Spring, 2017, Sometimes, You Just Need to Breathe
Sometimes, it’s about being present in your world, and offering support to those that need it without hesitation!
Sometimes, it’s taking a moment to see the love that is in your world and making a decision to give love back to the world!
Sometimes, it’s facing a small issue that has held you back, and making a determination to persevere, that leads to massive growth!
Sometimes it’s about appreciating the life before you, recognizing that each challenge of the past led you here, and moving ahead!
Sometimes, it is about hope, belief, mindset, that help build your goals and passions. Don’t underestimate your human potential!
Sometimes, it’s not just about checking off boxes in your plan, it’s about taking a step, re-evaluating, and then stepping again!
Sometimes, it’s about taking off the limits of the world, and recognizing that every successful person is a human being like you!
Sometimes, it’s about giving trust to those in your world, so that you free yourself to grow and expand your perspective!
Sometimes, it’s about persistence, seeing the future you, and knowing that you have the power to become who you want to be!
Sometimes, it’s about igniting a passion deep within yourself, or others, so that their light within becomes a palpable guide!
Sometimes, it’s about providing others with the skills, tools, insight, to empower them to face their challenges with gusto!
Sometimes, it’s taking on a huge challenge, one step at a time, with dedication and focus, to conquer the world.
Sometimes, it’s about letting your passion soar, unleashing the burst of ideas within your head, and about hoping to connect with another person.
Sometimes, it’s about listening to your heart, mind, and soul, and you simply have to know that you made the right choice.
Sometimes, you simply need to breathe, be #mindful, and be you.
Sometimes, you might need to give yourself a good swift in the behind!
Sometimes, you need to #TakeAction right now, and don’t wait for the perfect time, because the perfect time may never come.
Dr. Robert A. Martinez, is becoming wel-known as @ResiliencyGuy across California. He focuses on building environments where children can learn and grow in peace. He speaks on Transformational Resilience, a concept that focuses providing thoughtful systems that seek to engage and support each child in their learning. You can follow him on twitter @ResiliencyGuy and @DrRobM_FSUSD and on Facebook as “Resiliency Guy.”
#POWERFUL words, #POWERFUL choices, #POWERFUL actions! Find your words to become a #Learner, #Leader, #Lifer!
Each of us is on a journey; a journey towards self-discovery, self-improvement, self-awareness, and hopefully self-actualization. While we are on our individual journies I believe that each of us has the capability to choose the words that guide us as we head towards our personal destinations. I believe that we have a responsibility to be thoughtful about those choices, and that we can effectuate positive changes in our worlds and the worlds that those we care about. I believe that if we do this we can all become expert #learners, #leaders and #lifers. Meaning, those that choose to learn, lead others, and appreciate each moment that lif has to offer.
I bring this challenge to you to focus on the words that can support you on your journey. This challenge would be to take a look at the picture below that contains a number of words that I have dubbed #POWERFUL words, and to make some choices for yourself. Choose the words that reflect who you are as a #POWERFUL person. Maybe you are a #learner, a #leader, or a #lifer, like me, or maybe you are simply seeking to be a little better than the day before, or quite possibly you are seeking to change the world with your magical powers. I think that no matter which level your journey is on that you can choose to make it a #POWERFUL one by forcusing on the words that give you your internal power.
For me, my current set of words includes: #Positive, #Outstanding, #Wise, #Empowered, #Resilient, #Forthright, #Unbelievable, and #Loving. Let me explain:
#Positive: Each moment of each day I choose my attitude. I choose to be positive, to look on the bright side, to relish the good that occurs in front of my eyes, and then I seek out the good that might go overlooked. Sometimes its the simplest of actions that people, I don’t even know do, such as holding a door for someone, or picking up a piece of trash that lays before them, to witnessing the engagement of an exceptional educator who is guiding the development of a group of students and educators all day long.
#Outstanding: As I maneuver through my day I seek to be a shining light to those that might catch a glimpse of me in action. Not that I need to be the star of the show, but it’ that I feel a sense of responsibility to seek to be my best for the people I serve. I strive to give others an authentic look at how I go through life with what I hope are exceptional behaviors, actions, and positivity. I want to get that smile from an onlooker. I want to include people in my life. I seek to engage, and be present in what I hope is a memorable way towards the good.
#Wise: I have had the opportunity to learn many life lessons, to become a learned man, to build a set of skills that guide my decisions and actions. I learned these things from life, from my parents, from those in my lives, from my teachers, from my colleagues, my children, and if I don’t act with regard of these lessons that I have learned, then I think that I wouldn’t give justice to these life experiences. I want to be thoughtful, be cognizant of the intelligence I have, use it for good, and allow my thoughts and actions to demonstrate who I truly am.
#Empowered: It is my life. It is my choice. It is my heart, mind, and soul, that creates me, so it becomes a real action to be empowered through myself. If I were allow myself to be only directed by others, would that be enough? If I allowed myself to be swayed one way or another because of popular belief or persuasion or group mentality, would that be enough? I think not! To be empowered is to be aware, to know you have choices, then to choose consciously, and to let yourself recognize that you have independent thought and have acted on your own accord.
#Resilient: If you know me at all, you know that at my inner core, the issues of resilience ignite my life. Having the capability to come up against adversity, then to battle, fight, overcome, be the relentless individual that I can be, to persevere through any hardship that presents itself, is truly a learned skill set that I use each and every day. I also seek to help others recognize that they too have experienced resilience, and that each of our minds are afforded opportunities continuously to overcome the roadblocks paced before us. This power word is essential to my and my development, and for me represents a deep commitment to living.
#Forthright: While there is always the need for tact and courtesy in providing information to people, especially information that might not be seen as positive to all ears, none of us have time to beat around the bush or to engage in miscommunication about important issues, topics, concepts, or with feedback that is designed to improve the lot of children, their parents, or those that work to build communities. So, to me, I feel a need to know my stuff, to know my positions, to know what I want to have occur, and then to work to communicate effectively with those that have interest or motivation to make things better. I find that by being thoughtful in my approach I am better able to hold crucial conversations with those in my life.
#Unbelievable: Our world is filled with common and general experiences. Going to get gas in our cars, stopping by the grocery store to pick up a few things, or maybe even making a quick pit stop on a long journey to take care of business, are several of those common experiences. I want to give people an unbelievable experience when I am with them. Maybe it’s with my greeting, maybe its my customer service, maybe its just offering a warm hand to shake, or possibly its by exceeding someone’s expectations in a meeting, offering just a bit more that they were thinking our conversation would provide to them, or by busting out in a little song to lighten the mood. It isn’t always about showmanship, but the style in the show that you decide to provide.
#Loving: I care about people. I truly want each person to succeed in their lives, and and I strive to be a loving person in my interactions with others. I love having an opportunity to work with people, to communicate with others, and to work in the education arena, where what we all do on a daily basis matters, and supports our shared future world. I love my family, my friends, my career, and my life. I love it! I am a #LIFER! What I mean by this is that I work to focus on the precious moments that I am given, and value the good and difficult moments that occur in my day, and I hope that you will join me in loving your life.
The beauty of engaging in a process such as this and reflecting on the #POWERFUL words presented in this challenge, is that you do not need to choose my words! You can choose your own. You also do not need to choose words that I have provided as you can add your own. Your choice, your power, your actions, your opportunities to grow yourself, and then your opportunity to work to build the #POWERFUL attributes in each person that are in your world. Think about it, if each person you know actually focused on choosing their words, and enhancing their powers, then worked to build themselves up, and then focusd their energies to build the powers of others in their worlds, then we could actually instigate a dynamic change to our collective world by simply building on the super powers we all have to improve the world!
Rob Martinez, Ed.D. is known as @ResiliencyGuy and AKA @DrRobM_FSUSD on twitter, and can bfound as “Resiliency Guy” on Facebook. He is becoming well known for his presentations on Transformational Resilience across California, and serves the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
Tonight I had the privilege of presenting the concepts of #Transformational #Resilience to my colleagues from #ACSARegion17 Association of California School Administrators in Anaheim. Each time I have the opportunity to share my ideas, thoughts, concept, and perceptions on #resilience development I learn something new about myself, my thinking, my beliefs, and I try to share the ideas and concepts that are swirling around in my mind in a coherent manner so that those that have committed some time to come and hear me receive a benefit that they might not have otherwise have received.
The attendees tonight included teachers, site administrators, budding administrators, educators of all kinds, who at their hearts care about children. In my talks I often share a bit about myself, my early development, some of the trauma that affected me in my early development, and how the process evolved to allow me to face the many early adversities that I endured to become the educator that I am. I then go through a process that seeks to allow the participants to reflect on their personal development. I ask questions about their stories, their families, their teachers, their experience, as a way to assist them in connecting with some of their personal stories that are meaningful to them, and to some of the stories that they might have forgotten about themselves.
I think that for educators to advance their knowledge and understanding of #resilience for others they must first think about the ways in which they themselves have been resilient. Yes, sometimes I believe that people forget. They forget the adversities that they have endured. They forget the hardships that they have been through. They forget their personal development, and what has brought them to this moment, and I believe that as they remember they actually become more able to be able to #connet with their students, their teachers, their staffs, and those that they work with on a daily basis. The process is easy for some, and more difficult for others. I think it has to do with several factors.
If we suppress some of the difficulties that we have endured as children it is more difficult to call those incidents to mind. If that trauma, adversity, or hardship was never really dealt with it might also be difficult to manage years later. This is absolutely normal as our brains seek to protect ourselves from these difficult times, and yet, if we don’t remember, I think that we might not be as attuned to ourselves as we need to be to be able to then consider how our children may be suffering in silence. Tonight a few folks assisted me in a simple rope trick to test their #resilience, and they struggled to be free. Like these simple ropes trauma ca bind children’s mins, and stifle their resilience.
I believe that when we are better able to consider our personal development, when we are able to recognize what and how we have overcome our adversities, our personal #resilience becomes more real in our minds, and I believe we, as educators who care for children, are then in a better place to support these children. One day, I hope to show you the secret to the ropes, and ease your mind.
Each child, each moment, each opportunity, each #asset that we can impart to our children, each collaborative moment that we can build together – yes, it all matters! I believe that each one of the attendees tonight is a special individual. I believe that each person who attended tonight’s presentation is on a unique personal journey towards educating children, the adults in those children’s lives, and each other. I believe that you, if you have taken the time to read this blog post is also special and unique, and I hope that you consider just how special you are, and that you also consider how important it is for you to work to build environments where all of our children can grow in peace.
Tonight I’ll close this blog with this quote: “Let the life we help our children live be the measure of our success.” I’ve said this many times, and tonight one of the attendees shared that this really impacted her thinking. I was humbled.
In these times others will seek to tell us if we are effective or not, and yet, it is our hearts, our minds, our souls that will truly tell us if we are being effective in the work we do that seek sto engage others in building support for al of the children in our lives.
Dr. Rob Martinez, AKA @ResiliencyGuy is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, and co-moderates #Resiliencechat on Monday nights on #Twitter. He is passionate about building opportunities for children to develop #reilince skills, and is working on his book #TransformationalResilience.
Commit to #STRIVE
When stress and anxiety are provided a window of opportunity into your heart, mind, soul and body, they quickly focusing on creating imbalance in your world in order to be able to invite their close friends depression, anger and frustration to the party. Seeking to find and keep your balance, and allowing your resilience to support you in moving forward, are ways to limit these windows of opportunity that tend to pull us even farther off the balance we seek.
Is there a sure-fire way to avoid stress, anxiety and their friends from attempting to tilt you over? Of course not, and yet, if you take action on several or all of these steps to build your resilience skills you will be better able to walk tall, keep your alignment more steady, and ward off these mental beasts that seek to tear you down.
A few simple excercises to stay in balance:
-Be thankful: Yes, be aware of what has been provided to you, what you have access to, and that you can use to take care of yourself. Be it food, shelter, clothes, or even crumbs, consider that you have something. If you have family, loved ones, a job, a place to call home, a place to visit, you have something to be thankful for, and
-Be kind: Taking a moment or two to provide an act of kindness, to care for someone else, or to provide something to someone that needs a pick-me-up.
-Be active: By getting your body going (walk, jog, run, ride, bend, stretch…) you inform each and every cell of your body that you are alive. You let your whole system know that this life must be lived, that you want to be part, and that you are readying yourself for your next great adventure.
–Be present: If you work, be at work, and take care of the things that work calls for without allowing yourself to be engaged in, for lack of a better word, “DRAMA” that pulls you away from your work. If you are at home, be at home, be there for those that need and depend on you, yes, that is your life, these are the people you love, and they deserve the very best of you each opportunity you have to be with them. By being present, you remain an active part of your life, their lives, and show them the way to engage, stay in control, remain calm, fight your way through, and to be ready for a new day!
–Build your skills: Personal, professional, creative, or even athletic skills must be targeted and focused on. If you recognize you should, and want to improve in a given area, you must put in the work to advance your skills. If it’s by becoming a better person, well, maybe you start by reading a little blog such as this, or it’s by taking a class, or it’s just by having a conversation with someone you know. If it’s professional, again, focus on the area of need, target that specific skill set you have identified, and get yourself going. If you want to develop a new part of yourself, there are literally millions of ways to “Google” it, and then take action. It is your life, you are the lead of your own show, and you can modify the script as you see fit.
BOLD CRAZY SENTENCE: You, are only the you, you believe yourself to be, and if you want to be a new you, well then identify a path, take a step towards your journey, and seek to become the new you you long for!
Here’s hoping that you each find your balance, that you seek to engage in being: thankful, kind, active, present, and that you build your skills accordingly. While I can’t guarantee that the stress and anxiety won’t be able to find you if you engage in these behaviors I can tell you with assurance that you will have more skills at hand in your resilience tool kit if you do, and that you will be more able to right yourself should you feel yourself tilting one way or another.
So, with that, Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone, and I do hope that you reflect and plan on bringing the best you to each and every day. Remember, some of the best days of your life may have not happened yet.
Dr. Martinez is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District and is also known as @ResiliencyGuy on @twitter. He can be found on Facebook at “Resiliency Guy” and is Co-Moderator of #Resiliencechat that occurs each Monday, at 7:00 PST on @Twitter
Had a fantastic opportunity to share some thoughts about #resilience with some of our students at Crystal Middle School.
Some of the audio quality is not the best here, however I think that some of the video segments are pretty good examples of connecting to students, and that I was able to connect with them about what #resilience is all about.
I presented them with the concept that adversity comes in all shapes and sizes, and that I believe that if they have more #assets in their control that they will be better able to get through any roadblock that gets in their way.
I targeted four areas of development: #academic focus, #value development, social #competence, and #self-#empowerment as ways to build their personal #resilience skills.
I am hoping to hone this type of presentation, and I seek to reach more and more of our students, and possibly students across the states.
Let me know what you think.
Dr. Rob Martinez is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, and is known as @ResiliencyGuy on twitter, and throughout northern California. He is focusing more and more on sharing his knowledge on #resilience development with both #educators, #Students, and our broader educational communities.
As many of you might be aware I focus a lot on the issue of #resilience development, its importance as a personal skill for all, as an essential asset for our students, and as a trait that can be nurtured in each of us.
Well, I heard a story of a student at one of the elementary schools in my district, who, a few days ago was identified by a teacher as simply sitting alone during the day, when he should have been in class engaged in a learning opportunity. She explained that this boy appeared to be seemingly lost in personal thought, and possibly in need of a friendly smile or kind interaction. The teacher sharing this story with me said that she was drawn to this young boy to check on his welfare.
She shared that once she said “Hi” to him, he seemed to be generally fine, and though indeed, he was lost in thought, he came around after this brief interaction. He re-entered the learning environment, and this simple action changed the direction of his day. He readily accepted the friendly gesture, re-engaged in the lesson at hand, and enjoyed the remainder of his school day.
You might ask, what’s so special about that? Well, in my work as a school psychologist, as site administrator, and even as an administrator in Human Resources, I often try to focus on the little things that might go unnoticed in our day-to-day activities with children and with each other, and I seek to positively impact those little things to make a stronger impact on the big things.
What I noticed about this simple story was that the teacher telling me this story took notice. She noticed a boy, seeming lost to his thoughts when he should have been engaged in his class and learning opportunity. She noticed that he needed a kind, reassuring, guiding voice, to re-engage him in his learning environment, and she took action, and he responded. She noticed that a child, a human being, had removed himself from his opportunity to learn, place where he could advance his knowledge, participate with his peers, and have an opportunity to change his life, and she knew that she needed to make a difference for him. She didn’t wait for him to care before interceding, she took action!
Let me return to the story for a moment. At the end of that day, the boy was participating in class, connecting with other students, and even hugged this teacher prior to leaving for the day. A simple interaction by a teacher brought about a significant change to a situation where a student had removed himself from his learning environment. Indeed, this story could have gone so differently. If the teacher might have judged this child, took his detachment personally, or felt that some form of punishment was needed to “get his attention” this situation could have been escalated quickly, could have deteriorated this boy’s thoughts about education, and possibly confirmed for him that people don’t care. Again, it could have gone badly.
A few days ago I went by the school to meet this young man. I talked to him about his #resilience. I asked him about the other day, and he remembered. I shared with him that I thought that he had the power to make positive choices each day, and that he truly demonstrated resilience that day by returning to class, by participating, by taking hold of his own education, and that I believed that he has the ability to build on his success. I asked him if I could check in on him next month, and he said, “Sure.”
I share this story with you because I see it as a significant reminder that no matter where we work, no matter what our formal job or position is, that we can all work as individuals to positively impact our students every day. Whether it’s through a kind, reassuring, guiding voice, whether it’s by providing the most engaging lessons and instruction that we can each day, or even if it’s safely driving our students to and from schools if we are a bus driver, we can all positively impact our students. We can all afford a smile, a kind word, a positive engagement moment, or even simply by lending an ear to a child. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to be #kind, #compassionate, #empathetic, and to make a connection. In fact, it cost nothing at all, except for your time and energy to do so.
I challenge you to take advantage of each moment that you have with children/students and let’s strive to make a connection with them whenever possible. I implore you to let children know that you care, and that you are there to assist them in building their personal skills and assets, especially their #resilience.
Each Day an Opportunity to #Inspire!
Dr. Rob Martinez is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, and is known as @ResiliencyGuy on @twitter He strives to build the capacities of his employees in fostering #resilience across his District. Follow Dr. Rob at @ResiliencyGuy on #twitter and #intagram, and on Facebook at “Resiliency Guy”