Lonely – Together (CV)


Image by Lady-bug via Flickr

What is the antidote to loneliness?

No, the answer to loneliness doesn’t involve going to a party, hopping onto Facebook or taking a trip to the mall. The antidote to loneliness is solitude.

Solitude is more than simply being alone. True solitude involves getting still and quiet with yourself. This is a difficult skill to learn, especially in a society that increasingly values noise, constant movement, and quick connections through social media.

To learn true solitude takes practice. In my personal and professional work I teach people the art of listening to the self through dreamwork, writing and mindfulness.

When you learn to be still and quiet you discover something extraordinary. You are truly and deeply connected … to everyone and everything.

To build solitude into your life:

  1. Begin and end each day with a few moments of internal reflection. Start slowing down an hour before bedtime. When you close your eyes to enter sleep practice meditative breathing by inhaling slowly to the count of four, retaining your breath for a count of four, exhaling slowly for a count of four, retaining the breath for a count of four, etc. In the morning when you wake, lie in bed quietly for a few moments and reflect on your dreams and sleep before beginning your day.
  2. Take 20 minutes a day to spend time alone. Unplug the phone, turn off the computer, and avoid any distractions. Be in nature if you can, or sit quietly in mindful meditation.
  3. Learn Proprioceptive Writing. This is a ritualized form of writing that offers a simple and profound system for learning solitude and deeply knowing the self.

“It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it” –Rainer Maria Rilke

To visit more Corner View blogs from around the globe. Start here.

To learn more about how dreamwork, mindfulness and writing can help you discover the deep pleasures of solitude, contact me.


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12 responses to “Lonely – Together (CV)

  1. so true. the chapter “moon shell” in AML’s gift from the sea, is a beautiful meditation on women’s lives and the need for solitude.

  2. Absolutely true. It’s more than just a wisdom that your are self-centered when you’re well able to bare yourself in solitude.

  3. That’s right, perfect. Many find it hard to be alone, really alone, without a PC, without telephone, without the noise and movement around him. But it is so important to be left alone and endure the silence. And it can be very beautiful.

  4. So, true! People think I’m nuts because I often turn my phone off in the evenings and love to see how many evenings at home I can spend without turning on the television. (Well, maybe those aren’t the only reason that they think I’m nuts 🙂 )

  5. DorteF

    sounds very good with the 20 minutes alone 🙂

  6. solitude.
    last night the street to the station packed with cars on the sidewalk, a car even mounting the sidewalk, people running in to me. on the train a middle aged, deranged (but normal looking!) woman who gesticulated the nose of a woman in front of her, and shouting in my ear (because i was sitting in the middle of a speaking partner on the opposite side of moi). i put on some music, terrificly loud (because i could not hold one more meaningless blah-hah conversation) and a rare thing happened : i succeeded in disconnecting. never before has this worked, but i could really do it, and thankfully relaxed just enough to make it home.
    solitude (even if i make it up my way), is my friend. and thank you.

    on a different note, i read some jc oates (lying awake), and learned her younger (autistic) sister lives in a place, in amherst. thank you for inviting me. i will of course take you up on it, and can now state it will not be before 2014 (thanks to christo, our dear friend ;))). will you still be there, you think?
    wishing you all of it!!!

  7. Deep thoughts on the subject, and spot on of course. I’ve found I am less alone (or almost never alone) in nature, in my studio, meditating, doing yoga, the few quiet moments during the day. And in turn, this has helped me accept the fact that on other occassions, I can be lonely as hell.


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