Savor the Butter Chicken…and other lessons in being alone.
This week, I’m running a little experiment on myself. The first part; can this outgoing-have to be around people-attached to iPhone-person stand to be alone? Actually ALONE?
I’m at a conference by myself, in a big hotel room and I vow to listen more, talk less as I am surrounded by people at the conference. My plan is to bow out of the social events and just observe. My plan is to be on my computer, but not constantly just to avoid noticing those “still” moments. I’m even scribbling this on loose-leaf paper! There is no TV, no music, just me and the air conditioning!
This morning, without an alarm, without a dog, I woke up actually refreshed, in a quiet hotel room. I woke up at the same time I’ve been waking up lately – 6:00 – a time for me to be alone with my yoga. The difference is that when I’m at home, I have dogs annoying me and hovering around me while I try to do yoga. Then I have kids & hubby coming in while I’m in the quiet meditating end of the session. That’s ok; I’m pretty good at ignoring the noise and activity.
But…now today, I was alone with the movements. I noticed my breathing; I eased into the transitions. The 1 hour time, disappeared. I realized I hadn’t even been thinking of much. I was so ready to take on the day!
I took advantage of the breakfast buffet. I sat at a table alone. I tried not to pick up my iPhone. I just watched & listened. I observed. I learned. I noticed. I realized that I was wolfing down my food; as I normally would do. There was no hurry, the buffet was delicious. I deliberately forced myself to slowly taste the fruit. To feel the crisp bacon on my tongue. To carefully dip my hashbrowns in ketchup and spoil the spices the chef applied 🙂 I did not gulp my coffee. I drank it slowly and pensively. I watched and I listened.
I attended the sessions online from my room (long story, but suffice it to say I wasn’t paying attention when I’d booked) It was exquisite! I focused, I listened, I learned, I participated! I only checked into my online life during my breaks!
My workout was not to be missed. After the afternoon sessions, I checked out the gym here. I turned off the TV and faced myself in the mirror. My music carried me through the paces. I realized that I was running faster than I ever had and forced myself to slow down.
After I’d cleaned up, I went to dinner alone. Again, I watched the people in the restaurant. Again, I slowed down and savored every peaceful bite of the butter chicken – something that I’d never really had before. I actually set my fork down a few times; chewed, sipped my drink and casually continued on with my dinner. I realized that I had three different blog posts floating around in my brain – it had been a long time!
How can I (and YOU!) recreate this alone time at home? It is like a dream for so many of us! Think about this:
- When was the last time you went for lunch – ALONE? Never? Then do it! No one says you have to eat with someone else!
- Have you asked your hubby – “Can I stay home while you take the kids for ice cream?” I’ll bet he’ll say “Sure!” and DON’T CLEAN!!! Do something you love. Just BE ALONE!
- The next time you have a chance for a work conference, tell your friends/co-workers that you’re just going to be alone for awhile. They’ll understand!
- Go on a date with yourself! Go to a movie, a coffee shop, a walk. Yes, there is ALWAYS too much to do. I know. I promise you, it’ll be there when you get back (or better yet – ask for help!). Don’t put so much in your life that you don’t have time for you!
- Remember that little girl that used to wander off alone or snuggle in with a book? She’s still there. Don’t waste a chance to be alone sometimes! Even for a few minutes.