Highlights From #ASCA22

Today I'm feeling at once exhausted and energized
after a few days away to attend #ASCA22 in Austin.

Of course I was drawn to the sessions about grief and loss;
these words shared by Gen Nelson from MO really resonated.
She also shared this clip from grief expert Megan Devine,
about how to help a grieving friend ... and it's SPOT ON.

The part that stuck with me is that you simply can't
heal someone in pain by trying to take away their pain.

Let. Them. Be. In. Pain.

The only way around it is through it.

How hard is that?

And yet, a great reminder, which she
punctuated with this reflection, powerful words
that I put on a picture I took on our way home.

How does it look, sound, and feel to simply witness?
To boldly acknowledge. To listen to understand.

Then this morning, Kirsten posted this Brené nugget:

My other favorite part of this session was sitting next to
a few friends, Leigh on my right, and Tanya on my left.
Tanya is one of those treasured friends who has carried
the fragile pieces of my broken heart so gently in my grief.

You might remember her from her inspirational Empathy in a (Shoe) Box guest post. Or from Fr-I Statements, Outside The Box, or Vision Boards. She truly brought a breath of fresh air down from her home in the Big-Sky state of Montana. Hanging out and reconnecting with her was the BEST.

Sarah Flier, a 2021ASCA School Counselor of the Year Finalist, led a sensational session about Leading Small Groups. And she gives such heartfelt hugs. I was grateful and honored to learn from and grow with her and loved jumping into this special shot.

She also wrote a guest post for us at the Corner. Last year, when Mr. Quigley's Keys released, Sarah was kind enough to purchase a few copies and host a giveaway with some of her colleagues; Mallory reached out after winning one of those copies, so it was lovely to meet her and see, feel and hear that incredible smile in real life.

I also LOVED meeting Julie, Kat, and Brian in the CharacterStrong booth, where they shared incredible energy and enthusiasm about the updates to PurposeFULL People, which is now a curriculum, a new-and-greatly-improved version of the Toolkit we created three years ago. I brought home a mini-poster with this Gandhi quote which I've always loved.

Finally, in my highlights reel with top takeaways, a myriad of breakouts on
Suicide Prevention (988 starting soon; thanks for the tip, Angela) 
as well as on Effective Equity Practices.

Here's a slide I updated with some new information
which I gleaned from other speakers at the conference.
Another favorite is this Chris Long quote:

Love is saying "I don't know" but 
I am committed to UNDERSTANDING.

Isn't that beautiful?

Ask and answer identity questions
through an equity lens.

With hearts wide open.

For every single person, blessed to cross your path.

What an AWEsome responsibility.

Each. And. Every. Day.

There you have it, my #ASCA22 highlights.

This first-time attendee's soul is supercharged
and ready for school year number 39.

If you were there with us, deep in the heart of Texas, 
what were some of YOUR a-ha moments and takeaways?

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