So, Who Am I?
Let’s start with the easy stuff. I’m Renee. I’m a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend. I’ve been both a student and a teacher. I’ve worked for myself, I’ve worked for The Man. I’m a dreamer, a doer, a believer in the human ability to accomplish great things and I’m an even bigger believer in making that happen, even if you have to forge your own path and invent your own rules. As you will see…
Never take “No” for an answer. Even if they put that “No” in writing. On official letterhead. I have two Master’s Degrees from Boston College, one in Early Childhood Education and one in Special Education. I also have one, even more important, piece of paper from Boston College – a rejection letter. That’s right, they rejected me. And, yet, there are the degrees on my wall.
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what a ship was built for.” ~ William H. Shedd
Swimming was not something water and I did much together. Water could drown me and that tends to put a damper on a relationship. So imagine my surprise when some friends asked me to do a sprint triathlon, which involves actual, structured swimming for 750 meters. I was even more surprised when I said yes. So, I bought a wetsuit, took some lessons and swam my first “real” lap just weeks before the race. Not only did I finish that triathlon, I’ve gone on to compete in more. I discovered there is so much more to swimming than just not drowning.
Trying something new is the definition of learning. We’ve all heard stories about the entrepreneur who was frustrated by some aspect of an existing company, so they started their own. Well, I was frustrated by school. As a teacher in the public school system, I felt stymied by the curriculum, hamstrung by the inability to implement my ideas, and helpless in the face of all these children whose needs and struggles went so far beyond getting the answers right on a test. So, just like any other entrepreneur, I saw a hole in the market and I filled it. I founded a preschool called The Cove and started spreading the word on a curriculum called Mindful Schools. You can read more about the amazing effect of that curriculum on schools here, and here.
“It only takes one conscious breath to be present.” –E. Tolle My philosophy at With Pause is a deceptively simple one – Be Present. In your home, in your work, in your relationships. Most of us are on autopilot with To Do lists full of “what” and very little “why.” In my work with everyone from pre-schoolers to high-level executives, I’ve found again and again that decisions fueled by mindfulness help drive everything else – your ability to connect with others, to be motivated, to bring creativity to problem-solving.
Who Are You?
It’s a big question and maybe you already have a few answers – a fellow educator, an overwhelmed parent, a newly-minted entrepreneur, a corporate team leader? Maybe you have no idea who you are. Or maybe you looked around one day and you’re just not sure how you became who you are. It’s okay. Whether you just need a little fine tuning or a complete overhaul, the With Pause program begins and ends with you. We all have our own goals and dreams, our own definitions of success, our own fears and life experiences so this is decidedly not a one-size-fits-all approach. Modalities like breathing, movement, and other hands-on activities will bring clarity and perspective to whatever your current life situation may be. Diving into all of this and working toward change might sound scary, it might sound exhilarating. Hopefully it’s a little of both.
And Who Am I to You?
A tour guide of sorts. We’ll discuss your current life and your ideal life and I’ll help you navigate the path from one to the other. Some of it will be external – like practical, applied strategies for dealing with your kids, your students if you’re a teacher, or your team at the office. Some of it will be internal – waking up to your own purpose and how to connect that purpose to action.
Well, that was the easy stuff. Ready?
Let’s get started