I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer: The Invitation
The Hermit’s retreat is like research, a silent and calm reflection on life. He takes time to be silent, to be with himself and to discover the treasures revealed by emptiness. The Hermit is not to be confused with an ascetic approach, where withdrawal from the world is motivated by sacrifice and the denouncing and denial of worldly pleasures, pastimes and ways of life.
He has befriended silence, which seems to be so a source of anxiety and feelings of discomfort in the busy flow of daily life for many. He has mastered the art of “doing nothing”: a way of being and taking time without big outer actions, movements, missions and tasks, but with a lot of inner work, dynamism and the potential for transformation.
If you have picked the Hermit, it might be time for you to withdraw a little, to take time for and by yourself. Many times when we think we are relaxing and “doing nothing”, we are still busy pottering around, our minds still stimulated by music in the background, briefly checking our Facebook stream, reading an interesting article or thinking about what to cook for dinner.
Find your empty space, peace of mind and calmness wherever you are drawn to: you might go out to a nearby park or to the woods, get comfortable on the couch or take some time to meditate. You can take your journal with you and note down every thought or feeling which comes up, so that you are able to release them.
Taking time, letting silence and emptiness enter your life gives you the possibility of reflection, contemplation, the emergence of new ideas, inspiration and creativity.
*What is the ideal way and place of withdrawal for you?
*What wants to be listened to inside you?
Take a day or an afternoon by yourself to connect to the qualities of the Hermit. A good start and threshold can be to first take a sheet of paper and write down all tasks, to do’s, all thoughts, ideas and plans, which keep your mind busy at the moment. Make sure that you have written down everything you can think of. Then fold the sheet of paper and put it aside for the rest of the day/afternoon.
Then find your place for spending your time: in nature or indoors, silently, not disturbed by others or tasks.
Observe yourself. What emerges in the silence? What needs to be heard, to be listened to when you are attentive to what is going on inside you?