Throughout the journey through the Silver Gate, solitude and learning have arisen as a touchstones for me. Solitude creates my place for restoration, rejuvenation, and healing. Learning inspires me on my journey of renewal.
• How do you renew and regenerate yourself? Where do you experience Lorca’s duende? (The spirit of passionate renewal, the igniting power of fire that comes from the depths of the human spirit.) Angeles Arrien
By now I recognize the signs of overstimulation. I have more than usual difficulty in staying present. I resort to distractions rather than rest. And I have difficulty with sleeping. Generally, I think of myself as uncentered – becoming irritable and inattentive – like a child without a nap.
All of these signal a need for solitude.
Learning feeds me in a different way. When I am in malaise or feeling burned out, finding myself living by rote and not living to any purpose – it is time to learn something.
One could argue that I learn something each day. But there is a different spark for me. It is listening to one of the many teachers who I admire, and hearing their insights. It is choosing an online class from coursera.org and seeing an entirely different view of my world. Or it is choosing a class at the local university to sit in on movies and discussions, to have interactions with people having the same interests or opposing views. This is renewal.
Solitude and learning. Tending to my inner self and learning from the world around me. These are my dependable ways to bring myself back into alignment.