Finding Calm Through Doing Less, with Shelly Roder and Sarah Moore Nokes
i met shelly in a social media group and was immediately intrigued by the concept of a tiny sabbatical. i’m so used to sabbaticals being anything BUT tiny: in the competitive and hyper-productive culture of higher ed, sabbaticals can be massive, expensive, and even guilt-inducing (shouldn’t i be doing MORE with my time away?). so the idea that a sabbatical could be something very small and also comforting and restorative appealed to me.
i tested the teeny tiny sabbatical: seasonal reset and am excited to share it here. it can totally reframe how you think about rest and rejuvenation by restoring a sense of autonomy, calm, and pleasure to your days. 10 out of 10, highly recommend. 🧡
i’m excited to introduce you to shelly roder and sarah moore nokes!
here’s the episode at a glance:
>>2:00. why we need rest, recovery, and self-care at the end of fall term.
>>2:25. shelly roder is a coach with 20+ years of nonprofit leadership experience working with people in need of physical necessities (food, employment, housing) while simultaneously accompanying people of faith in spiritual necessities (community, connection, growth).
>>4:00. sarah moore-nokes is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and an ICF certified coach (ACC) who primarily coaches pastors and non-profit leaders drawing on her previous experience in mid-council ministry, human resources and organizational development. Sarah partners with clients to establish personal and professional goals, then provides the space to move forward and the accountability to stay on track.
>>5:23. we bond over all things mom, coaching, and dogs.
>>11:36. the genesis of the tiny sabbatical project: a program to support folks in helping professions who are feeling burned out. the “tiny sabbatical project: creativity” is a response to the yearning sarah and shelly felt for a creative outlet in the midst of the project. they knew they needed something “tiny” — something gentle and slow — and that also challenged folks while bringing them rejuvenation and renewal.
>>15:01. their goal is to help folks build tiny practices that are renewing and rejuvenating, and easy to adapt into your day. this mirrors some of what sabbaticals can look like in religious communities, where sabbaticals create extended time to rest and recover.
>>18:15. my favorite quote from today’s conversation: “the very best thing for a person’s nervous system is another person’s nervous system. and the very worst thing for a person’s nervous system is another person’s nervous system.” shout out to lisa feldman barrett.
>>22:21. in addition to “tiny sabbatical: creativity” and “tiny sabbatical: connection,” sarah & shelly created the “teeny tiny sabbatical seasonal reset”: 10 minutes a day for 14 days that help you experience calm and see what shifts. (this is what i tried and loved.)
>>28:00. curious about the teeny tiny sabbatical project? sarah describes it here.
>>30:20. connecting the neuroscience: shelly and sarah discuss the role of breathing and the polyvagal theory of the nervous system, the use of physical movement to literally change your thinking and your feeling, and the value of processing language to create (and not just describe) emotions.
>>37:20. shelly describes the value of coaching: it helps you get clear about about what you want to happen in your life, develop awareness of what’s getting in your way, and create a plan for getting out of that pattern. if you haven’t been coached before, the tiny sabbatical projects will give you a tiny sense of the power of being coached as a means of transformation.
>>39:20. sarah and shelly share advice for creating calm as we near the end of an academic term and enter into the holiday season. lesson one: it’s fine to make your life a little bit smaller. do less. get clear about your non-negotiables and prioritize them. lesson two: choose the value you want to lead with this season. let your values be guided by the emotions you want to feel and the memories you want to create. let yourself be in the presence of a settled nervous system.
readings and recommendations:
James Nestor: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. https://www.mrjamesnestor.com/
Annie Murphy Paul: The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. https://anniemurphypaul.com/
Resmaa Menakem: Embodied Anti-Racist Education and Somatic Abolitionism. https://www.resmaa.com/ In particular, Sarah and Shelly recommend the book My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Brains.
Sign up for the free Teeny Tiny Sabbatical: 10 Minute Seasonal Reset. I’ve tried it. It’s wonderful. 🧡
Connect with Sarah Moore Nokes: www.sarahmoorenokes.com
Connect with Shelly Roder: https://shellyroder.com/
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