Why To Know Thyself?

July 9, 2012 by  
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People keep going on and on about know thyself.  So, why the heck is it so important to do that after all?

For starters if we don’t, we’ll just keep making the same mistakes over and over again.   It’s like going to an ice-cream store on a Monday and getting a chocolate ice-cream cone.  Then on Tuesday a strawberry.  And then on Wednesday a Vanilla.  You know what I mean; they are all ice-cream cones just with different flavors.

When we don’t take time for self-reflection, that’s what we do; we repeat the same behavior. If you are thinking that is not you because you can’t identify your current situation with anything else from the past, think again.  Is it really different behavior or does it only look different?  Now, take your time to reflect on the question before answering.  You may surprise yourself with the answer that comes up.

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The Difference Between Loneliness And Solitude

December 14, 2011 by  
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Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement – Alice Koller

 

 

Although loneliness and solitude are often thought to be the same experience, nothing could be further from the truth.

Loneliness manifests itself as a sense of emptiness and isolation while solitude creates a sense of communion with the self.

In loneliness we ache.  In solitude we feast. In loneliness we have no one.  In solitude we are one with the self.

It is in solitude that we learn to hear our own voice, to recognize and appease the pain and to celebrate who we are.

In solitude we clear out the clutter.  We ask and answer such questions as: What’s really important to me?  What do I really want?

It is also we solitude that we provide ourselves with simple and meaningful joys.

The only way to end loneliness is through solitude because we are never alone if we are connected to ourselves.

So how do we come to create and appreciate solitude?  By taking the time to be by ourselves, to relax and to listen to what really is going on within us.  It is also by soothing ourselves with simple activities such as: a bath, a glass of wine, music or meditation.

Solitude is precious time with the self.  It is where we plan our next steps.

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The Difference Between Loneliness And Solitude

August 3, 2011 by  
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Although loneliness and solitude are often thought to be the same experience, nothing could be further from the truth.

For a long time in my life I felt lonely.  Even when I was married living in New York, I felt lonely.  The reasons were:  1 – I was terribly unhappy in my marriage and 2 – I didn’t have a healthy relationship with my own self.

Feeling unhappy in a relationship is a relatively easy situation to fix.  Sooner or later one of the two  – if not both – start a process of separation.  Now creating a relationship with oneself is a bit more complicated because it requires courage and commitment. Courage to embrace all aspects of our being – what we consider “good” and what we consider “bad” – and commitment, because it will take time to form a bond.

Once you decide to get to truly know yourself, solitude becomes the space and time to make it happen.

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You Must Change Your Life

July 29, 2011 by  
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I’m reading a book by May Sarton; “Journal of a Solitude.”  In it, besides discussing her day to day, she talks about her observations on self-discovery, wisdom and love. There are many passages I want to share.  Below is the first one:

“At any age we grow by the enlarging of consciousness, by learning a new language, or a new art or craft (gardening?) that implies an new way of looking at the universe.  Love is one of the great enlargers of the person because it requires us to “take in” the stranger and to understand him, and to exercise restraint and tolerance as well as imagination to make the relationship work.  If love includes passion, it is more explosive and dangerous and forces us to go deeper.“ – May Sarton

“Here there is nothing that does not see you.  You must change your life.”  – Rilke

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Nothing To Fear In Solitude

November 8, 2010 by  
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People that know me or who have been reading my posts know how much I appreciate my solitude.  The days I carve out time to be with my own self, are glorious.  On those days, I get to calmly listen to my inner thoughts and I get to indulge in the simple things that make me happy.

Solitude is energy building.

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Being Of Trees

June 3, 2009 by  
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Jane Goodall has written about her experience of “the being of trees” during the extended periods she spent in solitude in the forests of Goma. What an incredible thing it must be to encounter a tree as a being, and not just a wooden thing. Our usual sense of a tree is as a thing after all, animate, but just barely so. Rooted permanently in the same spot, baking away under the sun, soaking up the rain like a wooden sponge that expands as it manufactures more of itself.

There is something wondrous about the idea and experience of a being that sets it apart from the rest of the impersonal, oblivious landscape of things. The concept is not quite synonymous with life, for trees and plants are clearly living things, though life is necessary for a being to come into existence. Particular characteristics are requisite for a thing to attain the stature of being, such as soul and sentience and persona.

Undoubtedly, many people would view Ms. Goodall’s notion that trees could possess any such characteristics as a fantastical thing. I am inclined to believe her though. In the remotest places, where prolonged silence is the natural order of things, reality is free to configure itself in all sorts of uncommon ways. Remarkable creatures emerge from the forest to drink at the waterholes of such places.

Where does the hard boundary that segregates beings from things actually lie in the world? Is it possible that this boundary is essentially a projection of the human mind? Is it possible that all existence partakes of the qualities of being in some way? It may seem very “new-age”, but there has been no shortage of poets, mystics and visionaries who have experienced the world in exactly this way. Keats, to mention one such poet, spoke plainly about the personality of a wooden ball. And he meant what he said. According to Rumi, the sun taught the atoms to be lovers. Both poets belong to a tradition of creators that view the world from a radically different vantage – a vantage that abounds with being, stashed in every corner and crevasse.

This vantage may be just another projection, but it seems that projections of this sort wield an astonishing power – the power to breathe life into inanimate surroundings. It is this power that a creative soul projects onto the world, imposing a distinctly personal design upon reality, reaping the experience that flows from it.

I can’t lay claim to Ms. Goodall’s unique experience, but as I was watch the trees wave and dance on the wind at dusk, I must say they look as full of energy and joy as anything alive. Why shouldn’t they be? They are majestic, towering over the world of living things. They are self-sufficient, needing only sun, rain and soil to thrive and thrive. They experience no cold, they savor the rain, they sprout toward the sky, they wake to the sun. Yes, they are tied down, stuck deep into the earth, and yet their freedom is uncompromised, untainted.

One day I hope these beings will emerge from the deep forests where they have been hidden, disclosing themselves in all their magnificence and wonder to this being. Perhaps then, I will be able to see the forest through the trees; or would that be the trees through the forest? I’ll have to ponder that.

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