Posted on March 23, 2016

The Art of Being Alone


There is a certain rhythm to the art of being alone that is similar to the rhythm of music that resonates with who you are. There are certain strokes that artists practice to become better, and there are certain strokes you can practice to find peace in solitude. Dancers bust certain moves that allow them to feel unbounded and truly happy, similar to the freedom experienced when seclusion is embraced. Writers observe, create and analyze, just as you may do when you are practicing the art of being alone.

Choosing to be alone, enjoying it and understanding the benefits of solitude is clearly different from feeling lonely and unaware of the advantages of healthy isolation. Do you embrace your alone time or do you keep yourself distracted to avoid facing your deepest contemplations? Are you capable of comfortably observing thoughts while you walk across campus or are you occupied with the music streaming from your headphones? When you are alone and you spill coffee on your shirt or sneeze with the colors of the rainbow coming out of your nose, how do you react? What if you’re walking up the stairs alone, and you trip and fall? Do you laugh at yourself or feel embarrassed? How and who are you when you’re alone?

Think about what you do and how you feel when you’re alone. Your answer may vary depending on the context, which is normal. Would you go to a party alone or does the thought of it make your cringe? Would you keep your headphones in any time you are alone in order to keep your mind busy? If not, what ideas would you entertain? Would you enjoy entertaining these thoughts? What would it be like to drive without the radio on? Uncomfortable? Exhilarating? Would you feel your hand gravitating towards the radio buttons? Distractions force us to escape the experience of being alone, but are we missing out on something important when we focus on external stimuli?

It might be tough to face silence or your own thoughts, but it may also be beneficial, enjoyable and an avenue towards true inner freedom. Are you ready and willing to practice the art of being alone? If so, the first step is to harbor a nonjudgmental attitude towards yourself.

Just like many creative tasks, enjoying time alone is something you get better at with exploration and practice. When we listen to music, paint, dance or write, we tap into a deeper part of ourselves. During our engagement in these activities, we see a fluctuation of feelings according to the perspective we decide to take on. With these changes in perspective, our emotions and behaviors change as well. Although the experience of being alone may be viewed as a rather monotonous one, the freedom to choose still exists and can very well alter the way you feel and view things. In other words, if we genuinely enjoy the times in which we are alone and do something embarrassing, we might be more likely to enjoy all moments of life in general because our approach to evaluating our selves and circumstances is softened. We are not as critical.

When we sing, paint, dance or write, we do it not to finish the race but to experience these activities in their fullness because we like to. The result of what comes out of engaging in these activities is the embodiment of the expression of the creative human spirit. It’s not the destination that matters; it’s the journey. Embrace that journey and everything it entails.

A nonjudgemental attitude is required to master the art of being alone. Art or expression cannot necessarily be judged as being “good” or “bad,” but people definitely seem to connect with certain artistic pieces over others. There’s a certain rhythm that we are likely to tap into when we connect with our craft, one of which may be spending time alone. The perspective we choose to take on ourselves and the world is similar to the resonance between what we truly want and what is happening in our lives. Practicing the art of being alone allows us to tap into ability to be creative, optimistic and understanding of oneness. Fortunately, creativity or the ability to be creative exists within all of us and is perhaps the most profound way that humans are connected with each other.

If we choose not to connect with our experiences on a deeper level, then we might not experience happiness or the true freedom that comes out of mastering the art of being alone. This art centers around nothing but creativity, true inner freedom and nonjudgement. We must understand our nature as human beings with a single source of consciousness in order to cultivate empathy and embrace the moments in which we are alone.

Seek an avenue towards a naturally cultivated balance between optimism and realism. This specific kind of outlook on life provides a motivation to do and be better as well as a safe sense of hope. Be conscious and aware of your surroundings. Understand your place in and a part of the world. Your perspective on your experiences guides what you are capable of. Don’t limit yourself by being dishonest with yourself. Feel what exists within you and embrace it—the “good” and the “bad.” Let life become a series of experiences that you connect with wholly and deeply; at the same time, know that your experiences are a part of all of existence and time. Through this awareness, you may not only understand the art of being alone, but you may encounter the beauty of true peace and freedom in solitude.

The art of being alone is more than just that. It’s a path to realizing that you are a part of something bigger than yourself.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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