The call of solitude
On my hunt for silence, I headed north to the Cariboo region of B.C. Insulated by endless stretches of dense forest and lakes that echo nothing but the call of the loon and splash of a rainbow trout snatching a bug, this is the perfect place to escape.
The sun rises and after sipping my coffee lakeside, I disappear into the woods. As I walk deeper, my nervous system relaxes and a feeling of relief sweeps over me. There are no people, no noise pollution, no airplanes, no cars; just birds chirping, a breeze in the treetops, and the sound of Kula rusting around in the bushes.
I venture into solitude to collect my thoughts, review my inner compass, and get some grounding. Merging with the glorious green and orange colours around me, I take a deep breath of fresh air, and my thoughts turn to what matters in life. My heart fills with warmth as I think of those who are precious to me; and the gratitude for all the beautiful moments gone by.
It’s interesting how when you remove yourself from the context of your everyday life, you’re better able to see how you’re shaped by and affected by that context. Thoughts become pure and you can strip away what is less important, and see what is. Being alone strengthens your individual identity and existence. Here lies the space needed for undistracted contemplation, fresh insights, and the ability to hear your inner nudges and authentic desires.
A quiet craving
My craving for quiet has increased over the years, perhaps in part to some concussions I’ve had, living solo, the chaos of media today, or simply having a greater desire for simplicity. Amidst the mayhem and overly stimulating world we live in today, silence and stillness is hard to come by. Yet finding solitude is critical for our well-being. You can’t unlock clarity and higher consciousness if you’re constantly doing, talking, and thinking. Conscious silence is where things come into focus…when you stand back, observe, and just breathe, you begin to look beyond the mind and not at the mind.
Silence is deafening
Solitude is a critical ingredient for creativity and focus, from Picasso to Einstein, some of our greatest thinkers have often worked in solitude. Yet, these days we’ve become accustomed to incessant noise occupying the air and we are addicted to checking our devices. We’re uncomfortable with silence and pausing for contemplation; and when alone, our minds go wandering, planning, dwelling, worrying, and analyzing—moving us away from the present moment and away from the chance to connect with nature, people, and ourselves. Many of us can’t stand to sit in solitude and silence because we are afraid of our own thoughts and feelings… but solitude is the path on which destiny leads you to yourself.
“When destiny comes from the outside, it lays you low, just as an arrow lays a deer low. When destiny comes to you from within, from your innermost being, it makes you strong.”
Embrace moments of quiet and seclusion, because as much as we need relationships and support in our lives, ultimately it is oneself that cures the soul, the problem, the broken heart, and the lost.