Hello out there!
This week, Jess asked, in her Outsider
newsletter, what the word solitude
makes you think of. Of course, many tend to conjure up images of remote locations cut off from society in some way. To some this is appealing and to some, it is just not.
I agreed with the article’s overarching point that solitude is a vital element of anyone’s life. And, furthermore, a vital part of the creative process. There’s no doubt that the tendency (ability) to embrace solitude has waned in the Western World. Well, Outsider had some tips this week on how to redefine your aloneness
1. 📶Unlearn Hyper-Connected Culture – It has been sold to us that being “alone” sucks and “the more connectivity, the better”. Not true. Aren’t we all bored of Zuckerberg spewing on about his “social mission – to make the world more open and connected”. Yawn, we know you made a distraction machine. Get familiar with the idea that more connectivity is not better than less. Adjust to the weight that reflection has over communication and prioritise it.
“all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
2. 📅Make A Plan – We need to structure our solitude since it won’t happen by mistake. Designate times of day and moments in the week to embark on solitudinous ventures.
3. 🚶Walk Walk Walk – Taking walks is one of the highest quality forms of solitude. No music, no podcasts. Just you, a pen, and paper. (It helps to expand your idea of walkable weather too. Cold days, wet days, all can be enjoyably walkable.)
4. ✍️Thinking By Writing – An exquisite mechanism to generate solitude. Deconstruct problems, organise thought, offer kindness to emotion, think expansively. Just as we are all creative, we are all writers. This may not be your usual go-to medium but when you visit it, the awaiting solitude will show you the way.
5. 🏠Leave Your Phone At Home – Duh. Perhaps obvious but not having your phone on you removes the risk of temptation. Plan evenings without it, make it a joint venture with friends and discuss meeting points and the fact you won’t have phones, to reassure it will be okay. Even leaving the house with your phone buried in your bag can be a simple deterrent to the automatic use of it. (The more you do this the more you’ll find that feeling of urgency to have our phone on us all the time is overemphasised)
6. 🔎Find Your Formula: – Solitude & Companionship. Every person has their own ideal blend of these two. You will soon discover yours and own it. Start exploring! For every hour you spend with others, how many hours do you need alone?
I hope this issue inspires you 1, to sign up for Outsider
& 2, to find some regular alone time if you don’t already. For me, I find this on the bike. Or walks after lunch. The phrase ”I’m not anti-social, I’m just pro-solitude
“ always made me laugh a bit but nowadays, I take it more seriously ; )
Thank you for reading!
If you enjoy this issue, please consider spreading the word: