I stole moments on benches during the winter in Finland. Sitting there helped me to take a real time out. A pause. It's a moment of just being me, doing what I wanted. No distraction, only nature. Sitting on a bench on a winter morning or night in December in solitude is a real treat to me. "Embrace it", I told myself. "It's good to be friends with yourself. It's a gift. Embrace it." And so I did. I sat on my bench and hang out with myself. I was having a great time.
I believe in order for people to remain healthy, strong, viable providers for their family and to be positive forces in society, they need to take time out for themselves. The world as we know it now – a society based on antagonisms and competition – has left many people feeling like most of their lives are lived against the world but little or not time is spent living in it. The only way I have found to constructively deal with this, is by taking time out through solitude. It is one of the most practical ways to reconnect with oneself, to regain clarity and to be reminded of one’s deepest passions and purpose. Spending time alone allows us, as humans, to see clearly that which either we can’t see, or society won't let us see, because we are so busy trying to outdo everyone else.
I adore being outside and sitting on a bench and just enjoying the sounds of nature, the gust of the wind or feeling a light breeze. Another thing I adore to photograph is benches and seats found in parks or on trails and paths or other outdoor areas. I love to photo benches with or without people on them. Maybe I long to have more outside time with the nature. This is the first time in which I really enjoyed being outside, especially in winter. I can actually participate in it rather than wish I could.
Bench-space gives a chance to mull, to ‘sort out your day” and gives a sense of ‘feeling free’. It’s a particular form of restoration, which combines mental processing with the welcome distraction of people watching. Solitude is often overlayed with sociability, with loose meetings as well as arranged get-togethers.
The best time is always night, mostly, because there are no eyes. No eyes that stare. No eyes that glare. The smell of the crisp air, the feel of the fresh wind, and the sound of just my footsteps are the sweet alternative of the eyes.
What can I say, I love snow scenes.
I like being alone and I like spending time with others. When I want my alone time, it's funny how tough it can be to find it. Sometimes I like to be alone, but in public places or in a nice setting outside, but of, there's the chance somebody you know comes by. That's why I really enjoy those quiet moments here and there, and sitting on the bench in the snow looks like a perfect moment to me.
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. Solitude then allows us to find our original mind, our inner power of who we are, not as others would like us to be. The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself and this requires time alone with oneself to accomplish it.
Some of us may not have the luxury of spending 4-hours each day in solitude, but we could likely spare 30-minutes, a weekend a month, a day every 2-weeks. The great thing is that you don’t have to do anything during this time, or these moments, other than simply being with yourself. Enjoy as they say your own company. In an ideal world, this solitude should take place in the wilderness, where disconnected from everything, you are truly alone.
I make a point each week that I spend time in solitude. I may not be able to head off into the wilderness (moreover there isn't such place in Singapore) but even a walk in the park, leaving my phone and all other distractions behind, just by sitting there, on a bench, overlooking the trees, connected to myself, to nature, I feel invigorated. Anytime I am stressed, feeling unable to cope with life’s stressors, I know that even an hour in solitude, is enough to recharge by soul battery. I always come back from these brief excursions in soulitude feeling strong, and ready to take on the next challenge.
I'm not any sort of social interaction expert and, two, I think all of the above depend a lot on the person and his or her lifestyle. All I can do is offer my advice, as someone who likes being alone, on how to enjoy time spent without the noise and distraction of other people around you. The choice is yours to make your alone time something that makes you happy, more productive, and more fulfilled as a person.
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