PeaceBox founder Stacy Thrash traverses high-stress environments to teach mindfulness

Noah Van Hooser

Between academic rigor and exhaustive commitment to work life, the strain of student and professional life can allow little time for the practice of self-care.

To counteract such a perceived deficiency, PeaceBox: Mindfulness on the Move, turned a shipping container upon a trailer into a mobile meditation studio — a haven for mastering constructive mindfulness. Through visiting corporations, schools and hosting local retreats, the studio and its instructors seek to instill healthy, mindful habits in typically stressful environments.

Stacy Thrash, founder, owner and President of PeaceBox, utilizes an intensive background in corporate sales and sales management, as well as an education in psychology to understand the workings of high-stress environments.

Thrash’s passion originated with a meditation retreat in Arizona, where she was moved by the power of meditation as stress diffuser in her personal life. Now, as a certified instructor, Thrash hopes to spread a common message of mindfulness among a diverse set of clients.

“We travel to schools, workplaces and (other locations) throughout the community to teach individuals valuable tools they can take with them,” Thrash said. “The main tool is helping people step outside themselves and figuring out where to properly direct their attention.”

Hopeful that people will overcome initial discomfort, Thrash believes positive results will immediately befall clients.

“Unless you feel the benefits, you won’t prioritize it as a practice,” Thrash said. “My goal is to ease those with doubts into learning how to properly meditate and give them an effective routine. Personally, I had trouble sleeping before I began practicing. Now, I fall asleep easily within 10 minutes.”

Thrash’s teachings have reached Meditation Bar, Whole Foods Market and UT, among others.

One academic client of the studio is Austin’s Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, where school counselor Amy Bryant observed 160 students reaping the benefits of self-analysis.

“Our school puts a high value on training mindfulness,” Bryant said. “Every day we ask kids to do their best emotionally and socially in such rigorous classes. The best thing to come out of the PeaceBox visit was the self-regulation the kids learned, developing a toolkit of coping strategies to become more resilient.”

Bryant has also branched out and taken initiative with PeaceBox personally, addressing her own deficiency in personal care.

“For me, meditation is a great way to focus,” Bryant said. “Stacy is great at guiding the sessions and personalizing them. Compassion fatigue is something I struggle with being a school counselor, and all of the experiences I’ve had with PeaceBox allowed me to assess some difficult situations I’ve experienced.”

For radio-television-film freshman Jacob McIntosh, meditation has been integrated into his schedule in order to cope with an exacting routine.

“Meditation is an ultimate escape,” McIntosh said. “Each day is an overload of responsibilities and superficial experiences. Meditation has allowed me to remain sane through it all.”

Bryant said she ultimately feels the PeaceBox partnership is worthwhile, for its positive self-care implications.

“I feel lucky to have been able to partner with Stacy and share that experience with others,” Bryant said. “If anybody has the opportunity to work with PeaceBox they should. Meditation is an important form of self-compassion and I feel I’m able to translate and demystify it for others now.”