Four Steps to Navigating A Time of Solitude by Joshua Warren
Being alone can be one of the most fulfilling experiences that we can treat ourselves these days. With society promoting more of a busy, hectic, and most times even chaotic lifestyle it's nice to give yourself some space and time to be in solitude. But what about when you have too much on your mind and there's things getting in the way from you connecting with yourself and with God? That's when the space can cause you to spiral out of control.
So what do you do when you're in that space? How can you collect yourself before you leap over the deep end and start triggering yourself and getting in your own way? Well, I'm not a therapist so I can't give you all of that, but what I can give you are some tips to ground yourself and shift your perspective which may help you navigate through it a little better. Here are Four Steps to Navigating a Time of Solitude.
1. See A Therapist
I bet you thought I was going to skip this one, but nah...go see that therapist. You might have tried it over and over again and you feel like you get shit done but it's taking you too long to do it, shit keeps coming up that's stopping you from feeling motivated, or you just can't focus no matter how you try. You might even hear those voices that are telling you "you ain't shit, you'll never get it done, or you'll never get it right!" And that's a lie! Most of the time it's not even our voices. It may be our parents, classmates, or anybody we've overheard.
The right therapist is going to get to know you and your perspective and show you where you're getting in your own way. They'll help you identify if it's something you have control over and can change consciously, or if its something beyond your control that needs treatment. It doesn't pay to think you have it all together when you are aware that something isn't right and needs to be addressed so you can be your best self. A good therapist is going to remind you that you're in the driver seat and give you the keys to navigate through the shit healthily instead of avoiding it. A coach will help you identify the shit, but we're going to navigate around the mental shit, that's beyond our scope.
If you feel like the world is weighing you down and there is nothing that you or anyone around you can do to help motivate your progress and outlook on life, it's vital to seek professional help. As humans, we have to understand that we aren't perfect and sometimes we need a little help when navigating this big ole' life. A wealthy mind makes for a wealthy life.
2. Start A Journal
Journaling can feel like a chore if you aren't using it properly. However, the benefits of starting a journal further beyond the scope of just venting our emotions. Journaling helps you to discover patterns, triggers, and opportunities for you to make necessary shifts in your life. It helps you to come face-to-face with the things that you may not like about yourself so that you can identify and address them. That crazy shit you do or the wild things that you allow to exist and persist in your life can all be uncovered through journaling so that you can decide what items you'd like to keep and what items need to be updated, released, or replaced.
In addition to all that, journaling is a place for creative expression. Do you like to draw? Add doodles to your pages that express how you feel. Do you like to write creatively? Add a poem that sums up the day you've had. This is your sacred space where you can navigate your ship comfortably and creatively. It gives you the space to see who you really are, flaws and all and find comfort in the things that you enjoy while letting go of the things you don't.
3. Get to Know and Love Your Body
Your body is more resilient than you give it credit sometimes. It may be in a place that you don't quite enjoy. There may be some things that you want to correct or refine, but it has been with you through every experience in your life. It is your vessel and deserves your love and attention. Getting to know your body is more than just going to the doctor once or twice a year for a check-up. It's about knowing what trauma is trapped inside and is ready to be released? What spaces have been neglected and need love and attention? What parts are protecting energy that no longer serves your progress? Your body tells you everything you need to know about the world around you, and if you learn to read the signs it's giving you'll grow into a healthier being.
How does your body like to be touched? What parts do you neglect the most and why? What is your relationship with how you move your body? What is does your body need to be it's healthiest? When you begin to take note and care of your body and it's needs you begin to see the correlations to your overall life. Do you need to release some chaotic energy from a bad break up? Are you carrying sexual trauma? Have you just been lazy? Whatever it is, listen to your body and begin to establish a new relationship with it. One that will promote your progress rather than your defeat. A well nourished body curates a well nourished life. Plus beating yourself ain't going to make things better, the world will do that enough for you. Please yourself, treat yourself, respect yourself, and build yourself.
Feeding life into your body results in a powerful being and you deserve to be that!
4. Let Yourself Have Fun
You've been going through life paying bills, showing up to work, taking care of responsibilities, handling business, and managing all of the things. It's okay for you to relax and have a little fun. If nobody's around and you need space to be liberated, curate that. What is fun to you? What does it look like? How can you let yourself have it even if you live a "busy life?" The funny thing about life is that we get to make it however we want it to be. Yes there are limitations to things that we do because we live in a capitalistic white supremist patriarchal system that dictates a lot of what we do and crushes a lot of our liberties, (wasn't going to let that slip past us) but we have free will for a reason. If your life doesn't include all the things you want, instead of focusing on how you won't ever have it, try focusing on how you can.
We tend to tell ourselves all the reasons why we can't do things that we actually enjoy. If we're singers, we believe we have to sound perfect. If we dance, it always has to look clean. If we write, it has to be engaging and captivating. Otherwise we just won't let ourselves do it. Fuck all that shit! You get to decide what you do. If you do something for fun, just do it for fun. Remove all the expectations, qualifications, and standards that others have programed you to believe and create your fucking own. You don't have to let yourself believe that shit will make you look or feel stupid. And even if it does, so what!? Feeling stupid is fun sometimes. You always feel stupid when you're building your practice in something, so just own it and have fun with it.
Doing what makes you happy helps you release the worries and burdens of life and gives you that "fuck that shit" mindset that you need to successfully navigate through the shit that's beyond your control. If you can't control it, "fuck that shit!" If you can control it, do something about it so you can get back to having fun!
The truth about solitude is that you get to get out of your head and live in the present. You get to get yourself in check and give yourself everything that you thought you needed to get from somewhere else. Your life might be ugly, stressful, or even unforgiving, but you have the power and ability to make it exactly what you want. Nobody owns you and nobody can make you do what you don't want to do. If you want to make your life shine by doing things you enjoy, you have to do the work and set up the space for you to make that possible. It may be a drag for a while, but once you get the hang of it shit just falls in line. Next thing you know you're living in a brand new life, ready to go out and get more.