“Do not rely completely on any other human being, however dear. We meet all life’s greatest tests alone.” ~Agnes Macphail 

I have found that the more time I spend alone, the more comfortable I become in my own skin because I can truly get to know myself. This provides me with more patience to accept myself as I am, wherever I am in my journey, on a daily basis.

This lesson was something I learned specifically after another big move, new job and essentially planting new roots.

It wasn’t until two months after I settled in that I reflected on the past few years and wished I had spent more time living in the moment while experiencing some of the greatest adventures of my life. 

I discovered that if I want to be truly happy, it would be my own doing. Happiness is an interior process and comes without validation from others.

This is something that is a lesson to be relearned each day.

Spending small moments of time alone—sans phone, tablet, laptop, TV, and radio—allows one to really tune in. We need to ask ourselves things like: What is my body telling me today? How do I feel today?

There are all kinds of things we can do to enjoy our alone time, some of them very simple. I enjoy my shower, long walks or run, and listening to my favorite music on the ride home from work, all without communication to the exterior world. This helps me to really absorb my practice and just “be.” I find it helpful to journal old fashion style, with a pen and paper after this little escape.

To truly figure out if you are relying on others, ask yourself: What have I done today, only for myself? 

You may also want to ask yourself: Am I taking a photo so I can remember this occasion, or so others can see how I spent my hour? Am I updating my social media because I want to, or because I need validation through likes and posts to be happy?

Lastly, ask: What would happen if I stopped seeking the opinions of others in order to be happy? Would the world still accept me if I spent less time trying to win their approval?

The only one keeping you away from your true self is you.

Practice spending an hour a day doing something just for you and keep it a secret. Relish in the fact that this activity is just for you.

Once you grow fond of spending time alone, you can start to increase the amount of time you spend on your “secret” activities. Eventually, your presence in the moment will grow as you stop seeking approval and recognition from others.

I find that when I take a day off and unplug, I emerge fully ready to engage with others with more energy and enjoyment.

When your brain stops worrying about what others think of you, what you should have said or done, you can truly listen to your friends and provide feedback and attention.

Trust in yourself and feel powerful in the fact you are taking your happiness into your own hands.