The Peace Room - Chelsea, Catherine & Jean-Luc

The Peace Room - Chelsea, Catherine & Jean-Luc

The Peace Room

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Interview: Nikki Gillingham, Blue Whale Communications

Photography: Marianne Rothbauer, Rothbauer Studio


What is meditation and what does it mean to you personally?

Meditation is a tool that helps calm your mind so you can feel less overwhelm and think more clearly.  From a higher perspective it also allows you to discover who you are and your place in the world. Through meditation you will realize your inner power  that can change the world. In other words it gives you inner insight and provides expansive change.

Why is it important and what is the best way for people to incorporate it into their (probably already busy) lives? 

People are stressed out. We are so far removed from our the harmony of nature - the balance of the yin and the yang. This imbalance manifests itself in overwhelm stress and ultimately disease. Calming the mind is s great first step into better health. To incorporate it into your day, start your day with 5 minutes first thing in the morning where all you do is focus on your breath. The more you do it, the more you will start to see the benefits. 


Why did you choose to open a space dedicated solely to meditation instead of, for example, create an app or collaborate with a yoga studio?

We believe meditation is a new wave coming into the culture. Many yoga studios seem to be more focused on the body than the mind. The image for many has become about wearing lulu lemon and being bendy instead of being focused on calming the mind and finding yourself. As for apps we love them, Insight timer, Headspace, Calm are great and we encourage people to use them. The thing about an app is that you do it alone and for some that's not as easy, motivating or as fun as finding a supportive tribe to do it with. For us it's about the experience. 

On your website, you mention using the five senses to induce meditation. Can you elaborate on that?

Yes, one of the main comments we kept getting from people before we opened was that they find it too hard. it was important for us to make meditation as easy as possible. We decided that we would use our 5 senses to help induce it in the easiest way we can. To do that we combined visual imagery, relaxation tea, brainwave entrainment music, aroma therapy and light physical touch. No one has ever done this before and members are loving it. 


Did you always know you wanted to run your own business one day? What made you decide to take the leap into entrepreneurship?

All three partners have experience in entrepreneurship. Prior to The Peace Room Jean-Luc and Chelsea founded Free Form Fitness personal training studios. This is Jean-Luc and Chelsea's 10th business. Jean-Luc was one of the youngest people to ever win the 40 under 40 award. He also won entrepreneur of the year by Faces magazine. Catherine had started a business in the health and fitness world with her husband Luke prior to this journey.

What is something you have learned since joining Ottawa’s business community?

Go the extra mile for people and they will tell their friends. Take it one client at a time and trust that you are on the right path. 


When you’re not meditating or helping other Ottawans meditate, how do you spend your free time?

Catherine: Enjoying time with my kids and husband.

Chelsea: Horseback Riding .

Jean Luc: Reading.

Favourite place to go in Ottawa to escape the cold weather?

The Peace Room of course! :)

Any words of wisdom or advice for someone ready to try meditation for the first time?  

Focus on your breath. Your thoughts will start to wander but that's normal. Just bring it back to your breath and eventually it will become easier. 

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