July 31, 2007

Change the World: Learn How to Be Alone

published this at 6:12 am

Alone

Change the World!

I sit back in my chair, exhausted. I stare. Silence is all around me. It’s a fine, harmonious sound. It’s broad and clear. I can hear myself. I can hear myself thinking.

A cell phone wouldn’t dare interrupt.
A loud voice doesn’t exist.
I can feel my heart. I can feel my heart beating.

I remember when I used to not like to be alone.
Then I learned how.
Learning how to be alone is as easy as learning how to feed yourself
and just as messy at first.

I think of the softly lit stars. I feel the silence of their being. I feel a home in the universe. I’m hospitable, joyful, forgiving, and generous.

A friend once said, “The universe shall not be thwarted.” So I stopped trying to rearrange it, stopped trying to change it, stopped trying to put myself in the center.

Instead I sat in the dark and listened. Silence is a harmonious sound.

I can hear myself. I can hear myself thinking.
I can feel my heart. I can feel my heart beating.

I’m reflective, thoughtful, and filled with meaning.

I learn how to be alone.
It makes me better when I am with other people.

We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss

______________
If you’re ready to change the world, send me your thoughts in a guest post. Feel free to take the gorgeous Change the World image up there that Sandy designed back to your blog. Or help yourself to this one.

Change the World!.

Email me about what you’re doing or what we might do. Let’s change the world one bit at a time together. Together it can’t take forever.

Filed under Motivation, Successful Blog | 22 Comments »


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22 Comments to “Change the World: Learn How to Be Alone”

  1. July 31st, 2007 at 7:02 am
    Karin H. said

    Morning Liz.
    This made me smile

    Silence is a harmonious sound.
    I can hear myself.

    Yeap, so do I. I hear my ears whistling ;-)
    Tinnitus, not too bad, but always there.

    Sometimes it works as a ‘focus’point to clear out the mumbling, rumbling, tumbling thoughts.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  2. July 31st, 2007 at 7:04 am
    Juggling Frogs said

    As wonderful as BlogHer must have been, I bet it is nice to get away from the crowd. Welcome back.

  3. July 31st, 2007 at 8:02 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Karin!
    Sorry I’m late. My computer was misbehaving this morning!

    I like a little white noise too. :)

  4. July 31st, 2007 at 8:03 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi JF!
    You bet it’s great to be back. I like my own pace and I feel more comfortable inside your computer. :)

  5. July 31st, 2007 at 8:04 am
    Karin H. said

    Hi Liz

    You’re never late. Perhaps temporary ‘silent’, never late.

    Karin H.

  6. July 31st, 2007 at 9:32 am
    John Benage said

    Good Morning Liz!

    You have found one of life’s great treasures!

    Quiet time alone is the bliss that keeps me sane. Twice each day, and sometimes thrice, I slip into that mode. More refreshing than a nap are 15 minutes of silent inner peace.

    When you go to silence, do you ever try to “not think”? This is more difficult but, like learning to be quiet, ever so rewarding once accomplished. It requires great focus and usually a mental mantra to reach this place..something like, “Be still” whenever a thought tries to creep into your brain.

    Avoiding concious thought for even a few seconds can bring tremendous mental rejuvination and clarity to things around you.

    I have had few people ever ever accept this as a valid concept and even fewer ever take up the challenge to try it. Those who have usually fail the first few times and many never go back but there are a couple of folks who have succeeded and now include it in their daily routine.

    Just some thoughts I pass along…enjoy this beautiful day,

    John

  7. July 31st, 2007 at 9:42 am
    Karin H. said

    John, I can relate to that. It’s what I call me ‘quiet time’, when I’m floating on thoughts, capturing that tempting one thought/idea that wants to ‘get-away’.

    That’s as far as I can go to ‘empty’ my mind, I cannot not ‘think’. But my ‘quiet time’ rejuvenates me as ‘emptying your mind’ does for you IMHO.

    Karin H.

  8. July 31st, 2007 at 9:50 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi John,
    Yes, when I talk about it I call it thinking about nothing. Someday we’ll talk about the power of contemplation and reflection. It’s a writer’s tool as well as a human soul food. :)

  9. July 31st, 2007 at 9:52 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Karin!
    Yep. It’s all in the moment and part of nature relaxed and wide open. To me, it’s somewhat like visiting my unconscious. :)

  10. July 31st, 2007 at 9:56 am
    Mike said

    John,

    Who knew that ‘not thinking’ could be so difficult?;-)

    One important aspect of being alone is that everyone present can see through your public facade, so you don’t have to expend energy projecting one. You can focus it all on being your real self.

    Mike

  11. July 31st, 2007 at 10:04 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hey Mike,
    Speak for yourself. :)

    When I’m alone, I can still tap dance my way around myself in fine style, if I’m not paying attention. ;)

  12. July 31st, 2007 at 10:06 am
    John Benage said

    Wow! Karen Liz and Mike,

    I have known others who have had this experience but the three of you recognized and responded so quickly, I am floored by so many positive recognitions of this powerful tool in such a short span of time…great stuff, thank you.

    John

  13. July 31st, 2007 at 10:11 am
    John Benage said

    Hi Karen,

    I like how you describe that thought capturing concept…it is a great practice.

    Doing that may also lead you to a way to “not think” but at least you have a great source of realease.

    John

  14. July 31st, 2007 at 10:13 am
    John Benage said

    Liz,

    I am anxious to read of your thoughts on contemplation and reflection. No doubt that will be powerful stuff.

    John

  15. July 31st, 2007 at 10:16 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hey John,
    No worries. It’s so like the folks around here — we all find our own way to what we need. Yet, we often end up in places that are similar, the differences reflecting us individually. For me, that’s the best part — the shades and nuances of where our answers diverge. :)

  16. July 31st, 2007 at 10:19 am
    John Benage said

    Mike,

    I got your point. But, Liz advances the issue of that next level…”not thinking”. This is really valuable stuff…yes, more precious than gold. If you are willing to work at it, there are few things you will experience in life that hold such worth.

    Paying attention is, sometimes, pushing thoughts away rather than gathering them in.

    John

  17. July 31st, 2007 at 10:50 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi John,
    I’m not sure that I’ll write about it. I might, but I’m very careful. I feel a strong respect for each individual’s process. I don’t like to think of telling folks that what works for me is what they should try. Most folks know what works for them. :)

  18. July 31st, 2007 at 10:56 am
    Karin H. said

    Doing that may also lead you to a way to “not think”

    Could well be, John. But that’s not what I want really.
    I do not want to “not think”. I like to ponder – floating on thoughts, but ‘not think’, sorry not for me ;-)

    KarIn H.

  19. July 31st, 2007 at 12:31 pm
    April Groves said

    Learning how to be alone is as easy as learning how to feed yourself
    and just as messy at first.

    Liz, I just love this…

  20. July 31st, 2007 at 2:08 pm
    ME Strauss said

    April!
    That was my favorite line too. :)

  21. May 13th, 2008 at 7:48 am
    norah said

    I’m confused by the message of the above poem. How can the writer claim to have conquered aloneness when she only uses it as a temporary respite to give her strength to be with people.

    She should write about aloneness when it is endless. Only then has she conquered it.

  22. May 13th, 2008 at 6:32 pm
    April said

    May,

    I think you are right – if someone is going to claim to have conquered, then the loneliness should be indefinite. But, I don’t think the author said conquered. I think she said “learned how to be.” Just as if I learned to listen – may not listen all the time, but when I do, I am better at it than I used to be.

    I can relate. I too had trouble being alone. Therefore I never really had any rest or the opportunity to learn who I was in my own skin.

    Learning to be with me was a fairly valuable lesson.

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