I love my children who are really adults now and am thrilled to have them home this summer with one already out of the nest. However, my previously quiet house is now filled with the background noise of the Netflix series du jour, friends coming and going, a constantly dirty kitchen, never enough food in the frig, (Mom, there’s nothing to eat!) and the evidence every morning of late night snacks (which is why there’s nothing to eat!) I go for a walk in the neighborhood and am surrounded by loud mowers and blowers, or construction saws. And then there’s the news! Urgent action alerts multiple times a day as our country’s health care, environmental protections, education, and women’s health are under review for change.
One evening as I was doing dishes, I heard a whisper – go to the beach, alone and do it soon. Actually, it was more of a command from my higher self than a gentle whisper. I found myself completely on board with this idea – I had to make it happen!
Here’s what I learned:
- I don’t like to inconvenience others or ask for anything for myself. I did it anyway. Step #1 was to both ask a friend to stay at her beach house and then inform my family they were on their own for 3 days.
- Three days of quiet time by a beach felt like just a warm-up – could have used a whole week.
- Time alone once every 15 years or so is not enough!
- I was happier and lighter not checking the news or social media.
- As I started to unwind, I found I moved slower and was actually more tired than I allow myself to be on a daily basis. I napped daily which I swore I couldn’t do.
- I spent every moment possible outside (I love screened in porches!). Nature is a salve, a balm, a healer.
- I definitely do too much for those who are capable of doing things for themselves.
- I could meditate for an hour a few times/day. Each meditation brought me deeper into a quiet I haven’t heard before and a feeling of a loving Presence that came from within.
We love time with our families and friends but time alone is essential to recharge, reset your nervous system, reconnect with your self, reclaim your sanity and your soul. I am blessed that I had the opportunity to have the experience I had. Even if you can’t get away, try to carve some time out in your schedule such as on a weekend morning. My sister-in-law woke up at 5 am when her kids were home for her “me-time”. Maybe you live alone but fill your silence with distractions. Really look at how you are spending your time. Big and little screens are addictive and take us away from our center. Do you really need to check your email, social media and the news as often as you do? Do you really need to watch as many TV shows?
The world, our families, our jobs will go on without us as we gather back into ourselves and gain a new perspective and refill that empty cup we try to pour from. We are uncomfortable with silence, with space, with just Being but that is where the magic happens, allowing Grace to move through and as each one of us.