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Mindfulness in a time of crisis

With everything going on around us, it can be hard to center yourself and realize you can handle this

A moment of reflection at Santa Elena canyon in Big Bend National Park

To my regular readers, you may have been expecting my next post to be on intentional classroom management since that is this month’s theme. But it just didn’t seem like the time, especially when most of you won’t have students in your classrooms this week. So I decided to go with a more reflective and personal message about how to handle the current situation.

First, let me tell you a little bit about my journey – or shall we say my issues – with control. It has always been my default to try to control things. This, of course, is usually a losing battle because there is actually very little you can control. It took some time with my executive coach to realize some of these things, but the realization that I had to stop trying to control things was a game changer. Instead, I had to be confident that I could handle whatever came at me. Without this realization, I doubt I would have been able to quit my full time job and start my own business.

So here I am. Self-employed. Doing well. Booked for training sessions all through March and April. Bills will be paid. I’m feeling great. I’m enjoying the fantastic views out in far west Texas during my spring break vacation. During my last full day in Marfa, though, reality hits. Galleries, stores, and restaurants are all closing because the now-labeled pandemic coronavirus. On the drive home, I find out schools are closing for at least the next week. I am now fully aware of the stress that can hit a small business owner. I could potentially lose months of income. But in that moment I realized how far I had come since two years ago. I didn’t panic. I didn’t go into control mode (because haha I certainly can’t control COVID-19 or the need to close schools). I instead centered myself in the current moment. There are bigger things going on in the world. Health is your wealth, as my yoga teacher always says. And I have my health and will hopefully stay that way. And I need to help ensure as best I can the health of the people around me and in my community. I have money in the bank. I can weather this storm better than many around me. And if I need to get a line of small business credit to float me along, I am confident I can. This is life, and I am fine.

This time also offers me an opportunity to grow. How can I help educators navigate this challenge? How can I help them develop online lessons and strategies? How can I widen my understanding of the possibilities of online education? How can I be proactive? How can I grow myself as an educator?

And maybe this is the right time to write my second book. I’ve been too busy to do it thus far, but maybe forced time social distancing is just the motivation I need.

All that being said, here’s my big take-away – you can handle this. You can grow as an educator, tackle this challenge, and be better for it. You can learn new ways to help your students. You can do all of this while in the middle of a crisis. You can do all of this while making your health and the health of your community a priority.

So I encourage you to take a minute to reflect. If you don't agree with the decisions being made to close schools/cancel events, there is nothing you can change at this moment. It is not something you can control. You can only control your response. You can only control how you will do the best to support your students and your community.

And if you want advice, ideas, lessons, please email me at I will be happy to help. We can always meet via Google Hangouts, too. And, of course, keep up with this blog. I’ll be sharing more ideas all week.

Educators, you got this! Focus on what you can do and not all the noise around you. Be confident that you can handle whatever comes your way!

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