Take Notes with Jen Rafferty

How to lead by example and inspire future generations through personal empowerment

March 28, 2024 Jen Rafferty Season 3 Episode 23
How to lead by example and inspire future generations through personal empowerment
Take Notes with Jen Rafferty
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Take Notes with Jen Rafferty
How to lead by example and inspire future generations through personal empowerment
Mar 28, 2024 Season 3 Episode 23
Jen Rafferty

Have you ever wondered who you are when no one's watching, or who you could be if you never doubted yourself for even a second?


In today's episode, I’m shedding light on how to overcome obstacles that might seem too big to handle and how small, daily choices lead us toward a fulfilling life.


I’m diving deep into the topics of personal growth, overcoming self-doubt, and how believing in yourself can truly change everything.


For all my educator friends out there, we're also talking about the importance of self-care and how it isn't just good for you but it sets a powerful example for the next generation. It's about making a change, not just in our classrooms but in our lives, showing our kids how to live fully and face challenges head-on.


Tune in to discover how you can start your journey of self-improvement and become an empowered educator, making a real difference in your life and the lives of those you teach. 



Stay empowered,
Jen

Let’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:
Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | Linktree
Instagram: @jenrafferty_
Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty Room

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered who you are when no one's watching, or who you could be if you never doubted yourself for even a second?


In today's episode, I’m shedding light on how to overcome obstacles that might seem too big to handle and how small, daily choices lead us toward a fulfilling life.


I’m diving deep into the topics of personal growth, overcoming self-doubt, and how believing in yourself can truly change everything.


For all my educator friends out there, we're also talking about the importance of self-care and how it isn't just good for you but it sets a powerful example for the next generation. It's about making a change, not just in our classrooms but in our lives, showing our kids how to live fully and face challenges head-on.


Tune in to discover how you can start your journey of self-improvement and become an empowered educator, making a real difference in your life and the lives of those you teach. 



Stay empowered,
Jen

Let’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:
Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | Linktree
Instagram: @jenrafferty_
Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty Room

Are you caught in the whirlwind of overwhelming responsibilities, and as the very thought of Monday morning sent chills down your spine? Well, it's time to toss those feelings out the window. Welcome to Season 3 of the Take Notes podcast, where you get to make yourself a priority in order to show up as your best self. I'm your host Jen Rafferty, former music teacher, emotional intelligence practitioner, mom of two, and founder of Empowered Educator, and I've been where you are. In this season, we're not just talking about surviving, we are diving deep into thriving. Are you ready to take the lead in your life? Well, let's do this. 

Hello, and welcome back to Take Notes. I, of course, am your host Jen Rafferty, and today's episode is going to be a little bit different today, because there is no guest today, you've got me for the entire episode. And part of the reason why I wanted to do this is because today's episode marks the 90th episode of Take Notes. And when I realized that this is what today's episode was going to be this 90th episode. That number got me in a way that I wasn't expecting. You know, I first started this podcast during COVID. Because I had been sitting on this idea forever. And I always felt as if I never had the time, or who was I to start a podcast. What kinds of equipment would I need, and that there were all of these barriers that I had put in front of myself, that were completely of my own imagination. 

And it was real, then. The imagined obstacles became the excuse as to why I couldn't start a project like this. Until one day, I got sick of my own excuses. And in some ways, some of those perceived obstacles seem to dissipate, just by nature of being home. And during COVID, I seem to have the time that I thought that I was missing. I seem to all of a sudden have all the sound equipment that I had to figure out anyway. And I didn't have any more excuses. So I remember, I'm gonna just do the thing. And I did. And it started actually as a music education podcast because I was still teaching music at that time. 

And I really wanted to expand the ideas of what music education could be, and creating a more progressive landscape of what was possible, tying the connections, or making the connections between social sciences and neuroscience and all the things that I was really excited about my nerdy self with music education, and I had some really awesome guests on there, that's season one, actually, you could still go back and listen to season one, if that's interesting to you. And then along the way Empowered Educator was born and the direction of the podcast didn't seem to be aligned anymore. So I took a little break, and I regrouped. And I realized that Take Notes can now be a beautiful way to align with what we were doing with Empowered Educators. 

So in that pivot, we created this platform where we've had some incredible conversations here and really elevated the dialogue about what it means to be empowered about what it means to be an educator now, and what we need for ourselves to sustain in this career. So these 90 episodes, looking back has been such a beautiful journey, not just of one of growth in this particular arena, but personal growth. And that's really what I want to talk and share about because the work that I teach through Empowered Educators, everything that I practice myself. 

And I will never share something or give an exercise or a strategy that I have not tried myself in some way and I share this story with you because I don't know that everyone always sees the mess when it's just me and the behind the scenes of Empowered Educator and what happens in my office, my home office, it's all of us. And we tend to hide in the shadows when it's messy, and we share our wins. Theresa MacPhail talked about that last week on the podcast and we talked about failure. We all want to talk about our successes, but it's really in the messy middle section of our stories is where the lessons are, it's where the juiciness is. It's where we learn and grow and evolve. 

And to me, it's beautiful in the mess. Even though it doesn't always feel good while we're in it, looking back, it's certainly what leads us to becoming more aligned with who we want to be. So I just want to thank all of you for being here for all 90 episodes. I want to thank all of my guests for being a part of this incredible project. And I want to share a couple of things with you, because this is also the last episode of Season 3. And I'll talk a little bit more about that later. 

But I want to share, especially in light of the story that I just told you, what if, when I first had that idea, I really believed that this was possible. And that's the energy that I want to come from during this episode right now is, your belief in yourself is more powerful than you realize. And if you really start to believe, not just know in your head, but believe in your cells, that anything is possible. The doors that start to open for you are unimaginable. So I want to ask you to ask yourself a couple of questions. And it could be helpful to write this down, because returning to them, when you're in a place of intention can be really helpful. So the first question is, who are you uninterrupted? Who are you uninterrupted?

Second question, who are you without anyone ever telling you that you can't. That was a big one for me, looking back. And it's not as if people haven't been encouraging. In my life, I have the most encouraging people. And I'm so fortunate to have such an incredible community of people who are cheering me on every step of the way. But I'm talking about from when we were kids, from the things that we watch on TV, the things that we watch on social media, the things that we see out in this world, we start to believe our limitations, subconsciously. So who are you without anyone ever telling you that you can't?

Next question, who are you when you let go of the need to control? This was also a big one for me. I thought that if I would control if I could just control all of the things around me, then I could be happy, I could be safe, I could have some status quo. And I remember feeling this way, years ago when I was kind of in the midst of chaos and pressure, and my personal life and my marriage and my job. And I was always waiting for the shoe to drop. But if I can control everything else, then when the shoe drops, I would be ready. I guess it could be okay. 

And of course, we know, control is an illusion, there is no control. Life is lifee. That's just how it goes. And the second you feel like you have everything in control is exactly when life reminds you that you don't. And I think sometimes we interpret that as just waiting for the other shoe to drop. But the truth is that there is no shoe. What if you were the shoe. And the way that you approach and meet the moment when life gets lifee is what matters because there's no escaping that's part of life, these external circumstances and riding that wave has no control. How are we going to ride the wave is always the question. So who are you and you let go of the need to control. 

Next question. Who are you without the need for external validation of your worth? That was another big one for me. Who are you without the need for external validation of your worth? As a performer especially growing up in the theater and going to music school studying vocal performance, I was constantly on stage, quite literally handing over my self worth to my audiences. Do they applaud loud enough? Was there a standing ovation? Was there a standing ovation the next night? How many good job gents did I need to collect in order to feel worthy or valuable? 

And I realized in doing this work, especially in the last few years building Empowered Educator and prior to that learning, growing, healing, evolving, you're worthy just because you woke up this morning. You don't have to earn it. I don't need good job, gents. Now don't get me wrong, they're nice. But I don't need it, to know that I'm worthy. And that's the difference. And I had to relearn who I was, without needing that. That's powerful. 

And so as you start to remove the layers of some of these questions, you start to remember and recognize and get reacquainted with who you actually are. Without all of the bullshit that been piling up over the years, since we were kids of what we thought our abilities were and what we thought was possible for us. What was available for us. Once you get through some of these layers, you start to have this realization, like, oh, there I am. And I know that this asking of yourself, and this reflection, and this looking in the mirror can feel profoundly scary, because like I said, I'm on that same journey. 

It's a journey of discovery and becoming. It's a journey of learning, and unlearning of growing, and healing. It's a journey that requires you to look yourself in the mirror and call out the excuses as to why you're not feeling the way you want to feel and doing the things you want to do. Because regardless of how many fingers you point outwards, wherever you go, there you are. And it's only when you take complete responsibility for the way you show up, can you recognize that you are both a problem and the solution, which is amazing news, because that is your power. That is your agency. It is in your ability to choose how you want to be in this world. 

And those choices are what start to move you across the bridge from point A to point B to point C to point D and so forth, or stay where you are. And so I need to bring it back here to the context of education and what we're doing here as educators. And for those of you listening, when educator is anybody who has any sort of relationship with kids, so I'm talking teachers, administration, custodians, nurses, bus drivers, office staff, paraprofessionals, and parents because our children are watching us. They are watching us, and they are learning how to human in this world. 

Which is why I say it over and over again, this is the foundation of what we've built here in Empowered Educator. The most generous thing you can do for other people, is take care of yourself. And this is how we start to make generational change. This is how we stop the patterns of reverence, of selflessness, and martyrdom, that leaves us feeling exhausted and burnt out and frustrated and overwhelmed. And just say that nah, it is what it is. And counting down the days until Friday, the weeks until summer vacation and the years until retirement. I want you to want more for yourself than counting down the years of your life. 

Our kids are watching us. And we don't make this change by telling them how to do it. We make this change by embodying it ourselves. We make this change by recognizing that our power is in our ability to choose how we show up moment to moment because you are always one hundred percent responsible for how you show up. And yes, that requires alignment to who you want to be. That requires different ways of speaking, different ways of believing about what you're capable of, about how the world works, about different actions you take, about choosing which thoughts you decide to connect with that serve you. 

And then you get to say, watch me, watch me do this. And that is why I do what I do. It's because I want you to also watch me. It wasn't by accident that I was sitting on my couch one weekend after I resigned from my teaching job which I loved by the way and feeling great about it because I was going to start this new adventure. I was like, yeah, I'm gonna, I'm gonna build this business. And I'm going to resign from my job. And it's going to be great. And I remember writing that letter, sending it off, huge smile on my face, and no less than four days later, I have a hot, soggy mess on my couch, bawling my eyes out, snot bubbles everywhere, blubbering in my hands thinking to myself, what did I just do? And I will tell you right now that the woman who was there that day on that couch is not the woman who I am, right here recording this podcast.

I had to change. I had to align myself with who I want it to be because she didn't actually exist yet. And if I were to continue to speak the same, think the same, believe the same, behave the same as I was that day? Nothing would have ever changed for me. And so I practice what I preach. I made myself regulation, my number one priority. I made my emotional release another priority. Because I knew that they were connected. I knew that if I was holding on to all of this emotion of my past. There is no way I could continue to move forward to build the things that I have built. 

I really took a look at where I was placing my time and energy and attention and changed my priorities and committed to my vision of what I knew was possible in my bones. I worked every day on changing my beliefs and rewiring my brain. Because it's not enough to just say, yeah, I believe in myself. You're body needs to believe it, too. And your body does not speak in words doing that work. That visualization. That comfort with calm. For somebody who is always on the go all the time, it didn't have time, I thought didn't even have time to like, stop and think forget meditation. Were you kidding me. I remember the day when I was like, can sit for five seconds, let alone five minutes. That's crazy. 

Getting comfortable with a calm so I could be quiet enough to listen to what my body was telling me what my intuition was telling me. And we get so far, we get so disconnected, we get so far away from that, because we're taught and told not to trust that. We don't value sitting in the quiet. We value hustle, we value productivity, we value fast paced, we value stress and pressure. So really believing that sitting in the quiet and the calm and getting in touch with my intuition and creating this beautiful vision for myself as valuable that took a new belief system and that woman who was sitting on the couch that day. And that's the work that makes everything else work. 

And that led me to all of the different beautiful things that allowed me to not only build this beautiful company where we get to support educators to discover their own empowerment, to discover their own vision to support them, as they rewire their own brain to align with who they want to be. So they can get rid of those disempowering beliefs and those disempowering thoughts. That negative self talk that's constantly happening in their head, and replace it with something that really serves them. It's the same work that led me to 18 months after that day, sitting on that couch being on the TEDx stage, that was a dream of mine. 

Hence, being able to do that required all of these micro choices every single day in a commitment to the person, to the woman in my vision. Because it's vision or bust, we have one life, because the truth is nobody gets out of here alive. And I'm committed to my impact. I'm committed to living in alignment. I'm committed to my own personal growth and healing journey so that might impact can be massive. And as educators, your role is the most important in these kids lives. And your impact is directly related to your ability to heal and grow. So let's do this. What if you were that person in your vision today? 

All those things that you wake up in the morning and you say gosh, I wish and fill in the blank. I wish I had more time. I wish I had more money. I wish I had more calm in my life. I wish I was able to take that vacation and actually enjoy it and not think about work all the time. I wish I was happy. I wish I was feeling safe. All of those things are available to you. And we have been programmed, our brains have been programmed in a way where we just don't believe that anymore. But there's great news. Because neuroplasticity is such a wonderful thing, that we can change the way our brains are programmed, we can redesign the mind. So it aligns with who we want to be. 

And so in the spirit of watch me, in the spirit of me being an example here, in looking at what was a priority for me, in this season, I'm going to be taking some time off for this podcast. And this wasn't an easier decision that I thought it was going to be because of my commitment to my impact. My commitment to my alignment. And there are so many exciting things happening behind the scenes that empowered educator. And in order for me to fully focus my time, energy, attention, into those things, I needed to take something away. And this is what it is for now. 

But in the meantime, there are so many things coming down the pike that I want to share. So the first thing is THRIVE One is being offered every quarter. So we have it in April 1st, July 1st, October 1st and January 1st, every quarter is a new cohort of THRIVE. And I'm going to invite you to join in and really discover the tools for you to embody everything that I've been talking about. Everything that these 90 episodes of Take Notes have been talking about. 

When you show up differently when you recognize that you are in the driver's seat, when you recognize that you have the ability to choose, you have the agency to show up and meet the moment, however you want to. That's when everything changes for you. So THRIVE One and THRIVE Two are both self paced courses that you can find more at empowerededucator.com/workshops and THRIVE One is a really beautiful introduction to the dimensions of Empowered Educator where thrive to really gets deep and involved in how you continue to show up. That's what I like to call the watch me course THRIVE One, we've got all this beautiful information, this introduction to the work and THRIVE Two, it's about embodiment. 

And then I'm so excited about this, we now have redesigned your mind, which is the key to truly redesigning the way that your brain works the way you want it to be. This is how you connect to that vision. This is exactly what I've been talking about this entire time. This is the work that I have done myself, this is the work that I have been trained and certified in as well. Redesign Your Mind is going to be life changing. I don't know how else to say it. It is a life changing experience that every educator needs to have the opportunity to be a part of every single one. 

This work is about truly unlocking the doors, unlocking the locks, giving you the keys to yourself and you then get to build and grow in ways that you might not have thought was possible for you. It is life changing. And in understanding your brain, the more you also understand the people around you, including your students. And when you show up different, everything is different. When you are able to meet the moment with more compassion and understanding because you know yourself better everyone else's lives are changed because of your ability to understand yourself. This is going to change everything. 

So I'm going to invite you now to go to empowerededucator.com/workshops and click on Redesign Your Mind and all of the links are going to be in the show notes so it'll be super easy for you to get to. And if you're listening to this episode before June 2024, we are starting our Redesign Your Mind program on June 3rd 2024 and we're calling it Summer Camp, because it is going to be such a fun time. And who doesn't love Summer Camp, let's be honest. It is going to be full of beautiful growth and community and online fireside chats, and prizes. And this is going to set you up to start this next school year with a completely different frame of mind. 

You are going to start this next school year, unlike any other year before, with not just the tools to navigate certain things that might come up I'm telling this is the building block for you to start with a completely fresh slate, clean slate, fresh start. And it doesn't matter if you are a newer teacher, it doesn't matter if you are a seasoned teacher, it doesn't matter if you are one year away from retirement, because this one year away from retirement is going to be your best year ever. 

Again, I want you to want more for yourself and counting down the days. This is about getting the tools for you to live your best life all of the time. So our kids see us living our best life that is the best example that we can possibly give them. So let's make that generational change. Get to empowerededucator.com/workshops. And I cannot wait to see you in these classes. You can always reach out at empowerededucator.com with questions, comments, if you liked the episode, make sure that you leave a review. 

Leaving a review is one of the most powerful ways that we get this podcast out into the world. And so if you liked something, if it resonated with you, go to your podcast app and write a review and share it with a friend. And as we wrap up this last episode of Season 3, I again want to express my immense gratitude. Thank you for listening. Thank you for showing up for yourself. Thank you for showing up for the communities that you serve and those beautiful students that you get an opportunity to teach every single day. Your impact is a gift. Because you are truly a gift to this world. Which means that you get to act accordingly. We'll see you next time on Season 4. Incredible, right? Together, we can revolutionize the face of education. It's all possible. And it's all here for you right now. Let's keep the conversation going at Empowered Educator Faculty Room on Facebook.