Every Tuesday, come hear wisdom about connecting as our guests are interviewed by therapist and Sidewalk Talk founder, Traci Ruble. When we hear each other we change the world by creating belonging, inclusion, and wellness.
Stand Out Quotes:
Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. His grant-funded research focuses on: (1) the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationship quality, and mental health; (2) the measurement of emotional intelligence; and (3) the influences of emotional intelligence training on children’s and adults’ health, performance, and workplace performance and climate. Marc has published 125 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning and an honorary doctorate from Manhattanville College. He also is a distinguished scientist on the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development and on the board of directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
Marc is the lead developer of RULER, a systemic, evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 2,000 public, charter, and private pre-school through high schools across the United States and in other countries, including Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. RULER infuses social and emotion learning into the immune system of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, educators teach, students learn, and families parent. Research shows that RULER boosts academic performance, decreases school problems like bullying, enriches classroom climates, reduces teacher stress and burnout, and enhances teacher instructional practices. Marc is the author of Permission to Feel (Celadon/Macmillan), which will be released in September of 2019.
In this episode, Dr. Brackett is committed to teaching emotional intelligence as you can hear it deeply touches his own personal story of being bullied in school. He does not create a cheesy "fix it all" mentality to teaching emotional intelligence. Instead, his work is thoughtful, research-backed, and he is calling us all in to do better in understanding our own feelings so we can then understand the feelings of others.
What makes Marc unique is his own willingness to share his vulnerable story, to challenge institutions with grace, and his understanding of social injustices that may not afford some kids and schools the support they need to teach emotional intelligence.
Follow along as you learn about Ruler. And apply it in your own life. This is definitely a book you will want to get and share with your kids, colleagues at work, and in any workplace where you currently live. We need to give each other permission to feel and stop sending the "get over it" or "quit being so emotional" message that is deeply harmful to us humans.
Dr. Narendra Thagunna is an advocate for suicide awareness and cross-cultural psychology in Nepal. He teaches and runs a research foundation called Psychdesk.
Sidewalk Talk has become a way to make therapy and sharing what is really on someone’s mind a normal part of life in Dr. Thagunna’s city. In fact, when Sidewalk Talk listeners in Katmandu, all therapists, sit on the sidewalk, they are still offering the same “non-therapeutic listening” but often it becomes a gateway for people to feel comfortable going to the clinic for a second visit if they need it. The community now sees that these therapists are people just like them by being out on the street.
There are big hopes to take Sidewalk Talk up on their community grant program that will supply four more chapters with the tools they need to start a Sidewalk Talk in other parts of Nepal.
This is where you come in. Today is #GivingTuesday. We need 100 people to raise their hand and say “YES! I know this connecting work is the thing that is going to make a real difference in healing all the divides that make people, our communities, our politics, and our planet well.”
Will you be one of the 100 to invest monthly in Sidewalk Talk to sustain Dr. Thagunna’s work and all the other chapters around the world?
Stand Out Quotes:
Dr. Tania Singer is one of the foremost researchers in the world on compassion. She hails from the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany. See her info here. She set up a very specific experiment that allowed people to practice "contemplative dyads" where a listener and speaker come together to operate in a kind of meditative listening in connection.
She tested three different styles of dyads or pair work. Her findings are stunning.
Just attention based mindfulness does not create any reduction in cortisol stress after three months but an interpersonal practice leads to a 50% reduction in cortisol stress. HUGE! HUGE! Ever wondered if what we do at Sidewalk Talk directly impacts the world? HERE IS THE PROOF!
Dr. Singer has been a mindfulness practitioner for many years. And she took up a topic of research that, at the time she began, was not cool, and certainly there were not many women doing research as a neuropsychologist. I am looking forward to more work collaborations with Dr. Tania Singer. And please listen to this interview all the way through the end to hear the very special message Dr. Tania Singer offers to Sidewalk Talk listeners the world over.
Please check out Compassion-Training.org.
Stand out quotes:
Do you want to hear someone who knows how to be real and connect? Ashanti Branch was raised by a single mom on welfare in Oakland, CA. A fateful day, a teacher broke through to him and changed his life and he went on to one of the most prestigious engineering schools.
Yeah, he likes math.
If that wasn't enough to admire the guy for excelling at a subject most of us dread...he was making oodles of money and he left it all!
He went back to become a teacher and impact lives... only...it did not go well and he wasn't reaching his kids. Can you imagine what that would be like? To give up your career only to realize "Maybe I am not cut out for this?"
He didn't give up though. Instead, he listened.
This is a story of youth and teaching but if you lead ANYTHING, big or small, Ashanti is also teaching us how to be an equitable, caring, humble, yet strong leader. Leadership requires the ability to listen.
From Fullbright Fellowship, Rotary Fellowship to Teacher of the Year, you won't want to miss the magic that is this human being and clarity that oozes from him.
He is the founder and executive director of the Ever Forward Club that was the subject of the documentary film, The Mask You Live In.
Stand Out Quotes From This Episode
Heather Monro is a leadership coach, a former athlete, and a parent. She is a self-described passionate student of human connection. You can learn about her work at Bright Space Thinking.
She has always found great personal meaning through her connections as a young girl so this idea of leading a Sidewalk Talk chapter was in her DNA.
Hear about Heather's fears of being rejected on the sidewalk before her very first listening event.
None of those fears came true.
Instead, what surprised her, is that being in connection with people who are different felt really good because she was liberated from judgment.
Heather learns more about herself, but she gets a sense of being seen as a whole human being at the same time that she is listening.
Sidewalk Talk really challenges Heather's biases and social conditioning.
If you are moved by Heather's work and the work of Sidewalk Talk, consider investing monthly in Sidewalk Talk so we can keep our impact alive.
You can invest your time or your dollars monthly and become one of us.
On Dec 3, for #GivingTuesday, we are looking for 100 monthly investors. Learn more here.
Stand Out Quotes
Esther Boykin was the very first city leader outside of California to bring listening ot her community. Sidewalk Talk turned into an organization, if you really think about it, because of Esther nudging Traci to bring Sidewalk Talk out to the East Coast.
Esther is a psychotherapist, a group practice owner, leads Sidewalk Talk in the DC area, as well as runs a project called “Therapy is Not A Dirty Word”.
She listens because she believes love needs to be the centerpiece of her community and at the root for her, sitting out on the sidewalk and offering to listen to members of her community is the way to make that happen.
Listening on the sidewalk is unique because unlike therapy, you don’t self-select who you are going to listen to based on a person’s background, religious beliefs, and political stance. Esther believes that is important because we can get caught in political conversations or policy conversations and forget that there are real people with real stories that we have to hear to really do right by people.
Part of why Esther became a therapist is because she believes our wellness is tied to our connection with one another and when we can broaden those connections the better we become.
If you want to support more leaders like Esther bringing love and connection back to the world, consider becoming a montly investor in Sidewalk Talk. It is #GivingTuesday on December 3 and we need 100 monthly investors to sustain the impact of Sidewalk Talk across 92 locations and 15 countries in 2020. Find out more here.
And you can learn more about Esther Boykin and her work at Therapy Is Not A Dirty Word, Esther Boykin, and Group Therapy Associates.
Stand Out Quotes
The US Veteran experience is one many of us feel heartache about. We see homeless veterans on the sidewalks or living on the streets. Seven percent of the US population are veterans. Seventy-five percent of those served during wartime.
Twenty-two US Veterans die by suicide every day. 22!
Hear Gary describe his experience of healing from the trauma not only from his young life, but the wounds he took with him into the Vietnam War when he was just 19 years old.
He has been homeless three times and feels comfortable on the street, sometimes more so than with “society”. He describes a sense of freedom.
Gary pulled himself up using unconventional healing practices and now has founded a non-profit and training program for veterans. You can learn more about Gary and his work at www.agooddaytodie.com and www.pathwaysforveterans.com.
If you are a veteran, we thank you for your service. For the life-altering and reality twisting sacrifice, you have made to serve the US. We hope that by hearing Gary’s story, we can open ourselves to honor your story.
If you need extra support after hearing this episode see this great page of resources for vets struggling with suicide or homelessness or call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 #1.
Standout Quotes from this Episode:
Today, Traci and Rick have such a sweet connection and exploration together as they discuss how to be a resilient connector even if you are an introvert. If you want to find out more about Rick please visit his website to find his podcast and online courses here which we highly get behind.
What Dr. Hanson wants us all to be able to do in this life is show up and face challenges, experience our vulnerabilities, and use our resources more fully. One of the ways that happens is to learn how to work with ourselves to amplify useful experiences so they help us develop an unshakeable core, no matter what is happening inside or around us.
Rick talked with Traci about how to be resilient while listening on the sidewalk. And Traci got to explore with Rick where she has more work to do.
I am an introvert. I don’t need connection.
Traci engaged Rick about the idea of introversion. She has heard from many followers of Sidewalk Talk that because they are an introvert, they do not need the kind of connection that Sidewalk Talk offers.
Rick weighs in by offering that “ I am a friendly introvert. There is a real distinction between solitude and loneliness. Loneliness carries as many risks for health as cigarette smoking. People are social animals. Certainly, in childhood it is necessary and important for everyone to feel received in some fundamental way. John Wellwood, in his work shared the ideology of self-reliance or spiritual bypass where we withdraw from contact bc it is stirring and we would rather preserve distance. We would prefer no demand, no obligation.”
In our modern times we must reclaim our nature and engage people eye to eye. We are called to be strong and engage in practices that expand our ability to be free and widen our ability to experience.
When Rick asked Joseph Goldstein from the Insight Meditation Society, “If you could nominate a practice for a critical mass of people to do on the planet every day what would it be?”
Joseph Goldstein said “I would have them spend 5 minutes a day listening to another person without any judgments.”
To give others the gift and profound blessing for feeling felt.
Stand Out Quotes from This Episode
Dr. Belinda Hernandez Arriaga is a Faculty Coordinator for the Masters In Counseling MFT program at USF's South Bay location. Belinda has a doctorate in Education and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with eighteen years of experience working in community mental health, with a specialization in child trauma and Latino Mental Health. She is Founder and Chief Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (www.alashmb.org), a Latino cultural arts, education, and social justice program dedicated to working with rural youth and families.
Dr. Arriaga has one of the most non-judgemental loving hearts you will ever hear. She doesn’t talk politics. She empathizes with the inner political questions people have about the border crisis. But her focus is making sure moms, dads and kids are ok. This interview was recorded in 2018. Today, as it is airing on the Sidewalk Talk Podcast page, Dr. Arriaga is at the border again. She reports the conditions are worse. She is raising money to get legal counsel for two families in need.
She shares story after story and challenges us all to widen our embrace. This is not politics to Belinda. This is kids and families, just like our kids and families, trying to survive together.
You don’t have to agree with what she is doing but I think this is a philosophical question worth asking. We have “agendas” and then we have our “humanity”. Belinda is a Christian woman and she brings her faith into the work she does. And at the end of the day, love and care for all of humanity is her heart call.
Listen as Belinda tells stories of grandmas, moms, dads, and kids trying to stay alive. You do not hear that she is a Dr. You hear she is a mother of three daughters connecting deeply with other mothers and fathers and kids. She connects through love and equality.
She gets up every day and lives this question “How can I make the world better?”
Belinda is at the border again with the University of San Francisco volunteer Bay Area Border Relief. If you want to support them right now you can send donations to VENMO @Lilli-Rey and add this text to each donation #BayAreaBorderRelief from #sidewalktalk or visit Dr. Arriaga’s website for ALAS here.
Or follow Bay Area Border Relief here for other ways to get involved.
Standout Quotes From This Episode
When he was a teen, Julian Plumadore was living on the streets of Seattle, Washington. His lived experience as a trans teen, experiencing homelessness, and his own twenty-year work sustaining his own mental health have created a beautiful and loving conviction to do right by people struggling with homelessness and mental health crisis. In this interview, you will learn and be inspired to take up the work of humanizing homelessness.
Police and Crisis Intervention in San Francisco
Now a trainer for MentalHealthSF.org who offers Crisis Intervention Training to newer San Francisco Police Officers and the general public, Julian has seen first-hand the impact of changing the way we think about homelessness and mental health. People who were previously wary of police, now feel supported.
If you are going to call the San Francisco Police Department for help with someone who is struggling on the street ask the following…
Do You Have Any of These Stigmas About Being Homeless?Julian and I talked about the wrong stigmas that we hold about people who are experiencing homelessness. That they are lazy, choosing this lifestyle, and somehow deserve living this way. All of which are not true and Julian's own story helps us see the larger truth. The research I quoted about our brain’s predisposition to fully not recognize as human people struggling with addiction and those experiencing homelessness can be foundhere.
To make a difference in the life of someone homeless, humanize them, was the big take away.
But there are things we need to get straight so we can humanize rather than objectify.
These are just a few of the wisdom points Julian offers but listen to the interview. You will be so overjoyed to hear Julian's story and be infused by possibility and you will come away hopeful that there are people like Julian in the world doing this work.
You can learn more about Julian’s work at mentalhealthsf.org and if there are other organizations in your part of the world that you think deserve a shout out, we would like to know about them. Post a comment with a link to their work below.
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