The PeaceBox is a mobile unit aimed at delivering education, training and guided practice in mindfulness and meditation. Stacy Thrash, owner and founder of PeaceBox, shared that the ultimate hope is that everyone who sits in during a session will leave feeling both more relaxed but also equipped to help themselves meditate.
"We come to you, schools, community and workplace and we also want to teach the individuals tools they can take with them," said Thrash. We can't control the future, the past, other people, so if we place our attention on those things then we're going to sometimes have stress. So, it's a good tool to help students really figure out where their attention is and where they want it."
PeaceBox parked outside of the campus Tuesday as different classrooms came to sit in during sessions throughout the school day. Inside the PeaceBox, the room has a variety of mats and cushions to sit on as well as soft blankets, headphones and different tools for soothing sound effects.
"High school is notoriously a pretty stressful time," said Kristi Waidhofer, a student support counselor at Westlake High School. "We've unfortunately just seen in trends that stress is upticking for this age group and whether it's completely related to high school things, or it's related to something going on at home or with friends, work, you never know, so we really wanted to be able to give them an opportunity to learn some tools to separate from their stress."
Waidhofer shared that the Westlake PTO was extremely vital in bringing PeaceBox to campus. They began the project last year by funding for teachers and counselors to be equipped with mindfulness training, and also reached out to PeaceBox.
The visit was part of PeaceBox's Summer of Giving Program which enlists the help of the community and area businesses to give back mindfulness to local students. Westlake High School was eligible thanks to Hyatt Regency and SXSW's donation of days.
If you know an organization or school that could benefit from PeaceBox's services, they can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-484-0811.