I remember when I first experienced solitude. I was a young professional, living in a brand new city where I didn’t know anyone and I traveled a lot for work. I was alone a lot.
At first, I was lonely. Until I learned to tolerate solitude and eventually, I learned to love solitude.
I know a lot of people are afraid of being alone or get flustered with silence. My hope is you may begin to truly enjoy the gifts silence has to offer.
- Start small. Set an appointment with yourself to spend five minutes with only yourself as your companion. Don’t plan to meditate, to write, to create art, to fold laundry or any other sort of activity. You may look at a beautiful view, you may gaze up at the sky, you may sit on your front porch and watch your neighborhood come to life. Five minutes. Then ten. Then 15.
- Become playful with alone times by adding solo activities. Some of my favorites include taking walks with my camera in my hand. By being alert to the surprises wherever I happen to be, I get great shots and the experience becomes meditative. Go to a park and choose to play on the playground. Swings, balance beams, slides. Play for at least five minutes or more. Experience it fully… and don’t start the timer until you stop being self conscious.
- Attend yoga classes with the intention of “being alone together.” For me, being alone with others (or creating alone side-by-side with someone else) has become akin to a spiritual practice. I am very social, yet because I crave alone time, these moments of alone with others birth some of my most powerful creative breakthroughs.
- Teach your family to respect your times of solitude. You may need to give them a signal like your journal, open in front of you, means you are “alone” – like being on an island. During colonial times, a famous woman writer and mother of 12(!) would put her apron up over her head as a way to “get out of the house” while smack dab in the middle of it. Your family will learn, as mine has, that there are times Mommy just needs quiet.
- Forgive yourself the time it takes to enjoy solitude. Remember the difference between loneliness and solitude. With loneliness, you feel an emptiness you want to fill. With solitude you feel a rich emptiness you want to sit with for a while.
Watch for an upcoming post with a list of quotes about solitude you may want to print (or copy) and use as a focus while stepping into silence, which, by the way may be quite noisy. One of my favorite places for solitude is with my notebook in a sports bar on Sunday mornings, for example.
Enjoy your solo journey and allow those times to fill you with delectable passion so that your productivity and enjoyment of life and work-life and family-life increase exponentially.
One of my goals during Biannual Blogathon is to create content using "Bests" and "Tips" and "How to's in # of steps." When I first started my on-line life in 1998, these were a mainstay of my content life and were republished over and over and over again. I am excited to get back to writing them again. Thank you, Blogathon2!
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© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She leads Writing Camp with JJS & this Summer will be traveling throughout the US to bring this unique, fun filled creative experience to the people wherever she finds the passion & the interest.
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