Solitude & listening

I am up north at my cottage enjoying the lakefront, the wildlife and the solitude.  I am here for three weeks for my sabbatical and have a few family and friends joining me at various times.

My cottage

My cottage

Last night I spent an hour and half standing by the water just breathing in the incredible clean, crisp air. Just standing there.  Watching the seagulls dive into the water searching for food, listening to the waves gently tickle the rock strewn shore and letting my mind be still.   It is not easy for me to be still.  I think it has taken me over a week to be able to do that.  Just stand there and be.

The nightly sunset

The nightly sunset

As I stood there I realized how much I appreciate the solitude of this amazing place.  When you are here you can listen to that inner dialogue that each of us has but so often cannot hear it during our normal day to day lives.  It takes time away from the world in order to listen.

I don’t think I have spoken to anyone today. Cell phone reception is spotty at best up here so no phone conversations.  And I am totally ok with not talking.  I realize that not everyone would want to do that.  Some (like Katie) have so many words that they need to get out each day and being alone may not be as enjoyable.  But I find that I need it to recharge.

Part of my goal for my sabbatical is to stop and listen to that inner dialogue and to journal my thoughts.  It’s not always easy to acknowledge what your heart is telling you but it is so important.  So each day I spend time capturing those thoughts and ideas.  Most of the time it is a bit of a rambling, stream of consciousness.  I don’t worry about sentence structure, punctuation or even spelling.  I just want to get the ideas, the feelings written down.  When I reread them I can see the progression in clarity as I get further into my time here.  Some of my biggest breakthroughs/ideas came from doing this last summer and I am curious to see where this year’s dialogue leads me!

So what are you doing this week to take care of you?  How do you recharge and renew?  Do you take time to journal?


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