“It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.” — Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
“In solitude where we are least alone” — Lord Byron
“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.” — Paul Brunton
You don’t need to be anti-social to enjoy being alone. You don’t have to isolate yourself to the point of becoming a recluse, either. Solitude is undervalued these days. Having a deep connection to yourself above others is rarely pursued as an art. We’re so plugged into technology, the latest and greatest gadgets, phones, tools, and we’re news hounds, too. Unplugging is so uncommon yet so necessary.
People bemoan their singlehood, not having full social calendars, and chilling out with a glass of wine and a remote while wearing sweatpants means you’re a loser without a life. Not true. But that’s also not the way to fully nurture yourself, either.
I like having scores of friends, checking out crowds, going to the beach, and spending time with loved ones. But sometimes it’s excessive and escapist. Taking a break and a time out seems almost selfish, but it’s the opposite.
In solitude, I can think undisturbed, meditate, cultivate intimacy with my own needs and desires, and create, create, create. I like to write, scribble, make collages, vision boards, listen to music, meditate, enjoy and appreciate myself.
Sometimes taking a bath, a walk, a hike, or a stroll undisturbed is when our best ideas and epiphanies percolate without force. They simply appear. They’re often our best because we didn’t have to brainstorm with anyone else, we didn’t have to cull them on deadline, and they’re our own, from a deep place inside…
Ways to find alone time:
- Walk every day
- Take a bath
- Unplug it all — shut off the phone, ditch the laptop, turn off the tube
- Take a scenic drive
How do you find solitude and how has it helped you?