Give yourself the gift of time alone
Day 32/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: mellow
For me it was both exciting and terrifying to take that big leap and go out alone.
After being enveloped in a relationship for a long time, in spite of my independent spirit, I felt uncomfortable at the thought of going out alone.
The initial flurry of online dating was disappointing to say the least. My decision to prioritise parenting meant I had to put the idea of a relationship aside for the time being.
It wasn't long when began to craved a little novelty. Brunch out on Sunday, visit a museum, visit a blues bar, these were the things I usually did with my partner.
Parenting arrangements gave me time to myself. If I was going to fly solo I needed to work out how to have these moments of pleasure on my own.
The challenge for the beginning of February is to give yourself the gift of time
In January we've started to get to know ourselves. Now it's time to dive a bit deeper.
Make opportunities for creative excursions with yourself. Take yourself out, explore a bookshop, or a treasure market. Take yourself out to brunch at that little French bakery you've been dreaming about.
Check in to see if you experience resistance with this.
My first excursion solo was to a blues bar in the evening. To overcome my anxiety about sitting at the bar like a goose on my own, I phoned the bar and chatted to the bar staff. After telling them that I wanted to join them but felt nervous about turning up alone, they were all over it. Very welcoming and greeted me with such warmth. It was the best night.
Then I tried coffee and cake, taking a book to read or a journal to write in so that I had something to do whilst I enjoyed the atmosphere and my coffee. These excursions became favourites of mine. It wasn't long before I had my favourite places to hang out and I began to meet the regulars and get to know the staff.
After that I took myself regularly to the National Museum, walks in the parks, browsing in bookstores, picnics on the beach, cycle rides along the waterfront. It was such a lovely exploration of my interests.
Since then I've become so accustomed to taking myself on my own private excursions that it's become a lifestyle.
Time alone is an absolute necessity for me. I need it as much as I need oxygen. This solitude has given me such insights into who I am, what I love, how I want to live, and I'm still learning and loving the experience.
This morning I realised how far I had come when I read today's inspiration on the fly, realising that I was heading out to a trash and treasure market. This afternoon I took myself to the beach. This evening I attended a street party in my neighbourhood. It hadn't dawned on me that I actually do everything alone, and I love it. The freedom I feel is second to none.
Give yourself the gift of time. It takes a little effort initially but as you begin to realise the things you love to do, you'll want to keep doing them. This is how you get to know what those things are.
If you are partnered or have children, make this time for you. Find a way to make time each week just for you to take yourself on a date.
And if you're single again, or still, make the effort to connect with yourself. Self-mastery is about knowing yourself deeply. That's where you'll find your buried treasure, your inner brilliance, your true north, your purpose.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.