“Our language has wisely sensed these two sides of man’s being alone. It has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”
~ Paul Tillich,
We’re on Retreat right now, walking a path of meditation and contemplation. I promised to share some simple wisdoms and activities from retreat, so today I’d like to focus on the human need for solitude. As much as we need companionship and community, we also need alone time. This time on our own enables us to think deeply about our life, our problems and opportunities, our relationships and our work. Alone time quietens us and reduces our stress, allowing us to come back to the world refreshed. It makes room for the kind of deep listening that brings us answers and inspiration. It deepens our intuition. And it provides space for learning and healing.
Many of us in the modern world have lost touch with our need for regular periods of solitude. We have become overwhelmed by busy-ness and an avalanche of consumerism and trivial information.
One of my guides, Silith, offered this advice for helping us to come back to a place of peace and connection with her ‘Three Useful Cures for Nearly Everything’:
- Walking – Walking is essential to our health and well-being. Humans evolved as walkers, and walking puts us into a natural meditative state. Walking promotes healthy digestion and strong immunity, and gifts us time for thinking and integration of new ideas and change.
- Time in nature, alone. When we spend time in nature our body relaxes, and we are able to ground any excess of positive ions. Nature replenishes our spirit and gives us the deep quiet we need for listening to our own answers and inner guidance, as well as tuning our intuition in to any spiritual guidance or direction. This could be time in parks, natural spaces or wilderness, but it can also be time spent in your garden.
- Sleep. Sleep is an important time of solitude. Most of us don’t get enough of it. Turn off the wifi and all screens at bed time. Sleep in a cool and well ventilated bedroom that is dark and quiet. Have a comfortable bed and a good pillow.
We need to make sure we balance the busy with the quiet, for ourselves and for our children too. If you feel called to spend more time in solitude, trust that calling. We seek solitude whenever we need healing, or because we are incubating the energy to make a profound change in our lives, or are bringing new ideas and projects into being.
What can you do this week to find more time for solitude?
Sending much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx