I lay in bed last night, alone for a moment, in the dark, flat on my back, staring at the ceiling, and I took a deep breath, realizing that this was the first moment in my long day that I was alone. The idea troubled me. Of course there had to be at least one other time that I was all by myself. I was alone on my commute…no there were hundreds of other drivers around me. I was alone in the bathroom…no I took my phone with me and used the private moment to check my facebook. I did my yoga alone…close, but I used MyYogaOnline. See, the idea of being alone for me isn’t just being in a room by myself, but being completely free of outside influence and opinion. Television, the internet, books, movies, we can enjoy these things by ourselves but we’re still filtering in the points of view of others. Even in my bed at that moment I was feeling the weight of the sheets and my clothes in a bed all made by others. I pondered the idea that, energetically, it would seem, we are never, EVER, alone.
Finally after looking back I found that my shower was the closest thing to alone time I had in that whole 24 hours. Jeez, no wonder I take long showers. Then I realized how much deep thought takes place in there. I’ve often told people that the shower in my thinking place. How many times have you heard or said, “While I was thinking in the shower…” And it’s no wonder that we hear this so often, it’s the only place you can really get some real peace and quiet. A place where you can think for yourself and be who you really are, in all of your humanity. Just you and the water.
While I’m happy to have the shower, I’m not satisfied. After all, we can’t just stand in the shower all day long. What we can do is go out in search of another place, a place all our own, a place to think, and be, and forget all the rest. Imagine for one moment that it was just you… What would you do in that place? Prayer, meditate, draw, curse? You can do anything you want, it’s your special place. It doesn’t have to be far away or difficult to reach. It can be in the corner of your kitchen, or in the middle of your yard. Lay down in the back seat of your car in your driveway. Climb a tree if you still can! Where ever it is that you go, use the opportunity to explore the magnificence of your own thoughts and mind, to fall in-love with yourself and the brilliance that is you. We spend so much time looking up to others and basking in their wonderful ideas and spectacular innovations. We call on others to assist us and teach us and lead us and to follow. But what about the wonders of you and yourself and your place in this world. Our opinions and those of others are so often shared but do why do we have them in the first place? Is an opinion only had so that it can be shared, or is a thought born so that we can ponder it and learn and grow and go out and use what we’ve acquired.
My mother went on a silent retreat and she told me of all the wonderful things she began to experience when no longer allowed to speak. Her senses were heightened and she enjoyed everything around her a little differently. I imagined that her mind began to think without the intention of speech. Without the need to communicate, what would your mind create? Would we no longer hear our thoughts, but instead feel them, be them?
This morning as I took my shower, I smiled, and enjoyed the moment I had to myself. Hopefully I’ll find another opportunity during my day to close my eyes and be in the quiet of my own existence, if even for just a moment. I trust that finding this time will help me to grow closer to the one I know I’ll always be with, myself.