I am not sure 20 minutes a day actually counts as solitude… but I am 6 days in. I have been taking about 20-25 minutes a day to reflect and be quiet (and away from screens and such). After six days, that has amounted to a little over two hours. Funny, if I had planned on spending 2 hours a week, I probably would still have 2 hours to go and I’d have to fit it all in tomorrow. 20 minutes a day hasn’t felt like much at all.
Overall, practicing daily solitude has been going well. I don’t have anything huge to report, which is probably to be expected after just a week of practicing something. I have really noticed the resistance I often feel to actually stepping away from whatever is that I think is so important. It’s hard to believe that checking my email or RSS feed for the 50th time could be important… but I’ll find any excuse I can to keep myself busy and entertained. Despite the resistance I feel, once I actually step away I find time in solitude very refreshing and life-giving.
I didn’t have an initial plan for how to use my time. So far my time has been mostly spent journaling, doing some form of breath prayer or centering prayer, and reading slowly through Philippians. These are practices I have done before, so it’s not surprising that I started there. When I do take time to be quiet, these are the practices I tend to default to.
As I head into week 2, I hope to find a day to spend closer to an hour in solitude. I’d also like to get outside (especially if we can get some SNOW!) for at least a day or two next week as well. I find that I most easily decompress and reflect when I am outside, in the woods, going for a walk.