The importance of spending time alone

An artist needs time to create. A writer needs time to work out a story. A musician needs time to play and to compose. A saint needs time to pray.

Alone-time lets you refill the pitcher of your life from all the little daily leaks and keeps your soul from running dry.

moon-shellSuch are the musing of Anne Morrow Lindbergh in Gift from the SeaAnne was married to Charles Lindbergh and was a fellow aviator and accomplished author. She survived the abduction and murder of her first child, went on to have five more children, and outlived her famous husband by decades finally passing at the age of 94.

She was 29 in 1955 when she penned Gift from the Sea.

In the book, she reflects on the stress earlier generations of women faced in daily chores. And while not questioning how difficult the work was, sees the beauty in making bread, weaving your own cloth, making your own clothes and praying. She feels that driving to a grocery store or shopping at a shopping center, while easy, deplete your spirit.

My favorite chapter focuses on the moon shell. Anne sees the moon shell as symbolic of the journey to your center where, in solitude, you find the essence of who you are – the center around which flow your obligations, relationships, and responsibilities.

“Nothing feeds the center so much as creative work.”

And creative work requires alone time. A little every day. And at least a few days every year – even if it’s 1955 and you live in a traditional world.

So male or female, what’s stopping you today?

If you want to tap into your center, to create something that’s unique to you, make time and find a quiet space each week to read, meditate, contemplate, think, create, study, or work at your craft.

And can you find a whole week to yourself this year? Think of the possibilities in that!

Small or large, physical or intellectual, what you find at your center when you’re inwardly attentive is something that only arises when you spend time alone.

Here’s one of my favorite places to sit quietly and ponder. Namaste!

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