There’s something important I’ve been working on lately, and it’s not reading more or working more or getting more INPUT in this one life I live. It’s granting myself space and time to be alone. I don’t mean becoming reclusive, necessarily. I mean alone with myself without music, podcasts, constant stimulation — particularly when I’m running.
For me, learning to be alone with myself has not equated to loneliness. In fact, getting off the grid to experience my surroundings, becoming in touch with my internal dialogue and physical sensations has actually garnered connectivity — interpersonally, and in my relationships. When I give myself the time to recharge, I refuel, and ultimately position myself to be present with others.
I think of my silent running as somewhat of a moving meditation.
There are tons of articles and studies that point to the importance of meditation. I’ve even written my own piece on how I started meditating. But the gist is this: you don’t have to sit in lotus to practice. Even cleaning the house without making calls or cooking without a book on tape are ways to both rest the erraticism of our minds and actually, physically, mentally, emotionally, get in touch with what is laying beneath the surface.
Getting quiet allows us to understand our needs — what we’re craving and not getting enough of — as well as paving the way to understand how to get those needs met, whether by what’s in our control or by way of others.
This is why I love my running exercise. In getting quiet, I’ve realized the importance of engaging in a dialogue with my body. I’m learning how to do one act at a time, focusing entirely on the experience without instinctually filling the space.
It’s a practice, it’s a practice, it’s a practice.
Going solo, without disturbance, has ultimately become my kind of self-care. But like I said — it’s a practice. This is not one size fits all. Whether you find your solitude in a long quiet drive or running the trails like me, I’ll say this much: it’s been worth the growing pains.
So what about you: Will you try doing something in silence this week?