Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

Values? What Are Mine Really??

Happiness521While perusing the social media sites yesterday, I came upon @Soulseeds’ words of wisdom: Focus on what you can do now, be, see, do, and live your highest values.  These thought provoking words and wake up call are surely “loaded” with layers. What do you value? What are your highest values? What do you cherish and hold priceless in your life?  Are you living them? Have you prioritized them?

Is self-care on your list? To take care of yourself in a nurturing way focuses on the connection of your mind, body and spirit for needed balance in your life. It can involve taking time to reflect on your busy day, redecorating a room, practicing yoga, training for a marathon, or reading a great novel. In essence, all acts of self kindness have a single thread in common: they’re for you, and for you alone, for your health, well-being, and enjoyment.

During times of great stres, the activities that bring you fulfillment keep you from unnecessary negativity.To put it simply, when you engage in activities that are liberating and enjoyable – going for a run, laughing with friends, having a drink with a co-worker, or listening to your favorite music – they not only help you to feel better but make you feel more alive.

Think of things that just simply would lessen your load: sipping a hot cup of coffee with your boss or co-worker, enjoying a glass of wine in the evening with your partner, receiving and giving love, or working out. When you work smarter rather than harder, good things come to you in sometimes unimaginable ways. Give a gift to yourself of something that gives both stress release and some great motivation when your schedule gets overly demanding. In a nutshell: Take care of yourself! Remember: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” so says the plaque hanging on the wall in my kitchen!



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Your Best Life Now

Change Your Life I came accross a tweet alerting me to a great blog post from 30 Positive Things You Can Do to Change Your Life Kudos to the author, Lindsay Davis! While I agree with the inspiration and worth of the 30 things listed, my take and experience on how to change your life for the better is much shorter, extremely reflective and necessary to jump start the whole process of enjoying your best life now.

If you’re lonely, you’re stuck in a toxic relationship, you’re full of resentment and hate for the people who have hurt you, you’re cheating on your partner or vice versa, you’re selling your soul at work, or you feel spiritually bankrupt, no amount of alcohol, food, gym visits, 12-step programs, or vitamins and herbal supplements will help you turn your life around. What you really need is radical self-care! Radical self-care involves things like setting boundaries, living in alignment with your truth, surrounding yourself with love and a sense of connection, and spending time doing what you love.

Answer these questions truthfully, monitor and adjust your current situation, and then write your own RX to change your life for the better. You know beter than anyone what you personally need to have your best life now.

*What  things can I incorporate into my schedule in order to take care of myself?

*What are the ways I seek support of others to lessen the stressors in my life?

*These are the ways I slow down and relax and reduce the stressors in my life?

*What is my passion that I would like to spend more time on?

*What am I thankful for?

*What will I gain from claiming my innate power?

*What is my action plan to change my life for the better?

*What are my long term goals? What are my short tern goals?

If you’re interested in learning more to attain your BEST life now, you’ll find more help and support in my book: Life Lessons For Educators: Your Best Life Now.  Don’t be “thrown off” by the title. We are all educators no matter what our job title or  lot in life. This book provides a timely master plan to lead you through today’s difficult times. It charts out a journey that doesn’t cost you any money, and will provide you with a priceless opportunity to live a happy life even in stressful times. Many blessings to you!


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ASK Dr. Smialek

Q: I’m a divorced father and my kids don’t live with me. How can I stay involved in their home and school life?

A: Be creative! Look for ways to let your kids know that you care about what’s going on in their lives. Email or texting is a great way of staying in touch and getting updates. You can discuss  what’s happening in their lives, what their plans are, and some of the things they are concerned about. Whenever possible attend their school  functions. Kids espeially like it when their dads volunteer in their classroom or school. Always remember you can make a real difference in your children’s lives!


Q: My daughter doesn’t take rules seriously. What can I do?

A. Putting rules in writing and their consequences if they are disobeyed is a powerful strategy for your child to be mindful of appropriate behavior. Be brief and positive as you author a contract. Example: “Do not disturb Mom when she is on the phone. If you do, computer time will be shortened.” Then sign it, along with your daughter. Post it in a place where it can be easily seen and refered to often. It works!


Q: When my son makes a mistake, I am often tempted to respond negatively with criticism. What is a good response in this type of situation?

A: A great response when you son makes a mistake is one that focuses on solutions. Example: “You forgot to bring your science book home again. Before you leave school, please check your backpack for it tomorrow. We still have some time to finish your science project.” This is a more positive comment rather than, “I can’t beleive you forgot your science book again!”


ASK Dr. Smialek if you would like an answer to a question concerning your child’s success at home or school.

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