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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.
45 Episodes
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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 understanding our passions     4) The importance of facilitating a work environment that nurtures its employees' passionsIf you would like to engage more with Rick's work, visit www.ricklozano.com.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
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. 
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Barbara Brown Taylor, a New York Time's bestselling author and retired Episcopal priest and professor. In this conversation, we will talk about what our rituals and traditions can teach us about self-care.  We will cover:        1) Barbara Brown Taylor's own seeking journey through her faith tradition     2) How her faith tradition taught her how to ask better questions rather than providing specific answers     3) The importance of rituals and traditions in the search for becoming more fully human     4) How she became inspired by religious traditions outside her own and by those who claim no religious affiliationIf you would like to engage more with Barbara's work or writing, visit her website at www.barbarabrowntaylor.com.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Lisa Walsh, the Registry and Training Manager for TECTA. In this conversation, we will talk about how educators can really take ownership of their professional development with the Tennessee Professional Archive of Learning. We will cover:        1) What TNPAL is and how it works     2) Why TNPAL is an invaluable tool in a child care setting     3) How TNPAL makes fulfilling licensing requirements easier for directors     4) How TNPAL empowers educators to view their work with young children as a careerIf you would like to find out more about the TNPAL system, or to register today,  visit www.tnpal.org.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Brian Taylor, the Vice-President of the Enneagram Institute. In this conversation, we will talk our how we can use the Enneagram as an evaluation tool to help us break out of self-limiting beliefs.  We will cover:        1) What the Enneagram is and how it is structured     2) How we can use the Enneagram as a self-evaluation tool     3) How the Enneagram encourages growth     4) Why it is important for educators to understand the EnneagramIf you would like to engage more with Brian's work or to start the Enneagram assessment today, you can visit www.enneagraminstitute.com. This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Dr. Christopher Willard, a psychologist and education consultant who specializes in mindfulness. In this conversation, we will talk our relationship with food and how we can begin to eat more mindfully. We will cover:        1) What does mindful eating mean?     2) What are some benefits of eating mindfully and how do we do it?     3) How we can strike a balance between self-care and self-indulgence     4) Some mindful eating prompts educators can ask their kids If you would like to engage more with Chris' work you can visit www.drchristopherwillard.com. To learn more about his books on mindfulness for kids, visit www.alphabreaths.com. Visit him on instagram at Dr. Chris Willard for mindfulness challenges and healthy habits you can form.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
It’s easy to think about things we can be grateful for, family and friends, our basic needs being met. But how hard is it for us to be grateful for growth opportunities that come from challenging times, an annoying person, a moment of disrespect. We wrote this guided meditation as a way of helping us hold both in our hands and viewing both as being worthy of gratefulness. This meditation does require you to write down some lists so it is best to have a journal or notebook for this exercise. If you’d rather make a mental list, that is okay too. We hope you enjoy this guided meditation on cultivating gratefulness in your everyday life. 
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Eugene Schneeberg, the Director of Outreach for Fatherhood.gov. In this conversation, we will talk about how educators can start to activate fathers during the early childhood years. We will cover:        1) How to identify whether we carry biases about fathers into our work with families     2) Strategies for activating fathers in our child care environment     3) The outcomes for families when fathers are present     4) What educators can do when they encounter a family with an absent father     5) The self-care benefits of leading this work with familiesIf you would like to engage more with Eugene's work you can visit Fatherhood.gov.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Maureen Hollocker, the director of Great Start Collaborative, an early childhood collaborative which trains educators on utilizing the protective factors in their work with families.  In this conversation, we will talk about the importance of connecting with families by offering them concrete supports in their times of need. We will cover:        1) What it means to be a concrete support     2) The importance of self-reflection in being that support to a family     3) What it means to know your community      4) The self-care benefits for educators in leading this work with familiesIf you would like to engage more with Maureen's work you can visit Great Start Collaborative or the Children's Trust Fund Alliance.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Rebecca Slaby, the Executive Director of Amazeworks. In this two part conversation we will talk about how directors can create a culture of belonging through anti-bias training.  In part two, we will cover:        1) Some practical strategies for creating an anti-bias culture in your center     2) How leading this work can operate as a self-care method     3) How the desire to preserve relationships doesn't excuse accountability     4) The consequences of leading this work and how they balance with the benefitsIf you would like to engage more with Rebecca's work you can visit www.amazeworks.org, or email her directly at rebecca@amazeworks.org. If you would like to access some of the resources she mentioned in this episode, visit: Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves and Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Rebecca Slaby, the Executive Director of Amazeworks. In this two part conversation we will talk about how directors can create a culture of belonging through anti-bias training.  In part one, we will cover:        1) What biases are and some of the misconceptions surrounding having a bias     2) The difference between creating a safe space and creating a brave space     3) What it means to call someone in versus calling someone out     4) How the core of this conversation stems from understanding intent versus impactIf you would like to engage more with Rebecca's work you can visit www.amazeworks.org, or email her directly at rebecca@amazeworks.org. If you would like to access some of the resources she mentioned in this episode, visit: Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves and Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Dr. Toni Sturdivant, a researcher and consultant working in forming positive racial identities. In our chat, we will talk about how to lead this work with the children in our care.  We will cover:        1) The Clark's "Doll Test" and where there is room for improvement     2) When children start to notice difference and show preference     3) The steps for formulating our own racial identity     4) Strategies for building strong racial identities in childrenIf you would like to engage more with Toni's work, you can visit her website www.toniphd.com or her Instagram account @positive.identity.teacher. This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Gina Tek, the Senior Director of Childcare Tennessee. In our chat, we will talk about how Childcare Tennessee operates as a resource hub for directors and educators across the state. We will cover:        1) What Childcare Tennessee is     2) The kinds of resources you can find on the website     3) How to apply for enhancement and emergency grants through Childcare Tennessee     4) How Childcare Tennessee is promoting equity across the state     5) How you can register to start receiving services from Childcare TennesseeTo begin the registration process, visit www.childcaretennessee.com.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Dr. Claire Warden, an internationally-renowned advocate for nature-based practices in early childhood education. In our chat, we will talk about promoting a nature pedagogy and what that means for ourselves and our kids.  We will cover:        1) What it means to have a nature pedagogy     2) How we can use the four elements to promote a equitable nature-learning environment     3) How to bypass the obstacles that come with documenting nature-based learning     4) Inside, outside, and beyond as three literal and metaphoric spaces we occupy     5) How promoting nature-based learning can slow us down as educatorsIf you would like to engage more with Claire's work, you can visit her consulting page at www.claire-warden.com. For tutorials and resources related to Claire's work, visit www.mindstretchers.academy. For more information on Claire's charitable work related to nature-based learning, visit www.livingclassrooms.org.uk.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we continue our conversation with Pat Stanislaski, the Director of Partnering for Prevention, LLC. In part two of our chat, we will talk about how educators can cultivate resiliency within themselves. We will cover:        1) The five protective factors     2) The importance of reframing obstacles in front of us     3) Using humor as a strategy for cultivating resiliency     4) Asset building through I have, I am, I can affirmations     5) The five domains of post-traumatic growthThis podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
Do I Need a Mentor?

Do I Need a Mentor?

2021-03-0337:32

In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Marj Flemming, the founder of Launchpoint Leadership, a consultancy that develops individuals into strong leaders.  In our chat, we will talk about how you can know when you may need a mentor. We will cover:        1) What the qualities of a good leader are     2) The dynamics of a mentor/mentee relationship     3) How to diagnose whether you need a mentor or not     4) How to find a mentor and what the benefits are for educators     5) How educators can become mentors in the everyday through "mentoring moments"If you would like to engage more with some of the topics in today's conversation, visit www.launchpointleadership.com.This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
We are taking February off!After producing an episode per week for the last five months, we are going to take a break over the next month to give our audience a chance to catch up with our content, brainstorm new ideas for 2021, and focus on our Instagram account. Thank you for making Season 1 of Lean Into You more successful than we could have ever imagined and we'll see you on March 3rd for the start of Season 2!
In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Dr. Matt McClanahan, the Medical Director for the Center for Insight Medicine.  In our chat, we will talk about understanding pain and stoking our curiosity. We will cover:        1) What pain is and how it operates as a messenger in our bodies     2) The misconceptions surrounding pain     3) The connection between mind, body, and spirit     4) How we can begin to reframe pain to help us understand ourselves better     5) How approaching pain with curiosity can nudge the needle back towards safetyIf you would like to engage more with some of the topics in today's conversation, visit www.centerforinsightmedicine.com. If you are interested in watching the Still Face Experiment mentioned in this episode, view it at the link above. This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.
It is easy to get lost in New Years resolutions and feel frustrated when we don’t follow through with them. But by setting our intentions, being solution-oriented, finding mentors or friends to hold us accountable, and having a proper understanding of failure in relation to all of these things, we are better equipped to ease into the life we set out to lead. Just a note, this meditation does call for making a few lists so it is recommended you have a notebook or something to write on for this practice. Enjoy this meditation and we hope it brings you peace and empowerment for the coming year. 
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