Finding Ease with Aloneness

Thwarted Travel Plans…

As it turns out, I had a ton of travel planned for April through July. Boston, Dallas, and Chicago for work. Scotland for family. San Diego to attend Yoga Medicine training. You probably had—and maybe still have?—travel plans too.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve cancelled ALL these plans. Two of the work meetings moved online and I’ve just wrapped a virtual advisory board that unfolded over 3 weeks instead of 2 days. I’d say the discussion among 9 physicians from all over the world was more extended and generated deeper insights via the online platform than we would have had over a 2-day face-to-face meeting.

In lieu of travel to Scotland, I’m having regular WhatsApp, Messenger or Zoom conversations with friends in the old country. Yoga training will likely move online too. In fact, I’m taking another Yoga Medicine online training right now. And I love being able to learn at my own pace, in my own home, and return to materials at my convenience to reinforce my learning.

The weird thing is, I’m not Zoomed out or experiencing Zoom exhaustion, as Mary Elizabeth Williams writes about in

In fact, I’m relishing the opportunity for connection with others in a way that lets me enjoy my aloneness and have more control over my time and energy.

Finding Ease in Aloneness

Of course isolation and aloneness aren’t necessarily the same. But if nothing else, our current circumstances are requiring us to notice the difference and maybe even find ease with aloneness, even if we are not home alone.

Krista Tippett explores this idea of ease with aloneness in her On Being interview with Buddhist writer Stephen Batchelor. One of the many insights that this discussion unearthed concerns the role of yoga as a practice to support a fully embodied inquiry that can lead to a sense of ease with being alone with oneself, of embracing solitude. A practice designed to empty oneself of habits and thoughts that get in the way of living in a liberated way.

Breathing Space

Most of us who write for a living are pretty comfortable with being alone for long stretches of time and welcome the call of solitude as an invitation to create. But even writers need opportunities to cultivate contemplative habits that fill the cup and sustain the quiet. And to this end, for the last few weeks I’ve been guiding a group of writers through a series of breathing practices designed to slow down breathing, steady the heart, and make space for new energy.

If you are ready for a breathing space in your day, come practice with me live online with Saturday Soulrising (8a.m.) and Wind Down Wednesdays (7p.m.). Classes kick off June 6, 2020. 

If you prefer to explore a more customized practice (low back pain? shoulder immobility? hip tightness? golf or tennis prep?), consider a small group or individual session.