Am I a Storyteller?

It was in Grade Two when I first had the audacity to create an after-school writing club with a handful of friends.
Audacious, because my teacher believed that although I showed hints of “potential,” my story craft was evidently pretty weak.
Every week or so after the final bell rang, my little crew and I would race onto the bus, walk the 1/2 mile of gravel road to my front door, plunk ourselves down at my kitchen table, and we’d begin.
I think in hindsight that the others came for the snacks. I bumbled through that year with the unwavering belief that I was a storyteller.
Soon, with advent of a few strong personalities and notable events in my life, that belief transformed into doubt. I began curating my contributions and took on the role of observer.
The truth is that until recently, I’ve rushed to the punch-line, unable to own my slice of the limelight.
Not long after my children were born, I tuned back into the little whispers and the deep restlessness I felt.
I began writing.
It wasn’t “good” but it was my voice. Clarity and passions emerged… ideas… interests.
My joyful observation and curiosity then pushed me to start a podcast.
I am honoured to listen to the stories of countless people and delight in connecting them to my own, to the narrative of common humanity that runs through all of us.
Now, I have been delighting in creating workshops for educators around creating belonging, and I understand the engaging power of story.
I am have stepped back into the belief that I am a storyteller.
How about you?
I’d love to hear your story of how some of this content has changed your viewpoint.
#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact #teachers

 

Ep. 89: Creating Calm in the Covid-19 Chaos (with Stefanie Szewczyk)

Let’s face it. The world as we know it has changed for the foreseeable future. Schools are closed. Essential services are the only businesses allowed to function. Covid-19 has ravaged much of Asia, Europe, and has made its way into the cities of North America.

As parents, business leaders, and teachers, we have been left scrambling to bring some sense of calm into the chaos. Many of us have had to face the new reality of online remote learning, while balancing the needs of our own children and job responsibilities.

Today, I speak with Stefanie Szewczyk, a fellow mom, virtual assistant, and project manager about the realities of working from home, how to schedule your day for optimal productivity, how to be kind to yourself in the process, and learning how to give your children what they need in this difficult time.

Please enjoy our conversation, as we attempt to bring calm to the chaos.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Ep. 85: Love is Medicine (With Monique Gray Smith)

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Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud Mom of fifteen year old twins. She is an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Some of her books include: Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, You Hold Me Up, What Fills My Heart with happiness, and Tilly and the Crazy Eights. Her books remind the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. We explore the concepts of

  • istening to your intuition,
  • being patient in allowing success to happen in a slow way,
  • the power of gratitude,
  • the gift of cookie people in our lives,
  • and how to give a heartfelt territorial acknowledgement that doesn’t just “tick the box.”
  • You can find Monique Gray Smith by typing her name in google.

Monique believes in the strength and resilience
of Indigenous peoples worldwide.

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Monique Gray Smith is a proud Mom of fifteen year old twins. She is an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Monique’s first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature.

Since then, Monique has had 5 books come out, including Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. Speaking our Truth has won numerous awards, is a a Canadian Best Seller and a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

It continues to be used across the country as a tool to educate the hearts and minds of both young and not so young readers. Monique’s latest release, Tilly and the Crazy Eights is an adult novel about an epic road trip that reminds the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine.

Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 28 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

 

Ep. 82: The More We Get Together (With Raffi)

 

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Millions know Raffi for his work as a children’s entertainer whose string of gold and platinum-selling recordings in North America includes his classic “Baby Beluga” song with its beloved melody and lyrics. But a very interesting piece of Raffi’s story is not as well known: Raffi’s pioneering commitment to honouring his young fans changed the way we came to view music made for children. Founding his own record label, Troubadour, then folk musician Raffi set out on a path that rescued children’s recordings from bargain bin pricing and sub-par production values.

In 1976, with help from Ken Whiteley and Daniel Lanois, Raffi made sure that his recordings met the highest standards. Raffi convinced retailers that parents would pay regular price for quality music for their children, and he was right. Teachers, parents and kids took an immediate liking to the kind of songwriting and recording Raffi offered, perhaps because of the respect that was obvious in his material and the playful delivery that always clicked with the kids. Soon, the media were knocking at Raffi’s door.

Because of his belief that children should not be exposed to too much television viewing and that they should not be directly marketed to, during his thirty-year career as a superstar of kid’s music Raffi refused all offers for commercial television shows and commercial endorsements. Even recently, when approached by a Hollywood production company to do a film based on “Baby Beluga,” he declined when told that the film’s marketing would include direct advertising to children. This is only one of a series of lucrative deals Raffi and Troubadour have declined over the years.


https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Ep. 81: A Self-Compassion Break (With Lisa Baylis)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

We talk about self-care non-stop these days, but certainly, there has to be more to it than bubble baths and pedicures.

This is the most delicious 6 minute mediation! Everyone needs this episode! #kindsight 101 #smallactbigimpact #podcast

Lisa Baylis has been sharing wellbeing strategies for the last 20 years. A natural born connector with an innate ability to make people feel valued and heard, she is an instructor, a counsellor, a facilitator, and a mother. Lisa is also the creator of the AWE Method — Awakening the Wellbeing for Educators — which merges self-care, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Lisa has a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. She has taught internationally and locally. Much of her vast teaching experience was gained in classrooms across British Columbia — from Fort St. John to the Comox Valley. Currently, she is a high school counsellor in Victoria and a point person for positive education and mindfulness within the Greater Victoria School District.
Trained by mindful self-compassion pioneers Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, Lisa is also a trained Mindful Self-Compassion teacher. She teaches an eight-week MSC curriculum in Victoria, while also running one-day AWE retreats. No matter the setting — classroom, counselling session, or teacher development — Lisa incorporates concepts of positive psychology, self-compassion, and mindfulness.
Check out her blog for ideas on how to incorporate aspects of mindfulness, and positive education into your classroom and the new curriculum.
Lisa is happy to connect! Feel free to contact her here.

 

Ep 79: The Secret to Health and Happiness (With Gail Markin)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever wondered what the number one predictor for high-achieving teams was? What about optimizing the brain’s most basic neurochemicals to live a happier life? Did you know that there are three main ingredients to create belonging in the work place, and anyone, irrespective of title can contribute to doing so? In our episode with Gail Markin, we’ll be answering these questions and more. I was totally blown away by the TED talk this amazing educator gave this past summer and want to share all the juicy learning with you! You can connect with her @markingail on twitter.

Notes:
Dr. Brene Brown’s master list of emotions
Dr. Lieberman’s work on physical vs. emotional pain

Gail Markin is a Middle School Counsellor and a District Support Teacher for Social Emotional Learning in Langley, British Columbia. Gail has a background in social work, family counselling and parent education. Gail is a member the BC School Centred Mental Health Coalition, Social Emotional Learning BC and the Langley School District Wellness Team. She is passionate about promoting and supporting mental health and wellness for all. Here is the talk that was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Ep 72- Solving Challenging Behaviour (with Dr. Ross Greene)

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If you are an educator, school administrator, parent, camp counsellor, or employer, chances are you’ve had experience with challenging behaviours.

So often, we focus on crisis-management and behaviour-modification to attempt to make challenging behaviours “go away,” but as we know, sticker charts and reward systems do little to encourage intrinsic motivation and, furthermore, do not address the underlying problems that cause the problematic behaviours.

I sat down with Dr. Ross Greene this summer to discuss his Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model in order to learn how we can solve some of the most challenging school behaviours.

Here are some things we discuss:

  • The Four Main Philosophies that guide Collaborative Proactive Solutions:
  1. Kids do well if they can.
  2. Your explanation guides your intervention.
  3. Be responsible to the hand you’ve been dealt.
  4. Challenging behaviours occur when certain demands and expectations exceed a kid’s ability to respond adaptively to their environment. It’s a method of communication.
  • The Three Main “Umbrella” Lagging Skills
  1. Flexibility/ Adaptability
  2. Frustration Tolerance
  3. Problem Solving
  • Inclusion through the lens of teaching lagging skills and taking an empathic approach to adapting to problems integrating 100% of the time within the classroom for 100% of tasks
  • The Most Important Skill for an educator to lead with
  • A Step-by-Step Framework to Implement CPS  
    1. Empathy Step: Information gathering from the student- “What is hard for you about___? How does that make it hard for you to ____?”
    2. Define Adult Concerns: Explain and articulate adult expectations
    3. Invitation: Collaboration on a solution (having the student come up with some possible solutions to the problem and coming to a realistic, mutually satisfactory solution. “I wonder if there is something we can do about ____ do that you can ____? Do you have any ideas?”
  • A Real World Example of CPS in Action: Dr. Greene takes us through a step-by-step example of the process
  • Dr. Ross Greene answers 2 audience questions related to: 
    • Teen peer pressure
    • School-Family Partnerships
  • Dr. Ross Greene’s book recommendation: Sara Laurence Lightfoot‘s The Essential Conversation

Dr. Ross W. Greene is the author of Raising Human Beings, Lost and Found, Lost at School, and The Explosive Child. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over twenty years, and is now founding director of the nonprofit organization Lives in the Balance (LivesintheBalance.org), through which he disseminates the model of care—now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions—described in his books. Dr. Greene’s research has been funded by the US Department of Education, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Stanley Medical Research Institute, and the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. He speaks widely throughout the world.

“We cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them.”
Albert Einstein


Lives in the Balance
 is the non-profit organization founded by child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, originator of the empirically supported Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach and New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at SchoolLost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. 

Their vision is to foster collaboration and empathy, transform lives, and inspire change for all children (especially the most vulnerable), to heighten awareness of the detrimental and counterproductive effects of punitive interventions, and to address the systemic issues that impede our progress.

The mission of Lives in the Balance is to provide vital, accessible resources and programs to caregivers of behaviorally challenging kids; to bring the plight of these kids into the public consciousness; to address the systemic issues that cause many of these kids to slip through the cracks; and to promote parenting and disciplinary practices that foster the better side of human nature in all children. Their efforts are organized around the following initiatives:

Open Access: Through their Outreach initiatives — which include their website, their radio programs and Facebook groups, and their annual Summit — we ensure that parents, educators, mental health clinicians, and staff in restrictive therapeutic facilities have easy access to vast resources on the CPS model at little or no cost.

Lead the Change: Through their Advocacy efforts, they heighten awareness of the obsolete, counterproductive ways in which many behaviorally challenging kids are still treated; take action whenever we learn of schools and facilities that are treating kids — behaviorally challenging or not — in ways that are punitive, adversarial, and counterproductive; and provide consultation and training on non-punitive, non-adversarial, collaborative, proactive alternatives.

Fix The System: Through their proof-of-concept project — Invest in Maine’s At-Risk Kids (i-MARK) — we’re showing how a public-private partnership can eliminate many of the systemic issues that make it hard for at-risk kids and their families to access and receive the help they need. Once we’ve shown what can be done in one state, we’ll export the model to other states, provinces, and countries.

Lives in the Balance is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes. Our programs are funded by Dr. Greene and other philanthropic individuals and organizations. If you’re interested in supporting their vision and mission, please contact them by phone or by using the contact form on their website.

Byron Katie and Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations

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I was recently listening to Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul Conversations Podcast (which is amazing, BTW) and stumbled upon a conversation with Byron Katie about a really fascinating way that we can elongate the space between stimulus and response (a Viktor Frankel reference about the way that we can have more ownership and agency over the way we react to the challenges that life hands us).

She has a great 4-question framework that has done wonders in terms of re-thinking the worst-case scenario narratives that often start ramping up when things go sideways. I wanted to share them with YOU!

Imagine you’ve made plans with someone and you just can’t seem to get ahold of them. Perhaps, you start thinking that they are trying to avoid you or, worse, you think that something terrible has happened to them. Whatever your thought cycle, here’s a framework that can help you to dig yourself out:

  1. Is it true? Can I absolutely know that this is TRUTH? This is likely a story I am telling myself about what might have happened. 
  2. How can I check that this is true? I could call. I could think back to past behaviours to see what might be in line with who this person usually is. 
  3. How do I react when I believe this to be true? Unkind? Vengeful? Tearful? Guilty? Mind attack? Certainty-seeking? Imagining the worst?
  4. Who would you be without that thought? Peaceful. Trusting. Worthy. Enough. Faith-filled. 

E 67 – How to be a Connection Ninja (With David Knapp-Fisher)

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How do you make authentic connections with people?

How can we teach kids to do the same?

What are some of the keys that will enable students to be successful in the uncertain future world they face?

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

I want to introduce you to my friend, David Knapp-Fisher, a connection ninja, speaker, author, world-traveller, and speaking coach.

In this episode, we talk about his journey as an advocate for his son living through muscular dystrophy, what it takes to set and achieve audacious goals, how self-education is the key to the future, the importance of service and gratitude in helping you get where you want, and the four steps to creating lasting connections with the people you serve.

We’ll talk about simple ways you can improve your (and your student’s) speaking through an easy formula.

We talk about the following game-changing books and authors:

– Tim Ferriss (Tools of Titans, 4 Hour Work Week)
– Richard Branson
– Tony Robbins
– Marc Marron
– Thoreau (Waldon)
– Mike Vardy
– Janelle Morrison
– Chris Gillebeau
– Jerry Lewis
– Jim Rohn

Can’t wait to hear your takeaways from this action-packed podcast.

Check out his TED talk here: https://youtu.be/t186tlhjvMk

Check out his website here: http://davidknappfisher.com

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