Friday Shares #4 – (12/2/22)

One of the positives of being on sabbatical this year is having the time to do more reading, writing, listening, and reflecting on how we can ensure more inclusive school communities where ALL members feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. We cannot create these communities without talking about systemic inequities (i.e. systemic racism) and creating actions to dismantle these systemic inequities.

As part of this writing and reflective process, I want to share some of the great books, videos, podcast episodes, and social media posts I am finding that can benefit others who share the same commitment to this critical work.  

Recommended listens

Podcasts

Intersectionality Matters – Freedom Readers: Why Kids Should Learn About Racism

The most recent episode of the Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw highlights a new series of episodes called Author Talks where authors of books that have been banned due to anti-CRT legislation will be featured. In this initial episode, the guest is Dr. Ibram Kendi who talks about the importance of teaching all students an accurate version of history and how important it is to quell the fear-based narrative that is causing legislation in some states to ban books that provide a more accurate portrayal of our past.  

Teaching While White – Despite the Best Intentions

In this recent episode of Teaching While White, hosts Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi speak with John Diamond and Amanda Lewis, the co-authors of Despite the Best Intentions, a book that focuses on how racial inequality thrives in “good” schools. The authors discussed their five-year research study on Riverview High School, the focus of the book. The actual name of the school, location and community members who were interviewed are all hidden, but the reality is that Riverview could be many middle-income suburban schools with a racially mixed student population. In fact, the authors discussed how when they shared the findings of their book with a group of 30 suburban superintendents, all of them were concerned that Riverview was their high school.

Bright Morning Podcast- Episode 145: In Conversation with Dr. Dena Simmons

In this episode, Elana Aguilar speaks with Dr. Dena Simmons about LiberateEd, the organization she founded to ensure that social-emotional work in schools is not just “white supremacy with a hug.”  The mission of LiberateEd is as follows: “to center healing, justice, and radical love in social and emotional learning (SEL) so that all children can live, learn, and thrive in the comfort of their own skin.” Dr. Simmons highlighted the importance of understanding the process that must be undertaken for healing and racial justice. “I think we’re always in the process of healing, and so understanding, healing as both a process and an outcome is important…We think racial justice is an outcome, but it’s also a process. And I say that because a lot of people think of it only as an outcome. They think, ‘If I read this on healing, and I read this book on racial justice, I’ve done the work, I’m done.’ And that’s not how it works.

Principal Center Radio podcast – Supervising principals for instructional leadership  – This podcast from 2020, features Meredith Honig, a professor of Education Policy, Organizations, and Leadership at the University of Washington and. Lydia Rainey, a research scientist at the University of Washington and the director of research for the District Leadership Design Lab, highlights the importance of district leaders supporting their Principals as Instructional Leaders. The two guests highlight the work from their book Supervising Principals for Instructional Leadership: A Teaching and Learning Approach. The authors discuss the common problem of district leaders allowing Principals to get bogged down in operational problems and getting away from the more important focus on teaching and learning. They discuss a new vision where districts reimagine the job description of supervisors of Principals to focus primarily on instructional leadership so that Principals can keep their focus there as well. The authors’ research is clear that in districts where this focus is maintained there are better results at the classroom level.

Recommended reads

Monuments to the Unthinkable

This Atlantic article by Clint Smith, who wrote How the Word is Passed a book about looking at America’s history of slavery, takes a look at how Germany has dealt with its own horrific history related to the Holocaust. Smith notes the following in the article:

 “I saw that Germany’s effort to memorialize its past is not a project with a specific endpoint. Some people I spoke with believe the country has done enough; others believe it never can. Comparisons to the United States are helpful, but also limited.” 

I was also struck by the following insight from Smith towards the end of the article: “I was reminded, too, that many of Germany’s most powerful memorials did not begin as state-sanctioned projects, but emerged—and are still emerging—from ordinary people outside the government who pushed the country to be honest about its past. Sometimes that means putting down Stolpersteine. Sometimes that means standing on the street for years collecting signatures for the massive memorial to murdered Jews that you believe the country needs. Americans do not have to, and should not, wait for the government to find its conscience. Ordinary people are the conscience.”

Double Jeopardy: Teacher Biases, Racialized Organizations, and the Production of Racial/Ethnic Disparities in School Discipline 

As outlined in the abstract of the study by the author Jayanti Owens: “This study develops a more comprehensive understanding of the production of racial/ethnic inequality in school discipline by empirically identifying a dual process that involves both individual teacher bias and heightened blaming that is related to minority organizational composition.” 

As part of the findings, Owens suggests reforms for both individual-level

biases and organization-level outcomes which disproportionately impact Black and Latino boys. 

Recommended Viewing

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 

This award-winning film produced by Jeffrey Robinson is currently available on Netflix and it provides a historical timeline that highlights the role of anti-Black racism and white supremacy from our country’s beginning up until the present. You can watch the official trailer here. Robinson’s statement about his hopes for the film on the Who We Are Project website ends with the following words: “II hope we get to a point where the narrative in the United States about our past is one that is true, not to tear ourselves down, but to reckon with where we started and how far we need to go to get to the true promises of our country.”

Friday Shares #3 (11/18/22)

One of the positives of being on sabbatical this year is having the time to do more reading, writing, listening and reflecting on how we can ensure more inclusive school communities where ALL members feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. We cannot create these communities without talking about systemic inequities (i.e. systemic racism) and creating actions to dismantle these systemic inequities.

As part of this writing and reflective process, I want to share some of the great books, videos, podcast episodes, and social media posts I am finding that can benefit others who share the same commitment to this critical work.  Here is installment three of this series of posts…

Podcasts

Bright Morning Podcast – Episode 143 – Disrupting Racism in Coaching Conversations. 

This podcast, from Elana Aguilar and her Bright Morning Team, is in my regular rotation, with new episodes dropping every Monday. Anyone interested in disrupting racism would benefit from a listen to this latest episode in which Elana and her Bright Morning teammate Nick Cains tackle how to effectively disrupt racist behavior. There are so many key points in this episode for me. One that really resonates for me as a 50-plus-year-old white man is the one below:

“But what I want people listening to make the connection to and to consider as essential for reflection is you gotta know where you’re coming into this conversation. You have to know who you are, what you’re bringing into it, literally into this conversation, but into the broader exploration of how do we disrupt racism.”

Elana also highlighted her podcast series What To Say When You Hear Something Racist and the companion guide. You can get them both for free here on the Bright Morning Website.  

Let’s Grab Coffee

This is a new one that I just came across in the last two weeks. The description from the podcast’s website: SunAh, University of Memphis professor, author, goal-setting coach, and coffee lover, as she catches up with experts from across the country, who are investigating our most pressing social issues and common curiosities. New episodes are published every two weeks on Mondays and the titles of some of the recent episodes are below along with the description from the show’s website.

The Souls of White Jokes with Dr. Raúl Pérez – Jokes are meant to be funny, and studies show the multiple mental benefits of laughter. But, what happens when jokes target marginalized jokes? (from the website description)

On Critical Race Theory with Dr. Victor Ray – Over the past year, we’ve seen a moral panic around “critical race theory” resulting in changes to K-12 curriculum and legislation around divisive concepts in higher education. But, what exactly is critical race theory? Dr. Ray breaks it down in easy-to-understand language with real-world applications.

Asian American Histories of the United States with Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy – What are some key events, places, or people in Asian American history? If you struggle to come up with an answer, you’re not alone. Asian American history is a history of erasure and not-knowing. On this episode, SunAh is joined by Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, whose latest book, Asian American Histories of the United States, brings to the forefront the many stories of Asian American history – past and present.

What I Am Reading

The Talk Series from the EmancipatorCheck out this connected video and the entire series – The Talk: How identity shapes the way we keep our children safe 

In case you haven’t heard of The Emancipator, here’s a bit about it from its website: Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and The Boston Globe’s Opinion team are collaborating to resurrect and reimagine The Emancipator, the first abolitionist newspaper in the United States, founded more than 200 years ago. The Emancipator is provided without a paywall. 

The Facilitator’s Guide For White Affinity Groups – This book co-authored by Robin DiAngelo and Amy Burtaine is geared towards people who would like to facilitate discussions formally in white affinity groups. However, it would also be a great resource for any white people who would like to get better at having conversations with other white people about race and racism.   

A couple of quotes from the book that highlights why we need affinity spaces:

“As white people, we are not taught to see ourselves in racial terms; race is what they have, not what we have.”

‘Even when we (white people) commit to change, we face a serious dilemma: We simply do not have the education, self-awareness, or practical skills to challenge racism.”

“White superiority is so normalized for white people that it is very hard for us to see it without sustained practice.”

The PD Book by Bright Morning Team’s Elana Aguilar and Lori Cohen –

Unfortunately, in most schools, the letters PD when followed by the word Day do not elicit jubilation or even confidence that the time that will be spent will be worthwhile. In the PD Book, the authors walk through the steps that will help both the leaders of individual sessions and leaders of schools and/or districts who plan Professional Learning to do so with much greater success. 

I was sold on the book early on with the following quotes about The Goal of PD:

Professional development is defined by its impact. PD is successful if, after the learning experience, the learner can do something else, or do something different. PD isn’t PD if the learner doesn’t change, if the learner doesn’t learn.”

“Transformative impact is the result of a shift in behaviors and beliefs.”

Dr. Henry Turner’s Newsletter – Dr. Turner always shares great and timely resources. His most recent newsletter has a number of resources to review as we head into Thanksgiving week for those who celebrate this holiday. He reminds us of the following:

  1. Thanksgiving is not a celebratory time for everyone, particularly those without family or resources and many Indigenous People. 
  2. We lead our society forward when we move past the historical myths of Thanksgiving.

There are a number of other Thanksgiving resources you can have access to if you sign up for Dr. Turner’s newsletter here

Professor David J. Silverman on the Thanksgiving Myth – This post comes from Ben Tumin’s Skipped History substack. The interview with Professor David J. Silverman, the author of This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving highlights the truth behind the history of Thanksgiving in the United States. Everything I thought I knew as a child was a lie.

Friday Shares #2 (11/4/22)

One of the positives of being on sabbatical this year is having the time to do more reading, writing, listening and reflecting on how we can ensure more inclusive school communities where ALL members feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. We cannot create these communities without talking about systemic inequities (i.e. systemic racism) and creating actions to dismantle these systemic inequities.

As part of this writing and reflective process, I want to share some of the great books, videos, podcast episodes, and social media posts I am finding that can benefit others who share the same commitment to this critical work.  

I initially was going to call this series of posts Friday Finds, in fact that’s what I called it two weeks ago. As I thought a bit more about this, I started to think about the word find in the context of Columbus and suddenly the word find did not seem like the best choice.  So I will toss aside my fondness for alliteration and just go with Friday Shares. Anyway, here is installment two of this series…

Podcasts

Dr. Sheldon Eakins Leading Equity podcast. 

Last weekLeading Equity Podcast – Episode 267 – A Conversation on Racial Equity and School Leadership with Dr. Decoteau Irby – Dr. Eakins hosted Dr. Decoteau Irby for this episode. Dr. Irby is a professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and author or co-editor of several books, including Stuck Improving: Racial Equity and School Leadership (Harvard Education Press) and a children’s book Magical Black Tears: A Protest Story (Derute Consulting Cooperative).

Here are a few of the many insights from Dr. Decoteau Irby’s insights into creating more schools where ALL students that were shared in the episode: 

We need to allow for the conditions that allow equity to take place.

What is that collectives/groups/communities of people do to make an educational environment one that affirms black children.

We need courageously confrontational school cultures, which is different from a congenial school culture or collegial school culture because a confrontational culture is interested in rooting out.

This weekLeading Equity Podcast – Episode 268 – How to Run a Successful Book Club with Dr. Bridget Holloman – Book studies have become a common occurrence in many school districts as a way for teachers to engage in professional development about a new topic or to go deeper into a topic. In this episode, Dr. Holloman provides some specific strategies/structures that can make book clubs/studies more meaningful learning experiences which can allow them to have a greater impact on changing practices.

Sometimes the things I find out about are ones that are just new to me and this next podcast is one of those. 

Scene on Radio’s Seeing White from 2017 – Scene on Radio is a Peabody Award Winning series hosted and produced by John Biewen who directs the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Seeing White is from season 2. 

Here’s the intro to episode 1: “Events of the past few years have turned a challenging spotlight on White people, and Whiteness, in the United States. An introduction to our series exploring what it means to be White.”

Also, here is a little more context from episode 1 – “In the coming batch of episodes, a series we call Seeing White. Turning the lens around, looking straight at white America – and at the notion of whiteness itself. Where did this idea of a white race come from? God? Nature? Or is it man-made? And if somebody manufactured the idea, why, for what purpose? How has the meaning of white changed over the centuries, and how does it function now? The stories that we carry around about whiteness and what it means—stories we may not even know we’re carrying, but we are, all of us—are those stories true?”

Books

The Persuaders – AT THE FRONT LINES OF THE FIGHT FOR HEARTS, MINDS, AND DEMOCRACY By Anand Giridharadas

This is from the book’s website – “The Persuaders is a stunning insider account of activists, politicians, educators, and everyday citizens who are on the ground working to change minds, bridge divisions, and fight for democracy.”

The stories of the various persuaders highlighted in the book are important as we try to find ways to fight the divisiveness that seems more prevalent than ever. Here’s one of the quotes that I am spending a lot of time thinking about:

“…those who wanted to change systems too often went straight to challenging them, skipping over the work of self-discovery, self-interrogation, and self-assertion. They didn’t dwell long enough on their own assumptions and experiences to work effectively to change others’ minds. They didn’t understand the constraints they placed on themselves even before the world constrained them.”

On Critical Race Theory – Why It Matters and Why You Should Care by Victor Ray 

This book just published in August is perfectly timed as so many have become confused and/or fearful of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Dr. Ray, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is an expert on the topic and he breaks down CRT in a way that makes it clear what this “controversial” theory is and will leave you wondering why everyone is not explicitly educated on this.

There are so many highlights in my copy of this book and I cannot recommend it more highly. Here are three of the many:

“Critical Race Theory developed, in part, to explain why the monumental legal victories of the civil rights movement – for instance, the Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing state-sponsored school segregation – didn’t always lead to lasting improvements for people of color in the United States.”

“Policies designed to create racial equality weren’t targeted by white hostility because they didn’t work. They were targeted because they did.

“Multiracial democracy is a recent fragile innovation in American history. Those who think this fact has no place in our schools would – intentionally or not – hasten a return to unquestioned white dominance.”

Friday Finds 10/21/22

One of the positives of being on sabbatical this year is having the time to do more reading, writing, listening and reflecting on how we can ensure more inclusive school communities where ALL members feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. We cannot create these communities without talking about systemic inequities (i.e. systemic racism) and creating actions to dismantle these systemic inequities.

As part of this writing and reflective process, I want to share some of the great books, videos, podcast episodes, and social media posts I am finding that can benefit others who share the same commitment to this critical work. The list below is the first of what I hope will be a regularly occurring publication here.

Podcasts

Leading Equity Podcast (Episode 266) – Why Aren’t We Talking About Eugenics in School Assessments with Dr. Byron McClure and Dr. Kelsie Reed – This episode definitely blew my mind with some of the information about the well-known cognitive and academic assessments (i.e. Stanford-Binet, SAT) that we have used in schools for decades. Dr. Sheldon Eakins’s guests for this episode were Dr. Byron McClure and Dr. Kelsie Reed, are both Nationally Certified School Psychologists who shared their insights on some of the systemic inequities that have been perpetuated in schools due to the reliance on these biased assessments. They also discussed the damage that we as educators do when we utilize deficit-based thinking and language and highlighted their new book Hacking Deficit Thinking.

Into America Podcast with Trymaine Lee (Episode 185) – W. Kamau Bell on Talking With White People About Race – In this episode, Trymaine talks with comedian W. Kamau Bell who uses his skills as a comedian to create entry points into conversations about race. Bell also references a new book he has co-written with Kate Schatz titled Do The Work! The book is a workbook for people who want to commit to actions around creating a more anti-racist world and breaking down the structures of White Supremacy Culture. The book is on order, so stay tuned for more on this! Bell describes the intention of the book as follows:

“Reading the book is not the work. The work is in understanding that the book is trying to say, unless you’re engaged in a regular anti-racism, like a process of creating anti-racism, then you’re not really doing the work. That’s the main message. So I would imagine every day if I did it, and I was like, can you tell me something you did today that created less racism in the world?”

Books

Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad- by Matthew F. Delmont – Add this to the long list of things they did not teach me (or anyone else) in school. The following quote from the Introduction to the book highlights much of the reason why:

From Life’s pictorial history of World War II in 1946 to Saving Private Ryan in 1998, white soldiers were presented as the iconic figures of the war. It’s hard to overstate the depth of the disrespect to the Black veteran whose sacrifice has been redacted from history.

Hacking Deficit Thinking – by Dr. Byron McClure and Dr. Kelsie Reed – This book was referenced above, but I wanted to share a quote from the introduction to this one as well. The following is the definition of Deficit thinking from the authors:

Deficit thinking is a distorted lens, focused on student weaknesses, that blames students and their families for student difficulties rather than acknowledging the impact of our practices and broader structural inequities.

One last resource I want to share is one that that ties together nicely with the theme of Hacking Deficit Thinking. The chart below is one that was shared on Twitter by the Due East Equity Collaborative and it highlights positive lannguage that we can use to discuss students as opposed to some of the deficit terms we sometimes fall back on.

Columbus in America from Zinn Education Project

As we reflect on today’s holiday which goes by different names in different states, it is important to reflect on the reasons that some have backed away from celebrating a day for Columbus. My question as I learn more about historical figures and events from history is why we are taught myths about “the founding” of this land that we live on and so many of the events that followed?

For more information on a more accurate portrayal of what occurred when Europeans “discovered” a so-called new land that had actually been inhabited for tens of thousands of years, check out the Smithsonian Museum’s page titled Unlearning Columbus Day Myths: Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the resources available at Native Knowledge 360.

My History with CRT

I still remember the first time I heard the acronym CRT. I was sitting in a high school class during my sophomore year back in the early 1980’s. The teacher told us that the box in front of us was a CRT. Imagine a CRT sitting in front of students in a classroom today!

For those of you who were not in classrooms back in those days, I am referring to a Cathode Ray Tube monitor. It was a big heavy box that acted as our computer screen back in the days of floppy disks and CPU’s or (Central Processing Units). Oh, those were the days!

Anyway, acronyms and computers have both evolved over the last 40 years or so since I left that high school classroom. Who among us could have predicted the volatility of the acronym CRT? Ironically, another one of the terms that CRT is an acronym for has also been around since about that time I was sitting in front of that monitor in my high school class. That term is Critical Race Theory, and it seems to upset many people as much as the use of profanity.

Honestly, as a school administrator with over 20 years of experience, I was unfamiliar with the term in 2020 when it started making the news and concerns started to be raised that schools were teaching Critical Race Theory. As phone calls started to trickle in from concerned parents, administrators would ask concerned parents and citizens to tell them about a specific lesson that emphasized CRT, but the concerns typically were more about anxiety related to this new term that schools had somehow seamlessly integrated into their teaching.

The timing of this really was a headscratcher since most schools across the country were on the heels of a year or more of fully remote learning due to Covid and nearly every parent in every district across the country had the opportunity to see and/or listen to lessons as teachers streamed their classes in real-time. Interestingly enough, during that entire year, there was no talk about CRT. But just a short time later, this term became the ire of many and through some act of magic, educators across the country were espousing it.

Pardon my sarcasm, but if you have experience working in schools you know that rolling out a new initiative, like the teaching of Critical Race Theory is not like hitting the on switch for a light. It takes a great deal of time to support educators in the implementation of a new math curriculum, nevermind an area of study defined by Wikipedia as follows:

Critical race theory (CRT) is a cross-disciplinary examination, by social and civil-rights scholars and activists, to explore how laws, social and political movements, and media shape, and are shaped by, social conceptions of race and ethnicity.

While I would be in full support of CRT being taught to students in schools, it would take a great deal of time and support for school districts to begin this work.

For a little more background on Critical Race Theory, check out the Legal Defense Fund’s website for some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about CRT. For a great deal more information on CRT, grab a copy of On Critical Race Theory by Victor Ray It is a very accessible look at CRT and shows clearly how the explicit teaching of the topic would benefit all of us.

Quotes I’m Pondering from The Sum of Us Podcast

All of the quotes below come from Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us podcast. You can check it out on both Spotify and Apple. It was an honest and uplifting look at some of the struggles that we have endured as a nation due to systemic racism. I highly recommend it!

But it’s become clear to me that it’s impossible to see where we’re standing if we don’t know what steps, we took to get here. And looking back to the worst parts of our history, well, it helps us know what we’re up against today.

To me to see political campaigns to ban books and oust Educators in this country just because they teach about sexism and racism, the goal seems to be to scare white parents and the tax dollars that follow them away from an integrated public good, even cutting School budgets and defunding libraries for teaching our full history for being too inclusive. So often, people want to cast the debate, in zero-sum terms, it’s black history versus American history, it’s tell the truth or protect children’s fragile psyches.

We can give people today a moral choice and say, there is a tradition of Heroes that is as real as the tradition of Oppression and Injustice and that you can’t understand one without the other. Teaching our full history allows us to ask, do you want to be like the hundreds of students in the black and white photograph yelling at Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old black girl as she tries to integrate a public school? Or do you want to be like the hundreds of white students who boarded buses for the South to register black voters during Freedom Summer?

Nothing about our situation is inevitable or immutable. But you can’t solve a problem with the consciousness that created the antiquated belief that some groups of people are better than others.

Since this country’s founding, we haven’t allowed our diversity to be our superpower and the result is that the United States is not more than the sum of its disparate parts but it could be But these stories have shown me, is that if it were, all of us would Prosper, we are so much more when the we in We, the People is not some of us, but all of us.

We are greater than and greater for the sum of us.

A Quote About Good Teaching

I recently listened to a past episode of the Leading Equity Podcast from January of 2022 where Dr. Sheldon Eakins spoke to Dr. Geneva Gay, one of the leading experts in multicultural education. Here is an excerpt that I have been dwelling on:

“There is no such thing as universal good teaching because somebody determines what constitutes good teaching and those somebodies are cultural beings. Their culture and their notions about what good teaching is and learning have been contaminated by their own cultural filters.”

When We Know Better…

A while back I wrote a post titled For My Children, Seeing All Sides which talked about the importance of supporting students to be able to deal with the barrage of information coming at them through various forms of media so that they are able to weed out the endless disinformation that is being spread.

Where do you go to find information that you feel is believable? Why do you think that these sources are reliable? Is it just because you tend to find things that support what you already thought?

As I reflect on many of the conversations from this past week’s Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents’ Annual Executive Institute, disinformation is also plaguing adults as school leaders are spending increasing amounts of time talking about Critical Race Theory and ensuring parents that it is not something being taught in schools. In fact the Massachusetts Association of School Committees tried to limit the concerns some parents have by putting out a short document pointing out what Critical Race Theory is and that it is not part of our curriculum frameworks in the state.

The fact of the matter is that it is our job is to teach kids to think critically not to teach them what to think. Attempts to limit the truth that we can share concerning the atrocities of our country’s past will only ensure that they continue.

Why would we endorse this?

We need to support our students as they read all of the sides and think for themselves…

This way, they will be able to affirm the wonderful words of Maya Angelou which highlight that “when you know better, (you) do better.”

Post #2 of 2021…Just Begin Again

What’s going to make you stronger, if the inner voice in your head is an enemy or an ally?

Dr. Kristen Neff

One of the things I got better at in 2020 was mindfulness and spending a little time meditating. The biggest takeaway from this practice has been to “just begin again” when things go off track. As someone who traditionally would spend a lot of time with self-loathing and being hard on myself when things would not go according to plan, I have finally realized that easing up a bit and showing myself a little compassion is much more productive than getting mired down in guilt.

The latest episode of the Happiness Lab Podcast with Dr. Laurie Santos, Dump Your Inner Drill Sergeant, really highlighted the importance of self-compassion. Dr. Santos was joined by Dr. Kristen Neff, an expert on the topic of self-compassion, who noted that many people are more supportive of their friends than they are to themselves. It seems ridiculous that we would be so amenable to alleviating the suffering of others, but unwilling to give ourselves a break. Neff recommended that we reframe our missteps and think about them the same way we would if one of our family members came to us after a mistake or failure.

The best part about booting your inner drill sergeant out of the equation is that you will actually have more compassion to show others. The quote below from Dr. Neff is the one that I am going to try to keep at the forefront of my mindfulness practice.