Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Human Library: Talking to Books

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February 28, 2017

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The Human Library: Talking to Books

I think there is just one kind of folks. Folks.

- Scout Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird -

The Human Library: Talking to Books

Instead of borrowing a book at this library, you can borrow a person! The intention behind the Human Library is to connect people to members of communities who are not well understood by the general public. In this video, Rachel Bergen shares, "Before today, I had never even met a medium, a transgender person, or someone with EB, but here I had the chance to even ask them personal questions and really see a glimpse of life through their eyes."Designed to create space for positive conversations that defy stereotypes and prejudices, the Human Library is changing the world, one interaction at a time. { read more }

Be The Change

The next time you catch yourself having a judgmental thought about another person, can you imagine yourself in their shoes?


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Monday, February 27, 2017

Getting Unstuck: The Art of Possibility

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February 27, 2017

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Getting Unstuck: The Art of Possibility

Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free.

- Shannon L. Alder -

Getting Unstuck: The Art of Possibility

We begin with grand plans for accomplishing a task, and too often end in frustration with having nothing done. What if we changed our view and looked at a rut as an opportunity instead of a problem? Rosamund Stone Zander, the author of "Getting Unstuck," helps us see the inner wisdom we all have. On her journey as a writer, slowing down is the key that opened a surge in creativity. She suggests that it is our fear of not being productive that actually gets us stuck. Having faith in the authentic voice inside of ourselves is the key to getting unstuck. She shares her own experience of relaxing the definitions given to "problems" and invites us to open up to problems as they teach us what we need so that we can move into a more creative way of living. { read more }

Be The Change

Have you ever been stuck in trying to accomplish a task? Share a story about your own experience in being set free from a "problem" when you looked at the situation differently.


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Sunday, February 26, 2017

How to Listen with Compassion in the Classroom

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February 26, 2017

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How to Listen with Compassion in the Classroom

Listening has the quality of the wizard's alchemy. It has the power to melt armor and produce beauty in the midst of hatred.

- Brian Muldoon -

How to Listen with Compassion in the Classroom

In classroom environments where the need to belong is thwarted, young people may grasp for power and prestige rather than learn how to form authentic connections. Students may try to fit in in negative ways like bullying, buying in to peer pressure, or conforming to negative stereotype, because, often they lack the necessary social-emotional skills to form healthy, supportive relationships -- which leads to a fear-based classroom atmosphere that impedes learning. Martha Caldwell, a teacher and teaching consultant, shares how we can intentionally design classroom communities that challenge this dynamic by teaching and modeling compassionate listening to "foster belonging, inclusion, and learning in the classroom." She lists practical tips in the form of seven principles to help cultivate compassionate listening skills -- applicable to children and adults alike. { read more }

Be The Change

Try applying one or more of the principles in this article to listen compassionately today. Does it shift the charge in the atmosphere of your conversation? Does it make room for authentic connection? For more inspiration on Martha Caldwell's work on mindfulness in education, see here: { more }


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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Say Your Truths & Seek Them In Others

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February 25, 2017

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Say Your Truths & Seek Them In Others

What will matter is the good we did, not the good we expected others to do.

- Elizabeth Lesser -

Say Your Truths & Seek Them In Others

In a lyrical, unexpectedly funny talk about heavy topics such as frayed relationships and the death of a loved one, Elizabeth Lesser describes the healing process of putting aside pride and defensiveness to make way for soul-baring and truth-telling. "You don't have to wait for a life-or-death situation to clean up the relationships that matter to you," she says. "Be like a new kind of first responder ... the one to take the first courageous step toward the other." { read more }

Be The Change

How can you be a first responder for someone in the way Lesser describes? Take a step in that direction today.


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