“Sometimes, you just need a break, in a beautiful place, alone, to figure everything out.” – Unknown
What do you find yourself doing when you have time alone? Are you the workaholic type where phone calls and emails fail to cease? Perhaps you are that busybody type who chooses to never sit down, even when time allows.
I can certainly say that I relate to the seemingly never-ending, always something to do mode. Life is usually that way, especially for those of us that have goals, aspire to become more than what we are and find ourselves becoming uncomfortably restless when sitting still suddenly pokes its head into our perfect routines. I cannot leave out the lack of time afforded to those of us that have been blessed to be parents. With this group especially with younger children, quiet time usually equates to sleep, or it should. So as I deliberate my points on taking time for yourself, know that I that do not place you in this category. Your time will come, but for now get your rest when you can.
For the rest of us, what does it look like to be alone with time? For some it can be scary, because silence can be very loud and often distracting, especially when our thought life remains at warp speed.
When I think about the daily routines of life, family time, work time and extra curricular activities and such, how does one find the time to ponder, reflect and consider next steps? Or the harder question is do we really want the time to think about the many aspects that make up our lives, past as well as present?
With all the distractions that exist, true alone time, without radio, television, cell phones or the internet is a rarity, but often an uncomfortable rarity because when we get the time to reflect on our own thoughts it can remind us of the things we would rather not recall.
Things like broken relationships, loss of loves ones through death, unattained goals and obviously many other things we can all fill in with our own life journeys. However painful, disturbing or uncomfortable this time may bring, it is nonetheless essential for our personal growth, healing and ability to navigate our way through the hard stuff.
The hard stuff that still causes you to become overly emotional and easily disturbs your peace of mind, even after many years. Sound familiar? I know, I have been there and continue to work through various issues myself.
For those of us that rarely get these types of moments, we must force the issue at times. Perhaps you have a long daily commute like me. That said, turn off the radio, get off the phone and get into the habit of driving quiet for 10-15 minutes at a time. Predetermine what you want to reflect on and do it. Give yourself license to not have an outcome with this time. Just get use to having the time and allow it to become a part of your way of doing life.
It certainly will not happen overnight, but anything we can do to allow reflection to become a normal piece of our lives will prove to be helpful, especially when things become challenging. The key is not to wait until the moment is desperate or overwhelming. Take time out for yourself deliberately, and make your quiet time special, fulfilling and an investment towards your future. Your body, mind and soul will thank you.