SOLITUDE: Alone Time for Yourself
Let’s talk about solitude or alone time, the lack of which blocks our peace of mind and creativity in our over connected world. I’m talking about being alone because you choose to be, not about alienation, loneliness or feeling alone
Solitude is a wonderfully descriptive word, which evokes feeling of bliss, of time sliding by, waves of contentment washing over your being.
We admire the strength of independence, yet that enviable state of individuality cannot exist with alone time.
Solitude is the time alone needed to think, regroup, marshal our thoughts and rethink plans that are out of shape. Alone time finds solutions to our problems that could not be reached when the hurly burly noise and demands of everyday life interrupts our train of thought. We need alone time to rid the mind of excess.
How many times does the old saying, “Sleep on it”, work for you? I know it works a treat in my life, as the quiet time sifts through the problems and uncovers the solution.
So let’s unshackle any words of despair and emptiness that may surround the meaning of the word solitude and see it rather with new fresh eyes.
Welcome your solitude; cherish the quiet, the time to be alone with your thoughts, the time to dream, to drift away to calmer shores.
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Do we allow ourselves to become incapable of living in the moment and instead use technological time-outs like the smart phone or computer? We need alone time, it is a necessary tonic in today's digital world.
We are constantly bombarded with electronic information; as we tap the keyboard, move from messages to the chat room to email to the rapid fire of the game screen. The cost being that our minds and bodies are so accessible; we become little soldiers, regulated by technology and its prevalence. We forget how to fully enjoy a connection and live in the moment.
We fear isolation in our over-connected world, yet solitude allows us to connect to others in a far richer way. We are connected in every way, wherever we are, up a mountain, in a forest we are always in touch. Yet, profoundly we are terminally out of touch. The need for constructive aloneness has gotten lost and in the process so have we.
Stress and worry take huge chunks out of our lives both from a health perspective and the down time worrying about how to sort out that problem, handle that person, fit everything around that appointment and questions on managing our finances and meeting commitment?
Under stress you’re not breathing properly for a start; we tend to take short breaths from the top of our lungs, not a full breath that moves the diaphragm. We consciously have to think about calming down, taking deep breaths and focusing on what we are doing. Bring our thoughts back into line so we can react correctly to the problem and not just a gut reaction or over-reaction.
Often, when presented with a problem and asked for an opinion, sometimes it is difficult to give the correct advice off the top of your head. It may be better to say let me think about it, close you door if you can and just let yourself drift off. The solution inevitably comes to you, and quiet time was the source of your answer.
Solitude is required for the unconscious to process and unravel problems, to unearth original answers and emerge with new discoveries.
Being alone regulates and adjusts our lives, it teaches us fortitude, restores energy, it provides for our happiness and our will to be an individual. We need the time to engage with others, but alone time is an emotional breather, which enriches that time.
Watch people standing on the pavement or in a parking lot – loud talking, laughing, and music blaring. Then someone’s foot starts tapping to the rhythm and soon his body is moving in synchrony to the sounds, before long he is in his own world. A trance that is both engaged and disengaged from social connection as he regulates his alone time and attachment.
We have to experience alone time to realise we are capable of being alone, of being happy and confident in our own abilities. We don’t always need silence, we can be with someone or in a crowded room and just drift off into our inner to enjoy some alone time.
I relish the early morning, when I’m on my own, the house is still, the world is hushed and I am at peace with it. I watch the orange glow of sunrise, hear the birds begin to call each other and listen to the muffled sounds as the world awakens. This is the best time, one that fills me up, relaxes and readies me for whatever the day brings.
Sunset creates the same feelings as I watch and listen as the world around me begins to shut down, the distant murmur of traffic fades, the birds’ excited chatter quietens, the sounds of the neighbours’ lives calm down and the whisper quiet of the evening descends.
This time is not always available, as it is busy time, with my husband returning from work, my son coming in from his job or university. They talk about their day, we make supper, and then begin to withdraw from the turmoil of the day.
Quiet time comes much later, when everything is said and done, tomorrows’ preparations finished, and we lie in our beds awaiting sleep, natures’ way of ensuring solitude in the stillness of the night.
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Romantic love and the strain on couples to be all things to each other is no less than the strain on people in all areas of society.
After the first phase of ecstatic togetherness, partners feel the need to find themselves. This is rarely understood as part of the process of carrying love past the initial over-involved stage. Having fun alone is not being unfaithful, it is an ordinary experience, and should be treated as such. The restlessness born from too little alone time becomes apparent, arguments ensue, and the anger may be the need for alone time asserting itself.
Alone times allow us to reflect and sort things out, not necessarily as a way to escape the bond although, through contemplation, we often forge stronger commitments.
We need to unshackle alone time from friendships and relationships, is should be part of the norm as it's necessary to mental health. The relief provided by reverie, contemplation and private time is inestimable.
Dan Gibson's Solitude and Natural Beauty
What Alone time offers
We know the most creative, innovative people are those who treasure their solitude and disconnect in order to navigate successfully through life.
The sudden insights, bubbles of imagination, growth in self-awareness, curiosity, and passion all evolve in solitude.
Aloneness is the protector of the human spirit, the sustenance in our health and the shine in our lives.
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