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The Present School ProjectTM 

is an innovative professional development training designed to engage school staff, educators, and administrators in expanding their knowledge and embodiment of the foundational elements of holistic school wellness:


Soul Justice/Soul Health

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) 

Embodied Equity

School Kids

The Present School ProjectTM
SoWashCo DEI staff

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We believe that if we want to inspire and equip our students, school staff, and community partners with the necessary skills, practices, and habits of mind of SEL, well-being, and anti-racist ways of being in the world that inspire them to live their life with joy and dignity,




















we must first be well, become skilled in our own soul health and SEL competencies so to embody a Presence that engenders trust from those we are called to care for and serve.


We believe that the work of social justice starts on the inside-- we call this inner practice SOUL JUSTICE. If we aspire to be in relationship to our students and those in our school community from a place of authenticity, respect, and unconditional positive regard, we must first cultivate a relationship with our own selves that honors, respects, and witnesses our inner diversity, truth, and spirit. 

The Present Schools ProjectTM Retention Specialist Training for DEI Staff is an experientially immersive experience, in that the participant is guided to both practice and integrate the core principles of teacher holistic bodymindsoul health while simultaneously learning how to mentor teachers in developing these core competencies through the innate stressors of the profession.


Becoming skilled in the personal development of SEL, Embodied Equity, and Soul Care Competencies allows for those who create and hold space for new teachers and teachers of color to experience the impact of one’s healthy presence or soul texture. In this training, educational professionals become relationship researchers who learn how to strategically stoke their presence through the art of soul justice (health relationship with the self) so as to embody social justice in the school setting by intentionally creating spaces of belonging, safety, respect, and unconditional positive regard for those in their care.

Happy Circle
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"This training finds its way into improving our relationships with everyone we encounter on our mission to teach. Self-love as the cornerstone of racial justice seems simple, cutting edge, and essential all at once."
Elementary School Teacher


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Engage DEI caregivers with strategies, practices, and experiences rooted in neuroscience, social and emotional learning (SEL), trauma-responsive care, and mindfulness to actualize their individual core competencies of SELself-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making

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Engage school personnel in experiencing and practicing the 4 elements of the Infinite Well-Being CycleTM to cultivate the 5 elements of Embodied Equity: perspective taking, integrity, self-awareness, truth telling, and unconditional positive regard

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Explore the intersection between social and emotional learning (SEL), well-being, soul health and healing, and anti-racist practices to cultivate SOUL Justice (the inside work of embodied equity) and SOCIAL Justice (the outside embodiment equity-based dispositions).

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Training TOPICS

Restoration and Retention
Engaging and co-creating spaces of restoration and resonance in one's calling to serve in schools. What does restoration of the caregiver have to do with creating spaces of retention for those in their care?
Relationship Research: Compassion and Truth Telling
Exploring the science of (self) compassion and the experiencing the soul the of 4 step C.A.R.E model for creating and holding space for the self and others to experience the healing (and helping) power of compassion. We will also explore how to create and maintain healthy energetic boundaries with your role and those in your care so to maintain your centeredness and energy in your calling. 

Stress as the Catalyst to Cultivating Soul and Social Justice
Leveraging stress as a catalyst to cultivating soul and social awareness to intentionally create opportunities to be "in-tune" with the self while we "attune" and strategically create spaces of resonance (compassion and hope) with those in our circle of care. How self-compassion is a strategic soul and social justice practice all in one.

The Restoration - Resonance - Retention Cycle
Creating and Holding Spaces of RESONANCE to RETAIN Healthy, Happy Educational Caregivers 
Exploring the interrelatedness of how intentionally creating and holding spaces of resonance (relational space that is filled with compassion and hope) stokes agency, identity, and belonging in those in our care (transformative SEL) requires the caregiver to practice strategic rest and restoration practices so to create the inner conditions to harmonize with other bodies.

Session 1

Restoration and Retention

Our focus
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Our practice

Step One
Your inner work of noticing and focusing on your energy is where your work as retention specialist begins. It is important to first understand how to restore you own energy before you hold space for another to express and restore theirs:

  1. GROUND your energy when you feel it has been tugged in many different directions all day long,

  2. GENERATE your energy through curiosity of what restored and drained your energy that day,

  3. SHARE your energy with others in ways that create resonance and the co-creation of hopeful and joyful energy.

For the next several days before we reconnect again as a group, locate page 11 in the handouts, and place it someplace in clear view so you can look at it daily. Flow your attention from the bottom up. 

Every day-- ask yourself start to get in the habit of having a conversation with yourself that asks:

1. How have I GROUNDED my energy today?

  • How have I connected with what I need?​

  • How have I connected with what I want?

  • How have I engaged in active relaxation today to ground any anxious or overwhelming energy ?

  • How have I slowed down just a bit today to come into contact with my breath and how my body is feeling?

​2. How have I GENERATED positive energy today?

  • How have I responded to a stressful situation with perspective and awareness?

  • How have I intentionally stoked positive energy today?

  • Have I used my power of expansive perspective to find a higher purpose in a painful/difficult situation?

​3How have I SHARED my energy today?

  • How have I responded to a situation in my work or personal life where I was able to asses what "we" or the situation needed, and I showed up with healthy energy to contribute?

  • How has my investment in intentionally grounding and generating energy allowed me to show up in my work or personal life in a way that I feel good about the energy I am able to contribute?

  • How has simply being present for a person a difficult situation with a calm and centered presence positively impacted what happened?

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The Present Teacher Restoration Project

Supplemental practices

When it comes to becoming relationship experts in a relationship-base profession like yours, you are always in training.


Throughout our time together, we will offer up many "invitations" to practice. You are invited to engage these suggested practices in a way that is a right-fit for you. That means find the sweet spot of integrating (1) practice into your daily habits without overdoing it. We will offer a plethora of practices, and you do not need to do them all all at once to be effective. 

Play with 1 or 2 specific practices for a week at a time. Keep things simple! It is through the integration of 1 or 2 simple practices in your daily life that all the goodness will flow. 


Know that a wonderful complement to our training is the Present Teacher Restoration Project.You have unlimited access to this (8) 30 minute module training through the end of June 2024. I will suggest particular modules that align with our session topics. These, again, are simply additional invitations to deepen the work.


The excellent new is that the training simply takes intentional attention and awareness. Every single day, you are already thinking, feeling, relating, creating energy, and engaging in relationships.


The primary difference with our work is you are now focusing on researching your patterns of thinking, feeling, relating, creating energy, and engaging in relationships SO TO better understand how to strategically restore yourself (protecting yourself from burnout and compassion fatigue) while you systematically become a professional relationship researcher whose is called to retain the souls who are called to serve in education.

When you come to understand how your energy works, you will intuitively and strategically create spaces of resonance with those in your care in a way that allows you engage them in their energy restoration and revitalization. 

To complement our work and dispositional focal points (*see above or page 1 of the session handouts) for our fist session, please also engage the Present Teacher Restoration Project.


MODULE 1: Prioritizing Your Well-Being

 The power of attention, attitude, and awareness

Session 2 & 3

Compassion & Truth Telling

Soul and Social Justice

Our focus
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In session 2 and our upcoming session 3, we will continue to explore the role curiosity (vs. shock and judgment) and compassion play in helping to create and hold spaces of safety for those in your care to feel a sense of freedom in being truthful with their needs and desires. 

At our last session, we engaged in a circle discussion around the question:

What does a practice of freedom look like in your role?

As a collective group, we listed the following characteristics:

  • Safe space to tell the truth

  • Regulated space

  • Safe emotional support

  • Voice

  • Responsive to student needs

  • Community support

  • Building relationships

  • Balance tough love ( warm demander)

  • Engaging

  • Comfortable

  • Know the child for who they are

  • Curious

  • Open space for expression

  • Freedom to express the self

  • Calm vibes

  • Concrete expectations

  • Tell the truth of whole self

In your role in education, you are powerful space creators and space holders. We will continue to practice at our next session on Tuesday, December 5, how to intentionally create and hold space for others so that they have the opportunity to experience the states of freedom listed above. 

Creating and holding space that flows with the feltness of freedom is not accidental-- it is intentional and possible to create as many times as we desire.

Our Social Justice Infinite Well-Being Model is one way to intentionally create and engage spaces we create with Curiosity, Attentiveness, Reverence, and Empathy.

Always remember that you have all the time in the world to practice and integrate everything we are exploring together. Practice picking up one element of the model below and be intentional with it as you are in a particular space. When we see each other on 12/5, we will discuss your experiences!

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To complement our work and dispositional focal points (*see above or page 1 of the session handouts) for our fist session, please also engage the Present Teacher Restoration Project.


MODULE 7: Teacher Restoration as Social Justice

Our practice
Strategies for helping you to learn how to consciously and intentionally create and hold space for those in your care so that their needs are valued, seen, and met (without you burning out your energy).
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Part 2 of Session 3

Self-Compassion as a strategic soul and social justice practice for retention (of the self and others)

Suffering is a natural (and unavoidable) condition of the human experience. 

No human can avoid pain and suffering. This truth is out of our control. What we can control is how we experience that pain in a way that transfigures the suffering into compassion and wisdom. 

During the healing circle at our last session, Nuhu guided us through a collective (and powerful) experience of sharing a personal experience of injustice that caused pain and suffering that gave way to liberation and wisdom.

When we sat in circle, and we witnessed each other's lived experiences of oppression, inequity, and pain, we created a powerful resonance of WITHNESS in our space that allowed for the pain of the injustice to be known and acknowledged. All pain wants to be seen. In fact, pain is the seed of love and wisdom. When pain is witnessed by the self (self-compassion) or by another (compassion), that pain can start the metabolic process of transformation of energy.


Pain that is seen, talked about, felt, and acknowledged begins to integrate in the mindbodysoul system in such a way that it the energy of pain turns into love, compassion, and then, eventually, wisdom.

At our final session in February, we are going to explore how pain, injustice, and job stress IS the conduit to cultivating liberation-consciousness, agency, will-power, and purpose in ourselves SO THAT we are able to create and hold the space for those in our care that we want to retain so that they, too, can engage in acts of liberation, agency, will-power, and deep purpose in their work in our schools. 

But before we do that, we need to practice, practice, practice liberating ourselves from our own pain and converting it into compassion (for the self). 


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Research on compassion and self-compassion consistently shows that SUFFERING IS THE ANTECEDENT to COMPASSION.

That means in order to develop, strengthen, and stoke compassion-- arguably your greatest socially-just retention instrument, tool, magic, gift, professional attribute (etc) -- you need to know how to consciously and strategically "clean pain."


"Clean pain is about choosing integrity over fear. It is about letting go of what is familiar but harmful, and finding the best parts of yourself, and making a leap--- with no guarantee of safety or praise."

(Menakem- My Grandmother's Hands)

Here is our conscious and strategic process for metabolizing into compassion using the Infinite Well-Being CARE CycleTM


#1 Curious about your context

When you notice you are in a state of pain and suffering from feeling not enough, not having done enough, shame, guilt, failure, or imperfection, notice and name what happened to you to cause that reaction.

  • Sometimes when we are so used to feeling lack of enoughness, shame, guilt or imperfection, that we do not even notice when we feel bad or are beating ourselves up for being human.

  • Step one of self-compassion is simply noticing when you are causing yourself inner pain through negative self-talk or harsh judgments.

  • Posing the question"What happened to you?" instead of unconsciously assuming "What did you do?" instantly changes the momentum of the energy of the difficult situation. 

  • Spend time looking at the unique context of what happened that triggered your pain. This capacity to see the context allows you to train yourself to looking behind, beneath, and beyond your trigger.

  • Directing your attention to the context also helps to defuse the energy of the emotional trigger so that you can do steps 2-4 to metabolize the pain.

#2 Attentive to your thinking

After you notice the reaction in your body-- Brené Brown calls it the warm wash of shame or failure-- become attentive to what you are THINKING. 

  • When we are in a reactive, self-critical state, lines of thinking often fall into one or all of these thought pattern categories:

Anxious/Awfulizing thoughts

Bossy/Berating thoughts

Critical/Condescending thoughts

  • When you notice that your line of thinking is harsh and critical, the way you metabolize that negative energy is by literally creating a new, mirror-opposite thought that is based on compassion, understanding, respect, and kindness.

  • To heal and un-do negative thinking, you have to cut off the energy supply to the dark thoughts by thinking NEW thoughts that are better in alignment with the truth of the goodness of who you are and your core qualities.

  • When you intentionally create those mirror opposite thoughts, (*click here to how to do this in module 4 in the Present Teacher Restoration Project) you shift the energy flow from feeding dark thoughts to feeding (and creating new neural pathways) of thoughts based on conscious awareness and compassion.

#3 Reverential to your emotions

Once you start to pay attention to what you are thinking, you will realize that emotions arise instantly when you think certain thoughts. Thoughts = emotions. If you hardwire thinking negative thoughts, negative or dense and dark emotions will be felt. If you think you do not do enough or that you failed someone, your emotions will mirror and magnify that thought.

  • As you rewire your brain in moments of pain and suffering to intentionally THINK new thoughts that take in the complexity of the context, the truth of your kindness and capacity, and integrity of your desire to do good in the world (while being human), you will feel and experience lighter emotions.

  • When you think thoughts like,

    • "I am doing the very best I can at this moment."

    • "There is no way I could have perfected that."

    • "I have needs and limitations in my capacity and conscious awareness like everyone else."

    • "I know I messed up, but I am here to learn and get better-- not be perfect and right all the time."


      • When you emotions feel good, it is way easier to regulate your nervous system and calm down.

      • As you calm down and settle your nervous system, you will not only save a ton of energy, you will now be able to channel that saved energy into compassion for others. 

#4 Empathy and alignment of your actions

Integrity is the ability to ACT in alignment with what is true and of value to you. Your ability to "clean pain" and metabolize painful energy into the energy of compassion through your mindbodysoul system is an act of liberation and an action of healing.

If we are caregivers who want those in our care to thrive, feel seen and validated and valued for who they are to their soul core, and feel a sense of belonging in contributing meaning and purpose in our collective calling as educational caregivers, we must first practice ACTING IN ALIGNMENT with empathy and compassion-based thoughts, emotions, and perspectives.

  • Actions always direct energy in powerful ways.

  • If you metabolize pain through thinking new thoughts and feeling more loving emotions, the way you solidify this inner energy conversion is through action.

  • Action grounds energy.

  • Action in alignment with your core values and integrity is the greatest antidote to pain and suffering.

    • Liberation is an action.

    • Healing is an action.

    • Hope is an action.

    • Compassion is an action.


Sometimes we forget, as caregivers, that our greatest acts of "doing" is how we are being though our actions-- being compassionate, being kind, being hopeful, being loving, being gentle-- these are all powerful states of active doing that we condition as we continually develop a health relationship with ourselves. 

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Learn more about metabolizing pain into compassion at your fingertips! Watch MODULE 4 Self-Compassion: Compassion for the self begets compassion for students

Present Teacher Restoration Project 

(*click to log on the the training)


Session 4

February 6 from 12:30-3:30pm


The Restoration - Resonance - Retention Cycle

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