B.R.A.V.E.
EP 9: Deepening Our Intuition Meditation

EP 9: Deepening Our Intuition Meditation

January 10, 2019

Tune in for a meditation to tap into your intuition, listening to yourself on a deep level will help you nourish yourself from the inside out! 

I invite you to engage in a 21, 30, or 40 day challenge of pausing each day for at least 5 minutes to get quiet - getting quiet strengthens our ability to listen to ourselves at a deep level aka our intuition. 

Ready to uplevel yourself personally and professionally? Email me if you are interested in one-on-one coaching. 

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com. You can follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

Credits:

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

EP 8: Connection, Mutuality, and Disrupting the System with Alex Gandy

EP 8: Connection, Mutuality, and Disrupting the System with Alex Gandy

January 4, 2019

Alex Gandy is a teacher at Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas. She teaches leadership program she created called Starting Off Strong, works with Avid college prep students, student council, and is a yoga teacher at the Mat Studio and an Embody Love Movement Facilitator.

We start off with Alex sharing her story of finding her passion for teaching, the bumps of failing at self-care, moving through complete burnout, and her own healing journey. As Alex talks her fiery passion, critical thinking, and heart based leadership is extremely present. Alex speaks to the pain and challenges and push back with creating new programs in a very structured system. As Alex shares her story she reflects on specific moments that led to her realize she was burnout leading her to the yoga studio for self-introspection and healing. In her healing journey she has been able to cultivate more self-compassion as well as empathy for other teachers leading her to deeper connection to everyone and a more whole way of teaching. She emphasizes that connecting to the people around her in her school guides her to be a more wholehearted educator with the courage to face the brokenness of the system. Alex also shares how she has learned to care for herself including establishing non-negotiables and community outside of her work as an educator. This led us to a discussion of mutuality and how in service industry, those of us that serve need to cultivate things that fills up, things that give back to us - that are mutual. We discuss how in public school and in summer camp industry that there is a need for finding ways to teach both young people and educators how to connect and fill up from the inside out, as opposed to offering more time off or more physical things as a way to provide support. Alex makes a point that there needs to be more self-introspection and heart work for educators to connect to themselves and share their purpose with each other, and that one of the blocks to this work and self-care is a false belief that taking time for yourself means you are taking away time from a student. She moves into connecting how this belief and other things can lead to educators being pit against each other, which serves the system so that change does not occur. Through metaphor Alex teaches us how and why change is so difficult in the education system.

Our discussion of mutuality and change moved us into a discussion of learning how and when to disrupt the system can be a form of self-care. Alex shares that creating disruptions in the education system - aka pushing back to create change - can be fun. Doing this you will need a team to support you - that you are pushing back together. On this team she discusses how it’s important to know your strength and have people that will call you on your stuff. Alex tells a moving from her semester abroad in Poland, particularly her visit to Auschwitz - she connects this to the need to practice disrupting the system with things that are not that scary because there are times when it is scary. Practice using your courage to stand up for things you believe in your heart and for things that give kids space to explore and grow, so that when you come up to racism and other topics that can invoke fear and discomfort. She concludes this part of the discussion by reminding us that we have to be discerning about when to disrupt, picking moments that will be a catalyst for the most change, and know that we may be painted as a villain by some people.

Alex wraps up by sharing that her vision for a transformation in education is to let more of the world and current happenings in life through the doors of school, to allow students to experience real time discussion of current events and the discomfort, failure, and non-conclusion that occurs with dialogue on difficult topics.

Two of my favorite quotes from this episode:

“How we care for our kids is how we care for each other.” - Alex Gandy

“The now doesn’t come into play enough in education.” - Alex Gandy

Questions to Ask Yourself

How are you caring for yourself as you start your spring semester?

What are your non-negotiables?

What is something you need to fill you up?

Where do you go for mutual care?

How do you go about self-introspection?

Resources

CTZN Well - http://www.ctznwell.org/  is a great resource for more information on disrupting the system

Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown

Want to reach out to Alex, you can email her at alex.h.gandy@gmail.com.

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com. You can follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

Credits:

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

EP 7: Embracing the Holiday Season

EP 7: Embracing the Holiday Season

December 20, 2018

I share 4 things to help you move through the holidays with intention, presence, and gratitude.

1. Embrace the chaos!

2. Slow Down!

3. Reflect on 2018!

Get cozy - engage your senses helps your mind slow down

Choose a way to express yourself, I do this with journaling, feel free to use another method if it speaks to you. If you are journaling, use a free write method, nothing has to be logical or full sentences, you are engaging your right brain here, enjoy the creativity!

Go throw each month and write (or express) what comes up, asking yourself what did I learn from _____________?

Circle themes as you re-read your notes, then do some more free writing around these themes. What did you learn? Is there anything left that needs addressed this year?

Engage in a gratitude meditation

Take your gratitude a step further and express your gratitude for those in your life that brought you lessons. This will help you deepen your connections with people.

4. Intentional Self-Care Planning

List 2-3 of your top core values and define them

Brainstorm 2-3 actions that will allow you to live into these values

Set intention for big events that are guided by your values. This will help you be present at the event and engage in ways that will grow your being.

Write down when you will pause each day to do NOTHING

Find an accountability buddy! Share your self-care intention setting, especially when you intend to pause - this will help you stay committed, will guide you to connect with others, and you may inspire your buddy too!

You will have plenty of time to set intentions, goals, and manifest for 2019, for now - spend time reflecting, nourishing, and going inward to close out 2018.

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions, want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E., or interested in one-on-one coaching with me? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com. You can follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

Credits:

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

EP 6: Five Minute Holiday Meditation

EP 6: Five Minute Holiday Meditation

December 14, 2018

Take five minutes today and each day this week (I challenge you!) to meditate - just sitting and breathing. You need this and so do your students. All of us have five minutes. We spend more time on our phones and worrying in our heads each day, so take some of those minutes and give yourself this gift. 

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com. You can follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

 

Credits:

Meditation background music: Skyward by Scott Buckley http://www.scottbuckley.com.au/ Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0VL_aMEfHic 

Outro music credits: www.soundcloud.com/ikson

 

EP 5: I Have a Confession

EP 5: I Have a Confession

December 12, 2018

Here I go baring my heart and introducing the soul of B.R.A.V.E.

B.R.A.V.E. raises the consciousness of education through facilitating heart and soul transformation with educators - encouraging embodiment of bold, resilient, authentic, and vulnerable leadership. This is a call for the conscious revolution of education and a call to all of us educators to level up. Listen to my heart on this short episode! 

Weekly Questions

  • What is transforming in you?
  • What in your life needs to die off so the most of you can emerge?
  • What are you becoming? Take a look at who you spend time with, what words you speak and with what energy, and how do you speak to yourself.

Resources

Marianne Williamson quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” https://marianne.com/

Seane Corn quote: “Change the people, Change the System” from CTZNWell Podcast EP 3: http://www.ctznwell.org/ctznpodcast/003-seane-corn

Find more info on Seane at https://www.seanecorn.com/ and

http://www.offthematintotheworld.org/seane-corn/ 

 

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com. You can follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

Credits:

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

EP 4: Burnout with Ruby Compton

EP 4: Burnout with Ruby Compton

December 6, 2018

This week Ruby Compton joins me for a discussion on burnout in the education industry. Ruby runs her own company, Ruby Outdoors, which works to help busy professionals be more present and confident outdoors through trainings and vacation concierge services. 

Ruby and I have known each other for a few years through the summer camp industry and recently caught up at the first ever Women in Camp Summit (follow on Instagram @womenincamping) outside of Chicago at the beginning of November. In the episode, Ruby shares her journey of becoming a summer camp professional, growing into a year-round role,  the different ways she made changes during her career, and what led to her own personal burnout.

We discuss the sacrifices that come with the lifestyle of a program or camp director, and the shame that can come up around stating you need more self-care as an educator. The messaging in the education industry is we must always put campers/students first, which easily leads educators to struggle to say they need self-care time. Ruby shared the way the stress showed up in her body as illness, and the way her health dramatically improved when she made choices more in alignment with her desires and needs.

We discuss the missing link of taking care of middle management in the summer camp industry. From the evolution of summer camp, to the growing demands of educators, and higher stakes all educators feel the stress. Systematic issues in camping industry and public school system lead to a robotic treatment of the humans doing very difficult jobs. We discuss the hypocrisy that this creates - summer camp is an industry that values and promotes human connection and relationship, but we are missing this as a whole when it comes to the treatment of our people in camp administrative roles.

In our discussion around the sacrifice of summer camp/educator lifestyle, I asked when do you make the choice? Ruby brings up self-reflection is key to understanding your sacrifices and needs. She shares two tools:

  • Mind Maps - she explains the way she mind maps how she spends her time
  • Re-interview yourself for your job

This moved us into a discussion of ‘sacred no’ and intentional language around how you spend your time and the choices you make. Then we dive into up leveling the conversations on both sides of management - this is vital to creating shift in the industry around taking better care of camp directors. One of my favorite points of the episode is ‘how you finish your job shows more about you than how you start your job’. It is difficult when someone wants to leave a heart-based job for the employer to not take it personally. Courageous and vulnerable leadership is needed from everyone when camp administration want to transition to a new position or leave for a new organization.

We rap on some creative ideas for creating more sustainable practices for summer camp pros and teachers. It is vital that we work as an industry as a whole and within our individual organizations to find creative ways to retain our year round staff. This includes changing the way we think about time off, pay, benefits, the amount of time we work, as well as saying no to industry norms such as being in a frenzy every May going into your summer. Additionally we discussed camp pros affinity for entrepreneurship.

We dig into the epidemic happening in the summer camp industry of strong camp directors leaving the industry because they are saying no to the sacrifice that is asked of each of us as summer camp professionals, and that self-care is knowing what your needs are.

Ruby shares what she loves about the outdoors because getting into nature is a wonderful way to self-care. I asked her  to share ideal vision for the education system as we wrap up.

You can visit Ruby’s website, https://rubyoutdoors.com/ and get in touch with Ruby via email ruby@rubyoutdoors.com or follow her on Instagram @rubyoutdoors - I highly recommend her for camp and staff training consulting, trainings, speaking, and booking a vacation with her in the mountains of western North Carolina. You can also catch her sharing her staff training expertise as a co-host of the podcast of Camp Code, http://camphacker.tv/camp-code/.

 

Questions to ask yourself this week:

 

What reality are you creating with your mindset and your energy?

What are your needs?

How are you meeting them?

Where have you abandoned yourself?

What needs will you take to your supervisor this week to have a creative discussion about making some changes?

 

Resources

Mind Mapping - https://www.mindmapping.com/

Creative problem solving - http://www.creativeeducationfoundation.org/creative-problem-solving/

Growth Mindset - https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-having-a-growth-mindset-actually-means

 

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com. You can follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

 

Credits:

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

EP 2: My Story

EP 2: My Story

November 29, 2018

In this episode I share my story of discovering my path as an educator, break down, breakthrough and healing and how BRAVE came into being. I start off with an ‘I Come From’ poem which is a fun icebreaker to use with students, I modified this version: https://freeology.com/worksheet-creator/poetry/i-am-from-poem/ - you can easily do this as a verbal or written exercise.

As part of my story I discuss and define intrusive thoughts. For more information on Intrusive thoughts visit www.intrusivethoughts.org. I also discuss my experience with anxiety. If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety, depression, addiction, or any other mental illness please reach out for support. You are not alone, and you deserve help through your journey in healing. It may feel impossible now, and it may be very challenging, and I encourage you from the bottom of my heart to check out these resources now.

Transference and counter-transference:

https://k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com/tlb/what-is-transference-and-counter-transference/

https://www.rivendell.nsw.edu.au/resources/for-teachers/tool-kit/transference-and-countertransference/

 

Resources for anxiety and depression

Find more on the book I refer to “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior”: http://www.peacefulwarrior.com/

One of my favorite tools for working with the anxiety I experience is to consume media that lights me up. My favorite blog is elephantjournal.com and one of my all time favorite coach and author is Christine Hassler who hosts a podcast called Over it And On With It where she coaches people live on air through an issue they are struggling with. This is a great place to connect into other people doing inner work and learn valuable tools to apply to your own life. https://christinehassler.com/podcast/

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com. You can follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

Credits:

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

EP 3: Finding Stillness with Jill Murawski

EP 3: Finding Stillness with Jill Murawski

November 11, 2018

Jill Murawski joins me for episode three of B.R.A.V.E. to share her passion for finding stillness, setting children up for learning success and brain health. Jill owns Fit Yoga in Richardson, Texas and is a trained educator with STRIPES. In this episode, she shares her values and how she lives into her values through her life, including how she finds stillness each morning. Jill discusses the difference of holding ourselves to what we ‘should’ be doing versus bringing ‘allowing’ into our lives. Allowing leads to grace in our lives.

STRIPES is Systematic Training in Relaxation for Inner Peace for Every Student, a wonderful program that involves learning to be still, to move, and breath to help set students up for learning success. Teaching these skills guides youth to learn that they have all the tools within them already to be able to move through life. This leads us to the discussion around children feeding off adults’ nervous systems. Breathing is a vital tool for helping educators and students self-regulate, bring a sense of calm, and move into their parasympathetic nervous system. Jill advocates that educators need to practice pausing, breathing, and being still as a part of self-care. This leads us back to giving ourselves grace as we are in our practice of self-care. Jill is also an Embody Love Movement Facilitator, which we will share more about in a future episode. The ELM facilitator training mentioned in this episode is past, but if you are interested in learning more, please email me - see below.

 

Self-Care Ideas

  • Take time each morning to pause and find stillness through meditation, quiet time, or getting into nature
  • Learn breathing techniques
  • Bring movement into your morning
  • Give yourself grace - allow self-care to come into your life
  • Schedule time for yourself to take a break

 

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How do you begin each morning? How does this routine affect you as you move into your day? Are there adjustments you would like to make?
  • What are you in the practice of each day?
  • What is your technology use like and how is it affecting you?
  • What is one thing you can schedule for yourself this week to take a break?

 

Resources

 

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com

Want support in developing authentic self-care? Work with me one-on-one for 3 months and we will create a self-care system that works for you! Or join BRAVE self-care mastermind, enrolling now and beginning December 1st. Email brave.educators@gmail.com for more info, and follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Until next week, go out Be BRAVE, Hearts Forward.

 

Credits:

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

EP 1: An Intro to Self-Care

EP 1: An Intro to Self-Care

October 18, 2018

Samantha Brusnighan joins us for the very first episode of B.R.A.V.E. to discuss her journey in self-care and how it has shaped the way she works with her students. Sam is a Houston ISD based college and career readiness educator with a Master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Like many educators her job varies from day-to-day and time of year. Listen in as she discusses her own passion for personal-development and leadership that led her to discover that she is energized by building relationships, and discovering how use tools such as Strength’s Finder, a leadership assessment tool, for herself and in her college readiness program.

As our discussion deepens, you can follow how Samantha’s own quest for bettering herself creates meaningful impact for her students because she teaches from experience. Sam brings up the idea that you can’t pour into someone else’s cup what you do not have in your own cup. She goes into her story of burning out during her first few years as an educator, which led to health issues, eventually leading her to more intentional self-care. She shares how her self-care journey has evolved from just movement and exercise to other significant self-care practices, and we jive on creating a self-care system of your own that works for you and how this is a discovery process.

We discuss how self-care is cyclical holistic, when you just focus on one area of self-care the other parts tend to fall into place, and how we cannot strive for perfection in self-care, but rather just starting somewhere. She further shares how she has taken her self-development journey into her teaching, putting practices such as mindfulness into lingo that her students can relate to. This led us to a discussion of failure and how to process failure as an educator. I loved that Sam vulnerably shares that letting go of failure continues to be a growth area for her, and she is learning the valuable tool of reframing situations and defining success for herself -- all incredibly crucial aspects of self-care that we may not normally define as self-care. As we wrap up our conversation, Samantha mentions that she has PCOS and ties learning health practices specifically for her that do not necessarily follow specific rules helps her create understanding and intention behind her actions, which helps her self-care be more consistent. She discusses how being vulnerable with her PCOS journey taught her to bring vulnerability into her teaching. We discuss how being vulnerable with our students is an act of self-care and a positive and impactful teaching tool because our students know when we are living in our truth.      

Listen in at the end as Sam shares her vision for the future of education.

Self-Care Ideas

  • Start your day off with positivity by consuming content you enjoy!
  • Surround yourself with people that inspire you and fan your fire.
  • Focus on one area of self-care to start instead of trying to get every area ‘right’ or going at the same time. It’s ok to start slow.
  • Recognize how you process failure and define success for yourself.
  • Practicing being vulnerable with boundaries to deepen relationships.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What beliefs do you have around ‘self-care’?
  • How do you start your day?
  • What content do you enjoy consuming that you could bring into your life with intention?
  • Who do you surround yourself with? Who are the people in your life that inspire you and how much time do you spend with them?
  • How do you process failure?
  • How comfortable are you with vulnerability?

Resources

You can follow Samantha, her self-care journey, and awesome cat Tater on Instagram @samanthabee785 or contact her via email, sbrusnig@gmail.com  

Follow B.R.A.V.E. on Instagram and Twitter @brave_educators and on Facebook @brave.educators Have questions or want to share your story on B.R.A.V.E.? Email me brave.educators@gmail.com

Want support in developing authentic self-care? Work with me one-on-one for 3 months and we will create a self-care system that works for you! Email brave.educators@gmail.com and follow me personally on Instagram @embodied.soul.love

Music by https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson

Until next week, go out and Be BRAVE.