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Be Present: Slow Down for the Holidays, Local Organizations Here to Help

Author Sophia Ohja will be the featured guest at the upcoming “Be Present” event in Blowing Rock on December 13.

By Sherrie Norris

It’s no secret that the holidays can be stressful in many ways, but thanks to a partnership of three local organizations, they don’t have to be all-consuming.

According to Amber Chapman, Family Caregiver and Health Promotions Specialist with High Country Area of Aging, an opportunity is available for area residents to learn how to recharge and take charge during an upcoming event.

“Be Present: Slow Down for the Holidays” will be held next Friday, Dec. 13, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock.

Sponsored by The High Country Area Agency on Aging, Western Piedmont Area Agency on Aging, and Rumple Memorial, the event will focus on the needs of family caregivers, but will also prove helpful to others who find themselves in stressful situations. In addition to learning how to use meditation as a relaxation technique, attendees will also enjoy other tips for self-care.

Featured guest will be Sophia Ohja, a long-time meditator and author on topics of training the mind and creating inner peace through meditation and introspection practices. Ohja founded reflectionpond.com, a website that teaches meditation and mindfulness, and offers audio-visual materials, along with articles on how to cultivate a more peaceful mind and a more compassionate heart.

“By training our minds to become our true allies, we can navigate the sea of life with grace,” Ohja writes. “Not getting disturbed when the waters are choppy or turbulent. Not getting too immersed in the pleasure of smooth sailing. Mastering the art of happiness is then cultivating a strong, balanced and calm mind that is the seat of inner-peace. And when we are at peace, then we can contribute to others and serve others in a real, impactful way. Don’t we all want that? Don’t we all want true meaning and purpose for our lives? I certainly do. What a wonderful way to help oneself find meaning and also serve others — by developing a strong, peaceful mind!”

If you are a caregiver, or know someone who is, Chapman encourages your attendance and participation in this event. “We invite you to join us for this opportunity to relax and take a deep breath during the craziness of the holidays,” she said. Music and Tai Chi will also be available.

Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church is located at 1218 Main St. in Blowing Rock.

For more information or to register, contact Chapman at. 828.265.5434, ext.113.