We each face our own unique challenges, and we all have stories that define who we are. We each also possess individual power that we can use to face those daily challenges and shape our futures. In this podcast episode, we are joined by Jasmine Brett Stringer, an uplifting keynote speaker and award-winning author of “Seize Your Life: How to Carpe Diem Every Day.” Jasmine explains that part of her mission is “to help people reclaim their power, own their power, live in their power, stand in their power because we are all born powerful.” She helps us unpack the idea of seizing life and achieving personal success by taking control of the power we each possess.
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
Norman Vincent Peale, author
The following resources are available on AVID Open Access to explore related topics in more depth:
- Create Community and Nurture Connections to Support Social and Emotional Learning (article collection)
- Deepen Connections to Accelerate Learning (article collection)
- Honor Students and Celebrate Academic Milestones (article collection)
- Best Practices for Teaching to and with Each Student’s Identity: The How of Culturally Responsive Teaching with Dr. Geneva Gay (podcast episode)
- The Importance of Teaching to and with Each Student’s Identity: The What and Why of Culturally Responsive Teaching with Dr. Geneva Gay (podcast episode)
- Remembering Your Why (podcast episode)
- Are You Okay? Building Resilience and Making Time to Care for Yourself (podcast episode)
Own Your Power
Throughout our lives, we may face external forces that condition us to feel a certain way or see ourselves in a particular light. These forces can lead to a loss of personal power and a lack of authentic identity. Throughout our conversation, Jasmine shares insights and strategies for reclaiming the power we are all born with. This process begins with getting to know yourself and then working to become the “youest you” possible through goal setting, mindfulness, and personal growth. Here are a few highlights from the episode.
- Living Authentic and Empowered Lives: Jasmine explains that she doesn’t give power to anyone because it’s something they already possess. Instead, she says, “I like to help people reclaim their power, own their power, live in their power, stand in their power because we are all born powerful.” Part of this process is discovering the “youest you.”
- Vision and Goals: “I believe that everything that we do begins and ends with the vision that we hold for our lives,” says Jasmine, “and goals are those steps that we take to achieve that vision.” These goals give action to achieving our mission and help us to move forward and grow.
- A Personal Vision: A key step in this journey is discovering our true selves. We need to cut through the conditioning we experience in our environments and identify who we really are without these influences. What allows us to thrive? What brings us joy? While the answers to these questions may change over time, the journey to finding those answers is essential. To make this journey successful, we need to be willing to “try things on,” explore, and dabble. As Jasmine says, “The beautiful thing about life is that we are always evolving.”
- Carpe Diem: These Latin words translate to “seize the day,” and Jasmine uses this phrase as a central theme in her work. She explains how the death of a high school athlete made her realize how fast life can change for better, worse, or otherwise. Because of this, we need to “get about the business of accomplishing” our goals. She says that carpe diem is about “How do we show up in our everyday life?” How do we make the moments, minutes, and hours add up to the day we’re living count?
- Carpe Diem in the Classroom: The pandemic has been a case study in how life can change in the blink of an eye, and we each experience these changes in unique ways. When this type of change impacts our lives, as it has for educators and schools, we need to ask ourselves how we will show up in the world, in our classrooms, and with our families. To show up as our best selves, we must practice self-care and ask ourselves what we need to do to fill our cups. Jasmine explains this mindset, saying, “I know that my students are dealing with a lot, and so I need to come to the classroom with empathy every single day, but in order for me to come and offer that empathy, I need to make sure that my cup is filled, so I’m going to fill my cup.”
- Share the Mic Minnesota Project: Jasmine has initiated a project to help address inequality and systemic failures to make Minnesota a more inclusive and equitable state. She has paired with various groups, ranging from the state department of natural resources to a women’s foundation and schools, to help people share their stories. Through these stories, others can see how diverse people are connecting with each other and with opportunities throughout the state.
- The Power of Stories: Jasmine encourages educators to connect on a human level and to see the humanity in their students and each other. As she says, “We’re all dealing with a lot of stuff,” so it’s important to move forward with “empathy and grace and connect at the human level.” Throughout this journey, we need to share our stories. She explains, “Our stories are so important, and that’s really how we build true connection and it’s how we see the humanity in one another.”
If you are listening to the podcast with your teaching team or would like to explore this topic more deeply, here are guiding questions to prompt your reflection:
- What external conditioning influences do you encounter that impact your view of yourself?
- In the quest to discover the “youest you,” how would you describe or define yourself?
- What is your personal vision, and what goals can you set that might lead you toward achieving that vision?
- In the spirit of carpe diem, how would you like to show up each day for your students, your family and friends, your colleagues, and yourself?
- In what ways can you practice self-care to fill your cup so you are equipped to fill the cups of your students or others you serve?
- What is a personal story that you might share so that others can better know who you are?
Extend Your Learning
- Carpe Diem with Jasmine (Jasmine Brett Stringer’s official website)
- Share the Mic MN (official website)
- Goal Setting: A Scientific Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals (James Clear)
- Goal Setting (Eastern Washington University)