alone time doesn't have to be lonely

in bed with my journalsI used to freak out if I didn’t have plans on a Friday or Saturday night, or any night, really. Now I cherish the nights when I can stay in and do my own thing. (As you can see from the photo here, I spent the night with my journals a few times this week and literally slept in bed with them. Hot.) Now, it’s not because I’m a hermit. I love being social, I love having people around me, I love making community happen. The last couple of weeks actually involved lots of this activity with workshops, performances, team meetings and retreats of various kinds, family events and parties. But in addition to all that, I also love and need to just be alone sometimes. And I’ve learned that my creative spirit needs the solo space to thrive.

Can you relate?

The summer time can be tricky when it comes to making space for alone time. The sunshine and parks and picnics and barbecues beckon us outward. So enjoy all that, but find your balance. Escape somewhere alone if you need to write or dance or make feather decorations for your hair (I actually did the latter last summer while on vacation with my family).

Everyone is different. Everything has a time and place. The natural cycles around you and inside of you will guide you if you just listen.

So here’s your mission for the next week, starting today:

Don’t judge yourself if you feel like taking a lone walk in the middle of a 4th of July barbecue. Also don’t judge yourself if you go out every day and night for weeks straight. Just check in with yourself daily and be sure you’re honoring what you most need to do.

As much as the world outside is exciting, there’s a world inside of you waiting to be explored, a world that wants to interpret and play and imagine and create. Don’t miss out. Voyage inwards sometimes. Being alone doesn’t have to be so lonely.

And now I’ll leave you [ah-hem] alone with a few solo dance videos I made that hopefully will inspire your alone time in some way this Friday.

Here is my latest, made a few days ago in the middle of a trip to visit my boyfriend’s family in Indiana:

And here is one of the first dance videos I ever made and posted to the world, made in 2010 when I moved into my first studio apartment and tried to occupy my newly found alone time:

So what do you think?

How do you feel about alone time? Do you fear it or cherish it? Have too much or too little?

Share with me here!

I promise, you won’t invade my alone time. I love hearing from you!

your supportive loner,

jess

p.s. in the process of reading through old journals (a creative practice I highly recommend) I came across this quote I had jotted down from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and thought it was fitting to share:

"As we lose our vagueness about our self, our values, our life situation, we become available to the moment. It is there, in the particular, that we contact the creative self. Until we experience the freedom of solitude, we cannot connect authentically. We may be enmeshed, but not encountered."