Take time daily to be alone with yourself, away from phones, the Internet and noise. Making time for solitude is a gift you give yourself. Insist on it, and don’t allow anyone, including yourself, to talk you out of it.
Here are what I consider six benefits of quiet time.
1. Lighten UpIn a stressed state, it’s so easy to lose touch with inner peace, compassion and kindness; in a relaxed state, your mind is clear and you can connect with a deeper sense of purpose and good. Meditation and medication are derived from the Latin word medicus, to care or to cure. A time of quiet calmness is, therefore, the most effective remedy for a busy and overworked mind. Anytime you feel stress rising, heart closing, mind going into overwhelm, just bring your focus to your breathing and quietly repeat with each in-and-out breath: Breathing in, I calm my body and mind; breathing out, All is well.
2. Let Go
Stillness is always there between the thoughts, behind the drama, underneath the noise. What keeps us from experiencing our natural state of peace is the habitual and ego-dominated monkey mind. Meditation enables us to see clearly, to witness our thoughts and behavior and reduce self-involvement. Without such a practice of self-reflection there’s no way of putting a brake on the ego’s demands. From being self-centered, we can become other-centered, concerned about the welfare of all.
Take a moment to appreciate the chair you’re sitting on. Consider how the chair was made: the wood, cotton, wool, or other fibers, the trees and plants that were used, the earth that grew the trees, the sun and rain, the animals that maybe gave their lives, the people who prepared the materials, the factory where the chair was made, the designer and carpenter and seamstress, the shop that sold it—all this just so you could be sitting here, now. Then extend that deep appreciation to everything and everyone in your life.
4. Live with Kindness
No one deserves your kindness and compassion more than you do. Every time you see or feel suffering, every time you make a mistake or say something stupid and are just about to put yourself down, or be unkind to a family member or stranger, every time you think of someone you’re having a hard time with, every time you encounter the confusion and difficulty of being human, every time you see someone else struggling, upset, or irritated, you can stop, get quiet and bring loving kindness and compassion into that moment. Breathing gently, silently repeat: I am well, I am happy, I am filled with loving kindness.
5. Dissolve Anger and Fear
We don’t accept or release our negative feelings so easily; we’re more likely to repress or disown them. But when denied they cause shame, depression, anger, and anxiety. Quiet solitude invites you to openly meet these feelings, and to see how selfishness, aversion and ignorance create endless dramas and fears. Beneath these is a quiet stillness where you can get to know yourself; this is a wondrous and beautiful experience. Whether you practice for just ten minutes a day or longer doesn’t matter. You are releasing your limitations, while opening to self-acceptance and awareness.
6. Awaken Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. As you sit in quiet solitude and watch your thoughts and feelings moving through you, so you can observe that who you are now is not who you were just a moment ago, let alone a day, a week, or a month ago. When you experience your essential interconnectedness you see how the ignorance of this creates separation and suffering, so that forgiveness for such ignorance arises spontaneously.
Schedule Time for Solitude
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to give yourself ample solitude. In fact the more busy and chaotic your life is, the more crucial it is for you to take that time. We can tend to care more about re-charging our laptops and smart phones than we do about re-charging our own incredible minds.
Hey, the next time you re-charge your cell phone, take ten minutes to re-charge yourself.
Thank you for reading my blog. If it encourages you to take some time for you, maybe you could share it with other busy women.