Weekend fix for the soul: The power of solitude

  • Kamalrukh Khan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2015 16:21 IST

Solitude is that silent, quiet, contemplative space that helps us get in touch with the magnificence of our souls. It is in this space that silence is the loudest - where we gain perspective, where we deal with the big questions in our lives and know the solutions, where we discover ourselves. It is the space where we experience most freedom and truth.

I consider myself a pretty social person, but at regular intervals, I require my 'me-time'. It helps me maintain my sanity, recalibrate my sense of self and process my relationship with myself and others. It helps me step back and get a birds-eye view of situations and events in my life. It boosts my creativity and allows me to detach from the regular endless chatter of life and living.

A river of new ideas starts to flow and the after effects of this 'me-time' is always that of a deep sense of contentment and eternal gratitude for everything in my life. I have noticed that when I follow the guidance that I receive in solitude, things always work out far better that I thought they would.

It is in this space of solitude that one realises that there is no place for ego in our lives. It is this self reflection that leads to balance in our lives. It digs up our wounds and deep dark secrets and a part of ourselves that we try to run away from. So in a way in can be intimidating for some. But in order to improve the quality of our lives, this exercise is necessary. When we begin to engage these fears, we become strong and awaken. In solitude everyone has to face themselves and be accepting of what they see.

Most people confuse solitude with being lonely. Being lonely is the feeling of aloneness derived from a deep rooted sense of neglect and abandonment. Solitude on the other hand, is the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a calm and peaceful space where there is acceptance, love and respect for self. Solitude allows us to have more enriching relationships and teaches us to be responsible for our own feelings.

However, it is a myth that solitude requires quiet and stillness - or that one needs to go to a far off cabin in the mountains or meditate in the Himalayas. Solitude is not measured by the miles of space between a person and his society. Soul searching can happen anywhere and anytime you choose - no conditions. All it takes is a breath, a moment, to open the door to our inner selves and marvel at its wonders.

Moments of solitude can be found even standing in a crowd or a room full of noisy people. The true message of solitude is living in the here and now. It is through this simple, yet profound awareness that our lives flower. Our passion evolves in solitude and the relief provided by these moments is inexplicable.

In a marriage or a partnership, it is important to respect each other's need for this alone time. Expressions such as 'I need space' sting as they are often disguised rejections. Poet John Donne said it best when he wrote to his lady love that he wanted "to teach you I am naked first". He was claiming a need to know himself better and then take on the challenge of their love.

Find your solitude. Having your own private and sacred space is your birthright. Go there when you need to be free; when you want to find yourself; when you need to heal; when you need to find peace and happiness. You will always be pleasantly surprised and find more than you imagined there.

Note: Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based Clinical Hypnotherapist and Wellness Coach. She's intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list.

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