I started influencing young people when I was 22 as a substitute teacher and coach in Vista, California. Fortunately, it was high school and most students were more intelligent and mature than I was. Too intelligent and mature to give me any more power than necessary.
The depression I write about in parts one and two of the story I tell began in my later twenties.
I haven’t always gotten it right. I have contributed to lagging outcomes and asserted influence that led to more of the same limiting stereotypes that begin in a school setting. Most of us begin here.
At some point, patterns began to emerge and the veil began to remove itself. I learned from observing. The students were my teacher. I was a student once too. And so were you.
I think I started writing, creating, and sharing when I recognized myself to be begging and pleading with school administrators to take the social and emotional wellbeing of the students we influenced into consideration with every decision made. It seemed like a silly thing to have to fight for.
It was also crazymaking. Wellbeing is universal. Not for some. All.
I started content creation a decade ago. Once I started creating and sharing consistently, I let go of the need to constantly insert my opinion at school to ‘sell’ inclusive wellbeing.
When I taught Health in California, one of the state mandates was to teach a unit on the harms of tobacco use. Often there was at least one student who was horribly concerned about their parent. They couldn’t understand why the parent wouldn’t stop smoking, for lots of reasons. A suggestion I learned at the time that stuck with me, was for the student to tell their loved one once a year how they felt, what they were scared of, and what wasn’t making sense. And then let it go. Let it go knowing that they knew how you felt and why.
When students share situations where adults are making harmful choices and they want them to stop (choices that are not elevated at an intensity of harm to self and others that warrants mandated reporting), my suggestion is to state the concern one time and stick to facts. Then let it go.
When I create, write, and share content that includes skills, tools, and strategies to support the regulated state of wellbeing where problem solving and broader view live, it feels as if I am taking my own advice. Share ideas that contribute to sustainable growth outcomes. And then let it go.
Since I started sharing, the external world seems to have only intensified its crazy. Fortunately I have learned how to manage my internal world.
On January 30, 2022 I began an 8 week transformation challenge at Orange Theory Fitness (OTF). It wasn’t my first transformation challenge at OTF. I think I have done every challenge since I began in June 2019.
As I often mention in my content, I appreciate segments of time to focus on specific outcomes that lead to sustainable growth.
I used the 8-week challenge as an opportunity to focus on three areas for personal growth.
One desired outcome was to transform two of my content designs and fuse them into one 8-week series on my Facebook Page (FB page). I know it doesn’t sound like a fitness outcome, but transformation is transformation.
My original teaching tool was the checkIN: 8 steps to more creativity, possibility, inspiration. This was an easy concept: eight steps in eight weeks.
I fused the checkIN with Part three of The Story I Tell: How to make the Age of Disruption work for you. Story-i-tell part three includes six strategies. I split strategy #4 (mission) into two parts, and then use week 8 to integrate ‘the frame’ and step 8 of checkIN.
I post ‘whole’ content for the week to the @sallysifer FB page on Monday. I share ‘parts’ of the content on the remaining weekdays.
I am a student of my own content. I am a participant while at the same time facilitating the ideas.
This summer series will be a bit different than the previous two series as I will be on a road trip for most of the eight weeks.
The summer 8-week series begins tomorrow – Monday, June 6. You can follow it @sallysifer Facebook Page.
The seed below the surface grows in its own time. What shows up on the surface is a result of proper or improper nourishment and care over that time. Healthy ecosystems support healthy outcomes. We all contribute to the ecosystem within our space and time. An 18 y/o is a product of a system.
Here is a post from May 26, 2022: