A Season of Change: Summer

As of last week, we here in the western hemisphere, have entered one of my favorite seasons: Summer. This is a time of sunshine, beach trips, pool parties and making traditions. Summer is a time of growth. The ground is fertile, new growth is popping up, and we stockpile all the things needed for the coming winter. It’s a time of preparation. We have an opportunity to prepare ourselves, as well, in this season.

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Strategic Planning: Wrapping Up and Realizing Our Dreams

From last November through May, Be Strong Families completed the second phase of our strategic planning process based in appreciative inquiry, focused on the Dream. In this phase, we build on the Discovery phase, and use those strengths to form the positive core that launches us into our preferred future. Beginning on November 13, 2018, staff, board members, parent leaders, and partners convened in Pasadena to kick off the process.

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COMING TOGETHER TO NAVIGATE THE LARGER WORLD OF PARENTING

At precisely 2:30 p.m. on Sunday May 19th, I took my seat along side my family at The Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri and eagerly waited for the graduation ceremony to begin.  As the college graduates began to fill the arena, one by one, I caught a glimpse of my son in his cap and gown and my heart swelled with pride and joy.  But when the moment came for him to march across the stage and receive his diploma, pride and joy took a back seat; almost instantly I exhaled a sigh of relief.

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Beauty: An Essential Ingredient for Well-being

Be Strong Families staff has been on a 6-month long self-care journey sharing our reflections, and commitments related to improving our personal vitality. Our Journey to Vitality work-site wellness program, which addresses 7 domains of vitality (Physical, Spiritual, Environmental, Financial, Emotional/Mental and Social), has been a great way to get to know and support one another and to practice a wide-range of self-care habits to boost our overall well-being.

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Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Parent Cafés in California

As the creators of the Parent Cafés, Be Strong Families is excited to announce that the California Department of Education recently added “expanding parental knowledge of child development through Parent Cafés” as one of the top strategies under their nearly $11 million federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B—5), previously announced on January 16, 2019. This announcement follows the inauguration of Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as California’s first Surgeon General. We are longtime admirers of Dr. Burke Harris’s work, including her 2015 TED Talk, “How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime.”

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Safety and Belonging: The Foundation for Healing in Parent Cafés

Human transformation can begin with the simple and powerful act of creating space to listen to a person’s unique and special story of their journey. I recently had the honor of facilitating one of several Parent Cafés with the theme “Trusting Relationships”. We began our Café by grounding, feeling the pressure of where we were all sitting. We felt gravity and a connection to the earth and to the room we were in. I expressed that we are all right here and safe. If parents had trouble closing their eyes, I asked them to see what was in the room or outside the window, the way the shadows hit the walls and floor or the colors of the grains of the wood floor.

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Reflexionando sobre los Días Festivos del 5 de Mayo al Día de las Madres

“¡FELIZ 5 DE MAYO!” me dijo una persona afroamericana en 1998 cuando yo recién había inmigrado del estado de Michoacán, México.  Yo amablemente conteste “Gracias” sin saber realmente por qué celebramos el 5 de mayo ya que en Michoacán, este no es un día de celebración. Me di cuenta de que, por mi origen mexicano, yo daba la impresión de que yo celebraba este día. Otra persona me dijo que comería comida mexicana este día para celebrar el día de la independencia de México. Yo estaba muy confundida con el malentendido del porque la gente americana celebraba este día.

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Let's Get PHYSICAL

What does it mean to be on a journey to physical vitality? Physical Vitality is the health and well-being of your body. It’s the Vitality Domain that focuses on how you want your body to look and feel. It also addresses your attitudes and habits regarding nutrition, exercise, sleep and mindfulness. What really motivates us to take care of our bodies physically? What tips or tools assist us with staying fit? And, as I’ve been thinking about lately, how have our bodies changed over time?

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