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 78: The Unity Mandala (With Raphael Divi)

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Raphael Vincent a Haitian-born artist and activist based out of Victoria, British Columbia, who celebrates the concept of strength through unity in order to bring a sense of belonging and identity to school-aged students through the creation of collaborative mandalas made from a common household item.

Raphael hopes to create a healing symbol for those involved in the system and bringing students together for the greater good.

In this conversation, we talk about art as a healing force, the unity of humanity, and Raphael shares an easy exercise that can help any creativity skeptic regain a sense of creativity.
You can find out more about Raphael on his website https://www.theunitymandala.com or by following him on Instagram at raphaeldivi

Ep 76: Culturize Your School (With Jimmy Casas)

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

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a the kind of educational leader that nurtures excellence while building a powerful sense of community?

I’ve got another gem for you today…the one and only Jimmy Casas!

In our wide-ranging conversation, we explore:
* the biggest challenge in education,
* how to become a leader regardless of your title,
* how to delegate effectively,
* how to reach tough-to-teach kids without lowering expectations,
* the power of second chances, one of his top anxieties as a school leader,
* and the magic of establishing student-centred school culture.

Jimmy Casas is the best-selling author of Culturize and Stop Right Now, a speaker, and leadership coach, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Drake University in Educational Leadership. He was an award-winning principal who served for twenty-two years as a school leader and is now consulting with and coaching educators, principals, and superintendents across the us.

You can find him and more about his books on social media at casasjimmy or online at jimmycasas.com

Throughout the book Culturize, Jimmy refers to his 4-point-core-values that have guided his practice as a leader and we touch on many of these throughout the interview:
1. Be a Champion for Kids– 3 rs’ …relationship, relationship, relationship! It turns out that most kids don’t succeed because a lack in these following three areas: confidence capability, and connection.
2. Expect Excellence– Choose empathy vs. sympathy and through effective scaffolding, hold the people you serve and your stakeholders to a high standard.
3. Carry the Banner– Be positive about your school. Branding happens…you can either control the message or let someone else do it. Social media is here to stay, so it makes sense to learn how to harness it.
4. Be a Merchant of Hope -Give people chances, make your mistakes right, and believe in people.

In culturize, Jimmy asks leaders to reflect on their practice using the following questions:
-Do your words inspire success or shame?
-Do you acknowledge the needs of others?
-Do you dismiss the gifts of others?

Hope you enjoy the episode. Please share with people you think would benefit from the message.

Ep. 75 Teach Like a Pirate (With Dave Burgess)

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Have you ever wanted to know the secret to truly achieving success?

How to create rapport in less than one minute?

What about rethinking your personal brand-everyone has one (you can either be intentional about it or let someone else create it for you)?

What about how to guard against the destructive nature of perfectionism?

This episode with New York Times Bestselling author, speaker, and publisher Dave Burgess is a total game-changer because in our 40 minute conversation, he dropped so much knowledge that I took two pages of notes and I had to listen back to the recording just to squeeze it all out!

Get ready to be inspired! #TLAP #smallactbigimpact #kindsight101

https://www.daveburgessconsulting.com
@burgessdave (twitter)
@dbc_inc (instagram)

A Rant about Joker

image0So, this is a personal rant about the movie, Joker. While I know this is just a movie, I challenge the long-term implications to our culture of “normal.” I also question the 14 A rating as we know from The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, that copy-cat trends in crimes start with an antecedent example.
Last night, my husband and I went to see Joker. Knowing full-well it would be gritty and dark, I mentally prepared myself… disconnected myself as much as I could throughout the movie from the violence, grit, sorrow, horror, and anger in the movie. I tend to take that stuff on as though it was real, so I have to fashion a protective casing around my emotions before I watch that stuff.
Honestly, I was spellbound by Joaquin Phoenix’s method approach to the character. He totally nailed it… to the point where I questioned where reality and fiction intersected.
I felt chills in the back of my skull as the character pulled the trigger on loved ones, when he exposed the delusions he was living to the audience, and when he scared every last human with whom he connected.
As I left the theatre, I didn’t feel empathy. I felt fear. It made me want to pull my children closer to me. It made me skeptical of strangers. Cortisol was clearly pumping through my body because I felt protective of my family. The concern is that I’m a pretty open-minded person. I bet lots of parents felt this way leaving that theatre. It is precisely why I do the work I do. This sentiment is really bad for us. It creates the US vs THEM narrative that allows humanity to put atrocious nazi-esque policies in place.
Throughout the movie, it was clear that the character was battling a grave mental illness exacerbated by severely traumatic childhood experiences and a distinct lack of connection to human beings. He presented as a psychopath, unable to feel empathy for others in pain and sadistically demonstrating joy in hurting others. Psychopaths make up less than 1% of our population.
We learned that the character was on medication, had been repeatedly admitted to psych wards, had been incarcerated, and had to see social workers routinely.
Honestly, I worry about the way the mass market with conflate all mental illness with sadistic psychopathy. Most people living with visible mental illness are not psychopath killers.
I have met incredible people and children who are afflicted with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, severe depression and anxiety, and delusions. This is out of their control. Many of these folks are tax-payers, parents, business people, creatives, accountant, lawyers, and contribute positively to society with the help of medication.
My major concern is that people will alienate these folks even more than they already do because of fear. Many of these people work hard to overcome the negative stigma of mental illness. There is so much shame already associated with these disorders, I’m not sure that this movie helps dispel the cultural view of mental illness.
We need to wrap our arms tighter around people battling mental illness. We need to remind them of their place in society. We need to continue to fund the social services that support those living in poverty. We need to intervene early with high-risk kids.
We need to move closer not further away.
I don’t think the film should be banned. I just think we need to ensure we have the cultural conversation around the type of illness this portrays.
#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact

 

#kindnessninjas The October Challenge

IMG_2876Allie Apels and The Kindness Ninjas:

I recently had the amazing Allie Apels of @joysofkinder on my podcast to discuss the transformative power of her brainchild “Kindness Ninjas” Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program in her kindergarten class (#kindnessninjas).

Essentially, a few years ago, when Allie was faced with one of the most challenging groups of children she had ever taught, she and her teaching partner (yes, there were two teachers allocated to one class due to the high level of needs), came up with a brilliant way to encourage the development of a kind and supportive classroom. They introduced a kindness ambassador: the kindness ninja. Every day, leading up to Christmas break, Allie and her class would be greeted by the kindness ninja who would leave them notes and various random acts of kindness missions.

She explained that the experience was completely transformative. The class came together as a team and that year wound up becoming one of Allie’s favourite years as a teacher.

All About Our 15-Day Kindness Ninja Video Challenge Synergy

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Not long after our conversation went live, we got the best idea ever and now…it’s about to go live!

This October, Allie and I are collaborating to bring your classroom an exciting synergy between the 21-Day-Kindness-Challenge and the Kindness Ninjas.

Every day, staring October 7th, 2019, we will be posting on our Instagram accounts 15 school-days worth of kindness ninja challenges to complete with your class. Our little kindness ninja will speak to your children through video using the chatterpix app.

We debated sharing the challenges ahead of time (we love a surprise), and decided to do so in order to give you amazing educators a head-start in your planning. Also, we will be posting the videos eventually to YouTube so that you can follow along on your own timeline at a later time!

How to Participate in the Challenge

  1. Follow us to see the videos! Follow Allie Apels on Instagram @joysofkinder and Morgane Michael @smallactbigimpact. 
  2. Watch the daily videos with your students-comment, tag others to join, use the hashtag #kindnessninjas, and don’t forget to tag us in your comments/photos/examples! We love seeing your journey, too!
  3. Participate in all 15 challenges (tagging us and linking the hashtag, too) and you’ll enter to win a prize at the end of the challenge!
  4. Spread the love and kindness to your school, workplace and community!

HERE’s A DIRECT LINK TO THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS-in FRENCH & ENGLISH 

Step-by-Step Breakdown with Prep Lists

  1. Day one: Create calming jars. Sneak into another classroom and leave the jars on the teacher’s desk for the class to enjoy.
    • Items you’ll need: A tube of clear or glitter glue, container of glitter, food colouring, jar with an airtight seal, Krazy glue to secure the lid. 

  2. Day two: Work together to create a collaborative mural with an encouraging kindness message for your school.
    • Items you might need-large bulletin-board paper, bulletin board letters, paint
    • Here are some examples of ideas that we’ve seen and love: 

  3. Day three: Line up along the hallways and offer smiles and high-fives to students when they come in from recess.ADB9C979-2E53-4B84-9B6A-2637DF7FD14B
  4. Day four: Make Thanksgiving Art for a nearby senior’s centre and deliver it to them before the holiday to make their hearts a little fuller.7531198384_IMG_9043
  5. Day five: Offer to help clean up your school grounds or a particular area of your school. Your custodian will thank you!
    • Items you might need: Picker-upper sticks, gloves, bags
    • Don’t forget to remind your kids about safety! You don’t want anyone picking up dangerous litter and hurting themselves.
  6. Day six: Make kindness pencils by attaching a kind message flag to colourful pencils, then sneak into another class and deposit them on their desks.
    • You’ll need pencils, little paper flags (white labels work, make little flags out of paper, or pay $2 to use this template 

  7. Day seven: Create a giant card for a special staff member in your school to show your gratitude for all that they do.
  8. Day eight: Bring a book from home, wrap it, and gift it to another class. Or, wrap several books and leave them in special places for members of your community to find.mrsmacsbooks
    • Mrs. McIntosh from Alberta, Canada recently did an amazing job wrapping and hiding gently loved books to her community. Check out her blog post about it!
    • What you will need: Gently loved books (one from the class or one from each student), wrapping paper (make, use newsprint, or purchase), notes explaining who it’s for and what it’s for. Check out Mrs. Mac’s example.
  9. Day nine: Write or trace notes of appreciation for the staff members of your school. Place the notes in their mailboxes or on their vehicle windshields.
  10. Day ten: Create a kindness cart to deliver cold beverages and snacks to teachers in your school (or set up the staff room for a special surprise treat day before lunch or recess):kidnesscart
    • What you’ll need: beverages (large containers of iced tea/lemonade/tea/sparkling water and coffee) or individual cans. Also, cookies/crackers and cheese/and homemade treats are always appreciated.
    • Students can make small posters or cards expressing their gratitude for those who serve the school.
  11. Day eleven: Create posters with uplifting and positive messages on them. When everyone is out for recess, tape them up on the mirrors of the bathrooms for all to see. Here is a free set of speech-bubble postersPosters to DecorateColour-in Postersor make your own (here are some quoteideas)! 

  12. Day twelve: Create kindness clothespinswith lovely messages to pin on staff and students within your school.
    • Check out some of thclothespine ideas from happinessishomemade.net about the kindness clothespins.
    • You’ll need paint, modge-podge, and some small-sized printouts of encouraging messages to adapt this project for the classroom.
  13. Day thirteen: Create beautiful kindness bookmarks with encouraging notes on them. Sneak into your school library and hide them in the books. Here is a template from TPTBe Kind TemplateMultiple Message Bookmarks 

  14. Day fourteen: Write special letters to people in your family thanking them for all that they do for you. Use fancy paper and envelopes to make it extra special.
  15. Day fifteen: Make a kindness big-book to gift to another class, to inspire them to be kind within your school. Each person can make a page to tell one way to be a kindness ninja. You could even send it to another school to spread the ripples of kindness throughout your community.

#kindnessninjas #smallactbigimpact #kindsight101

 

 

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.

How to Be a Rockstar Podcast Guest

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

How to Be a Stellar Podcast Guest

Podcasting is the new frontier in marketing and business communication. Everyone seems to have one or want to be a guest on one. Now, it’s more important than ever to know how to hone your message so that it lands well with your desired audience. Sharing your ideas effectively is simple enough, but it helps to keep a few key elements in mind.  I’d like to share a simple six-step framework I’ve learned from my own journey as a podcast host and coach, to help you do just that.

I’ve had the pleasure to experience the world of podcasting first-hand though my role as an online coach/mentor for Seth Godin’s The Podcast Fellowshipand through the creation of my own podcast, KindSight 101, a podcast where you’ll hear from world renowned educational leaders about the mobilizing power of kindness.

Alongside a handful of other incredible coaches, I’ve had the honour of mentoring hundreds of people through the process of creating a podcast that aligns with their brand, message, and the change they wish to make in the world. Since my introduction to podcasting in 2018 as a novice, I’ve had many people ask for advice about becoming a better podcast interviewee. I’d like to share 6 tips I’ve learned that will guide your success and excellence in communicating your message even more effectively as a podcast guest.

6 tips for being a stellar podcast guest:

  1. Singular Message:Think about your central theme or message. Can you sum it up in a sentence or less? It’s helpful to first think of your ideal audience? Can you describe an avatar that represents the ideal customer or listener?  What is your product or message for? What problem are you seeking to solve with your work? If you can answer those questions eloquently and clearly, it’s likely people will sit up and take notice.

 

  1. Stories:People learn and connect to one another through narrative. Warren Buffet once said, in his annual letter to shareholders, that leadership lies in the ability to tell a good story. The best podcast guests I’ve had respond to questions by telling a story first, then zooming back out to the learning or actionable strategy. Have a few stories “in the bank” that relate to several subtopics connected to your overarching theme and story of origin. Telling a narrative makes the idea stickier and connects people more readily to your message by engaging their emotions. People are emotional beings. It is emotion that often causes people to act. If you can tell a story that motivates people to take meaningful action (buying your product, visiting your website, starting a new habit), you’ve won!

 

 

  1. Strategies:Have a few actionable tips related to your big idea. Often, I find that giving people a three-step system, approach, or set of guiding questions can help anchor your idea to a corresponding action. You don’t simply want to inspire people, you want to transform their lives. They can only do that if you leave them with a roadmap or some instruction about what to do once they’re inspired.

 

  1. Sales:Understand the difference between self-promotion and value creation: For some people the idea of selling one’s products or brand feels like a shameful and uncomfortable endeavour. Every successful guest I’ve spoken to believes so deeply that their message or idea will improve the lives of the audience that they confidently approach the interview from the perspective that it’s their moral imperative to shine light on it. The result? More people feel compelled to buy the book, subscribe to their blog, purchase their merch or buy their course.

 

  1. Statistics:Statistics are a helpful way to reinforce the science and rationale behind your concept. It’s a tricky balance. Stats, if overused, can put people to sleep, but harnessed properly can wake them up to a shocking reality or paint a picture worth remarking. Keep a few basic statistics in the bank related to your central theme, but always make stats come alive by comparing them to something tangible.

 

  1. Summarize: Don’t forget to summarize your main points a second time. When we are listening to audio, it sometimes takes a few repeats to let an idea sink in. According to the book How to Give a TED talk by Jeremy Donovan, people need to hear a central message approximately three times before it anchors in their minds. Having a 2-4-word mantra that summarizes the concept, helps with the stickiness of the idea. For example, in my speaking, I often tell stories that come back to my central philosophy of “small act, big impact.”

 

 

The podcasting genre has become a favourite medium for entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, and dreamers to make their mark on the world by spreading their message and networking synergistically with like-minds. These days, anyone with a message, niche market, or obscure set of skills can share their expertise through audio. Unlike YouTube, podcasting lends itself to our current multi-tasking culture. You can listen while you run. You can listen while you do menial household tasks. You can listen and transform the experience of the once-soul-crushing commute.

 

At the last check in June 2019, there were approximately 750,000 podcasts in existence (up from 26 percent since 2018).  That number continues to grow exponentially as there are approximately 547 new podcast shows launched every day! Compared to the 25 million YouTube channels that exist, podcasting is still relatively under-developed and presents some significant opportunities for growth. According to a recent Apple survey, approximately only one in two Americans has listened to a podcast, so this number is sure to grow in the coming years.

 

With the growing number of enthusiastic podcast listeners, being a podcast guest is a great way to share your ideas, sell your product, promote your book, and uphold your company’s brand.

 

E: 70 Kindness Ninjas (With Allie Apels)

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

Kindness has the power to change even the toughest class!

Allie Apels is a mother of two, a wife, kindergarten teacher, and Sensei to her KINDergarten Kindness Ninjas based out of Airdrie Alberta, Canada.

She is passionate about empowering her little ninjas to become kind, contributing citizens, and change makers. With their red headbands, stealth, and sneaky skills; they’re encouraged to engage in random acts of kindness (aka. missions) and good deeds within their home, school, community, and World.

Most importantly, she focuses on teaching them how to spread kindness to themselves through mindfulness. They share their heart-warming stories with the World, in hopes to inspire others to join their movement. You can get more information on her website http://www.kindnessninjasrvs.com/, follow her on Instagram @joysofkinder or on twitter JoysofKinder @MrsApelsKinder .

Check out this video, too!

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. 
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