I can trace the origins of MeWe to an exact moment in time. It was 11:55am on Friday, November 11, 2005 and University of Kansas Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Charles “Rick”Snyder, had just ended his keynote address to the Missouri Undergraduate Psychology Conference audience.
At the beginning of his mid-conference presentation, Dr. Snyder apologized for being late and arriving disheveled, describing that he had just come in from the airport after being away for a week. This explained his haggard look and what I recognized as a lower-than-usual energy level. It also clarified why he said he would have to leave right after his presentation, why he wouldn’t hang around to take student questions.
Dr. Snyder’s 45-minute presentation, “The Hope for Our Future” was not what I expected. I had a lump in my throat when he presented his last slide. There was an awkward silence as he said “Thank you,” before the audience clapped… and gave him a standing ovation.
As host of the event, I walked Rick to his car, which I used as an opportunity to request permission to use his ME/WE symbol. He offered a distracted “Yes,” then suddenly stopped, help my gaze and asked, “Will you spread the word with me?” I think I sang a resounding YES. He said he’s send me his PowerPoint. AS he left, I noticed it was almost noon.
Two weeks passed. Having not heard from Dr. Snyder, I emailed a gentle reminder, making a similar request after Thanksgiving. I realized we were approaching the Winter Break in school, so I decided to wait until it was over to email him again. It was only when I returned to work in January that I learned he had died of pancreatic cancer a few weeks after his address. He had not told anyone other than close family and closer friends. It was a surprise to the rest of us in the profession. Dr. Synder had living with pain and the knowledge of his impending death for months. He was the only one who knew that our November 11th keynote would be his Final Lecture.
MeWe Mindfulness LLC was born on November 11, 2013, after eight years of development. We are individuals who practice and teach an Eastern and Western blend of mindfulness conceived and tested at Avila University in my Mindfulness Lab between 2007-2013.
We offer classes to individuals, small and large groups, and organizations to increase our world’s capacity for wellness and well-being.