The Steward Project
By Nicole Steward, MSW
The Steward ProjectSep 25, 2023
Episode 21: Students & The Pandemic
Hi friends! In this episode I'm expanding on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student well-being and academics. There is a lot of fear mongering about this topic, so I'm bringing some calm to the chaos. Le me know what you think!
Episode 20: Back After the Pandemic
Hi Friends! It's been a minute since I've dropped an episode of the podcast...and by a minute, I mean 3 years! As a solo social worker in a school district working through the pandemic, it's been a challenge to do anything extra. But now I'm back! Thank you to those of you who kept asking about the podcast and gently pushed me to get things moving again.
If you were an "essential worker" during the pandemic, I'd love to know how this episode resonates for you (and THANK YOU for your service). If you were a student during the pandemic, please share how the pandemic impacted you (and if I missed anything). Most of all, THANK YOU for being here and for how you show up in the world.
Episode 19: Global Pandemic as Opportunity
The truth is, we are experiencing a global TRAUMA. And many of us are experiencing the stages of grief and loss as we have lost our routines, our jobs, and for some of us, the loss of "busy-ness" may be creating a sort of identity crisis. For those of us who identified with our work as Helpers, Healers, and Changemakers...this transition is hard. We may even be having an existential crisis.
BUT...many of you have been pulling into your Radical Self-Care practice. This RSC practice has given us some level of resilience. And while we are experiencing a global trauma, we are also witnessing global RESILIENCE. Some of us are ready to focus on the future, considering the ways we want to change our systems, our patterns, and our personal habits. This pandemic is creating a beautiful opportunity for us to create new ways of being and doing and working!
My call to action: Join me on a ZOOM call Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 4pm PST/7pm EST. We will discuss how we want to shift how we show up in this new world we are about to create!
Episode 18: Radical Self-Care & Remembering
Radical Self-Care for Helpers, Healers & Change-makers includes the regular practice of REMEMBERING. As our work gets more challenging and our world gets more chaotic, it’s vital to pull back into our WHY. Work with other humans is messy...so why THIS work? Remembering who we are, at the core of our being, helps us gain an understanding of the ways we are drawn to the work of helping, healing & making change.
Once we remember who we are & why we do this work, we begin to understand how our passion is used (or abused) to keep us overworked & underpaid. We begin to unravel the root causes of our stress and overwhelm when we take time in the space of Remembering. Then we’re able to use the power of remembering our WHY & our PASSION so that we can reignite that fire to keep us sustained in this amazing work we love...the work of Helping, Healing & Making Change!
Episode 17: Guided Meditation-Expanding Our Container
In this episode of The Steward Project podcast, I'm offering something a little different.
This episode, I'm offering a guided meditation to help us expand our containers in order to thrive in a challenging world as we do radical work. When I was in Mexico for my yoga retreat, I made sure to sneak down to the beach and record this guided meditation for you!
This is one of my personal Radical Self-Care practices...whenever I'm in nature (whether it's the ocean, a lake, the redwoods, or a warm summer night with crickets singing), I record a minute or two of the sounds. Then I listen to the sounds again in a moment when I need a break. I highly recommend this practice. Another way to ground ourselves in the midst of chaos.
After you listen to this 11 minute guided meditation, I'd love to know how it was for you! Leave me a comment or come to the blog to share your experience!
For more information, visit https://www.radical-tendencies.com/blog.
Episode 16: Radical Self-Care Reality Check
In this episode of The Steward Project podcast, I'm sharing what I call the Radical Self-Care Reality Check.
Rates of burn-out, chronic illness, and death by suicide are on the rise among Helpers, Healers, and Change-makers. This has long-term impacts on us as human beings but also impacts the outcomes we are trying to achieve for those we serve and for the world on a larger scale. We must do something to stem this tide and turn it around.
A Radical Self-Care practice is necessary for Helpers, Healers, and Change-makers. For many of us, the issues/work/professions we are drawn to and become passionate about are deeply personal to us and may speak to a deep wounding we experienced in the past. This can be a strength and a challenge. When the work we do in the world requires us to be emotionally engaged with an issue or with individuals, our own wounds can be triggered. This triggering causes a stress response that can get out of control, causing us to burn-out, get sick, and sometimes can even lead to death either of chronic illness or by suicide.
In this episode, I share the data on what's happening now in the world of Helpers, Healers, and Change-makers and what we can do to change this. When we are doing radical work in the world, we must meet that with Radical Self-Care to keep us sustained and thriving in our work.
For more information, visit https://www.radical-tendencies.com/blog.
Episode 15: Cultivating Compassion as an act of Radical Self-Care
In this episode of The Steward Project podcast, we're exploring the cultivation of compassion as an act of Radical self-care.
Compassion is the foundation of a Radical Self-Care practice. Without self-compassion, we may not believe that we need or are worthy of the same care we give to others. We may feel that self-care is selfish or a luxury. But what we are seeing now is an epidemic of compassion fatigue and burn-out of helpers, healers and change-makers. If we want to mitigate burn-out, we must cultivate a practice of self-compassion.
Compassion means "to have concern for the suffering of others". The root words are COM (with) and PASSION (suffering) and the Latin origin word "compati" means "to suffer with". In order to sit with the suffering of others, we must have compassion for them...and in order to sit with the suffering of others without becoming overwhelmed by them, we MUST have self-compassion. Self-compassion allows us to see life from a different perspective, to commit to deep, courageous self-care practices, to prioritize rest and time off, and allows us the space (time & energy) to be with others' suffering while also tending to our own.
Toward the goal of Cultivating Compassion, I'd also like to invite you to a yoga & sound healing retreat April 15-19, 2019 in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. We will be cultivating compassion through a daily practices of yoga, meditation, sound healing and restorative yoga. For more information, visit https://www.radical-tendencies.com/retreat.
Episode 14: The Truth About Burn-Out
In this episode of The Steward Project Podcast, I'm getting real about burn-out. It's a topic that is coming up a lot and there is growing awareness of what burn-out is and how it impacts us. However, there is a special flavor of burn-out experienced by those of us in the Helping, Healing, or Change-making fields.
Join me for this in-depth discussion on the classic signs/symptoms of burn-out, how burn-out impacts us, our work and the outcomes we hope to achieve, and what we can do about it.
What are your thoughts on burn-out? Have you experienced on yet? What has it taught you and what changes did you make? What's your self-care go-to?
Let me know by posting a comment on my blog: https://www.radical-tendencies.com/my-thoughts
Episode 13: Love, Light and Good Vibes Only
In this episode of The Steward Project, I want to talk about Love & Light and Good Vibes Only.
Now, you know I'm a big believer in Love & Light. And in Good Vibes. Absolutely. But there's this way of using these things to cover up sadness, anger, frustration, or hopelessness. It's used to silence the pain of others, to invalidate the uncomfortable experiences of others (like illness or trauma). We use it to push away the reality of our bad habits. We use it to numb ourselves out from discomfort. We use it to dissociate from the reality of the world.
Our challenge is to experience ALL the "vibes", all the emotions, and learn how to navigate them while moving towards Love & Light. And to understand that when we allow ourselves to experience the full range of emotions, life is sweeter and we can really pull into the Love & Light in an authentic way.
What has been your experience with Love, Light and Good Vibes Only? Let me know by posting a comment on my blog: https://www.radical-tendencies.com/my-thoughts
Episode 12: On Healing and Healers
In this episode of The Steward Project, let's talk about Healing and Healers.
Let me start by saying I believe in healing and I believe there are Healers in the world. The healing process requires reverence and space to truly work...but what happens when everyone is promising to "heal" us with a 60 minute yoga class or a sound healing or a reiki session? What about people who claim to be Healers?
Don't get me wrong. These practices (yoga, meditation, sound healing, reiki, etc) are very real and can help us along in our healing process. These practices can help open us up to new possibilities and allow us to make big changes toward healing. And there are real, indigenous Healers in the world. But if someone is telling you they have THE thing that is going to heal you or that they are a Healer...run the other way!
A few things I highlight in this episode are simple reminders about healing and healers:
- Healing from trauma is possible and takes time. It requires safe spaces to experience what can be a messy process.
- The goal of a healing journey is to untangle what about how we behave today is a response to the trauma we experienced and seek ways to unpack that response and figure out how it's impacted our lives.
- We are able to harm each other through our interactions (most trauma happens in interpersonal relationships) AND we are able to HEAL each other through those same interactions (safe, healthy relationships flood our systems with oxytocin, the bonding chemical).
- "We can damage each other's health by repeatedly activating the stress response, but we also have the power to heal ourselves and others biologically..." Dr. Burke Harris.
- Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation, Sound Healing, Reiki, etc. are deep, courageous self-care practices that can be part of our healing by allowing us to open & investigate what healing might look like for us.
- Healing includes investigating what we are carrying that may not be ours to carry...(See Podcast Episode 6: Caring vs. Carrying)
What has been your experience with healing, with healers, or with these practices? What has worked for you? What hasn't worked for you? What does healing mean to you and what does it look like?
After you listen, jump on my blog at www.radical-tendencies.com/my-thoughts for links & show notes!
Episode 10: Permission to Slow Down
Episode 9: Spiritual Bypass & Bullsh*t Manifesting
Episode 8: Back to School for Homeless Youth-How you can help!
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the federal law that guides how schools identify, enroll, and support homeless students in public schools. While this is a time of excitement and new changes, for our homeless students, back to school time is one of anxiety and hardship.
In this episode l share information about the McKinney-Vento Act, how it defines "homelessness", what supports it offers, and how YOU can help homeless youth in the schools near you.
After you listen, jump on my blog at www.radical-tendencies.com for additional show notes and links and let me know what you think!