Emotional Intelligence – Yoga For The Mind

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5 Steps to Making Conscious Acts of Kindness

Twenty years ago when I began teaching in the graduate program at Notre Dame de Namur University for individuals earning a credential or master’s in education, I started a ritual.

It was the reporting of a conscious (not random but planned) act of kindness.

My reason for doing so is that being either a teacher or a student teacher is hard work and research is clear that going to the movies, having dinner with a friend, or bowling is fun while it lasts, but the effects are transitory. The ‘hangover’ effect from a good deed, however, goes on and on – much like the Energizer bunny.

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If You Want To Know What A Child Is Thinking, Watch Their Fingers

I went to a funeral last week.

Mary C. Laycock was a wonderful mathematician and teacher. I worked with her at Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA and knew her for many years.

Her students adored her and her ‘Mary’s Math.’ One lesson with Mary and you would develop an insight into math that would stay with you forever.

She knew how to get people to put on their mathematical eyeglasses. She knew how to help them see everything through a mathematical lens. She had the gift to transform students’ relationship with math. Mary emphasized the beauty of understanding the process of mathematics rather than the importance of getting the right answer.

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The Importance of Coloring Outside The Lines

I had my tonsils out when I was thirteen.

That’s significantly beyond the normal age to have tonsils out, don’t you think? I seem to do everything when I am older. ☺

My mother, to keep me occupied during the recovery, gave me a paint-by-numbers set. I loved it. Just follow the numbers and out came this gorgeous (that might be an exaggeration) painting of a horse.

For many years, I lived my life by ‘painting the numbers’ or something equivalent.

You want to make chocolate chip cookies? Here’s the recipe.

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Attitude Goes Five Miles

Last night on my way out the door for my ritual run (a euphemism for a walk/jog,) I stuck a $10 bill in my jacket pocket because, who knows:

1) I might want a lemonade from the two young female entrepreneurs, who live just over two streets or
2) a frozen yogurt (currently my favorite flavor is red velvet cake) or
3) an essential item from the grocery or drug store.

As I am jogging along, I think about the necessity of soap and toothpaste from the drugstore and I stick my fingers into my pocket to retrieve the $10 bill. Whoops. No bill.

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Swinging in the Rain

Fog hangs like a thick quilt over the morning.

You anticipate that you’ll return from your walk damp and cold. You almost don’t go, but then you decide not to allow the habitual rhythm of your day to collapse.

When you are only ten minutes from home and a cup of steaming hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows, you round the park comes into view. Its playground is shrouded in mist. Swings sway with each fresh gust of dampness. It is as if the swings are beckoning: “Come play!”

Usually, remembering the sting of that wooden swing connecting with your three-year old face, your lost teeth, all that blood, you avoid swings. But this morning, you brush the ghosts aside, grab hold of the cold metal chains and lower yourself onto the seat.

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How to Deal with Negative People

How many times have you had to deal with the negativity of others this week? Today?

We know that anger and stress are all around us from the frustrated car driver waiting for the pedestrian to cross the road to the mom dealing with toddler tantrums. Coping with all this stresses us out and becomes contagious as it manifests itself in our own hostility towards the people in our lives’ and so the cycle continues.

There is this idea that we have to absorb the all moodiness and aggression of those around us. And it’s just not true. We don’t have to take into our bodies this negativity; there are things we can do, just as with anything that is bad for us.

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Age Only Counts If You Are A Cheese…

…(Or A Bottle of Wine)

When I was little, I remember people saying, “Oh no, she can’t do it. She’s too old.”

Or, ‘Let’s ask somebody younger. She’ll have more energy.”

Fifteen years ago, when we were both 56, Karen Stone-McCown and I (yes, I got her permission to say that ) started Six Seconds, a global organization supporting people-performance and positive change that now operates in 10 major regions, and supports practitioners in over 75 countries.

Then three years ago, we started an independent K-8 school, Synapse, a school that fulfills our dream of combining leading-edge instruction (brain-based, project driven, and constructivist learning in school-wide themes) with social and emotional learning.

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