The feeling of being alone often conjures up a turbulent whirlwind of fear. It is a fear that you will be alone forever, that you are isolated from everyone and everything, that you can't change how you feel about solitude.
Society is petrified of seclusion and this is especially difficult if you are in a new city, have recently come out of a relationship, started a new job or generally have just ongoing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Here are my top ten ways to feel comfortable in your own skin and rejoice in being by yourself!
1- Be patient. If you're not used to being alone or even hate being alone, then patience is your new and wonderful friend. Patience is enriching and can lift you, because it is a centring practice. Treat it as an acceptance that being alone now is a wonderful and exciting thing, because you will discover many things about yourself. Once you embrace patience and being alone, you will start right there, at the beginning, and begin to see the wonderful opportunities in front of you.
2- Devote yourself to a new art. Start meditating, practice yoga, learn how to do Capoeira. Pick up a pen and draw, paint anything or write about your childhood, remembering by gone days or what your favourite things were at school. Often learning practices or colleges give the first class free, so your can learn something wonderful whilst being around like-minded people.
3- I dare you to do something absolutely random and spontaneous! Talk to dog walkers in the park, buy a smoothie and talk rubbish to the counter assistant, find peace within strangers; they too are alone like you. Things that you may have avoided based on your own principals can be changed and you can dare yourself. Ask silly questions. Smile at strangers. And leave your phone at home.
4- Get dressed up for no apparent reason. I like to do that if I'm feeling a bit crap, then just walk around with no aim but to feel the breeze on your shoulders. People always ask me, 'Where are you going?' and then a whole new conversation can start up.
5- Take yourself out somewhere fancy. Always wanted to try that restaurant or tea parlour? Why not, take yourself and wonder in the splendour or being somewhere so lovely. Feel like being caught up in another world or story? Sit back and enjoy a movie in the dark.
6- Look up. Looking up at the sky is soothing. Looking out into water is relaxing. Looking up at old architecture or statues is also beautiful. Just look out and up and eventually your mood will too.
7- Write your ten most favourite things about yourself and your life. Can't get to ten? Start making them up and stick them on every available space in your bedroom. If you're happy in your head then solitude is blessed. You will get those ten in the end.
8- Read inspirational stories! Saturate the inspiration from your favourite film star, entrepreneur, musician or artist- they too had it hard and worked through the turmoil. They too were alone and sacrificed everything, often friends, family and relationships, to believe in their art. Believe in your art and believe in yourself. Buddhism and meditation books are there to create space in your head. Deepak Chopra and Pema Chodron do wonderful inspiring literature, often with accessible five-minute exercises.
9- There will never be another today. Nor this moment at this time. Here you are in this great big world, a place of wonder and magic, and your heart is there for you to love others. Whether you believe it or not, there are people out there that love you too, you just have to meet them. Enjoy the present moment you live in now.
10- Let go of baggage. Who makes you feel good in your life? What lifts your spirits? Sometimes there are friends and relationships that we think are fine but are not good for our soul. The reason you know is because you get a niggling feeling in your heart or gut that just won't go away. Perhaps their simply not right for you. Or they're not entirely true. You've moved on and it's creating a toxic atmosphere in your soul. Don't sweat the small stuff, neither obsess about whether they are or aren't. Just distance yourself politely and discover the real new you.