Big Idea: I’m sure there are whole books written on dissecting this idea but let’s just go with this one idea: Because we are emotional creatures, because we don’t like unresolved questions, and because 80% of self-talk is negative, we make up negative sh*t as answers to what we don’t know.
If we are having a text conversation and the bouncing dots that indicate a reply is being typed suddenly go away, what do we think? They think I’m stupid, they don’t really want to be having a conversation with me, they don’t know how to tell me some uncomfortable news, or they basically just hung up on me - right?!
Or was it because they were called away by someone else, maybe their phone rang, or maybe they got to the checkout lane and their attention was diverted.
This week, try this: Try being aware of assumptions you make about other people’s intentions. Assume the good, because it’s most likely closer to the truth than whatever lie you just told yourself.
Quote: The greatest sources of suffering are the lies we tell ourselves. (Elvin Semrad)
Resource: Mindful Mondays are back! Take a moment for yourself this semester. Join Registered Yoga Teacher and Area 5 SEL Coach Matt Weld on Mondays as he takes us through an hour of intention, breathwork, mindfulness, yoga, and a guided meditation. It’s the perfect way to start your week out right! FREE virtual workshop 3:30 - 4:40 pm. Attend as many as you'd like! Register here: https://forms.gle/h9qHTofd5EqgNDgh7
Dad Joke: Just opened my water bill and electricity bill at the same time... I was shocked!
Happy October! If you have a favorite dessert recipe you’d like to share, please reply to this email (today IS my birthday after all)
Big Idea: It’s also now officially Fall. This time of year always makes me wonder, “Where did summer go?” “Why is it pumpkin spice when there’s no pumpkin in there?” “Is it too soon to start wearing jackets?” (I have a *small* obsession with coats/jackets)
Quote: "Waiting can be hard. Seeing what's real can be harder. Waiting to see? Often the best advice is the hardest to follow." (Matt Weld)
Resource: Yoga for Kids with Animals (Video)
Dad Joke: When my wife told me to stop impersonating a flamingo, I had to put my foot down.
Main Idea: It’s also the week to remember more serious topics, too, like Recycle Awareness Week and Malnutrition Awareness Week - two very important causes. Sea Otters are just so darn cute I had to add a video at the end of page.
We are always moving through something, yet our attention is usually drawn to what was or to what might be.
The last two weeks have been dedicated to moving TOWARD and AWAY from things/people/ideas.
What happens when you get there? Do we give it the same amount of thought and emotional weight as we did while traveling toward it?
The present moment is what is truly real and that’s where we need to give the majority of our attention because that’s where happiness lies. Happiness or contentment are not found in rehashing the past (although there can be happy memories) or dreaming of the future. It’s found right here, right now.
This week, try this: As you move through each day, feel gratitude and give your best into each moment. You’ll feel proud, contented, and, well… happier.
Quote: "Thoughts are just moving through consciousness. They have no power. Nothing has reality until you reach it, grab it, and somehow impregnate it with the power of belief." (Adyashanti)
Resource: Guided Meditation for Students (11:45) from Khan Academy. Good introduction to meditation for students.
Dad Joke: Last night I had a dream that I was a muffler. I woke up exhausted.
Big Idea: Last week, the idea was about moving AWAY from things/people/ideas/goals. Humans are constantly moving - both physically and psychologically. This week, let’s explore moving TOWARD those things. Most often, if we are moving to something, we have been summoned. A friend asks us over for dinner, our partner calls or texts. A deadline approaches and we move toward a goal or toward the completion of a project.
But what happens if we are drawn to something that’s not in our best interest, like a bad habit, an unhealthy relationship, or just one more committee? Remember that we can control just two things in our life, and one of those is our actions. We can stop ourselves from moving toward one thing, change direction, and move toward another. Life is a constant moving toward and away from things, and those things change.
What if we can’t stop our trajectory toward something that we know is harmful? That’s when it ‘s important to find outside help. Having the self awareness to notice a) your direction, and b) your need for intervention is something we all strive for. If we could instill this skill in our students, I’d bet there’d be fewer successful suicides.
This week, try this: Practice thinking of yourself in third person - like you’re outside of yourself watching you in a movie. What are you moving toward? Do you need a course correction?
Quote of the Week: "If we were meant to stay in one place, we'd have roots instead of feet." (Rachel Wolchin)
Resource: You'd think the Illinois SEL Standards would be easy to find and read. Whatever. I created my own summary sheet.
Dad Joke: When I asked my dog, "What's two minus two?" He said nothing.
In our life, we are constantly moving.
As I’ve been thinking about this, there are three ways you can be moving: toward, away from, or through. We’ll cover each of these in the next 3 weeks.
As you move away from something or someone, what is the root cause of your movement? And remembering from last year, when I talked about how you can control two things: how your emotionally react (judgement, denial, etc.), and how you physically react (what you say or do) to circumstances, how tethered are you to this movement?
What other reasons are there for moving away from something or someone? Let me know!
Quote of the Week: "You are allowed to let go of all those that do not set you free anymore." (Dhiman)
Resource: Quick Ways to Incorporate SEL into Everyday Learning. 6 quick things you can start doing today.
Dad Joke: What do you call someone who immigrated from Sweden? Artificial Swedener.
SEL Coach Matt Weld creates and delivers in-person and online SEL-related content.