Author: connie

How Movement Can Rewrite The Stories of Anxiety

“Rates of depression and anxiety among teens have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years.” – Geradine Bedell Of the twenty years I’ve worked my resilience movement program in schools, I have noticed a dramatic increase in anxiety in the past ten years, considerably in children starting as low as grade 1. I’ve discovered more than ever how powerful movement is in rewiring the brain after deeply noticing some patterns where anxiety roots from and diving into neuroscience research. The knowledge we have about the brain we have today can give us great hope for mental health issues such as a rise in anxiety and depression. The brain CAN be rewired and young people can find wholeness and health. The secret ingredient to the program I have developed over the past 20 years is connection among students while moving. There are plenty of benefits to movement alone, but when you add a community aspect to movement, this is where brain rewiring goes to a whole new level. We teach students the art of “vibing”. Vibing in the urban dictionary means “to agree”. This is just an urban way of describing attuement. Attunement is crucial for the rewiring of the brain. In the “Neurobiology of We”, Daniel Siegel describes how when one person attunes to the mind of another, it can take old patterns of wiring in...

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Rewriting the story of bullying

If pink shirts were enough to stop bullying, it would have already happened. It’s time to get underneath to the actual root issues and rewrite the story. But what IS underneath? If we can address those issues in our schools we have a hope to seeing bullying a thing of the past. The first issue underneath is that we are surrounded yet alone. The problem is isolation. When we as humans are not seen and understood by others, our minds actually become dis-regulated. We start living from our “back brain” (reptilian brain) and relate to others from a defensive stance. We misread signals and view others through our distorted perception of not being understood. As you can imagine, this is a scary foundation. On the other hand, when I reveal who I am or share a part of myself to those well-attuned to me, meaning their body language shows genuine concern and listening, the wires in my brain actually rewire! Listening and attunement rewrite people’s stories! If we want to stop bullying in our schools then emotional safety needs to be our first priority. The more safe students feel with one another, the less bullying you will see. HOW do you create that? My company’s whole mission is about creating that! We can help if you’re interested. Think about how can you create opportunities for your students to learn...

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The secret to belonging I discovered

I’ve been petrified of not belonging. I will avoid feeling on the outside at all costs, and yet there I often find myself – outside. Close but not close enough.  Good but not good enough.  Wanting to be seen for who I am but masquerading as whatever people want me in order to fit in. I don’t know one person who doesn’t feel this way. Here is one thing that unites us all: a great desire to belong, to be seen and understood. To find our tribe that “gets us” and we “get” them. What’s the secret, then?  How does one fit in? You don’t. That’s the secret. The courage to belong…. but belong nowhere A few months ago, I read Brene Brown’s new book, “Braving the Wilderness”.  It deeply impacted me.  She quotes Maya Angelou in her book, “You are only free when you realize you belong to no place, you belong to every place, no place at all.  The price is high, the reward is great.” I didn’t like that quote at all. For years I’ve been teaching resilience to students with the message that “we are one another’s courage”. I’ve seen courage rise in students when they felt the support and compassion of their classmates. The idea of standing alone completely went against what was proven to me time and time again: when we belong, we...

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It’s time to rewrite the stories of the broken: how we can all see change in mental health issues

It’s time to rewrite the stories of the broken. it’s time for those who feel imprisoned by chains of anxiety, depression, disorders, shame and isolation to find freedom. it’s time for lives that have been devastated for generations to be rebuilt. its time for those who have been marginalized, misunderstood to be brought close and renamed: welcomed, beloved, worthy. it’s time to rewrite the stories of the broken. But how? We have to tackle one of the greatest barriers to healing; Our self, our isolation. The problem is we think we write our own story. In fact our culture celebrates those who make it on our own.  We often face our demons in isolation. We turn to self help books to increase our self esteem, self motivation so we can gain more self improvement and be more self aware.  I go to yoga, to church, to bookstores and am surrounded by people – yet very alone in my inner turmoil. Surrounded yet alone. This is what we have bought into as normal. I’m not saying it’s not good to do those things.  It’s never a bad thing to read and participate in things that help us grow and work on weakness.  The problem is that we’ve never been more self aware, and yet in the last 10 years anxiety has only risen.  One in five people struggle with anxiety.  One in five. Something is...

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What could stop racism and indifference?

People are your temperature gage for how much you actually love God. In a world where people love God there is no racism bullying hatred indifference anxiety When people belong – it looks like the kingdom that Jesus had in mind. To go deeper into a life of worship means we need to look at an aspect of worship we often overlook or don’t think of at all.  We do “just me and God” very well.  We spend time in prayer or meditation. We close ourselves in on a Sunday morning so it’s just us and God. But then people happen.  And we want to smack them. Jesus defied the idea of worship of just being about us and God.  I want to share about that further through the story of the Last Supper. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all talk about a part of the last supper we all know about.  However, there is something about last supper we haven’t thought much about. It’s important to remember that Jesus knew that was the very last night he would spend with his disciples.  I don’t know about you but if I knew this was my last night to live, I would want to tell my kids the most important things I would want them to remember before I left.  Jesus’s words at the last supper were important because this was...

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