Americans living in big cities hasten through their days with gridlocked traffic, honking horns, cheeky taxi drivers, police sirens and jostling pedestrians hurrying toward their destinations. At work, they juggle temperamental coworkers, deadlines and disappointing bosses.
Once finished with work, they dash home to spouses, kids and dinner preparations. The working groove consumes them while their responsibilities for daily living press their emotions to the wall. With the automobiles, appliances, electronics and overall conveniences in America, we often lack peace and quiet in our lives. As we race through our urban arenas, even optimists admit that science will be hard-pressed to replace this precious spiritual commodity: solitude.
How can we step back to an oft forgotten pleasure in our lives, in our hearts and in our minds? How can we refresh our spirits?
John Stuart Mill, writing in 1848 when cities remained smaller, less hurried and enjoying more community among their residents, stated, “It is not good for man to be kept perforce at all times in the presence of his species. A world from which solitude is extirpated is a very poor ideal. Solitude, in the sense of being often alone, is essential to any depth of meditation or of character; and solitude in the presence of natural beauty and grandeur, is the cradle of thought and aspirations which are not only good for the individual, but which society could ill do without.”
If you feel the same way in your journey, the quest for solitude grows as you add birthday candles. A certain spiritual bliss accompanies your advancing years. Solitude brings divine calm and intellectual clarity. To abridge your life creates more simplicity in your daily rigor. Once mastered, you will enjoy an inner peace and an enjoyable outer countenance.
How does anyone move his/her body, mind and soul into solitude?
—Take a daily walk in the nearest park in your city or town. Sit under a tree. Sit by a pond. Stare into a patch of flowers. Pull up a long stalk of grass and stick it into your mouth. Suck the green insides of the stalk of grass to feel the heartbeat of the universe pulsing over your tongue.
—When you reach a stretch of grass or forest, take off your shoes and socks. Stab your feet into deep grass, sand or rock. Let your body reconnect with the vibrations and electrical impulses of Earth to reharmonize your entire body’s vibrations with our planet. Many call it “grounding,” and it works profoundly to refresh your spirit.
—Choose the best time of day for your solitude moments. It may be early before work as you sit by a river, stream or on the beach. It could be a stroll along a quiet path at dusk where the sun’s final glory mesmerizes your spirit.
—While solitude means being alone in the “moment,” you might be one who loves solitude with another who shares your “heartstrings” about life. By all means, make your “solitude moments” a couple thing if that works for you.
—The point of solitude means to be luxuriously immersed in the quiet moments of your own choices. Become fully aware of being alive without being ushered into the scurry of daily living.
In my own hiking times through the woods, in acceptance of solitude, I feel the “sweet spot” of temperature playing upon my skin. I feel the essence of light shining through my eyes. I accept my quiet essence pulsing into the energies of life. Once I reconnect with every blood cell charging through my body, I churn with delight.
So, walk into the woods, the park, along the river, or by a pond to discover your own solitude. You will enjoy renewed strength to enjoy your days.
Frosty Wooldridge lives in Genesee, Colorado and is a six-continent, world bicycle traveler who gives 12 concepts and practices for living a fabulous life in his book, “Living Your Spectacular Life.”