Master the Pause
‘Hold us in silence. Do not throw us back into some discussion.’ Rumi
Lyndall Mitchell and Shannah Kennedy in their book “Restore” share tried-and-tested strategies and practical tips to nourish and nurture yourself from the inside out. Below Lyndall shares the benefits of time on your own and embracing the solitude to supercharge your senses and reconnect. It’s about mastering the pause in order to restore.
Rebalance and Reconnect
When we pause, we give ourselves time to think and space to breathe so we can make the best decisions. Each time you pause you take small steps toward rebalancing and reconnecting with who you really are, your dreams and deepest desires.
Each pause is the moment that you give yourself permission to gently unwind. Learning to switch off and press the pause button in life is vital. It’s like taking a big soul-nourishing breath to find clarity, energy and space.
Like an emotional and spiritual barometer, finding solitude and silence gives us the ability and space to shape and adjust our lives. It can reconnect us to our authentic self, highlight our inner strength and enable us to satisfy our own needs and desires, rather than relying on others.
Solitude gives you the space to think, dream, nourish and restore yourself. So often we overschedule our days and nights and find ourselves stuck on the fast-paced treadmill of pleasing others first and foremost more than ourselves. We keep pushing through, too tired to keep running and too scared to stop.
Solitude is about creating some breathing space in the long race of life and allowing room to let life flow. It eases the feeling of suffocation and allows space for clarity to come. The busier you are, the more important it is to take time out regularly to keep your body, mind and soul restored and in their most powerful state.
Benefits of Alone Time
- Self-connection – When you listen to your body and mind you are more likely to make decisions that align with your values and align with your own personal capacity. You will feel happier and calmer
- Your vision comes to life – By creating the space you can regularly revisit and reconfirm your goals and your vision. This helps you to stay on track and not start living out someone else’s dream.
- Builds powerful mental resilience – By taking time in silence you can go to the gym for your mind and meditate. This mental training helps to build your resilience and strengthens your mind.
- Boosts creativity – Our creativity comes out when we allow space. We need peace and quiet to work out solutions, to have those ‘aha’ moments, and to create our own ways to do tasks.
- Reduces stress – Taking time to be alone for a few moments (maybe in the middle of the park on a sunny day) can be immensely helpful when you’re trying to regain your mental centre.
- Increases productivity – Reclaim your power of concentration and take the time you need to complete projects. At work look for breakout rooms, mute any potential devices that will distract you and work on projects in a scheduled way so that you can maximise your productivity.
- Enhances empathy – People who can foster empathy have deeper, more connected thriving relationships.
Preparing for silence and solitude
Here are a few things to consider before you give silence and solitude a try:
- Decide how long you will take – the exact length of time you need really depends on your own situation, but it’s important to organise a dedicated period rather than just leaving it to fate.
- Choose your location – to help minimise everyday distractions, it is really useful to get away from your usual living environment. You could go to a retreat, or simply go for a walk or to a café.
- Communicate with others – others will respect you for carving out this time, whether it is half an hour a day, or a day a month, or a part of your routine.
How to spend your time in silence and solitude
There are a few activities you can try during your time in solitude that will help to improve your own self-knowledge. Remember to set your intention of what you want to achieve when carving out time. Is it to sit still and reflect? Or to write, listen, or move slowly to the beat of your own drum?
Meditate – With regular meditation comes the ability to bring a degree of clarity and insight into our lives.
Think – Strategic thinking and planning lends itself well to periods of silence and solitude. Clarity is often the incredible result.
Create – Having the space to brainstorm ideas can be the starting point to unleashing your creativity. Be bold with your thoughts – there’s no one else around to dismiss them.
Reconnect – Use your alone time to really study the world around you. Touch the grass, smell the flowers, be in nature, watch the clouds. You will restore a sense of your place in the world.
The only real teacher is not in the mountains, or a hut or an ice cave in the Himalayas, it is already within us. Giving yourself permission to press the pause button allows you to replenish your energy levels, process your thoughts, and consider the world you have created for yourself. Sit with it and understand it. As the noise within starts to quieten, the world around you reflects this. Life becomes less of a struggle, and everything flows more effortlessly. It is in this incredible space we can make well informed, clear and powerful decisions to return to our natural state of balance.