My all time favorite holiday story is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The best rendition is the 1965 stop motion animated TV special. It is still going strong and shows us what we need to know to be psychologically flexible.
Rudolph of course is the young reindeer with the shiny nose. He wants to be like the other reindeer but his shiny red nose appears to be getting in the way of things. So what happens? His parents try to cover it up so he can fit in . It doesn’t work and the herd is not kind. Even Santa does not want to stamp his ticket.
It doesn’t get much worse than being rejected by the herd, Rudolph sets off on a journey. He is joined by Hermey, an aspiring dentist trapped in an elf’s body. They form a shared purpose and Hermey declares , “Let’s be independent together!”. They are two outliers out on an adventure, both realizing they want to be who they are. They go on a hero’s quest, meet up with prospector Yukon...
This guide has been over 10 years in the making and was developed from the daily interactions of teachers and learners. It allows you to dive into social-emotional learning with no additional training or expertise. That is because it quickly establishes an engaging point-of-view with a simple diagram and a few respectful questions. It is for the busy professional, youth worker, assistant, or other specialist working to make a difference.
The ACT Matrix Guide transforms social-emotional learning by building self-awareness, self-regulation, and prosocial behavior in real-time with no need for downloads or manuals. It is meant to be used alongside whatever you do that works. With a little practice, you will help others move toward shared purposes, valued actions, and common goals. You will reduce your stress and spend more time influencing and less time managing.
It is available through National Professional Resources, a leader in resources for busy professionals. ...
This is a special webinar where I model how to use the ACT Matrix with students, staff, and others in our current and future challenges. You will learn how to add psychological flexibility and resilience to the toolkit of those you serve. Psychological flexibility is the cornerstone of mental health and social-emotional learning.
The ACT Matrix is a simple way of visualizing the cognitive-behavioral approach to values-based behaviors known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Training ( ACT). Dr. Kevin Polk developed the matrix as a way of quickly engaging people in a collaborative learning process. We need psychological flexibility now more than ever!
At the time of this post, we are at the beginning of the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses and schools have shuttered, and we are social distancing to give medical experts and scientists the time they need to help us weather this unprecedented time.
Educators and helpers are busy learning and ramping up how to serve students and others online. We are all looking for what works to engage all learners and help them negotiate this new and mostly uncharted territory.
This video shows you my process for using the ACT Matrix to engage others online. The way you join is not to tell them but to show them the point of view so they experience the process of psychological flexibility and creativity.
If you want to engage learners both online and in-person and create powerful social-emotional learning experiences, the ACT Matrix is a game-changer. I have a free email training that can be accessed on the Evolving Solutions homepage. Dr. Kevin Polk and I also...
I have partnered with National Professional Resources to create the first ACT Matrix Guide for use in education, buisness and other organizations.
NPR is a leader in professional development resources and guides for educators. “The ACT Matrix: A Mindful Process for SEL, Mental Health, Collaboration, and Achievement,” is a laminated guide for use for and with learners of all ages and will be available in late February of 2020. It is also an excellent teaching and training tool to use with those you serve.
NPR is offering a pre-order discount before the guide is available. Just click HERE
It is the time of year when we are bombarded with messages about goal setting and resolutions. It is built into us that when the calendar hits January our thoughts and conversations turn to “what I want to accomplish”.
Resistance, like the Borg, says in Star Trek, is futile. The message relentlessly seeps in. Even if I don’t want to do any goal setting, my mind begins to conjure up destinations and images of a more fit body, a better-organized workspace, eating all of those good organic healthy foods. Like a summer cold, it is like a virus that shows up inside of me.
A quick search of the top 10 resolutions for the new year reveals the following:
They also happen to be the top 10 resolutions that we fail to keep each year.
Most resolutions dissolve into...
Last week my family and I went to see the new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. It is a tale based on true life events of how a cynical journalist develops a friendship with children’s television icon Fred Rogers. If you check it out bring tissues :)
Mr. Rogers was a beloved TV personality who invited his young viewers into his “neighborhood” for 895 episodes to talk about what goes on inside of us. He trusted that when children felt invested in by adults they could learn the lessons they needed and apply them in their lives.
The genius of Fred Rogers is that he met his young viewers right where they were. He had three simple rules:
1. Be Kind
2. Be Kind
3. Be Kind
He used his show to convey that they were worthwhile, special and could share whatever they were going through. When he told them all feelings were mentionable and manageable, he was handing them the keys to their own social and emotional learning.
Now, this can be a...
Much is made in educational circles these days about social-emotional learning and intelligence (SEL). Schools everywhere are scrambling to address the social and emotional needs of youth, developing and implementing curriculums, and creating policies. The workplace is also getting on board as more and more businesses are realizing that the key to a successfully run organization is having employees who can solve problems independently and possess solid interpersonal skills.
I think schools, however, get a bad rap. Increasingly, they are asked to do more with less. Everyone wants our students to achieve their full potential. Educators are faced with the awesome and daunting task of providing learners with the skills for success. There is a lot of emphasis on what we need to teach but very little on how to do it. How do you engage, inspire and lead students through the maze of stuff that is thrown at them and help them make sense of it? How do you help them retain what is...
October 10 is World Mental Health Day. According to the World Federation for Mental Health, it is a day to “celebrate awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping those feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change.”
My contribution to the cause is to use and show people the ACT Matrix so they can promote their own mental health and show it to others.
To do that, you can do the mental health loop.
Draw this diagram, otherwise known as the ACT Matrix.
Ask yourself, “Who is important to me?” Recall your important people and jot them down in the lower right. Next ask, “What kinds of yucky stuff (like fear and anger) shows up inside of me and gets in the way of what I want to be doing?”. Jot that down in the lower left. Now ask yourself, “well, what do I do to get away from that yucky stuff...
Flow happens when we are fully invested in-the-moment. We could be playing a sport, dancing, writing, teaching or creating a work of art. Flow also happens when we are feeling in the zone in our daily lives. The trick is how to get into a state of flow and how to return to it when the going gets tough.
In this webinar, I present how to use the ACT Matrix to set yourself up for flow states. Check it out and learn how to get your flow going!