Tapping Into Genius – Step back and breathe

“You can talk yourself into a good mental state. I stop for a second, take a deep breath, and think about something that’s beautiful.” – Montel Williams


The students in the lunch group were excited to play with the kinetic sand on the table. There was one big bag from which they were all sharing. One student opened the bag and was handing out portions to all the outstretched hands. Another student, however, was in a rush to get his share. The fear of not getting what he wanted overtook him and he quickly snatched a ball out of someone else’s hand. When the student attempted to retrieve it, the two locked hands and I intervened.

Life is sometimes larger than words. When our feelings are provoked or inspired, we may lose touch with our ability to string together sentences that adequately express what we are experiencing. Sometimes it is better to get quiet and listen, rather than react to what is happening around us. It is in these quiet times that we learn the most.

The ability to sit back and watch things unfold is a valuable skill regardless of our profession or position in life. When we are not overly attached to what is transpiring, we gain access to greater creativity and inspired ideas. We also remain empowered, not giving our power away to situations and people that are beyond our control. The ability to make informed and inspired choices, regardless of what we are facing, is something that we work on with the students in our school district.

In the case of the two students struggling for the same ball of kinetic sand, we slowed things down. When calm was restored, the anxious student apologized. He acknowledged that he did not mean to hurt his friend’s feelings. We reflected together, as a group, on what we can do if we are afraid that we might get left out. Taking a deep breath, asking an adult for help, and using words such as “excuse me” were brought up. Soon, the little bump in the road became an opportunity for us all to get better at communicating and we proceeded to have fun playing together.

We all get to a place where we fear our own needs will not be met, or feel like the world is against us. In those moments, it is wise to find ways to remind ourselves that we are loved and supported. Read some inspired material, sit quietly for a few minutes to allow fresh inspiration to come in, or get outside to move your body. If you are willing to remain receptive to new ideas, then you will eventually crack through and remember who you are. The moment you feel valuable, loved and supported, you will find that most of your perceived obstacles will disappear of their own accord.

Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District. He is also the co-host of “Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed” podcast on iTunes. For questions, comments, and ideas for future columns, send an email to EdwardBiagiotti@ccusd.org