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  • 1.  Community Conversations - 10/23/23 - The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance And Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions

    Posted 10-19-2023 11:12 AM

    Updated 10/23/23 at 2:47pm - Recording now available to watch on-demand!

    We hope to see you on Monday, 10/23 at 11am PT for our next Community Conversations call for a presentation by Shaman and Mindset Coach, @Tai Olivas on, "The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance And Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions."

    In today's fast-paced and demanding professional landscape, burnout, frustration, and hopelessness have become prevalent challenges. This presentation aims to address these issues by exploring the connection between thoughts, feelings, and actions and discuss how to navigate challenge during times of crisis or fight-or-flight response. By understanding the underlying mechanisms at play, we can learn how to make the most of our internal resources and navigate high-demand environments more effectively and enjoyably.

    About Guest Speaker

    I go by Tai or Tai Ma and my pronouns are she/they. I am a Xicanx/Mayo Indian Shaman, Psychic, Teacher, and Mindset Coach. My life's mission is to help as many people as I can remember how to create using the the power of their mind, reconnect with their guides and ancestors via Spirit communication, and hold space for people embarking on the path of self-healing. 

    From a young age, I was immersed in the world of healing hands, the power of prayer, herbal medicine, and the "magic" conducted by my elders. This early exposure sparked a lifelong passion for learning and teaching techniques that return people to their creative power and personal sovereignty. I studied with several mentors for over a decade, honing my practice and preparing to extend my offerings to my own clients. 

    Throughout my years of study, I've embraced the understanding that mindset is everything. It shapes our thoughts, beliefs, and actions, which in turn create our life experiences. Knowing this, I've compiled all the tools I've gained over the years and now offer Mindset Coaching

    I utilize a variety of tools in my coaching to help reframe unproductive thinking, increase brain-heart coherence, enhance organization and productivity, enrich communication, establish healthy boundaries, address fight/flight trauma responses, strengthen overall spiritual connection, increase self-awareness and clarity, and most of all help my clients reclaim their personal sovereignty.  

    Register here for our Weekly Community Conversations Calls taking place on Mondays at 11am PT:
    If you are unable to make it live on Monday, this thread will be updated with the recording and resources so you can watch and share whenever you'd like.  After you watch the recording on-demand or attend the call live, be sure to complete this October entry form to enter to win up to a $5,000 grant:


    Maddie's Pet Forum Admin
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: Community Conversations - 10/23/23 - The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance And Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions

    Posted 10-23-2023 02:46 PM

    Thank you to the 133+ people who joined us on today's Community Conversations call! The recording is now available to watch on-demand. Huge thank you to our guest speaker @Tai Olivas for sharing such important information and the feel to flourish framework that can be applied to so many areas of our daily lives. You can find a recap of the call and attached to this reply are a variety of resources Tai shared during today's presentation. Be sure to complete this grant giveaway form if you joined us live or caught the reply to enter to win a grant up to $5k:


    • Welcome from Hosts
    • Question of the day: What is one thing you do to maintain a healthy work-life balance and prioritize self-care?
      • "Play with my dogs!!!" - Kathy Duncan
      • "Yoga!" - Sara, Santa Fe Animal Shelter
      • "separate work phone from personal phone" - Julie Jacobson
      • "Walk my dog" - Stephen Knight - Dogs Matter
      • "Snuggle my cats!" - Amanda Huggett
      • "Spend time in nature" - Mikhaila Worle
      • "GARDEN" - Debbie Loveland
      • "turn off most phone notifications" - Maria S
      • "Weekend setting on my phone to mute notifications" - Johanna Humbert
      • "Meditate!" - Ernest Hagan
      • "Take Walks" - Karen Vandersall
      • "exercise, right after work - gotta make an appointment!" - emily wood
      • "Sit with my kitties" - Anita Selby
      • "gratitude" - alayne hansen
      • "Hike" - Tracy Mcquarrie
      • "Exercise and reading!" - Katie Pauli
      • "Yessss, lifting weights!" - Z Peoples
      • "Wine is good!" - Debra DeVries
      • "Reach out for support from peers ASAP when I need it" - Samantha Garcia
      • "5am workout, every morning" - Vincent Medley
        • "that's dedication. I'm an after-work exerciser, I can't get myself up that early consistently but maybe one day haha" - Z Peoples
      • "I did my work out this morning, too! Yah, Nadia!" - Irene Chansawang
      • "Taking walks and going to therapy!" - Erin Hooks
      • "Lots of love with my animal companions, gym time, sunset hang outs with my pup on the beach." - Liz Jones
      • "Such a small thing, but when I have to walk from one end of the shelter to the other, I walk outside instead of through the halls. The fresh air gives me a little
      • boost!" - Adrienne - Lollypop Farm
      • "Taking walks everyday no matter the weather :)" - Linda Rubin
      • "Drink a cup of coffee. Every day makes me happy." - Myriam Martinez
      • "True crime and bath bombs" - Lucy Fernandez
      • "going on walks to destress!" - Mei Carter
      • "I TRY to do 4-day work weeks. Most times it doesn't work but when it does <3" - Kirstin Tanner
      • "5:30 am meditation followed by walking my dogs" - Humane Society of North Texas- Fort Worth Ellen
      • "walking through vineyard with dogs" - Shannon Roebuck
      • "I get out for a walk with my dog Reggie. I also started doing several 30 seconds of moving exercises" - Sharon Fletcher
      • "getting outside always helps!" - Amanda Gra
      • "also helps to go outside without your phone!" - Maria S

    National Updates

    Presentation: The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance and Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions 

    Highlights From The Chat:

    • "I think of stress as your nervous system prepping for fight or flight" - Jillian McMillian
      • "That is true for distress, but you also have positive stress (eustress) like dancing or working out. It definitely is a prep for action either way" - Lawrence Minnis
    • "I was in a constant state of fight or flight at one of my shelters. Meditation helped me a lot." - Vincent Medley
    • "Meditation is amazing." - Z Peoples
    • "This is Learned Helplessness vs. Positive Appraisal/Reappraisal in relation to performance." - Lawrence Minnis
    • "Cognitive distortions are a doozy. Glad you caught that." - Jillian McMillian
    • "I had to learn that I was the one creating the internal dialogue.  I learned a phrase 'Thoughts are things...chose the good one.'  That has supported me a lot." - Vincent Medley
    • "For me every day is a challenge, because I want to help, and I want people understand mi feeling about animals. And I think they don't understand." - Myriam Martinez
    • Presentation prompt: **Empowered Emotions:** How do you want to feel within your current challenge?
      • "confident, settled and happy" - Christy Schilling
      • "powerful, confident, grounded" - Vincent Medley
      • "Calm, confident, safe" - Katie Pauli
      • "acceptance, strength and peace" - Elizabeth Iannelli
      • "Appreciated, respected, confident" - Charlotte Otero
    • Presentation Prompt: **Empowered Statement:** What do you need to tell yourself and believe to feel that way?
      • "Calm – 'I can do this!' Energetic – 'I am looking forward to going to work.' Focused – 'I can concentrate on this to get it done.'" - Christine Best
      • "I can do it, learning more about the topics and be more confident" - Myriam Martinez
    • "This is very useful information. The school of thought has a ton of scientific evidence behind it. But what about the underlying source of the things we tell ourselves? For example, what if Ann has longstanding history of verbal and maybe even, physical abuse, at the hands of a parent who always denigrated her. How do these tools supersede the power and impact of a childhood history and the lifelong history of "rehearsing" those awful feelings associated with the original source of those messages?" - Karina Reyes
    • "This is so incredibly helpful! Exactly what I needed right now." - Kelly Duer
    • "I will practice noticing how I am feeling, the thoughts creating those feelings and creating new, empowering thoughts." - Vincent Medley
    • "Thank you for this Tai! This is invaluable" - Lawrence Minnis
    • "Extremely helpful!  Thank you so much!" - Christy Schilling
    • "I really needed this right now.  Thank you so much!!!!" - Kathy Duncan
    • "This is so wonderful, and so needed!  Thank you!" - Linda Rubin
    • "I'm currently looking for a somatic coach, or somatic neurologist. The timing of this is incredible. Thank you for this!" - Jillian McMillian

    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund

  • 3.  RE: Community Conversations - 10/23/23 - The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance And Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions

    Posted 10-24-2023 05:16 AM

    I had to leave this call and was really disappointed to see something like this from Maddie's Fund. Maddie's is usually all about research and evidence-based practices. I was surprised to see someone promoting alternative, non-evidence based medical and psychological medicine and practices.  I would never have thought to hear the words "group reiki" uttered in a call and was very disappointed. As someone that has been in therapy for years with a certified mental health provider, I felt that this call did a  disservice and was even potentially harmful in that it was not giving accurate information to help with compassion fatigue, stress, etc. I really hope that a certified mental health professional will be invited on a call at some point. 

    Amanda Gray
    Fundraising and Grants Manager
    Operation Liberation

  • 4.  RE: Community Conversations - 10/23/23 - The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance And Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions

    Posted 10-24-2023 09:48 AM

    Hi Amanda,

    Thank you for your feedback, and I'm sorry you didn't see value in staying for the duration of the call.

    Your note made me reflect on a few things. The first is to make sure you, and others who read this thread know that there's actually quite a bit of neuroscience behind what Tai shared. 

    The Feel to Flourish Framework is rooted in better relating and understanding how our thoughts, feelings, and actions create our perceptive reality. This framework is  exactly what helps many people move out of empathic distress (what you may be calling compassion fatigue) and into empathic care. 

    I've worked in this field for almost 20 years. At 18 years old, I was on the frontline euthanizing tens of thousands of animals a years, for many, many years while we worked to change the broken system. I, like many many people on here (maybe even including you), have seen and experienced some hard things. Therapy has helped, and so has shifting my mindset and adding new tools (like somatic grounding exercises) to my "emotional first aid kid". 

    I of course think that there are circumstances and traumas that are best supported through more formalized mental health services. This presentation is not speaking to those cases, rather, it's an offering to help people better manage their day to day experiences. 

    I'm  grateful that Maddie's recognizes the information shared as science based and holds space for experts that have diverse and dynamic backgrounds.

    José Ocaño  

    José Ocaño
    Founder and CEO

  • 5.  RE: Community Conversations - 10/23/23 - The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance And Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions

    Posted 10-25-2023 02:25 PM

    I have to say this isn't my cup of tea.  But I know that this has been a stressful year in the Animal Welfare Industry, and people use different methods to de-stress.  So I don't find the presentation objectionable, just not for everyone.

    June Thomas
    Central Arkansas Rescue Transport

  • 6.  RE: Community Conversations - 10/23/23 - The Mind-Body Connection: Maximizing Performance And Building Resilience through Thoughts and Emotions

    Posted 10-26-2023 06:40 AM

    My eyebrows probably went up when the topic was introduced at the beginning of this session, but overall it was compatible with what I've learned over the years through my faith/prayer groups, leadership lessons, and other venues. I think it is important for people to have that emotional intelligence to recognize and respond to what they are feeling and experiencing internally, which absolutely affect the body and the way we think and act. Watching this webinar got me back to thinking it would be nice to have a "quiet room" on campus where people could go to meditate, pray, breath, etc. It's pretty far down the wishlist, though (after more kennel space!). 

    My concern is that centering exercises and reframing your mindset can be a band-aid fix to problems that need to be addressed - e.g. excessive overtime or systemic racism. In such case, the practices we learned should go hand-in-hand with addressing causal issues. I also recognize that sometimes (often) the issue is oneself, in which case mindfulness is exactly what is needed!

    James Pawlowicz
    Humane Rescue Alliance