Courage to Nurture, Heal, and Love

Your daily practices are your medicine. All you’ve got to do is slow down, tune in and listen to your body by implementing practices that will keep you UnYielded is all about thriving through the toughest possible situations life can possibly throw at us. And my guest today is someone who chose to thrive through an unimaginable tragedy. Scarlett Lewis, an advocate for social and emotional learning (SEL) and character development, and the founder of the nonprofit Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, joins us today to talk about her story of losing his 6-years-old son in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S history and how she chose to become part of the solution to prevent tragic events like that bu nurturing our children to have essential life skills that help them thoughtfully react to difficult situations.

Show Notes

Scarlett’s Story – On 14th December 2012, Scarlett lost her son, Jesse, to one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. Jesse was six years old at the time, and it was later revealed that Jesse’s actions in the last few minutes of his life saved the lives of several classmates. Scarlett opens up about what it feels like to experience something like this and how the pain and shock of this tragic loss led her to be part of the solution to the underlying problem that causes these types of tragedies.

Social and Emotional Learning – When Scarlett started her research of finding ways to stop extremely aggressive behaviors such as mass shootings, she stumbled upon social and emotional learning, which helps kids build essential life skills. We talk about what scientific research tells us about the effectiveness of social and emotional learning and how Scarlett’s program helps children develop these essential life skills.

Nurturing, Healing, and Love – Scarlett walks us through the formula she uses in her programs the lead us to thoughtfully responding with love in any situation, circumstance, or interaction we will ever face. We also talk about her book, “Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness,” in which she talks about her learnings from the first six months of her journey.

Forgiveness – When thinking about a terrible crime like a mass shooting at an elementary school, forgiveness is usually not a very popular concept. But according to Scarlett, forgiveness is what helped her cut that attached her to pain. We talk about how we can choose to forgive in order to take our personal power back.

Brave Breath and Brave Pose – Scarlett shares with us two technics we can practice in our lives that help us thoughtfully respond to tough situations and the scientific background behind the techniques.

Contact Scarlett Lewis

Website: chooselovemovement.org
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/the-jesse-lewis-choose-love-foundation
Scarlett’s Book: goodreads.com/book/show/17859219-nurturing-healing-love

Mentioned in the Episode

Amy Cuddy – your Body Language May Shape Who You Are:
www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_may_shape_who_you_are?language=en

Bobbi’s Takeaways

I hope that you found tremendous value in that conversation.  I was so moved by Scarlett’s courage, compassion, and passion for the change that she’s making in the world. 

It feels only right that my 3 insights for thriving are centered on Jesse’s note:  Nurturing, Healing, Love. 

  1.  Nurturing:  I thought that it was interesting how Scarlett mentioned that our brains are wired to scan for negativity; it’s part of our survival – and yet, we can overscan for that negativity to the point that we can feel bombarded and overwhelmed by it.  I love the shift to gratitude.  I know this topic has come up before on the podcast, but it bears repeating:  gratitude can be simple things that we actively feel the gratitude of having loved ones around us, or being grateful for our health or the beauty of a sunset.  But it shifts us from the negative to the positive.
  2. Healing, which is about forgiveness.  I absolutely love the visual that Scarlett talked about as “cutting the cord that attaches us to the pain.”  That was so powerful for me.  The other thing that really resonated for me was that she talked about it as a choice – which I knew – but a choice that we have to make more than once.  I think that it’s easy to think it’s a one-time event.  To me, that’s hopeful – if I forgive once and it doesn’t stick, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with me – it just means that I have to make the same choice again.  Sort of like working out:  If I do one set of bench presses, I probably won’t see much gain.  But if I do the work consistently, over time, I will.
  3. Love, which is about compassion.  A couple of things really stood out to me as Scarlett spoke about compassion:
    • It’s different than empathy in that it has the action component.  She spoke out it as identifying the need or pain and then actively doing something about it. 
    • When she spoke about the shooter, Adam, I was blown away by the level of compassion that she had for him.  I could feel her compassion for the little boy who was isolated and bullied, and ignored.