August’s topic for the Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank is: “Do you carve out any periods of solitude?”
Yes I do! LOTS!
This topic came to mind for me as I was reading the July 26th passage from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance. That daily reading was titled “Discovering What You’d Like to Do, If You Ever Had the Time”. It made me wonder how many people actually take a few moments, minutes or even hours in their day, just doing something they want to do in complete solitude. As a result, I suggested this as a topic for our blogging cooperative and our leader, Ande Cruz, chose it.
I think, as with most aspects of my life, I am probably the one off from the norm. I consider myself lucky in this regard because I am comfortable being alone. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy being around others, because I do. It’s just that I learned how to enjoy being by myself early in life. I am an only child. As a youngster, I was able to keep myself entertained by coloring, riding my bike, playing on the swing set….there were a couple of other children in our neighborhood who were close to my age, but they were boys! If I didn’t keep up, I didn’t get to play with them because I was a girl. So I found ways to entertain myself.
As I grew up, I continued to gravitate to solitary activities. Art. Sewing. Playing the piano. Yoga.
At this time in my life, I have embraced the quiet time in my studio where I can listen to music and immerse myself into the Zen of creativity. I have always loved working with my hands. For me there is great satisfaction in spending time alone, immersed in my thoughts with the occasional basset wandering in for a bit of attention. I find it soothing and relaxing.
Mediation is something I started to do several years ago. There are so many benefits to that practice. It requires that you find that private sanctuary where you can spend a few moments and rejuvenate yourself. Generally I am accompanied by one of our bassets as I try to quiet my mind and go inside myself, which can be challenging. Yet, when I can find a mantra with beautifully serene music, I can find that stillness to meditate. I am always amazed by how rested I feel afterward.
All in all, I feel fortunate because I think I have a lifestyle that allows more quiet time than most are able to find. If I didn’t have those moments of solitude, I think it would have an adverse affect on me. Periods of quiet stillness refresh me. I consider them to be vital to my health and well being. Those precious moments are perfect for prayer too; they allow me the time to give thanks for the many blessings I have in my life. In my opinion, once this awareness comes, you just cannot live without it on a daily basis.
Now let’s see what my fellow bloggers had to write on this topic:
K.Skiles Studio: http://kaskiles.com/2014/08/20/artist-retreats-and-solo-time/
Catherine Witherell: http://happydayart.typepad.com