‘I really enjoyed your presentation. It opened a few doors for me. This past year I went through some problems but your presentation showed me another way of looking at my problems. You really helped me to know that my feelings big or small are normal and that it’s okay to feel.’ – Male Student
Sometimes kids think they should only feel HAPPY because they believe that is the only way people will accept them.
Kids tell me that when they hear, ‘It’s OK to feel what you are feeling’, they know they have been respected and validated – that they have been given the space to express and share their emotions.
Space to feel gives space to heal.
Practicing ‘space’ builds connection (1 min video). It allows kids to feel comforted, supported, and more open to finding ways to move with and through their emotions.
Remind them that feeling a wide range of emotions is natural and normal and that we accept them no matter how they are feeling.
The more we choose to step outside our comfort zone by acknowledging and sharing our own emotions, we model and teach them that… ‘It’s OK to feel what you are feeling‘.
Until next time…
26 Oct 2022
Thriving through Emotional Chaos
At times it can be difficult to remain calm and thrive through the emotional chaos you might be experiencing. Your emotions seem to be all over the place. You promise yourself you won’t let your emotions get the best of you but then they do…you make a reactive choice from your emotions.
Later regret floods your brain. You wish you had taken a breath and been more self-aware of the emotions you were feeling and handled them differently.
Since emotions fluctuate and change according to the circumstance and mood you are experiencing, emotions are not a reliable place to make all choices from.
What helps me thrive through the emotional chaos so I can remain calm in order to make choices I am proud of, is keeping my character (who I believe I am), at the forefront of my mind. I repeat, ‘I choose to be respectful and patient.’ I even have it written on post-it notes as a visual reminder 😊
I remind myself that I am allowed to feel frustrated, disappointed, angry, upset (so are you). When I take a deep breath and say, ‘Sara, it’s OK to feel that way but your character is Respect & Patience’, it actually shifts my approach. It shifts my choices.
Training yourself to be conscious of the emotions you are experiencing so that you can breathe through them to make character-based choices, is essential to making choices in the moment that you can be proud of for the moments to come.
Until next time…
26 Oct 2021
Are you feeling discouraged and want to give up?
When times are tough and emotions run high, it can be easy to feel discouraged and want to give up.
In those times try this:
1. Be aware of the emotions you are feeling (name them). Honour them by reminding yourself it’s OK to feel them.
2. Take some deep breaths and reflect back on how far you have actually come. The challenges you have overcome to get you to where you are today, use this as strength to keep moving forward.
3. Remind yourself that the journey isn’t supposed to be perfect and that you have the tools to dig deep and keep going.
This is What I Know: Challenges are chapters of your life not your whole story! You Are Enough! You Matter! You’ve got this!
P.S. These strategies also work for your children/students.
Until next time…
18 Feb 2021
How to Maintain Healthy Relationships
Relationships can be challenging, creating emotions that we are sometimes afraid to share or admit. We are all emotional beings, experiencing a wide range of emotions – yet, it is one of our commonalities that we feel uncomfortable talking about.
During my presentations, regardless of the age of my audience, I ask, ‘why are emotions hard to share?’ The number one answer is ‘fear of judgment’. It can be too easy to meet emotions with judgment and denial which then creates a disconnect in relationships. Our brain will want to know WHY someone is feeling a certain way so that it can judge if the feeling is warranted. What if we could validate an emotion even if we don’t understand where it is coming from?
Think about how you would like someone to approach your emotions.
Here’s a scenario:
A) You share that you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and sad. Your partner, colleague, friend or family member says, ‘stop it – you are overreacting.’ Does that reaction tell you that it’s not ok to feel your emotions? Do you feel there is no space to share your true emotions? Do you feel guilt or shame for sharing?
How about this…
B) You share that you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and sad. Your partner, colleague, friend or family member says to you ‘It’s ok to feel. There is a lot going on. I have also felt those emotions.’ Now how do you feel? Do you feel seen? Connected? Supported?
We all want to be heard, be seen and be loved – this is universal. One of the best ways to validate and to connect with others (including your children/students) is to support their emotions by remembering that ‘It’s OK to feel and that It’s OK not to feel OK.’ This is what strengthens relationships.