Solitude: most modern humanoids tend to bolt, squirm, and avoid being alone if possible. Unscheduled days or even hours feel uncomfortable. Somethings missing. “Did I forget an appointment? Am I supposed to meet somebody somewhere?” We fill our empty time slots with activity and distractions, so we don’t have a quiet moment to ask ourselves the deeper questions: “What is my life’s purpose?” “How can I focus my attention and energy on what my spirit truly needs?” “Do I need to consider making big changes in order for life to be more fulfilling?”

Getting clear on what we truly need in our lives is like back-packing. Practicality and focus determine what we thoughtfully select to carry. The more simple the supplies, the less distracting from the core experience of the journey. Do we go with others or alone? Even bringing a pet can be a distraction for one whose objective is to create a space for reflection. Making the journey of self-discovery requires determination. There is nothing to fear. The courage to carve out a space dedicated to a ‘life review’ is nothing less than an act of power. Ironically, it’s in this space that the minutia of nature opens its arms in acceptance and will reflect to you your own True Nature.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

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