In a world where we are constantly surrounded by people, pets, noise, clutter, distractions, and excess, today I would like to talk about being alone.
I have just come home from being on the road for ten days and although I was speaking to many – I was alone a lot of that time.
Alone in the airports, alone in the restaurants, alone on my drives, alone on my hikes, alone at the theatre, alone in my hotel. Alone. Alone. Alone.
Alone but not lonely.
There is not much I love more than people (I am an extrovert and get my energy from interactions). Of course, like most people I devour and appreciate time and experiences with my honey, family and friends. Still I find there are exceptional things about being alone.
Being alone affords so many opportunities that you may miss when you are with other people.
For example, opportunities to:
• Make choices based solely on what you want.
• Order your food without the outside influences of what others are getting.
• Choose the channel and control the remote.
• Start when you want and leave as it suits you.
• Talk to people you probably wouldn’t have if you were with someone you knew.
• Play the music you are in the mood for.
• Sing with abandon.
• Leave the bathroom door open.
• Not make your bed.
• Be messy.
• Go at your own speed and stop at your leisure.
• Be with your own thoughts.
As I write this on the plane, alone (even the seat beside me is empty) I examine the ten days where in between jobs I was able to explore, learn, play, chill, and contemplate.
The photos will give you a glimpse of what I did with my off time. All these great experiences I would have missed just because I didn’t have company, just because I was worried what strangers would think about this poor lady, all alone. Maybe she has no friends? Maybe she’s a real miserable thing and no one wants to be with her? Lol!
I think about people who are single who perhaps have lots of opportunities to be alone – maybe they would think it’s too much time. Maybe I should make a point of inviting them out more often.
I think about people whose lives are full of family and work and volunteer commitments and whose time alone may be limited to going to the bathroom (and even then the little ones may barge in!). I wonder if they (you?) would benefit from a little more alone time.
I know people who could never imagine going to a show alone, eating in a restaurant alone or traveling alone. That was me once.
But when I think of all the incredible experiences I would have missed because I didn’t have someone to do those things with me, it makes me sad.
What about you? Would you benefit from a little more solo time? Would you consider visiting a restaurant, gallery or show on your own? How can you make a little time to get away from the demands of your life?
I’m not suggesting trying solo instead of your real life, I’m suggesting trying it within your real life.
Let your needs be known, speak your truth kindly, enjoy your own company – you are pretty awesome you know!
Finding joy in alone time, it’s just one more way to live Your Life, Unlimited!
P.S. And for those of you that feel you are solo too much, stop waiting for an engraved invitation. Invite yourself along to something, gather up a group and plan something, or attend an event and look for some nice people to introduce yourself to.
These photos are from this recent trip to Colorado – I saw and experienced breathtaking things – and they were no less breathtaking because I was alone.
Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, and the recipient of the 2014 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Award for Contributions to Community. Stephanie empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at http://www.YourLifeUnlimited.ca.
* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.