Are the Holidays Trying to Tell You Something?

Ask The Experts by Jennifer Raybaud

Q: “I’m already getting a little stressed about the upcoming holidays and all I need to do. I’ve been seeing things around about mindfulness and meditation, but I’ve always been a little skeptical. How does this help and should I try it?”

A: Fabulous question! May I begin by asking you to sit quietly for a moment and reflect to see if this season is trying to “speak” to you in some way? If, when we roll a little “mental tape” on past holidays we find the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year an exhausting whirlwind, then a new way of “doing business” in the year ahead might be just what’s needed.

The overarching idea of why we get together during the holidays is beautiful, but it’s how complex that basic premise has become over the years that is proving to be the problem.

Meditation, simply put, is the idea of relaxing the mind. A relaxed mind brings peace and clarity, clarity brings better decision making and better decision making benefits us all. Meditation is not the practice of clearing the mind of all thought as many believe, as that is a near impossible. We’re designed to be thinking beings. Meditation is about working with those thoughts.

Mindfulness, asks us to be present and enjoy the “now.” There are many wonderful experiences, especially during the holidays, that we can “autopilot” through instead of being an active participant. Mindfulness and the principles behind it, help us find more sweetness in what can seem to be the most mundane of tasks.

If you want to cultivate more peace in 2016, learning meditation and living a more mindful life are a great places to start!

Jennifer Raybaud is the CEO of The Serendipitous Soul. She is a professional speaker, MBSR (mindful based stress reduction) certified and a meditation educator. Raybaud can be reached at or 586-491-8969. She is a member of The Family Center’s Association of Professionals.

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