The holidays are a time where the hustle and bustle can sweep us away towards a direction that does not serve us or those around us. The overwhelm. The worry. The grief. Feeling too attached to materialism that has our focus is the opposite of the purpose of the holidays – to love, to gather, to share, to eat and be merry. To enjoy our friends and family through connection and presence. Really caring about each other, sharing truths, memories, stories and laughter. 

Here is a spoken word piece that I wrote and recited for a meditation class back in 2014 in Santa Monica, California. I wrote it in a time in my life when I needed that message to stop and slow down and become more mindful of how I was showing up in the world, mainly for me. 


By Lisa Schneiderman

“It was once a whisper from your mother’s mouth.

It was once the calmness that brushes over you right before you fall asleep. 

That place where your state of mind and your body are one. The place where the most profound equilibrium abides. That zone of peace. Deep peace where all illusion melts away and all that is left is the emptiness. 

Ahh – come back to that place. Deep inside. The pure center that you visit from time to time when the busy – ness resolves and all is well. 

Don’t wait for that to come to you on a hope or prayer. A whim that isn’t planned. For it is THIS life that we must consciously disconnect from the hurried, chaos that spirals around and around. Weaving energetic fields of static. That noise that is usually beneath the surface of all that we do. 

Why is it there? A million reasons I suppose. But one that comes to mind is that it exists for a higher purpose. A higher calling to serve our greatest meaning.  Our greatest existence. If it wasn’t for that drive to strive for the best, to move ourselves beyond the regular rigamore of existence – striving for greatness. Striving for something beyond the mundane. The usual. The herd follows just because they are told. 

For our lives are grander, more spectacular than just following. 

Return to ourselves the very magnificence that we were born to be. Standing firm on the ground while having more strength to spiral higher. 

It is in this place. This centered way of being that we can tap into the voice of our deepest calling. The pure nectar of hope and faith for ourselves, for our families, for our communities and for the world at large. Be that which you want for the world. Be that calm voice in the midst of uncertainty and chaos and hustle and bustle. Be that tall oak tree so firm that not even 50 mile an hour winds can move it. 

It begins with us. Calming it all down. Turning the channel to the zen zone. Eyes within now. Acknowledging the emotion, the feeling, the thought. Then letting it go. Again and again and again. And So it is.”

I hope that you are able to take time this holiday season to become more mindful of how you are conducting yourself in the world. Are you running yourself ragged and don’t make time for self care? Are you perpetuating a long lineage of go, go, go and have the programming in your head that says if you stop you are not being productive or if you do then something will fall away. 

The holidays are always a good time to contemplate but also sit with your grandmother an hour longer as she tells you that story she already told you. It’s also a good time to stop swiping and truly be with your son as he wants you so desperately to help him build his lego set, yet again for the umpteenth time. Or to take that walk with your sister in the woods and talk about the things that are important or just laugh together and connect. 

Life will continue to pass you by if you don’t take the time to truly cherish the people around you and be with them in your full presence – without distractions. 

Lisa Schneiderman is a UO member who helps people raise awareness for causes and positive messages that uplift humanity to a higher state of being.