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Judicial Wellness-Connection-Leadership Initiative

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Personal wellness and self-care have emerged as critical core values of judicial leadership. Engaging in beneficial practices that develop positive physical and mental states of being increases self-awareness, connection with ourselves, and a deeper sense of community in all aspects of life. The goal of NCJFCJ’s Judicial Wellness Initiative is to promote judicial well-being, develop strategies to mitigate the impact of stress that is inherent in the work and share positive experiences in order to benefit others.

Education and outreach programs will enhance knowledge of personal wellness and self-care in a supportive and compassionate environment. It is important to recognize the power of connectedness through the conscious practice of well-being– a balanced state of body and mind will lead to better decision making, ultimately improving the lives of families, children, and victims of domestic violence in our communities.


Judge Jan Rosa (ret.), NCJFCJ Curriculum Consultant
Judge Victor Reyes (ret.), NCJFCJ Judge in Residence
Judge Katherine Tennyson (ret.), NCJFCJ Past President


Our Family Wizard. OurFamilyWizard

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2023 (Best of Monday Morning Moments)
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Joey Orduña Hastings, CEO of the NCJFCJ, will provide an introduction to our four most-watched episodes each month through April.

All sessions are at 8:00am PST / PDT

Monday, January 23: Tis the season: mindfully honoring holiday-evoked grief

Monday, February 13: Owning your power for a less stressful and more peaceful life

Monday, March 13: Applying compassion and self-compassion to our daily life

Monday, April 10: Creativity as an antidote to stress and trauma

2022 (Season Four)

Session One: The Struggle is Real – Mental Health and the Bench

February 7, 2022
Judge Victor Reyes (Ret.) Judge-in-Residence, NCJFCJ, and California Superior Court Judge Tim Fall engage in a candid conversation about Judge Fall’s personal battle with anxiety and depression while on the bench.

Session Two: Cultivating Mindfulness and Resilience

March 7, 2022
Peter Williams shares the benefits of mindfulness practices as tools for increasing resilience in relation to vicarious trauma and PTSD. He has worked as a psychotherapist since 2007, using approaches such as Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems. He has practiced meditation for 27 years and has taught mindfulness meditation since 2003.

Session Three: Juicing

April 4, 2022
Join Jen Donovan, RYT, RCYT, RPYT, for a fresh green clean juice lesson. Kick-off your spring season with a healthy detoxifying juice each morning. Jen will share her favorite green juice recipe and will even be serving them on-site! She will explain the importance of the ingredients and how they affect your body by reducing inflammation.

Session Four: Nutrition: A Journey to Optimal Health

May 9, 2022
Ilene Gerstenberger, Senior Education and Training Manager for the State of Idaho, talks about how our food choices can significantly improve the conditions of high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, and even prevent or reverse heart disease. In this session, you will learn about one person’s journey to discover optimal health and the science behind adopting a whole food, plant-based lifestyle (WFPB). You will also discover how this lifestyle differs from popular diets and trending fads while delivering inspiring improvements in overall health and wellness that your doctor can support. Most importantly, you will learn how we each have complete control over obtaining better health and wellness for life.

Session Five: Owning Your Personal Power

June 6, 2022
Tara V. Wilkie, Ph.D., and Sophie Boyer Langri, from the Institute of Social Emotional Education, discuss how our response to people and events makes all the difference between owning our personal power…and giving it away. This session shows participants how to become more self-aware, connect to themselves and regulate intrusive emotions – including high emotions like anger or low emotions like detachment and cynicism. It draws on the latest neuroscience and psychology to help learners fully own their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Session Six: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence at Work – Why It’s Important and Why it Must Be Now

July 11, 2022
Chris Daniels, a celebrated performance artist, and trained Emotional Intelligence Coach, discusses the vital topic of emotional intelligence in the workplace. Emotional intelligence is described as one of the most powerful predictors for success in our professional and personal lives. He will explore the main pillars of emotional intelligence, explain why this work is so essential at this time in society, share tested every day strategies he uses with clients, and reveal the three self-reflective questions that changed his life.

Session Seven: Yoga and Mindfulness for Inner and Outer Peace

August 1, 2022
Ali Smith, B.S., has 20 years of  direct experience teaching yoga, mindfulness, breathwork, and meditation internationally to a broad demographic including schools, retreat centers, wellness centers, mental crisis facilities, detention centers, drug treatment centers, corporations, and also private one-on-one sessions. During this session, participants will learn yoga and mindfulness practices to reduce stress, and how to incorporate these practices into their lives. As well as learning how they help to heal trauma and communities.

Session Eight: Creativity as an Antidote to Stress and Trauma

September 12, 2022
Karen Yescavage, Ph.D., professor of psychology, coordinates a new Creative Wellness interdisciplinary program at Colorado State University-Pueblo. Join her in this engaging, interactive presentation! She will introduce the PERMA model of psychological well-being and the power of the arts and humanities to promote human flourishing. She will provide some resources to practice creativity online, as well as, engage participants in an anonymous creative activity which promotes savoring, human connection, and tranquility.

Session Nine: Applying Compassion and Self Compassion to our Daily Life

October 17, 2022
Amy Noelle is a certified Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Performance Coach.  As a coach and speaker, Amy provides Mindful & Compassion based Mental Skills training to corporate leadership teams, healthcare communities, educators and families, with a focus on peak performance, resilience and happiness in all areas of life. Mindfulness and Self-Compassion is essential for emotional regulation, greater balance and self-acceptance, inner resilience and true wellbeing: mind, body, and spirit.

Session Ten: Whole Brain Living – Owning Your Power for a Less Stressful and More Peaceful Life

November 7, 2022
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroscientist. In 1996 she experienced a severe hemorrhage (AVM) in the left hemisphere of her brain causing her to lose the ability to walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Her memoir, My Stroke of Insight, documenting her experience with stroke and eight-year recovery, spent 63 weeks on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. In 2008 Dr. Jill gave the first TED talk that ever went viral on the Internet, which now has well over 27.5 million views.

For over half a century, we have been trained to believe that our brains have two parts: the emotional right hemisphere and the rational left hemisphere. But this is not technically true. Each of our brain hemispheres has both an emotional and a thinking module of cells. Consequently, we have left thinking, left emotional, right emotional, and right thinking parts of our brain. Each of these four parts not only exhibit unique skill sets, but they each give rise to four distinct and predictable character profiles. Once we identify each of our own Four Characters, we can train them to not only respect one another but to work together as a healthy team. By doing so, we can choose to feel balanced and peaceful rather than feeling stressed and anxious – in any situation.

In this Whole Brain Living session, you will meet the Four Characters in your brain (as well as help you recognize them in those around you), and learn how to perform the BRAIN Huddle. This is a powerful technique that brings each of your Four Characters into conversation with one another, thereby giving you the ability  to consciously choose which character you want to embody at any moment. We have much more power over what is going on inside of our brain than we have ever been taught, and the more familiar you become with your Four Characters, the more power you will gain to choose your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and behaviors so you can create your best life.

Session Eleven: Tis the Season: Mindfully Honoring Holiday-Evoked Grief

December 5, 2022
Holidays can be heavy. We spend holidays alone with ourselves and with complicated family members. We navigate holidays without loved ones we’ve lost to addiction, depression, estrangement, death. . While this slowing down gives nature a chance to rest, it often gives grief the space to reawaken. In this gentle, compassionate and experiential session we will hold space for both the celebration and mourning this season invites us into. We will foster connection by engaging in conscious conversation on mindful grieving, bring greater awareness to how emotions are often held in our bodies, and explore new tools for bringing mindfulness into our grief processes through a brief, guided meditation. Yes, the holidays can be heavy, but if acknowledged and mindfully-moved through, they can also gift us a catalyst for healing.

Kim Flournoy DiJoseph, M.S.W. has engaged in 30+ years of work with victims across the professional continuum – from court advocate to clinical social work practitioner, director of domestic violence agencies to trauma-informed organizational consultant. She also has extensive experience developing and teaching courses in vicarious trauma, grief and loss, and intergenerational trauma.

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Jen’s Green Smoothie & Berry Smoothie Recipes

The health benefits of drinking a green or berry superfood smoothie are that it is chock full of greens and whole foods that are medicinal. Leafy greens such as chard, spinach, and kale provide many vitamins and minerals along with omega 3 fatty acids, iron, calcium that help regulate blood sugar levels in the body making it a great food choice for those who are challenged with diabetes or blood sugar issues.

View Recipes

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Centering Ourselves to Serve

Hon. Janice M. Rosa (New York, Ret.) will provide a high altitude view of where we find ourselves in the pandemic challenge: focusing on an acknowledgment of what is occurring; accepting the impact the disruption has on our individual and collective experiences; and choosing a response, both individually and outward.

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Yoga & Breathwork

Jen Donovan, RYT, RCYT, RPYT, a registered yoga practitioner and teacher for more than 20 years, leads you in simple yoga exercises and breathwork practices that have been proven to reduce stress buildup.

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Physical Wellbeing

Hon. Anthony (Tony) Capizzi (Ohio), past president of NCJFCJ, addresses the value of physical wellbeing during this challenging time and how to accomplish that when your usual routines and facilities are not available.

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Sound & Healing

Rebecca F. Bailey, Ph.D., will lead us on a journey of how sound is profoundly effective in creating a sense of safety needed for calm and wellbeing.

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Meditation & Grounding

Hon. Victor Reyes (Colorado, Ret.) guides a short meditation he’s relied on in stressful situations both on and off the bench, focusing on quickly calming the body and settling the mind. Judge Reyes has recently led these sessions at NCJFCJ national conferences.

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Kindness & Connections: When Words Are Not Enough

Hon. Berryl Anderson (Georgia) shares her experience creating a virtual environment to promote kindness and connectedness for the DeKalb County Magistrate Court staff who “gather” weekly to check in with each other, creating a virtual reunion filled with laughter—and sometimes silence—to promote court family wellness and self-care for all.

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Self-Compassion aka Kindness

Hon. Victor Reyes (CO, Ret.) | Being kind to yourself as a means of bettering your life and enhancing your innate ability to be kinder to others. Applying research-based tools, we will begin the process of substituting self-judgment with positive self-awareness.

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The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades: History as a Gateway to Hope in the COVID Pandemic

Roger Hall, Ph.D. | In the midst of difficult times, it’s hard to see hope for the future. By looking back at the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, we can look forward, with hope to our future. Because of our biology, the “new normal” will look a lot like the old normal.

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Sound Healing Meditation

Jen Donovan, RYT, RCYT, RPYT | Join Jen, a registered yoga practitioner, and teacher/sound healer, for a deeply relaxing session of breathing techniques and sound healing meditation. She will be playing the quartz crystal and metal singing bowls, along with an eclectic array of musical instruments.

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Companion Animals & Wellness

JJamie Contreras, Esq. | There are proven mental and physical health benefits of sharing your life with a companion animal, which we innately know to be true. We invite your pet to join in this session as well! This session is in partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

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Humor, Me?

Hon. Katherine Tennyson (OR, Ret.) | “We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” -Joseph Campbell

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A Collective Grieving

Frank Davis, Ph.D. | Grief is a complicated emotion and made more so as we see most everyone struggling with losses resulting from the pandemic challenges. How do we help ourselves, and how do we better understand others?

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Voice & Leadership

Rebecca Bailey, Ph.D. | Research tells us that the most effective voice is a compassionate one. How do we access our higher levels of managing safety and stress for ourselves and those we serve?

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