By annipoole, Jun 25 2017 10:01AM
Simply Being ME, whatever the weather! #Wellbeingdgmeet
As a former head, now vice chair of governors and a resiliency and well-being coach in schools since 2009, I have some well-tried resources and ideas for mental health and well- being. Just as in the aeroplane, and you needing the oxygen mask first, your well- being needs your attention and support too.
LET’S DO THIS
Within this blog you will discover:
•A calmer less stressful way of being in the moment
•How to be grateful for the highs and graceful with your lows.
•It will show you how to be less serious with your thinking (thought is just energy).
•It will bring an understanding of mind state that will inform everything you do aka the manual for our human operating system!
Serious Storms Ahead. ‘Thunder drops!’
This might well describe the climate in schools today, the pressure of teaching for results, of inspection and the pressure we place on ourselves. This all begins INSIDE us. WELL -BEING is learning that it’s only surface weather that passes through and the sun is always shining above the clouds.
Part One. Exploring our own well-being first.
“The way we feel comes out of our eyeballs and sometimes my eyeballs are huge.” Y6 pupil describing feeling scared, Greater Manchester, June 2017.
The way we ‘see’ or understand life informs everything we do, in that moment. The scared young child quoted above could be any student we teach, any colleague in our staffrooms. Emotions cloud our thinking. If you feel tired or overwhelmed, life seems to speed up.
How mental well-being impacts our day to day being.
The most important thing to understand in any school (or corporate business) is STATE OF MIND. Unless your own understanding of state of mind is clear, your raw horse power or thinking engine will not be running properly.
Thought is our gift, our way to create who we are moment by moment. It is pure neutral energy – pre- concepts. When we understand how we operate as humans, knowing that our thought creates feelings, we can be aware of our feeling state. Also, in any given moment, new thought is arriving- when we rid ourselves of yesterday’s thought. If we didn’t take our thoughts so seriously – we would see our lives so differently.
Fresh thought (always available as our wisdom or insight) brings clarity and hope.
Thoughts + Feelings = Actions or behaviour
Feelings really do come from our thought. There’s no WIFI downloading feelings, we are calibrated to have peace and calm – just look at babies!
All thought is energy (and transient), we have 60-80 000 thoughts a day. Thought is neutral, neither good nor bad and yet we learn to add value to it, we use our JUDGEMENT.
When we experience judgement from someone else we may feel hurt or angry.
We attribute our feelings to the other person. It’s their fault and beyond our control?
THIS IS SURPRISINGLY NOT TRUE!
Have you ever observed a baby learning to walk? They aren’t doing this to pass a test or anything important. They just want to move faster. They have a try, fall over and stand back up. Repeatedly.
They don’t judge themselves.
They don’t get angry or give up or call themselves failures.
They don’t blame the floor, their parents or any other external factor.
They are just being in the moment. We see this with young children playing, or teenagers on their phones. Absorbed in the moment.
State of mind comes from within us. We are the thinkers. When adults and students see this for themselves they experience relief. There’s a greater sense of well- being in knowing you are responsible for your feeling state inside out.
“We are only ever one thought away from mental stability and peace of mind”
Syd Banks the Missing Link.
WHY do I sometimes FEEL HURT, SAD OR LONELY, and sometimes not?
Michael Neill, in his book the space[within] describes our thought as the playdough of life. He describes how 2 …when we get caught up in our thinking we lose our bearings.” p121
The cumulative quality of our thinking, or becoming lost and stressed in the moment, defines the options we think have available to us. When we take our thinking seriously we may have a low mood state. (Sad, lonely frustrated, hopeless, angry, bored, stressed, time- pressured, repressed, grieving etcetera.)
By believing our illusory thinking or taking it seriously, we might think students are completely irritating, our boss is clueless, and maybe we wish we had chosen a different career!
From this thinking space, we feel we have less options within our thinking. AND we may even make poor choices, poor decisions. The illusion of our low thinking is informing what we do, moment by moment.
THE SECRET IS … we DO have more choice, we just can’t see it in this space. (Like the weather, it appears as if the sun has disappeared on a cloudy day. It hasn’t, we just cannot see it, yet we know it is there).
Q. What are the consequences when operating from a low state of mind?
A: Less mental resources are available to us and we cannot think clearly, we might make mistakes we would not normally make.
Have you ever decided something you later regretted? Me too! (TV soaps are full of such decisions!) Using the option of the choice, I know I have, I let the low mood pass before I deal with the misbehaviour at break, the irate parent, or my son leaving dirty dishes EVERYWHERE. Life is much more graceful this way.
Understanding about THOUGHT in the moment will really help state of mind. It will also support successful learning, great resilient attitudes and clear decision making. It impacts relationships and makes for a joy filled school and life.
In the meantime, create your own M FaB! (Mental First aid Box) – things to do when you feel insecure.
Here is mine - Drink tea/ phone a friend sit under stars/play music
Resources Section Anni Poole #Wellbeingdgmeet
Agitated thinking is insecure thought having a party in our head.
I have coached resilience and well- being in over a hundred schools across the North with an utter passion. I have also been a teacher and principal for over many decades and I have observed the sense of overwhelm and numbing down of the time and space for teachers and kids to be creative, and to be able to take time to enjoy the moment.
Here are some ideas:
Finding great ways to not take our thinking quite so seriously. IMAGINE if we could share this whole school. Where would we begin?
A whole school resiliency and well- being approach #SimplyBeing Please request a sample via email annipoole.com
Working party group for the start-up is SLT/ Pupil and staff rep/local MP/parent rep/governor rep
Whole school well-being is infused through everything. It is modelled by the leaders, pupils and ALL staff.
•It pervades the ethos; the behaviour policy, inclusion and equality. It is in the respect between students and teachers, teachers and students. It is in all relationships within the community.
•It has time and space to listen to students and employees. Listening without an outcome, without judgement. Being really present to the speaker.
•It is the heart of great education and I am on a mission to bring it into every school in the land, not as a curriculum, way of being and understanding who we are. #Simply Being.
Anni Poole. 25th June 2017
Resiliency in Teaching Online Course:
Or … DISCOVER more about your own resilience and share it in your classrooms. (see some valuable resources and you tube links below)
“All feelings are an experience of the person’s thought”
Dr Aaron Turner 3PUK and director of One Thought Institute, London.
I phone a friend or sit under the night sky - I have a cup of tea - I listen to music.
What would you do?
Having a Mental First Aid Box (An M FaB!)
You can create Resilience Champions, where it becomes the norm to share stories of managing thoughts and feelings. As a head, I shared the times I felt nervous or unsure and spoke about the things I chose out of my mental first aid box to help me. The students had their own M FaB!
I also shared that the mind (like the body) self corrects, or heals itself, so even if we do nothing whatsoever the feeling eventually dissipates and moves on through.
When we begin to understand that we are the creators of our day to day reality, not some external thing or person, it is a welcome relief. If a friend is nasty to us, we don’t have to believe their words or take them on board. Great for easier friendlier break times too!
Slowing down your thinking
Often, in education, we can become lost in a turbulent sea of outcomes, particularly data and it may bring insecure stressful scary thinking. We may even be trying to fix our insecure mind state, or attempt to make things better with our intellect. (Analysing, going over and over something).We can’t.
The truest direction is a quieter mind, a neutral kinder more loving space. (We have this in abundance on Friday evening!) Less so on Monday mornings when we feel the mountain of prep catching us up.
“We are only ever one thought away from mental stability and peace of mind”
Syd Banks The Missing Link.
Good luck and may you find your peace!