WE ALL FEEL BIG EMOTION. IT’S A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF BEING HUMAN.
And yet, culturally, we associate emotions with words like crazy, unhinged, dramatic, soft and weak.
Women are too emotional. Men aren’t allowed to feel. And so, we numb + bury. We judge + blame. We shout + shut down.
When we start to feel big emotions, we run.
All this running is exhausting. Not only that, it’s blocking us from joy. And it’s hurting our kids.
When we don’t have the skills to sit with pain, it’s unbearable to hold space when our kids fall + fail + feel big feelings. Which is why so many of us pad + plow + accommodate.
We’re not wrong or bad. We’re simply doing the best we can - trying to help our kids.
We’ll do anything to protect them from feeling emotional pain.
The thing is, while our actions might prevent our kids from feeling pain now - it’s hurting them long term. In big ways. With a cost that’s too high.
If we’re not holding space and allowing them to fall or fail or feel big feelings in low-risk situations, we’re robbing them of opportunities to learn HOW to rise. I know how hard it is as a mother + educator + coach. I really do.
And. I also know that not giving them this space to learn and grow comes with a dangerously high cost.
We are in the midst of a mental health crisis.
The rates of anxiety, depression, loneliness and suicide in our young adults continue to climb.
Coaches and educators are facing ever-increasing demands with ever-decreasing resources. Parents, particularly working mothers, are living on the edge of burnout trying to make ends meet. Even those of us who look like we’ve got it all together on the outside.
I’m not saying this is the sole solution. Strengthening our emotional agility is ONE way. A really important, critical way we can help take proactive steps to help our kids thrive when, not if, they’re faced with adversity. And, help ourselves too.
Helping our kids to cultivate the foundational skills to navigate struggle, turn toward anxiety and take aligned action in the face of fear is HARD WORK.
It’s work we must do. Especially for our children.
To do so, we’ve gotta walk the walk first.
We can do hard things. Especially this kind. Let’s go!
“You speak in familiar terms that resonate and I can relate to. Your approach ‘feels like home’ - it is familiar and it is comfortable.”
- forever athlete, mother of two, guidance counselor, trauma survivor
To strengthen our emotional agility
And I’ve got you.
For the past five years, I’ve been studying perfectionism, achievement, failure, shame, resilience and their connection to mental health and high-performance. All of it has led me here.
I’ve woven together my experience as an Olympic Gold Medalist, classroom teacher, high-performance consultant and mental performance coach - and as someone who’s learned how to positively cope with many shades of mental illness to create the transformative experience that is Ride the Wave (RTW).
Ride the Wave: A Bootcamp to Strengthen Our Emotional Agility is an online course designed for parents, coaches, teachers, athletes, leaders and mentors.
RTW is a three-week, six-module online course with live community support, customized deep dives, mini-challenges and a private community space to connect, share, lift and support others.
In other words, I'm going to help you learn how to notice + feel the sensations in your body and move toward the tools that help YOU ride the wave so you can empower those you lead to do the same. You’ll be connected to other courageous leaders. And I’ll be there guiding you the entire time.
Let's do this.
“Seeing how many disparate emotional experiences can be tied together with agility and mindfulness training. Feeling like some of the fundamentals, such as self-compassion and aligned action can be learned. Recognizing that these are necessary parts of mental health that even children should be versed in.”
- mother of two, heart warrior
As humans we are going to face struggle.
We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to be thrown curveballs.
We will fall. And we will feel big emotions.
Our power is in our ability to navigate our internal world, our thoughts + emotions;
Our power is in our response.
Instead of reacting our way through life, we can shift to a place of conscious responding.
My name is Samantha Arsenault Livingstone.
I’m an Olympic gold medalist, high-performance consultant, mental performance coach, speaker, forever educator - and mother of four, including multiples.
I know what it’s like to achieve. And. I know what it’s like to rail against the parts of me that felt broken.
Healing through the pain of mental illness has allowed me to come home to myself.
I feel WHOLE.
Moving through struggle, especially the struggle that is our own story, is HARD.
And, it's the very hard that sets us free.
“I learned that I was full of compassion and empathy for others and rarely share that with myself. I knew it already, but it was brought to the forefront more in doing the work in this course.”
-mother of two, educator, recovering perfectionist
learning how to navigate our internal world
Is a skill set that serves ALL of us, especially our most at-risk to mental illness.
Expanding our emotional literacy leads to greater emotional awareness, which allows for greater emotional regulation.
Strengthening Our Emotional Agility
increases access to flow state, aka the ability to get in the zone
helps us unhook from intense emotion + rise faster after we fall
strengthens our ability to give and receive feedback
opens space for deeper connection to others
And yet, many of us have never been taught how to tune in to the emotions we feel, accurately name them and move toward tools that empower us to ride the wave of energy flowing through our bodies.
Simply put - in the words of my eight year-old daughter, we’ve never learned how to surf.
We pour time + energy + resources into training our physical bodies. Why not our minds?
It’s time. Let’s go.
“I learned that I get into zones where I’d rather not be when I’ve not been voicing what I need or when I’ve been pushing down my emotions about a particular thing, and then a smallish thing pushes me over the limit.”
-forever athlete, mother, lawyer, entrepreneur, advocate for children with disabilities
We gave ourselves permission to feel the physical sensations underneath the emotion?
Instead of categorizing our feelings as good or bad, we allowed ourselves to name them without judgement?
Instead of running, burying, deflecting, blaming, plowing, etc. we allowed ourselves to feel the wave move through us?
What if we gave ourselves permission to cultivate the skills + identify the tools + bring in the supports that allow us to ride the wave in a way that’s authentically aligned?