When my daughter (who's now off to college) was heading into 3rd grade and my son into 4th, I was deep into school myself, working towards my Marriage and Family Therapy degree with a new baby in tow and grieving from my dad's passing. It was an intense time. On one particularly rough morning, I vividly remember yelling my kids to school.
We were late, in a rush, and they were forgetting things left and right as I tried to get us out the door. In the frustration of having to remind them about homework folders and soccer cleats, I hollered at them the entire 10 minute drive to school. They must have felt so small by the time we arrived. I had made sure that no one was going to have a good day. I drove home crying; something had to change.
Stress had always affected me and my health. But rarely did it affect my relationships. On the surface, friends and family would describe me as easy-going or laid back, but on the inside I was in constant fight or flight mode, and I didn't have the tools to deal with any of it.
That day I reached my boiling point, but I also reached a turning point.
I drove back to school, signed in at the office with tears streaming down my face, and knocked on each of my kids’ classroom doors. I pulled them out of class to tell them how sorry I was. I told them that I didn't want their day to be spent thinking about how they could’ve done better, or being sad that they’d upset me, or being worried about consequences. I wanted them to know that the morning had been MY fault, that I was sorry I hurt their feelings and made them feel small, and that I loved them both dearly. It would never happen again.
And it didn’t. During a Positive Psychology and a Health Psychology course I was taking shortly after that, I learned about meditation and was amazed by the studies I read. I was so totally blown away by its efficacy in pretty much every area of life that I began practicing on my own. In time, I shared evenings practicing along with the kids. They, of course, giggled and squirmed at first, but they got the hang of it and they liked how it calmed their minds. We even convinced my husband to practice with us too.
My curiosity about meditation continued to grow.
It grew so big that it turned into this idea that all the humans I know need these same mindfulness tools that my family and I were learning. So I started Reboot, a mindfulness company to give kids the tools that they need to rock their day, every day. Kids have the ability to change the world, after all.
Reboot gives them the tools to deal with their crazy moms :). It gives them tools to ease test anxiety or to calm their racing minds. And maybe most importantly, tools that help them connect with their peers and create real-world communities wherever they are.
I launched Reboot because I learned that while we can't control the people around us, we have a say in how we show up in this world.
Our home still isn't quiet and usually borders on the chaotic. We have 3 kids who usually have tag-a-longs, two dogs and two tired, working parents. But the noise isn’t yelling and the chaos is just the normal hustle and bustle of life. I love it. Heck, I don’t know what life would be like without it.
Learning mindfulness helps me pause during all of the small, seemingly insignificant moments – when the laundry is piled high and I’m up to my elbows in dirty dishes – and I can see my life, really see it.
And it’s beautiful.