Self-Care is a Choice

Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret
Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret
Self-Care is a Choice

Today’s episode is a conversation with Julie Sochacki where they discuss the importance of determining your non-negotiables and your core values. And remember, you have a choice…to be kind to yourself or not. And to prioritize your health and well-being or not because self-care is a choice.

As always we love to hear from our listeners! Reach out to with any questions or topics you’d like to hear about on future episodes.


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Speaker 1 00:00:28 Welcome to another episode of Dr. MCs self care cabaret podcast. I’m Theresa Melito-Conners a PhD level self care expert in the greater Boston area with a passion for helping others recognize the importance of caring for themselves. Today. We are speaking with Julie Sochacki. Julie is a mother of two boys and a clinical associate professor of English and director of the English secondary education program at the University of Hartford. Julia is an urban educator and has Connecticut credentials as an English language arts teacher, literacy specialist and intermediate administrator. She also holds a Juris doctorate or a J D and is a member of the Connecticut bar in her coaching practice. She meets teachers where they are and moves them forward with wisdom, motivation, and grace. She is passionate about bringing mindfulness into the classroom. She was also an author at faculty focus and a 2021 recipient of the university of Hartford innovations and teaching and learning award.
Speaker 1 00:01:39 She is a member of the Connecticut state department of educations, educator preparation advisory council, and she’s also a yoga teacher at <inaudible> and a Reiki master Julie’s work aligns very much with my passions, a fellow PhD classmate connected us a few years back as she recognized the overlap in our work. The first podcast guest experience Dr. MC ever made was on Julie’s the resilient teacher podcast. How exciting that I can now have her as a guest on mine, full circle, as they say, I am excited to learn from Julie about the important work she is doing. I know she has some fabulous tips for us and here’s our conversation
Speaker 1 00:02:29 Well, thanks Julie, for joining us here today on the Dr. MC self care cabaret podcast, I’m delighted to chat with you. I’m so happy to
Speaker 2 00:02:37 Be here. Thanks for
Speaker 1 00:02:38 Inviting me. So let’s, um, let’s get started. I think you have a fascinating backstory or a professor with a Juris doctorate, um, mom, a yoga teacher, Reiki master, all the things. So can you tell me more about kind of how all this came to be?
Speaker 2 00:02:56 Um, obviously it was just one at a time for sure. I didn’t do all of those at once, but over the years, um, you know, I guess when I, when I became a teacher, that’s really what I wanted to do and that’s what I did first. And so, and I’m still have been teaching all these years, but then I thought, um, it would be really great to dive into something really intellectual. And so I decided to go to law school and that was in my leader twenties when I had a, you know, just a lot of energy, no children. And that was, um, you know, a great time for me. But then what I realized is once I did have my two boys trying to juggle, um, a career with the children and, um, really being able to take care of myself, uh, I was really a mess.
Speaker 2 00:03:45 And so that’s how I found, um, yoga and raking and then eventually wanted to deepen my practice in, in both of those, by taking, um, you know, the, the training courses, um, you know, that are aligned with those. And so, uh, I went to propel, blow up in the Berkshires and Lenox, Massachusetts, um, and became a yoga instructor, um, for the 200 hour program. And I wasn’t perfect at yoga by any means. And, um, I, I, wasn’t an expert then, and I’m still not now, but I just feel like I’m on the path. And so being on the path, I just wanted to take part in some meaningful practices that I thought could actually help me with my own self care. So that’s how I ended up, um, in that area. And then, um, how I ended up as a professor is simply because time went by and I was taking on, um, so much at work, um, doing some, um, you know, literacy coaching.
Speaker 2 00:04:47 I keep going back to get different certifications. Um, got something in Connecticut called the oh nine two, which is intermediate administrator. So, so doing all those types of things, and it was just so much that I just paused one day and I thought, what do I really want to do? And it’s really teaching that. I love and to be able to help teachers. And so this position offered me the opportunity to be almost like the teacher of new teachers. And so that’s why I said, I said yes to it and I haven’t regretted it at all. I love it doesn’t even feel like that part of my job doesn’t even feel like work, mentoring, new teachers has been such a joy for me. Um, and so that’s where I am, but I’m able to bring in some of my, uh, yoga practices and self-care practices.
Speaker 2 00:05:35 And, you know, I talk about energy and how our emotions just kind of flow through us and, and all of that. And so I’m able to come at it from different perspectives. And I also feel like the JD has really helped me and although I’m not practicing law, um, it’s helped me look at situations, um, with, I think, more mental agility, having more creative, um, problem solving skills. And, um, so that’s something that I did, but I don’t practice law now. So I’m primarily a professor right now who also coaches, teachers and gives talks to support teachers in the field. And they really, you know, teachers are asking for the support now more than ever with COVID. So I feel like I’m able to serve at a higher level.
Speaker 1 00:06:24 Awesome. That’s really amazing. What, I’m just curious, what, um, area of law did you focus on?
Speaker 2 00:06:31 Um, so it was really family law. Um, and as soon as I graduated from law school and passed the bar exam, I went right to Boston to take a three month mediation course because I was always about being a peacemaker. So I was, you know, I was, I was dubbed like the friendliest student in law school.
Speaker 1 00:06:51 Wow. That’s quite the accomplishment.
Speaker 2 00:06:53 Right. Then I, you know, that was like kind of a red flag for me, thinking that
Speaker 1 00:06:58 May not work out.
Speaker 2 00:07:00 Yeah. It might not work out, but, um, you know, through my mediation training, I realized that I want to bring people together. That’s when I really knew, um, that, whether it be through, you know, family law or through just my teaching, being in a school building, you know, I, I taught secondary English for quite a few years. Um, and I was a literacy specialist in the classroom. So, um, any, anything that I’ve done, I feel like the theme is wanting to be that peacemaker.
Speaker 1 00:07:34 Yeah. I really love that. And I can see that with you too. And the little bits that I know about you, but, and you did mention some self care practices, and I know you have a lot of expertise in this area in mindfulness and resilience. So can you tell me a little bit more about what your regular self care routine looks like?
Speaker 2 00:07:52 Yeah, I’d be happy to. So, so when I talk to teachers about, um, self care, I can’t help, but talk about something that I call self-maintenance work foundational. Self-care, it’s really our basic needs. It’s something that I feel like it’s critical for us to thrive both in and out of the classroom. And I call this my non-negotiable daily practice, but when I start
Speaker 1 00:08:15 On negotiable
Speaker 2 00:08:17 Sociable, um, when I set this up though, I, I, you know, use mine as an example. And I say, these are the things that I do, but they might not necessarily be yours. And so I have six that I try to do every day, and this is where my yoga practice comes in because I’m constantly beginning again, meaning like, I am not perfect at this. And so just like in every breath we have a chance to begin again. Um, I feel like with, with this simple practice that I’m going to tell you, I’m not doing this perfect by any means, but, um, just quickly, like the six things that I try to do every day, just as a foundation, um, is to hydrate, always have that glass of water by my side, I’m moving my body. And that actually has become more important to me, not just for exercise, but really bore like hormonal balance and mental health.
Speaker 2 00:09:15 Um, so just really in whatever way that I feel like just moving my body resting and I don’t really see sleep, I see resting because taking those breaks throughout the day, like if my body says you need a short break to rest, I want to be able to honor that if I can. Um, and I talked about doing that even on the job when we have a short break, instead of maybe choosing to be around other teachers for those 10 minutes or whatever that we might have really just kind of going within taking some deep breaths relaxing. Um, and then another, uh, two of mine actually have to do with what I eat. And I, and I love the idea of intuitive eating, like what you do. And so I never say, you know what, I don’t eat like keto or a certain way. So, but I would never say, you know, eat this way or eat that way. But what I try to do is to reduce sugar and that’s really for my inflammation that I’ve been feeling like in my knees, I’ve done a lot of reading about that. And so I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake, not always perfect. I actually, um, took a short trip and had dessert last night, so nice.
Speaker 1 00:10:27 We didn’t have some good,
Speaker 2 00:10:29 It was, um, it was kind of like a bread pudding that was, um, based on like donuts that were really well known in their town with a butterscotch drizzle with ice cream on the side.
Speaker 1 00:10:43 All right. So, so intuitive eating is very important.
Speaker 2 00:10:48 And then I try to increase my vegetables. I’m adding them in different ways whenever I can. Um, and you know, making that a priority. And then the last thing that I’ve started doing, um, and I think it was COVID related. Although I, I have taken supplements in the past. I am trying to remember to take like vitamin C vitamin D zinc. Um, again, not perfect. Didn’t even really bring them with me on this short trips. So, um, but you know, then when I came home, I’m back at it. So when I have my water here, where I felt like I was kind of dehydrated, um, here and there the last few days. So these are just, again, my, my motto is begin again, because that is what we need to remember. And also, like I said, be intuitive with all of this, what feels good to you? Not to somebody else. Um, but really kind of like look within yourself to see what your body needs.
Speaker 1 00:11:46 Absolutely. Um, he said several things that I am feel like I’m constantly repeating in my presentations and in my workshops and stuff. Absolutely like foundational self care, what you do every day. So you show up as the best you possible. That’s really, really important. And you, you highlighted several domains of self-care that you really try to hit upon, um, over the course of a day, which is excellent. Um, very good.
Speaker 2 00:12:12 Yeah. And like the other one other thing I can say about it is the question that I’m always asking myself is like, am I being kind to myself? You know, and then if, if I’m not, then I stopped because I realized that self care is not a luxury in these times. It is such a necessity. And it’s really a choice that we have in each moment. So I get really nervous if I hear a teacher talking about, oh, next week, I’m going to do this to take care of myself,
Speaker 1 00:12:39 Um, over the summer or during brown. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:12:43 Exactly. As soon as the summer comes, I feel like it’s more about frequency than duration even. It’s really, you know, we have that choice in every moment, the way that we approach life. And so I’m just all hard work or all just like being in the grind that doesn’t do it. We really need to have, um, just a, a full life that includes, you know, some of what I’ve already mentioned. But also that question I find so helpful to myself that I share with other people is, are you being kind to yourself? Because a lot of times we’re not. And so we can pause and think like, what can I do right now to actually help myself?
Speaker 1 00:13:28 Yeah, absolutely. And I love that self care is a choice. I think that might be the, the episode title. So care is a choice because it is, and we can sometimes, you know, it’s like, oh, well, it’s a luxury. I have to do all these other things. It’s like, no, you actually have to take care of yourself first and foremost. And I know it’s the reason why I got so interested in this is because I noticed it was the first thing that I used to just push to the side. And I wanted to know like, why, why do I do that when I know I’ll feel better if I don’t do that, because it becomes a bit of an act of resistance do to put your needs first. And, and I like wins too. Anytime somebody says like, oh, well, you know, over Christmas break, that’s when I’ll practice self care, I’m going to get so much self care in over the summer. It’s like, no, no, no, no. Like, yes, that’s great. Explore, practice, maybe try something new. But like, that’s not, it, it’s not a one and done, or like a short term solution it’s daily. But by the same token, you don’t have to do like every single thing every single day, you can kind of pick and choose what’s going to fit where, and what makes you feel good? That’s really the bottom line getting in touch with that.
Speaker 2 00:14:39 Yeah. I mean, sometimes it’s just like really prioritizing a good night’s sleep. Um, it can be just something simple. And that’s the shift that I think some, some teachers think that it needs to be, you know, spending money or, um, you know, doing something that is, um, outside of your house even. And I just feel like it’s, you know, there’s so many things that we can do to take care of ourselves, just even sometimes just by sitting on a chair outside, or, you know, making a cup of tea or reading a book that you really want to read. Um, that’s not for work and anything like that is free and right in your own house that can happen at any time.
Speaker 1 00:15:21 I also cringe at the stereotype of like, you know, the bubble bath or going for the fancy expensive massage. It’s like, no, no, no, that doesn’t, it doesn’t, this doesn’t have to be in like, like it could be, it’s so much more than that. And you don’t have to spend any money. I give presentations that go on for, you know, I do five week, like 10 hour courses. And like most of what we talk about, if not like 99.9% of it costs $0, I may throw a few other examples. Like, yeah, you could go to a Reiki master or you could go to acupuncture. Like if you wanted to new, do not have to, you can practice really good. Self-care for free.
Speaker 2 00:16:03 Yeah. And just, just on that point, like even someone who wants to practice yoga can, you know, there’s so much on YouTube right now that, you know, you can find tons of, even if you want to meditate or relax, there’s so much, um, you know, there’s relaxing music or there’s, um, just meditations or yoga nidra where someone is walking you through a really relaxing experience. And that’s really just by turning on your computer.
Speaker 1 00:16:31 Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. So I know you have a lot of experience with mindfulness, and so I’m wondering first for our listeners, if you could define mindfulness, but then also if you have a favorite mindfulness practice that you want to share, either for something maybe you do, or you like to teach your teachers to do
Speaker 2 00:16:52 So. Yeah. That’s great. So, so for me, mindfulness is really being in the present moment. And I think the aha, um, for me, was that I, it’s my point of power being in the present moment. If I’m in the past, if I’m in the future, it usually has something to do with anxiety or worry or regret or some something else that then is like, you know, I’m bringing into my body and then I really need to like move it out of my body. So instead when we’re in this present, this moment of being so present, um, which I consider to be mindful, um, that is the place where really we can make decisions. We can empower ourselves, we can make changes in our lives. It’s really when we drop the baggage of our past and then, um, you know, stop that worrying anxiety about what if, what if, um, and really just stick to what’s happening in the moment.
Speaker 2 00:17:57 And so with teachers, we, a lot of times talk about being present for our students and anything that we do for our students. I feel like we first have to do for us. So, you know, in order to serve our students, we need to be able to do that for ourselves. And so in order to really be mindful, um, for our students in that way, we need to adopt that mindfulness practice, um, for ourselves. And so I’m not great at meditation. Although I, I do ma you know, I try to do 10 minutes a day only of just quiet, close my eyes, breathing meditation. I really find a lot of my mindfulness practice besides just trying to like really be in the moment. Um, but when I want to really experience it to a high level, one of my core values is nature. And so just being outside, being, um, around the trees and, and just staying present in nature has been so powerful for me.
Speaker 2 00:18:59 Um, it’s really healing. Um, and anything if something’s really bothering me, I normally just go right outside by myself, um, in just, you know, in the corner of my yard and just breathe and in stay in the present moment. And to me that is so transformational. And so what I realized about mindfulness it’s, so it’s the simple things it’s found, um, in very simple ways, it’s nothing complicated and it’s, again, meant to begin again because our minds will wander. We’ll find ourselves worrying about something that happened last week and that’s, we’re human. And so that’s totally normal. And then we just bring it back to the present moment. Um, and then if we can offer that to our students and I suggest doing that and for my own students, and I know they’re older because they’re ready to be teachers. Um, but I always start every seminar class because they’ve been student teaching all day with just three minutes of, you know, just closing eyes and breathing and it’s seems to really help them. And then they pass that onto their students. So I hope that mindfulness in the classroom can almost be a ripple effect that teachers that have a positive, uh, results with it in the classroom with their students will pass it on to other teachers so that we can all bring this to, to our students. And, and we’ve noticed that, you know, just informally, we’ve noticed that, um, in the classroom that there’s less behavior issues. Um, when the teachers just practice just a few minutes of mindfulness with the students,
Speaker 1 00:20:45 Well, stressed out anxious teachers, aren’t going to have, you know, happy, productive high-achieving students. That’s just not how it works. So, um, that’s excellent. I love that indefinitely, you know, getting outside for just a few minutes can make a huge difference. I was doing that, you know, during COVID working from home, sometimes it was, you know, the boundaries were blurred between work life and home life. And I would try at least once a day for like, you know, the length of whatever Lizzo song I wanted to listen to that day and just go stand on my back porch and kind of dance around I’m care of the neighborhood saw me, um, give myself that moment, like stretch my body, move my body, feel the fresh air, the sunlight, or whatever was going on. And it really, um, it really helped one of my favorite things to do in mindfulness practices.
Speaker 1 00:21:30 I like to share is called a rainbow walk. Maybe you’ve heard of this, but you can just walk around like you do outside or anywhere in a park or in your neighborhood. And just look around and see if you can spot something of every color of the rainbow. So really forcing you to be there in that present moment and observing your surroundings can be quite powerful and really helped to ground us back into the present moment and feel really good. And you can do that pretty quickly, I mean, or how we’re not, or make, take a long leisurely walk and do it that way. And kind of funny can even do it in a room too. If you’re in a, a colorful space, you could look around and see if you can spot all the colors of the rainbow and just, just give yourself that, that momentary pause to kind of reset and even just breathing such an underutilized powerful tool.
Speaker 2 00:22:21 I know. And what you said, I think is so profound to you by just saying that pause, because that’s something, when we’re in that go go go mode that we’re not willing to do. We have to really be intentional about it, to, to pause and reset ourselves, to, you know, to be our best selves for everyone around us, but especially for ourselves.
Speaker 1 00:22:43 Yeah. So I’m wondering since you work with a lot of, you know, uh, students and folks that hope to be teachers and current teachers, and you’re also a mom. So as a, as a parent, you know, people are really struggling with a lot of, um, you know, what’s been going on in the midst of the global pandemic. So I’m wondering what’s one piece of advice you would give to people struggling. So maybe think about, you know, might be different. What you’d say to parents concerned with learning loss versus teachers concerned about embarking on a new school year. Like what, what advice would you give?
Speaker 2 00:23:19 So I feel that for, and I think this can be, um, for anyone that it’s time for us to really put ourselves first so that we could be our best in all these situations. And so, um, you know, one way that you can easily do this is to start by paying attention to your energy and start, you know, thinking what, what really drains me, maybe what drains me since the pandemic started, or, um, or, you know, what is draining me in this new situation. I find myself in, and then what replenishes me and then begin to choose one energy draining activity to either stop doing it or cut it way down. Um, you know, so that you can start really seeing those positive effects. Because I think that almost any question, it always comes back to, you know, we have to do something within ourselves.
Speaker 2 00:24:22 First, a lot of times we’re looking in the outer world to try to change something, um, or to help ourselves by doing something in the outer world. But a lot of times we have to look within first, um, to really figure out what can I do to help myself. So, like, as a, as an example, as a mom, I mean, things changed drastically during COVID, um, being a mom. And so, um, a lot of draining activities happen for me. And then I had to really sit with myself and, and look at what changes do I need to make to, to start thriving again, because I feel like I just, like a lot of people found themselves initially in survival mode, um, and really dangerous place to be, um, when we can take those steps to kind of move out of it. And so I like to look at like, what, what is draining you? And I ask teachers that all the time, I even ask students, um, because I think self-awareness is so underrated, but we’ve got to be more self-aware than ever, um, during this. So I would say like, be self-aware notice what you know is, is really draining you or what gives you energy go for more of what’s giving you energy and, um, you know, talk to students about self-regulation, how, how they can become better through this and really looking at the gifts that come out of every difficult situation.
Speaker 1 00:25:58 Um, absolutely. And I think that’s important. There are definitely, um, been some gifts to come out of, um, the COVID situation. There’s certainly, um, you know, everybody’s coming at this and moving through it everybody’s experience was different with it. Um, but yeah, thank you, definitely. Some, some good advice. And now for a lighter question, cause that was, that was a little lamp, little heavy, but, um, we, we were chatting a couple of weeks ago when we in prepping for this podcast, um, cause it happened to coincide with mercury being in retrograde, which, um, for our listeners mercury in retrograde, it’s like, no. So for our listeners who may not know when mercury is in retrograde is when appears that the planet is actually going backwards in its orbit, but it’s actually an optical illusion, but this does happen several times a year. And Julia, you may certainly know more and want to add to that. Um, but it can really mess up your mood, our ability to communicate and make decisions. So can you tell me more, cause you mentioned that you make some adjustments maybe depending upon how you’re feeling during that time. And I found that really fascinating.
Speaker 2 00:27:13 Yeah. Well, one of the, um, you know, the major things that, you know, everybody may know about it, or if you’ve heard it, it may have been in the context of, you know, like don’t sign contracts or don’t
Speaker 1 00:27:25 The big one they say, yeah.
Speaker 2 00:27:26 Or like, um, you know, your, your electronics might not be working properly or something like that. So instead I tried to look at the positive side of that. It’s really a time to go within, um, and to kind of work on things that have already been started. It’s a great time to reflect because I feel like we are going, um, you know, kind of in that backwards direction in a way, like feeling that a little bit. Um, so, um, I think what I had told you though that, you know, it really makes me re-examine my life and changes that I need to make. And so the specific one that I told you is that I realized during mercury retrograde, I’m very introspective, especially during that time that, um, I feel like I was just doing too much in my house. So, so school for me was done and I still do lots of things from home.
Speaker 2 00:28:26 I write letters of recommendation, have meetings and, you know, lots of different things and I’m starting a summer class, um, right after 4th of July. But, um, what I noticed is that I, it makes me aware of certain things and in this case, um, it was actually cooking for my teenage boys, which I normally don’t mind doing that, but I felt like it’s just takes up too much of my energy and I need to shift it to more creative projects. So I realized that if I’m putting all of my energy into taking care of everyone at home who can really take care of themselves at this point, that I’m not really living my best life because I want to be more creative and I want to do more creative projects. Um, and so I feel like that intense energy that was happening kind of helped me to see that, to see those things into, to shift, but I’m very introspective anyway.
Speaker 2 00:29:27 And one of the things that I do, I keep a journal where I don’t write a lot, but I just jot down what I’m thinking. And I feel like it helps me make these moves. It helps me move forward in certain ways. I, I know that I want to deep inside, but it’s just really hard to make a change. And I think when I had reached out to you, that’s what was happening to me that day. And so I cut way back on cooking for now, even though I love cooking, um, because I just, and I wanted to make everybody make it a little more equitable, everybody more responsible for our meals, just to give myself that, um, space that I need to bring more creativity in my life. And creativity is one of my core values. So I’m always looking for how can I be more creative in my work life, in my home life. It just brings me a lot of joy. Um, even if it’s just like, you know, taking care of a plant, just some, anything, creativity can come in all forms.
Speaker 1 00:30:28 I love that. And I feel like, you know, it’s okay. It’s okay if you know, mercury in retrograde aside, but if you need to step back and ask others for help or to support you and to show a Richardson would say one of my favorite self-care authors, you know, resigning as the GM of the universe. And you have to take that, take that step back and kind of recalibrate, but that’s okay. You don’t have to go, you know, 10000% every second of every day. And I know I’m saying this and yet, sometimes I don’t act this way either because I just want to go, go, go. And then it’s like, oh wait, now I’m like burnt out and crashing. And why, gee, I wonder. So like you have to kind of always have that delicate dance of, of when to give, when to pull back when to push, when to pull. And I think you described that really beautifully within the context of mercury in retrograde, but again, outside of that, it, um, it works as well.
Speaker 2 00:31:24 Yeah. And sometimes we have a person in our lives and it can be different for everyone. I think my person for this is really my mom who can tell when I’m taking on way too much,
Speaker 1 00:31:35 Moms have a way of knowing that
Speaker 2 00:31:39 Yeah. If there’s be, may not, you know, say something right away, but as she sees the decline in me, yeah. We’re a little bit of time, then she will say something and it actually helps me. It’s nice to have someone in your life that could recognize that, um, to just bring that awareness if you don’t have it, um, into the forefront. And that, that has really been helpful for me too.
Speaker 1 00:32:04 Absolutely. And you’ve mentioned a couple of times your core values. So tell me a little bit more about that. So how would, how would our listeners begin to develop their, their core values? They may be wondering,
Speaker 2 00:32:17 Okay. That’s a really, that’s a really great question. So we all have core values, um, but maybe we’re just not aware of what those might be yet. And so this is actually, what’s inspired me to start working more with teachers, um, in a small group or one-on-one basis is because, um, I give this list and I can actually send it to you if you want to share it with your listeners. But it’s just a list of all different words that are basically core values and these core values, um, really help us to cultivate our purpose, you know, knowing which direction to go create that sacred life that we love, that we’re all looking for. Um, and so I use my core values as a litmus test to decide, should I take this on when I can? I know sometimes in my job, I don’t have a choice.
Speaker 2 00:33:08 What else I’ll try to, I’ll try to align the project around my core values in house. So three of my major core values are creativity to inspire and integrity. And so everything I do, I really want it to revolve around some creative aspect, um, you know, inspiring some group of people or at least one person. And, um, you know, having integrity around the whole process. What’s funny about, um, you know, the idea of core values is that I even brought them up on my job interview six years ago, interviewed with the Dean. And I told I was very honest with her and I said, I just want to make sure that this position is going to honor my core values. Um, and so we talk through them, um, in order to understand what they are. So, um, and then we aligned everything with them. It’s really a powerful way to move you in the direction of your dreams, but what you can do at home is, um, I can send you the PDF so that your listeners can try it out.
Speaker 2 00:34:15 You can even probably Google, um, the list I created my own list based on Elena Aguilar, um, had a list out and Cheryl Richardson had a list. And so I kind of took all my favorites from all the lists. And so what, what really they ask you to do is to circle the top 10, um, words that really are calling out to you. Like for me, creativity was one that really called out. And then from there to try to whittle it down to maybe five so that you have five core values. Um, so for me, one of mine is energy flow and I didn’t even understand it when I chose it like so many years ago now, but it’s still something that calls to me, um, in so many different ways, but I just, I’m really big on letting the energy flow through our bodies, you know, taking in the emotion, but realizing that it’s only a visitor and that we need to just let it pass and that the way that we can really stay healthy is to just have that energy constantly flowing.
Speaker 2 00:35:17 Um, so that we’re not getting like stuck. So, um, I go through this process with teachers in small groups one-on-one, or, um, you know, in a larger group. And then I give teachers a chance to talk about them, you know, partner up and talk about their core values together. And usually everybody has a huge smile on their faces because it’s an aha moment that wow, these words really speak to me. These are my words. And, um, you know, sometimes I had one, uh, teacher who I was working with who actually kind of drew them out, um, and made this beautiful illustration, very colorful and then shared it with me, um, B uh, that she hung up, um, in her workspace just to remind her of these values. So I think it’s, it’s really, um, powerful to work with them. And once you start working with your core values, it’s, um, I think it’s a way for you to maybe have more boundaries even, um, because you know, what you really want.
Speaker 2 00:36:24 Um, and so it’s not like there, there’s a question. Um, and it also, if I’ve been in touch with my core values, you know, a lot sooner, I think it would have been easier for me to create an honor my own boundaries. Um, now I only say yes to things I want to, so I, I’m more inspired as a result, but, um, what I’ve learned now recently is that I even have to say no to some things I really want to do. And that’s then the big aha for 2021 for me is actually some projects that I normally would do and just kind of power through and hustle. Um, I’m now taking a step back and saying, wow, I can’t do this extra thing, even though I love it. Um, and it’s not really fitting into my core values as well as some other newer projects. And what’s so funny about that is the minute I give something up, something new, um, takes its place. So it’s not like I’m ever really doing a lot less, but I feel like I’m becoming more myself. Um, and so it’s a process of becoming, and I feel like we’re all in this process. None of us are there. Um, but we’re all on that path. And I feel like it’s a, it’s a beautiful place to be.
Speaker 1 00:37:44 Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. And I’ve heard, um, Danielle LaPorte also talks about, um, core desired feelings and that’s where I first kind of heard about that, but I have seen Cheryl Richardson and, um, Elena Aguilar who wrote the book onward and show Richardson. Um, we’ve mentioned her now twice. She’s the art of extreme self-care among any, um, a few other books who she’s written that’s um, one of my absolute favorites though, for sure. It’s excellent. And, um, Danielle LaPorte, the core desired feelings I’m going to have to look back. I know I’ve thought about it before and I’ve definitely come up with words. Abundance is always one that, um, I come up with it that really resonates with me, um, in different ways, but yeah, we can absolutely share that PDF in our episode notes for, so they can take a look at that and figure out their own. I love the concept of using it for like a job interview. You know, we tend to get wrapped up in these jobs and we seek different jobs because we want the status. So we want the money or we want, you know, some other factor, but really thinking about taking a job because it aligns with your core values. That sounds like a recipe for happiness, right? They’re not necessarily not necessarily the road to burnout. I like that.
Speaker 2 00:39:05 Yeah, it’s great. And, you know, because like I said, we’re all becoming, we’re all changing and growing something that really fit us at one time might not fit us anymore. And so if you’re listening to this and you’re feeling that there are ways to make changes and, you know, perhaps looking into what your core values are is, is a good starting point. I actually have that book onward right here and I kind of flipped through the back. I’m not sure. Um, if she had, if Elena actually has the core values in this book, but, um, I think they’re on her website. And so, um, that would be a good place to look for them as well, but it is a good starting point. Um, and I really liked the idea of creating some type of artwork or something, or even listing them and putting them somewhere as a reminder.
Speaker 1 00:39:51 Yeah, definitely. So, um, last, and certainly not least if folks wanted to connect with you or learn more about you or listened to, um, the resilient teacher podcast, which I know is on a little bit of a break right now, like where can we find out more about you?
Speaker 2 00:40:07 So it’s teacher T and, um, I have lots of resilience resources. I use university of Pennsylvania’s a resilience skill set with my students. And so that is, um, you know, you can find that on there, some self-care scales, um, that maybe you even use to Teresa. Um, I used
Speaker 1 00:40:31 To cook cotton scale usually. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:40:35 Yeah. And that’s one of the ones that are that’s on there. So, you know, lot, lots of different things. And then, um, there is a tab for wellness coaching for teachers in the fall. Start up with the small groups again. Um, I try to keep it to like six to 10 teachers in each small group. Um, we meet twice a month on zoom to really be able to get support, really knowing that all of us want to be seen and heard. And so creating those connections with other teachers who have similar interests is really helpful. And then I’m also offering some limited, um, one-on-one coaching, um, for, for teachers who really feel called to either make some changes or really increase their joy or motivation or authenticity in the workplace or, or whatever they’re feeling. Um, and so I have a form on my website, um, that teachers can just click right there and then fill it out and then I’ll get right back to
Speaker 0 00:41:33 You.
Speaker 1 00:41:34 Awesome. Well, thank you so much. You had a lot to share and I love all of it. So I very much appreciate that. Um, so thanks for joining us here today on the Dr. MC self care cabaret podcast. Thank you so much. I’d love to thank you and take good care.
Speaker 0 00:41:50 You too.
Speaker 1 00:41:54 I love it’s a great example of how life takes us on an adventure that may not be what we expected, but can be so much more than we imagined. I also think it’s really important to think about your own. Non-negotiables maybe you can start a list I no longer and then think about what it is big or small, and absolutely get into the habit of asking yourself, am I being kind to myself? You have a choice. Self-care is a choice. You get to choose. You have the power and wow, making sure your job is aligned with your core desired values. Asking about this during a job interview. I love it. I bet there would be a lot of job vacancies and folks approach their nine to fives with this mindset. But how wonderful would that be something to think about? Now, granted, we have to work in order to make money, to pay our bills and such.
Speaker 1 00:42:49 So I know this is not realistic for some folks, but if you can align your work with your core values and see how that feels, I feel like the COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of folks re-evaluating their lives and realizing what is important and what no longer serves us and letting it go. Thanks for listening to this episode, remember to subscribe and rate this podcast on your preferred player, the ratings help us grow and share the message of self-care. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please reach out directly by emailing podcast at Dr. MC self that’s D R M C self and come join the cast party at Dr. MCs self care cabaret on Facebook and Instagram at Dr. MC self care or in my website, Dr. MC self Be sure to like subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care.

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