Teacher Professional Development
The topic that seems to be everywhere right now is COVID-19, and what I'm hearing from a lot of people is fear.
Fear can be debilitating to anyone pursuing an ambitious goal, and it can also serve a crucial purpose to protect us from danger. The trick is to understand helpful from harmful fear. It can be particularly difficult to differentiate between helpful and harmful fear when the news uses headlines like, "Now a pandemic, coronavirus changes life indefinitely" (from CNN), or "Coronavirus forecasts are grim: ‘It’s going to get worse’" (Washington Post). When fear runs rampant, it becomes vital to discern between the fear that is helping us survive, and the fear that is keeping us from making logical decisions.
Fear does that. It hijacks our imaginations and discards facts. Or at least focuses only on those facts that justify alarm. This is not to dismiss the seriousness of the virus. The information gathered...
Conflict inherently has a negative connotation for many of us...
It's something to be avoided.
Or rushed through.
Or avoided in the moment only to be rehashed with a safe sounding board afterwards.
One of the most impactful lessons I've learned as I began to focus on my personal development was what a gift conflict really can be. In the past, I avoided it as much as possible. It was just easier to go passive, keep the peace, and avoid an uncomfortable situation than to assert my opinion.
For me it took a major mindset shift about conflict to have the courage to assert myself. However, once I started to see how much lighter and empowered I felt when I did speak up, my confidence grew and I began to try out my new skill in my most conflict riddled relationships.
If you're ready to change your mindset around conflict, or lead others on how to do so, take a moment and try my conflict...
Principle #1: People Support What They Help To Create
This principle may seem obvious to you, but stop and think about whether or not you truly employ it for a moment.
Now, I've heard all the objections:
I had a setback this week that hit me like a punch to the gut. I'm not going to bore you with the details of it, but let me just say, I'm up writing this blog post at 3:30 am because this setback is weighing on my mind. It sucked.
Phase 1 of dealing with setbacks usually looks something like this:
1. Curl up in a ball and throw myself a pity party
2. Reach out to get perspective from my most trusted sounding board friends
3. Move through the "I hate everything about the world and everything is terrible and wrong" angst and disappointment phase
Once I've done that I can move to the other side. And here is my take-away from this particular setback. The most important belief that I have about life is that everything is always, ALWAYS working out for me. Even when it doesn't feel like it. Even when it sucks a big butt and is hard and disappointing and exhausting and seems hopeless.
How can I believe this and live this way? Because I derive my sources of inspiration and...
I recently had the opportunity to fulfill one of my life's dreams: to see Oprah live. Her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour was making a stop in my backyard. So, once again, I said "yes" to myself and bought the ticket ($90 on Craigslist in a suite, pretty "sweet" deal...pun intended). And here were my biggest take-aways.
The life principles that Oprah talked about are universally applicable. They follow the same patterns, and when you understand them and stick with them, they yield results. She opened with this:
Wellness = All Things in Balance AND we can have everything we're supposed to have, just not all at the same time. When we have the intention of balance as our starting point, then we make sure to give energy and attention to each segment of our life over time.
Those who teach personal fulfillment and development (Oprah, Deepak, Tony Robbins, Danielle Laporte, Vishen Lakhiani, Brendon Burchard, Rachel...
When you set goals, what is your process? For most people, they get super jazzed about an idea, they may or may not write it down, and then they go straight into implementation mode.
For example, they’ll think, "I want to lose weight. I’m super motivated to do it because I’ve been eating like crap and none of my clothes fit."
The problem is that after they do these things for a few days or weeks, the initial excitement and resolve wears off and the old habits slip back in. They also realize pretty quickly, that just going through these motions….doing these tasks….there is something that feels kind of empty about the whole thing.
It’s not fulfilling.
It’s not sustainable.
There is not enough motivation or inspiration to keep them going.
Here we go again...another round of New Year’s resolutions that will bring us a sense of purpose and clarity, for what 2 weeks? 1 month? 2 months max?
The statistics on how many people actually follow through and accomplish their New Year's resolutions are rather grim.
So if this is such a widespread challenge for most of us, what is the solution?
Clearly, we all want to do better, be better, stop eating so much we can’t fit in our pants, and stop spending money like it’s water.
That’s why we keep getting back up on the New Year’s resolution horse, and why we set new goals, not only at this time of year, but all year long. It’s not like we don’t have good intentions, or that we’re not trying, but year after year most of slip back into our same old habits, ruts, or routines and...
Why am I having my kids hold this snake skin on their first day of school? A Double-Dog Dare You situation? An annual Fear Factor ritual we weirdly insist on our kids engaging in? No. It’s because it represents the process of shedding and new growth.
You see, as I’ve been pondering this next growth experience in our family’s life—leaving the phase of early childhood and entering into school-ager-ness for both of them—I recognize that it’s okay to let go. It really is part of the growth process, and what makes way for new life.
Mother Nature, in her infinite source of wisdom, models this for us in a variety of ways---molting of fur and feathers, trees letting go of their leaves, hermit crabs ditching their shells, snakes shedding their skin---and yes this is from our PET snake (that is a blog post for a different day).
Yet as humans--we tend to forget about the natural flow of life, resist change even though it is inevitable, and tell weird stories...