We all need these moments. These moments of quiet peaceful lonely bliss.
Being alone did not always mean depression. Being alone did not always mean insecure self-deprivation. Being alone was actually called all one.To be “wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily.” Solitude is the cure for burnout and confusion. It is a “boon of wild provisions transmitted to us from our souls. It heals fatigue and prevents weariness. In ancient times, it was used as an oracle, as a way of listening to the inner self to solicit advice and guidance otherwise impossible to hear in the din of daily life.”
Solitude can teach us much about ourselves, because it forces us to call up the soul.
Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.” ― Eve Ensler
Accepting sacred solitude only takes a simple surrender to your wildish nature.
It is so simple in fact, all you have to do is say, “Yes!” Say yes to the wild call of the road. Of the woods. Of the bridge overlooking the river. Say yes to the wild call of your soul, ask it your questions, and listen.
What is harder however, is letting your loved ones go for their own numinous experience. And harder still is convincing them that you are not indeed abandoning them. That you will return.
Western culture does not always know how to deal with this. But really, don’t we all need some alone time? Some quiet time? Some “leave-me-the-f*ck-alone” time?
We have all been taught from a very young age to not be odd, to not venture off on our own. Is this why we are all so codependent as a nation? Is this the reason why so many relationships are dysfunctional, because we do not know how to accept our own silence? And love our own company? Or actually stop and take a moment or two to come to terms with the possible shame we may carry within our hearts?
In these moments of solitude, of Being in one’s own space of Being, of having the silent peace descend upon you, a voice rises up and out of your deepest depths. At first it was a whisper, urging you to get away. To take a moment. To tune out all distractions. And then it begins to speak. Sometimes it even begins to scream if you neglect it for too long.
In a state of sacred solitude “an inquiry should be made into the state of one’s being; the state of one’s friendships, one’s home life, one’s mate, one’s children.”
In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes it so beautifully…
“In such a state of solitude we can do this, for it is during that time that we bring all aspects of self to bear at one point in time, and we poll them, inquire of them, finding out what they/we/soul wishes right now, and then gaining it if possible. In this way we take vital soundings of our current conditions. There are many aspects of our lives for us to assess on a continuing basis: habitat, work, creative life, family, mate, children, mother/father, sexuality, spiritual life, and so on.”
The measurement used in assessment is simple: What needs less? And: What needs more?
We are asking from the instinctive self, not logically, not ego-wise, but Wild-wise, what work, adjustments, loosenings, or emphasizing needs to take place. Are we still on proper course in spirit and soul? Is one’s inner life showing on the outside? What needs battening, protection, ballast, or weights? What needs be disposed of, move, or changed?
These are the types of questions I ask myself twice (or more) a month when I do my Reiki Lunar Meditations. These meditations have become my moments to recharge, to rejuvenate, and to reconnect with my Self.
As Clarissa says, “After a period of practice, the cumulative effect of intentional solitude begins to act like a vital respiratory system, a natural rhythm of adding knowledge, making minute adjustments, and deleting the unusable over and over again. It is not only potent but pragmatic, for solitude lives low on the food chain; though it costs something in intention and follow-through, it can be done at any time, in any place. Over time, as your practice, you will find yourself designing your own queries to soul. Sometimes you may have only one question. Other times you may have none whatsoever and just wish to rest on the rock near the soul, breathing together.
Even if we have been working, sexing, resting, or playing out of cycle, it does not kill us, it only tires us out. The good news is that we can make the necessary corrections and return to our own natural cycles again.
It is through the love for and the caring for our natural seasons that we protect our lives from being dragged into someone else’s rhythm, someone else’s dance, someone else’s hunger. It is through validation of our distinct cycles for sex, creation, rest, play, and work that we relearn to define and discriminate between all our wild senses and seasons.
Do not be afraid to confront what must be heard. Do not fear your Self. Do not fear Your Truth.
Do not fear the ‘not knowing’ of what you will be told.
Do not fear the time spent away. Life continues without you. And it will gladly greet you back with warm and welcoming arms once you are back on track.
“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to [live the way you are living]; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to [do what you are currently doing or not doing].
This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I [write, dance, sing, love him/her, work here/there, etc.]? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose…
…Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty – describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. – And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke