“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” George MacDonald
As many of you already know, I took the month of August "off" to do stuff and also things and a little bit of nothing in between. Specifically, I unplugged from Facebook as that is the place where I am most engaged with others, and I also let go of a few responsibilities and projects for the month to ensure I'd have uninterrupted time to just be.
It was an incredible gift for my soul as well as my work, and since I have loved it so much I've already decided to do the same thing again next year. Maybe even twice.
What I most loved about declaring this energetic space for myself is that it liberated me. Without feeling a responsibility to others, I was free to fully explore where I was at and then come into my new energetic space fairly comfortably. Sure there was some turbulence at first (chaos always precedes clarity and old structures must crumble before new ones can be built) but that passed within the first 2 weeks and it's been smooth sailing ever since.
"Leave a space and something will fill it" was the mantra of the month as I cleared away things that had been taking up a majority of my time and energy. It's not even that those things were toxic or bad for me, it's just that I really needed the psychic space to allow a transformation to occur after a mentally stimulating few months in B-School. I needed to get out of my head for a while before deciding how I wanted to implement all I had learned, and in doing so I was finally able to see my work as a whole instead of all these fragmented pieces I often struggled to bring together.
I finally feel like I have created the appropriate spaces for all that I do and I know I could have only done that by taking the time to do nothing in particular. I left a huge empty space and new adventures and creations soon began to fill it. Things like super cute boys, a new gig, ideas for my work, and clarity on a number of things that once confused me.
When I decided to disengage from Facebook and set a few projects aside, it was not with the intention to work on my websites or other business-related ventures. That being said, I didn't really think of it as time "off" either because my nature is to work (if only on myself) and to create.
My goal was to simply breathe. To release the mental congestion that had been accumulating for a while and to see what might transpire after that. During my time "off", I did many of the things I usually do (cycling, writing, thinking, sunning, creating, and talking to my bestie) but the difference was that I was not publicly sharing my thoughts, process and activities online like I usually do. And I loved it.
Being disengaged from the world for an extended period of time after years of generously sharing much of myself with everyone, was such a treat for the quiet recluse in me. It was also the key to successfully entering this new chapter in my life without much strife.
I now feel ready to re-enter the cyber world and can now continue to share myself freely with those who have an interest in what I have to say. I also realize that I am no longer the same person I was just a few short months ago and my level of engagement and sharing will reflect that change.
My privacy and need for solitude are more important to me now than ever before and I will make sure I have both no matter what. That means I need to shift some things in my life to accommodate this desire but that's what life is about, isn't it? Customizing it to suit your needs and to make space for what truly matters. Unfortunately, most people don't take responsibility for their lives and feel like others have more control over it than they do, but they are mistaken.
We all have the power to say no, to set limits, to say "enough", and to let go of things and people that no longer serve us.
How else are we to make room for what we truly want if we passively say "yes" to whatever comes our way?
Today I invite you to take some time for yourself and to stock of your life. Make a list of what's working and what's not and begin to brainstorm ideas for bringing more balance, peace and joy into your life no matter what it consists of at the moment. Perfection is not the goal; awareness is. There will always be stuff to deal with because that is the essence of life, but when you are aware of what you want and where you're going, it makes the ride of life a whole lot easier, richer and way more exciting.
So tell me, hottie, what needs to change in your own life? Do you need to take a breather? Do you need to set some new limits? What needs to be released and what are you going to do about it?
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MORE QUOTES ON SOLITUDE
“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” Aldous Huxley
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” Albert Camus
“Those who reach levels of spiritual consciousness have a select group of friends. They treasure their privacy and guard themselves from the marauding forces of lower energy people. Furthermore, they value silence and a pure environment, moving away from loud people, loud noises, poisonous intrusions, and toxic environments.” Wayne Dyer
“Solitude is a chosen separation for refining your soul. Isolation is what you crave when you neglect the first.” Wayne Cordeiro
“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependant on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not give by the other." Unknown
“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” George MacDonald
“If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself or even less in proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct and if you have more than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight.” Leonardo da Vinci
“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if hes does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” Arthur Schopenhauer
“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.” Aristotle
“I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.” Charles Bukowski
“I am now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.” Emily Brontë
“You see, the point is that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.” Henrik Ibsen
“People who do a job that claims to be creative have to be alone to recharge their batteries. You can’t live 24 hours a day in the spotlight and remain creative. For people like me, solitude is a victory.” Karl Lagerfeld
“How can you hear your soul if everyone is talking?” Mary Doria Russell
“Seriously, I think it is a grave fault in life that so much time is wasted in social matters, because it not only takes up time when you might be doing individual private things, but it prevents you storing up the psychic energy that can then be released to create art or whatever it is. It's terrible the way we scotch silence & solitude at every turn, quite suicidal. I can't see how to avoid it, without being very rich or very unpopular, & it does worry me, for time is slipping by , and nothing is done. It isn't as if anything was gained by this social frivolity, It isn't: it's just a waste.” Philip Larkin
“One who will not accept solitude, stillness and quiet recurring moments...is caught up in the wilderness of addictions; far removed from an original state of being and awareness. This is 'dis-ease.” T.F. Hodge
“He had withdrawn solely for his own personal pleasure, only to be near to himself. No longer distracted by anything external, he basked in his own existence and found it splendid.” Patrick Süskind
“It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.” Marcus Aurelius
“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.” Paul Brunton
“I’ve always been a sort of self-imposed outsider, not a geeky outsider or a snobby outsider but, I just have a natural desire to live on the fringe. I’m not like a weirdo with a trench-coat but I just prefer to be alone or minimally surrounded by people.” Sara Quin
“You need to establish a degree of privacy and solitude in order to write” Pamela Glass Kelly
“... relationships required such vigilance, such attention. You had to hold them together by force of will, and other people took up so much space, demanded so much time. It was exhausting.” Catherynne M. Valente
“Personally, I'd rather grow old alone than in the company of anyone I've met so far. I don't experience myself as lonely, incomplete, or unfulfilled, but I don't talk about that much. It seems to piss people off--especially men. Sue Grafton
“The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“However, the serious seeker of detachment will have to embrace the Holy Trinity of Ss - Solitude, Stillness and Silence - and reject the new religion of Commotionism, which believes that the meaning of life is constant company, movement and noise.” Michael Foley