In our busy lives, solitude and stillness hold remarkable significance. They provide us with the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves on a deeper level and gain clarity amidst the chaos. Solitude allows for self-reflection, helping us understand our thoughts, emotions, and desires without external influences. Stillness, on the other hand, allows our minds and bodies to rest, rejuvenate, and find inner peace.
Unfortunately, the world today, as Anne Morrow Lindbergh pointed out in her book Gift from the Sea, often fails to grasp the importance of being alone. Society tends to prioritize constant connectivity and external validation over personal space and tranquility. Due to this, we often end up gravitating toward smartphones, television, and the Internet to avoid the awkwardness of being alone with our thoughts. As a direct outcome, we keep ourselves away from soul-nourishing pursuits and deny ourselves the space needed to tap into the creative resources that lie dormant within us.
Researchers at the University of Virginia conducted an experiment in which participants were given the option to either sit quietly for fifteen minutes with no distractions or give themselves an electric shock. Around 67 percent of the men, and 25 percent of the women, chose shocks over being left alone with their minds. And these were people who told researchers beforehand that they would be willing to pay to avoid the shocks. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
We’ve become so addicted to external stimuli, digital and otherwise, that we’d rather inflict pain upon ourselves than sit quietly with our own thoughts.
But here’s the thing: Solitude and stillness are essential ingredients for a happy and fulfilling life. They’re not signs of weakness or isolation; they are acts of self-care. Embracing solitude allows us to recharge, gain clarity, and nurture a deeper connection with ourselves. It is through moments of solitude and stillness that we find strength, inspiration, and the ability to navigate life's challenges.
Robin Sharma said, “It is in solitude where we meet ourselves, and in stillness where we find inner peace.” Let us remember the wisdom of these words as we navigate our everyday lives. Despite societal pressure, we should recognize the profound value of carving out moments of solitude and stillness. These moments nurture our inner selves, provide solace in our own company, and cultivate a sense of peace that transcends the chaos of the world.
Kim Jong Il of North Korea insisted on eating only rice that was picked by hand. All grains had to be exactly the same size.