Active Listening Cheat Sheet

Active Listening Cheat Sheet   Listening Is The cornerstone of all conflict and communication practices. 90% of the conflict process is about being a good listener.   The Opposite of Multitasking Is Active Listening. The ability to focus and attend to an outside speaker, while putting aside your ‘inside dialogue’ takes practice. The ...

Managing Difficult Conversations Cheat Sheet

Managing Difficult Conversations With Your Children   Creating systems and strategies in the home that help children develop the skills required to hold difficult conversations ·      Tasks that are repeated over time, train the brain. ·      Positive Activities to Promote include: ·      Positive Self Talk ·      Independent Morning/Evening ...

Communicating Well At Home

Communicating Well At Home Cheat Sheet Emi Garzitto   TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST. Make sure you are calm and kind. Your thoughts matter. Go with the intention to hold relationship. ASK FOR PERMISSION “Do you have 20 minutes to talk to me? I’d like to talk about what happened at recess on the playground. ...

Your Brain on Twitter Cheat Sheet

  Your Brain on Twitter Notes How It All Began 5 billion years ago Life Began! 300 million years ago: Development of Reptilian Brain (Brain Stem) 100 million years ago: Development of Emotional Brain (Amygdala) 70 million years ago: Development of Thinking Brain 4 million – 2 million years ago: Arrival of first hominines Australopithecus ...

What Adults Can Do For Children’s Anxiety Cheat Sheet

What Adults Can Do For Children’s Anxiety Cheat Sheet   Home Strategies Declutter the home environment Model Emotional Independence – Stress Contagion – You are in charge of managing your feelings Move Meditation/Breathing Provide Responsibilities and Praise Independence Limit Electronic Device Use Have a consistent morning and evening ...
What Makes Us Vote For Le Pen?

What Makes Us Vote For Le Pen?

Resilience, grit, compassion and caring are words we use to describe individuals but these qualities exist in communities and nations.  How do we teach and practice these skills in collectives?  How can we up the resilience of communities to manage adversity with compassion and care? Global catastrophes will continue to challenge our answer to ...
YouTube, Netflix and the New Normal

YouTube, Netflix and the New Normal

All of that practice in social engagement helps us learn to regulate our own feelings.  It helps us practice those all important social emotional skills of connecting with others.  It is the tiny small nuances of human interaction, repeated thousands and thousands of times that inform all of our body.  These small bits of information ...
A Label Is Not a Solution

A Label Is Not a Solution

Schools are looking for ways to best serve a diverse group of students. One of the ways students qualify for additional support is through having students tested and designated.  This child has a learning disability.  This child is on the autism spectrum.  This child has Attention Deficit Disorder.  Each designation provides some additional ...
Your Brain on Loneliness – How Do You Fix Lonely?

Your Brain on Loneliness – How Do You Fix Lonely?

I am talking to a group of university undergrad students via Skype.  The topic is neuroplasticity and learning. During the Q and A, a student asks about loneliness. “What can you do to combat the feeling of loneliness?” “Is loneliness in your DNA?” I thought about her questions for a long time after the session, ...
My Brain on Challenge

My Brain on Challenge

  I don’t think I have ever written and published anything for 30 consecutive days.  I have two book drafts in various states of completion.  Even in my most productive bouts, I could not bring myself to do this. So how did this happen?  And what did I learn?  What are my take aways? I ...
Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

  It has been years since Rodney King famously uttered,  “Can’t we all just get along?” Having been beaten  by the Los Angeles Police and more importantly, having it filmed for all the world to see, this became the final spark that began the LA riots in 1992. I remember watching the footage, naive to ...
Your Brain on Completing Tasks to the End

Your Brain on Completing Tasks to the End

I was lucky to have someone mentor me through my first half marathon.  She would council me on appropriate running gear, how to pace myself, and the right kind of running shoes.  She even got me to eat during the long runs. “You have to eat something.” “This stuff tastes terrible.  Why would I want ...
You Are Your Past

You Are Your Past

  Mixing Polenta with a Drywall Mixer You are not your past. Tony Robbins If there is any dispute that your traits and beliefs are passed down through your DNA, you haven’t organized a cultural event or a family reunion. I am an Italian Canadian.  Both of my parents immigrated to Canada in the early ...
Pick One and Passing It Down

Pick One and Passing It Down

I sometimes make stupid decisions.  It sounds good at the time, but as the decision rolls out, my better judgement is challenged. Years ago as a drama teacher. I would come up with an idea and pass it by my Fine Arts Department Head. “Hey there Greg, I am thinking of writing a Comedia del’Arte ...
It Always Takes Longer Than You Think

It Always Takes Longer Than You Think

  If I don’t write it in my calendar, it is not going to happen. If a task is not on my list, I have a 50-50 chance of forgetting it.  Ah, the joys of the middle aged brain. The older I get, the more I value my time.  I realize this is a precious ...
On CDs, Fundamentalism and Paradigm Shifts

On CDs, Fundamentalism and Paradigm Shifts

Back in the technology boom of the 90’s, I was an avid reader of the magazine Fast Company. I still have some of the articles, tucked in my research files.  I just can’t find them at the moment. One of the articles talked about the growth curve of industries.  At the time, CD’s were still the ...
It Does Not Have To Be This Hard

It Does Not Have To Be This Hard

  Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Victor Frankl It doesn’t have to be this hard. I find myself saying thisoften.  During my counseling sessions, in my bodywork practice, while talking to ...
What Does Social Emotional Learning Have In Common With Video Games?

What Does Social Emotional Learning Have In Common With Video Games?

Easy to learn, hard to master. This is the goal of every video game developer.  It is the hallmark of the gaming industry.  It allows a user to gain enough proficiency in a game so as to encourage further use, and gradual challenges to provide more and more complexity and effort.  It is a simple ...
Your Brain on Perserverance

Your Brain on Perserverance

One of my goals for 2017 was to increase my skill at swimming so that I can eventually overcome my fear of swimming in open water. As a part of that goal, I am taking intermediate adult swimming lessons at the local pool. Twelve people are enrolled in the class.  It is a smattering of ages and ...
Racial Profiling and High Quality Boullion Powder

Racial Profiling and High Quality Boullion Powder

I am a little nervous going through American customs. My husband’s skin colour and last name meant that when we were dating during the Bush era, he would constantly be detained for “random” checks. With the new change of politic I brace myself for another round of hold ups and special treatment.  Much to my ...
When is Cheese No Longer Cheese?

When is Cheese No Longer Cheese?

My love affair for cheese is well documented.  You can see my blog post on my cheese making course experience here.  If I ever go to jail, it will have something to do with transporting hundreds of pounds of cheese hidden in boxes labelled bocce balls.  I have listened to gastropod’s history of cheese three ...
The Magic of a Name – Noticing Your Feelings

The Magic of a Name – Noticing Your Feelings

Your brain knows your name. The millions of times you hear your name and respond to it have created a speedy neural pathway that has become a shortcut at receiving information. When I am working with students who are having big feelings – frustration, overwhelm,, anxiousness or angry – they are often unaware of what ...

Razor Edge Between Suffering, Living and Dying

When my mother was a little girl in Northern Italy on a small family farm, she would  watch baby chicks hatch out of their eggs. She was fascinated by the cracks and the the small puncture marks that would arrive signalling the arrival of a baby chick. There were times she would feel sorry for ...
Suffering as an Art Form – Chicks, Shells and Survival

Suffering as an Art Form – Chicks, Shells and Survival

When my mother was a little girl in Northern Italy on a small family farm, she would  watch baby chicks hatch out of their eggs. She was fascinated by the cracks and the the small puncture marks that would arrive signalling the arrival of a baby chick. There were times she would feel sorry for ...