Carving out a little solitude

It’s that moment… the time of the night when I am all alone. I treasure this late night “break”, this small nest of time inhabited only by me. This is what I long for – A slice of Solitude!

In solitude, I get the opportunity to stop doing or worrying for others and to surprise and gratify myself. When we are hungry or thirsty, we get the signal right away, and we pay attention to it. The same holds true in our thirst for solitude. Something I cannot ignore any more… and so I’ve learned to create little islands of solitude in my daily life.

solitude - The soul's holiday

Solitude – The soul’s holiday

Solitude gives me relief – albeit fleeting, but much needed one. We are ever-busy otherwise and we are convinced about it!  It seems there is always something that needs to be done, always someone who needs our attention. Doing nothing after all is “being idle” in our culture. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time!

And it is for this reason that we always see ourselves attending to something or someone. If no one’s around, we’ll reach for the phone—or the TV remote or even the vacuum cleaner. We avoid ourselves because we’re afraid of being a forlorn, who’s missing out on life’s party. But most of us don’t realize that solitude and isolation are not the same. As Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, says: “We can retreat from the world for a time without being renounced by it.”

Watching my five-year old play in the balcony, I marvel at his contentment and self-sufficiency. He is completely absorbed as he plants twigs in an empty flowerpot or enacts a racing sequence with his toy cars. Kids in general often enjoy their own company—a knack that, somewhere along the line, so many of us lose. When we are – and almost always – focused on external stimulation, or even on our relationships, we miss opportunities for inner growth and renewal.

Over the last few years, I admit solitude has made me more creative – it has cured what ailed me within; it has helped me think more clearly and objectively.

Solitude however is not an easy path. We live in a culture ruled by the demands of daily life. Whether it’s the people we encounter, including our parents, teachers, neighbours or the media, nothing in our culture or society teaches us how to go inward, to be at peace with ourselves, as a result of which, we tend to devote very little time to the life of the soul – in other words, the life of the spirit.

But carving out a little solitude can make a world of difference. Alone—in moments of prayer or meditation, or simply in stillness—we breathe more deeply, hear more keenly, observe more intensely, and understand the power of ‘Self’.

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One response to this post.

  1. Obscured by the cacophony of opinions of the World, we often fail to respond to the call of the Universe. Solitude helps us get a hang of the way Our Soul lives, functions and breathes. Could relate to this completely 🙂 This is indeed a ‘pearl’ of thought!

    Reply

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