Spending time alone, unplugged, with our thoughts, feelings and vast ocean of emotions is a superpower —and one of the best ways to sharpen our intuition, self-reliance and faith.
Here’s the reality:
When I didn’t know who or what I was —I would do anything to avoid spending time in solitude:
I’d consume sports media all day.
I’d consume random conversations.
I’d consume endless stimulus and noise.
And it wasn’t “random” —because no behavior is —it was a feedback mechanism to avoid spending time in solitude.
Around the same time, I moved from one apartment to another and I remember looking down at the TV on the floor, out of context and asking:
How much time and mental real estate am I giving that every week?
And instead of putting it up on the wall —I let it sit there.
Without the ability to distract myself, an entire world opened up again.
I scoured books, re-read the classics, immersed myself in Emerson’s Self-Reliance, Thoreau’s Walden, Seneca’s On The Shortness Of Life and countless other sources of wisdom.
I wrote in a journal every single day and put pen to paper on my thoughts, feelings and what was really happening under the hood —and recognized I was in a much darker place that I imagined.
I worked on myself tirelessly, I took inventory of anything and everything, and started to delete the cheap pleasures of life, including entertainment, web surfing, random conversations.
And most importantly —I embraced solitude and developed a relationship with my deeper self yet again.
One day —I decided to take a hike in the woods when all the emotions flooded out:
I’d trapped all of these emotions —and finally they were given space to breathe.
During this hike:
I realized I was on the wrong path.
I realized I was living the wrong life.
I realized I was getting in my own way.
Instead of this being depressing or discouraging —it was a watershed moment of honesty.
I asked myself the tough questions and looked myself in the proverbial mirror.
And that’s when everything started to shift.
I share this with you because often the noise, stimulus and cheap information act as a band-aid to our inner world.
This inner world is a fertile ground for the future version of ourselves —but we often can’t access it.
When people come to me in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and tell me they’re lacking clarity —I always ask:
How much time have you spent in solitude during the last week?
And if they’re being honest —it’s usually not much.
Remember: you and I already have the answers we so desperately seek —if we can remove the layers of the egoic self.
Every day, ensure you are spending time unplugged with yourself.
Do you spend time in solitude, and if so —how?