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Master Splinter: Behind the Scenes

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BEHIND THE SCENES WITH TEAM FD: MEDITATING WITH MASTER SPLINTER

Many of us now work from home and master splinter practice social distancing, thanks to the COVID-19 changes. As we adjust to this new normal, we might find ourselves in search of community, social connection, and mindfulness practices to keep us sane. First Descents Headquarters has a great team member who is leading the charge to keep staff connected and productive while working remotely.

Melissa Markle, FD’s Melissa “Master Splinter”, is a specialist in connection and mindfulness. First Descents’ head of people, culture and meditation. Our team is now more dependent on Splinter to provide tools and guidance for maintaining strong and healthy FD family ties. We were able to sit down and chat with her to find out more about her background and to gain insight into our current situation.

SPLINTER: CAN YOU TELL US THE TRUE STORY BEHIND YOUR NICKNAME, MASTER SPLINTER?

MS: I was nicknamed by FD’s Dolphin Squad in my first month of FD in October 2016. I was finishing up a five-month corporate mindfulness program at Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), pronounced “silly”. Master Splinter, as some may not be aware, is a fictional character that is a parent-figure and sensei. He is also the Zen Master to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Although I was initially apprehensive argyle wine about being named after a mutant sewerrat, it has become a favorite of mine.

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN FD?

MS: I am Chief of Staff at FD. My goal is to create an inclusive carnaval photography, fun-loving environment for our hard-working and dedicated team. FD aims to keep the vibes high by offering team-building in the great outdoors and to provide staff trainings, wellness perks, professional growth opportunities, and a fun and casual work environment that allows everyone to be themselves. Everyone’s voice is important! The recognition of FD as one the Best Places to Work by Outside Magazine speaks for itself.

ARE YOU ABLE TO RECORD ANY FAVORITE COMMUNITY MOMENTS AND/OR MEMORIES FROM YOUR TIME IN FD?

MS: My time at FD was full of the most funny, silly, and heartfelt moments in my life. FD has been about community, inside and out. It’s about helping others, and it’s about learning from each other. It changes your inner world when someone holds up a mirror and shows you the life-giving and beautiful qualities that you have.

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