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Nella Coiro

Mindfulness and Solitude

“In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.”

~ Laurence Sterne

Generally speaking, solitude is often associated with loneliness and sadness, and is looked upon as a negative state of being, and something to be avoided. There is a social stigma about being alone. This stems from the misconception that if we are alone, then we are not able to maintain friendships and relationships.

When we practice mindfulness, however, solitude takes on a different meaning. Intentional solitude can be a peaceful and relaxing state-of-mind, filled with positive components and possibilities. From a mindfulness perspective, solitude greatly differs from loneliness. 

When we are lonely, we’re focused on the negative aspects of our life and what we long for, yet lack. We miss having others around us and we feel loss and emptiness. We might even cringe at the idea of being with our own thoughts without the benefit of distractions.

In contrast, when we are practicing mindfulness, we enjoy and look forward to alone time. In this state of being , we can relax and clear our minds of the clutter and restlessness of everyday life. We lack nothing. We desire nothing. We are content and comfortable being in our own company. We long for nothing outside of ourselves.  We are enough. With practice, we often feel a deep feeling of serenity within our solitude.

Life is filled with distractions and external stimulation, and very often, the noise in our heads prevents us from contemplating and reflecting. It is within the silence of solitude that we are able to recognize our inner strength, and our ability to access inner wisdom. Solitude creates clarity and allows us to become comfortable and appreciate who we truly are. Finally, in solitude, we can contemplate, reflect, or simply enjoy being with our own energy and our inner core.  

So, if you’re feeling restless, agitated, or overwhelmed, take some time to sit within the quiet space of solitude, and give yourself the gift of nurturing your soul.

Then, watch what happens...

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