I walked away from GC2018 with a lot of personal insight, and something this adventure reinforced for me is how much I value quiet time to myself.
During a side hike at Matkat Canyon I decided not to continue on with the group. I was really cold that morning and I didn’t want to wade through a pool of water to reach the inner part of the canyon when there was perfectly good sun closer to the river.
Instead, I spent about 30 minutes alone in a sunny spot waiting for the group. Just me and a few spiders basking in the glorious sun on the rocks.
It was beautiful, quiet, calm.
I didn’t mind one bit.
Inherently, I know I value time alone. But I very much found myself seeking it out. Not because I was mad, not because anyone did anything to annoy or upset me– but because sitting alone in the sunshine thinking, writing, and watching nature happen around me is so peaceful. It is most certainly my happy place.
Time alone may sound a bit boring. But how often do allow ourselves to just be? How often do we allow boredom into our days? How quick are we to grab the smart phone when we have, even, just 5 minutes where are brains aren’t being stimulated by external happenings?
Are we afraid? Afraid of what may happen if we have quiet time for internal reflection.
It’s possible that we have been reprogrammed to fear what may happen if we are forced to look inward for too long. We may suddenly realize that the big house, designer fill-in-the-blank, and Netflix binges don’t truly make us happy. Or that the job we worked our ass of to score (you know– to pay for the house, designer things, convenient subscription services, etc) is slowly killing us. Or that those relationship we are spending our valuable time and energy on are superficial and meaningless.
We fill every waking gap of time with our self-numbing addictions of choice– Facebook, CNN, Instagram, Netflix, YouTube, etc. We fill that time with anything and everything so we are not forced to contemplate all the ways we are wasting our precious minutes on this beautiful earth.
We were not put on this earth to blindly follow the crowd; to work a job just so we can consume, upgrade, and consume some more; to numb ourselves into believing that this is it, so we might as well get through it as easily, comfortably, and painlessly as possible.
We have been babied into shying away from the slightest bit of discomfort. I hate to be the one to break it to you– but growth hurts.
We were meant for more.
And that more comes through internal reflection, action, and growth. And growth comes with pain.
I challenge you to take a few hours alone to think. Think about your life as it currently is then ask yourself these questions:
- What are you passionate about? Are you incorporating your passion into your life? If not, how can you start today?
- What are you most afraid of? How can you make peace with your fear and be thankful for what it can teach you? How can you harness your fear and re-channel it into this unstoppable desire to be better and do better?
- What unrealistic metrics have you set for your self, your success, your failure? How can you flip the script and set yourself up for growth and success as you define it for you?
I won’t sugarcoat it– It will be hard. It may even be painful.
But I promise you this. The positive benefits you will get in the long run from deep internal reflection will always be worth it.
Go find your happy place, do the hard thinking, and come back inspired AF. You got this.