Like all stories, this one began in a far away kingdom (Nepal – actually a kingdom until 2008), in a small village named Parphin that lay below a mountain with tall green trees under which grows dense vegetation. If one looked closely, it was possible to see a Tibetan Monastery in the midst of the mountain, surrounded by very tall Bamboo plants. It was evening and I was sitting with two fellow mates from the meditation retreat I was attending. We chatted about how everyday life is hectic and how difficult it is sometimes to reconcile our thoughts, feelings, behavior, and our environment. We talked about how many times fear, envy, anger, habits, and stinginess overtake our day to day lives even though we know how unproductive they can be. We also talked about how lucky we were to be practicing mindfulness, acceptance, compassion, and acknowledging negative emotions.
I felt it would be interesting for them to hear that I had this pet project where I create stories to help my two daughters (aged 5 and 9) understand this very relation between thoughts, behaviours, feelings and their environment. I explained to them that I have found that stories, well crafted, can be a powerful tool to create mindfulness, self compassion, and acceptance, and create the awareness to observe negative emotions from a distance and with curiosity. They asked me to tell them one of my stories; I was a bit shy but did so, and when I was finished they told me that I should consider publishing them.
Since then, we have come a long way. Yaron (my co-founder) and I decided to create StoryMoment. Through the work of our writing team, the amazing help of child psychologists and therapists, and our design and development team, we created StoryMoment, an app that provides a new story every day coupled with our three sections of practice (Breathing, Contemplation and Mini-meditation). The stories are unique in that they take an accepting and holistic approach: There is no good and bad, we shy away from being judgmental, we acknowledge negative emotions and do not suppress them. Together with the practices the stories stir mindfulness, help be grounded in the present ,and help cope with negative emotions and life circumstances in a serene and accepting way. The stories implicitly demonstrate how kindness, compassion (and self compassion), not being judgmental, and acknowledging ourselves as part of a bigger ecosystem, help one sustain greater mental well-being, emotional stability and intelligence, and psychological resilience.