10 Minutes of Daily Solitude
Updated: Jan 6, 2019
It's so hard for a busy person like me to sit still. Learning to be still and relish in solitude has become a life hack that has literally changed my life.
I remember a few years ago we were putting a bar in our basement. How fun! This certainly was nothing to be stressed over. It was a fun little project and we were excited about it. One Saturday, around the time of this project, I was driving to the grocery store and Mark called to tell me that the knobs for the cabinet doors didn't fit properly. He asked me to stop by Home Depot to pick up a different set of knobs. I was out anyway. What's the big deal?
THE RAGE. OH MY...THE RAGE. I COULD FEEL MYSELF WANTING TO STRANGLE HIM. I HATED WHEN HE ADDED "CHORES" TO MY TO-DO LIST. I remember snapping at him. I was so annoyed.
It wasn't about the stupid knobs. I was so over-tired, over-worked, over-scheduled, over-stimulated, over-scheduled, and my list was always on overload. I resented that I needed to do another thing. I think a lot of us busy moms feel this way. I longed for time for me. When would I ever just get to be. When would the list ever be empty? When could I just be alone?
I love God a lot. I am a spiritual person and I have felt connected to God many times in my life. But without solitude, I get kind of angry. I complicate life and I get frustrated. Frustration makes me tight. That tight feeling creates anxiety over little things; things like Home Depot.
In that moment, I recognized I was being ridiculous, but I couldn't get myself out of my bad mood. I spent a good portion of that day frustrated. What sucked the most is I knew I wasn't going to get that Saturday back. Most days aren't Saturday. Most days are work days. I need Saturdays to be relaxing and I messed that up. This made me even more frustrated with myself.
Today, I practice daily solitude, first thing in the morning, even if it's just for 10 minutes. It's a gift I give myself before facing the craziness of the day ahead. At first, waking up earlier was hard. However, it didn't take long to fall in love with this practice. It's well worth losing just a little sleep to invest in time for me.
When my alarm goes off I head downstairs immediately. I grab coffee and head to my quiet space. I just sit. Literally. I sit. I stare. I sit and I stare. When my mind wanders (and it always does), I give thanks. I look around and I thank God for the coffee and my house and the girls. I thank Him for Mark and the quiet space and the silence. I sit. I stare. I sit. I do nothing. I do absolutely nothing. I drink my coffee and do nothing. It's absolutely magical. I give thanks.
Now I am triggered by little things a lot less often. I pray a lot throughout the day and I give thanks, but without solitude I would never be able to live in peace. We all deserve a little calm in our lives. If we don't find the time, it will never happen. I hope you will give yourself the gift of solitude and just be.
For more resources on developing a personal relationship with Jesus, check out the All Grace Outreach subscription or my book Facing Cancer: A Spiritual Journey from Pain to Peace.