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Class of 2020

As we bid adieu to the Class of 2020 in unique ways, I’m reminded of the pressure to graduate in a numerically outstanding year. You see, dear readers, I am a member of the high school graduating Class of 2000. It almost felt like a burden, in a way, to make it count that much more because of the number itself (once we survived Y2K, of course).

Class of 2020, you outdid us for sure.

And hey, I get that it’s frustrating that you aren’t celebrating in all the ways you thought you would… but I know you and I know you never wanted to be just like everyone else. The Class of 2020, at least in the school where I teach, holds some of the most outstanding personalities, young people who are unafraid to speak their truth, to stand up and stand out. Accordingly, your send-offs are as unique as you are.

 

But back to me, before you straighten your cap and flip your tassels…

Milestone years… like 2000 was, like 2020 is… I sit back and marvel. From my experience:

2000, I graduated high school and went off to college.

2005, I started teaching.

2010, I moved into my first apartment (we don’t count college living on this timeline) and started seeing the man you now know as the Bunny-Daddy.

2015, I launched the first phase of my wellness business.

2020, I’ve done so much… and it’s only halfway over!

 

Those increments of 5, those half-decades, seem to mile-mark my life… but none of those accomplishments would have happened if I sat in a puddle and cried that my prom wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

2020 doesn’t look how anyone thought it would. I get it. Frustration is unmet expectations and, for graduates and for everyone, there are lots of unmet expectations in the world right now. This is the perfect time to remember that you don’t have to live your life or to commemorate your journey the way that everyone else does! If you’re graduating this year or you graduated 50 years ago, I call on you today to blaze your own trail. Just be kind to everyone, including yourself, along the way.

Much love.

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Believe Purpose Teacher Life

Speak.

I wasn’t going to write today. I haven’t been in the spirit of it. I haven’t felt like I have much to say. And, for the first time maybe ever in my life, I’m not forcing myself to do, to produce, to go-go-go. I’m allowing myself to just be.

That said, this is not the time to be silent.

Name a riot in our history that happened for no reason. I didn’t say to name one that happened for a reason you don’t agree with. I didn’t ask for your opinion on riots. I didn’t ask for facts on the consequences of riots. I’m just asking: has there ever been a riot for no reason at all?

I can’t think of one.

I also can’t think of one that didn’t explode from perceived injustice.

I don’t use the term “perceived” here to indicate that those injustices were not real; I just acknowledge that not everyone in the world saw or sees the injustice. But those who were compelled to speak up, to protest, or to riot certainly perceived the injustice.

And they fought back.

This is not the time to be silent.

And I’m no keyboard warrior. My work does not end here.

A former student wrote to me on Thursday. She wants to know what she can do in these intense times.

I simply reminded her to make sure that she treats herself and every single being she encounters in person and online with kindness, respect, and compassion. Her behavior, her choices are all she can control.

And if everyone made the commitment to treat themselves and others with dignity, what a different world we would live and breathe in.

Small right actions add up to lasting change.

This is not the time to be silent. Be safe. Much love.

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Believe Coaching Energy Teacher Life

Resources for Peace

As for the news… Get the facts from your trusted source then shut. it. off. And stay home, if you can, please.

Behold the possibility of the days. Here are some of my favorite resources for breaks and self-care while working from home:

The incredibly relatable and generous Adriene Mischler, star of Yoga with Adriene, will help you find what feels good with Yoga for Uncertain Times, a curated playlist of 34 yoga practices of varying lengths and intentions.

Find that here: Yoga for Uncertain Times

 

Binge watch The Bold Type. While it’s nothing like The Office, Melora Hardin is one of the principal actors in the show. I like to pretend that her character Jacqueline Carlyle is everything Jan Levinson imagined herself to be.

Find that here: The Bold Type

 

My teacher Gabby Bernstein is hosting a free online Anxiety Relief Workshop on Sunday, March 29th at 1 pm & 8 pm ET, with free replay through April 5th.

Get registered: Anxiety Relief Workshop

 

Craving an intense workout? Look no further than Kelsie’s Barre. Kelsie is offering free classes via Zoom… trust, her workouts are like no other!

Find that here: Kelsie’s Barre

 

Revisit that one video that makes you laugh without fail… mine is a clip of a local newscaster who didn’t realize she was still on the air and said something she did not intend for the world to hear. I’m not linking it here because of the language… but I’m playing it now and laughing… not at her but at the circumstance!

 

Scroll through Cameo and brighten someone’s day with a video from a celebrity. I had William Hung, of American Idol fame, send a message to my best friend last week… it was worth WAY MORE than I paid for it! He even sang a custom version of “She Bangs.” Seriously.

Find that here: Cameo

 

And, as always, I’m here for you. Whether you just want to vent, to chat or if you’re ready to set some goals and hatch a plan, I’m available to you.

Book a free call with me: Connect with Denise

 

Much love, always.

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Believe Coaching Purpose Teacher Life

An Interesting Time

The idiom “worried sick” has been around since the 1800s. Worry, stress, anxiety, and fear can lower your immune system. It’s reasonable to concerned as there are so many unknowns right now… but worrying yourself sick over the current situation (or over anything) does not serve you or serve the world!

As schedules and settings change for the upcoming weeks, it’s easy to feel displaced, uneasy, or even distressed. I’m sending lots of love and strength to those who have to make big decisions, like closing schools and canceling events or seasons. I had to decide to postpone a school event last week and it was not an easy choice—and I’m typically the most decisive person in the room!

I, like many of you dear readers, have a change to my regularly scheduled programming for at least the next week. The school where I teach will be closed. I’ll still have some work to do (those research papers aren’t going to grade themselves!) but my days will look and feel vastly different from the typical work week. Peanut will be happy to have me home… at least I tell myself that.

Now… to find the balance between “wasting” the whole week and pressuring myself to do all the things while I’m homebound. And if I feel this way, I’m sure someone out there feels this way, too.

You’ve heard me say it before: You can’t manage time but you can manage activity. So, let’s capitalize on this time of different routines by maximizing our self-care and productivity.

Daily Must-Dos

  • Rest and good nutrition
  • Personal development and study
  • Move! Go for a walk, hop on the yoga mat, whatever works for you
  • Laugh, have fun, dance (if you want to… and you know you do)

 

One a Day for the Next 8 Days (in no particular sequence)

1. Clean off your desk or your coffee table or your dining room table… whatever that one area is that collects everything. Nature’s first law is order.

2. Make 2 phone calls you’ve been putting off. Mine: Grandma and rescheduling the dentist. I’m telling you to keep myself accountable.

3. Clean out the freezer or that one cabinet that needs order in the kitchen.

4. Time for a dream-walk. Tap into your wildest imagination, grab a piece of paper or a journal and plan the ultimate, most over-the-top dream vacation. Nothing is off limits, as long as it doesn’t hurt any other beings! Visualize and write about every little detail… who is there, what do the towels at the resorts feel like, what does the air smell like… take this luxurious exercise in visioneering. The more clearly you see the vision, the more likely it will be that you’ll be sending me pictures from this trip at some point, thanking me for inspiring you. #humble

5. Read. For 10 minutes, 10 pages, 10 magazines… just read, please.

6. Open the closet, the drawers, and wherever else you stash the clothing and accessories. Find 2 pieces you can donate, sell, or repurpose.

7. Curate a playlist of the songs that fire you up. If you already have a playlist like this, take a moment to edit it or add some new jams.

8. Unplug. Especially as the days go on, we’ll be checking obsessively to see what happens next… Will my job close for another week? Are we back to hugging freely again? Take some conscious time away from tech, an amount of time that feels right for you. Unplug from the screens; connect to you. Just get quiet… no phone, no tasks, just you. Bonus points if you can do this first thing in the morning.

 

We are living in an interesting time… cheers to using this time to grow, to heal, to catch up and to shine! Much love.

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Guest Blogger Purpose Teacher Life

Words & Intention

I know Emika Smith through my Rescue work… but I’ve gotten to know her, the brave, introspective her who is unafraid to tell her truth and is empowered to step out and speak up, through her social media posts.

She posted something several weeks ago about her weight loss journey that just struck me. In the post, Emika shared, with candor and with strength, about the impact of people’s verbal feedback… how, even when their intentions aren’t harmful, their word choice can be hurtful.

Emika’s message struck me so profoundly that I asked her to write a guest post for my beloved blog… and I am honored that she said yes.

Emika Smith, the floor is yours…

Something they don’t tell you in college, specifically if you studying to become a teacher, is that most days you will not always teach the content of your specific degree.  I currently have my Bachelors Degree in Music Education and right now I’m hustling for my Masters of Science in Music Education.  I’m halfway through my 6th professional year.  Not a brand new teacher, but also not a veteran teacher.  Right smack in the middle.  Maybe once I hit 10 years in the classroom I’ll deem myself a “veteran” but who knows.  Every September feels like day 1, year 1 and I immediately forget everything I know about music.

What they don’t tell you in college is that you will be a parent, a friend, a psychologist, a nurse, a counselor, and a cheerleader.  You will teach kindness, social skills, coping skills, emotional processing, and then, maybe a couple of rounds of Hot Cross Buns.

I recently had a situation in my classroom with a 4th grade class where I had to stop the music-making and switch gears.  The kids were talking about who knows what.  Frankly, my “teacher ears” were on.  Meaning I’m not listening to everything the kids are saying, just keeping an ear open to anything inappropriate.  And lo and behold one child goes “Oh Emily (not her real name) is so annoying!” Literally shouted the statement.  And then there’s me, rolling my eyes in my head, Alright, here we go…“John (also not his real name) that may be your opinion but keep it to yourself, it’s unkind.”

We go back and forth a little and John goes “But Mrs. Smith, words don’t hurt.”

Stop.  Music-making done for the day.  Objective: Students will be able to be a good human being.  I respond, “Words do hurt, John.”

I’m not going to give you a dialog of our discussion, but ultimately I (hopefully) gave the children a lesson in how although we are entitled to our opinions, it’s best to keep those that may be hurtful to ourselves.

What I’ve learned over the past 6 years is that it is literally my job, to pick and choose the words I say out loud to children with such caution, not only to make it clear what I’m trying to teach, but to make sure that every child leaves my lesson with knowledge and understanding.  What I have recently learned (if you need a time line, maybe say the last 2 years) is that this skill, if you want to call it that, applies to every aspect of my life when it comes to communicating with others.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder back in 2016.  Through trying to express and articulate my symptoms, feelings, emotions, reactions, and needs to various medical professionals and family members, I learned how important choosing words truly is.  If I were to substitute one word for something else, it can mean a whole different thing.  And in a case where my physical and mental health depend on my ability to communicate what I am feeling, it can mean a huge difference in care and progress.  Thus, not only affecting me, but my family and those I interact with on a daily basis.

In February 2019 I made the decision to go ahead and get weight loss surgery.  Multiple factors led me to this decision and I had the support of my husband and my family to gather up all of my courage to proceed with one of the biggest decisions of my life.  In the months leading up to my surgery, scheduled for July 1, 2019, I slowly and discreetly let my administration, coworkers, and other family members know about my decision.  I’m a relatively private person, but if someone asks me a question about something personal I usually let them know.  Most of what I post on social media is pictures of my family or pets, and a funny meme. If I post something personal it’s usually for a good reason, I’m not out there advertising every little thing I do.

Summer came and went and I returned to work in August about 35 pounds lighter.  There was a visible difference and it was noticed by everyone.  We are a small school and we are all relatively close to each other.  I enjoyed the compliments and enjoyed informing people of what I had done.  I answered questions that were personal, but not invasive.  Everyone was genuinely happy for me and it was extremely uplifting.

It’s now January 26, 2020 and I’ve dropped down to 71 pounds gone forever.  I am in the single digits for pant sizes, no longer labeled as “obese” according to my BMI, and my overall health has improved drastically.  I still get compliments from coworkers which is lovely and I like to think I accept them gracefully.  Recently a school worker commented, “Oh Emika, you are just wasting away!”  The week before she had used the word “disappearing.”  Both statements were with a huge smile on her face and I didn’t detect any negativity behind her…*clears throat*…“compliment.”

Flashback to my 4th grade class and that statement from my student echoes in my head, “words don’t hurt.”

Today, those words did hurt.  Wasting away?  Do I look sick? Do I look unhealthy?  Am I really “disappearing?”

I go home and look at my print out of my results from my last weigh-in at my surgeon’s office.  My BMI is down, my cholesterol is normal, my muscle mass increased, my fat percentage has dropped significantly.  No, I am not “wasting away” I am HEALTHY!  And it occurred to me—I was wasting away when I was heavier and morbidly obese.  I was wasting away when I was huffing and puffing going up and down the stairs at 28 years old.  I was wasting away when my belly was too big for me to buckle my shoes for my best friend’s wedding and needed my husband’s help.  I was wasting away when I couldn’t get up from sitting on the floor in my classroom.  No one was concerned about my health back then…

In a time where we constantly write and post words online, and we establish electronic paper trails between us, our peers, and colleagues, our words and the language we use are permanently attached to us.  They follow us forever.  There is no more “he said, she said” because most of what we say is shared out online for the world to see; for people to screenshot and “share” before you get the chance to hit the “delete” button.

Every day I am amazed at what my students do, say, and accomplish.  Many of them show the grace and maturity of an adult, when actual adults lack awareness and mindfulness.  People are so quick to just say what they think without actually thinking about how their words may come across.  I understand and appreciate the intent behind that woman’s words, however they still stung.  I know she is genuinely happy for me and my success.

If we are friends, you know that I will say something if you say something that comes across a certain way, or that I will question your intended meaning.  I had a moment like that with a friend earlier this week.  If I love and care about you, I love and care about you hard.  And that means I am also going to challenge you and make you think because the last thing I want for you is to be misunderstood and have negative consequences.

You can’t take words back.  You can explain your words, but you can’t take them back.  So before you say anything, just think about your intent. And as the old saying goes, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

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Believe Coaching Teacher Life

Default: I Don’t Know

Instant gratification… every answer literally at our fingertips…

We need not retain or think or reflect or discover and when we do, there’s often some glorious person, standing on the sidelines, judging us as weird or a know-it-all or special for having a deep interest, a passion, as sense of curiosity.

I’m reminded of mic-drop moment that Earl Nightingale shares in The Strangest Secret… that men simply do not think.

Please—we’re saying men here in generality. Substitute in “people” before you start man-bashing (or not… it’s your brain).

I watch this phenomenon in my teenage students. When faced with a task or question, they click into “I don’t know” and give up mode immediately. They don’t give themselves moment or several moments to process, think, consider or get curious.

It’s just “I don’t know” and abandon.

I don’t accept that. I reject that and guide them to choose again.

From there, I watch the look of relief and burgeoning confidence.

This happens, almost without fail, when I ask my freshmen to create accounts on a website our school uses to check the originality of their essays. They type in the web address just fine. I show them where the “Create Account” button is… and then they slam on the brakes. “I don’t know what to do here” is the default response for some because, although they are the most internet-savvy generation, they haven’t necessarily registered for something academic, formal, something with “security questions.” They want to give up and they let distraction kick in right away before curiosity and inquiry. It’s easier to just click over to another website than to take 30 seconds to figure this out.

I never yell. I don’t get frustrated. I don’t fill out the registration for them. I sit down beside every student who slips into default give-up mode and say something along the lines of, “I know that you’ve used websites before where you’ve had to log in. I know that if the hottest pair of sneakers was on the other side of this instead of a plagiarism checker, you would fly right through these fields and questions. You already know how to do this. Show me. Prove me right.” I’ve never met a student who couldn’t complete this task. Some need guidance or more time and I readily give them help. But they can all figure it out.

In little moments like this, it would be easy to just yell, “Do it!” or create the account for them… or give them a zero for not having an account. But this way uncovers a channel in their brains, clears the brush from the default path and reminds them that they can. These moments compound to empowerment, resilience, and autonomy that is often overlooked in the default ways we learn to do things.

 

How often do you, dear readers, stop before you even start? Talk yourself out of trying something new, a recipe, an activity, a training, because it’s unfamiliar?

Sure, it’s easy and comfortable to stay right where you are… but you can’t grow there. And I know that you have some amazing feats to tackle and gifts to share.

Working to shift the default from “I don’t know” to “Let’s figure this out!”

Learning… unlearning… relearning.

Much love.

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Believe Coaching Purpose Teacher Life

Organized.

Nature’s first law is order. Without order, you are cruising toward chaos. In chaos, you stifle or completely crush the amazing experience you are on this earth to have.

I’m not self or professionally diagnosed OCD… far from it. Trust, there are disorganized piles and areas in our home. Also trust that I know those areas are not performing at their best, but I give myself some grace and know that I can do it all… just not all at once. Work in progress.

Speaking of work, I work my teaching job, my businesses and coordinate Rabbit Rescue with epic organization. It might look messy in the middle at some points—long-time readers may recall the struggle of the messy desk. I have it under control now. It took working with a coach to get that in order, WELL WORTH IT!

People often marvel at how I organize and how I manage, produce and batch activities. We all have our strengths and we contribute best to the world when we refine and use those strengths! Today, I’m sharing with you some of the tools that I use to stay in order. Please know that grabbing these things does not translate to change in your personal or professional world. You have to find what works for you… and I’d love to help you figure that out!

But in the meantime, here are four things I use every day:

  1. Lined Post-its

As much as I’m cool with mess, I like lines to write on. I often write across several lines or hold the sticky note on an angle but I like that the lines are there. Top tip: when making lists, keep them to 3-5 tasks. Lists of 75 things to do are just overwhelming. Do it. Ditch it. Delegate it.

  1. Pencils

Basic, I know, but I like being able to erase and I like that pencil comes from the earth… gets me rooted. When I’m firing off something quick, I gravitate toward a mechanical pencil. When I’m journaling or outlining a talk, I like a good old-fashioned wood pencil, Ticonderoga brand whenever possible. An ample eraser is a must.

  1. Markers

A fine point Bic Marking or Intensity gets me going. I set my calendar for the week on Sundays, usually right after I’m done writing to you and I use this collection of markers. I’m not a strict color-coder but I like having the variety to make even the mundane pop.

  1. Timer

Time management is a misleading term. We can’t manage time; it flows on its own! But we can manage activity. Without the timer, I’ll scroll and waste time! While it’s good to wander sometimes, we have some epic work to do, saving bunny lives and upgrading human lives. I use the timer to keep me focused when answering emails or scheduling social media posts. I let creative time flow without a cap but I always set the timer when I’m getting stuff done!

 

I’d love to know what you use to keep it all together and organized! Comment or send me an email: believeinbunnies@gmail.com

If you’re ready to find what works for you, I’m poised to help you. Schedule a call today!

Much love!

Click here

 

 

 

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Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose Teacher Life Young Living

The Essence

In the gaps of time this weekend, I’m watching season three of Netflix’s Atypical, a show that has given me more perspective about teaching individuals with Autism than any graduate or professional development course ever did. In the episode I finished this morning, protagonist Sam is tasked with an assignment about essence. Specifically, he has to depict the essence of a chosen animal, not just draw what the animal looks like. This throws his logical mind into chaos. Just what is the essence of a penguin?

As the episode spun on, I got to thinking about the little amber glass bottles that sit atop by bathroom counter, aside my kitchen sink, inside of a pouch in my purse and upon my desk and my bedside table. Essential oils. The essence of plants, some singular, some blended, all simply the best. I wasn’t surprised when Sam’s art teacher rolled on some lavender essential oil, saying it calms him. Girl… if you only knew what these essences have done for me.

Don’t get it twisted—the contents of these bottles cannot treat, diagnose, cure a darn thing. What they have done for me… how do I put this? The essence of these plants help me to slow down, look around and see this life for what it really is… and just how sweet it can be, if we chose to participate from that perspective. These aromatic liquids have been a tool for me to ground into my body and to use my senses and my higher faculties with clarity. They’ve reminded me that I don’t have to sprint through life complaining from Sunday through Thursday like so many choose to do. They’ve allowed me to find a way through the mind mess and into a place of peace… and they help bring me back into alignment when I fall away from that peace.

As Sam searched for the essence of his chosen penguin using his thoughts, his notebook and the support of his teacher, family and best friend as tools along the way, I couldn’t help but think of my journey, searching for the essence of me, of how I want to show up and serve in this world. I use my thoughts, I have many notebooks and I am surrounded by incredibly supportive people, many of whom I met through the essential oil community. I look up from my laptop and see these little bottles, donning labels like Humility, Acceptance and Hope, like Light the Fire, Sacred Frankincense and Harmony, like Lemon, Geranium and Peppermint… the essence of these plants helping me get to the essence of who I am, what I want and how I want to be in this world.

Take a moment today. Breathe deeply. Close those beautiful eyes. Listen to you. What is at your core? Drop the “stuff” and get down to the essence. Give yourself permission to shine in that truth.

And, if you need help getting down to it… I sure have a way to help you. Much love.

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Believe Bunnies Coaching Energy Purpose Rescue Teacher Life

I’m Not Busy

Don’t get me wrong—there’s lots of activity happening at headquarters but I do not feel busy.

Last week, a dear friend posted a graphic on Facebook, prompting scrollers to describe her life using only GIFs. I have a GIF obsession, so of course I was into this. For this friend, I posted a Green Acres GIF (don’t be surprised that those are sparse) because she’s a Glamazon who lives on a farm.

Several dozens of us reposted the graphic for ourselves. I was having a Valerie Cherish moment, so I picked GIFs from The Comeback for most. Then I waited for mine to roll in.

Of course, most featured rabbits (side note: that overly populated “rabbit island” in Japan isn’t cute to me—those poor rabbits have no care, no food and no shelter. But I know your intention in posting that one wasn’t bad!) and some others featured a theme of Zen, rainbows, unicorns and yoga mats. Then, there were the ones that got me: the ones that looked or even said chaos or chaotic.

Radical honesty: my life does not feel chaotic from the inside. And I sincerely hope I don’t portray that it is chaotic or unmanageable.

I used to feel tired all the time. I used to feel like I had no time for anything, like I was always busy, like there wasn’t enough time in a week to do what I had to do in a day. Ironically, that was when I was working one job, living with my family and not volunteering. I perceived my daily life as one of overwhelm and exhaustion. It didn’t help that I was hanging around with a lot of people who spun that same story in their lives, doing little more than just getting by, complaining the whole way through.

Now, I don’t feel busy because I am clear on what I am doing, why I am doing it and I am faithfully judicious with my time. Time hasn’t changed. I’ve learned to manage my activities. My Green Acres Glamazon is the one who taught me that you can’t manage time but you can manage activity. But even before I knew it in those terms, I was making it happen. The key, for me, is routine and consistency. It’s setting up systems to make it all work with efficacy and ease. I now work that same job, run two businesses, volunteer daily, co-manage a household and sleep 8+ hours a night. I don’t say this to impress you; I say this to impress upon you that you can feel at ease and get it all done. Manage the activity. The time is going to flow on its own.

A typical weekday looks like this for me:

4:30 am: Meditate, write, reflect, sometimes yoga

5:15 am: Get ready for work

6:45 am -2:30 pm: Work the day job

3:30 pm: Reflect, regroup, straighten up the house

4:30 – 7:30 pm: Volunteer work, business work

8:00 pm: Sweet dreams, babies.

 

With routine, I can get everything done and feel a flow, feel at ease. There are days that vary from the quick list above, for sure. Things come up but since I have a solid routine that works for me (my way is not for everyone!) I’m able to manage special events, the unexpected or whatever else life can throw at us.

I know many of you, dear readers, are still retching at the thought of getting up at a time that begins with a 4, unless it’s to catch an early flight somewhere. You don’t have to follow my way! This is what works for me. I am far less effective at anything I attempt to do, particularly writing and “brain work” in the evening. Remember there’s nothing wrong or weird about being a night owl or an early bird. Know thyself and soar.

I promise that there’s little chaos, and when it does creep in, I know how to breathe, step away and manage it. You too can feel at ease and feel like you’re getting it all done, whether you do one thing or all the things. Overwhelm and exhaustion does not have to be your story any longer.

 

Ready to set up your routine? I’m here.

Click here

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Coaching Healing Purpose Teacher Life

Back to Ms. B

Summer Denise is a legend in her own mind.

I go back to work Tuesday and by Wednesday afternoon, it will feel like we never left… but for the first time in my recollection, I really feel restored, renewed and rested. Yes, it is possible to have two months off from the day job and feel like you haven’t had a break (I’m sure those with human children are nodding emphatically). For me, achieving this restored feeling is all about mindset—deciding in July that I had to slow down, committing to myself to be here now and not barreling into the next project, launch or endeavor! I spent a lot of this summer glued to the couch and more time on the yoga mat than I expected… pleasantly surprised with myself.

In the spirit of transitioning from Summer Denise to Ms. Bertolotti, I want to share with you some of the ways I keep it festive through the school year.

  • Seasons & Episodes: Yeah, it’s weird, but follow me here. You know I love a good metaphor. I count the years and days of school as seasons and episodes. This silly tradition started when I was working towards tenure, as a way to cope with the pressure. I thought of myself as a guest star on a show, probably a long-running soap opera. I had a contract for 183 episodes each season and it was my job to rock the role so well that my character would become a series regular and star. It worked. I’m entering into Season 15 this week!

 

  • It’s not a classroom; it’s a disco: There is always music playing in my classroom, just like there is always music playing in our house. In the morning before the first bell, I listen to whatever I’m in the mood for, usually something heavy. Once the din of 7:28 am sounds, every day has a theme, as follows:
    • Hair Metal Mondays
    • 80s Tuesdays
    • 90s Wednesdays
    • Guilty Pleasures Thursdays
    • Disco Fridays

I’m revamping the playlists, so please share your song suggestions. And yes, I dance in the hallways. Judge all you want… or join in the fun.

 

  • First Day Massage: I book a massage for 4 pm on the first day of classes. I started this tradition in Season 1. If I have a tough day, I know there’s relaxation coming. If I have a great day, this is the perfect cherry on top.

 

Okay, loyal readers, it’s back to my book and my lounge chair for two more days. May the spirit of Summer Denise flourish… see you in 10 months! Cheers to Season 15!

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