"In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself." - Laurence Sterne
"Solitude is not the same as loneliness. Solitude is a solitary boat floating in a sea of possible companions." - Robert Fulghum
Sometimes life is so hectic, and persistently so, that we rarely have time just for ourselves. This “alone time”, or solitude, is more valuable then we might think at first. Sure you probably need to unwind, relax, cool your jets and get refreshed but solitude is more than just a lack of pressing things to do and the proximity of a comfy couch!
I like to soak up solitude. It is a hugely valuable opportunity to recharge, and perhaps more importantly, to realign your internal compass with where life is taking you. When your mind quiets and the hubbub around you dies away then many things become more clear naturally. This process of seeing ourselves can be a bit scary sometimes because we don’t always like what pops up. Some folks work hard to avoid solitude just for that reason. The swirling activity around them, outside of themselves, helps to keep the focus off of what they might see if the internal person became the subject of attention.
Do you avoid alone time to avoid your own questions and doubts? Do you shun solitude? If so, why?
The quotes today point out that the act of being alone provides both the time and situation to improve our minds and also to position ourselves in a new way in the world. A way full of possibilities. A way that opens the door for better, deeper connections to the people around us.
Not everyone can move to a new age retreat in northern California for a month to find some sort of solitude. I find that I relish the quiet times I can find in my busy life. I’ve also found that you don’t need to be gone for long to gain the benefits of solitude. Sometimes I just look up into the bright blue endless sky for a single minute and bask in that moment of solitude. Find it where you can and make the most of it when you do!