Finding Hope as a Catalyst for Change with Lindsay Recknell
March 8, 2022
Finding Hope as a Catalyst for Change with Lindsay Recknell

How hopeful do you feel about the future? Does it show in your interactions with youth? I think we can all use a healthy dose of hope these days, but we’re not talking about it enough. We look at the events of the world today and we stay quiet, feeling like we need to grin and bear it.

That’s not true. If you’re struggling, others are struggling. And our youth need to hear stories of love, compassion, and hope. It’s our responsibility as educators to do just that.

This week on the podcast, I’m joined by Lindsay Recknell, a certified expert in hope. She’s sharing why this is so important and the brain science to back up the power of hope. This isn’t a bunch of woo woo talk; it’s real science and actionable steps we can all take to become more hopeful and improve the mental health of our educators, our students, and our communities at large.

About Lindsay Recknell:

As an expert in hope and a Certified Psychological Health & Safety Advisor, Lindsay Recknell works with individuals and organizations to increase their levels of psychological health & safety in the workplace using Positive Psychology and the Science of Hope. She empowers individuals, strengthens teams and transforms organizations through her Self-Awareness Superhero, Dream Catalyst and Wellness Webinars programs. She is host of two podcasts, Hope Motivates Action and Mental Health in Minutes. Lindsay lives in Calgary with her husband and their Golden Retriever, Squeak. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Jump in the Conversation:

[2:01] – Where the work from hope started
[3:25] – Hope has a PR problem
[4:05] – Hope as a catalyst for courage
[6:18] – Feeling like the only one (you’re not)
[6:54] – Hope encourages you to keep learning
[9:40] – If it matters to you, it matters
[11:50] – How to implement hope conversations with young adults
[15:40] – Activity for teachers to do with students
[20:09] – Growth and personal development after doing this exercise
[21:45] – You learn by doing this with students
[22:27] – The difference between hope and optimism
[27:15] – Turbo Time
[28:53] – What you need to know about the practice of hope
[29:26] – It’s all about mental health
[32:35] – Lindsay’s Magic Wand
[34:18] – Maureen’s Takeaways

Links & Resources



Maureen O’Shaughnessy 0:03
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at education evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education evolution, micro school coalition, and co founder of Ed active, I consult and train with schools and leaders who are fiercely committed to changing the narrative, reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:08
Hi, Lindsay, it is so good to have you on Education Evolution today.

Lindsay Recknell 1:13
It is so exciting to be here. Thanks, Maureen.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:16
And listeners. today I’m chatting with the expert in hope, Lindsay Recknell. Now, we all know hope is important to our outlook and health. As the expert, Lindsay knows Hope is the key driver for success. And she uses hope to motivate positive change. Right now we could all use more hope and a path to positivity. So Lindsay, let’s start off with how you pivoted to dedicating yourself to this practice of hope.

Lindsay Recknell 1:47
You bet thank you for the invitation. I’m so excited to talk about hope it is something I could people do not get me off of this topic. So it’s so exciting to be here. I started this work about four years ago, and it comes from a very personal place. So at that time I was I found myself recognizing that I got my hope back, not recognizing that I lost it in the first place. It was a super like innocuous moment I was driving for groceries. And I remember, I literally remember sitting up and then sort of slumping back down because I feel like I’m a reasonably self aware person. How the heck did I not notice that I’d gotten into this state that I was just, you know, going through life, you know, going to work and getting groceries and putting on pants, all the things that you have to do as an adult. But I didn’t realize that I’d stopped my quest for goal achievement and, you know, stopped with with excitement and energy in anything that I had done. And my my number one life value is lifelong learning. And my response to things I don’t know is to go and figure out how to solve these problems. What do I need to do? Who do I need to talk to so I read and I listened. And I learned and I found the science of positive psychology. And positive psychology is a field of study called The Science of hope. And I have never felt so validated in recognizing how that there was so much evidence to support the power behind the science of hope. Which is typically a light, fluffy, soft skills kind of word that we talk about. And I really think that hope has a PR problem, and I aim to solve it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 3:43
I love it. And your podcast is amazing. You come from so many different angles and address hope and I was honored to get to be on it and your coaching. And all of this, you talk about hope giving you courage. And I know on your website, you mentioned three different ways. And I’d like to unpack these ways because I don’t think we think of hope as a catalyst for courage. But I think that these are ways that all of us can use hope to stretch for our own good and for those that we care about. And the first one you mentioned was Hope is what gives you courage to talk out loud share your story for the possibility that it might motivate somebody else to share theirs. Can you talk about this sharing of stories?

Lindsay Recknell 4:25
Absolutely. So five years ago, if you had asked my sisters, how open and vulnerable I was, they would have told you I was the least deep, least public, emotional person on the planet. But as I’ve been doing this work and as I’ve been sharing my story, I have recognized how important individual words or phrases or the impact that it’s had on one person or a group of people. And I’ve been so blessed to have people feedback to me You know, what I’ve shared and the the positive impact it’s had on them. And then you started, you sort of think about people you’ve heard or guest speakers, you’ve listened to a podcast episodes like yours. And you think back to the impact that those had. And maybe at the moment, it didn’t feel like it had any impact, but going forward, or at a different time in your life, you, you know, you flash back to that moment. So that’s kind of what continues to motivate me continues to give me the courage to share out loud my personal story. And because I want people to feel like, they also could be heard that they are not alone, that they are supported in this. And the more I share, the more people share back to me, and it’s just this positive cycle of awesome.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 5:47
I love that. And I know, with my micro school, I talked to a lot of prospective families or families that just want help, even if they’re somewhere else. And I really like that I can share what it was like, for me parenting two very different daughters. There’s so many ways that we are in common, we’re connected. And I think sometimes society wants to split us apart or make it competitive and, and being real with each other. And finding these commonalities, I think is really powerful.

Lindsay Recknell 6:15
Well, and I know that when I was going through a lot of things in my life, I felt like I was the only one. Yeah, logically, that does not make sense, I get that. But in the moment, when we are in our emotional brain, it just feels like nobody else could possibly understand where we are. But the truth is that everybody is going through something, and you don’t know what anybody is going through until you share out loud, and then they are encouraged to share out loud back. And it just it, it just makes you feel like you belong.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 6:46
Yes. Agreed. The second point you had put out was that hope is a catalyst, it encourages you to keep learning. And you wrote, figure out what you don’t know teaching your words to use during tough conversation. So talk about this learning and tough conversations.

Lindsay Recknell 7:07
So I feel like sometimes we feel these emotions, or we feel these feelings, but we don’t know how to articulate it out loud. And so I feel like all of the learning and all of the education and that real intention behind figuring out what I don’t know, gives me the language to be able to share what it is I’m feeling and the emotions I’m going through. Often, if I feel like I’m going to be embarrassed because I literally don’t know the words to use, I just won’t speak right, well, we’ll stop talking, or we won’t engage. Or if we notice, somebody isn’t feeling awesome. And we don’t know the words to use, instead of, you know, rambling our way through it or stumbling through it, I find that we just won’t say anything at all. And I’d much rather err on the side of too much knowledge and too much learning, even if it doesn’t feel relevant at the time, so that when the situations do come up, at least I’m reasonably well educated to, you know, engage. And there’s so many cool people having these conversations right now. You know, if we think about the last 20 years, I really think that stigma around mental health and stigma around these cosmic woowoo words like hope and love and compassion in the workplace, and compassion, you know, in schools and things like that is not something we talked about. And so I’m just I’m loving learning from all of these people who are standing up and saying, these are conversations, we get to have people.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 8:41
Yes. And I’m learning from my daughters and my students so much about what used to be stigma around gender. It’s like, wow, who knew it was so inclusive and broad if we can get out of our 1970s and 80s, black and white? Yeah, so I agree. These are super important conversations and a great way to learn.

Lindsay Recknell 9:05
And I think it’s just so cool that we get to have them i that people are open to having these conversations.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 9:10
Yeah. Well, you kind of touched on vulnerability. But I think you go a layer deeper when you talk about hope gives you confidence and self forgiveness, to acknowledge when you’re hurting, to validate that understand it’s relevant, and if it matters to you, it matters period and just reading that it was like it gave me shivers because that is not something that I am very comfortable owning. So talk to us, how did you get there and how might we get there?

Lindsay Recknell 9:40
So I truly fully believe that if it matters to you, it matters full stop. There is always going to be someone in the world that has it worse than you and there is always going to be someone in the world that has it better than you. If you are going through something and it is is impacting you in any way. You get to feel that you get to embrace that you get to work through that. There should be no judgment on how you respond to something. If it matters to you, it matters. And it took me a long time to recognize that I get to feel these kinds of things that I can give myself compassion for feeling and for not acting in a way that I think I should, or could, you know, I just I, I really feel like that forgiveness and compassion and giving ourselves grace, to move through these emotions is really, really important. There is there should be no minimizing our trauma, big, big T trauma, little T trauma, what happens to us as part of our lived experience, and there should be no minimizing that we get to feel what we feel, and we get to feel supported. And we get to have conversations and all of those things. And the self forgiveness around feeling that I think cannot be understated.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 11:09
Yes. And, you know, I shifted the sequence of my podcasts to have this episode on hope, be my 100th podcast, you know, modulations Yeah, yeah, I just feel like this is such an important topic. I also feel like, teachers teach what they need to learn, I could definitely use a mega dose of hope right now, too. So this is, I just really feel like this is a crucial conversation for everybody. So thank you for being guest number 100.

Lindsay Recknell 11:43
My pleasure.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 11:45
You know, I am super concerned about the mental health crisis in our adolescents and young adults, I think it’s terrifying. I think it needs more attention. I think that business as usual, education and life is so so not serving this and actually could be perpetuating this. I am wondering how my parents and educators implement hope conversations, hope activities, in their work with us, what can we be doing? Because we can’t keep doing the same old, same old, it’s not working.

Lindsay Recknell 12:18
One of the leading scientists in this within the science of Hope is the late Dr. Shane Lopez. And he has this incredible book that takes the science of hope out of academia and into real life. And it’s called making hope happen. And I would love for everybody to read this book, because it’s, it’s so inspirational. It’s so hopeful, obviously. But it also shares a lot of the evidence behind why why hope is so important, and how we can really benefit from its power. And one of the things he talks about in there is a concept called Future casting. Okay, so hope is actually actually hope actually works in the brain. So some scientists have nicknamed the limbic system in our brain, as the hope circuit, and future casting works within this hope circuit. So if you don’t mind, I’ll just spend a few minutes and talk about this hope circuit and how future casting fits in because I think this is a really cool exercise that your teachers can do with their students. Yes, please. The hope circuit starts with the hippocampus. And the hippocampus is where memories are made. And it’s quite fascinating because your brain really can’t distinguish between real memories and fake memories. So when you’re, when you’re future casting, when you’re thinking about, you know, things in the future visions in the future, you’re activating the hippocampus part of your brain. And you’re already starting towards that hopeful future. And you can remember your hippocampus like an elephant, because the elephant never forgets. So now, if you’ve got these, these dreams, these visions in your mind, it moves along to the second area of the limbic system, or the hope circuit, which is called the amygdala. And the amygdala is like your guard dog. So the amygdala is where it’s responsible for fight, flight or freeze response. So it takes these memories and or these visions, and it decides what to do with them, what’s going to be good for you what’s going to be not so awesome for you. And sometimes we’ll listen, and sometimes we won’t. But if we listen, and we decide that one of these things is really good for us, you know, one of these visions, maybe it’s really good for us. Then it kind of moves along to the third and final area of the hope circuit, which is the called the prefrontal cortex. You can think of your prefrontal cortex as your wise old owl. This is your command center. This is your project management office where it takes these memories that that your brain has decided are great. And these visions and these goals that are designed to move you ahead and create a future better than today. And it figures out how you do them, what actions you can take to move them forward who you need to get involved, what priority they need to be in, amongst the other things you’re going that you have going on in your life. And as you take those actions, as you figure out what’s within your control, and what you should, you know, let other people control, then that is what creates that hopeful future and helps you to move towards that future better than today.

Lindsay Recknell 15:31
So if I wrap all that around in future casting, and the actual activity of future casting that your teachers could use with their students, ask them to write down three or four or five, dreams or visions for their future. And I usually within my workshops, and with my clients, I usually ask them to write down something they’d like to be see, do or have. And the idea is blue sky, no limits, they get to choose anything, and everything that they’d like to be see, do or have. And I’d like them to be specific about it, you know, so that, you know, when you’ve achieved that thing, there’s, you know, you can see some sort of, you know, when when success has happened, but I don’t want anybody to put timelines around it, because that’s, you know, that’s variable. Things get in the way. And I don’t want people to feel discouraged because they didn’t achieve a goal at a particular time. So be specific. So you know, when it’s when you’re successful, but you don’t have to put a timeline around it. So then I ask the participants, so your teachers could ask your students to pick one of those goals, one of those dreams, and imagine in their mind what it looks like when they’ve achieved that achieved that goal, and usually talk about the five senses. So what does it look like when they have achieved that goal? Who’s around them? What time of year might be? What might it smell like there, you know, anything and everything that would really help the students to get this vision in their mind of what accomplishment of this goal would look like, what it feels like to achieve it, you know, what opportunities or what doors it might open for them once they’ve reached that goal. And then it sort of ends the experience ends with language around, you know, obviously, the teacher can’t, doesn’t know exactly what goal they chose. But you imagine that the student chose something that made them feel good, that maybe made them feel proud, maybe it has increased their resources, maybe they have more money, or better clothes or a great career, you know, maybe they’ve opened the door to opportunities for better relationships or greater travel or something like this. And because the the, the very high likelihood is that they have, they have imagined a vision that will truly get them to a future better than today. And because the limbic system, the hope circuit can’t distinguish between real, or real memories, and these future visions. It’s already creating all these happiness, chemicals in our brain that increase our well being and increase our overall flourishing and confidence levels. And when we feel better, we act better, we respond better, our behavior shows up in a much more positive hopeful way.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 18:38
Ah, I

Lindsay Recknell 18:40
Sorry, that was

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 18:41
No, it’s great. And you know, I have studied the brain and everything for decades, but I do it so sporadically. That it’s like kind of like limbic and prefrontal lobe by getting the other parts is kind of like a forget. Oh, that’s a little Allman wonder that’s. And so when you are like wise old owl, hippo, think giving giving the mnemonic think elephant and never forgetting. Thank you. Those are those are so helpful. And, yes, we know, doing vision boards and things like that, that it really does start to set these intentions. Or we’ve heard of people, athletes in the hospital recovering from an injury, that visualize doing the exercise, and their muscle tone is very different from those that don’t, you know, and much enhance. So we know the power of visualization. And this future casting activity is so awesome, because it’s what the kids are, like you said, but you know what they want to be or do. And so it’s so open, and all of us have some sort of a dream for something to be better in our lives. We’re all aspirational. So it sounds like something that would benefit everybody.

Unknown Speaker 19:55
Well, that’s really cool. Because after you do that exercise, then there’s some real tactics that you can take your educators can take to help their students actually achieve these things. Right. So there’s, there’s growth and, and personal development opportunities that happen after that. Because, you know, sometimes because we put no limits on these dreams, sometimes we have to talk about the practicality of it or the, you know how long something will take. So there’s, there’s opportunity to talk about setting little goals along the way to that big goal. And, and the talking about the progress along the goal has evidence based support for its power as well. So there’s, you know, you could do a whole, a whole week’s worth of lessons, starting with future casting and ending with a 90 day plan, you know, it’s, it’s quite powerful.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 20:45
Yes. And we’ve talked, I mean, I’ve worked with my students, we’ve worked on tiny habits and, and how you want to hook them onto an established practice, you know, ways to make things stick in ways or affirmations different things. So I could see this really giving kids a chance to practice some life skills in setting goals and, and knowing when they’ve met them even overwhelmed. I picked up along the way, Maureen, what three things on your list today have to be done for you to feel like today’s successful because we never get our to do list done. And I love having that. I need to do this, this this. And it’s a success that really helps me have three key things versus my list isn’t done, you know, I’m less than or I failed. It’s a success. So we’re teaching kids skills that can really help them keep aspiring and keep growing? And what a fun topic for us as adults to get to engage in with our kids.

Lindsay Recknell 21:42
Yeah, absolutely. Well, and it’s, I’ve really felt the exercise to be beneficial for me, while I’m teaching it, you get there’s a ton of reward, and, and, and satisfaction from supporting other people. But then it makes me think about my own goals and what I could be doing differently to create better habits and things like that.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:02
I learned so much doing stuff with my students. You know, it’s good to revisit it for me, and then they always have a spin on it that just stretches me in and impresses me. I agree. Yeah, yeah. Cool. Kids. Aha. What else about kids and hope? Is there anything else that our listeners could be thinking about or knowing?

Lindsay Recknell 22:27
So one of the things that people ask me ask me all the time is, is there a difference between hope and optimism? And I truly believe that there is because sometimes people say to me, well, hopefulness is this belief that is all just going to work out? And how is that possibly based in reality? And I believe that the difference between hope and optimism is that action piece is that sense of agency or controlling what we can control. I believe that hopeful people are also optimistic. But I don’t believe that optimistic people are always hopeful. I have this quote that I love that is hope, without action is just a wish. And sometimes I think optimists are really great Wishful Thinkers, because they just, you know, they believe that things are gonna work out. They know that they’re doing good things. They’re, you know, random acts of kindness and moving through the world and a Value Line aligned way. And that’s awesome. You should absolutely do those things. But here’s the thing. God can’t drive a parked car. So you have to take some action and do some things to get you closer to that hopeful future. You just you can’t leave it all up to chance. So that action piece and that sense of agency, I think is super, super key as well.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:55
I love that you say that. And that takes it out of this Fufu. And you and and I in studying intentions. I’ve heard people saying, oh, yeah, yeah, I wrote my intentions each one out three times every morning for a month. And it didn’t happen. And I said it out loud. And I had it written on and plastered on my bathroom mirror. And it’s like, and what action steps did you take? What baby steps did you take toward it so that the universe could be taking giant steps toward you? It’s like, Oh, yeah. So it’s like, yeah, it’s not enough to be wishful. It’s got to be that intentional action, heading in a direction and those baby steps toward an ultimate goal starting end in mind and working backwards. And I think some people write it off as woowoo because they don’t see the work and the progression that goes into it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:46
Yeah, I think optimistic people wish to win the lottery, and hopefully people will buy it to get that

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:54
I love that. Yes. Yeah, I’m gonna make sure that I put all have the resources that you share in the shownotes any of the resources that come to mind when you’re thinking about youth and hope or parents or educators and hope.

Unknown Speaker 25:09
So I could go on and on and on about all the books I’ve read around the hope topic. And anybody who’s interested, the founder of positive psychology is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania by the name of Dr. Martin Seligman. He has written a number of books, one of them is related to flourishing kids, which is awesome. Definitely check that out. This one I mentioned, the Dr. Lopez book, making hope happen is really, really good. And you know which book I absolutely loved, especially on Audible like on an audiobook if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s called the Book of joy. And it is a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was the archbishop so and they read their own parts. Well, the Dalai Lama, his translator reads his and but Mr. Tutu reads his, and it is so joyful and they spend is on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. And they spend five days in dialogue about joy and hope, and spirituality and relationships and laughing and it is i It is awesome. I cannot recommend it enough. It is so good. Oh my gosh, definitely check that one out for you.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:33
Yes. And both of them in their own countries have gone through so much strife and turmoil and would have a lot of reason to be unsatisfied. And just, you know, not encouraged. And, yes, I’m definitely going to get this and listen in because they are inspirational that they chose joy. They chose positivity that they laugh a lot. Yes. Thank you.

Lindsay Recknell 27:01
Very happy book. Yay.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:04
At this point in the interview, I like to switch because it’s fun to get to know a bit about the expert herself. So I have some turbo time questions for you.

Lindsay Recknell 27:15

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:16
What is the last book you read?

Lindsay Recknell 27:20
The last book I read was called Lucky, which was a book about a girl who was essentially kidnapped of a church steps and raised by a comment. And how it how it worked out for her. It was super interesting and really quick read pretty light and easy, but quite quite entertaining.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:42
Love it. How about two inspirational folks you’d love to meet?

Lindsay Recknell 27:46
I would love to meet Adam Grant, the wardens, social psychologist or organizational psychologist, he would I think he would just be fascinating to to learn from. And I also really like to meet Brene Brown. I know that feels typical, but I just so appreciate her critical thinking.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:08
Absolutely. I got to hear her in person in Seattle. And it was like, Oh my gosh, she was amazing in a smaller setting. And she had images on with no words on the PowerPoint. So she was telling stories and engaging us and so real. So I yeah, I fan girl her totally I agree. Love it. How about a TED Talk that inspires you

Unknown Speaker 28:30
anything by the author, Sean a core. I think that’s how you pronounce his name. He wrote the book, The Happiness Advantage. I did find him to be super entertaining. I really liked him a lot.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:41
writing that down. That is cool. Biggest thing that you wish folks knew about the practice of hope.

Lindsay Recknell 28:55
Hmm, that it’s not a cosmic woowoo thing that it is so powerful, that intention and action and engagement towards that future better than today is totally worthwhile. Practicing is totally worthwhile pursuing with intention.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:20
I love that. What is a passion you bring to psychological health and safety and to the science of hope,

Lindsay Recknell 29:30
normalizing conversation about mental health. I want to only talk about mental health related things. Because I think that it’s all mental health related things. And I want to reduce the stigma and just normalize these kinds of conversations, in at work, at school, in our friendships in our communities. This just normalize conversation about mental health.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:55
I am so with you at our micro school we really normalize differences. Were in a larger school. It’s like, what do I need to do? Just I fit in? What do I need to hide? And we’re so small, there’s no hiding anything and no need to. And when you normalize, yeah, I’m exploring my gender. I have ADHD or yeah, I’m way ahead in math and love. I geek out on math. When all of this is normal. It’s like, okay, cool. No big deal is so liberating. And, and like you said, we feel like we’re the only one that’s going through this when most experiences are universal. So I think that’s

Lindsay Recknell 30:30
we wouldn’t have, we wouldn’t question or make fun of anyone who said that they were going for a run. So why do we question or make fun of someone who says they’re going to see their psychologist after school? Like,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 30:40
yeah, absolutely. It’s all about wellness. totalistic. Wellness?

Lindsay Recknell 30:45

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 30:46
What is your favorite thing or a fun fact about being the expert and hope?

Lindsay Recknell 30:53
I don’t know any other experts in hope? You know, especially well, that’s not true. There’s tons of experts in hope in academia. And but I don’t know anyone who has who has really brought this kind of language and this science into regular life and into organizations and into sort of personal empowerment. So I love I love that I get to spread this message and help again, help to normalize that language and show people really what its power is. Yes.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 31:27
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

Lindsay Recknell 31:31
I can see the alphabet faster than I can faster backwards than I can forward. Okay, let’s hear it. Zed y x WVU. TSR qp. Oh, and MLK, j, i, H, G, F, E, D, C, ba, oh, my gosh. My grandpa could do it. And so and he passed away when I was in grade five. And so I literally laid awake at night practicing because I needed to be like him. So here I am. Nine years old, laying in bed, not sleeping, practicing the alphabet backwards. Totally useless skill. Except when I was a, I used to work at the library when I was in high school or junior high. And it came in very handy when I was shelving books. That totally useless skill.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 32:18
Yes. I love it. I close our interviews with a magic wand moment. So Lindsey, if we handed you fat magic wand, what would you wish for in terms of humanity, even not just our youth, humanity, and hope and mental health?

Lindsay Recknell 32:46
I wish that we all would get it. You know that. Every time we talked about mental health, the conversation didn’t revolve around stigma, or how we’re, you know, increasing mental health maturity, because we just be there. We we don’t talk about mostly we don’t talk about how we can talk more often about physical health, really, right people get physical health. And I would love for that magic wand world, that utopian world to be where we don’t talk about the need to continue talking more about mental health. I would just love for it to be how we operate how we flourish as human beings.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 33:32
Absolutely. And I extend that wish I wish in our schools, that it was just a no brainer. We make kids take PE and some kids have to run the mile. It’s mandatory. What are we doing that’s mandatory toward mental health? And how can that just be a no brainer as well?

Lindsay Recknell 33:51
Yes. So true. Yes. Absolutely.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 33:55
Lindsay, you are inspirational and talking with you is so fun. Thank you so much for being our guest today.

Lindsay Recknell 34:03
Thank you for having me. This was a great conversation. I can’t believe it’s already over.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 34:17
What a wonderful way to celebrate episode number 100. Here we are almost two years into teaching and living during a pandemic. Lindsay’s vibrant energy and her deep understanding of hope is such a happy way to celebrate this milestone episode, and re energize ourselves in the midst of this endless pandemic. And I do have hope for our learners and how we support them. I love getting to be the host of this podcast and learn about and then share out so many models and people who put learners in the driver’s seat and move the whole concept of schooling. forward, what a joy.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 35:03
A few notes that jumped out from Lindsay’s conversation. One was the statement. If it matters to you, it matters. If we need something so that we feel hopeful and supported, it matters. And I hope we can all ask for what we need. I also really appreciated how Lindsay unpacked the parts of the brain, the hippocampus like an elephant and never forgetting the amygdala as our guard dog, the prefrontal cortex as the wise old out, those images make sense. And they tie nicely into what Dr. Kristen Miller recently shared in Episode 97. Combining the two thoughts, it would be the hippocampus, elephant needs safety, as Kristen explained, and the amygdala is guarding and making sure we belong. And then the wise old owl can kick in and learning can happen. So we need to make sure safety and belonging are foundational in our schools, so our learners can thrive. Lindsay’s future casting activity of taking ideas, and moving them to action is what I want to try with many people in my life. Everyone can answer about something they want to be see, do or have. It’s a great question to generate dreaming. And then we can take it into sensing and envisioning these dreams. And then we can take action. That action step is so important. On a final note, I’ve begun listening to the book of joy. And the previous interview I’ve seen with the Dalai Lama, or Archbishop Desmond Tutu pales in comparison, this conversation is the true definition of synergy, where one plus one equals three, you get the wise Buddha’s love and compassion from the Dalai Lama. And you get a fiery commitment to humanity from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And you also get this joyful banter and playful loving kindness between the two of them. I listened to it on my walks, and it makes me smile, and ponder deeply. Thank you for listening and your support over these first 100 episodes. There’s so much to be hopeful about in education. And to not be an optimist alone, so much more action we need to take for each learner to access equitable, relevant learning, and be future ready. I’m so grateful to get to learn along with all of you here is to at least another 100 episodes, where we listen and get fired up to make learning happen for every learner. Thank you for being a part of the education evolution.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 38:08
If you are finding yourself thinking, I need to do this in my school. Let’s talk about it. I consult and also have a book TEDx talk an online course to support starting learner driven schools and programs. My goal is to help schools and individuals find new innovative solutions to reaching every student. Let’s create an action plan together. Visit education forward slash consult to book a call and let’s get started. Education evolution listeners, you are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen, heard, valued and thriving. We need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. I’d be so grateful if you’d head over to your podcast app to give a great rating and review if you found this episode valuable. Don’t wait. Please do it right now before you forget. I really appreciate it. Thank you listeners signing off. This is Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education

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