Flourish means to thrive and prosper. It’s an appropriate name for the Flourish Foundation, whose mission is to support personal growth through self-awareness, community service and environmental stewardship.
Founded in 2010, Flourish Foundation facilitates programs that nurture life skills and transformation through ethics and values, meditation and experiential inquiry. The heart of their work focuses on revealing the human potential for leading a wise, moral and compassionate life.
As the Operations and Educational Programs Coordinator for the Flourish Foundation, Paige Redman sees how mindfulness can impact people’s lives. “Mindfulness has become such a ubiquitous term, but we define it for the elementary kids as paying attention to yourself, each other and the world around us with kindness,” states Paige. “We are helping kids realize their human potential to become co-creators of a kinder and wiser world by allowing them to connect with their innate wisdom and compassion.”
Flourish Foundation teaches the principles of mindfulness to children at all schools in the Sun Valley area. From October to May, Flourish facilitators visit more than 50 classrooms per week through the Mindful Awareness Program, offering a curriculum designed to teach children how to cultivate attention and become aware of their emotional lives. Paige finds that the half-hour visits to the classroom are helpful not only to the kids but to the teachers as well. Paige noted, “Often, our teachers are tasked with being experts in math, science, reading, classroom management and social-emotional learning. The Flourish curriculum allows them to explore the tenderness of their human experience and care for themselves so that they can ultimately care for all those around them.”
Ryan Redman, Paige’s husband of almost 19 years, started the nonprofit foundation. “With an increase of self-awareness, we’re able to have a choice for how we’d like to relate to the world around us,” said Ryan. Flourish’s programs and events are developed to cultivate human values such as kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, even-heartedness, an impartial sense of care toward others or the capacity to extend care to all living beings without bias or prejudice.
“What we say, think and do really impacts the world around us,” observed Ryan. “Happiness is a skill that can be nurtured within our own heart and mind.”
One of the many Flourish Foundation programs is Compassionate Leaders, an extracurricular program for high school juniors and seniors that meets weekly for deep discussions about our shared humanity and how to improve the world. An alumnus of the program, Amy Aranda, stated, “When I think of Flourish, I think of endless opportunities and doors being opened.”
Another program Flourish Foundation offers is the Environmental Stewardship Retreats, where middle and high school students explore their inner world through self-reflection in nature and give back to the surrounding environment by clearing trails in the backcountry. Many of these children have never been exposed to the beauty of nature or had an outdoor experience in the natural world.
In addition to working within the schools, Paige is a doula and offers courses in Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) to expectant adults. She is honored to be invited into that sacred space of bringing a new life into the world. She noted that mindfulness skills reduce stress and anxiety during pregnancy and pain during childbirth, enhance attunement between parents and their infants, and set the tone for conscious parenting.
Paige observed, “The greatest gift we can give another is attention.” Through MBCP, parents can learn to be more present and attuned to their child’s needs. “They need us to show up with love.” Paige continues to practice daily, raising her teenage children, Satya, 17, and Taj, 14. They are her greatest teachers! When asked how to have a mindful marriage, she advised those desiring a true loving partnership to have a “deep level of respect for each other. Don’t take each other for granted. Be kind. Grow together. Know it won’t last forever. Let go of the small things.”
In her role at Flourish, Paige is eager to get more people involved by helping in the classrooms as the work of Flourish is rapidly expanding in the Wood River Valley and beyond.
On September 8th and 9th, Flourish Foundation is offering a seminar for those in the community who want to learn more about Flourish’s school-based programs.
“We are transforming hearts and minds and helping children know themselves and how they can participate in creating a beautiful world,” affirmed Paige. “We’ve been supported by the generosity of so many people. I feel so grateful to be able to serve the community. I am beyond delighted and welcome continued support both financially and in other ways. Generosity permeates everything we do.”