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Lean Into You

Author: Alex Farrell and Wesley Mayes

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Lean Into You is a self-care podcast to remind Early Childhood Educators the best investment they can make today is in themselves. This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
62 Episodes
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Hey everyone, we are going to break for season 3 to give ourselves some time to rest, develop new content, and book new speakers in preparation for season 4 of the show. Thank you to everyone who has followed us since the beginning and to new listeners of the show. We truly couldn't do it without you. As always, follow us on Instagram @leanintoyoupod for episode highlights and self-care tips you can implement in your everyday life. That is all for now but stay tuned for the start of season 4!...
Cas Holman is a toy designer and play advocate who has spent her entire career creating products that encourage openness and free play. She has worked with Rockwell Group, has been a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, and was recently featured on Netflix's Abstract: The Art of Design.In part two of our conversation, we talk about how we can begin to break open the boxes we often put ourselves in, and how that might be beneficial to us as adults. To find out more about Cas' w...
Cas Holman is a toy designer and play advocate who has spent her entire career creating products that encourage openness and free play. She has worked with Rockwell Group, has been a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, and was recently featured on Netflix's Abstract: The Art of Design. In our two-part conversation with Cas, we explore what we mean when we say "free play", some of the reasons why humans tend to create categories for what play is and what it should look like, and ho...
Diversity is a fact of life. As educators we will have new students coming in each year from different socio-economic statuses, abilities, religious backgrounds, gender identities and much more. So, how do we become empowered to honor those different lived experiences of the children in our care, without being intimidated by that diversity?Dr. Denise Reid is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Biola University in La Mirada, California. She conducts research on the lived e...
As we've said many times on our podcast, stress often arises in our lives when we get so busy it becomes impossible to look up from what is right in front of us in order to try to have an idea of the bigger picture. We feel powerless to change the course we are set on.Dr. Carol Brunson Day has been working in child care advocacy for over 50 years from the individual center level to the national policy level. She has worked as the CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition, has been the C...
Breathing deep. It sounds simple but we forget to do it all the time. It is so nice, then, to set aside some time to refocus back in on our breath. This guided meditation helps with just that. We found this meditation at lovetoknowhealth.com in an article titled, "9 Guided Meditation Scripts: Short + Long". This is a great article to check out if you want to do more guided meditation work but don't necessarily know where to get started. This meditation specifically was written by Shoshana Heb...
How has the history of racism within child care led to the current landscape that we see today? And how can we learn from the past to help change our future?We talk about this and much more in today’s episode with Dr. Iheoma Iruka. Iheoma is a professor teaching at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She's also the Founding Director of the Equity Research Action Coalition. Dr. Iheoma walks us through the ways in which histo...
What is the value of connecting our daily, lived experiences with the bigger picture of what is happening in early childhood policy and advocacy?We talk about this and much more in today’s episode with Shannon Rudisill. Shannon is the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, an organization that activates private philanthropists to fund advocacy efforts in early childhood.Prior to joining ECFC, Shannon served on the Obama Administration’s senior leadership team for ear...
As an educator, what is our responsibility when navigating how and when to include parents in our curriculum?It's easy to assume that since we are the authority figures, it is our role to impart knowledge and wisdom onto families. In our conversation with Ana De Hoyos O'Connor, we talk about how educators need to dance with parents so they can honor the lived experiences of the families who provide the context for the children we care for.We also talk about how educators can incorporate fun q...
We don't have an episode recorded for today but we want to let you know what we have in store for the next month or two. We are excited to talk with Dr. Carol Brunson Day, Shannon Rudisill, and many other forward thinking individuals who are doing important work to take child care to the next level. Stay tuned. We promise you won't want to miss it. This project is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
We all have moments where we struggle to love ourselves or give ourselves any credit. This short meditation is centered around five affirmations you can repeat to help get in touch with yourself again.This meditation was written by Jenée Johnson and was originally published on www.mindful.org. We highly recommend mindful.org as a resource for continuing the conversation about mindfulness, meditation, and overall wellness.
Licensing...If you have worked in child care long, chances are at some point you've associated licensing with more paper work, more rules, more regulations and you've wondered what the additional benefit is. Or maybe you have started the process to be licensed and become intimidated by how involved the process is. Cynthia Roberts is the Program Manager of the Pre-Licensure Unit with the Tennessee Department of Human Services. In our conversation we talk about why the licensing process is...
What kinds of things should an educator look for in an employer? What types of questions should you ask in an interview? How do you have a conversation with your supervisor when your growth is leading you away from your child care facility?We discuss all of these things and more in our conversation with Candace Hansen, Small Business Coordinator for the Child Care Resource & Referral Network. We'll also cover why it is vital for educators to have their own set of standards when entering t...
What does it mean to be an intuitive decision maker? Is your intuition something you can exercise? In part two of our conversation with Holly Elissa Bruno we talk about strategies that can help you strengthen your intuition, so that you can make decisions you're proud of and that align with your values.Holly Elissa Bruno is a "recovering attorney" who has authored several NAEYC bestsellers like, "Happiness is Running through the Streets to Find You: Translating Trauma's Harsh Legacy into Heal...
Do you struggle with making decisions? Listen, we get it. It can be stressful. You want to make the right choice. You are worried about what you may miss out on but choosing one thing over another. You may disrupt your sense of belonging within your community.In this conversation, we talk with Holly Elissa Bruno about the psychology of making decisions, what we are actually afraid of when we make a choice, and how we can confront it to become the most confident decision maker possible. Holly ...
Do you see yourself as a creative person? You might after listening to this conversation with Fran Sorin. In this conversation, we talk with Fran about what creativity actually means, how we are all exercising our creativity on a daily basis, and how cycles of shame and being a perfectionist are the biggest enemies to creativity. For more info on Fran's work you can visit www.fransorin.com.This project is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Center...
What does it mean to work in a compassion profession, and how can you be aware when you might be experiencing compassion fatigue? We get to the bottom of all these questions in our first chat of season 3! Our guest is Becky Haas, who is an author, trainer, and public speaker. Becky leads trainings on trauma informed care, ACE's, and resiliency with groups that range from Early Childhood Educators to police officers and medical professionals. In this conversation we also talk a little bit abou...
We've been hosting conversations about self-care for just over a year now, which kind of blows our minds. Thank you to everyone who continues to entrust us with leading these conversations every week. We are going to do season break to prepare for season 3, but before we go, we have curated some of our favorite moments from the first and second season. Enjoy this bonus episode and we can't wait for you to join us again for season 3!
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Rick Lozano, a keynote speaker, musician, and author. In this conversation, we will talk about how educators can begin to understand their passions better. We will cover: 1) What passion means and how we can revamp our understanding of passion 2) Borrowing from other interests in order to adopt a lens for viewing our work 3) How emotional intelligence plays a role in u...
We all have moments of anxiety. That anxiety affects us all in different ways. This guided meditation will help you slow down and learn how to rest in the midst of your anxious emotions, so you can understand them, and eventually move past them.This meditation was written by Bob Stahl and was originally published on www.mindful.org. We highly recommend mindful.org as a resource for continuing the conversation about mindfulness, meditation, and overall wellness.
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