by Whitney Sparks
You know that it’s crucial. Yet being alone is one of life’s most notoriously difficult challenges on the path to supreme happiness or righteous self-hood or whatever form of enlightenment you choose. How to get there? The answer is practice. It ain’t gonna be easy at first, but I promise you, at some point or another, your time alone will feel more precious than gold. Here are some tips for the interim.
1. Take care of yourself.
Treat yourself like your own baby. Bathe yourself with care, feed yourself with love, dress yourself so that you smile when you look in the mirror, etc.
2. Listen to your voice.
Take everything slowly enough so that you have time to hear yourself out as you go through your day. If your self talk feels at all threatening, notice this, then carefully switch into a more soothing voice.
3. Get to know yourself.
It’s not so much that we don’t know ourselves, it’s more that we sometimes forget to pay attention to what we’ve already learned… Remind yourself of your character and qualities. Give yourself what you need. Sometimes it’s just permission…
4. Pay Attention to yourself.
Even more than listening to yourself, this one sums it up. And, bonus: you can do it all the time– even when you’re not by yourself. Everyone loves attention! Human beings are evolved to need it. Give yourself some, already! A whole boatload.
5. Do something you enjoy.
(Psst– only you know what that is!)
Sit, breathe, relax, and breathe more.
7. Move around.
Who says being alone has to be boring? Who says you have to just sit there? Jump! Dance! Play a game… Make up a silly walk, or just go for a run.
8. Create something.
This is one of the supreme joys and privileges of being human: creation. Relish your birthright!
9. Spend time in nature and/or in water.
Consider this the “cheat sheet” of alone time. We have an innate connection with nature and water. It’s what we’re made of, after all! So in whatever scenario suits your fancy– full blown camping, a stroll through the woods, having a picnic in the local park, wading in a lake or river, a trip to the beach– whether taking a long soak in the bath or sunbathing anywhere outdoors– you’re bound to enjoy time alone while reconnecting with our deep ancestral core.
10. Take Your Own Advice!
Focus on learning the wisdom of your inner voice firsthand, through constant practice– (No one else has that privilege!)
11. Use your imagination.
When you’re alone, even if you never had an imaginary friend, your imagination is your best friend. Put it to the test and find out why!
12. Trust that you are never really alone.
Everything is connected!
About the Author:
Whitney Sparks wrote her first published essay for Freedom Challenge, a book about African American homeschoolers, when she was 9. In it she largely chose to focus on the subject of mythology (which continues to fascinate her). After growing up, going to schools (completing a Bachelor’s degree from Yale, a Master of Fine Arts in Switzerland, and becoming certified yoga teacher), dealing with heartbreaking loss, roaming the world, and moving to Berlin, she still retains an overactive imagination and wild spirit, which she likes to express in her visual artwork (mostly collage and film) as well as her writing.
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