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Episode 12: 5 Wonderful Things

Description: This time of the year is such an awesome time to resonate on the amazing things life puts in our paths.

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to Episode 12 of Season 4 of Self-Care for Educators. I am your host, Tina Boogren. This week's invitation won't be a surprise. As many of us are moving into Thanksgiving this week, I want us to focus on gratitude. I know it's a strategy we've talked about before, and I have no doubt it is a strategy we will talk about again because it's one of my favorites. Gratitude is one of the strategies that helps us tap in to those top levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, of where the good stuff is, right? At levels 5 and 6, which level 5 is a reminder of self actualization, and level 6 is transcendence, or a connection to something greater than ourselves. When we think about those two levels, those two levels are attached to motivation and inspiration.

And, one of the ways that we can ensure that we're reaching up to those tip top levels of Maslow is through gratitude. Gratitude is a strategy that we've heard about and talked about before, and yet sometimes we're good at it for a while, and then it slips away, excuse me, or sometimes it feels good. And then, sometimes it's a strategy that doesn't work for us, and we let it go. All of that is good. This week, though, I always get gratitude on my mind, especially during Thanksgiving, right? Naturally. And so, I wanted to bring this back and have us really pause and think about how might we ensure. that we are tapping into gratitude every day. So, a couple strategies that I utilize ...

Number one, part of my journaling practice is to record five unique things that I'm grateful for within the last 24 hours. I used to keep just kind of a standard gratitude journal, and I found myself getting stuck. I would just ... been grateful for the same things and it kinda lost its luster. But, when I heard about that strategy, and I'd love to give credit to wherever I got it. I don't remember ... I think I read it in a magazine or something. It maybe came from Oprah, I'm not sure. But, the idea of thinking about five unique things that I'm grateful for within the last 24 hours helps me get super, super specific and recognize all those teeny, tiny, little things that actually happen, even on days where it doesn't feel like there's much good going on.

So, examples of this are, you know, the really nice woman who upgraded my car at the rental counter. Right? The lovely older couple that I talked to in the waiting area to get on the plane that we're heading out to visit grandkids and they were so excited. They show me pictures of their grandkids, right? Gratitude for my husband who meets me at the door and carries my suitcase upstairs when I come home from a trip. Gratitude for staying in a town that's got a great fresh salad bar. It's one of my favorite things. So, these teeny, tiny, little things, it just, what a great way to look at the world. The other thing that I do for gratitude is I take a gratitude photo every single day. Just something that catches my eye. I sometimes share it on social media. Oftentimes I don't. It's just for me. I drop it into my one second every day app and when I'm feeling low, I just hit play and I get a little slideshow of all the kind of random unique things that I'm grateful for over these past years.

I've been doing that for years. I know many people like to share gratitude to start a meeting or to start class, writing a gratitude letter to someone, a text or a letter can be really powerful. Doing some sort of gratitude chain in your classroom, like kids writing down on construction paper slips, what they're grateful for and making a chain out of that to see how far we can get that to go. Giving kids sticky notes or ourselves, staff members and having them jot down something they're grateful for in the school and go put that sticky note where, where it identifies that thing or that person. So, many ways that we can tap into gratitude. And. I think that's just a really calming way for us to move into this week. You know, last week's invitation, we talked about how do we want to feel as we move into this holiday season and boy, gratitude can help us kind of refocus and remind ourselves that even when things are crazy and chaotic, and we feel stress coming on and maybe a touch of overwhelm, gratitude just reminds us that in the midst of all the hard stuff we can find that light.

And, that for me, I know, just helps keep me grounded and centered. And, it really is that connection to something greater than self. For me, it's like I, I remind myself I'm it's the universe is not just about me, right? There's bigger things. And, I feel connected to something outside of myself and just really feel that joy and connection when I'm able to remind myself that the small things, as we always say, are not actually the small things, they're the big things and gratitude is a great venue for us to tap into that. So, I hope you play around with the gratitude this week. And, I'm going to end with my typical gratitude that I don't take lightly.

First and foremost, thank you to Brooke. Brooke makes this happen and we are so, so grateful, grateful for her. Also, a huge thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources. I just feel so grateful that this is the work that I get to do. Even when it's hard, I'm grateful for it. And, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. My goodness, my gratitude for you is just hard to even put into words. You guys are absolutely amazing. I thank you for listening. I thank you for the work that you do every single day. And, I thank you for the humans that you are. You've got big brains and big hearts, and I'm so grateful for you. Make it an amazing week, Squad.

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