Silence and Solitude

My brain is a very busy place. When the noise of the world is added to the mix what results is a cacophonous sensory attack that leaves me exhausted. I actually experience a physical reaction when the television or radio is turned off. My body relaxes. I unclench my jaw. My brain slows down.

Then there is the visual stimulus. I am a visual learner and am also easily distracted by what I see in the world around me. When I was a young teenager I loved classical music and would play my albums in my room. But even that was not enough solitude; I would close my eyes or cover my entire body with a blanket in order to tune out everything except the music. I didn’t understand at the time why this felt soothing and safe. I just knew that it did, and I craved this feeling.

What are we doing to ourselves in this modern world we live in?

Solitude Is Not Necessarily Loneliness

I have an app that makes thousands of free images available for use in a variety of media. After entering “solitude” into the search, I scrolled through hundreds of pictures. Many of the ones with people were all quite sad. Apparently solitude equates to lonely to the folks who set up the search parameters. I don’t think the two are one in the same. They can be, but not always and not for everyone.

Solitude In Nature

God created us and He created the beauty around us. It only seems natural that humans would thrive when in nature. We were created to work in tandem with the natural world. I believe the key to true internal peace and joy is rooted in the natural world. I am at my most content when I am walking in the woods, surrounded by trees, plants, rocks and ideally a stream. I am transported back to that feeling of security I felt when I was listening to music under the blanket.

Indoor plants are making a huge comeback in decorating and and different life style approaches such as Hygge. Plants are touted as air purifiers, which makes complete sense to me. Some of the other benefits I found on activebeat.com include – healing, immunity boost, increased productivity at work and increased IQ. Now, I have my doubts about all of those, but they certainly look good and they bring nature indoors. That’s got to be a good thing.

Finding Silence

I spend most days home alone and yet I still feel bombarded by the world and all the noise that goes with it. I swapped television for radio. At least one of my senses got a break. But the radio was talk. I still felt overwhelmed by information, sounds, news, and noise. My rule now is music only and the music must be classical instrumentals only. Sorry, no opera.

As an introvert, it takes very little social contact to satisfy my people needs, so more than one day a week out in the world and I need a serious break. I really don’t know how I worked out in the world all those years and didn’t completely loose my mind. I suppose we all learn to cope and do the best with the circumstances of life at the moment.

I am finding that the meditation techniques I am learning through the app on my phone (Calm) to be really helping me quiet the noise inside my head. Just fifteen minutes of focused breathing seems to buffer the rapid fire activity up there.

The Antidote

Despite my current at home status and the power to turn off most of the noise, I still crave more. Maybe what I need is a regular dose of this.

This is just one of the pictures I took while walking along a trail in Kerrville, Texas over the weekend. This is part of the city’s River Trail a five mile paved walking and biking trail that parallels the Guadalupe River and has a total of seven trailheads, most of which are located in parks. The Riverside Nature Center is a free educational garden and sits at the very beginning of the trails. It is an amazing resource that city planners first started working on back in the 1970’s. We are all very fortunate to have had such forward thinking folks in charge.

While we have parks and walking trails where I live, I don’t feel safe using them alone. I can walk along a levee built to help prevent flooding of my neighborhood, but my view is just other people’s back yards. Not at all soothing or relaxing. My soul is crying out for nature.

Until I’m in Kerrville again, I will go buy some plants.

Keep looking up, embrace today, and go have some fun!

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