Listen to Your Lizard Brain

“We were in the middle of dinner and he lost his temper,” a women shared with her ESD class during a conversation about boundary setting. “I'd never seen him lose his temper before, but somehow I wasn’t surprised. I knew, without question that I needed to get up and leave.” Which is exactly what she did. Even though she knew on an intellectual level that she’d done the right thing, her decision to leave had been sudden and impulsive. When she questioned it, her friends told her she'd “listened to her gut.” And it’s a good thing she had. A few days after the breakup, she found out that her boyfriend of over five months had lost his job and lied about it. He’d yelled at her over the phone and

Helping Teens Stay Safe in the Dating World

February is Teen Dating Awareness (TeenDV) Month. According to loveisrespect.org: “Dating violence is more common than many people think. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. And nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.” To talk more about issues facing teens today, we’ve invited Lisa Gaeta, CEO of IMPACT Personal Safety, SoCal, ESD Global Advisory Committee member, and co-author of The Safety Godmothers: The ABCs of Awareness, Boundaries and Confidence for Teens. Welcome, Lisa! Q. Why do you think it’s important to hav

"So, I'd Better Behave, Then" and Other Responses to Our Career Choice

​​"So, what do you do?” “I teach self-defense.” More often than not, upon hearing our answer to a seemingly innocuous question about our choice of career, people respond by making fists and mimicking boxing motions, which are sometimes accompanied by an uncomfortable laugh. Every profession sparks its fair share of comments, questions, and stereotypes. When it comes to teaching self-defense, the picture most people have in their heads is of a male martial artist or police officer training a much smaller woman. That may be true in some cases, but that’s not what empowerment self-defense looks like. And this misconception can lead to some pretty interesting (and sometimes maddening) conversati

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