Monday, November 27, 2023

Healing in Our Schools: Connecting us to who we Truly are

Healing in Our Schools:  Connecting us to who we truly are.

Trauma can get in the way of our imagining a beautiful future. Connecting to who we truly are is a practice. Together, we can regulate our nervous systems to build connections to one another. We feel safe. This is the base of the mountain. Students who cannot feel safe or a sense of belonging may not perform well. It is our responsibility (kuleana) as educators to attend to overall connected atmosphere of the classroom community. There is more...we can ascend the mountain to get perspective. We need to understand the context and the histories. There is a story of resiliency in the land. Getting to know the geography and community is a pathway to healing for our students, educators, and community. We can be curious and develop positive classroom constructs that empower healing. Leadership moves can be intentional to lift up and sustain influential presence of black and brown educators. We can explore village-based knowledges like Learning by Observing and Pitching In (LOPI). Students learn how to participate within a community and feel like they are part of something bigger.

For educators, mindfulness is a pathway to connect to their best selves that can advocate for better systems that value well-being for themselves and their students. I’m committed to collective healing that attends to wounds of racism, emotional trauma. By offering practices that are connection-focused, educators enter into the world of their student's community and understand their histories and contexts. Healing belongs in our schools.  The books I've written are vehicles of healing that offer a generative story for students to enter into. It is not just about managing stress and anxiety but as a way to deal with the experiences of trauma and racism. My work as a mindfulness director is to develop awareness and not about staying calm. Students and educators have a right to be agitated. By connecting to our true selves, we are better able to advocate for system change, draw boundaries, and co-regulate with one another. A colleague was challenged that breathing wasn't going to fix the problem of racism. We aren't going to get anywhere with dysregulated nervous systems stuck in trauma and impeded imaginations.

Don’t travel alone. Walk alongside your community to do the good work. Listen and learn with them. Everything worthwhile is done with other people. This is a picture of the community driven to bring more Indigenous educators into our community through a partnership across the ocean with the University of Waitangi.  BIPOC members in our school community need to be honored with action and support. Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith (right of center) has written extensively about decolonizing research done alongside Indigenous communities and let story be the primary vehicle for research.  Storywork is unfolding with engagement knowing that healing happens not always with time but also when people wake up to the needs. Healing within a community is healing for everyone. It is holistic. It is part of the vision.

My theory of change is: when educational leaders form a compassionate learning community to cultivate our inner lives as well as commit to engaged action toward systemic change, then we will be more effective in transforming our educational community, which will lead to a more equitable, compassionate, and embodied experience of learning and living for students, educators, and the broader world we live in. Educators that do their own inner work will not add to educational trauma. The ultimate impact of community/social mindfulness will decrease stress and build resiliency. By co-creating supportive structures for mindfulness to grow, then educators can embody these practices as they mindfully educate their students. Then, students can attach to their consistent, aware, and available educator to feel a sense of belonging, safety, and a reliable environment to learn.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

 New books in the I am Healing Series:

It is my honor to share the two new additions to the series, I am Healing. 

The Guide for Lonely Kids offers a resource for connection. There are times for every person when he/she may feel alone. Included in this book are 11 ways to feel better. We all strive for connection, and we need to be reminded we are capable and loved.

Find your Eye is a special resource to help students remember who they are, even when there is a storm of challenges circling around them.

These resources are great for teachers, counselors, and families to discuss positive coping strategies to build emotional awareness and emotional regulation. Done together, we can collectively heal.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Sneak Peek:  Book #3 in the I am Healing Series:  Waves of Emotion

I shared my books at the 2023 Washington School Counselors' Conference after presenting a standing-room only breakout session about Expanding our Wellbeing Toolkits. I am available to present to your staff to provide support...such great energy !!

Find me on TikTok:


Saturday, July 16, 2022

 So proud to share this new book with the world. This book guides you on a journey to feeling better using a strategy of A Safe Place. Here's the link.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Dusting Off the Blog

 I am dusting off my blog and starting fresh for 2022. Quick update:  My daughter, Isabelle, is a full-fledged HMUA (hair and makeup artist). Here's her website: She is amazing, beautiful. She travels to Fashion Week in NYC and LA. It is exciting to be connected with her. My daughter, Eden, is finishing up her Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Chinese Language.  I started with L4L doctoral work at the University of Washington. Dave got a monster of a bull last year. We are all surviving the pandemic. Despite what I just wrote, there have been lots of challenges as we have had to navigate some changes and restrictions in our lives. My beloved aunt died. She was the source of good attachment in my childhood. Then, my mom died. We have been sorting out details on her, and we are preparing to close the door on that work.

Ways to get reconnected with me:  I'll be re-publishing my books. I've added considerably to my YouTube channel. With a bit of nostalgia, I am showing you my 3 most viewed videos:

#3:  Tapping to help with feelings of overwhelm: