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Have You Learned This Untaught Life Skill?

This Week's Simple Tip: My husband and I often talk about the required life skills that are not taught in school but hopefully are acquired either at home or through community activities. Budgeting and manners are two that readily come to mind.

I recently listened to an interview with Scarlett Lewis who lost her 6-year-old son Jesse in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting of 2012. She is convinced that the inability of many people to manage their emotions and connect with others is another one of those untaught life skills.

In the weeks after her son’s murder, Scarlett started the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, an organization that brings curricula into schools to teach what’s called social and emotional learning. Think about it ... we have not solved the school-safety crisis because the gun control solutions being discussed are addressing the effect and not the cause. The cause is anger, disconnection, isolation, lack of resilience, lack of ability to manage emotions, also known as social and emotional intelligence skills. Sadly these social and emotional intelligence skills are lacking in all ages throughout the world. Think of how different things could be in the future if we teach at a young age how to have healthy, positive relationships, how to have deep and meaningful connections, and skills and tools for resilience. Dalai Lama speculates that " If every 8-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” The research to date points to social-emotional learning as a key to improved graduation rates, greater capacity for workplace success, improved mental health, reduced crime, and overall healthier relationships and personal judgement. Isn't that what we all want? For more details about social and emotional learning and its benefits, click this link.


This Week's Focus:

This week, let's begin to work on our own social and emotional skills. Practice to mindfully PAUSE when something happens that might normally trigger some kind of emotional reaction. Breathe instead before acting, and imagine your initial reaction going away in your mind. Then consider and respond in a thoughtful and appropriately compassionate manner instead.

Click on the serenity sticky to print, cut and post on your bathroom mirror to remind you of this week's focus. Good luck!

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