We all have busy lives and yes mine is quite hectic at the moment but even so I always make some time to be still and sort of sift through my day and learn to take some time-out for me. I do this by reading books, listening to music, writing, and praying. The moments that we take time to block out the drama of your day and learn to be quiet in the midst of the noise is difficult if you are a workaholic, a parent, or if your just a busy person in general. I think that the reason why some people have trouble dealing with their own problems is because of the amount of distractions we have in our day that prevent us from laying back on the sofa, sipping some tea and letting our MINDS rest for a while. PLAN to take the TIME OUT for YOU. You know you need it.
I know for sure that I have plenty of distractions in my day but I know that I need that time to sit back and do some serious self analysis anytime that I can. Sometimes just meditating on the Word can fill you with many ideas or inspiration that can bring to you clarity on the things to consider that you didn’t consider before. I love the book of Proverbs because it really makes me laugh when I think about how I can relate some of them with everyday situations I have with people in my day. I’m just going to break down how I take my time outs as I feel there is always a need to just be at peace with yourself and block out the noise of busy-ness and create time of solitude that can birth out ideas, inspiration, and creativity for building your dreams and building your character.
Introspection is needed so that you can look in the mirror and fix up what you need to change before you head out and go about your business.
Why did I call it a Solitude workout? Because you have to work to have that time of solitude. You have to make a conscious effort to take some time to be alone and just be still. Breathe in, breathe out and just be…still.
So these are the things I do in my Solitude workout:
Read - Read books to gain knowledge and to fuel your imagination in order to garner some inspiration to do something or just simply to gain some perspective from a different perspective. To avoid tunnel vision, don’t just read one type of genre only but learn to explore others. I also truly believe that self-help books and novels should be read with a balance but don’t forget your BIBLE. The Bible is the manual to spiritual growth and maturity and it has so much wisdom that can help you carry on when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Listen to Music - When I mean listen, I mean listen with the intent to hear the words that are coming out of the singers mouth. This is KEY. Some songs I find have lyrics that deal with real life issues and bring out emotions in poetic ways whereas there are some lyrics that are destructive and are counter-intuitive to what you need to hear. Listen to songs that build you, listen to songs that come straight from the heart of the singer. Some songs are raw and some songs are tranquil, mix it up a bit. I love dancing to music so I listen to many types of genres. Don’t limit your genre intake but be mindful that some songs can fuel wrong emotions such as hatred, depression, lust, if you hear and learn to listen to the lyrics… that’s why I say listen with the intent to hear the words that are coming out of the singers mouth. Don’t feed your spirit with foul music. Feed you spirit with things that edify your mind and produce inspiration fortified with ideas.
I’m still working on throwing out some of the music I used to listen to so yeah…especially after learning about how to listen to people which I wrote in one my previous posts “Learning to Listen rather than being Heard”, I’ve shifted to throwing out some music off my itunes lists and some cds after seriously listening to what people are saying in their lyrics. You don’t have to do what I’ve started to do because I know that sounds kind of radical and crazy…However, this is just the place I have reached in my journey to spiritual and emotional fulfillment. I find that I can’t listen to certain music that I used to love before…so I’m sifting through all my stuff as I clean out my closet. You gain so much understanding about thngs we take for granted when you take the time to be quiet and sit still and contemplate about such things.
Write - I love to write and as a kid I used to write so many short stories. I’ve really got to get back into the habit once again. I’m more of a verbal story teller since I can be lazy to type things so blogging has been one way to get me back into that habit. At the moment I have a dream journal going. I wake up in the morning and write down the dreams I had when I woke up in order to not forget. You must be thinking that it’s a little weird for someone to do, but I believe that sometimes dreams tell you a lot about ourselves and I find that when I re-read dreams I had a few years ago, some of them have come to pass in reality, and some of them made sense of a future event that had yet to occur. Think of Joseph in the Bible in the book of Genesis 37:1, he had dreams when he was a kid and shared with his brothers but even though the dreams were quite far fetched to his brothers because his dreams implied he would rule over them one day, it was proven that years down the line he did in fact became a King over his brothers in the land of Egypt and those dreams came to pass (Genesis 41:37-45).
I just want to be clear and say that I’m not saying that every dream will come to pass, because I also have nonsensical dreams and nightmares; but I do record them in order to see the progression of where in the world am I going? What did that dream mean??? Do you ever ask questions about the dreams you dream? Sometimes I understand the dream and at times they are riddles, but hey it’s worth while recording anyway even for just the mere entertainment of it. Dreams have a way of pointing out future troubles that you may not be able to forsee in your waking life because of how distracted you are with the goings ons of life and business as usual. I definitely encourage people to start recording your dreams and you may see over time that some dreams make sense of the stuff going on in your current situations. Sometimes I am warned about people or events in my dreams and that helps me in the discernment arena. Remember that God can even speak to you in your dreams (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17). Daniel in the Bible had the ability to interpret dreams (5:12) but it was only through the spirit of God. I’m not saying that you’ll be able to interpret your dreams on the get go… but if you start a journal, you might be able to see how your dreams coincide with the happenings of your present life. Your dream life can at times make sense with what’s going on in your waking life. Give it a shot.
Praying - I pray everyday and at any moment in time. You don’t have to be in a closed room to do this because I think we all need to develop a consciousness of constant meditation. Now, I’m not saying that its easy because I found it difficult to do this and in some ways I still struggle. I get bombarded with so many distractions that it’s not funny but even though I do, sometimes I just say something small like “Thank God I got this work done!” or something just to maintain my focus on the things of God. Even at work or at play think of things that require you to pray. Intercede for someone or family member or your boss. They need prayer too. It can’t always be about you, you’ve got to intercede too. There are times that I even pray to the extent where I fall asleep praying because of consistent meditation. I even feel refreshed after an hour of prayer that I set aside in my prayer closet. Do you have a prayer closet? It can be anywhere, in your room or at the beach…it’s my time with me, myself and I and God. I have been in life or death situations where I feel prompted to pray without fully knowing the reason why but I get understanding after the event has occured. The whole point is to develop your spiritual walk with the Lord. I keep thinking of the prophet Enoch who walked with God for 300 years (Genesis 5:22) and there was something about him that pleased God to the extent where he didn’t even die naturally because God took Enoch with Him (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5). It makes me think that I have a long way to go in my walk to please God to that degree but in essence this contemplation comes from my own meditation. Thinking about that makes me want to strive harder to have such a close knit relationship. I am cool with not dying in this life and God taking me up with Him like he did Enoch but that’s just my own personal musings I have with the Lord. Who knows if I’ll ever get there lol. This is just an example of things that astound me when I meditate on the Word.
What pops into your mind when you meditate on the Word of God? You may find most of your answers in your prayer life when you take the time to meditate.That’s how you gain revelation, a deeper understanding of the Word which helps to strengthen your spirit man and your emotional man (soul) to become one with your physical man (body).
Anyway, these are the types of things I do in my solitude workout. This may inspire you to pursue that time you need to be by yourself. What do you do when you are alone? I would like to know what others do in their alone time. Feel free to comment below.