Embracing the Luxury of Quiet: A Resolution

A letter from AGEIST friend and contributor, Bija Bennett…

Dialogue on the luxury of peace and quiet dominates every media platform these days. Influencer conversations from wellness to fashion to architecture all reflect the same message. “Calm is a rare commodity these days,” says Mayer Rus in a recent editorial in Architectural Digest. Amid the lingering disquietude of post-pandemic life, peace and quiet has become the new currency of luxury.

Quiet — and the calm it brings us — is a luxury, and worth every cent. But it’s not what we buy or wear or even live in, but rather what we see and hear. And the more noise, the harder it becomes to protect ourselves from the constant barrage of dubious, dramatic, or negative images and voices that continuously emanate from our televisions and screens. Does this do us much good? How can it? No wonder the luxury of quiet is so coveted.

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Is Our World Getting Louder?

Almost a decade ago, The Atlantic noted “peace and quiet come with an increasingly hefty price tag.” Given the growth of every media platform and the inescapable complexity of our world and our connection to it, that cost has increased exponentially. That’s why I believe finding true peace and quiet must be our new prime directive. Plus, it offers us a realistic path to improved happiness and health.

Now well into 2024, rather than gearing up for the challenges ahead, I remember the most foundational tenet of any sustained practice, whether it’s exercise training, writing, or creating art: taking the time to recover, and rest. Rest doesn’t mean we have to be idle or hold ourselves back. Without challenge, our bodies, our minds — as well as our spirits — become settled, or worse, even complacent. Yet, there is power in calm.

I know I can’t control unrest, inflation or politics; none of us can. But we can make new choices. We can be courageous, challenge ourselves beyond our depth, even “hold ourselves to the difficult” as we try new things in order to grow. But, like athletes, we must build in some recovery time from our exertion. Rather than ceasing to challenge ourselves, we can replenish our body’s vitality, our soul’s store of creative energy, to both build and repair. Then, we’re just about in the right place to do something exciting!

Taking Action

So that’s my resolution for 2024: not to lose the joy of responding to the creative energy of my life — and rejuvenate, regularly. What does this look like? The process is different for all of us. But for me, it means I will engage in the creative process every day; do a better job of prioritizing so I have more spaciousness and calm in my life. Pritish Nandy once said: “Everything returns to itself. I must also come back to me again.”

If you want to join me and make a few changes this year, now is the time to do it. Make the most of this fleeting moment and jump in before the bloom of the new year fades.

I hope the following practices, publications, and gifts will help you find calm and be calm — as we need this now more than ever. In my opinion, finding calm and showering these attributes on your family and friends would be the best gifts you can give yourself and each other this year.

Here’s to hope, healing and a year full of friendship, growth and shared experiences.

Cheers to new beginnings!

Much love,
Bija

Bija Bennett is an acclaimed author, speaker, and wellness-industry pioneer whose practice focuses on the tenets of mind-body health, a discipline she teaches through accessible and engaging strategies. She has developed pioneering programs and workshops for Fortune 500 companies and major medical institutions, authored four seminal books, including “Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind” and myriad articles on health, healing and personal growth, and is currently the chair of the Global Wellness Institute’s Yoga Therapy Initiative. She counts Deepak Chopra among her colleagues and has taught numerous celebrities, including Joni Mitchell, Calvin Klein, Barbra Streisand, George Harrison and Laura Dern. Through her website, www.bijab.com, Bija provides a range of wellness services tailored to individuals, businesses and audiences.