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Tiana Dodson

If you can hear this, clap your hands...

Published 24 days ago • 2 min read

Hey Reader.

I remember being in my kid's classroom during the delicious 2 hours of preschool parent visit time when the teacher used a cool strategy to get the childrens' attention.

She said, in a totally normal and conversational tone, "If you can hear me, then clap once," and then clapped her hands.

I'm pretty sure I was the only person who heard her (thanks to my anxious parent hyper vigilance), because not a one of the tiny people clapped with her.

In that same tone, without raising her voice even a teensy bit, she said, "If you can hear me, then clap twice," and then clapped her hands two times.

This time around, a couple of the small folks previously engrossed in their attention-holding activities clapped along.

She then repeated the call, asking those who heard to clap three times.

More little hands joined in, and a couple more claps sounded belatedly.

By this time, she had gotten the attention of almost every tiny person in the room (even my child, who was under the table at this time, was engaged).

While listening to her employ this attention-getting strategy, I found my anxiety around my under-the-table child floating down towards calm, even though I was still feeling the pressure to perform and the concern around my kid's chosen location.

I think about this experience sometimes when I experience sensory overwhelm. Because, if you've never been in a room with a bunch of 3- and 4-year-olds, oh wow is that sensory overwhelm real!

And it always reminds me that overwhelm can be a temporary state that we can find ways out of.

It doesn't require bullying or cajoling or raised voices.

It simply requires us to have a plan, recognize an invitation, find calm, and rinse and repeat.

This teacher didn't come up with her strategy in the middle of anxiety and overwhelm, she probably planned it out during a moment when she had some space to do so.

(However, she very well may have looked it up or read about it in the midst of anxiety and overwhelm. That's a real possibility. I know I've done this before as an attempt to soothe myself.)

So if you're feeling overwhelmed with how your life is going right now (or are looking for ways to deal with the next bout of such), I invite you to my little audio course to help you find your own rinse and repeat plan.

Inside this mini course, you'll find 6 practical actions to help you deal with the overwhelm and frustration that comes up for us. There's even a downloadable workbook to collect all of your takeaways!!! You get to pick your own price for this one starting at $5.

Here's to seeing you on the other side.

In love, liberation, and solidarity,

For all the what, why, and how behind the Fat Freedom Practice Space Private Podcast launch, check out this new episode!


Sent with big fat love from a messy desk and a neurodivergent mind.

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Tiana Dodson

With a decade as a body liberation facilitator and a lifetime of lived experience as a fat, biracial, queer, neurodivergent person, Tiana Dodson is well-versed in what it is to exist in a multiply-marginalized body. As an active co-creator of the Syllabus for Liberation, her work addresses how personal, community, and global liberation depend upon each other. Through her consulting services, group offerings, and public speaking, Tiana highlights the ways these systems of oppression are bound together and how we can push back against them.

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