Updated: Mar 26
Good Morning, today is Wednesday March 18th 2020 and this is our moment of SEL.
How are you feeling? If you have a moment, and can afford to give yourself a moment, check-in. Ask yourself:
· “What am I thinking?”
· “How am I feeling in my body?”
· “How do I want to express myself?”
· “How can I express myself?”
You may recognize that as you cycle through different thoughts, you become aware of having different feelings. You may also recognize that different feelings can bring about different thoughts. It is important to remember that SEL skills are contextual. That means that time and place and event will help define and steer the feelings we feel, the thoughts we think and the behaviors we chose in response.
Today I’d like us to consider how we feel around the context of resources.
(If you’d like to see more about resources you can watch our Advisory Video on resources by clicking here: https://seattleschools.wistia.com/medias/oostp542in)
This morning see if you can check in with yourself and your feelings around resources.
Start with the very basic physiological resources we humans need for survival. Check-in with how you are feeling about your access to food, water, shelter, electricity, heat, clothing. Do you have access to these necessary, material things? Are you in abundance of materials or worried about scarcity of these materials? If you are recognizing any feelings of insecurity with this level of need you may want to pause this activity at this point. If you live here in the Seattle, you may want to connect with King County Crisis Connections https://www.crisisconnections.org/king-county-2-1-1/ If you don’t live in King County you may want to reach out to your local social support services. If you are feeling secure with the material needs at this level move on to the next level.
Check-in with your thoughts and feelings in the context of safety for you those you love? Do you feel safe in your environment? How are you feeling about your health or the health of your loved ones? What are your thoughts and feelings regarding the security of your living space? This check-in could present some feelings, particularly right now regarding health and well-being. Like we practiced yesterday, try to not judge yourself for your feelings and thoughts. If not judging is difficult (as it is for me without concentrated effort) try to imagine uncomfortable thoughts and feelings as if they were coming from a vulnerable child. How would you respond to that child? Try to grace yourself with that same response. Again, if you are recognizing that you are experiencing insecurity in this arena you may want to reach to social support services. If you live in Seattle, you may want to connect with https://www.crisisconnections.org/king-county-2-1-1/
Next, check in with your feelings regarding a sense of love and belonging. Do you share a sense of community with others? Do you have trusted friends and family? Are there people who rely on you? Are there people you rely on? What community or communities do you share a sense of belonging with? Are there people in your life that you connect with in times of joy? What about during times of stress? Under our current situation with social distancing this could bring about strong feelings, particularly if you recognize yourself to be a person who “recharges” when connecting with others. Again, try not to judge, but see what comes up for you. If you have access to technology, consider reaching out others using any number of video chats. Or, though it might sound “old-fashioned” maybe consider writing a letter or letters to those who you may not be able to connect with otherwise.
Next check-in regarding your sense of self. Do you have a strong opinion of yourself? What thoughts do you recognize when you think of you? What feelings do you recognize when you think of you? How are these thoughts and feelings different across the spectrum of your life? We will have more specifics on this area down the road, but for today, just try to recognize the broad picture you paint of you.
Finally, and perhaps most challenging, consider how you feel regarding your best-self or selves. This is tricky because often when we intentionally “measure” ourselves against who we desire to be, we will look for shortcomings or evidence that support “self-bullying”. That is not what this exercise is. What you are really looking to explore is the person you “can” be. Are you giving yourself the opportunity to be the YOU, you want to be? If you are, great! If you are not, what is one thing you might be able to do for yourself to help you realize yourself as the person you know you can be? Be sure during this type of work that you extend patience to yourself. This is not something for which you should be held accountable, after only a couple of SEL exercises. This is something that a little daily practice can help build some habits that can really help you move the needle on becoming the person you know you can be, but for today, just listen and have patience.
Here’s the last thing you may want to consider, and it involves empathy, which is a social awareness skill, but very applicable. If you felt secure about the basic physiological materials of food, shelter, water, heat and if you were able to also recognize a sense of safety and security, consider what these times might be like for someone who may not share that space with you? As you check-in with your feelings and thoughts, and as you give yourself permission to feel and think, with as little judgement as possible, give a thought to those who may be in a different place regarding resources. These are weird times to say the least. The fact that SEL is being written via email and text and not shared in person tells us a lot about what is going on for all of us these days. It’s okay to feel and think all the emotions and thoughts that will be about. It’s also okay to recognize that if you are feeling resource abundant, you may want to step back from other demands on yourself or others. This may be a day of reflection on what resources you have and what resources you may need.
I wish you the very best and look forward to connecting in whatever way we can, tomorrow.
Until tomorrow, best wishes,