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Empowering Connection with Stacy Nation Episode 48

Empowering Connection with Stacy Nation

· 17:09


RS 50 Stacey Nation

[00:00:00] All right. So welcome to the Resilient Schools podcast. We are here live at SDAC's Bridging to Resilience Conference 2023, and we have one of the keynote speakers, Stacey Nation.

Stacey, thank you for being here.

thanks for having me Jethro.

Yeah. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure, I am a licensed clinical social worker. I live part time in Colorado and part time in Wyoming. Divorced mom of two teens, remarried to a veteran, served part time in the Wyoming Army National Guard. Just loving people.

worker. engorsement, two teens, remarried, two veteran, Colonel Stacey Nation. Lieutenant. Lieutenant Colonel. Okay. I don't have a military background and so I don't know where...

and so I

Stacey. That works for me too. So you talked yesterday about I actually took notes yesterday, so

Oh good. I'm not the only one.

Oh good. I'm [00:01:00] glad to hear that I'm not the only one who feels that way. You've had that experience too? I do. you talked about something that was a little bit crazy, which is that kids put their phones away when they come to your house.

Tell me about that. We

shoot for that.

Good. We shoot for

we don't always get that, but we shoot for that.

One of the things that we have really focused on in our family is that when you get to hang out with your friends, you hang out with your friends You don't hang out next to your friends on your phones. You don't hang out in the same room with people and scroll. You hang out with your friends. And so really that conversation of what does being with mean my kids have been great about saying, Hey, we're here to hang out.

We don't get to hang out very often. So what do we need to do to manage our phones? What do we need to do about that? And I have this beautiful picture of my daughter had a sleepover. all the girls went out and, jumped on a trampoline and they left all their phones on the kitchen table. And I took that picture and I was like, we have to teach our kids to do that to go and [00:02:00] disconnect from their technology and be with other people in person.


Yeah. And it's so hard because You talk about being so connected but not having connection, right? And we are hyper connected and we can communicate with people all around the world in an instant, which is really amazing, and yet we don't feel connected to them. We don't have the connection to them.

So what's your advice for establishing that connection besides, getting away from being on your devices when you're with people?

I definitely think we as adults have to get more curious about our kids and teach kids how to get curious about each other. teaching how to connect is extremely important. it's more than just, how was your day? It's really, tell me something you're going through. Tell me something that's on your mind you want to talk about what are you?

Experiencing and helping them go deeper because I think if we don't teach kids about connection They don't know how to connect because they're typing on snap and it's going away and they're Communicating in a [00:03:00] new language. That's three letters. That means a whole sentence. I don't understand, right?

That means a whole sentence. That means a whole

Mom, he sent me this emoji. What do I do? I have no idea.

And so I think there's a slayer of just teaching how to communicate. And I told the story yesterday about my daughter wanting to. See if this guy was good to go with to homecoming, but she'd never spent some FaceTime, like literal FaceTime, not like on the phone FaceTime, but in person connection.

one of my rules is I try to say yes, as much as possible when my kids want to go hang out with their friends, their teenagers, they should not want to hang out with me. Although that makes me sad.

know. They will when they're 25 or 30.

Yeah. But saying yes to connection, right? So if they're like, Hey, I wanna go hang out with my friends, yes please, I want you in person.

I want you to have that in person connection you can practice that. 'cause they're just not getting as much of it. Yeah,

I My oldest daughter... She wants to hang out with her friends all the time, and the challenge is that her friends don't always want to hang out


and don't make time for her, [00:04:00] and so she feeds off of that, and just, that's all she wants everyday can I hang out with so and so, and because she has Down syndrome, she can't communicate as effectively, and we just got her a phone, and because we want to teach her how to use it appropriately.

Let me tell you, it's a good thing that we're teaching her now. She's 17 and she is, it's very challenging. I'll just say that. It's like this addiction that I see everybody else deal with, but it's magnified in her. what is good is that she's able to share her phone number with people and be able to text back and forth, which is beneficial and good.

At some point it's going to be inappropriate, and it has been already, but what we're really trying to help her feel is that she can

connect with people through her phone, and then when she's with them, then she needs to, put it away and be with them. Which is really hard for her to do, and it's hard for everybody, but it's important to do.

One of the other things that you mentioned were [00:05:00] Five questions to ask when you're triggered. And so we don't have to go into all five questions, but let's just talk about how you get yourself back from being in a triggered or dysregulated state. What's your advice about you taking care of that yourself?

I think a huge piece of what this journey is for me, especially with educators, is we spend so much time talking about kids who trigger

us. Mm-Hmm. That

we think it's the kids' problem. And so part of the conversation is, wait a minute, what is happening inside of me when I'm triggered? And what about that kid is triggering me? And I think when we do that deep dive into. How come I'm triggered? Then we can come back sooner. And so that conversation around


do I need? What does my body physically need?

Do I need to be removed from the situation? Do I need time alone? Do I need space? Which is really hard when you're a teacher. Especially if you're in a classroom with kids, you can't just walk out when you're triggered. But you can manage it through your own sensory system. You can take a drink of water.

You [00:06:00] can, have mints at your desk. You can, and I often say you can't eat a mint. and have a really big feeling. You can't eat an Altoid and have a really big feeling at the same time. You also can't plank and be pissed off at the same time. So I have a lot of high school educators who are planking in their classroom.

And I think it's about what is your nervous system need to get back to where it's more regulated? And everyone's answer is different. And so there's a lot of pieces.

You have to know what your nervous system needs. You have to really tune into your nervous system. How many people don't even know what their nervous system needs?

They're not even aware of their nervous system. I did a session this weekend with Megan Baldwin, I started using my left hand, and my heart rate shot up to 108, and I'm normally a 58... Beats per minute and I was like, I'm just using my left hand like that triggered my nervous system But I had to have the data of what normal for me before I could know what's not normal.

for me, it's Educators, especially getting very curious about their own nervous systems and then figuring out what can I do in [00:07:00] my space to? Navigate that when I'm triggered and everyone's answers different

Yeah. Yeah. It's really fascinating because It really is different, but there are a few things that are common amongst all of us, that it's really hard to focus intently and impossible on two different things.

It's possible to focus back and forth between things, but you're not very good at either one. But if you're really focusing on, like you said, doing a plank, or doing some other sort of physical thing, it's really difficult for you to be having any other kind of feelings with that. except for maybe pain and disgust and frustration, right?

Especially when it comes to planking. So one of the other things you said yesterday that I thought was really fascinating is you asked how many people in the room liked being in control and some people raised their hand and you said everybody else is liars. Now, this brought up an interesting thing for me because I actually love it.

when I'm not [00:08:00] in control. So there, there are people who definitely have to be in control and really feel that. Have you read the book, positive intelligence by Shirzad

No, but it sounds like I need to,

Oh my gosh. It's beautiful. So he talks about there are 10 saboteurs that we all have in our brains and they all are at different levels and it would align very much with the trauma stuff because.

They come from a place of protecting us from harm in the beginning. And so that's how we develop them as we get older. So different people have different levels of each of these saboteurs and controller is one of those saboteurs. My controller is actually quite low because I don't feel the need to have control.

In fact, I relish when I don't have to be in control because I'm put in the position to be in control so often. And so anyway, what was really fascinating about that idea is that having this knowledge that I have now about positive intelligence and the saboteurs. Made me feel differently [00:09:00] about that question that you asked and that sometimes that is just a saboteur saying, you need to be in control of the situation.

And there are several others that we won't get into here, but you get the general idea. And what my response was I actually just don't have that saboteur in my head telling me that I have to be in control. I have other saboteurs that are very strong but not that one. And. And having that self awareness and realization, like you were talking about before, there is a point to all this, so I'm bringing it around now, knowing what your baseline is, knowing what you are capable of really matters.

So I want to talk a little bit about self awareness and how you develop that and understand it because that's something that we I feel very. not self aware because I hear other people talk and I'm like, wow, that's really insightful. I never think that about myself, but in other areas I do feel quite self aware and it's just one of those things that I haven't quite wrapped my head around.

So what's your take on [00:10:00] becoming self aware, not just of our nervous system, but of other parts of us?

I think that's an interesting discussion because the other piece of the control part is when you feel out of control on the inside, you want to control your outsides.

, and so I think part of that self-awareness is feeling more control on the inside. when you can give up the control in your classroom and you can give the control at home It's because like I'm managing myself. That's really the only person I have control over is myself and so sorry for calling you a liar and I think that self awareness is really about Acknowledging what's happened in the past and your own story But not staying stuck in it, right?

So a lot of people won't go revisit. Hey, what? What is my blueprint? How did I get to where I am today? And it feels really scary for some people because there's a lot of things that happened. And then you go, and where am I at in the present? And then where do I want to go? And then how do [00:11:00] those three connect along the way?

I'm here because of who I am in the my past, like I've been through some significant things that have landed me in this chair with you,


and if I don't acknowledge those pieces, I don't have self awareness about that, then I call it the train wreck of the unconscious. It just continues to rise up when my daughter's words are my words and I'm like, Oh my gosh, right?

Or my son's words or my ex husband's words. And then I'm really like, what is that? Right? You have to revisit that and really acknowledge yes, this happened to me. Yes, I went through this. Yes, I felt this. I think a lot of people avoid that. And that doesn't do us any.

favors because we're literally wired in our experiences. And so we have to look at how are we wired and what are the things we don't want to take with us in the next season of our life or what are the things we really like or service well. And so I think self awareness is about getting curious [00:12:00] about your own journey and also acknowledging it, not denying it.

I didn't choose my childhood. I didn't choose my parents. I love my parents. I don't always love what they did.

And you have to have some reconciling about some of those things, I think.

Yeah, totally. And the piece I want to drill into real quick is that idea of the next season of my life. That starts today, right now. You don't have to wait for... Okay, when I finish this project, or finish this job you can make those changes today, and if you do it two days in a row, then that's who you are, right?

If you don't like how things went, change it today, change it tomorrow, and then you're already a different person.

I love that.

Yeah. That's really cool. Okay. Stacy, this was great. How can people connect more with you and learn more from

I have a website, www.go.org. Oh,


and website. Isn't that great? My email address is Stacy, S-T-A-C-Y, at go bu.org. Send me an email, go to my website, get on the contact [00:13:00] form.

I'm on Facebook. I do a little bit of Instagram. Twitter X. What is that? Yeah. Just send me an email. I'm old school. Yeah. So I have lots of places people can find me. I have an online course for educators and an online course for parents. Really just about supporting people.

Good. Awesome. Thanks so much for being part of Resilient Schools. This was great.

It was a great conversation.

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