NOTE: Though the 2020 Refresh Your Soul conference was canceled, Episcopal Retirement Services and Parish Health Ministry have received fantastic support! Thank you for encouraging us and our efforts to safeguard the health of the community. We are grateful to our sponsors, donors & volunteers.
Refresh Your Soul 2020 Speaker Dave Caperton sat down with us and answered our questions.
ERS: Are you ready to Refresh Your Soul?
DAVE: I am, let's refresh!
ERS: Tell us what you are bringing to Refresh Your Soul?
DAVE: My ideal audience is one that is made up of folks who serve others.
For two reasons, one: it's nice to know that there are people who are receptive to the message of healing with humor. They put a premium on doing their caregiving with joy, and they understand the choices that can lead them there. And two, because they already put a value on it. People who live to serve, and that's their purpose.
Whether or not they intended for their lives to be about serving. This audience is living and is working every single day to serve someone else, someone who is a vulnerable individual. Someone who perhaps the rest of the world has forgotten.
These people, I find, already put a premium on refreshing their souls. The importance of finding joy in what they do. Because otherwise, you're not going to last very long. You’ve got to put something back in the reserves because no matter how lovingly you go about it, you're continually being tapped for your compassion, and your willingness to give.
What I bring, and what I'm always excited about, is to show that it's sometimes the smallest things that we can do that can put us in a healthier place, emotionally and spiritually, that does refresh us. And not only to make us more resilient but also better able to help others.
Part of that is, just being able to find humor and gratitude, a connection to someone else, in a way that it renews us.
ERS: You have a background in education and communications, and you were a teacher as well. What is it that led you down your path on your life's journey?
DAVE: I was an educator. I come from a whole family of educators. I have found that educators are sort of like circus families. If one person does it, a lot of people are doing it.
I was in education for 11 years, and I loved it. I really did.
I didn't leave that field because there was something that wasn't working. I loved what I was doing. But I got involved, just for fun, with doing stand-up comedy. And I started working as an MC, did a little bit of traveling. In the summer or weekends, I would do stand-up comedy. That led to me being invited as a weekly guest on one of our local FM stations here in Columbus, "Sunday Night at Five."
Then every Monday morning, before I went and taught class, I dropped into the radio station at 6-6:30 in the morning. I would do a few minutes of laughing it up with the disc jockeys and the people that listened in and then went on to work.
And there, I met a motivational speaker who came to the radio station every Monday with his motivational message. One morning he said, “Look, you teach, and you make people laugh. That's what I do. We create a positive emotional experience and help people learn. So, sometime when I can't be available, could you be?” And that's how it all started.
I did it for several years. Our son, who was an infant at the time, went through a significant health challenge, so I took a break for a year from teaching. The flexibility of what I did as a speaker, allowed me to spend time with him, as he was going through his illness. After my second year away from teaching, I realized I'm just on a different path now.
It’s what I've been doing ever since. I get to travel around the country and have fun with people. I encourage them with an uplifting message, then go out and do it again. It's the most fabulous job in the world!
ERS: Your book is titled "Happiness Is a Funny Thing." Tell us about your book.
DAVE: I wrote my book initially in 2010, and did an update in 2015.
I call it a "Why-To" instead of a "How-To" for bringing more happiness in your life.
I show people how to connect and engage, sometimes with just the smallest things. That's what I will be doing at the Refresh Your Soul conference. Little things that really do change everything.
It is that sometimes the smallest choices — starting with gratitude or with the expression on our face, our posture, and physical attitude — that can positively affect our emotional state.
It comes down to choices, and when you do them consistently, real change happens. Not when you do some big thing, once in a great while.
That's what I'll be sharing at the Conference. Here are some small choices. If you take one thing and do it every day, you will find more joy, more laughter, and less stress. You will be refreshed.
ERS: Where can people find you on online or through social media?
DAVE: My website is DaveCaperton.com.
I have a Twitter handle @SpeakOfJoy. They can reach me on Facebook and LinkedIn also. I love to engage with people. Visit my website and read the articles, and watch the videos too. Through email, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. I make it as simple as possible. If you can remember my name, you can reach me.