The Simply Luxurious Life®: Why Not . . . Revel in Solitude?  

April 20, 2011

Why Not . . . Revel in Solitude?


“He is his own best friend, and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude.”
-Aristotle
Finding time to be alone is something that I cherish and need on a regular basis in order to find my balance, be sure of my focus and gain clarity on the decisions that will be best for me in the long run.
So many people, unfortunately, miss out on the priceless benefits of being comfortable with time alone with only their personal company.  For whatever reason, being able to be alone often receives a bad rap, but I’d like to turn that all around today and remind us all that solitude, being able to be comfortable and at ease with our own company, is a sign of inner peace and the key to creating a contented life.

So often, when we quiet our surroundings, we are bombarded by thoughts we try to silence with the hustle and bustle of our lives, but that is precisely why we must slow down and listen.  Because when we consciously choose to deal with our fears, we begin to control them, taking away their power and learn how to handle them so that our gaze is free to appreciate our past, enjoy our present and feel prepared for the future knowing we are heading in the direction that is best for ourselves and not influenced by others’ judgments, opinions or pressures.

Here are a few more specific benefits of finding time to be by yourself without interruption or distraction.

Discover Unknown Strengths

As with anything new, there is trepidation in the first attempt, but by resolving to spend time by yourself, you will be amazed at what you really can do without anyone’s help. Some of the ahha moments I’ve had – travel successfully in a foreign country when I wasn’t well versed in the language, making flaky, buttery pie crust, painting and plastering one of my rooms, raking all of the leaves – 40 bags full, organizing a soiree – the list could go on, but I hope you too find amazing strengths you didn’t at first know you had.  It isn’t until you are placed in hot water that you realize your true abilities. Trust yourself. I have a feeling you will be very pleasantly surprised.

Understand What Makes You Tick

Establishing your boundaries in life is one of the healthiest and simplest things you can do to prevent future frustrations.  And the only way to truly know where your boundaries are is to take time to yourself.  What are you unwilling to compromise on because it is at the core of your values and beliefs?  What can you give a little on and not feel as though you have lost a piece of yourself?  Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial to future successful relationships whether they be with your significant other, colleagues, friends or family.  Once you know where you stand, then you can stand firmly and confidently in your truth without being knocked down, but this knowledge comes from taking the time to listen to yourself when you have time alone without interruptions or judgments.

Build Self-Confidence

As I mentioned in the first benefit of solitude, upon you allowing yourself to fend for yourself, you discover your true strengths.  And in making these discoveries, you boost your self-confidence as you realize you can do so much on your own.  Once you realize that you can depend on yourself, you have created a person who is healthier and more able to be a healthy partner in any relationship and create a successful and dream fulfilling life.

Allow Yourself to Relax

Solitude is a gift.  When you carve out time to just be in your own company, you are allowing yourself to breathe, catch your breath and relax.  Without the demands of others weighing on your mind, you can do as you please.  As Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sex and the City character (Carrie Bradshaw) states, you can revel in your Secret Single Behavior.  Whether you are in a relationship or not, have children or are flying free, it is always a good idea to make time to be alone.  Because there is a difference between alone and lonely.  Feeling lonely can occur in a sea of people, but being able to be alone well is very empowering.

Let Yourself Be . . . And See What Happens

One of the more memorable take-aways from Runaway Bride starring Julia Roberts is that she states that her choice of eggs are always whatever the man in her life prefers.  It isn’t until she is on her own, out of a relationship (not jumping from one to the next without an opportunity to catch her breath and her bearings) that she realizes how she truly prefers her eggs.  Solitude allows you to not be edited by other’s opinions, choices and judgments.  When you are on your own, you don’t hold back and you can be completely honest with yourself, try new things, attempt new hobbies without the fear of rejection until you are more sure and confident in what you truly do desire. Give yourself the chance to figure out your passions without outside influences weighing in.

I hope you have found some value or a nugget of truth in today’s post.  If the only take away is to find at least an hour a week to call your own, I promise you will discover an amazing gem that you will never want to relinquish. 

Thank you so much for stopping by The Simply Luxurious Life.  Have a beautiful Wednesday.


14 Comments:

At April 20, 2011 at 4:51 AM , Blogger Cara said...

love this and I NEED that striped dress!

 
At April 20, 2011 at 5:31 AM , Blogger CJ said...

So true!

 
At April 20, 2011 at 7:39 AM , Blogger Adrienne said...

I think it's funny that the ad that appeared on my RSS feed for this post was a dating site for "single women over 40." But I agree with the post all the same. :)

 
At April 20, 2011 at 12:49 PM , Anonymous Monteen (Charlotte,N.C.) said...

Hi Shannon, we have just arrived in the beautiful Holy City of Charleston,S.C. for the week so I plan to take long walks along the water-front, feast on fabulous food and get in a little shopping..maybe some reading...maybe a little cooking...and of course wine on the piazza..have a wonderful Easter...

 
At April 20, 2011 at 8:50 PM , Anonymous maiah said...

love, love, LOVE this post. xo

 
At April 20, 2011 at 9:38 PM , Blogger {éclat} event design said...

Beautiful pictures! I Just discover your blog and is gorgeous!

Cheers!

Laura
xoxo

 
At April 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM , Blogger DEva Weddings said...

I ABSOLUTELY love this image, it's so charming and full of beauty! Thank you for sharing this post with us, in these fast-paced, technology filled days, it's so important to keep in mind that silence is such an important part of happiness and fulfillment. Taking the time to reflect, feel gratitude, and just be still is a treat that needs to become a priority. Perfect post, thank you :)

 
At April 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM , Anonymous Naomi said...

Perfect.I am my own best company...always have been. Solitude scares some but for me it is my time to re-energize, ground myself, meditate, center myself, and spend time with the most important person...me. I do not say that selfishly but there are some women who can't stand to be along long enough to hear the beat of their own heart or the sound of their breath... I love it. Thank you for such a great post.

 
At April 22, 2011 at 8:50 AM , Blogger lexi920 said...

Once again Shannon, you come through for me!

I used to be the girl that had to constantly be by her boyfriend's side. I had to know where he was and who he was with. I wasn't just afraid to be alone, I was insecure. As I got older and in between relationships - I appreciated the silence and I became my own company.

This really came to fruition when I was 24 and I decided to move away from home (Bay Area, CA) to place where I knew nobody and I had to start from scratch - Seattle, WA. I didn't make the full year (9 months) but I did make peace with myself and I learned how to depend on nobody but myself and I made some great friends along the way!

I'm now married and a mother - believe me just an hour to read a magazine is like a gift from heaven.

I currently bought Amanda Brooks, "I Love Your Style" - I am enjoying it immensely. Have you read it? I can easily lose myself for an hour just looking at the pictures in this style guide.

 
At April 23, 2011 at 4:40 PM , Blogger La Katღ said...

Lovely post Shannon :)
I am a total workoholic @ work, in private/love life jumping from one relationship from another ...this post really got me thinking.

Thank you.

La Kat

 
At December 3, 2011 at 1:33 PM , Blogger Le Chic World said...

What wonderful words of wisdom! I admire your advice and outlook on life very much!! Thank you for sharing, beautiful blog too, looks like a lot of time has been put in to it. I'm new to this blogosphere business but I'm loving it and just followed you. Hope you can check out my new blog and hopefully follow back too :) Look forward to more inspiring posts.
Monica xx

 
At December 3, 2011 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Le Chic World said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At December 3, 2011 at 1:37 PM , Blogger Le Chic World said...

P.S I just made a source link to your post from my Tumblr as well :)

http://lechicworld.tumblr.com/

 
At March 31, 2012 at 10:49 AM , Blogger Gotta Knit! said...

Perfect timing as I planned this weekend with the plan for me to hang out at my home alone.

 

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