We had the good fortune of connecting with Roma Khetarpal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roma, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Parenting is the most important responsibility we’ll ever have. More often than not, it is the hardest responsibility we’ll ever have. If we’re lucky, it’ll be the longest responsibility that we will have. Yet we come into parenting without an intention or a goal. Did we purposefully make this choice? Did we plan parenthood, or did it just happen? Did we start a family because it’s what we are “supposed” to do? Layered upon this are ubiquitous questions: What if I mess up like my parents did? What if I’m not a good parent? Will I mess up my children? You see, we generally come into parenthood with a lack of clarity, purpose, and intention and with fear and doubt. Through parenting my own children, I learned organically the value of parenting mindfully, consciously. I experienced firsthand the open communication and solid relationship that followed through the different stages of growth both for my children and myself. My friends and family took note of this as well, and they approached me to lead my first Mindful Parenting group. As I started to offer and share perspectives and tools of mindfulness, more and more parents showed up—simply through word of mouth. This led to the birth of Tools of Growth and my award-winning book, The “Perfect” Parent, which gave rise to eight different mindfulness programs in schools for teachers, administrators, recess staff, before- and after- school staff, para educators, bus drivers, and even junior lifeguards! Through our children we influence a future that we might not see. Any adult caring for children has a lasting impact on that child’s psyche and his or her future relationships, be it at home, in a school setting, or in organized activities. We owe it to our children then to conduct ourselves in a way that is not life damaging but life enhancing for them. This is our responsibility. This was and is my motivation behind the mindfulness tools that I provide parents and adults leading children in education and activities. Many of us are raised with scarring childhood experiences. My mission and vision is to empower parents to believe in themselves and to recognize their own triggers and childhood traumas that show up in parenting so that they can raise their children mindfully. Most parents are crystal clear about what they want for their children. We want them to be happy, think positive, and do good, which is the tagline of Tools of Growth. But what is it that we want for ourselves? Most of us go through our higher academic years with an end goal—to be a teacher, an engineer, a technology specialist, an architect, or whatever interests us. Why do we not do the same in parenting? We need to ask: What do we want from this ride of parenting? What’s in it for us? Really, in a nutshell, I believe all we’re looking for when our children have flown the nest is to have a good, solid relationship with them. It is the only fulfilling end goal that makes this often turbulent yet joyful ride worth it. My work provides this support for parents—helping them get clarity about their role as a parent; providing them tools on holding their children close and communicating mindfully so the kids feel heard, validated, and connected; helping ensure that the parents’ loving intention matches up in their behavior during ups and downs, with the complete understanding that this does not come without ongoing effort, dedication, and challenges.
What should our readers know about your business?
The mindfulness tools I teach are foundational, empowering, versatile and easily applicable for any parent or adult caring for a child/children. My award-winning book, The “Perfect” Parent, birthed 8 different district-wide, mindfulness programs in schools – for recess staff, before and after school staff, teachers, administrators, Para Educators, bus drivers, camp counselors and even junior lifeguards — impacting over 40,000 children. This was beyond my wildest imagination and I am both, proud and humbled by it. Honestly, when you love what you do, you don’t have to “work” another day in your life. So yes, work that is fulfilling and meaningful and contributes to a better future for our children and planet is pleasant and heartwarming. Was it challenging at times? Absolutely. When I was approached by the first school district to create a year-long mindfulness program for their recess staff, I had to take a step back and dig deep. After all, I had just launched a mindful parenting book. What was I doing in education? Checking in with my own deepest intention and excitement about the project helped me set some foundational boundaries. After that, I answered with a “yes” to every opportunity as long it matched my deepest intention of serving children. There were many such lessons learned along the way. The most important one that I live by: Enjoy the ride and don’t get caught up in the small stuff. Serving one’s life purpose is a privilege and I’m grateful for it. I’m dedicated to the cause of sharing mindfulness tools because it gives parents and adults caring for children an understanding of our inner world and how to manage it. If we, the adults, don’t know how to self-manage, who is going to teach our children? Isn’t our inner world the driver of our outer success? We can nurture our children to thrive only if we know the building blocks of happiness ourselves — what our mind is, what role emotions and thoughts play in our decisions and how mindfulness can help us not get stuck and caught up in our own heads. If we role model this to our children, we have little to teach them. If we role model mindfulness to our children, we communicate effectively – with empathy, kindness, compassion and most importantly respect; we stay deeply connected to our kids and connection is the key to our children’s flourishing. The point of difference for my brand is that I empower parents and adults in their own potential to extract their innate capacity to be mindful and conscious and bring this to the surface – into interactions with children. This is at the heart of my brand and the thousands of parents and adults who have reaped the benefits of this message are the story — the success story.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Malibu, Griffith Observatory, Universal City Walk, Disneyland, The Getty, Self-Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades, LA Live Restaurants: Madeo, Il Segretto, Katsuya, BS Taqueria, Open Sesame
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
1, A big shoutout to my children, Nitasha and Navin Khetarpal: You have done a stellar job in raising me! 2, My first Happy Relaxed Parenting core group ( you know who you are ): you saw in me what I couldn’t see in myself. My book will always be dedicated to you. 3. Dr. Shefali Tsabary — a dynamic voice and inspiration in this conscious parenting movement.. Your leadership, support and encouragement lights my fire. 4. Saugus Union School District and Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation, Santa Clarita, Ca -.Dr. Joan Lucid and Ann Hollman: I could’ve never imagined that my message and mindfulness trainings would impact over 40,000 children. Thank you for your trust and confidence.