#219 / Learning to be alone.

Saturday Edition

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw


calm body of water

We’re not taught how to be alone. How to be alone with our thoughts and our hearts. How to spend time with ourselves by choice, and not by circumstance or necessity. I think that’s part of the reason that lockdown and social isolation have been so hard for so many folks; we’ve been conditioned to extract joy, worth and value from and in the company of others, and having that removed has been traumatic.

I do believe there is so much worth in the time we spend by ourselves. If you can learn how to love, relish and savour those moments, you can find a constant and consistent joy in your own thoughts and feelings and voice. That joy can be found in a quiet book, read for you and you alone, not as a distraction or a time-filler. It can be found in anything, as long as it’s on your own terms, and it’s for your own self.

My time alone has taught me an awful lot over the past few months. It’s taught me a little more patience, for myself and for others. It’s taught me the value of margin. And more than anything else, it’s shown me an independence that I never realised I had in me; for the first time, I have felt the solid rock of its foundations, and felt it firm and sound.

To me - being alone is an entire world away from being lonely.

I think the hardest thing to ever learn about yourself is who you are outside of the people you love. But coming face to face with it and picking out the threads of your life can give you more strength and happiness in every relationship you’ll ever have.

All my love,

Joan

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Remembering gratitude isn’t easy. Things pile up. Feelings pile up. We build emotional debt to ourselves just getting by. But I think it’s still important to be thankful, to stay thankful. This weekend, try writing down your gratitude, one day and one thing to appreciate at a time. Even just on post-it notes left around the house.


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One of the simplest, best ways to feel good and at peace with yourself is to wash your face three times every single day. It cleans away the layers of stress, refreshes you, and leaves you feeling peaceful and clean. Once in the morning. Once at lunch. Once before bed.


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Make a proper cooked breakfast. Put that care and love into your first meal of the day, and start yourself off knowing your comfort and enjoyment has been made a priority for you, by you. There’s something beautifully nourishing in the safety of that knowledge. Also, in scrambled eggs and hot buttered toast.  


For Your Spellbook Journal

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What’s one thing you need to get off your chest right now? One thing you need to share, because you can’t bear to hold it in, and that frightens you? Share it with your journal today.


Saturday Links

Sit Down. Be Humble.

“I don’t cut an impressive figure, generally. I like my old jeans with a hole in the knee, and my Iron Maiden vans, and my track hoodie. I’m a transgender woman who doesn’t have a lot to prove anymore. I’ve had a career that’s been a blast, I run a small creative studio that I love, and I do my thing, my way. I know a lot of people, but I know them well enough to know they wouldn’t want their names thrown about everywhere. I don’t shout myself around.”

Towards a Moral Revolution.

“And that’s where the moral revolution becomes a matter of whether we choose to dive into the dark, the perilous path, or whether we choose to create a narrative and make that narrative real, which is our shared destiny, the possibility of collective human flourishment, our repairing the Earth in ways that make it more beautiful — and the choice is ours.

And so my hard-edged hope comes from having lived and worked in communities that have had to contend with both. And like flowers breaking through granite, I’m gonna choose hope every time. And I frankly — despite all the dark, I remain a stubborn, persistent, hard-edged, hopeful optimist. I do!”

13 Rules for Being Alone and Being Happy About It.

“Sometimes, people ask, “Tyler, wouldn’t you have more fun traveling if you had someone to go with?”

And my answer is always both yes and no.

Traveling with a friend or someone close can be a really rewarding experience. You don’t truly know someone until you travel with them, and getting to know someone like that can be a lot of fun (or not!).

But I have just as much fun traveling alone. It’s a different experience, but no less enjoyable. When I travel alone, what I learn about is myself. I learn about my own strengths, and I learn about my own weaknesses and insecurities. I’ve never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.

Traveling isn’t the only time being alone is a valuable experience. It can be powerful in any aspect of life...”