Life as we understand it, is full of ups and downs, a constant of the journey. Life just is, busy, noisy, and full from dawn to dusk. On the upside we ride the wave of energy that fills us up with passionate fire, blowing air, the sweetness of honey amid the buzz of everyday, elation and riding high in the clouds. Let’s just say whenever life is good, it is very good. Somehow everything falls into place with ease, feather light. We know instinctively the winds will eventually change, chaos and difficult periods will ensue, Mary Poppins might just arrive umbrella in hand, that this is required for change to transpire in our lives and relationships. At different points in our journey, there can be the sense that events happened to us, events beyond our control, events that leave us scratching our heads, confused and dazed. In the Tarot deck of cards imagine the Tower, crumbling, tumbling and ablaze with fire and lightning, clouds and dark skies looming overhead. In times of turbulence and life lessons, it is not in our best interest to fight against, swords raised, armor heavily metalled, shields drawn. It is in times of challenging circumstance that retreating into solitude becomes the only saving grace in preserving ourselves with dignity and peace.
Our spiritual essence require, if not demand, alone time. It is in this space that we are able to process life events, our relationships, our sense of self. It is here we regain our power, restore our depleted energies, find much-needed rest, reconnect with ourselves and our souls, hear, see and experience the miracles of life. In solitude we contemplate and achieve spiritual peace. Whether in meditation, out in nature, in prayer or pilgrimage, solitude is vital to our physical, emotional and spiritual health and well being. According to Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, a psychologist and author who specializes in the area of women and stress, solitude positively affects our minds and body in the following ways:
- Revitalizes our mind and body
- Improves concentration
- Triggers creativity
- Fosters deep reflection
- Boosts self-discovery and finding our own voice
- Enhances the quality of our relationships.
In times of unbalance, turbulance and confusion, solitude is stabilizing. Where most believe that doing more, fixing, talking, discussing and chatter are the answers to life difficulties, in fact, the opposite is often true. Yes, there are times for discussion and support but, ultimately all the answers lie within us, discovered in solitude. When we engage in endless chatter with others, going over and over the same repetitive patterns and problems, the chaos continues, continually stirred, frothing and whisked. Never allowed to be put to rest, let go of, to move forward. Everyone of us knows someone who lives life in the chaotic lane, constantly making much ado about nothing, dwelling on the negatives, riding the merry-go-round seeking others to join along on the ride. Where chaos drives our life, solitude is difficult to find. We also know others who are settled, balanced and walk through life with ease and understanding, retreating into solitude when needed and partaking in life with positive energy, with understanding and a deep knowing of self and others. Chaos not tolerated or welcomed, solitude easy and light. The following are some ways to find solitude amid the chaos in everyday living.
- Start a morning or evening ritual of alone time to process your day, breathe deeply and give thanks.
- Sit in the car for an extra few minutes before leaving or arriving at your destination.
- Set aside time to read and reflect.
- Meditate, walk, run, bike
- Do something creative using your gifts
- Listen to music, sing.
- Pray or speak to your Divine
- Lift your face toward the sun and smile.
- Try an alternative therapy such as Massage, Reiki, or Reflexology.
Life is a balance and interplay of times of busyness and solitude. Sleep is not solitude but, sleep is also required for restoration and renewal. Solitude is the awake cycle of rest and renewal for body and spirit. It is the place where swords begin to fall out of the body, deep wounds begin to heal, self-confidence and direction is restored, a new journey is begun. Solitude prepares us to receive the gifts the Universe constantly bestows upon us with gratitude and humility. How can you hear the hum of a hummingbirds wings or the buzz of a bee when your mind is full? How can you experience a heart that has been closed now opening like a red rose in full bloom, ready to once again give and receive love. How can you come to know yourself intimately? Solitude. It really is a saving grace amid the chaos of life. Retreat and connect with your soul once more.