Speaker, author, shame buster, hip hop mama. Owner and Artistic Director of @movementwithamessage @villagemwm @nationalhopetalks
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15 years ago today I lost my dad suddenly to cancer. I’ll never forget getting the call 15 minutes before I had to teach a dance class.
Hardest dance class I ever taught.
It never gets easier losing a parent, especially when they were too young. He would love loved our boys.
But I am thankful for the time we had. My perseverance to overcome is a gift from him that remains because he never let me give up
We are told to put ourselves first in relationships, but after almost 20 years of a marriage that's been hard I find THIS to be more true. I stayed in a marriage when it was hard. Self care was keeping my boundaries, finding my identity in God, and choosing to learn what love looks like:
Love is patient with others when you feel they deserve less.
Love is kind when you are right, but you choose kindness anyways.
Love does not envy when others succeed.
Love does not boast when feelings of entitlement, enlightenment and arrival superimpose.
It is not proud. It realizes you’ve come a long way baby, but it’s still a ways to go.
It is not self seeking, but looks to the needs of others.
It is not easily angered. It acknowledges feelings, but practices a lot of empathy.
It keeps no records of wrongs. NO records. Read that again.
It does not delight when bad things happen to someone they don’t like.
Love is happy when truth prevails, yet it always protects and covers others, knowing that no one wakes up in the morning wanting to be a jerk. It always chooses to trust and hope.
It keeps going no matter what.
I'm SO glad I did, because love is sweet if you hang in there and there is HOPE for relationships to LAST. *please note, I am NOT saying if you are being abused in a relationship to stay. That is NOT LOVE.
#love #marriage #relationships
Don’t ever think, “I’m just a mom.” When you keep the connection with your kids strong you can say:
I’m a mom preventing homelessness
I’m a mom creating a culture of empathy that can end bullying, self harm and suicide
I’m a mom and I’m creating a strong generation that will have healthy attachments rather than addictions
I’m a mom and I’m making a way for confident, innovative leaders to rise up.
You are not “just a mom”. You are playing a HUGE role in social change that is needed. We need you mom. Stay strong. And keep connection with your children always at the centre.
... photo CLEARLY not taken today ⛈⛄️
#notjustamom #momsrule #raisinggiants
When your hubby writes you a letter telling you all the wonderful things he sees in you.
Some wonder where my courage comes from.
Right here, people, right here
22 years ago this guy asked me on a date the day after Valentines ❤️
With this boss babe tonight at @knowtribe
What a beautiful tribe of women entrepreneurs coming together to support one another. When women come together, the world changes.
I am so thankful for this beautiful business partner of mine @vavooooom
Honestly, I wouldn’t want to ever do business without her 🙏🏻
#knowtribe #knowtribeyyc #bossbabesunite #womenentrepreneurs
Connection is the one thing everyone is yearning for but few know how to create. If you don’t make connection a priority, depression and anxiety will be sure to take its place.
HOW do you create connection? I’ve laid it out simple in this week’s blog. Blog post in bio.
And a big shout out to this amazing guy @dwight_farahat creating deep connections among youth with @antyxarts 👍🏻
📷 Char G Photography
#connection #belonging #community #mentalheath #depression #anxiety
Just my lil guy and his new Atari.
What can we say? He’s a retro kid determined to master Frogger
Got to speak at @ccssecondary today following up our Let’s Talk Hope Conference with the P of our HOPE plan.
Students and people everywhere are saying the same thing. They don’t want to feel judged. They want to belong and be understood.
Do we know how to create a culture of belonging? What happens to mental illness when people feel supported, understood, and not judged?
Mental illness doesn’t rule in a space like that.
Check out my story to find out what the students said could solve mental health issues.
Bring our HOPE MOVEMENT to your school! @nationalhopetalks .
#hopemovement #hopetheplan #mentalhealth #belonging #connection #school #assembly #youth #teachersofinstagram
I found all my old elementary report cards. I didn’t realize even as early as grade 1 I was behind in reading, math, comprehension and basic tasks. In school I was a compliant student, but not “smart” in an academic sense. This was always the case from elementary, to high school, to college.
As my kids laughed at my marks and teachers comments in the report cards, I was able to encourage them that even though we may have challenges, it doesn’t ever stop us from living the purpose we were born for.
I may not have measured up academically and still struggle with my ADHD but I have owned 2 companies, have overseen 2 non profits, authored 2 books, produced 6 theatre productions, led numerous teams, and have spoken to audiences all over for the past 20 years.
Don’t let anything ever tell you that you are limited.
📷 Char G Photography .
#nevergiveup #labels #riseabove #adhd
There is Hope.
You have a Future.
I see you.
I believe in you.
Youth need to hear this more than ever from adults.
They need to know we haven’t left them alone to figure out the issues of today by themselves.
Like this youth here @run.cookie.run who is an outstanding creative soul. He is going places in life! Never EVER give up!
#youtharethefuture #thereishope #nevergiveup
When I asked a grade 9 class to tell me what they are noticing around mental health, one of the students said this, “There’s not one day that goes by at school where I don’t hear someone say they want to die.”
Everyone nodded their heads.
Another student added, “Everyone is always just... sad.”
My own son has said to me numerous times, “I don’t see a lot of hope for the future.” Youth need to be told there IS Hope. More than ever youth need to be reconnected back to hope for their present and future.
I’m joining the movement of hope for the long haul. I’m drawing a line in the sand and fighting for our youth.
The Hope Movement is about listening to people’s stories, reconnecting, and creating a new future in schools, workplaces, and homes.
You can join too by emailing [email protected] and saying I’m in!
Enough is enough. It’s time
#bellletstalk #hopetheplan #hopemovement #mentalhealth #suicideprevention
Today after our Bell Let’s Talk HOPE conference I walked through the doors of my house, embraced my family and just wept. I was so overwhelmed with all that transpired today. People came together and connected despite age, education, experience. They talked. They shared their stories, they listened and they dreamed solutions.
What came up over and over was CONNECTION. We need to connect more. We need to come out of our silos and see others and be reminded we never fight mental illness alone.
Belonging is powerful.
I heard over again from a sold out conference from people how much they craved this kind of interaction and how transformative it was.
My heart is so moved with emotion to be in this for the long haul.
We are building a HOPE MOVEMENT because when we come together, there’s nothing that can stop us! The greatest problems are solved in community, not alone.
I am so proud of this @nationalhopetalks team who are taking this from coast to coast.
Thank you so much also to Cheryl Guyong who held this whole conference down! And also to @canvasisme @wymbin @limbusmovement @shelby.leiding @rebeccadawnhiphop @trooknot @dwight_farahat @mlouiseg88 @campchestermere @bb4ck @aafscalgary @zhethefree for all you shared with us.
To @decidedlyjazz for an amazing space.
And to all the volunteers who made it all happen.
📷 Charlene Grant Woodman
To join our Hope Movement message me.
#bellletstalk #hopetheplan #hopemovement #connection #belonging #together
I had my last day teaching at my son’s school today. I will miss lunch at Starbucks with him and his friends asking us for a ride back to school lol
“What are YOU noticing about mental health from your context?” This is the question we asked all registrants for the conference tomorrow on Bell Let’s Talk Day.
One said this, “Struggling to figure an answer to this. As a mom and educator there are too many young people dying because of lack of supports and lack of understanding. I spent yesterday in emergency with yet another student who attempted suicide. Two funerals in 8 months and so so so many visits to the hospital for my daughter, her best friend, my friends daughter.” THIS is why we MUST talk. All other responses are on our blog. Read through and see what people are saying. Blog link in bio.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Be a part of our conversation what YOU are noticing about mental health from your context.
We MUST talk. We must talk HOPE and a PLAN. .
#bellletstalk #hopetheplan #hopemovement
May have had a little fun with the hair today.
Social anxiety was everywhere this week so I taught the youth that dance is connection:
It is a means of connecting with other humans on a level deeper than words.
It’s where we attune to one another, mirror one another, and find understanding of others.
I’ve noticed a switch in youth in the last few years regarding connection. They don’t seem to know how to connect with others. They show up to school with their armor on, scared to trust. They bury themselves under a label of social anxiety.
This week students discovered that joy, laughter, fun and creativity happen when we let our armor down to connect. It was beautiful to see students get it! Social anxiety had no place, the students created an environment where everyone felt safe and belonged.
Connection is needed more than ever for our youth. We must teach and model for them what that looks like. .
#connection #attunment #youth #dance #school
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