The Need For Alone Time
By Stephen Thomson
Sprit of Ma’at Magazine, Nov. 2010, http://spiritofmaat.com/nov10/alone_time.html
The purpose of our spiritual quest is for us to learn how to live in conscious unity with all of creation. In simple language, reality is an uninterrupted flow of Universal energy with no beginnings or endings. You are I and I am you. I am Divine and the Divine is I. As we continue to grow as spiritual beings, we expand our awareness of this law of the Universe underlying all existence, continually displayed in every waking moment of consciousness. The tree in the yard, the computer we communicate with and the make-up of our everyday life are examples of the create force we refer to as the Divine and of which are part. At the same time, we go on insisting that there are differences and separateness in our world. This happens all the time through national identification, a sense of racial difference and social class, for example. We also spend a great deal of time and energy creating a personal identity by emphasizing the ways in which we see ourselves as different from others. Yet, one of the most contradictory acts in our relationship with the Divine is engaging in the emotional dynamic of feeling alone and lonely.
We live in a world of communication overload and demands of everyday living that rarely affords the opportunity to steal away time for ourselves and to be alone. The list of daily incursions are so numerous and socially accepted that we rarely think of the impact being made to our mind, body or spirit. It is hard to get away from a preoccupation with email, our cell phones and the computer, that it has become the new addiction. The good news is that the connectedness of the world through the new forms of instant communication is a major step in our return to a united and one-world status. Yet, in many ways, we are forgetting how to be alone and the impact that is having on our spiritual journey. Creating time to be alone is one of the most important steps we can take in support of our unfolding spiritual nature.
At the heart of our journey is a soul level urge to reintegrate with the energy we call the Divine. This creative force is the underlying basis of all reality. We know the Divine exists on a different wavelength and it is the purpose of our spiritual practices and beliefs to aid us in rediscovering this connection. Making this connection is something we are working toward from one lifetime to the next, which ultimately brings us to enlightenment. In the meantime, we need to have some concept of what we are searching for in our spiritual quest and then take the necessary action needed to achieve that goal. If we think of the Divine as a life partner, then we need to be alone in our world from time to time in order to make space for that connection.
This may seem like such an obvious issue in relationship to our advancing spiritual nature — a no-brainer, really. Spending time alone is one of the most necessary and demanding practices of the spiritual path. Yet, we often fail to pause and consider the importance of creating time to be alone. Many of us would say we make time to be alone with little difficulty. However, for most of us, a review of our day easily uncovers the fact that we are very busy people, with little room for ourselves. For some of us, we have to work hard to declare time and space for us.
By consciously making space in our lives to be alone, we create an opportunity for an exchange of energy between the Divine and ourselves. Meditation, for example, is a spiritual discipline that creates this type of link. As we learn to quiet the physical senses, and withdraw the life current from our body into the spinal column, we set up the basis for a connection and energetic exchange between our soul and the Divine. Being alone, quiet and passive takes a lot of practice, which in time allows the connection to become stronger and clearer. In time, being alone, and with our thoughts turned inward, we start to become aware of the ongoing dialog that goes on between the Divine within us and the Divine of Universal consciousness. As a result, changes start to happen within us and become evident in our behavior in daily life.
Some of the greatest spiritual experiences in my life have occurred when I set aside time to go off by myself into the Sedona Vortexes. One year, I spent a week alone in one of the canyons and then returned home. A few days later, feeling as though something was incomplete about my work there, I flew back to Arizona and spent another week in the same canyon. During my time alone, I had visions of past lives and of future events, and I healed in a way that I could not have done in the course of my daily life. Change happened on a deep level and I was stronger in the core of my physical body. By being alone, I was able to focus my intent as a spiritual man and spend time with my primary relationship — the one with the Divine.
I can also remember a time in my own life when I did not have a personal relationship and feeling lonely. The feelings of being alone were so overwhelming that I spent several months with my journal and in meditation. I wanted to find out what was underlying these feelings and what I needed to learn in order to continue to grow as a spiritual man. I came to realize that in our culture, there is a perception that if we are alone or lonely, there is something wrong with us. In today’s world, we believe that being in a personal relationship with another human being is an indication of our being an individual worthy of others love and respect. On the other hand, to be alone can suggest there is something wrong with us.
Now looking back at that period of my life, I understand how important that period was for me in coming to an understanding that it is necessary to be alone at some point in our everyday life.
It can be hard to be alone and with our thoughts. This is a part of the reason for keeping busy. How can we ever truly know what we are feeling and thinking if we are solely preoccupied with the demands of everyday living and the needs of others? The idea of not having someone around can create a strong emotional response within us, including a degree of fear, anxiety and mild depression. The constant restlessness of our minds creates as an emotional disconnection from our lives. In time, with an increased awareness of the importance of alone time, this way of moving through the world will end. When this happens, we have taken an important step forward on our path as spiritual beings.
There is another issue to consider with regard to being alone and it has to do with the energy on the planet at this time. With the energetic shift in energy patterns in the Universe and on the earth, many of us are feeling the need to be alone in ways we have never before experienced. In some ways, it feels like we need time and space to think through what is happening in our world. There are so many of us who no longer have the material resources to count on for our future. This has resulted in an increased sense of awareness of our emotional bodies. In the past, the different forms our body has taken seemed to be one and in harmony as a whole. These days, there is a feeling of separation taking place, in the layers of our body, mind and soul in the layers of Self. As the parts of us become more pronounced and the separation continues within us, there can be a deep felt sense of and a need for being alone.
How do we start to create alone time? One of the best ways is to schedule time each day and honoring that commitment to ourselves. There are periods in each of our days that are between what we have just completed and before the start of the next item on our daily agenda. In that space, we can spend two minutes or thirty minutes alone. That is if we are willing to discipline ourselves. Even the slightest effort to spend some time alone will create some affect. For example, after a break, we can feel more centered, focused, and our thoughts may seem less emotional. There are also the opportunities within group meditation and other spiritual practices. Yet, the best gift we can give ourselves is taking the time for extended periods of being alone, such as a retreat or travel to a sacred site.
Here are some questions to meditate, pray or journal on during the next few weeks:
Is there a difference between the need to be alone and feeling lonely?
Do you find yourself feeling guilty for taking time for yourself?
When you think of making time to be alone, what is your emotional response?
What are my behavioral patterns when you make time to be alone?
When you spend time alone, what experiences do you have that support your need to be alone?
Your questions and comments are always welcome. To contact me, visit my website, www.Stephenthomson.net or email me at [email protected]
Steve’s book, The Secret Key is available through the Spirit of Ma’at Bookstore. His new book entitled, Essays on Spiritual Self-Mastery is now available on Amazon.com. Steve also recently published a book co-authored with Michael Guarino entitled Evolving Consciousness: A Dialog Between Two Initiates, also available on Amazon.com.
Steve’s book, The Secret Key is available through the Spirit of Ma’at Bookstore.
Those of you who wish to order a copy of “Essays on Spiritual Self-Mastery” will find it on www.amazon.com and at:
About Stephen Thomson
Steve Thomson is a writer, teacher, and psychic, well known throughout the United States. He leads workshops about metaphysical practices, including meditation, expansion of the psychic senses, the Tarot, and the Kabala. Steve has been a member of the Rosicrucian Order AMORC for over 20 years and a student of Paramahansa Yogananda’s, Self-Realization Fellowship for over 10 years. His book entitled The Secret Key is available through our website. Steve other book, Essays on Attaining Spiritual Self-Mastery — A Book for Meditation, Prayer and Journaling, and a new book he co-authored with Michael Guarino, Evolving Consciousness — A Dialog Between Two Initiates, are available on Amazon.com. He is currently working on a new book entitled Discovering Your Spiritual Truth — A Primer for the Path.
You may write Steven personally at [email protected]
or visit his website: www.stephenthomson.net