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Featured Wellness Article: Mental Health Benefits of "Letting in the quiet"

by: Jody Madala

Sometimes the chatter in your head can get so noisy, it’s hard to reflect or just be at peace. Even during this morning’s yoga class, which had the theme of “approach with quiet”, I could hear my thoughts spinning around. By the end of class though, when we sat still for several minutes, my mind was clear, but I could actually see a thought drifting along. It was like I was flying and the shore was behind me. There was a lighthouse. And this one thought. I can’t remember what it was now, or if it was really important and maybe that’s the point. If that were to be the last thought I had on this earth, would it be something memorable? Or would it just be something that drifted mindlessly into oblivion?

I like the idea of it being mindless. That all the things you meant to do while your feet were on this land, you did. So you can let the one nagging thought go. It’s probably not worth it in the end.

Yet, as life would have it, I’m already having to practice that resolve.

I recently spent a lot of time with a friend going through some serious relationship drama. I listened and gave advice and talked as much as she needed to talk about it. What I didn’t realize was that it would open up old wounds for me, and that sort of stinks. Even though I can calm my mind and soul with all the things that are going well in my life, picking at a scab over your heart is bound to cause pain. How to still that?

Then, I rediscovered the blog of a very young writer I used to follow, Fumbling with Fiction by Chandler Craig. She fell off the grid having taken a job as a full-time lawyer and ghostwriting (writing for a pre-packaged book concept). Her own creative writing fell to the wayside as did her blogging. But she’s back and 2012 was a great year for her and 2013 looks to be just as good.

She basically got engaged, got married (hello, heart!) and then just sold her first Young Adult book to Disney to be published in 2015. Now, I don’t know this woman personally but I’m actually quite happy for her. We need stories like this to inspire us, so we can believe that good things, amazing things can happen to regular people.

Nevertheless, it also raises an element of disquiet for me (what about all the writing I want to do?) and goes against everything I discovered from this morning’s yoga class. So what to do?

1. Take a break. I need to spend some time with friends and just enjoy the moment. Happily, I have plans tonight for wine and chatter and also a great Sunday plan with NYCBFF. We plan to meet in the Village, walk across the Williamsburg Bridge (a fave with all the pink and cool colorful graffiti), and then have lunch on the other side in Brooklyn. A perfect urban adventure that mixes exercise, NYC bridges which I adore, and NYCBFF time.

Williamsburg Bridge – walking and bike paths.
All kinds of cool graffti along the way making
the colorful bridge even more colorful.

View of the second half of the bridge from
a slightly higher vantage point.

2. Let it settle. Rather than going out and fighting the disquiet, I’m going to try to let it hunker down in the corner over there by the jade plant in my living room. Meaning, rather than exert a tremendous amount of energy to hammer away at these two things causing me to lose the peace, I’m going to step back and revisit them later. Maybe they will have moved on of their own accord.

3. Focus on what is going well in life right now. I’ll pick my work projects for this as I’m working to diversify them and each time I have a conversation with someone or attend a conference, I have more ideas and areas to explore. I’m determined to be all knowledgeable about the space I am carving out for myself since I simply love it. It’s really exciting and I should relish in it while the going’s good.

1. Don’t fight what you can’t control. Instead focus on the things you can do something about and that may make room for the seemingly stubborn things to shift a bit.

2. Keep envy at bay (or do your best). Taking the high road always seems to lead to better outcomes.

3. Embrace the simple things in life. Easy to think, but not so easy to do. Don’t fret over every little to-do, or catching that stray thought. Chances are it won’t even be worth it in the end.


Jody Madala
quit her finance job after 15 years in the business. Now she is working to discover new passions, new professions and new people with a goal to create a new life lived in balance by keeping ennui at bay. Follow the Got Ennui? adventure at www.gotennui.com.



Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 11:20AM by Registered CommenterPilates-Pro in , , | Comments1 Comment

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Reader Comments (1)

Great article, thank you Jody and Pilates-Pro!

July 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

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