It’s also Appreciate a Dragon Day and the start of No Name-Calling Week. It’s gonna be a great week! I think my goal this week will be not to eat an entire sleeve of Fig Newtons in one sitting. #babysteps
Big Idea: It's OK to not feel confident 100% of the time.
You’ve probably noticed this at school:
People who talk about themselves a lot are really the most insecure, while the people who go about their business are generally quiet about their personal lives.
Lack of confidence shows an abundance of fear.
Fear of ridicule, fear or not showing up, fear of failure.
If we want to fight a fear (or one of the ways it shows up, like low self-confidence), we have to strive toward its opposite. Some say the opposite of fear is love. Others say it’s knowledge and understanding.
I say the opposite of fear is safety because you can’t feel love and you can’t learn to understand until you feel safe.
If you’re going to be confident, you have to feel safe in your environment, safe with your community, and safe in your own self. What to work on first? That’s your call - just make the decision with confidence and stick to it.
This week, try this: The next time your confidence lags this week, notice your body. What is your posture like? How has your breathing changed? What are you feeling in your gut? Try changing any of those symptoms, and your outlook will change as a result.
Quote: "Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud." (Google can't agree on the original author)
Educator Resource: 9 Self-Confidence Building Activities for Students - Some good ideas that can easily be adapted to any age (well, some of them require writing and reading). I also love that the last activity is yoga and this isn’t even a yoga website!
Dad Joke: Originally, I wasn't going to get a brain transplant. Then I changed my mind.
There’s a 100% chance that MLK had times of low self-confidence. We all do. If you feel unsure about your role at school, someone had to believe in you or you wouldn’t have a job. #justsayin If this was forwarded to you, and you’d like your own copy, sign up here.
Also, No Pant Subway Ride Day, 4th Graders Day, and Cassoulet Day. Oh, and Apricots Day, which I'm a fan of, as long as they are not those Mediterranean kind. Since when did those tasteless things become mainstream? Also, for you word nerds, a cassoulet is a French Stew with beans and meat, and the 'quintessential winter entrée'. Yes, please!
Big Idea: Remain flexible so that you do not break.
There’s just so. much. this week!
Maybe I did a good job of handling all the inputs before Christmas. Maybe I am still in vacation mode.
All I know is that this last week, it seems like every project I’ve ever touched needs attention.
The object now is to avoid overwhelm. In working toward that goal, I’m thinking about how bending on a couple of choice projects and deadlines won’t be the end of the world. They’ll still get done, just not on my original timeline. And that’s OK.
I think it’s better to be flexible on some things - the things where I can take a step back and determine that what’s causing me stress is a self-imposed deadline or a boundary that no one will really notice if I shift it a bit.
This week, try this: Are your New Year’s resolutions starting to chafe? Maybe you need to look at making them less strict and more flexible. For example, instead of saying I’m going to run 3 miles on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, maybe say that you’re going to do something active 3 times per week.
Quote: "The reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm." (Confucius)
Educator Resource: 3 Transitions for Elementary Kiddos - Last week, someone emailed asking for short (<4 minute) yoga videos to use as transitions for elementary students. I couldn’t find any either. Even if they do exist somewhere, you’ll use up precious seconds finding and queueing up the video when you could just be leading the yoga/breathwork transition yourself. WHAT? MYSELF? Yep! Start with this script and modify it as you get more comfortable. There’s one for energizing between activities, one for preparing to travel somewhere, and one for when they’re back in the classroom.
Dad Joke: What do you call security guards working outside Samsung shops? Guardians of the Galaxy.
Have an excellent rest of your day and week. Let me know if there is a resource you’d like to see (Yes, I realize they’ve been heavy on the elementary side recently. I’ll work on that!). If this was forwarded to you, and you’d like your own copy, sign up here.
Big Idea: The idea of approaching life with curiosity rather than with fear or judgement. The idea of questioning rather than accepting.
In your self-care practice, which could include working out, what if you wondered how your body responds to movement - and noticed that - rather than working to achieve a goal (usually a number)?
In your interactions in difficult or uncomfortable situations, what if you asked a question first rather than starting with a statement?
In preparing for your least favorite parts of the holidays, what if you asked if there could be a change?
This week, try this: The next time you come across something on social media or the news that you don’t agree with (in other words, you went straight to judgement), stop and wonder why. Why is this a truth for some people and not for me?
Quote: "Let your curiosity be greater than your fear." (Pema Chodron)
Educator Resource: Christmas Yoga Story for Littles - Last week, I asked to come back to do yoga with a kindergarten class in Marissa, IL. I thought it might be fun to have the kids do yoga poses throughout a story. So I wrote a version of ‘The Littlest Christmas Tree’ where the kids had to do certain poses each time they were mentioned in the story. It’s a story about a TREE, a MOUSE, an EAGLE (you see where this is going. I had to make up some poses just to make them flow together, but that’s OK!). On the last page, there’s a description of how to do each of the poses, so even if you’ve never done yoga before, check it out.
Dad Joke: Eyelashes are supposed to prevent things from getting in your eyes, but when I do have something in my eye, it's always an eyelash. Eyeronic.
Big Idea: We need to be mindful of our expectations.
When I was a kid, I’d write out the list of everyone I had to shop for: parents, sister, aunts, uncles, grandparents… all of them. Then I’d think up and shop for a unique gift for each one that fit within my budget.
Now, I get a giftster from my kids, and the adults in my life all want gift cards.
Where’s the fun in that? I guess that’s one way not to be disappointed when the gifts are opened.
Disappointment, anger, fear, and worry all have their roots in our expectations. If people don’t behave the way we expect them to, we are disappointed or even angry. If we are afraid that something might not go as expected, we worry. Have our expectations around gifting become too high? (or maybe it’s too low…?)
This week, try this: Try giving up expectations for something small this week, like your lunch. If you have no expectations on how good it will be, it will automatically be excellent! You may have to try this every day this week - it’s harder than it sounds.
Quote: Expectation is the root of all heartache." (William Shakespeare)
Educator Resource: DitchSummit and TeachIllinois: TeachIllinois.org is proud to announce YEAR 5 of collaboration with Matt Miller’s #DitchSummit. Go to his site to watch excellent PD and network with the growing community, and then go to TeachIllinois to get those hours made ‘real’ for IL educators. #winwin #free
Dad Joke: I quit my job at the helium factory today. I refuse to be spoken to in that tone.
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