In the last few weeks, I’ve coached some clients who’ve bravely admitted they don’t like spending time by themselves.   I guess there are times when we want to be around people and times when we would rather shut the door on the world to have our own space.

What is the balance of self and others that works for us?

Too much time alone and no interaction with others can mean we become cut off and isolated.  No time for ourselves or being able to find some peace and tranquility, we become resentful and put upon.  We want and need space.   It’s mastering the art of balance. This probably applies to all areas of life, not just how and who we spend our time with.

What happens when we need to be around others to feel good?

However, when we become needy of others and do not like being alone, we we put a lot of responsibility on them (to entertain us, to speak to us, to be with us).  We can sometimes feel sad and lonely if others are unavailable for us when we need them to be.  We can become more emotionally resilient and stronger when we are not looking to other people or external events or  things to make us feel good.

A sanctuary or a prison?

Most of these clients were honest enough to admit that there were things in their lives they didn’t like or a part of themselves they were hiding from , so they didn’t want to spend time alone.  Alone with thoughts and feelings that were scary and frightening.   One client said it was the difference between being stuck in your own little prison or enjoying peace and solitude in your own little sanctuary.  I liked that analogy.

In your prison, you have nothing to come back to

There’s nothing for you.  You have been busy over giving to others, getting too involved in their lives.  All that is left for you is an empty shell.  Maybe the association of being alone reminds you of times gone by when that didn’t feel very good.  However, that is in the past and no longer applies.  Let go. Don’t think about being alone, just accept it.  Enjoy it.

In your sanctuary, you can enjoy it

You can find time to reconnect with yourself.  You can relax, watch a movie, be creative, cook, read, pamper and groom yourself.  Whatever it is that you like to do.  It’s really important to have some time to call your own and give back to yourself.  You can also make that space sacred and personal to you.  In fact your creativity of how you make that space look will bring an element of you to its energy.  I always find it amazing how when you change a room around or have a tidy up how different a room can feel.

A little Feng Shui to de-clutter to mix it all up

I personally like to be surrounded by pictures and photos that remind me of the people I love and happy times.  I definitely want my books in my sanctuary.  I’m such a bookworm so when I’m relaxing picking up a book or a food magazine can get my head in a good space.  What about candles or incense?  Lots of cushions, really squishy ones to envelope you.  Now you are talking!

Do you like light or dark – by a window or by a fireplace?  What about colour?  I like calming colours like beige, blue and green.  Maybe you prefer something vibrant like oranges or reds.  Be bold and do whatever it is that makes your perfect sanctuary.  For me, it’s about feeling safe so I have my trusty flanky (fleecy blanket – no it’s not a childhood comforter!) that I like to snuggle underneath when I’m reading or watching TV.  Comfortable, safe and warm.  Aaaaaah.

Be still, silent and go within

The peace that we find when our mind is focused on something we enjoy, relaxes us.  It’s a form of meditation.  Keeping ourselves mindfully focused on an activity and not allowing our minds to take over.  The mind and body are connected so if we feel anxious, worried or tense in our minds, then we will feel it in our bodies.  It only contributes to our stress and blood pressure levels.  In fact, the brain waves of meditators show why they’re healthier.  Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to  different areas of the cortex—brain waves in the stress-prone right    frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. In other words, they were calmer and happier than before.  Meditation is then healing for our minds, bodies and souls.

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