Sweet laughter (amongst many other things) light up this beach bungalow, which came as no surprise seeing that Sam Breit was in the mix. Fun, bold and bright not only describe Sam’s beautiful home but also her magnetic personality. Her eclectic collection of art, vintage linens, and treasured finds is beyond priceless as each and every piece carries a story. With that said, it makes sense that Sam is the genius mastermind behind the Mindful Octopus project. On and off the clock this mum can be found teaching children the importance of mindfulness, gratitude and compassion. We were lucky enough to spend the afternoon with her and her two boys, learning from her thoughtful, creative and vulnerable ways. Here Sam shares life as she knows it best…
TELL US A BIT ABOUT JAMES?
From the moment James was born he has had something to say, although upon meeting him you would never guess it; for James is a naturally mindful child. He is an amazing listener which is probably why he’s the most entertaining and hilarious storyteller I know, and my greatest teacher.
SHARE A BIT ABOUT OLIVER?
Every time I look at Oliver my heart skips a beat. Sometimes it’s because he has a “jump head first into everything” attitude, but most of the time it’s because he is “mama’s baby boy;” who still loves to cuddle with me and tells me he “loves me,” because he somehow intuitively seems to know when I need to hear those words the most.
FAVORITE THINGS TO DO WITH THE BOYS?
We are so very lucky and grateful to call Laguna Beach our home. While it is wonderful to look at, it is even more lovely to explore…finding sea glass, feathers, sticks, and rocks, to add to our collections or to use for one of our many art projects is an absolute favorite of mine.
“Motherhood changes you, in so many magical and unexpected ways. So much so that I often refer to my life before kids as my ‘past life’, not only because my day-to-day was so different but because my priorities were so different. Corporate drive was replaced by cherished time as a stay-at-home mom. It was in those mindful moments that I realized the powerful responsibility I now had to nurture, support, and teach my children. Once I came to this profound truth, it became my passion.”
HOW DID MINDFUL OCTOPUS COME ABOUT?
I began to ask myself: Where are the stories I enjoyed as a child? The ones that taught me lessons I remember to this day. Where are the arts n’ crafts that I vividly remember creating at summer camp? The ones my parents saved and treasured. And most importantly, where was the community of love, kindness, and support that I so craved as a stay at home Mom? Authentic connections with others? The process of creating Mindful Octopus was a combination of honoring the entrepreneurial, creative spirit inside me, and finding answers to these questions.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME MINDFUL OCTOPUS?
I read about “The Eight Limbs of Yoga” in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which is a philosophical and spiritual pathway to lead us to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life, simply by being mindful to yourself and others. This quickly became my #1 Parenting Book and Mindful Octopus became my children’s version.
CAN YOU SHARE WHAT A TYPICAL MINDFUL OCTOPUS CLASS LOOKS LIKE?
Every Mindful Octopus class is creatively designed to teach kids important and valuable lessons for life. Currently I’ve curated a collection of over 40 folktales, from all over the world, that provide the foundation for the Mindful Octopus lesson plans. Each lesson plan consists of a warm up, storytelling and yoga poses that actively allow children to re-tell the folktale, thus enabling the child to discover the characteristics of the characters within themselves. Finally, every class is complimented by art. Children create an art project that incorporates the theme and elements of the story and further nurtures their creativity and imagination. The genius behind it is no two classes are ever the same.
BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED WITH OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Starting your own business is personal. And because it is personal, it matters! It matters what you think and what you believe about yourself and your brand/product. It is easy to feel discouraged or defeated by the little things but you must not allow those temporary feelings to develop otherwise they will sabotage the big picture. Allow for growth, be open to change, expect the unexpected, and above all, have the confidence to believe in yourself!…cheesy but true!
ANY TRADITIONS YOU’VE STARTED OR PASSED DOWN TO THE BOYS?
We have established special rituals for expressing gratitude, love, compassion, and creativity by lighting candles and such.
“When you simplify your life, everything in it becomes more clear and the things that aren’t necessary or don’t bring you happiness, are easier to let go of.”
EVERY HOME NEEDS?
Books!…or anything else that carries a story.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS?
Parenting: Every child is different and every parent is different. If you take the time to quiet yourself down long enough to listen within, you will find the answers. Therefore my recommendation for parents would be a Journal.
Easy Novel: The Alchemist
Cookbook: Tidewater on the Half Shell: Fine Virginia Recipes I’m from Virginia, so comfort food is kinda my thing.
“The title of ‘Single Mom’ is not one I want to hold on to too long. Actually, it is a title I never imagined I would ever carry. But I have learned that despite the loneliness, frustrations, and pain, along the way, being a single Mom is as empowering as you can get! While it forces you to face some tough realities and judgements, it strengthens this special bond between you and your children. The struggle is simply the process of re-creating your identity and finding your tribe, now that you are a single Mom.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE AESTHETIC OF YOUR HOME?
I have a love for the old and objects that carry a story. Our home consists of flea market treasures collected over the years, family heirlooms gifted to me along the way, including art from the art gallery my Mom owned during my childhood, and of course, the occasional dinosaur, crayon, or marble that you are bound to step on when you come inside for a visit.
WHO OR WHERE DO YOU TURN TO FOR ADVICE?
Tricky question because it depends on what type of advice I am looking to receive or what type of advice I want to hear. But when it comes to most things in life, I turn to my Mom, my Nana, my Grandma, and my close girlfriends, some of which I have known since I was 6 years old.
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO FAMILY MEAL?
Chicken noodle soup…I love that I can throw whatever vegetables/herbs I have on hand in and it somehow comes out just perfect!
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
- My day planner / Agenda diary
- Sharpie ultra fine point markers
- Monoi Tiki Coco Coconut Oil
FAVORITE THING TO DO SANS KIDS?
The simplicity of an uninterrupted meal is priceless for me, especially when shared with a dear friend. With that said dinner at 242 Sushi.
ADVICE YOU’D LIKE TO PASS ON TO OTHER SINGLE MUMS?
Your story is not over!