“Solitude is the furnace of transformation.” ~ Henri Nouwen
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned was actually not from a book, but from life. I have one friend who has never been alone for a day in her life. Coming to the United States from another culture where family and friends and community are prized higher than in the U.S. as cultural norms, she explained she always had relatives around, and even since she was married has never spent a day away from her husband and family. That can be contrasted with one of the prized cultural attributes of the Pacific North West: live and let live. Which is sort of an isolating belief and lifestyle, and it’s even earned the moniker of “The Seattle Freeze.” This alone time can be by choice, or it can be utterly unwanted.
Alone doesn’t mean sitting around feeling lonely and depressed. If you find yourself alone and you don’t want to be (divorce, anyone?), instead of overly feeling lonely, there’s a way to use it. Use that time to grow and get to know you. When you can face that fire of solitude. You have been given the time for introspection and creating a space for wisdom.
You have that time to discover yourself and your purpose, and time to ponder the “Big Questions” of life. You can get familiar with and make friends with Alone, and this is the best time to get in touch with your intuition. This is where the Divine can talk to you about living your so that your life purpose can be expressed. In the opposite of company and the doings of daily life, you have time to reflect deeply.
You simply cannot reflect deeply in the hustle and bustle of full/busy days. You have been given this gift of solitude (even if it’s not what you expected).
It can be a difficult, scary, dark and disorienting feeling, this “Alone.” Conversely, it can be a wildly enlightening time, too.
Suddenly Alone is a season of life. It can be transformative and powerful, like a cocoon from which you emerge more whole than you have ever felt before. Most importantly, take care of you. It’s find to go to the bookstore and journal. Walk in nature. Read great books that uplift and challenge you. Shower every day and brush your teeth. Do things for YOU.
Because you may find yourself one day in this Suddenly Alone. It can also be your greatest time of growth and source of strength.
Here’s a simple journaling technique that I teach to clients. You may find it useful, too. Of course, we aren’t meeting in person to discuss your own findings and process those, but you can discover a wealth of knowledge and power with your own intellectual examination of the words, too!
I recommend a new journal. A nice one, and a well-fitting pen in hand. No electronic journaling here. Each day when you awaken, for 30 days, write one full page, or two if you need it, on ONE SIDE of the journal, like all the pages on the left or the right. The pages will have only 1 side written on them. DO NOT re-read what you have written. Just keep journaling all the thoughts and feelings and observations and questions you have.
THEN, after your 30 days is up: using another pen, completely a different color if you like, go back and read Day 1. Distill one or two sentences of wisdom, a pattern, an idea. That’s it. You are looking for the nuggets of wisdom of that day. Write those down on the opposite side, which should be a blank page for you. Do this for all the days you have journaled.
At the end of your experiment in journaling, you can go back and re-read all of it, looking for patterns, spiritual awakenings, feelings that came up and thoughts and plans. And, you’ll also have a 30 day-reflection of ideas, messages and wisdom of your own writing.
Let me know what you think!
Resources that make for a Delightful Month of Journaling (and because you are worth the luxury), under $50! Click on picture to see them on Amazon.
My favorite fancy journal (under $30)
My go-to pen. Shiny and pretty when I don’t feel like either. (Under $20)
Hi, I’m Lizzie Bennett, enjoying my Life’s Journey as a woman, daughter, sister, daughter, aunt, mom, military veteran, and gammy. I’m certified and licensed as a Board Certified Advanced Holistic Nurse (Registered Nurse). I facilitate others individually or in small groups to learn their Authentic Selves with the education of an advanced nurse, the joy of my life’s events, and the compassion of a Wounded Healer. My platform for change is Three Moons Medicine® where I use Therapies, teachings, and uplifting Readings to help you understand and create your own way.