Be Still

Be Still

It is evening, we are both tired from the travelling and colds that keep lingering in our lungs. We sit outside the balcony of our unit watching a beautiful sunset.  I have a glass of wine in my hand. We have a magnificent view.  We are silent. We let the sound of water breathing in ...
Life Learning Vs. Good Marks

Life Learning Vs. Good Marks

I am helping one of my nieces, Fabiana, with one of her papers.  It is a difficult and dense topic. The requirements are meticulous.  We are working sentence by sentence. Somewhere in the middle, we take a break and we Skype my sister.  Many years ago, I helped my twin edit her PhD thesis. It ...
Fear is Easy

Fear is Easy

Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.  Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Steven Pressfield I believed, for most of my adult life, that ...

Fear Can’t Win

I am sitting across from a client. We have worked together over the last few years so I have been able to witness some significant and courageous transformations. He has been sober for over two years. Employed,  engaged in healthy habits and routines. As with all transformations, many deaths occur. He is divorced. He is ...
Your Brain on Uncertainty

Your Brain on Uncertainty

Brains love uncertainty. What? You just finished writing a post about how brains love certainty and now you are telling me the complete opposite? Yes, I am telling you the complete opposite.  Seems our brains love a good paradox. Brains need certainty and uncertainty. Brains need safety as well as some stress and danger. Brains ...
Your Brain on Certainty

Your Brain on Certainty

I am very fond of certainty. I have written about my addiction to certainty in one of my other blogs. Certainty is about the desire to know what is happening in your environment.   It is about the patterns, the people, the activities and routines that are predictable. Certainty is a good thing, in fact, ...
Your Brain on Routines

Your Brain on Routines

Slow and Steady Wins the Race One of my favourite sayings is “slow and steady wins the race,” probably because this pretty much defines everything I do.  I don’t do anything quickly.  Growing up, I struggled to keep up with my brother and sister in whatever kind of play we were currently engaged in. I ...
The Road to Self Advocacy Is Not Paved With Kindness

The Road to Self Advocacy Is Not Paved With Kindness

Years ago when I was training for a marathon, I was participating in an 18 mile training run.  It was a hot morning and the route was full of hills.  Near the end of the run, we hit a stretch void of shade.  Everyone in the group is starting to melt a little and the ...

Point One – Feelings Matter

It is the last hour of school before school is dismissed for spring break.  I am going around to the classrooms checking in on students but I am preempted by a variety of activities.  The grade 7 classes are positively gleeful, completing art projects and eating a variety of the mandatory carbs.  I head over ...
The Power of More Than One

The Power of More Than One

I am once again staring out at miserable rain and snow.  It is March.  Spring is just around the corner. Outside my window there are big fat flakes hitting the sidewalk.  I start yelling at my husband, “No!  I don’t want thissss!” Yelling it out loud makes me feel better. I am in my running ...

Can We Teach Children to be Happy?

I am at a school meeting attended by a classroom teacher, a resource teacher, a school administrator, a  support worker and myself as a school counsellor. We are talking about how to better support a student who is struggling with anxiety and anxious behaviour.  Any test or performance brings significant belly aches, headaches and paralysis. ...
School Trustees Found Guilty of Bullying – Foxes Running the Chicken Coop

School Trustees Found Guilty of Bullying – Foxes Running the Chicken Coop

  An external report from the Vancouver School Board was released to the media on Friday morning.  The redacted report claims that some elected School Trustees created a “a toxic work environment in which staff were bullied and harassed.”  I have spoken to colleagues who were present at some of the public meetings where the ...

Workshop and Presentations

2017  Setting Respectful Boundaries With Children Parent Advisory Committee 2017  Peer to Peer Conflict Strategies, Vancouver School Board 2017  How to Talk to Your Child’s Teacher, Parent Advisory Committee 2016  Working Through Family Conflict, Vanouver RC Archdiocese 2016  Self Regulation and the Digital Brain, Vanouver RC Archdiocese ...
Top 10 Strategies to Create the Anxious Child (Part Two)

Top 10 Strategies to Create the Anxious Child (Part Two)

All of our interactions and responses influence those around us.  The adults in the primary support system for children have a tremendous influence on children.  What we do, what we think and how we respond, all carry an impact on children, whose brains are still building the neural network and responses that inform their moral practice. ...
Top 10 Strategies to Create the Anxious Child (Part One)

Top 10 Strategies to Create the Anxious Child (Part One)

Stress is a normal part of our everyday experience,  yet, increasingly we are finding  children who are challenged with the practice of managing stress. While the reasons behind this are complex, the next two blog posts will look at what we can do to support children’s experience of anxiousness. Top 10 Strategies to Create the ...

What’s the End Game?

So, as I mentioned in the last blog, public schools should be open, no matter what. Negotiations between government and teachers should take place outside of student learning. In an increasing climate where public education is under threat, where government is methodically chipping away at public education and increasingly providing financial ...

Ramblings on the Picket Line #3 – Students

It is a grey Monday morning, and the dispute continues, seemingly both sides more entrenched in their positions than ever, with no sign of a truce.  It appears that I will be writing quite a few of these before I return to my school work routines, and quite possibly, a good piece of Fall will ...

Ramblings on the Picket Line #2 – Union

Yesterday, I wrote about the Government and today, as promised, I am going to ramble about my view on the BCTF.   Marshall McLuhan, oh so many years ago, wrote “the medium is the message” and in this digital age of instant information, this has even greater significance. Packaging of content has just as much ...

Ramblings on the Picket Line #1 – Government

This is a painful blog post to write.  I have stopped talking about the strike because the feelings from everyone are strong and fiery, and almost always framed in a way that leave me defending the teacher union position.   Let me start by saying I am on the picket line. I am a due ...
My Addiction to Certainty

My Addiction to Certainty

Food and Connection Two years ago, I saw an interview with Tony Robbins, a popular motivational speaker who talked about six core values that drive behaviour. The values were significance, love, growth, contribution, certainty, and adventure.  According to Robbins, everyone values a particular cocktail of the combination. When I thought carefully ...
The Paradox of Stillness – 5 Things to do in Crisis

The Paradox of Stillness – 5 Things to do in Crisis

After struggling with symptoms of severe adrenal failure, my sister was finally feeling the benefits of a strengthening recovery.  She was doing so well, that she was back to playing badminton – her long time passion.  In fact, she was doing so well, that she entered and won local tournaments, and had just signed up ...
Happiness is a Muscle

Happiness is a Muscle

Recently I watched and rewatched a PBS special on happiness. The documentary examined the growing study of happiness.  In attempting to create markers and quantifiable measurements and turn it into a science, some interesting observations were made: Money does not determine happiness: once a person is making a minimum that provides for food, ...
Going Slow to Go Fast – Training Your Brain to Embrace Transformation

Going Slow to Go Fast – Training Your Brain to Embrace Transformation

I have to admit to one of my guilty pleasures in order to give this blog post some context.  I love watching the TV show, “The Biggest Loser”.  I admit to enjoying the catharsis of watching bodies and lives transform right before our television eyes.  I know it is produced, formulaic with a slick intent ...
I Am Not Wearing Pink

I Am Not Wearing Pink

Before you read this, full disclosure, I hate, perhaps even abhor the word bully.  I hate the word victim even more. One of the great learning in my years as a vice principal, through countless investigations of disputes of all kinds, rarely will you find a full on bully or a full on victim.  The ...