You grow your best thoughts in silence, solitude, and meditation. When you relax and think deeply, you are giving your inmost powers their best opportunity to disclose themselves.– Grenville Kleiser
Over the past few years, one habit has helped me gain a tremendous amount of self-awareness that I never had before.
It’s nothing fancy; in fact, it’s quite ordinary. It’s simply taking the time to do nothing with solitude and silence for company.
It was something I first began doing while I was in college. And as I slowly started to make doing nothing a habit, I was surprised to find that it could make me feel very content and at peace.
Initially, when I thought about my habit, I felt weird because nobody had ever told me they enjoyed spending time in silence and solitude.
Moreover, in our society, it’s so normal to surround ourselves with people or constantly keep ourselves busy by jumping from one task to another. Seeking out silence and solitude doesn’t seem like a thing many people would willingly choose to do with their time.
I do actually love being around people. But, now and then, I need some time to myself as I find it difficult to think clearly and feel centered when I am in highly stimulating environments with lots of noise and things going on.
I believe that everybody can benefit from spending time each day in silence and solitude doing nothing. I suggest you set aside your electronic devices and have no agenda or any tasks to perform. Also, don’t feel obligated to contemplate anything in particular, although you may find this will naturally happen as your mind starts to wander.
What I like to do this is to spend some time every day on the balcony of my apartment floor where there’s usually a cool breeze and a decent view, to walk, look outside and let my mind wander. Some days I also like to spend about 10-15 minutes with myself before going to bed to just be with myself in silence.
Now, apart from it being very peaceful and relaxing, what I love most about this is the fact that the thoughts that appear in my mind as I do this can be very insightful. And this happens when I’m not even trying to think about anything in particular. In silence and solitude, when you don’t have an agenda, you can think with so much more clarity.
Just like the way we connect with others is through conversations and non-verbal communication, the way we connect with ourselves is through silence and solitude. For it is in the silence and solitude that you can listen intently to your thoughts and feel the nudges of your heart.
Knowing to be alone by yourself and enjoying your own company is very important, but, it’s seldom emphasized to us growing up.
As you make this into a habit you will naturally become more aware of what really matters to you and what’s worth spending your time on.
It’s also important to note that our brains didn’t evolve to function optimally in our highly stimulating modern environment consuming seemingly endless bits of information. And as with any instrument, we need to respect and acknowledge its limits.
It can force you to be honest with yourself and face your fears. While that may be uncomfortable, running away from them or avoiding and suppressing them is never a good solution in the long term.
By spending time doing nothing, we also give our brain some much-needed time to rest and relax, since our idea of taking breaks usually involves doing something or the other.
If you are someone who feels life is speeding by too fast, there’s nothing quite like taking the time to do nothing every day to slow down the pace of your life. Even as little as 5 minutes daily can be beneficial.
What are your thoughts on spending some quiet time in solitude every day? I’d like to hear from you in the comments below.