Monday, September 9, 2013

Live Deliberately: Experiencing Solitude

First, I really want to thank everyone for the attention that this series has received. I have noticed a huge increase in traffic to this blog. Welcome to all the new readers! 

Today's installment of the Live Deliberately series focuses on the idea of solitude. Solitude isn't a perfect word for what I mean. Rather, I suppose, it is really a quietness.


Our Mountain View by J. Andrew Flenniken.
Before we moved into our tiny house I was someone who needed constant external stimulation. I would watch TV and surf the internet at the same time. When I was working I needed the radio on in the office or I would go out of my mind with the silence. I was ready to move into the tiny house but I wasn't sure how separating myself from the noise would look like. In any case, I was going to throw myself into the woods and see what happened. Instantly, everything changed. Our house is on a mountain pretty far from even our closest neighbors. We are surrounded 356 days a year by the seasons and suddenly I realized that this connection to silence was the very thing I was missing in my life. 

As I have mentioned, tiny living was a platform to change our lives. Silence and meditation isn't included in most tiny house building plans and you don't need it to be a bona fide tiny house dweller, but I'll tell you that it can't hurt. In my own solitude I found a deep well of creative inspiration that wasn't able to be heard over the noise of my previous life. 

Solitude and silence doesn't have to have a spiritual or religious overtone, but it can. Silence is something that can be very personalized for you and your own journey. 

My daffodils
On the most recent r(E)vo Convo podcast with Drew Odom, we discussed this topic for just a moment. Drew brought up an interesting point. In our culture we equate individual silence with negative energy. We see it as bad, introverted (which is not inherently bad, but often considered so), or a signal that something is wrong. But I have found that silence reconnects me to myself and to my own spirituality in a way that was missing when I lived a more conventional life. 

In many way this kind of quiet solitude goes hand in hand with the simplicity of my new way of living. I can find meditation in my chores or a walk in the woods. I can work without the radio and I'm surprised at how easily the words flow. 

I can experience this quietness when I am not alone, too. Matt and I have learned that we don't always need to fill the silence when we're together. We can simply enjoy each others presence. 

Are you comfortable in the silence? How can you reach into solitude and find yourself?  

Keep watching this blog for more on my philosophy of Deliberate Living. What was originally going to be a 5 part series is growing. I have thought of several more things that I want to share with you. Stay tuned!  

3 comments:

  1. Great thoughts Laura! Silence and solitude can be a great place of refuge, refreshment and renewal. I recently read Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and was so inspired by her thoughts on solitude and inner-work. Very few get to the point of realization of the power contained with our very selves - our hearts and our souls... but those that do experience unfathomable joy, bliss, and gratitude for simply being alive.

    “The necessary thing is after all but this; solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself for hours meeting no one - this one must be able to attain.”
    “Embrace your solitude and love it. Endure the pain it causes, and try to sing out with it. For those near to you are distant...”
    ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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  2. Perhaps the word you are looking for is "refuge." I find refuge in silence and solitude, a place to escape the cacophony of everyday life.

    Nice post. :)

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  3. My own tiny house probably won't be as remote as yours is, but I expect to find the same sense of quietness in it as I have been experiencing in my tiny camper, only more so, since the house will be properly insulated~! I enjoy being with my self, there is more to really think about, really dive in to, when you are alone and there is a huge difference between being lonely and being alone. Be a beautiful day!

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