On the Unlocking Us podcast, Grace (a listener) asks: "Hi Brené and team, my name is Grace. In the HBO Max special, you quote that, “We are emotional beings that sometimes think.” How should this realization change or impact the way we operate interpersonally and as a society as a whole? Thanks." Brené Brown responds: "What a good question, Grace, “How should the realization that we are emotional beings impact the way we operate interpersonally and as a society as a whole?” Make space for feelings, acknowledge feelings, name feelings, share feelings, they matter. Check in with your teams at work, check in with your partner, with your kids. It matters" (May 18, 2022 episode).
For me, this is the heart of restorative practices - holding space for us to share who we are and how we feel (young people and adults). Sometimes in academic or professional spaces (like schools), we act as if we should just stay focused on the work, and if someone expresses strong feelings, it is treated as a surprise or a problem or a distraction from the work. What if we thought about it differently? What if we welcomed all of who each of us is into our schools and held space for us to check in with one another about how we are doing and what's on our minds and in our hearts? And when someone gets upset or has a conflict, what if we viewed it as an opportunity to talk and learn about ourselves and one another? I think it would make our schools more welcoming and more human for all of us. Photo above by corina ardeleanu on Unsplash