It was 7:25am on a warm September morning, the first day driving my daughter and friend to their new junior high. There were a lot of nerves…plus it was too early in the morning to be up and out after a leisurely summer! You could cut the quiet tension with a knife. Then I had an idea - the jar of quotes I randomly had in the car. It would be a great way to break the ice, get some conversation going and start off our day. I thought we'd do it just that one day. One day turned into the whole week. After 3 weeks it was clear our "carpool quotes" were going to be our thing every morning, every day. I couldn't stop the good morning vibes.
I came across Meredith's Jars of Joy, 5 years ago at a local store. I bought them to use as fun inspiration with my family or for one of my workshops. I'd seen other quote jars before. Often I wondered…Who’s behind the product? Why do they do it? What inspired them? Why should I buy their product and not another's?
About a year ago, a friend mentioned I should meet Pam Robertson, who along with her oldest daughter Meredith, created Meredith's Jars of Joy. My friend thought Pam and I would have a lot in common so we met for coffee. Of course I asked her about the story behind the jars - What's the why? I was excited to hear of the heartfelt depth and intention behind the scenes.
I know being a parent isn't an easy job and it truly does take a village to help support and encourage our kids - as well as be supported yourself! Over the past year of getting to know Pam and feeling the benefit from their jars, I asked if I could share her story as it may help other parents and children find peace and support.
Flashback almost 7 years ago to when Pam put a bowl full of quotes on Meredith's dresser. Her daughter was having a hard time starting high school and the quotes were intended to help her cope and perhaps find inspiration. Other students saw Meredith carrying the quotes in her phone case and became curious. When she opened up and told them her story, word spread at school about the quotes. Kids randomly came up to Meredith asking for quotes as they too were feeling troubled. The stories of relief that followed inspired the official launch of Meredith's Jars of Joy worldwide, from which they donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.
But Pam isn't your everyday mom trying to help her daughter navigate her way. She's also a Spiritual Counselor, working with individuals to help them tap into their higher knowing, find relief and move forward. The jars of joy are an extension of this intention.
When we sat down to talk, Pam revealed stories of her own struggles. At a young age, a teacher told Pam she wasn't smart. While the teacher was wrong, Pam believed him, and this label left a lasting impression on her.
"Someone told me something bad about myself. I believed it."
It was then after she lost her mother during her early 20s that Pam grew into her spirituality, and learned to develop these gifts. Her mother’s name was Joy.
It was out of a desire to see herself and help others she pursued her path to become a Spiritual Counselor. Pam worked hard to shed her insecurities, mother herself, grow into her gift, and evolve into the conduit to help others address their sorrows, fears and insecurities to find themselves. It is this gift she gave her daughter the morning she put the bowl of quotes on her dresser. It is this gift we often feel each morning after reading our quote from her jars.
Pam shared with me how today she finds more and more people come to work with her starving for a connection to themselves and the desire to see who they are, and for others to truly see them as well. While her training has roots in theology, she points out her practice is not about religion, rather the individual's beliefs and their path. It's about helping you to quiet the roving runaway mind, heal, discover more about your innate self and grow and live a happier life, whatever that means for you. It's exactly what you didn't know you needed.
This morning I needed to wake up even earlier to bring my daughter to school. It wasn't our usual car ride with my son and friend joining us. I have to admit, in our sleepy haze, we forgot to draw a quote. I missed having that connection to myself and my daughter to jumpstart our day.
Tomorrow's another day. I think I look forward to the quote jar more than the kids do. I have a hunch I'm going to pick an amazingly insightful quote and it's going to be exactly what I didn't know I needed.
Pam Robertson is a Spiritual Counselor serving individuals privately, as well as organizations through workshops and retreats. She holds a Masters in Ministry and a Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Drew University's Theological School. She’s trained in The Practices of Wisdom at Moravian Seminary and will be graduating their Advanced Spiritual Direction Program this spring 2018. Pam is co-founder of Meredith's Jars of Joy with her oldest daughter Meredith. Pam believes the intention of spiritual practices is to pull us back to the present moment so we can hear what we need. Pam recently opened an office in downtown Summit, New Jersey. For information on how to work with Pam in person or remotely visit www.pamrotellerobertson.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about Meredith's Jars of Joy and how to purchase them can be found online - www.meredithsjarsofjoy.com and Instagram - Meredith's Jars of Joy.