April 2, 2018

A Tribute to Chris O’Connor

A Tribute to Chris O’ConnorIt is with a heavy heart I write this blog to honor a friend.  This last week I learned that my friend Chris O’Connor had taken his life. Chris’s focus had always been on improving the quality of life for his clients. He gave wholeheartedly and everyone loved him, so learning of his death has been quite a shock for everyone. Chris and I had attended the same massage college years before and became friends at the Matrixx put on by Bob Proctor and Sandy Gallagher. We worked together for a few years and shared many of the same interests.  During that time he shared this fable which he gave me permission to share in my latest book, The 30 Laws of Flow.

“In case you are not familiar with Fruit Loops, they are a cereal in North America. So, the story begins inside a cereal box. There are Fruit Loops residing inside the cereal box but because they are inside the box they don’t even know that they are Fruit Loops. It’s dark, they are all crowded in and they can’t even conceive of a world existing outside because all they see is the inside of the box.

One day one of the Fruit Loops escapes and leaves the inside of the box. The Fruit Loop discovers this magical outside world. The escapee realizes that he has been living inside this box that is beautifully decorated on the outside. The writing on the outside of the box tells the Fruit Loop “what” he is…a Fruit Loop. The Fruit Loop then discovers his “worth” through the nutritional information on the side of the box! It turns out that if you add this thing called M-I-L-K, the Fruit Loops become even MORE nutritious when mixed together!

Upon further exploration the Fruit Loop discovers on the back of this container there are wonderful puzzles and games to be solved. And beyond this small box lies an incredibly huge and infinite space that those inside could never comprehend.

It would be impossible for the Fruit Loop to try and explain what he is experiencing to the others still inside but he decides to return and try. But this lone Fruit Loop discovers to his amazement, the others who are still trapped inside the box don’t even want to hear about this fantastical world. They don’t even want to know or even care! They just want the lid closed and to get back to life inside the box as usual.

This lone Fruit Loop was so enthralled with this outer world of new possibilities he decides to go back out and see if he can find other Fruit Loops who have escaped the old ways/paradigm of “inside the box mentality”. He knew that he would need support to not get sucked back into the old “inside the box thinking”.

The moral of the story is…….sometimes it is hard to break from the “inside the box” mindset, and it is even more difficult to convince those still trapped that things can be so much better.  The best thing to do is find the other Fruit Loops who get it…. who have had the experience of greater possibility……who can share in the enthusiasm of this new way of thinking and are ready to explore new worlds.”

Chris gave so much to many people over the years and he will be greatly missed. We never know what is really going inside another person’s mind, we only see the outer actions and outer personality traits. I think I had the same feeling when comedian Robin Williams took his life.  We see these wonderful people giving so much to the world but inside there is another conversation going on that we can’t see.

So, the message today is to love everyone unconditionally as you never know what battle they are facing internally. Also, encourage people who give so much to the world to take some inner time for themselves.

In Chris’s words, here’s to “life’s mysterious unfolding.”

Charlene

About the author 

Charlene

I’m a Canadian, gluten-free, tai chi loving, great-grandmother. I live in Ontario and love helping people get healthy again.   I use all the experience I have gained in the almost 5 decades to help you live a life full of vitality with great clarity and focus.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Charlene,

    Thank you for your words. I wrote this letter when i learned about Chris’ passing.

    My sincerest condolences to Chris’s family and loved ones. I have been thinking allot about Chris this past week as he was a mentor and inspiration to me as a fellow RMT. I met Chris as an instructor in the McMaster Acupuncture Program several years back. Although I didn’t know him well- I am feeling his loss in the community. Being the only massage therapist to instruct in the acupuncture program I felt his voice and presence very deeply. He was always prepared to help me learn and fielded my many questions. Chris’s was a strong and definitive presence as a senior lecturer. He exuded confidence and a passion for manual therapy and I felt supported very much in my journey as a therapist by him. He was always so generous with his time and encouraged me to continue my studies (osteopathy, cranial-sacral therapy etc.). I could tell Chris was a kindred spirit- his legacy of volunteerism and community work will not be forgotten. It is with great sorrow that I write this as I feel a deep sense of loss for the massage therapy profession in Ontario. Chris has shown tremendous commitment, ambition, leadership and support as a caregiver and his spirit and energy will be greatly missed. He was an inspiration as an advocate for our profession. I am grieving and praying for his family and for his spirt as he passes on in his journey. I am also pausing to reflect on the toll being a caregiver can be for myself and for our profession on our mental health as therapist’s. This makes this so especially sad. When I finished my studies Chris trusted me, even though we didn’t know eachother well, to lend me his only copy on his USB drive so I could listen to a series of inspirational/ motivational speakers that had moved him. I felt honored that he would trust me to lend me this item and that he had faith I would return it to him. I’m not going to lie- those lengthy motivational discs took awhile to get through and at times I wondered what I was listening to… but I will say that they helped me in a semi-unconscious way to get through a hard time in my life and to value myself as a therapist. His gesture of faith in me was equally moving- for this I will be ever in your debt Chris. I hope that I can walk in your shoes as a caregiver and will continue to invest in my professional skills. May you be with the angels and rest in peace.

    Yours,
    ‘Chi-Miigwech
    Laura Shilliday, RMT
    Manitoulin Island
    April 09/2018

  2. Charlene,

    Thank you for your words. I wrote this letter when i learned about Chris’ passing.

    My sincerest condolences to Chris’s family and loved ones. I have been thinking allot about Chris this past week as he was a mentor and inspiration to me as a fellow RMT. I met Chris as an instructor in the McMaster Acupuncture Program several years back. Although I didn’t know him well- I am feeling his loss in the community. Being the only massage therapist to instruct in the acupuncture program I felt his voice and presence very deeply. He was always prepared to help me learn and fielded my many questions. Chris’s was a strong and definitive presence as a senior lecturer. He exuded confidence and a passion for manual therapy and I felt supported very much in my journey as a therapist by him. He was always so generous with his time and encouraged me to continue my studies (osteopathy, cranial-sacral therapy etc.). I could tell Chris was a kindred spirit- his legacy of volunteerism and community work will not be forgotten. It is with great sorrow that I write this as I feel a deep sense of loss for the massage therapy profession in Ontario. Chris has shown tremendous commitment, ambition, leadership and support as a caregiver and his spirit and energy will be greatly missed. He was an inspiration as an advocate for our profession. I am grieving and praying for his family and for his spirt as he passes on in his journey. I am also pausing to reflect on the toll being a caregiver can be for myself and for our profession on our mental health as therapist’s. This makes this so especially sad. When I finished my studies Chris trusted me, even though we didn’t know eachother well, to lend me his only copy on his USB drive so I could listen to a series of inspirational/ motivational speakers that had moved him. I felt honored that he would trust me to lend me this item and that he had faith I would return it to him. I’m not going to lie- those lengthy motivational discs took awhile to get through and at times I wondered what I was listening to… but I will say that they helped me in a semi-unconscious way to get through a hard time in my life and to value myself as a therapist. His gesture of faith in me was equally moving- for this I will be ever in your debt Chris. I hope that I can walk in your shoes as a caregiver and will continue to invest in my professional skills. May you be with the angels and rest in peace.

    Yours,
    ‘Chi-Miigwech
    Laura Shilliday, RMT
    Manitoulin Island
    April 09/2018

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

What is the Most Impotant Thing You Want to Promote?


Use this bottom section to nudge your visitors.