We had sweet plans for 2021 with the intent to go big, but start small. Although the year began with tired hearts following a strange and painful holiday season, we did our ever-best to accept our new reality, and our mission remained the same: create a reconnection revolution that reminds the world we’re wired for connection (and all of this mess).
We chose ‘braver’ as our word for 2021: a special kind of brave you find in your darkest, hardest moments, where you go all-in with your whole, tired heart, especially when you can’t predict the outcome.
So many of us were in desperate need for connection, calm, and the belief that we are #BraverTogether. With conviction, we made a plan to look after each other and a commitment that this community would be a safe place to land whenever anyone needed to be uplifted. I hope with all my heart that we provided some of you with a little reprieve from the hard things in 2021.
So, just in case you’d like to take a year in review with us to see just how far you and I have come, grab a mug and jump on the train…
Jody’s Favourite Moments of 2021
January 16 – Team Jody 5km Run for CHMA
In an effort to continue advocating for mental health awareness and wellness in our communities, Team Jody chose the Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division (CMHA) as our charity partner for STAYLit 2021. In addition to donating a portion of the event proceeds to their organization, we decided to strap on our running shoes and kick our mental health into action by moving our bodies! We organized a virtual 5km run with a goal of raising $5k and this community completely blew us away by raising $10,425!!!
We cried tears of joy and because of all of you, CMHA is better able to continue connecting communities to resources and support which widely benefits so many Canadians. THANK YOU!
January 30, 2021 – STAYLit
In dire need of connection, we planned a one-day virtual conference designed with love by our little team to serve communities everywhere who felt disconnected. We gathered some of our favourite game changers (Jesse Thistle, Shelley Moore, George Couros, Jessica Janzen and Laurie McIntosh) to take a seat at the table with us with the intent to reignite our communities by starting critical conversations and holding space for our most important lessons and emotions. We talked grief, finding joy, burnout, white privilege, inclusion, educating our babes, and walking each other home – all wrapped up in the message that we are #BraverTogether.
Although we navigated hurdle after hurdle (covid exposure and technical delays) we pulled off an event that I am extremely proud of and our love and gratitude for this community grew exponentially. STAYlit not only made me braver, but also steadfast in the belief that we are the change we seek.
February 14, 2021 – Kids These Days Turns Two!
On Valentine’s day we celebrated the second birthday of this first labour of love of mine, Kids These Days, and I can tell you, I love it almost as much as I love my husband.
This first book of mine has connected me to so many souls, helped me grow in so many ways, and made me think so many things. We’re coming up to three years, and we’re only getting started.
If you’ve read it, thank you. If you haven’t, I’d love you to. And if you love it, I hope you share it with someone else. xo
Dr. Jody Live
There’s no better way to start your day than by having coffee with your mates! In January we resumed our morning lives on Facebook and Instagram and carried it throughout the WHOLE year! In 2021 we met for coffee 174 times with an average of 500 in attendance–that’s over 80 hours of connection, sweet ones!
Seeing my Coffee Mates log on every morning was the highlight of most of my days and I sincerely hope it brought you all just as much joy.
Top 3 Morning Lives
I also had the great pleasure of having incredible guest speakers join me for inspiring conversations covering all the hard topics related to mental health and walking each other home through the process. A huge thank you to all of our guests who added so much value and insight to our year.
Top 3 Lives with Guests
Mamas For Mamas Silent Auction
One of the most important pieces of this reconnection revolution we’re creating is to use this platform to draw connections to the things that really matter in this world which is why we make it part of our mission to align with different charity partners who share our vision of fostering connection in a disconnected world.
For our May reconnection event, Together 2021, we partnered with Mamas For Mamas, Alberta Chapter, to help raise awareness and support changing the landscape of poverty through innovative approached to financial barriers faced by struggling families.
We decided to host our first ever silent auction with the audacious goal of raising $25k for this incredible organization, and thanks to this amazing community and all of our wonderful auction partners it was our honour and privilege to donate a grand total of $35,418 to Mamas For Mamas, Alberta Chapter. The founder, and big mama herself, Shannon Christensen’s reaction made it that much sweeter.
May 8, 2021 – Together Braver
With female energy on the rise, we hosted Together Braver, a brand new reconnection event all about raising female voices, sharing stores, and breaking glass ceilings. This day was about reminding us to celebrate women’s achievements, take action for equality, and raise awareness against bias.
Our hope was to connect powerful women in this world who have the same visions, hopes, and empowering dreams. We wanted that feminine energy–our skill in connection and the emotional language that often comes with it–to take a seat at the head of the table.
We surrounded ourselves by empowered, brave women who shared vulnerable stories and helped us to find the hope and inspiration we all desperately needed–Savvy Simon, Rachel Miekle, Clary Chambers, Jillian Harris, and Fortune Feimster. In the mess of all of the disconnect and uncertainty, we created a safe space to talk about hard things and remind each other that we are indeed, so much #bravertogether.
June 28, 2021 – Pandemic Fog Webinar with Dr. Carly Crewe
Last June, we felt we needed a place to land to talk about the effects of the pandemic on our brains. The incredible Dr. Carly Crewe joined me for a live 90-minute interactive webinar where we discussed why we’re all feeling stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed, and what we can do about it.
It is so critical that we continue talking about our mental health if we want to have happy and healthy communities in the months and years to come. I am so proud and grateful to all you amazing souls you showed up to do the work with us.
Aug 1, 2021 – Teachers These Days
For two years, the incredible Laurie McIntosh I worked on co-authoring a book, Teachers These Days, a collaboration that provides educators with specific information and strategies on what to do in the classroom which we finally launched to the world in the summer of 2021 and instantly became an Amazon bestseller.
This book is built on a foundation of theory and research, combined with experience from my practice, and serves as a reminder that simply by the choice of their profession, teachers are a powerful force in shaping our world.
This new world of educating our babes has been incredibly challenging and hard to navigate for our amazing educators, and I will forever profess, to the end of my days, that if we look after the teachers first, our next generations will be stronger than ever. Laurie and I are so proud of this work and we can’t wait to hear what you think.
Aug 21, 2021 – RELIT
In August we hosted our fourth annual RELIT, an event for educators that is all about celebrating hard work, connecting communities and providing resources for relationship focused education practices. A HUGE highlight from this year was having our host, the one and only Joe “Mr. D” Dombrowski, join us IN-PERSON from Edmonton, Alberta. His positive energy and hilarious nature left us all in awe and madly in love.
Joe and I were joined by the best of the best in the world of education (Hamish Brewer, Coach Carey, Laurie McIntosh, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis) who helped to send educators everywhere back to the classroom better than ever.
Reconnect: Mental Health Training for K-12 School Practitioners
In my opinion, there is no better investment than in the mental health of our children within our schools, which is why we’ve developed a program for mental health practitioners in K-12 education called RECONNECT. Understanding how trauma shows up in our students and our staff, and how relationships are at the heart of it all, are the foundation of this program.
After a pilot group, we welcomed our first official cohort in November 2021 and are so eager to continue working with mental health practitioners in 2022. We are all going to get through this—we will just do it all so much easier if we stay connected.
November 5, 2021 – Hello Hero
In November we hosted a one-day virtual event dedicated to all of the heroes who do the brave work of helping people at their most vulnerable. I asked some of the finest I know in the business to join us – Kaleb Dahlgren, Lionel & Joanna Crowther, Dan Sun – and bring to the table all the knowledge, wisdom and lived experiences about trauma, sacrifice, joy, identity and what it truly means to be a hero.
This day was filled with so many important conversations and I am so grateful to all of the brave souls who sat with us, and for believing and hoping that cultures can change and mental health can be safer to talk about.
Dr. Jody Shop Collabs
Our mission is reconnecting a disconnected world and we think a great way to do that is by sharing and giving love to your village through thoughtful curated gifts! We had the privilege of collaborating with some amazing local vendors to bring you one-of-a-kind products in 2021 that we are so proud of. Thank you to all our wonderful partners! It is so rewarding working with you.
Dr. Jody in the News
I had the great privilege of joining many people who I so admire for interesting and relevant conversations about reconnecting our increasingly disconnected world. From podcast appearances to live TV spots (The Marilyn friggin’ Denis Show!?) I am so grateful for every opportunity that came my way to continue spreading this message: we were never meant to do this alone, and we are so much braver together. A few highlights:
Time Spent with My Core Four
Somehow between all the reconnection events, book writing, and speaking engagements, my sweet family and I were able to squeeze in some memorable experiences, too. They say it’s a good idea to make memories with your children…after all. A few highlights:
- Frolicking in the woods July Long Weekend
- Three days in Waterton with the McIntosh family
- A week on Vancouver Island in August
There are tiny moments of magic in all of the mess and chaos and wondering if blowing up another damn floatie is all worth it. Find the moments you’ll remember. Those are the ones that shape us. And they are everywhere.
You simply can’t have an annual highlight reel without a few challenges woven through. 2021 brought with it many challenges for us as a globe, and a few individual ones for our team.
In June, after having many hard and necessary conversations with greatly respected community members, we made the difficult decision to no longer present at the Get Your Teach On conference in July, as well as no longer have Hope and Wade King join us on stage at our RELIT conference. My number one priority is committing to making this community a safe place to land for everyone and we felt that these changes were necessary to make space for continued growth, love, and healing.
We got hacked!! They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and let me tell you, we had a very stressful and emotional 4 days in June! On a Sunday morning, our Instagram account was hacked, disabled and held at ransom. We were frustrated and heartbroken at the reality of losing the incredible community we’d been working so hard to build, and spent 72 hours exhausting every option we could. I was prepared to do everything and anything to get it back–this community that means the world to me–and thanks to the outpouring of support and recommendations we successfully recovered it.
Thank you for being gracious with our team as we learn and grow and navigate the challenges that this journey we call life brings.
Stepping Into 2022
So what does 2022 have in store? Oh friend, such a great question.
Although we all hoped that our pesky friend ‘Rona’ would be in our rear view mirrors by now, the reality is we will need to continue adapting to life with the virus in 2022. Now hear me when I say: you just survived one of the most difficult times in our history and you are wired to take on whatever new, hard things come your way. You are brave, you matter so much to so many, and I am so proud of you for continuing to show up daily for yourself and your community. If you only knew.
Our plan for the year ahead is to continue showing up for each other so that we’re all stronger on the other side. 2022 will bring us exactly what we need if we lean into celebrating the small wins and notice the magic that is everywhere.
At Carrington & Company our number one priority is to continue providing new and exciting opportunities and strategies for reconnection to this community that means the world to us:
Teachers These Days – Further Resources
We’re kicking off the year with a focus on stepping back in with gratitude, and providing more resources for the unsung heroes who chose the high risk, low immediate reward profession of holding every parent’s greatest commodity: teachers.
Launching in February is the Teachers These Days online course, audio book, and book club! These resources have been created with the intent to remind all educators and caregivers just how much you mean to so many and celebrate the holy work that you do. We can’t wait to hear what you think.
We are in desperate need of a night of reconnection. One filled with laugher and joy and a sweet little something to look forward to. For months we’ve been strategizing how we can continue to reconnect this beautiful community we’re building – and Just Jody, a brand new two-part event series is the plan.
Being in the same room together and feeding off other amazing people’s energy can change the whole story. I’ll be bringing you the best I’ve got and can promise two restorative nights out with other humans that will leave you knowing how much you matter. And likely with sore sides from laughter.
Paris Jewelers x Dr. Jody
The amazing team at Paris Jewelers and I are collaborating on something insanely special for Spring 2022. I am vibrating with excitement over this, and while I can’t share all the details just yet, I will tell you this: It’s called the Carrington Collection and it’s going to be ALL KINDS of gorgeous.
We’re working on the launch of micro courses for our community in 2022. Our goal is to create a resource that is online, easy to digest, but still impactful in covering all the reconnection topics that we need right now: grief, loss, depression, anxiety, parenting, marriage, and more. Stay tuned, sweet ones.
Our fifth annual RELIT is going to be exceptional. We have some big announcements about it with respect to tickets, swag, speakers and giveaways. All you eager educators who like to plan ahead – get out your flare pens and mark the calendar for August 27.
IF YOU ONLY KNEW: The working title of MY NEXT BOOK
Coming to you December 2022, my next book is my current obsession (as this December 31st deadline looms!). It’s all I think about, dream about, and talk about. I’m not quite done writing it, but I can’t wait to share it with the world. If You Only Knew is equal parts heart and science; a balance of vulnerability and resilience, of emotion and action. Our mission to reconnect the world begins right here, right now, with you and me. If you only knew how powerful you are and that you have everything we need to get back to the things that matter. This book outlines the work we can do to heal ourselves and heal the world. That may sound lofty, but the world needs it, and it needs you.
As always, thank you so much for being here and reading these words. We’ve got great big plans for 2022 and we can’t wait to take you along for the ride.