My parents lived by the values of discipline, honesty, honor, persistence, and hard work. They parented based on these values and it served my brother and me very well, until I had my own children. I couldn’t understand why most of the time, my two young children seemed to be in conflict with each other. The life skills of discipline, honesty, honor, persistence, and hard work that served me so well up to this point in my life did not seem helpful in raising a young family. I realized I did not have the skills to support my children’s well-being. However, I knew if I was able to get to the root of their conflicts; that these conflicts would naturally subside.
In November of 2007, I took a half day Mindful Communication workshop. I then immersed myself in the study and more importantly, the practice of communicating mindfully. It was at a local practice group where my stories were heard without judgement; enabling me to begin the lifelong journey of self-compassion and self-acceptance. I also became aware of the root cause of my children’s conflicts. Ultimately, it led to shifts within me and consequently within our family which enabled us to have more peace and harmony.
In 2013, a teacher in my school district was a participant of Mindful Schools yearlong certification program. I knew I had to be a participant as well; suspecting this program was going to support me in ways I could not even imagine. In 2016, I became a certified Mindful Schools Mindfulness Instructor; and in 2019, a Trained Teacher for Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self Compassion Program for teens. Today, I share mindfulness and mindful self compassion practices with the students at our high school. They are beginning to discover how mindfulness can provide them with an easier access to calm; and how to navigate life’s struggles with kindness and with compassion.