Jan 7, 2012

{7 ways to find solitude}

Lately I have been challenged to live a more simple life. After discussing this topic with our friends Cameron and Beth, and reading the New York Times article "The Joy of Quiet," I understood more about the ways technology and media can suffocate us and take away from true freedom and healthy communication. I am guilty of this attachment to technology, and I want to run from it.

I know that solitude is important, yet I keep filling my time to the point of stress. I am constantly busy and ignoring my need for quiet and stillness, even at the most crucial moments of chaos and overstimulation. Christmas break has reminded me to be more intentional with my time and to consistently practice the spiritual disciplines.

If you are anything like me, you might benefit from my list of  7 things to help find solitude in life:

1. check online communication only once or twice a day: don't let yourself be attached to your computer, TV, or phone. If you are with another human being, give them your full attention. Instead of checking Facebook or watching mindless TV when you're bored, do something that will rejuvenate you.

2. read before bed: Jordan and I read every night before bed. It is one of my favorite parts of the day. This habit slows you down and prepares you for a nights rest, and it gives you time in stillness that you probably desperately need. Plus, reading for pleasure is good for you. If you're a student, you will especially cherish this time with a book of your own choice :)

3. spend your first hour of the morning in solitude: wake up, make your breakfast, brew your coffee, and sit. Do whatever suits your needs and personality. Spend time with the Lord, read your Bible or devotional, write in your journal, or just sit and think. Start your day right.

4. cook or bake something new: time in the kitchen can be therapeutic. find a new and interesting recipe and make it. take your time, turn on some classical music, and tie your apron. Make a mess and don't apologize. This is a time for you to prepare something from scratch with your own hands.

5. exercise outside: exercising at the gym is good, but exercising in nature is even better. sometimes you just need to be outside and breathing in fresh air. Go on a walk, jog, (or hike if possible), and soak up all that is around you.

6. sit in silence: this one is simple. Just sit and let your mind flow. This might be challenging, but it's worth it after you experience it a few times. We need to sit in absolute stillness in order to really hear ourselves think. This is the best way to hear God and to understand yourself in a very vulnerable way.

7. do a weekly review: when the week is done, sit down and review everything that happened. Process it in your own way. Journal, talk about it with someone, or make lists. Review your goals and assess where and how your time was spent. This will allow you to be more intentional with your time.

If you want to really see what solitude looks like, watch this video. A simple task has never been so beautiful.

The Art of Making Bread

1 comment:

  1. I love Kinfolk magazine! Thanks for sharing this wonderful list of ways to practice solitude.