body scanning, white supremacy culture, and TikTok-ing
I’m writing this newsletter as I close out my birthday week (shouts to all the Virgos!). I infused plenty of rest in the week and curated my calendar so that the pacing of the week honored my need for restoration over production. It feels good to be here.
I also regularly connect with my educator friends and wonder the impact on them, and our young people, if rest and restoration aren’t centered more intentionally as this school year moves forward. We are collectively tired. And that word doesn’t quite feel strong enough for what so many folks are carrying, beyond the very real physical exhaustion that’s present.
Regardless of when you open this newsletter, I hope you’ll take a moment on this day to pause. To nap. To get fresh air. To take a meditative walk. To sit in soothing silence for 10 minutes. To lay on your back and sink a bit into the floor. To curl up in your bed and let the covers cuddle you. You deserve. Gift yourself those moments. We need you to survive.
something you can try out…
The first time I paid attention to where stress was showing up in my body, I noticed the knots and tightening that appeared in my lower back and the clenching of my jaw when preparing to share something that I was nervous about. This is especially true when I think what I’m about to share may not be welcome information.
I got more in tune with my body as I incorporated mindfulness and meditation into my routine. One of my favorite grounding exercises to do is a body scan. It’s a reminder for me to pause, check in with myself, and create space for my needs in that moment. I scan for any pain or tension in my body and try to breath release and relaxation into those areas. How might you incorporate body scanning into your classroom or your work with educators? How might we benefit from noticing how different feelings and emotions show up in our body?
what I’m learning about + who I’m learning from…
I’m always thrilled when school leaders use the words white supremacy and white supremacy culture in my prep meetings with them. Not to tell me to avoid the topic, but to name what they’re seeing in their community and to request that their educators learn more about white supremacy culture in our time together. In a time where words like identity, race, equality, and inclusion are getting targeted and banned from curriculum, discussing white supremacy would most certainly not be acceptable to folks who want to make sure we aren’t empowered to fight for equity or that we don’t learn about the causes of social inequalities around us.
Since first learning about white supremacy culture characteristics at a conference in 2016, I revisit them regularly to reflect on ways these characteristics show up around me and within me. I was excited to learn that Tema Okun, “with support by and from many genius colleagues and friends,” developed a website to more deeply explore and interrogate white supremacy culture, building on her original article published in 1999. The new website is RICH with resources, examples, explanations, connections, scholarship, and a modeling of humility and reflection. I’m learning so much that I’m excited to share with my clients. I encourage others to check out this resource…but to do so in a way that honors the depth and breath of this work. Take your time, discuss what’s coming up for you with others, revisit it and return again. So much learning and unlearning to do.
share a resource…
You’re invited to share resources with our Community on our Collective Resource Bank (via Padlet). This month, let’s share meditative and mindful exercises that we use personally or that we’ve used in our classroom and educational settings.
what I’ve been up to…
I wanted to learn something new one day, so I downloaded TikTok and decided to figure out how the app worked. It was fun to explore and I can see why it’s a medium that so many use for entertainment, storytelling, and educating folks on any and every subject matter. In my first few TikToks, I share about anti-racism, specifically what anti-racism is not. Anti-racism was hot on the lips of so many going into the fall, without impactful and meaningful action and follow-through. When I feel so moved, I’ll share some of the ways I’ve seen educators and education leaders shift practices and policies in anti-racist ways. But for now, follow me if you’d like. Come along for this learning journey.
join me for upcoming events and meetups!
When I’m not TikTok-ing and doing deep breathing exercises…
I’ll be seeing you all (over Zoom) in my workshops and networks. Join me! All registration links are in my Linktree, where necessary.
I’ll be featured on The Thought Partner’s IG Live Series, “Thinking to Transgress” on Monday, September 27th @ 7:30 PM EST/ 4:30 PM PST.
It’s almost time to launch my Reflective Practice PLC through the CATDC this school year. (You don’t have to live in CA to join this virtual network.)
If you are interested in having me work with your community or interested in one-on-one coaching, fill out my intake form.