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An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

I have always believed that we need to practice what we preach. If you are committed to your own well being, you will bring that commitment forward in the work environment and others will be inspired to follow suit.

As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nora Plesent, founder of Be Still and Soar.

Nora Plesent has been supporting women personally and professionally for over 40 years. She is a lawyer, entrepreneur, mom, writer and advocate for women’s wellness. After practicing law for 20 years and being a founder of a multi-million dollar legal staffing company for another 20 years, Nora is now a Stress Management Consultant and Wellness Coach helping women who live in a state of overwhelm and exhaustion become calmer, clearer and more connected so that they can experience more joy, comfort, peace and presence in their lives.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Yes! I practiced law for 20 years in NYC and then founded a legal staffing company which I ran for the next 20 years. During that time I was overwhelmed and exhausted on a regular basis. I was working full time, raising four kids on my own and never felt like I was particularly successful at either. Around 2007 I hit a wall; while I was in China adopting my youngest daughter my brother died at 39. I knew I needed to make some changes in my life. I went through a difficult divorce and moved across the country to LA to start life anew. The move was hard on my children and it was a struggle for all of us to make friends and create a sense of belonging. I felt like I was on empty. I came across a meditation studio and began learning how to meditate. I read everything I could on the mind-body connection, the nervous system and the power of slowing down. All these concepts were new to me and I was blown away by how much they helped me through my own crisis. I then decided to become certified as a meditation coach and help women learn how to do the same for themselves.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I think one of the most surprising and interesting things that happened to me these last five years was when I had to go to the DMV to renew my license and walked in to the madness and chaos and seemingly unending lines and was able to sit for hours without the massive amount of angst, annoyance and frustration that had always overwhelmed me in moments such as these.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

When I started out I was still under the impression that to “meditate” properly you needed a meditation cushion, incense and beads! I was initially so impressed with myself that I had the “right” paraphernalia to meditate but soon thereafter when I was sitting on the cushion, cross legged with the incense wafting and beads in my hands I burst out laughing realizing that the inner work I was committed to doing and bringing to others had nothing to do with these of any props. It was going inside, wherever you are and getting quiet and listening to your own still small voice.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My meditation coach, Heather Hayward! The first day I walked into one of her classes and she was playing Stevie Wonder I knew I had found someone I could work with, relate to and learn from.

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

For anyone stepping into a career in wellness, make sure to stay connected to your own reason for being in the industry and stay true to your own practices of meditation or breath work, healthy eating, sleep routines and whatever you do to personally stay “well”. When you do, you will naturally avoid burnout!

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

I have always believed that we need to practice what we preach. If you are committed to your own well being, you will bring that commitment forward in the work environment and others will be inspired to follow suit.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.

I am a strong believer that in order to stay healthy, we need to live as balanced a life as we can, and not become obsessive about any one arena of our life/personality. I advise clients to take a good look at all parts of themselves and to spend some time every day devoted to nurturing all their different parts!

The Five Steps I suggest for optimizing mental wellness can be found in the neumonic SPICE!

I work with my clients to bring a little SPICE to their lives but each and every day, doing something

Spiritual (S), something Physical (P), something Intellectual (I), something Creative © and something Emotional (E). It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of work to do this, it’s about becoming conscious of how we spend our time and focus and making an effort to be well rounded. Today I meditated, walked, read a book, wrote a little and talked with a friend. Checked everything off the list!

Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.

Even more important in retirement to make sure you are nurturing all the various sides of yourself!

How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?

Teens also are advised to explore the various areas of themselves and break out of their habitual routines on the phone and take a walk or bike ride, read something not online, write a note the old fashioned way and even have a talk on the phone rather than on chat!

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

I read constantly and have many many books that have impacted me but one of the ones I come back to regularly is Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. Real, Relatable, Meaningful.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would like to start a movement to get people to meditate en masse together, write in journals, share and then walk around hugging one another!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I love this one- It’s not what you get in life, it’s what you do with it!

To me that sums it all up- whatever happens to us, we can always espond how we want to!

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?


Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Nora Plesent of Be Still and Soar: 5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.