- Jennifer M. Shlomovich
On a recent weekend my son and husband had other plans. I considered being productive at home, but decided to enjoy the day instead. A luxury for me, as a mom with a full-time job and business. I considered reaching out to see if anyone wanted to hang out, but realized I could really use the time alone. I loooooooove painting and decided to go to a plaster place by myself. I have painted plaster pieces in the past, but never went alone. The above photo is the piece I painted. It took me 3 1/2 hours and is definitely my best work. I didn't feel pressure to hurry up or meet anyone else's expectations. Not being distracted by holding a conversation, allowed me to be more intentional with my work and really pay attention to my thoughts. Being a lone with my thoughts, while focusing intently on creating art was was a meditative experience for me, even though there were people around me (I was able to tune them out). Afterwords I went home, made some vegan nachos and watched TV while playing Candy Crush Soda Saga. It was heaven!
The experience made me realize a couple of things:
1) Just as it is important to set aside alone time at home to do something that relaxes me (even if it is just for 30 minutes). I realized that it is important to take myself out on a date from time to time. I found the experience allowed me to reflect and connect with myself on a deeper level, while doing something meaningful. I do set aside alone time at home to do meditation, writing and other creative projects (which is also very beneficial in maintaining my inner-peace). This felt different. At home the non-stop shortage of things to do distract me in the background of my thoughts. Being in another location allowed me to connect with myself in a deeper way.
2) As I was painting, I noticed my thoughts fell into two main categories, which were friendships and spirituality. The past eight years I have gone through many life changes, as well as a lot of personal growth. I realize more clearly who I am and who I am not. The person I used to be was based on who others wanted me to be. I do have friends in my life who I do enjoy spending time with and care about deeply, but they either live in other cities or have other things going on in their lives. What I feel is missing in my life is a tribe for consistent connection. There is a lot I would like to talk about on this topic and will share that for another post. Spirituality and religion are another big theme for me. I have different beliefs from the ones I was raised with. Figuring out what does align with my true self has been an interesting journey. I have a lot to say on this topic as well, and will also write about that in a future post.
Setting aside some time for solitude, allows us to connect deeply with our self. Being our own best friend is an important step in building confidence. When we feel connected to ourselves, we are able to form healthy relationships with others and feel more confident in our decisions. I would like to invite you to try this out as well and share your experiences.