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11 Dec 2021

Your Mindset: Friend or Foe?

Your mindset can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

This what I know: Your mindset matters! It determines what you are willing to experience, ideas you are open to and who you see when you look in the mirror. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by choice.

Here are 4 simple effective ways to train your mindset to be your friend:

1) Add the word YET at the end of a thought to give Hope and Growth. Ex: ‘I’m not good at that … yet.’ The simple word YET reminds you that your efforts will pay off and that there is room to learn and grow.

2) Mind over Matter. Instead of choosing to focus on the obstacles that are in your way – focus on what you want to achieve. Acknowledge the obstacles and then choose to focus on your desired end result to keep you motivated.

3) Affirmations. What you tell yourself and repeat, over time will be what you believe. Choose your thoughts wisely. ‘I’m not enough’ will create a very different feeling than repeating ‘I am enough’. Only you have the power to choose what you tell yourself.

4) Gratitude. Choosing to focus on something you are grateful for is a powerful mindset shift that boosts happiness and helps you bounce back from challenging times and move though tough emotions. Since your brain can only focus on one thought at a time – choosing to look at what you are grateful for (especially during difficult times and mistakes made) is a powerful practice that strengthens resilience.

Until next time…

sara westbrook signature
23 Nov 2021

Are You as Courageous as This Kid?

My friend Jenn wrote a post on Facebook which really resonated with me. I think it will do the same for you, your kids and students.

‘Today, I was inspired by someone I love. A key member of their team was unable to be present for an important moment. He stepped up to fill a role he hasn’t played, and the rest of his team stepped up to ensure success. He stepped out of his comfort zone.

This person is my 10-year-old son and his team is their hockey team.  John is a defender, but tonight he played goalie for his team. And his team stepped up to defend him.

Yeah, it’s just a game. But they taught me tonight. The whole team inspired me. And that’s parenting – we teach them, they teach us. Comfort zones are boundaries we create, and that we can break.

So proud of this kid and his courage!

And yes, they won – as a team.’

This is what I know: Stepping outside your comfort zone isn’t easy, especially if it’s accompanied with the fear of ‘what if I can’t do this’ or ‘what if I make a mistake’. Choosing to make courage greater than your fear will not only feel incredible, but also open the door to so many possibilities.

Until next time…

10 Nov 2021

What If They Don’t Like Me?

If you were to ask me what one of my biggest worries was as a teen, it would be ‘what if people don’t like me?’ I can remember having sleepless nights worrying about things I said and did – wondering if I offended anyone or looked silly.

While the desire to be liked is normal, believing that it’s necessary for everyone to like you is unreasonable. Having that belief started to impact my self-esteem and confidence. I started to base my self-worth on what others thought instead of what I thought. I was becoming more concerned with others liking me instead of me liking myself.

One day I realized the only person I needed to impress was the person I saw when I looked in the mirror – ME!

An activity that really helped me let go and allow my unique qualities to grow and shine was creating mindful thoughts. (an activity that works for all ages)

Take a piece of paper and write: ‘I CHOOSE ______’ and fill in the blank with what it is that you want to say to yourself. Create as many as you need.

Examples:
I choose to believe I am enough.
I choose to believe I am courageous & talented.
I choose to believe I am perfect just the way I am.

Place the paper(s) where you can see them as a reminder of what you are choosing to say to yourself. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it.

Place the paper(s) where you can see them as a reminder of what you are choosing to say to yourself. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it.

This is what I know: When you choose to let go of worrying and choose to start accepting that not everyone will like you, not only will you be able to focus on the people who are in your cheering section, you will also find yourself much happier.

Until next time…

18 Nov 2020

Start Each Day with an Intention

‘You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.’ Dr. Seuss ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’

When we went into lockdown last March I definitely came down the ‘Lurch’ with an unpleasant bump. All my presentations were cancelled. It was a scary time for me. How was I going to ‘un-slump’ so that I could move forward and not stay scared and worried?

The answer…I started creating a daily intention.

Intentions are like a GPS. They give your brain direction – a focus that creates a structure for your daily choices. It doesn’t mean you won’t have any challenges or uncomfortable emotions throughout your day – it means you now have a compass that:

  • Clarifies your choices.
  • Keeps you focused throughout the day.
  • Boosts your happiness and peacefulness.
  • Helps you live in the moment.

Daily intentions give you hope, accountability and keep you moving forward. And that is exactly what my intentions of ‘I choose to be courageous to reach out and ask for help’ and ‘I choose to be open to new possibilities’ did. They helped me ‘un- slump’

It was slow moving at first. I had moments of frustration, disappointment and even sadness. I did a lot of deep breathing, mindful meditation and writing in my journal. In choosing to keep moving forward, guided by my intentions, I was able to create my new virtual presentations for teachers, students, parents and businesses. And I have to say – I am loving it!

Until next time…

10 Jun 2020

Listen. Learn. Grow

There has been so much for us to think about in the past few weeks and months. So much is changing and will continue to change.

Through all the changes, we want the best for our children and students. We want them to act in a way that will promote respect, kindness and compassion. 

Children learn best by watching us. They see us as the example of what to do and what not to do. Observing how we approach challenges, how we talk about others, and how we handle tough emotions influences their choices and their beliefs. Our actions will always speak louder than our words.

We can’t expect children to be different from what they see us do, despite what we may tell them.

Being a role model isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being aware of the times you mess up, admitting it and learning from it, so that children learn to do the same. Being mindful of the choices you are making and the messages you are communicating takes practice and listening.

It’s important that you listen to children’s worries, the questions they ask, the fears they may be experiencing and most importantly the emotions they are feeling. Listening to them without judgment – listening – even if you think their concerns and emotions are unfounded.

Listening from a place of love, respect and compassion will create a strong connection and build a trust that will let children know, ‘They Matter. They are Important. They are Enough.’ – even in the most challenging times.

Until next time…

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