Last weekend I spent 48 hours alone with myself, mostly in silence.
This is an insane thing for me to do.
No, really. It’s completely out of my nature and unreasonable.
It’s crazy because I’m naturally an extrovert, I get down and blue if I don’t connect with other humans regularly. I feed off their energy. I rarely express a need for time alone.
It’s crazy because I move through life with velocity. Anyone who’s met me has a sense of what a dynamo I am. I’m constantly in motion and thrive on change and diversity.
It’s crazy because my typical day is packed. My daily routine involves starting my day with 30 minutes of meditation and stretching, I listen to a book or podcast while preparing breakfast and putzing around the house before I start my workday. I spent 6-10 hours a day at my desk on video chats, calls, or listening to Spotify while I work. In the evening I work out, again accompanied by an audiobook or podcast, I watch some Netflix or Hulu while knitting, and then I read one of the 2-3 books I’m into at any given time before listening to music as I fall asleep.
It’s crazy because I’ve got things to do. I currently volunteer for two different organizations. I help to run four businesses including two of my own with a full client roster. I have an active social life. I host a meetup. I teach classes.
It’s crazy because my thought life is rich. I spend a lot of my thought life thinking about how to help other people, how to grow my client’s businesses or improve their lives, how I can be a better person/friend/partner, and of course, judging the world around me and worrying about things.
My brain is always going.
I began to realize that I was keeping myself busy and distracted. I had lost touch with my Self and I could tell, I just knew, that my Self was trying to tell me something important.
I began daydreaming about a trip to the beach, alone.
Still more reasons why this idea is crazy.
I rarely go to the beach alone. I take friends, I meet friends there, I’m a social butterfly! This is a weird daydream for me.
Currently, my Partner and I are in high gear savings mode preparing to buy a house. Spending money for a vacation, much less one by myself, is not exactly in the budget.
My Partner travels a lot for work, time together is precious. Leaving them alone at home while I’m off at the beach, not ideal.
And yet, I could feel it, my Self had something to say.
The last time I felt like this and ignored it, I eventually wound up incredibly sick. I’m not having that again if I can avoid it. No sir. I learn from my mistakes.
So, despite the budget, despite the ‘abandoning’ of the Partner, despite feeling guilty that I have work to do….I booked two nights at an Airbnb at a beach about an hour away from my home.
I felt in my gut I needed as few distractions as possible. When I arrived at my beachside bungalow I stocked my kitchen, turned my phone to airplane mode, hid the TV remote, and hunkered down for two days of zero contact with anyone but my Self and God.
Here’s what I discovered.
My intuition was right, I did have a lot to say to myself and God had some messages for me too.
I spent all weekend walking to the beach, watching the waves, birds, and crabs. I made delicious, healthy meals for myself. I dove into studies I’d not gotten around to. I meditated. I prayed. I sat and stared out the window. I took long showers. I woke in time to watch the sunrise, and then took a nap. I journaled. I watched the clouds go by.
All, alone, just me, myself, and I.
If you had told me even 5 years ago that this sort of experience would be rejuvenating, relaxing, and restorative I would have laughed at you. And yet, that’s exactly what it was.
I discovered things about myself. I reconnected with parts of myself. I remembered how powerful God’s voice can be when I listen. I am an amazing company. I’m funny, interesting, and comforting. The amount of love I have to give is astounding and there is more than enough for ME and all those I want to share it with. I am deserving of my own love.
My life is amazing, and I don’t need to slow my pace. I do need to make space.
For myself, for my Self, and for God.
I came back so grounded that I shall be taking a weekend alone every 4-6 months.
Now, your version of this might look really different.
You may not need to go alone, you may not need a whole weekend. Maybe you need a long drive with the windows down and 70’s rock blaring. You could need a quiet hike with your Partner or pet. Maybe it’s just turning off the music and enjoying your commute home in silence with you Self as a company.
Whatever it is, open yourself up to listen and discover it, then honor it.