The Optimalist
The Optimalist Podcast
Podcast Ep 31: Sara's Appearance on Evolving with Gratitude w/ Lainie Rowell

Podcast Ep 31: Sara's Appearance on Evolving with Gratitude w/ Lainie Rowell

Happy Thanksgiving! To deliberate, today we bring you a recent episode of Lainie Rowell’s Evolving with Gratitude podcast. Optimalist host, Sara Candela, was a guest on this episode where she speaks with Lainie about various subjects such as attention, mindfulness, and adapting to the age of artificial intelligence. 

They believe that it's crucial to bring mindfulness and technology together instead of having to choose one over the other. This is the complexity of using AI, which is why they stress the importance of thoughtful adaptation and intentionality.

Of course, the conversation then shifts to the topic of gratitude. Sara explains that gratitude, for her, is about focusing on the small, present moments and appreciating them. She shares her experience of practicing gratitude alongside their yoga practice, which helped shift her mindset away from negativity. It all has to do with growth - Sara discusses her practice of being grateful for problems and seeing them as opportunities for learning. There is no one right way to practice gratitude, but the key is to begin and keep going. In that way, it becomes a part of who you are and brings transformative power.

Finally, Sara expresses gratitude towards Brian Lamb, Swivl’s co-founder and co-CEO, who coined the term "even higher order thinking," and shows appreciation for his dedication and passion in tackling difficult issues. 

We hope you enjoy pausing our regular feed to listen to this special episode for Thanksgiving week. We hope it inspires you to find joy, embrace challenges, and continuously grow as individuals looking to flourish.

Key reflection: How do you incorporate gratitude year-round? And what change do you notice in yourself when you do?

Noteable Chapters:

(0:03:58) Transitioning from teaching to exploring new opportunities in podcasting

(0:04:24) From podcasting to building communities in education

(0:06:19) Mindfulness and technology: bridging the gap

(0:14:23) Exploring the future of higher-order thinking skills

(0:16:17) Running a mini team and maintaining executive control

(0:18:03) Consciousness of retaining personal voice in AI-generated writing

(0:20:01) Nuance, complexity, and intentional adaptation for flourishing

(0:22:10) The Power of Small Moments in Gratitude Practice

(0:27:31) Moving Beyond Obstacles: Gratitude for Challenges

(0:33:36) What is Sara grateful for at this moment?

(0:35:26) Bringing Attention to Hard Conversations and Issues


Links Mentioned:

Listen to Other Episodes of Evolving with Gratitude by Clicking Here

Find us & join us:

  • Follow Sara Candela on Twitter at @Scandela9

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The Optimalist Podcast is brought to you by Swivl. At Swivl, we understand that the biggest challenge in education is the rate of change. Policy revisions, technological advancements (accelerated by AI), evolving job markets, and ongoing research constantly identifying new best practices are only some of the factors affecting the rate of change in education. To learn how Swivl can help you be more reflective, engaged, and adaptable - including Mirror, our newest tool for complete transformation - visit You can also follow us on Twitter. 

Special Announcement: Introducing Mirror by Swivl - a new tool made to recognize the potential of reflection in classrooms. We built Mirror to thrive with AI, reflect easier, and partner with teachers. I think Mirror is where you and your students are going to meet your potential self.

Click here to find everything you need to start exploring - and trying - Mirror today.

  • Follow Swivl on Twitter at @Swivl 

  • Follow Swivl on Instagram at @goswivl 


  • Music: “Goodnight, Shapeshifter” by MusicForNothing, used under Creative Commons BY-ND 3.0.

Audio Editing & Production: Tim Belmont (@tbelmontedu