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Show Notes CYH Episode 43: Today’s Hug: Dealing with Loss, Abandonment & Rejection with Erin Jones

Welcome friends to Consider Yourself Hugged episode 43. Today’s Hug: Dealing with Loss, Abandonment & Rejection with Erin Jones (Click here or pic to listen.).

I’m Dr. Tami West, here every week to bring you tips on living a life that brings you mental and emotional wellbeing.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We surely did. The time with the kids, their friends, and the grandpuppy was fabulous! We went to Disney for a bit – would NOT recommend it for Thanksgiving – crazy! But it was still fun.

I’m excited to welcome you back from the holidays with an inspirational guest, Erin Jones. Erin and I met a few years ago at an event we’ve both spoken at several times, a week of staff development for the amazing teachers at Cypress Fairbanks, TX a suburb of Houston. In fact, a group of us including Erin are currently working on a book and a conference for female educators! Pumped about that! She has such an inspiring story, so I’m going to read her bio for you to know the professional Erin. Then we’ll jump right in for you to hear about the personal Erin!

Erin Jones has been involved in and around schools for the past 26 years. She has taught in a variety of environments, from predominantly Black to predominantly White to some of the most diverse communities in the nation. Erin received an award as the Most Innovative Foreign Language Teacher in 2007, while working at in Tacoma and was the Washington State Milken Educator of the Year in 2008, while teaching in Spokane. She received recognition at the White House in March of 2013 as a "Champion of Change” and was Washington State PTA’s “Outstanding Educator” in 2015. After serving as a classroom teacher and instructional coach, Erin worked as an executive for two State Superintendents. Erin left the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2012 to work in college-access at the school district level. She left her job to run as a candidate for State Superintendent and was the first Black woman to run for any state office in Washington state, a race she lost by a mere 1%. Erin has 3 adult children - a daughter who graduated from Central Washington University and works for the Equity in Education Coalition, a son who recently graduated from Harvey Mudd College and started graduate school at USC and one who coaches high school football with her husband of 25 years, James, who is a teacher and football coach in North Thurston School District.

Impressive, right? And wait till you hear the story that is the basis of all she does. I give you… Erin Jones!

Quotes & Nuggets From Erin!

  • Erin was abandoned at birth – considers it God’s plan and a blessing!

  • And then there was me: this little black girl who was adopted by Scandinavian Americans from northern MN!

  • "It took about 6 months in this country for me to go from thinking I could change the world to believing I should be invisible and disappear.”

  • It’s one thing to read about America. It’s a whole different thing to come to America.

  • I remember the first time someone called me the N word… I’ll never forget my Scandinavian dad stumbling through words trying to explain what it meant and then saying to me ‘but Erin that’s not you!

  • We have to be really careful to own our own stories and not let other people tell them.

  • Her life was changed, actually saved, by 3 young boys playing basketball when one said, I don’t expect to live to be 21.

  • I had been given this incredible gift of an amazing education and I thought every kid got that… Not every kid gets that but that’s what every kid deserves. The reminder of her why being an educator

  • She read Psalm 139 every day before bed for a year.

  • Believe in something to big you’d sacrifice everything.

  • We all have gifts. Use your gifts to become your best self. Give that gift away to become your best self!

  • Surround yourself with better people!

  • Comparing yourself to others is the worst thing!

  • You are never going to be someone else’s best self. You can only be your best self.

  • There’s enough greatness to go around!

  • Celebrate when a friend or colleague gets an award or something great!

Erin's advice for dealing with loss, abandonment, and rejection

  • Have people in your world who can mentor you

  • Get with people! Don’t isolate yourself.

  • Be careful who you allow to have your energy

Finally, some questions she asks herself:

  • Where do you have opportunities to reframe your losses?

  • Where have you allowed struggle and failure to paralyze you?

  • What new stories can you rehearse in your mind about your potential for the future?

  • What can you do to me more intentional about surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and will help you to become the best version of yourself?

Erin's Contact Info

Facebook: Erin Jones 2016

Instagram: erinin2016

Twitter: @erinjonesin2016


And that’s our time for today. I hope you were inspired today, both for yourself and for others who need your help in this world. I’ve learned a great deal from Erin and I know you did too! Please pass the show link along to a friend or two and subscribe, download, and review wherever you are listening. Look around here at to get info if you’d like me to speak at your next event. And I’d love for you to follow me on Facebook, my primary social media home at

Thank you so much for listening and growing our special community!

Finally, remembering our mental & emotional wellbeing goal, I hope that you will renew your thoughts daily, adopt empowering language that prevents verbal harm to yourself and others, and make positive mental and emotional choices on a daily basis.

And until next time, Consider Yourself Hugged 😘🤗

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