links to all the various platforms are at the end if you want to explore more.

The #365DaysOfCompassion book club was run as a video call for the first time rather than Twitter chat, with Mary Welford, Elaine Beaumont and Phoebe Munday joining in January for “The Kindness Workbook” followed by Stan Steindl in February for “The Gifts of Compassion”. Both book club events are available on YouTube. There was a lot more books and authors lined up but following a serious accident I had in March the book club entered a hiatus which it hasn’t yet come out from. Perhaps it 2022 it will restart, I don’t want to close it down fully nor do I have the motivation yet to restart the monthly events.

In terms of the hashtag, and perhaps reflective of that comment about the book club, there have been times this year when I have come close to stopping, partly from the after effects of the accident and also from reflecting on the loss of Louise Gardner earlier this year. Lou was a friend to many and to the hashtag , her passing left a gap which if honest left me wondering at times whether the hashtag mattered. Throughout this year there have been occasions when I haven’t posted daily and taken breaks, but whenever I think or rather feel like ending the hashtag often a couple of things happen – I sometimes hear Lou encouraging me on with her gentle humour and wise words, or some one happens to message or reply to a post which reminds me why it does matter.

And so the #365DaysOfCompassion hashtag continues, in its current format of daily posts and weekly Reviews into 2022, now entering its fifth year. The hashtag has come a long since 1st Jan 2018 but at heart it remains the same – the simple sharing of daily posts with the simple ambition that a post helps one person. Anything more is a wonderful bonus.

It is time to get onto the red carpet for the 2021 Chisi Awards, a tongue in cheek way of me recognising in a small way the people and things which have made a difference in 2021. As always I get nervous when writing this, in case I offend someone by not mentioning them or embarrass someoneby highlighting them. But the tuxedo is on now and the awards allocated so here we go….

Blogs – I don’t write very often now and probably read less blogs than I used to. There are two blogs that I follow which I will highlight, as always find their posts helpful and informative, for different reasons. So the Chisi Blog Award is jointly awarded to……A Life Hidden, written by Naomi Whittingham, who can express living with a chronic illness in a way that is both insightful and humbling to read – and to Finding Nature, by Miles Richardson, whose blogs are great at sharing the sceince behind nature and wellbeing.

Books – I seem to have been mainly reading Uni related books this year, however there are two books which I will highlight . The runner-up is “The Gifts of Compassion” by Stan Steindl, a book I love and was very honoured to have reviewed formally for my first ever academic publication this year. Such a great read, full of great advice and all written so you hear Stan’s voice when reading it. The winner of the Chisi Book Award is an important and timely book, “Losing Eden” by Lucy Jones, a well-written and well researched book on nature, our disconnection from it and the importance of it to our health, as well as a call to action on our impact to the climate and biodiversity. Both books are highly recommended.

YouTube – in the Chisi Video awards there are some fantastic nominees, from Deidre Fay, who covers some brilliant topics, with guest appearances along the way, Chia-Ying Chou whose series on bringing compassion to hoarding is brimming with compassionate advice and The Mindfulness Circle with Jonny Say, whose exercises and insight are super helpful. It’s a repeat win though of the Chisi Video Award for Stan Steindl, whose compassionate mind training exercises, overviews of CFT and interviews with an amazing guest list on Compassion in a T-shirt have been brilliant this year.

Podcasts — the most difficult category as I love a good podcast. Like last year there will be two awards, for best podcast and for best new podcast. In the podcast runner-ups are the always excellent ‘Psychologists Off The Clock’, ‘Ask The Therapist with Sarah Rees’, ‘Pause Purpose Play with Michaela Thomas’ and ‘Playing It Safe with Patricia Zurita Ona’. The two winners are…drum roll….

The Chisi Best New Podcast is Hayley Quinn’s ‘Welcome to Self’. I love it when someone I know tries something new, with all the anxiety and stress that can bring – and it is especially lovely when it turns out brilliantly. And yes, I am biased having been a guest, but its a wonderful series and I hope Hayley is proud of what she achieved this year.

Which leaves the Chisi Best Podcast and without a doubt it has to be repeat award win for the ever-wonderful PeopleSoup with Ross McIntosh. Ross produces a brilliant show, full of his own personal sharing and with some super guests, all presented full of warm and gentle humour. If you are not a P-Souper you don’t know what you are missing.

That leaves two special awards.

Each year I have awarded the Chisi Compassionate Inspiration award, often to someone who may not be well known or doesn’t feature in the other awards, but who has inspired me. It could have been a repeat award for Rose Horton-Smith,who has been a constant support to many of us again this year. The winner of the 2021 Chisi Compassionate Inspiration is a man who has been inspired by loss, by the grief of others and challenged himself through miles and miles of walking to raise money for related charities, all with gentle humour, in a quiet and unassuming way.. The 2021 Chisi Compassionate Inspiration is Gordon McIntosh, also known as Big G. Thank you Gordon, in dark days you have been a light and made a huge difference through the amazing fund raising you have done. (And Ross, it is about time Big G had his own podcast ! )

The last award is a new one I am introducing this year, and is touched by sadness.. I have decided to create a new award, not a Chisi, but rather the Louise Gardener Award, in honour of our friend Lou who passed away this year and its going to be given to people who do what she did – make helpful information about looking after ourselves and our mental wellbeing available and accessible to other people in simple, understandable formats. To be able to do so in a way which is informative and engaging is not easy, although she made it look like it was. And the winner does too – the first Louise Gardner Award goes to Ross McIntosh, for his work on PeopleSoup, his ability to share ACT concepts so well, and with the sole objective of helping others. The podcast featured Lou in two episodes during 2020 and the ability to listen to those again has been a gift. Ross, keep doing what you do and being what you are, a lovely, caring human.

That brings the awards to a conclusion, I hope I haven’t missed anyone out – if I have or you think there is someone who deserves a Chisi or a mention please let me know, the main idea behind the awards is to share recommendations.

All of the above have made a difference to me this year, as has the wonderful community around the #365DaysOfCompassion hashtag. I have no idea what 2022 will bring us all. I do know I wouldn’t want to face it without the hashtag , so thank you 💚

Chris

#365DaysOfCompassion is supported through these resources:

Facebook – #365daysofcompassion group https://www.facebook.com/groups/385641661879755/

Twitter

The main #365DaysOfCompassion account @365dayscompass

The book club account @365daysBookClub

My personal account @chisi_98

Pinterest Holds all of the daily quotes on the pin board https://pin.it/3rtft7lsvaaert

Flipboard The weekly #365DaysOfCompassion Review via https://flipboard.com/@365DaysOfCo4cnq

You Tube https://youtube.com/channel/UCX-zBQP7u2fRY-riGNGuaDw

WordPress Blogs

The #365DaysOfCompassion community blog https://365daysofcompassion.wordpress.com/

The #365DaysOfCompassion Book Club blog https://the365daysofcompassionbookclub.wordpress.com/

Breathe Underwater https://underwaterbreathes.wordpress.com/

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