Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Wolf.
Angela, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story is about bringing mental health and inner peace to myself and to others— ideally helping others build their mental health toolkit decades before I did. I believe mental wellness is an incredibly important topic that hasn’t received the focus it deserves until recent years. I was first introduced to the concept about 15 years ago when I started practicing yoga. Before that, I had been struggling with depression and anxiety for years but had not found a constructive way to effectively manage it beyond intense workouts. Caring for my physical well-being helped my symptoms but did not solve for my mental health struggles.
When I started practicing yoga asanas, I found a means of challenging myself physically while supporting myself mentally. For years I enjoyed pushing the limits of my yoga routine, but it wasn’t until I dedicated time to the yogic practice of meditation that I truly began reaping the mental health benefits of yoga. Through sustained meditation and spiritual exploration, I listened to my intuition and tapped into guidance that has changed my path in life.
My mother practices a Buddhist philosophy and taught me to chant when I was little. My father is a former Catholic and now has his own unique belief system and studies all religions and philosophies. I was lucky to be given the choice to take any path I desired, so throughout my life, I chose to explore different religions and forms of spirituality and to connect with what resonated with me personally. I believe part of the reason I enjoy meditation so much is that doesn’t rely on religion or any specific spiritual beliefs. It invites the individual to release the binds of thought and to use mindfulness—or mental awareness—to cultivate a sense of peace and relaxation, to connect with the inner self, and to simply “be”.
Through years of daily, focused meditation, I received deep insights about myself and generated a number of business and books ideas about helping others do the same. I had opened the floodwaters and entered the “flow”. It was not long before I felt a pull to disconnect from busy corporate life and take a sabbatical to learn more about myself and my purpose in this life.
I spent three months abroad, becoming certified in yoga and traveling alone among beautiful places like Bali, Australia, and New Zealand. That time alone afforded me the space to really connect with who I AM. I had a feeling that my yoga certification was important but not to teach adults. It wasn’t until a couple of years later when I gave birth to my son that I realized why I had learned to teach yoga. I resolved to teach my son to honor his body through yoga and to open his mind through meditation. It was then that I knew I was meant to teach children to build these tools early in life, thus changing their understanding of the power they have to shape their own paths in life. From there, I became certified to teach children and adults meditation, and the groundwork was laid for my company, Meditot.
Has it been a smooth road?
I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay home with my son for the first 18 months of his life. During that time, we forged a close bond, and I also spent a lot of time (during his naps, usually) in meditation as a source of soul searching. Again, I was in the “flow”, and ideas poured out. It was during those months that I finished my adult and children meditation teacher certifications and built my company. I also documented a lot of the mindfulness exercises I used on my own as a new parent and compiled them into a book called “I Choose Calm: Inspirational Mantras and Practical Mindfulness Exercises for Parents”, which is due for release this summer. It’s been an incredible journey marrying parenthood to mindfulness and learning about myself in the process.
Failure is inevitable when taking risks like following a new path or starting a new business. I have failed a number of times as I’ve started teaching children. I had never been a teacher before. What a deep respect I now have for teachers and their patience. When a lesson doesn’t resonate, children don’t offer the same decorum that an adult might. They don’t always sit still in polite reverence for the teacher. No, not all of my classes have gone smoothly or successfully. I’ve learned that every class is different. Every child is different. And, every day is different. I’ve learned that some children will learn in their own ways, taking in the lessons as they move and laugh and decidedly do not sit still, while still others will learn while observing and refusing to participate.
Most importantly, I’ve learned the importance of self-love and acceptance for a situation as it is. I’ve learned that in the world of education, there is no room for the pursuit of perfection that I constantly sought in my corporate life. Learning can be messy; some may say it should be messy. It’s a personal journey. With that in mind, I’ve learned to be the observer and not pass judgement on myself or my students, as we are all students in some respect.
Please tell us about Meditot.
My company, Meditot, is an academy for children’s meditation and mindfulness. The two go hand-in-hand in unlocking one’s inner self, in my opinion. I like to call myself a “guide” rather than a teacher because I present children of ages 4-12 with lessons to guide them in finding the tools that resonate most for them. I like to call these tools “superpowers” because they have the ability to transform lives and offer the incredible powers of reflection and clarity in the moment.
Each of my classes offers practice in three important areas—conscious breathing, mindfulness, and meditation. Conscious breathing is the foundation of mindfulness and meditation. It provides an anchor that generates tangible concentration and invites space in the moment. Many parents have told me that the conscious breathing techniques learned in class are what their children practice the most at home.
From there, we introduce the concept of mindfulness, which uses breath and focus to help one become aware of what is happening internally and externally. Once, on a mindfulness walk with my son, I suddenly had the inspiration to write a mindfulness song for children. I allowed myself to enter a meditative state, and the words slowly came together. During each class, I guide the students in singing this “mindfulness song”. It reminds them to breathe and to talk about how they feel.
A critical component of supporting our children’s mental health is to encourage them to recognize their emotions through the feelings that arise in their body, to articulate them—through a song or simply a conversation—and, most importantly, to fully process those emotions rather than ignoring them as many generations were taught to do in years past. For example, to fully process sadness, a parent can offer an ear to mindfully listen or a compassionate hug as a child cries.
After the mindfulness song, we engage in a mindfulness activity, usually with mindful movements like dancing or yoga. Mindful movement gives children a means to release pent-up energy with intention. Intention promotes thoughtful actions; this is one of the greatest superpowers of all.
Finally, we use conscious breathing and mindfulness to practice meditation. For younger children, I offer guided meditations. However, for children who do not embrace sitting still and listening, I use gentle movement and sound-based meditations through humming and singing bowls. The majority of my classes revolve around an emotional intelligence theme, like love, kindness, compassion, or gratitude, and they end with a reflection on the lessons learned through each activity. At the end of class, I encourage kids to talk about or to draw what they experienced and how they feel.
Meditot is relatively unique in that it offers a forum for learning about meditation and mindfulness outside the traditional classroom. Many students are lucky enough to learn yoga or mindfulness in school, but those lessons often rely on the ingenuity of teachers or school systems that place value on these holistic learning techniques, not to mention the time and money they spend to bring these lessons into the classroom. Some children are unfortunately not lucky enough to receive those lessons at school, while others do not feel safe or empowered to fully participate around their peers.
Meditot opens space outside the classroom through in-person and virtual private and group lessons. Most in-person classes are for 4-6-year-olds, as that age range has generated high demand, likely because children are building their social and emotional habits but not yet attending full-time school where mindfulness and meditation may be taught. Parents are encouraged and sometimes required to attend, depending on the class, which helps them support their children during classes and also to learn the techniques themselves to facilitate practice at home. It is highly recommended that children and parents engage in daily practice at home to integrate the superpowers into their daily lives and, in doing so, give themselves a much better chance of taking the tools with them through life.
The journey into teaching and owning a business has not been smooth, but it’s been exceptionally rewarding. I savor the lessons and celebrate the moments when a child truly connects with a superpower. I always encourage feedback from parents and children; that’s how I’ve refined my lessons over time. And when parents contact me to let me know how the lessons have given their children confidence or helped them self-manage anxiety, it makes every second, every struggle, and every personal lesson well worth it.
How do you, personally, define success? What’s your criteria, the markers you’re looking out for, etc?
Success in my corporate life is defined by numbers. Success in my personal life, and certainly in my Meditot life, is defined by connection. I strive to connect with myself on a daily basis through meditation and mindfulness, and I pursue that same connection with my students in classes. Most of all, if I can help them connect with themselves, trust themselves, build a sense of confidence in their own superpowers, that is the greatest success of all. It takes time and patience. It generally will not happen in one class or even after a series of classes. But, by planting seeds through my classes, and by encouraging my students to water the seeds through daily practice, I believe they will see the superpowers work for them over time. (I hear about it anecdotally from parents all the time, and it could not make me happier). Ideally, these children will grow up sharing their superpowers with their families, friends, communities, and future generations.
- Single Private Session (In-Person) – $60
- Single Private Session (Virtual) – $48
- Academy Package – Four Private Sessions (In Person) – $200
- Academy Package – Four Private Sessions (Virtual) – $160
- Group Class at Local Studios – $15-$18 per Student
- Mindfulness Presentations – $100
- Parent Consultation and Customized Program – $45
- Website: www.meditot.com
- Phone: 312-859-1759
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mymeditot (@MyMeditot)
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mymeditot (@MyMeditot)
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/meditot-denver