All posts tagged: Shush!

30 Minutes in the Dark, with Needles

What does it take to get me to really sit still and shut up? Being immobilized by needles and electrodes in a dark room, apparently. No, this was not some wild and wretched sounding 50 Shades of Grey moment, just an attempt to alleviate a very un-sexy inflamed tendon in my hand with a 30-minute acupuncture session. Being rendered basically useless and left alone with my thoughts made me realize that apart from going to sleep at night, it’s rare that I take time to really simmer down. I think that almost everyone has this problem, but perhaps mothers are most guilty of not taking proper quiet time. Be still! We tell children to do it all the time, but most of us can’t get the hang of it. We often read to relax, or watch television to try and zone out, but we are actually filling our heads with more information; and exercise or yoga, as wonderful as they are, are all about bodies in motion. I am talking about the full-on Zen of …

My Shed: 120 Square Feet of Happiness

(Photo Courtesy Jenna Briand) They say if the universe shows you a door, walk through it. Well, the universe showed me a shed. Specifically, a 10’x12′ “modern shed,” like one you might see in Dwell magazine. One I discovered online and bookmarked during an absent-minded Google search, on a particularly rough day at the office. I then wistfully stared at it on my computer for about six months, during conference calls, morning edit meetings and lunch breaks. It was the image of this small, fantastical oasis that calmed my racing pulse when my inbox topped 100, cut through the din of office drama and temporarily un-furrowed the brow that had, over time, become so… scrunched. I’d spent more than 15 years in digital media, climbing the ladder, watching my physical surroundings improve and grow with each new gig — from well-appointed cubicle to panoramically viewed Midtown Manhattan office to the most immaculate, modern space in all of Beverly Hills. Each upgrade seemed to be a sign that, clearly, I was making it. Each Herman Miller …

What the Labyrinth Taught Me: Meditation is Possible, Even If You Hate It

(Photo Courtesy Jack Dorsey) When I first learned that prayer and meditation were paramount to getting sober (via a traditional 12-step program), I knew I was doomed. That alone was enough to make me flee from AA meetings eight years ago. (Though I’ve since returned, it took a while.) I grew up in New York City. I’ve always felt comfortable in chaos. Silence scares me (or it used to, at least), so I was none too eager to sit in that silence, for who knows how long, in an effort to find my “inner peace.” Honestly, I was afraid I’d find out what I was pretty much already certain of — that it didn’t exist. As a kid, religion was not a part of my life. Neither of my parents practiced or taught me any particular beliefs. Though I’ve always felt that there is something bigger than us making the world go round, I didn’t think there was any need for me to tap into whatever that something was. Quite frankly, I believed it was …

Away From It All, Underground

I love my subway ride. Love it. I like to say it’s the only alone time I get all day. (Other than locking myself in the bathroom occasionally to hide from my children.) I look forward to it so much, my purse is practically dedicated to my subway activities. I almost always have my Kindle. A 25-minute ride is enough time to read a few chapters (just finished Allegiant by Veronica Roth), and who gets to read these days? Pure luxury. I also carry a print book on occasion. It has to be really special, since it takes up so much room — and I need to secure a seat for reading with two hands — but if my Kindle is a cozy sweater, a real book is cashmere. Like every other human in New York City, I also carry my smartphone. This is for when I’m feeling practical or anxious. I’ll add items to my to-do list, review my calendar for the day, answer email or read from the New York Times app. Or if I’m feeling …

Going Solo: Spending My 38th Birthday Alone in Albuquerque

This Sunday, I’ll be turning 38. And I’ll be spending it in a city I’ve never visited: Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’ll be traveling by myself, and that’s exactly what I want for this birthday. It’s the first birthday where I won’t be getting a call or card from my grandmother, who passed away in January (though her card likely would have already arrived). It’s a birthday where the blaring biological clock warnings feel like they are all going off in my head at once. So I decided to escape to somewhere warm where I hope to recharge and replenish myself and find a way to make peace with this new age that feels scary for many reasons. “Is your boyfriend going with you?” several people have asked when I told them of my plans. He’s not. When a couple that we were having dinner with the other night asked, I said, “I invited you,” to my boyfriend, only partly joking. “No you didn’t,” he protested. “You just said, ‘This is what I’m doing on my birthday.’” …

Looking Back: The House of Saint Fannie

Grandparents Saint Fannie and Nicholas as newlyweds in 1940, at their weekend getaway cottage.(Photo Courtesy Daniella Latham) It was located on a familiar, winding, bumpy road that held the memories of youth. There was always a flurry of activity in our house growing up, along with the daily traffic that cut the tree-lined suburban street and turned it into a raceway. Each driver navigated the sharp curve as if they were Mario Andretti, minus the looks and money that went along with that type of fame. A 1950’s split-level, the house sat a stone’s throw from the center of the universe (Manhattan) and it gave off the feeling that anything was possible. I lived with my mother and my grandparents. My grandfather stood out as the only truly present man in our lives, and his moral center was paired with Saint Fannie, my grandmother, the matriarch who cooked a mean eggplant parmesan and was my favorite person on earth. As a child growing up in 1970’s suburban New Jersey, nothing could touch us. Life was …

6 Moments of Shush: How TueNight Tunes Out

What’s your moment of Shush? That time when all feels quiet, calm and still. Perhaps you can breathe a little better. Or maybe you forget about the crazy day ahead and instead feel completely present in the moment you are in. It’s not easy and it doesn’t always come naturally, but it’s possible — and can be incredibly rewarding. We asked six TueNight contributors and friends to share some of their own Zen-esque experiences. 1. The Paintbox: “I’m a set designer, and sometimes I get up really early and go to the theater to paint. I get hours of complete silence. Nobody comes in until at least eight a.m. or later, and by that time I have gone home to wake my kids up. Getting up in the middle of the night has become my best source of privacy. #BenefitofNightSweats.” – Molly Eness 2. The Daily Pause: “After the hideous alarm clock goes off (and the subsequent snooze alert 10 minutes later), I try not to bolt from bed. Instead, I take a few minutes …