We have somehow survived the 11th week of lock down in England and it is gradually being eased. I wonder what your greatest challenges have been and are you coming out of lock down with a different perspective of yourself and future? I do not think we can view life the same as before lock down. I hope it has changed you for the better to a certain level of degree.
Even perhaps never taking for granted the natural ease we had before lockdown to pop in and out of the supermarket without long queues, or fear of being infected by Covid 19. Or appreciating loved ones we have not been able to see for a long time. Or a quick visit to have a meal out with friends and family. I hope you come out of lockdown with quite a different perspective – appreciating life, health and an insight of why we are made to connect with each other.
I have appreciated the time and have worked on different projects. I believe I have only been able to do this by maximising what I term ‘alone times’, finding personal moments to be alone from the maddening crowd.
In spite of lockdown there are still so many things that still compete for our attention, these distract us from finding (alone time) solitude. Today I have woken up feeling lethargic and not so motivated, perhaps slightly exhausted from the predictability of lockdown. I have been up from 5.30am to do my daily reading of scripture and Prayers, then I went back to sleep. Sometimes I decide to work straight through, as I am best in the morning. I am now at my dining table reading and editing this blog – back in full steam. What am I trying to say?
Solitude is different to Isolation as when in solitude it’s generally a personal decision to be alone to appreciate peace and quiet. You ask why would one want to be in solitude, after being locked in? It’s a good question to ask, as a choice to be in solitude means you can come out of it when you want, unless you get interrupted by one of the kids?
It is beneficial to get (alone time) solitude, to think, pray, meditate, reflect, write or ponder on a decision, review the present and the future.
In the Bible Jesus in ministry picked several moments to pray alone, away from the disciples (friends) and the crowd. It was his way of gaining spiritual strength to operate in a physical world where he faced and was to face much opposition.
After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. He used it has a time also to replenish his spiritual strength and focus. Also, as a time to prepare for the eventualities of his mission on earth. He had just performed the miracle of feeding the crowd of 5000 and healing the sick. Before the feeding of this crowd he was about to withdraw to a desolate place by himself but decided in his compassion to stay and heal and feed the crowd.
From Jesus’s demonstrated need to find a quiet place alone shows the important and benefits of us doing this. As we are mere mortals and live a very stressful and over demanding world. One that is always trying to distract our focus through social media, tv, newspapers, local and national noises, mobile phones to name a few.
How do you find your quiet place or solitude in Covid 19 Lockdown? I hear you say I have no choice now as we are all on Lockdown. Being locked in has been more challenging for some, more so than for others. However, where ever you find yourself you have to make an effort to find your alone time.
This requires self-discipline, creativity and courage. There is an essential need to check in with yourself daily. By writing quietly in a journal at the end of the day on what you did, achieved and could not get done. What you want to achieve the next day.
From a Judeo-Christian perspective, Solitude is good for meditation and reading scripture by yourself. Some decide to do this first thing in the morning as it sets one up for the day. Plans for the day can be made at this time, issues to address during the day and also certain things you decide to stay away that generally impact your emotional wellbeing.
Many wake up early in the morning between 5am and 6am and have quiet time. It is a peaceful and special time of the day. Some go walking or jogging especially in the summer and some do prayer walks at this time.
The act of praying and meditating on scripture changes the atmosphere around you and it shifts perception of self and enables a deeper clarity of thoughts, this increases to make better judgements on decisions. It gives daily confidence, courage and creative ideas for your work, relationships, home and business.
You say how can I start doing this? Consider the following –
1.What time of the day are you at your best? Morning, afternoon or Evening.
2.What time frame do you have to slot in quiet time.
3.What time of the day is less busy?
4.Find a quiet spot at home or in the garden.
5.Download a Bible App from your smartphone to read.
8.Sit quietly now and Write down what comes into your mind.
9.Use the content you write to set some form of a life Plan
10.Your Plan should have simple and realistic life goals.
11. Each day you spend time alone after meditating on the word, pray, revisit your plans and goals.
12.Adjust and tick appropriately, add or deduct where necessary.
13.Try this for at least a month and you would have formed a Good Habit.
Wishing you a better and more productive life. Signing off now. There is always Hope after loss.