Posted by: healingtheworkplace | December 28, 2015

We All Need Solitude

Can Solitude Be Learned?

 Recently I came across a beautiful quote on The Aging Introvert website:

“Solitude is the ground you clear to plant the seeds of the person you want to become.”

The author also stated that “Solitude is not something that can be taught. It is not an acquired skill that can be transferred from one person to another.”

What exactly is solitude and can we learn to, if not enjoy, then, at least feel comfortable in solitude?

It may be easier if you grew up in a family that encouraged you to spend time alone. And this may be less challenging for introverts than for extroverts as extroverts need other people in order to feel contented while introverts are usually happy with their own company and need to spend time alone in order to recharge.

As an introvert I understand the desire for solitude and I certainly don’t feel lonely when I’m by myself. In fact I crave time alone. How else can I become self-aware in a world of constant noise and connectivity if I don’t stop and spend time on my own?

Here’s another quote from psychologist and author Hara Estroff Marano,

“Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness.”

Why do we need solitude to discover who we really are?

Author, Patricia Fisher reminds us that it is only too easy to become disengaged from ourselves and that this disengagement leads to a loss of meaning and purpose. If this goes on for too long we may find ourselves in despair or feeling anxious, stressed and unhappy.

By spending time alone we can focus on what’s important to us: our values, expectations, dreams, concerns, etc. And we can use the time wisely by asking ourselves questions that help us to gain some clarity into what is happening in our lives. There are potentially hundreds of questions that you can use to do this –far too many for me to list here!

I used to think that mindfulness and solitude where one and the same but upon reflection I realize now that being mindful can happen in a room full of people as long as we are aware of our thoughts and feelings and what is going on around us.

Finally, solitude is something that you can choose so make sure you find time to be by yourself as you review the past year and make plans for 2016.

 

The Dynamic Introvert!

PS Watch for my new website coming early in the New Year!

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Responses

  1. As an ambivert, I too need solitude. In fact, I get squirrely if I don’t. I also need solitude to connect spiritually and learn about myself.

    • Happy New Year Susan-Rose! I agree with you. Perhaps that is why we like Yellow Point Lodge so much. Lot’s of opportunities for solitude in a beautiful setting.


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