Permission to Heal

Permission to Heal Episode #35 - A Conversation with Emily Ragland: Part 2 - Trauma Informed Educators & Parents & The Emotional Fallout of COVID.

July 07, 2021 Marci Brockmann
Permission to Heal
Permission to Heal Episode #35 - A Conversation with Emily Ragland: Part 2 - Trauma Informed Educators & Parents & The Emotional Fallout of COVID.
Chapters
Permission to Heal
Permission to Heal Episode #35 - A Conversation with Emily Ragland: Part 2 - Trauma Informed Educators & Parents & The Emotional Fallout of COVID.
Jul 07, 2021
Marci Brockmann

Emily Ragland is an active board member of the Family Life Coaching Association and is currently a Behavior Support Specialist at a Charter School in the Triangle of North Carolina and the founder and owner of communiTEAM. Get in touch with her at GoodParentsGreatFamilies.com.

  • Founded on the belief that all children deserve an opportunity to develop in a healthy environment, our work at CommuniTEAM LLC centers around facilitating professionals and families as they set school-aged youth with unique needs up for success. 

Through the use of trauma-informed practices and data-driven research communiTEAM offers training as well as consulting, in efforts to promote a positive and safe community for all. With the firm belief that school-aged youth of varying abilities deserve a positive and supportive environment, communiTEAM is excited to support those with social, behavioral, and developmental delay by educating those in the family and child services field; not just at home but in their communities.

Emily has dedicated her work service thus far to children who struggle with learning, social engagement, emotional awareness, and behavior as well as their families.

"It is critical that we set ourselves up successfully to support those turning to us for strength, during these challenging times. We are all facing trauma, let’s learn how to help each other through it." –Emily Ragland.

Connect with Emily
Email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, communiTEAM on IG.

Connect with Marci
Marci's Website, Patreon, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook Group, YouTube Channel - What's up, Marci?

Subscribe to PTH on Patreon!
Thanks to all of you who support this show on Patreon.
25% goes to help lives impacted by addiction and substance abuse.
Subscribe today for PATRON perks & swag.

Permission to Heal is on YOUTUBE!!
Check out the uncut VIDEOS of Permission to Heal on YouTube.

I love audiobooks! Don’t you? I love reading, but don’t often have enough time to sit still and read all the books I want to.

Audiobooks are the best solution! 

So when I published my book Permission to Land: Searching for Love, Home & Belonging I wanted to create an audiobook version and narrate it myself. (It was a very meaningful experience to record it during COVID lockdown.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08QQW5HQ8/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1624142632&sr=8-1

Check out the hit podcast HOW  MY PARENTS RAISED ME with Dawn Chitty. 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/PermissiontoHeal)

Show Notes Transcript

Emily Ragland is an active board member of the Family Life Coaching Association and is currently a Behavior Support Specialist at a Charter School in the Triangle of North Carolina and the founder and owner of communiTEAM. Get in touch with her at GoodParentsGreatFamilies.com.

  • Founded on the belief that all children deserve an opportunity to develop in a healthy environment, our work at CommuniTEAM LLC centers around facilitating professionals and families as they set school-aged youth with unique needs up for success. 

Through the use of trauma-informed practices and data-driven research communiTEAM offers training as well as consulting, in efforts to promote a positive and safe community for all. With the firm belief that school-aged youth of varying abilities deserve a positive and supportive environment, communiTEAM is excited to support those with social, behavioral, and developmental delay by educating those in the family and child services field; not just at home but in their communities.

Emily has dedicated her work service thus far to children who struggle with learning, social engagement, emotional awareness, and behavior as well as their families.

"It is critical that we set ourselves up successfully to support those turning to us for strength, during these challenging times. We are all facing trauma, let’s learn how to help each other through it." –Emily Ragland.

Connect with Emily
Email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, communiTEAM on IG.

Connect with Marci
Marci's Website, Patreon, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook Group, YouTube Channel - What's up, Marci?

Subscribe to PTH on Patreon!
Thanks to all of you who support this show on Patreon.
25% goes to help lives impacted by addiction and substance abuse.
Subscribe today for PATRON perks & swag.

Permission to Heal is on YOUTUBE!!
Check out the uncut VIDEOS of Permission to Heal on YouTube.

I love audiobooks! Don’t you? I love reading, but don’t often have enough time to sit still and read all the books I want to.

Audiobooks are the best solution! 

So when I published my book Permission to Land: Searching for Love, Home & Belonging I wanted to create an audiobook version and narrate it myself. (It was a very meaningful experience to record it during COVID lockdown.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08QQW5HQ8/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1624142632&sr=8-1

Check out the hit podcast HOW  MY PARENTS RAISED ME with Dawn Chitty. 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/PermissiontoHeal)

Hello, Emily. Thanks for having me.

I'm excited to be here. Thank you. Thank you. It's so wonderful. 

As a community, I think it's so critical that we understand trauma because if a child comes to me and says, oh my gosh, you know, I don't know what to do. I don't know how I'm going to be bigger than this problem. And when I go home, my parents say, well, that's just how.

Right then how can I, as an educator and as a professional say, yeah, it is how it is, but it doesn't have to always be. And then let's learn about people who are challenging those norms. Let's Nora, let's learn about how did they go from, oh my gosh, I'm going to be stuck in this to, okay. How do I change the systems?

I'm I feel stuck in and, and that one reaction to, in my own response to that. Right. And that means, like you said, going to have conversations with school boards to say, Hey, my kid deserves to see them just as much as your kid deserves to see themselves in books, in literature, in history. So we have to do something about it.

And now more than ever, we have to just advocate. We have to advocate for ourselves, but we have to advocate for sure, for our kids, because I worry. And I think that the trauma that we are. On the verge of right now is a trauma we're not prepared for. Right. I don't think as a nation, we're prepared at all for the backlash of what has happened in the last year and a half of our children being isolated, being ignored, not being seen by third parties.

And when they go back to school in the fall, we're going to find out that more happened than we know. And it won't be because a kid comes up and says, Hey, my mom has now a mental health illness that never was addressed. And my dad's been abusing substances and our finances are in a bad spot. So they both have been really stressed out what we're going to see our kids getting aggressive kids, being scared, kids refusing to go to school.

Cause they're scared if they do, their mom might get hit by that. Cause no one's ever been helping them. I mean, all these things. We want to say, like you said on paper, I read all kinds of articles. Oh, on paper, mental health awareness. We need to be more aware. It's going to go up. We have to be more aware of substance abuse, statistically.

It's increasing great. Those numbers are. And what does that look like when we have our boots on the ground? What does that look like? In real time? When I'm on the front lines in a classroom facing 25 students in my room, what is that going to look like? Right. For the last year I've been teaching virtually and I've been teaching online at the same time, physically in the classroom, but all of the kids, even until the last day of school were in masks.

So I don't know what my students look like and they didn't speak because the masks were like muzzles over their faces. I didn't get to know, except the Mo the few, most vocal of them. Most of my students were complete strangers to me throughout the entire year. And I barely knew their names, let alone anything about them because it was a totally different really surreal school year in that regard.

And, and so September comes and I, and you know, God willing, we won't be facing a resurgence of COVID and we'll go to school without masks and things will be much more back to normal sort of right. But forget learning delays and deficits in content, knowledge and skills and all of that stuff. What, what, what is the mental landscape going to be look, look like for these kids?

You know, how, how are they gonna interact with each other in a academic social sort of setting? Yep, absolutely. I think another thing that I imagine, and again, I don't want to speak for teachers, but I'm married to one. And most of my friends are teachers is teachers also didn't go to school to become a teacher, to sit in their house and do zoom.

No, they went to school to connect with children. They went to be advocates. They went to be able to say, I'm that person when you have no other person. Right. And so they have also lost a lot of that opportunity. Mental struggle. Yes on top of it, not only have the children and the students struggled absolutely.

In the families. Absolutely. But also the teachers have their own families. The teachers have their own children, the teachers had their own relationships. And so they have also spent a year and a half being relatively silenced if you will, because you just go in, you teach and you turn off and you can't turn off.

Really. I mean, people that are, teachers are impasse as professionals. We do this because we feel we do this because we connect because we engage. We want to build relationships and modulating. We want to do all these things that for our last year and a half, we really haven't had a chance to do much else.

Right. And so that has impacted how we see ourselves. That's impacted how we feel our skills and strengths have been used. And so perhaps our own self-esteem has been hit. Perhaps her own trauma has been ignored. And now I also have to bounce back. And then September go teach these kids as if I didn't also experience my own trauma.

Right. And that's why important to acknowledge that from the get-go, you know, saying to them, look, everything that you just said, say directly to the students, we all underwent this thing for more than a year and a half of our lives, which was a larger percentage of their lives. Absolutely my own. And, and we, we need to recognize the individual community and societal impact of that and be open with ourselves and with each other, as we try to figure our way out of the, of the weeds, you know, I think we have to have those conversations.

Openly as that with our students, so that they from the get go know that if they're feeling like they're lost in the weeds, they're not lost in the weeds, lost in the weeds together. Yes. I think that's exactly what it is. We have, we're going to have to have some very candid conversations. That's why for me, I shifted my business from family coaching specifically to more professional development for individuals that work with families, because not only do I want professionals to know that they are seen and that they are understood that they have also experienced trauma, but they're going to be thrown out there in the front lines and who has told them a, how to handle the situations for, and with their students, but B how to do so and still be a parent as themselves or in a couple or in a relationship or not in a relationship, but one like right.

All of these navigate the complicated landscape, right. Have we given them the tools or are we demanding them to build something and then not giving them the tools to do so. Right. And I think the same thing happens with professionals that work with families and children is they're going to be flooded with all of this information.

And I want to be a part of the conversation saying, Hey, not only are you seeing. But I see. And we acknowledged that you need extra support in learning how to handle this. When you have a kid that comes in and says they haven't eaten breakfast in the last year and a half. And thank goodness I finally have breakfast or someone who's not getting picked up on time.

What's going on at home. Do we have enough teachers to do home visits? Are we prepared for all of the psychological and all of these conversations? And to say, where are the resources that we're giving our frontline people? Are we giving them what they need to feel strong and to feel successful? Because otherwise we're going to traumatize them by throwing them into the sharks and say, well, remember, you're the teacher.

So, you know, the kids are coming to you. Well, yeah, but what, what do you want me? I have to teach, right? How am I supposed to teach and do all these things? And you've given me none of the skills to do so. Exactly, exactly. And, and very far, far more often.  Professional development that we're given is irrelevant to the tasks that never seems to match the reality of it.

Of what we're facing. In many cases, I feel like that the professional development that we're offered is for like the teacher dealing with Stepford students to know like we're ready to learn, but nobody's like that. No, not even the valedictorian is like that. No. And I don't feel like that the PDs is grounded in reality.

No, it's a checkbox. It's okay. We have to offer four and a half hours every quarter. So what are we going to offer? We're going to offer the same thing we always offer. Well, that's fine. Except things are not how they always have been. And if we're always going to do things the way we've always done things, then we might as well all stop already with the battle of the patriarchy, because we're just going to accept that.

That's just what it is. Exactly. School district did a thing like two years ago, the best professional development afternoon I spent in 26 years of teaching, they had a guy, I don't remember the guy's name, but they had a guy who was like a mental health mindful mindfulness guru. And he didn't talk to us about teaching.

He didn't talk to us about education, milestones, or grades or testing. He talked to us about self-care and we did meditation and we did mindfulness exercises. And we did like seated yoga kind of cause we was all still all of us in an auditorium and it was the best day. And that's what we need more of. I mean, I read something, I follow up of course, a lot of trauma, you know, Instagrams and all that.

And I read something that was said, you know, a parent came to me and asked, what should I do to work on my child's academics the summer? And I told them, don't let them be social beings. Let them play, let them work on social media, you know, movement, let them work on, on motor movement, let them understand emotions, do plays with them.

Do you know imagination work with them because yeah, we could try to catch them up and we could try to, you know, fill the gap. That's that's also going to be important in the future. Yes. But their trauma. Is so rooted in their development that if we don't build the development, who cares about the academics, if they aren't able to wait in line, and if they're not able to wash their hands without losing it, if they're not able to walk down the hallway without being distracted and just wandering, then who cares if they're getting the A's cause they can't apply any of it.

Right. Yes, we want successful strong academics. That's great. Of course. But to get there, we can't just jump straight to the, no, we got to go back to Maslow. We need basic, you know, higher order of needs. We need safety. We need basic comfort. We need basic calm connection. We need to stop slow down and build that foundation.

Otherwise, everything is irrelevant. Absolutely. It is everything else. So like you said, motor skills running around, playing in nature, climbing trees, being in swimming pools or whatever, hanging out with their friends. Even, even reading time with parents, like I used to sit with my kids and we read three bedtime stories or three story books on night before bed.

And that was part of our routine and that parental child connection using books as vehicles to have conversations about. Yeah. About how people feel and relationships and whatever, you know? Absolutely. That's all important. And jumping back into reading, writing arithmetic is the wrong move. It's it's silly.

It's just it's and we're again, I worry that that's yet another time where we're going to realize, oh, we put the horse before, you know, put the cart before the horse and right. And again, if we're going to do that, September, October, November is going to look very challenging all of us. If we don't sit and say, all right, let's think about, just think about how a child develops, what happens to them that makes them develop.

They move, they socialize, they eat, they talk, they touch, they feel well. They've been in a house for a year and a half. And like you said, there's some students that's half of their academic career. Some students, not all of their academic career, they have no idea, nothing else. So some of them will go in the fall in first grade or second grade, having never been in the building.

And instead of us going on a tour and saying, this is what this is, this is who this is. We're going to say, sit down. All right. Now let's work on our ABCs. And meanwhile, the kids are going to be like, where are we? Who are, we're going to need to go back when his mom called right. Absolutely absolutely. A hundred percent.

I think there's bigger conversations to be had. And I'm glad that you and I are connecting because I think these kinds of connections are what start those kinds of conversations. And it's what allows me, especially as a professional, to get feedback from someone such as yourself, who is, like you said, in the trenches to be able to say, all right, how do I shift what I do so that I can truly support teachers and what they do.

And parents, as a parent who has older kids versus me, who has a six month old, you know, how do I get this feedback from parents in an honest environment where they can say, I'm not even worried about my kid's grades. I just want my kid to have a friend. I just want to make sure that my kid is able to have a play date and that they're not scared because of the virus.

Think about it, a child doesn't know what COVID is, but they just know that there's something out there that makes people sick, that interaction with people, we don't know the thing that does it. Like you can't even hang out with your neighbors. Exactly. So how do I develop mentally rationalize that all of a sudden, now I'm allowed to go make friends, but what about that scary virus, mom?

What? I'm going to get sick. I don't want to go over there. I don't want to go to school. Everyone's going to make me sick. I don't want to get sick. You said grandpa got sick and he died. Like what? Right. So how are we going to re-introduce our children to being social beings. And I think to think that we're just going to drop them in and say, see ya at three is a huge mistake.

Absolutely. We need to have ongoing, very open conversations over time, not just one and done right about this to reinforce. The, the, the, what you all, everything that you just said, I don't need to reiterate it. Yeah. It's, it's important. I know. You know, I was an English teacher. I am an English teacher.

So it's, yes. It's important that the kids do the content that they are supposed to be doing. Sure. But I was very worried from the very beginning about their mental health. And I kept saying this to my director, like, she's like, well, what are your big milestone goals for the year? And I'm like, for all. To survive until June without suiciding.

That's my goal. That's a legit, that's a legit goal. Right. Then turning to substances. I don't want them, you know, turning to unhealthy behaviors. I want them to feel like there's some measure of control. So almost every Friday of the entire school year, we watched Ted talks and did yoga videos and talked about mindfulness.

And we talked about inclusivity and we talked about how, I mean, and, and, and it was mostly me monologuing because they weren't talking most of them, but I had most kids and I teach 11th and 12th grade. So they're a little jaded and, oh, they're worried about their street cred and like how they stupid. And I'm going to pretend that I don't totally feel all the things she said.

Exactly. Yeah. But, and I'd be, it's like seven o'clock in the morning, you know, and I'm, and I'm up doing yoga and stretching or whatever in, in, and I've got this, you know, I don't lead them, but I do it with them because I've got a video up on the smart board and, and most of the kids were up doing it.

I'm like, there's no such thing as looking silly. No, you will look silly if you're the only one sitting and doing it. Right. That's when you look silly. So we, you know, can you bend over and reach your toes? Like, where's the tension in your back? What can we do to help alleviate that? Right. It may seem stupid, but it, for a lot of the kids, that was what they remembered out of my class.

That's, you know, and that's perfect because what it also means is they remembered that they matter. They're being seen their body is a vessel for all of their everythings and that they have power over the feelings and the anxieties and the stressors, and it gives them a tool to exactly. That they can take with them forever, right?

Yes. Because otherwise, like you said, I mean, I'm sure suicide rates are, or will be up once, once life returns, it's going to spike again, self-harm substance abuse around, you know, preteen teen Nish ages. And then now they're going to go back to school and feel all the pressures of being quote cool. And all the pressures of fitting in.

And all of that is going to be on top of these normal teenage angst. You know, the normal could be a 14 year old again, but definitely not during these times. And then they're supposed to just go to school and learn and get ready for high school. And then high school are just supposed to get ready for college.

Well, that's all well and good, but if we drop them all off at college a year from now, and none of them know how to handle any part of reality, We're going to again, see an increase in unwanted childbirth. We're going to see an increase in, substance abuse, mental health issues, because they didn't know they had these issues until life slapped them in the face.

Right. So, yeah, I think the only solution to all of these future problems is to acknowledge that they're going to be coming and be to talk about how do we create a conversation and environments where kids can say, I don't know what the heck's going on with life. Right. It's happy. And it's scary. And it's worrisome and I'm excited.

And I'm also scared. And I'm also don't even know who I am because I haven't been around humans for two years. Right. So who do I turn to? And parents aren't trained in child development and figuring it out as we go. Exactly. So, you know, who are we to say, oh, we'll turn to your parents. Or, you know, that's a parent's job.

The school's job is to educate. Education like a lot of things, child academic part. Exactly. I mean, I went into a private school and I did grades education grade got a 3.8 nights in middle school, high school. Great. Well, that doesn't mean that as soon as I went to college, I wasn't like, oh, what is reality?

Who are these people? How do I function? How do I protect myself from others? I was naive and trusted everybody. I mean, those are things that no one taught, but I mean, whew, I got a 3.8. So I mean, I guess I'm ready for college. Right? So I think that's the challenge is like you just said, are we doing our children good by creating this academia that is, you know, top notch and that if you reach it, you've succeeded or are we doing them a disservice by saying that's all that matters.

And that's all that anyone will see because I thought, oh, I got into a good college. Right. I did all the things and yet I graduate in debt with real life experiences. I didn't know were coming to me. And now I have to juggle this mental health, mental illness, things that I didn't even know was a thing.

And because no one talked to me about it, I thought I was broken and also still managed to get a three point. I mean, all these things where you think, okay, my emotions are not important. That's not the critical part. I need to keep going to class. No matter how my depression is impacting me, I need to keep going.

Even if it's impacting me and traumatizing me, I have to go to class. I have to get a good grade. I can't be late on this, that and the other. And then all of a sudden you realize, and right. Nope. Nobody in, in that I'm working for, working with gives a crap that I got a 3.8. No, the fact of the matter is I still have to call off of work because I still have panic attacks and I can't go to.

Because I never learned to deal with it. Exactly. So how am I any better off than if I got a 2.5 and was actually a human person who knew how to handle emotions, who knew where my tools were and how to use them and put them back for next time. And I think that's where we have to really buckle down and stop saying, once you reach the upper class of, of academia, you've made it because you haven't, you a are just now becoming an adult, so get ready, but also I'm good at it's compartmentalizing your life.

Exactly ugly and ignoring the parts that are probably gonna sneak up one day. Oh no, probably about it. Definitely. The only one day you're going to be cool is when the sudden you smell the smell of fresh cut grass and you started having a panic attack, you have to pull over and you don't know why.

Exactly. Well then what do you do? Call your boss and say, I smelled grass. I can't come in. What are you supposed to say? And then I think the important thing too, is as supervisors, as leaders, can we say to someone take a mental health day, I acknowledge that you're struggling and I acknowledge that you were, you had a tough morning or, or something impacted you.

I need you to go home. I need you to stay healthy. I need you to stay safe. That's what's up sick days are for, they're not actually strep throat they're for days where you just can't get your head off the pillow. Right? Right. And to say, you have to go to a doctor and get a note or, well, what if I have mental health issue?

I can go to a doctor who says her mental health was off today. She, I mean, what, what, who do I turn to? It's just a ridiculous rule because if you're home, because you have a cold or you have the flu or a stomach virus, no doctor, you don't need to go to the doctor. So what policies or you have menstrual cramps that are debilitating.

Well, you don't need a doctor for that. Right? You need Advil and a heating pad, you know? Right. And you need to be able to just say, I'm not going to come in. I can't. And again, this is where for me as a trauma survivor, I realized I always give explanations and often too much of one, instead of saying, I'm not going to make it.

And having that be the end, I feel like I have to say because of this and without this, and if that another, and then I'm sitting here explaining why it's acceptable for me to protect myself mentally or physically. And that's traumatizing because what it tells you is it's not enough to just say no, no is a complete sentence.

It's a complete sentence. And then we teach kids. No means no. Well does it though, because we're not really in a society where we accept. No, as an answer, we accept. No, but. We accept? No, because we accept. No, however, but do we accept? No. As it's full two letter sentence, rarely. And that's where we have to let kids say no, I can't.

Okay. I hear you. I feel that, that you can't right now, I'm asking too much of you. Let me give you a break instead of well, too bad. You have to write some times where that is the answer. Absolutely, absolutely. That will be moments. Most of the time, you know, I have kids like even, even something silly, like due dates, you know, write an essay that's due Friday and an a kid will come to me and say, you know, I have X, Y, and Z going on.

 You know, I just, there's no way I'm going to be able, can I hand it into right. You're handing it in for a reasonable reason a day or two or even a week later, right. Can affect my life at all. Right. You're going to get a grade. It's going to get done. I'm going to grade it. All right. I get it. And if you've got an issue, if there's something going on and you need more time, Take it absolutely rather wait for a better product than crappy product now and make you crazy.

And that's what I think then if that's the case, if the latter is what the norm becomes or is, then we create that same act, that same feeling in a work environment where I'd rather you show up and half-ass it. And at least you're here. Then you show up tomorrow or two days from now feeling stronger, feeling rejuvenated, feeling like you heard yourself and address your own needs, right?

Because then also I can give better back. But I think this policy and this expectation of superhuman, super mom, super dads, people who don't have feelings and don't have to stop their life to handle them. And no matter what, you just keep going, just keep going. All the jobs, all the hours, all the things and parent and clean and cook and do yoga and make time to clean your dogs and clean.

I mean some days you have to be able to just be like, Nope, today we're going to do none of that because if I do, I will break. Right. And if I break, I will break hard. So I have to hear my body. I have to hear my soul. I have to hear my trauma system telling me, hello, a little voice back there saying, we're on the verge here.

If you keep pushing us, we're going to have to go in one direction or the other. And if those directions for me, I have very unhealthy coping skills. I'm still learning. I mean, at 35, how to handle frustration? Well, if I wait for that sound to get louder and louder and louder and louder, then my options will be less and less unlikely unsafe.

Whereas if I am taught and continued to teach kids in the future, that once that sound starts, stop what you're doing, hear the voice, acknowledge the voice and do something that will calm it back down. Thanks. Exactly. I think that there's a societal template where I think we're taught that we're only valuable and worthy.

If we are producing something, you know, that our productivity is what gives us value and worthiness, and that's a hundred percent wrong. Yes. That what I just heard a couple of days ago, I heard somebody say we are here human beings. So our worthiness and our value is in being, we're not human doings that is doing things.

So if you have to take time out to just be, then that's a perfectly valid. I think that's great. And I agree. I think, you know, one of the things I've realized over the last couple of years is one of my coping skills used to be to just work more. Oh, hello, my, my adult life. I had two, if not three jobs, always.

If I was done at one job by five, I could get to another job by six. If I didn't have to work on the weekends, I could have a job on the weekends. Rarely wasn't financial. What I'm learning later is it was to avoid sitting in my house and feeling right. And if finding yourself right, if I'm being productive, I can put one more thing on my resume.

I can say one more skill that I have. I can have one more person vouch for my ability to be, and my existence as a professional, instead of saying, you know what? Having one job is sufficient doing it well, as often as you can is enough. And then your other job is to hear your body. Here are your system.

Here are your soul. And do what that is telling you. Go do things that bring you joy. And that's what I'm new to people ask me, what are your hobbies? When I hang out with my son and I hang out with my dogs and I hang out with my husband, well, you have a newborn. So, I mean, even prior to that, I just, you know, what I'm pointing out is just like, I don't know.

I don't know that we're creating children and futures and for my, my generation where we have been pushed to work, work, work, work, work, right. Whether it's a by choice or to pay off your crazy school loans. Cause you were told to go to school, but either way you work, work, work, work, work, and then at some point you stop and you look around and you realize, have I been living right?

I have a tattoo that says don't survive. Be alive because I have to remind myself that I'm not just, I don't have to just get by all the time. I can say. And I can be in the moment and I can live the moment. I can feel the feelings it's okay to not know what they are. It's okay to, to sort of have to sit there and journal through it.

But that's something that at 35, I'm learning. And I hope that in the future, I can and will teach younger individuals. Yes. When to play, those are things that like, just be in it, just feel it. And when it comes, it comes, when it goes, it goes it's, that's the process of life. It's ebb and flow. Instead of thinking like, oh, feelings, I need to work more.

I just need to get out of the house and go do, go do, go do, go do recently. I heard Bernay brown talking about the, the importance and physical, mental, psychological benefits of play. And she like you and I worked all the time and was always very productive and play. What do you mean play? What does that mean?

But ever since I heard her talking on her podcast, unlocking OSS about that, I have been trying to do one activity each day for no other reason than I enjoy it. We're not looking to create something. I'm not looking to sell something or build something. I'm not looking to be productive or to clean something.

I am doing one thing for myself just because it's fun. And it has no other purpose than that. I love it. And I agree. I agree. And I think, yeah, and I think what that also says to ourselves is you're worth it. You're worthy of it. You know, you're worth stopping and acknowledging yourself as an existence human person.

Just giving. And I think for the work that you do, I imagine, and for the work that a lot of us empath do is as they always say, you know, you can't pour from an empty cup. Well, yes, that's true. But then also how do I refill my cup? What are my skills that I have, where I can go home? And my counselor told me a couple of days ago, take your Cape off.

You are always saved the world all the time, always in and Cape, even at your house, pick your Cape off, put it somewhere for the next day and let yourself just be a human person. And to be honest, having to say that to myself out loud, Seems obvious, but it's new to me. It's new to be, to be able to say, it's okay to just be, you don't have to have your Cape on 24 7, leave yourself a posted on your bathroom mirror.

I have my house right now. I have some in my kitchen that says, sit down. I have one of my living room that says it's okay to sit still. I mean, things that in my psyche, if you're sitting still, you're wasting time. If you're wasting time, you're not productive. If you're not productive, why are you even why B and so again, like you've mentioned and started this off with, these are things that were put in my psyche before I chose to put them there.

I didn't choose that someone put them there for me on my behalf, whether it's by words, by actions. Right. And then, then you're brainwashed to thinking that that's the only way, that's it? Those are your choices. That's how you live. And yeah, I used to look at people, very judgmentally and critically, you know, Why are you two doing?

There's the value in that? You're  are you kidding? Like I, like, I. I used to look at people who played video games, just for fun. Like, what the hell are you doing with your time? And for Hanukkah this past year, my husband bought me a Nintendo switch, nice with the game animal crossing in it. And he said, I think you're going to love this, just play and don't judge yourself.

And so that's one of my doing it just because it's fun activities. And I don't care that it's a game meant for kids. I great, Jose, I have a little tiny little avatar of Marcy with purple hair. She wears these cute little clothes and she waters the flower and she goes fishing and it's just calm and, and there's no competition.

There's no, like you have to do this first. It's, you know, do it right. And I love it. Yeah. I love that. Right. That's wonderful to have that too, because I think to what, like you said, I mean, I was the same perspective of like, what are these people here's wasting away your life. Right. And then I got to like 33 and was like, all I've done is work.

I have a great resume. That's wonderful. I have a lot of skills, super. I have my masters. Great. But then what, so now I'm being able to say, okay, you've done the things, give yourself a chance to just, like you said, be a human being, not a human doing. And now, I mean, that's going to be my I'm going to write that everywhere by the way, because that's, I mean, that hits me on a level that that's also a Dr.

Shefali thing for her book. I mean, that's just perfect. Yeah. She's fricking brilliant. Yeah. I'm going to have to learn more about her. Yeah. All you listeners, if you, we were talking before we started the podcast, which I actually kind of forgot. We were doing a podcast for a while because we've been enjoying this conversation so long.

So thanks. I totally forgot. We were recording. Be a lot of editing to do. Wow. Well, I, I don't know. I don't think I can edit anything out. Maybe we do this. I break it apart into a two-part. Yeah, yeah. You know, but Dr. Shefali wrote a book about conscious parenting that is like the cornerstone of the parenting industry.

And, she also just recently wrote a book called radical awakening, which has completely turned my own self-awareness and my own understanding of my parents and their generational trauma. My own parenting turned, everything that I understand just a little bit on its ear in a much more grounded, no way.

Awesome. Just like snapped the pieces so that they fit. Yeah. And, uh, she's just freaking brilliant. Anyway, so we,  I normally, I start these podcast conversations with the six quick questions and we just dove right in and totally forgot about them. So we're going to end with the six quick questions. Okay.

Okay. So what six words would you use to describe yourself motivated a leader? Well, I know that's not a district works. That's fine. Nouns, adjectives. I don't care and paths. Good teamwork team building, I guess. To be honest, lately tired would be the word that I'm going to be born. That makes sense. Yeah.

And I'm curious. Excellent. I love that combination. Nice. Number two. What's your favorite way to spend a day lately? It's been with my six month old and my dogs sitting outside in my yard, throwing the ball for my dogs while my son plays in the grass and learns about the world around us. Nice. Yeah. Simple, beautiful, joyous.

Excellent. What's your favorite childhood memory?  I used to play softball very competitively. I was on a lot of, really competitive pre, Olympic squads. And I would say probably going to turn. Yeah. Where I felt like my team and I were one, we had a great time with each other when we weren't playing.

And when we were playing, we were phenomenal and I have a lot of great moments. My dad was my coach. I just spent a lot of great time with him. And I just felt like those moments were moments where I really realized how strong I was and how much I loved being a leader and being a team player and being a learner just all together.

That's amazing. Yeah. That's amazing. Those are glad times. Massive. Number four, what is your favorite meal? Macaroni? Anything with macaroni and cheese, any kind of macaroni and cheese? I, the funniest thing is when they get too fancy, I can't do it anymore. I like a good, simple probably cause I was often ate like the old school Kraft, Mac and cheese.

So I like it. You know, it reminds me of childhood. It reminds me of comforting right before your feet touch the ground on the chair. Those are the moments I loved. Yeah. I, I love Mac and cheese also. And I have this issue with dairy now that I'm in my fifties. And so I found at whole foods in the same kind of easy package as the Kraft macaroni and cheese, but a non-dairy vegan version tastes exactly the same.

I don't even want to know what the cheese is. I don't care. Yeah. I just, I might have that for lunch now that I'm talking. All right. Number five. What's one piece of advice you would like to give your younger.

Slow down for sure. I was chasing something that I'm not sure was ever really obtainable until I let myself slow down. And so I would love to tell myself to just slow down, take it easy, look around yourself and just exist. And that that was and is sufficient. Yeah. It's not a race. Yup. Yup. Beautiful. What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?

It's not an easy question. I want the world to be able to sit outside of their own selves and see each other and the world that others are living. I want us to be able to sit and say not, I guess. But I'm sorry that this is happening to you. I hear your challenge. I want to understand it. I might not, but I acknowledge that it's real for you.

I acknowledge that it's hard for you and I will be your ally in getting to a point where it's easier. I want us all to be able to get out of our own way and just go back to what we were supposed to be, which were just the beings who were there to, and for each other, instead of against each other, instead of fighting each other, instead of judging each other often, for things that are out of one's control, to be able to just say, you know what?

I get that I see you. And I respect who you are, where you're going and where you came from. Beautiful. Just absolutely. I think that's what we all need. We need more, more of that. Yeah. Yeah. In our lives, I would say. No, I think that's the perfect place to end. I love it. Thank you so much, Emily. Amazingly fabulous.

Well, thanks. I enjoyed every minute of it. Excellent. I can't wait to listen to it. It'll be great. It will be. Thank you so much, Marcy, for having me. You're welcome. Thank you so much for being here. Yeah. Enjoy your Mac and cheese. I might make my own, I have a box that I hid from myself for these kinds of days.

Here you go. Excellent. All right. Have a good afternoon. You as well.