Relationships: from babies, to marriages, to death (oh my)

This is the heart of it all for me. I can talk about this for an hour or for an entire day. In this ever-changing talk, I aim to create an inspiring journey through developmental stages from babes to adolescents all the way into our later years. We will answer the most important question on the planet: “Am I worth it?”. Turns out, the only way each of us answers that question is in the context of relationship. And the biggest challenge facing each of us “these days” is that we’ve never been more disconnected, making it harder than ever to determine if we really, truly matter in this world. Through exploring the most recent research on attachment and emotional regulation, we will talk about some very practical things that are critical in first helping our children learn how to manage emotions and later what that looks like in our friendships, our marriages, and most importantly, with ourselves.

This talk is one of the “basics” and is where I like to start when working with organizations. This talk originated in our work with educators.  We’ve since tailored it in our work with everyone from police officers and emergency services personnel, foster parents, chid care providers, and anyone else who has relationships! We will talk about having an important “common language” between those of us who work together with some of the most difficult babes and families who need us the most, and how we might best be able to develop a network within our communities to do this effectively. This talk serves the groundwork to our philosophy. It is an amazing stand-alone option, but also is the necessary foundation for the other things that I like to talk about like trauma (funner than it sounds), grief (also can be funner than it sounds) and “compassion fatigue.  Be ready for laughter and discussion as we navigate our way through this very important understanding and we learn together what it is your community needs the most.

If you would like more information on how we can tailor this talk to your school or organization, please be in touch!  We would love to work with your crew.

Parent Superpowers

Once I became a parent, I realized that this is the hardest (friggen) job on the planet. I was so much better at the parenting thing before I had kids (are you with me?). There’s so many opinions and so many “right ways”. We’ve developed this shorter session (seems to work best in a two-hour go), often in an evening with good snacks, where we talk about just how normal it is to never feel like you’re doing this parenting (or co-parenting, or step-parenting) thing right. If you own a kid (or are helping to raise one), our sole job is to teach them this thing called emotional regulation, before we (eventually) launch them into this big-old world. That means, sadly, that in order to do that, we have to figure out how to model for them what calm looks like (and turns out, just telling them to CALM DOWN doesn’t work for long, and neither does taking the things they love away so that they’ll eventually figure out that you want them to be kind). Expect an evening of laughter and stories, while we under-stand how attachment and connection to our babes and our partners will give our children the most important skill they will ever learn, how to be kind and connected people we can be proud of.

We’ve done this talk in church basements, living rooms, town halls, and auditoriums. We’d love to join your team (or group of parents) and talk this talk.

“Compassion Fatigue”

As we are expected to “do more with less” in this world of increasing disconnection, our employees are becoming more and more tired of giving, particularly in professions where we hold people with trauma histories.  Some would say, however, that we are wired for compassion and that you cannot tire of the things we are born to do. We can, however, be triggered by our own stories, and when we have no where to put that “stuff”, we can’t do our jobs like we used to do. We can’t “show up” like we used to. And we start to wonder “what’s wrong with me”. What I know for sure is that we cannot serve from an empty vessel. This day will involve a discussion about how we need to look after each other if we can ever hope to assist the children and families we serve and teach. How do we rally the “village” to be the best we can be?

This session typically follows the Day One on Relationships. If you would like more information on how “compassion fatigue” might be affecting your staff or organization, please be in touch, as I would love to visit you and your team.

Grief & Loss

It always amazes me that this is the universal process that is one of the hardest things to talk about. What I know to be true, however, is this: death and loss are the great equalizer. Every single soul on this planet will experience it. I’ve come to learn that when we are in it, in the messiest parts of “it”, we know what we need. We just want someone to lean on. Not to fix it, but to lean on.  It seems to me, that often when we are on the other side of this universal process, that we forget entirely what to give to those grieving, and we struggle most with how to fix it (what to bring, what to say, what not to say). Although grief is a universal experience, it is remarkable that very few of us know “what to do” or “what to say” in times of grief, especially with children. And even worse, when grief and trauma go hand in hand, many of us feel like lost ships in a stormy sea. We will spend the day talking about the saddest parts of grief, how to help each other stay connected, and how to come out never the same, but perhaps even stronger on the other side.

We’ve done this talk in an evening or a full day. It’s powerful and can often stand alone. It incorporates some of our Day One talk on Relationships too.

Leading Greatness

This is our most recent talk and it has essentially built itself. As I develop my own company and talk about the importance of relationships across all other aspects of life, I’ve come to understand that system leaders are some of the most powerful people on the planet. And good leaders understand the importance of relationship first. It’s also become clear to me that good leaders are rare. But when you are one, you can build a team who will run through the fire with you. They will be brave, and courageous, and committed. The steps to create a team like this are shockingly simple to do (on paper) but require remarkable courage in action. I believe the job of a leader is to make the uncomfortable, comfortable. To excavate the unsaid and create an environment where teams are connected. We know without a doubt that people with a common goal are exponentially more committed and productive, it’s how we get them there that makes all the difference. I believe relationship knows no hierarchy; however, leaders at the top who embody connection make it safe for everyone on their team to use their power of connection to change their organization.

This talk has been developed as a prelude to work with teams in your organizations, as it becomes essential that those at the top “buy in” before moving forward. This can also serve as a “stand alone” event. We’d love to talk with your leadership teams!

Trauma

Being “trauma-informed” is the focus for many schools and organizations these days.  And it is critical and necessary for those of us working in professions where people experience significant trauma (like in our classrooms, and in every single public service sector on the planet).  In truth, very few of us get through this life unscathed and understanding the brain from a trauma perspective can change everything.  We’ve developed this as a one-day session we will spend some time talking about the ever-increasing mental health concerns in our lives from our kids to those struggling with addiction. We will explore what “trauma” means for kids and adults alike, and what it is that is most helpful following a significant trauma. We will discuss the research regarding the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and how this shows up in our communities and our classrooms. We will talk about the necessity of leaders assisting staff in keeping their “lid on” and reminding them, as often as we can, that they are the difference makers when we work in organizations that face people with trauma stories. We will highlight the struggles that we face in our province that show up in our classrooms and we will discuss some potential approaches that may assist in helping our staff keep our kids (and their families) regulated and supported.

This session typically follows the Day One on Relationships. If you would like more information on our trauma informed talk, please be in touch, as I would love to visit you and your team.

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