Sweet Escape — Solitude

Sweet Escape -- Solitude

In keeping with our theme the past couple of days of being authentic, being real, and all needing times of solitude, today my sweet escape is simple. Solitude. Time to reflect. To be quiet. To disconnect from the chaos of life.

So, does it seem ironic that yesterday I talked about solitude as being silent and today I am saying you must participate in a discussion? Just like to keep you all on your toes!

Read this short but fascinating excerpt from Psychology Today (or read the whole article here):

What’s really blocking our joy in relationships, our creativity, and our peace of mind? One surprising answer, in this age of alienation, is a lack of solitude.

Meaningful alone time, it turns out, is a powerful need and a necessary tonic in today’s rapid-fire world. Indeed, solitude actually allows us to connect to others in a far richer way.

Life’s creative solutions require alone time. Solitude is required for the unconscious to process and unravel problems. Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers…The natural creativity in all of us—the sudden and slow insights, bursts and gentle bubbles of imagination—is found as a result of alone time.

So, dear ones, tell me ways you find solitude in your daily life at home! Yes, comments ARE OPEN!

We can’t always pack our bags and head to The Inn at Solitude. Do you turn off your computer? Your TV or ipod? Your phones? Do you take a walk in the forest or on a nearby beach? Do you have a special corner of your house (see my sweet escape for solitude here) where you can think and be alone in silence? Do you ever just SIT and be quiet, or do you feel compelled to always be doing something, like reading blogs, doing crafts or cleaning? Or, do you never have any solitude at all?

Share your insights, readers, one and all! And tell us if you feel better for your times of solitude! Or if you never have solitude, do you think you need it or do you think it could be a missing ingredient in your life?

I can’t wait to see what you all think about this aspect of life and how it impacts us personally and in how we create our homes.

Does our home allow us solitude, or is it always screaming at us?

Sweet Escape -- Solitude

Here are some thoughts from others on solitude:

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. ~Henry David Thoreau

It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them…. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say. ~Thomas Merton

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. ~Henry David Thoreau

True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. ~William Penn

We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart… and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together…. I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. ~Helen Hayes

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K.T. Jong

note: photos shown are from my tour of The Street Of Dreams 2007
Sweet Escape -- Solitude

Comments

  1. My Home IS a place of solitude….I love being home…at first I thought it was an age thing but I came to realize that all of my favorite things are here in my home…my hubby, my kids and all of my favorite pieces that have been loved on and passed down to me. Even my kids are home bodies and it makes me feel good-they LIKE being here! I think if I didn’t have one stick of furniture my rooms will still be bursting with love……..
    Blessings and thanks for the thought provoking question…
    Robin

  2. I find solitude in and about my home. Somtimes times I just love to putter and play with my “stuff”, I also love to sit in my swing — back and forth, back and forth, enjoying nature and just watching the world go by…..this is the best. Linda

  3. I have a space in my backyard for meditation and prayer…or I sit on my patio and crochet as my mind wanders where it will: thinking of and praying for friends, etc. With 2 German shepherds I have to separate myself from them or outside is playtime…but, then, so is inside :>)
    Wonderful article…

  4. We have a houseful so solitude is rare but you’re right, it’s necessary. Sometimes it’s my Bible time. Sometimes I’m lucky if I can be in the bathroom alone without one of the kids sitting outside the door. =) My husband and I both work from home so neither of us get solitude at work or even on the drive to work. But sometimes I got sit in his office or he’ll come down to my kitchen/office. Praise God that He never leaves us AND that we can find solitude in Him. Blessings.. Polly

  5. rosieswhimsy says:

    I love the first hour of the morning when I am up before everyone else……I need that time. I find solitude when I garden……yes, I am “working” but it is peaceful and i have loads of time to think, ponder, pray, or just listen. I love my family intensely but it seems the older I get the more solitude I crave.

  6. I consider myself a “people person” and enjoy keeping busy, however, I MUST refuel myself with time alone. I think it is genetic for me. When I don’t have enough alone time, every now and then, I get irritable and not fun to be around. One of the things I like to do is read in a quiet room. I also like to sit on my front porch at night (without any lights on) and just listen to nature and quiet around me. Another favorite is to drive by myself with my favorite “soul reaching” music playing loudly and just get lost in it. It rejuvinates me! I am a more balanced and happy person after any of those times. Finally, I LOVE yoga! I think it is a wonderful experience as well for your mind and body. Every body should at least try it before you knock it!

  7. I walk through the cemetery whenever I need real solitude. It’s not as depressing as it may sound. ;)

  8. Esther Sunday says:

    For me too, it is being at home by myself. I never, ever get bored. I love the quiet, and don’t have any music on, etc. I spend it in my craft room, burning a candle. Sometimes I will have the window open so I can hear the outside sounds of birds, etc. It so centers me and allows me to have the energy to deal with busy life. If I don’t get my alone time, I get pretty dang grumpy about it. A grumpy Esther is not a nice Esther.

  9. I retreat to my bedroom when I need silence and solitude. My bible where I highlight scriptures is in my room. I can read and relax and put the busyness of the day outside of that door. But, I admit, when I find a few spare moments a lot of the time I will hop on the computer. It can be very relaxing but still very busy.

    Your window seat is adorable and I love the quote by Henry David Thoreau and I agree with him!

    Love,
    Julie

  10. I find solitude on walks in the woods. I love being surrounded by nature and in awe of God’s works. I would love to add you to my blogs list if you don’t mind, it is very insightful!

  11. Here is another of my thoughts on solitude, I love silence! But ironically, I love it so I can think — so, it isn’t really silent because my brain is still loud! And when I think, I usually create. So for thinking or creating, silence works. But if I really need to NOT think or create, and just BE, I need to listen to music that inspires me to just sit. It focuses my brain on something other than my own voice, yet is soothing to my frantic self.

  12. Unfortunately, I have found that as a mom it has been difficult to find a lot of alone time. I homeschooled for 5 years and now work in the school system while the girls are in school. When I get home it is family time. The one plae I can shut the world out is on the riding lawn mower! I put on my ear protectors and tool around our very large yard and no-one comes near except in an emergency. I am still getting something done but it is fairly mindless work and the fresh air and purple martins swooping around me to catch the bugs I kick up is so beautiful. Other than that, solitude is not plentiful.

  13. As always, there is a slew of information, SWEET ESCAPE and INSPIRATION here! I so appreciate the time you invest in your posts. I know what goes into mine and it is no small labor. Thank-you!

    Also, thank-you for posting on my 100th Giveaway. This is definitely an experiment. In my last Giveaway, it took me one week to receive 23 comments. On this one, Day 2 already has close to 30 comments– in part because people are allowed to refer their friends and get “entry” credit for it. I was talking to my daughter today about how we will efficiently give everyone credit. We will need to work as a team– that’s for sure. This has brought more exposure to my blog and introduced me to some wonderful people!

    Talk to me when the drawing is over and I will give you the pros and cons (if any). I am excited about your upcoming landmark occasions!

    Hugs, KJ

  14. I don’t mind spending time with myself at all. I find solitude in yardsaling a lot of times. I get up early & head out by myself & enjoy that alone time just fine. At home, I love to lay on the sofa in the LR & read a book or magazine & feel a peaceful feeling just being at home in nice surroundings. I don’t have as much solitude as I did before I started working again, but I grab bits & pieces, here & there. My quiet time in the morning is also another way to rejuvenate & connect with the Lord. I spend too much of my free time on the computer, but it’s a fun way to relax for me too.

    Rhoda

  15. Solitude is a rare commodity these days with all of our bundles of joy…that’s why we love road trips. Each year we take a trip across the country to the beach! Along the way we sing, laugh, and most of all sit in blessed silence with the radio playing softly to the rythmn of the road! What a blessing to have such a wonderful family.

    blessing, kari and kijsa

  16. My solitude comes from lone walks which sometimes turn into prayer walks. Working in the garden alone.
    Reading the newspaper with and after breakfast. Time out solitude is usually after lunch when I might just close my eyes for a while – or longer! I love just BEING at home. Swimming emersed in my own thoughts.
    There is always so much to do for all of us that it is easy to just keep on going and going.
    Just a few.
    yours sounds a great love story too.
    Glad yu are enjoying my story. There is much much more yet to come. Maybe I should take some real solitude time to get it finished!!!

  17. i love solitude. I love disappearring into my studio. A tiny little space on this big huge earth where I enter another world. A world that noone else knows, a world that is so familiar it embrces me… I have been given the gift of time and solitude in my life. And once you have tasted it, how do you ever go back into the chaotic world? or do you…. Hmmm….xxo

  18. Solitude with a good book is my greatest craving. I can always tell when I’ve been too stressed out — I retreat to the library sofa with a favorite book! There are no computers, no TV, no phones; only comfy pillows and a big window so I can laze in the sun.
    xoxo,
    Mary

  19. Melissa, I love this post! Did you watch Oprah today? She had an author, forgot her name already, on her show that spoke about just this….we need silence to meditate..to be by ourselves. I like to have the TV on when cleaning, etc, but I love my quiet time, especially when reading or sewing. Just me and my brain..quiet to think. My very favorite thing though is being at the beach. Though not quiet, it is peaceful and I feel close to God while there. I could live on the beach if they’d allow me to. By this I mean in a tent. That is how much I love it so. xo, Becky
    PS: My dad is improving. Thank you for your sweet words.

  20. my dear one…i MUST have alone time every day…i usually get up very early to have prayer and meditation time…this centers my entire day and calms my soul…i have a lanai (screened courtyoar) with a fountain and plants that is my meditation space…my studio is also a sanctuary of peace and creativity…but walking on the beach is my best place of solitude…great post…tomorrow mine is about alone time…blessings, rebecca

  21. Dear Melissa:

    THIS IS A TOPIC NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART… And, you have done a lovely job of gathering inspiration for it!

    I have often reflected back to a time when I had no answering machine at home or a cell phone as a constant companion. I could do whatever I wanted to and not be concerned that I was missing something. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that my home phone could be ringing and I might never know who called me.

    In the web of technology, I observe people constantly who are mortified that they might miss something important and they are literally possessed by their appliances. Frequently, I am unable to spend quality time with friends because they are slaves to their cell phones.

    This is such an excellent reminder that it is ok to turn off our phones, computers, televisions, radios, iPods, answering machines and so on… It’s imperative that we CREATE solitude when every electrical component in this world is screaming for our attention.

    Thank-YOU for the reminder…
    KJ

  22. The television is seldom on. I spend awhile each day on the computer.

    My favorite place of solitude or quietude, in our home, is the hearth room. I love to sit in one of the wing chairs, with my feet up. No music or any other sound and just dream.

    Pat

  23. What a beautiful blog you have! Thank you for your comment on mine — it helped me make my way to yours. It’s simply beautiful!

    I’m delighted to meet you and hope we meet in blogland again. I will be back!

    Enjoy an awesome day!
    LaTeaDah

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