A Natural Remedy for Loneliness
Loneliness is a tricky emotion. You never know when it’s going to show up and hang around.
You could be surrounded by people, or with someone you have a relationship with, and then suddenly that feeling of loneliness comes over you. You hear it whispering discouraging words.
During those moments when you are sitting at home alone and no one is available, or you are going through something that it feels like no one else gets...the sense of loneliness can be soul crushing.
So I want to share with you my natural remedy for loneliness, which might seem a little counterintuitive and involve facing some fears, but that's exactly why I think it's so powerful. And that remedy is Solo Adventuring.
Soloing - an adventure for your soul. Time spent alone, in nature, with intention.
When I bring up the concept of “soloing”, people tend to express a variety of fears, like…
What if something bad happens?
What if I get lost?
Or what if I come upon wild animals?
All these are legit fears! But soloing doesn't have to be some big epic adventure. It can be a short excursion, starting at a level you feel comfortable with, in a location that you’re familiar with.
There is a ton of information out there about how to solo adventure safely, but this post is about how to lean into loneliness and get to know yourself better through a solo adventure.
STEP #1 - NURTURE THE PRESENT COMPANY
We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies. – Roderick Thorp
Can you imagine maintaining a healthy relationship with a best friend or partner or family member without spending quality time with that person? Our relationships with ourselves are no different. Moments alone are opportunities to pay attention to what’s going on inside our mind and body.
And spending time alone in nature (aka soloing) is such a great way to begin to develop that kick ass relationship with one of the most important people in your life...YOU. As cheesy as that might sound, it’s undeniable that getting to know yourself better leads to valuable insights and a strong instinct. That will help you not only out in the wild but also in your day to day life.
Nature is the perfect place to do this because it automatically removes the distractions we are faced with in our day to day lives (as long as you keep your phone in your pocket!). And like I said earlier, your solo doesn't have to be a grand and epic adventure into the wilderness; it can be as simple as driving to a viewpoint and staring out at the sky.
When you take a moment of loneliness and turn it into time with yourself, for yourself, you are then able to transform your perspective, turning a moment of dullness into a moment of endless possibility.
STEP #2 - THEY BELIEVED THEY COULD SO THEY DID
With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world. – Dalai Lama
Full honesty here, as much as I love my solo adventures, there has never been a time where I have ventured out alone and not had at least one moment where doubt creeps in.
I have been on many different types of solo adventures over the years, from car camping in Anza Borrego, nestled between slot canyons with no one around for miles, to backpacking alone on Vancouver Island.
And every time, there is a moment when fear creeps up or boredom starts to set in. A moment where I think to myself, “Why am I doing this!?!?”
But then the moment passes, as they always do, and next comes the sweet sweet reward.
That moment when the fear passes and something bigger takes its place, a sense of accomplishment and groundedness. A shift from feeling alone to an undeniable sense of interconnectedness with the world around you that is vast and deep.
And when you realize you have just faced a fear or moved through a difficult moment, you are left with a deep and euphoric feeling of strength that’s hard to describe. It’s a feeling you can bring back with you into your everyday life. You set out to complete a day hike or overnight camping trip alone and you accomplished it. There is no denying it was ALL you. The resulting confidence boost can have a lasting positive effect on whatever comes next in your life.
STEP #3 - BEFRIEND YOUR FEAR
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. -Mark Twain
I’m a total believer that intuition is something we all have. I also believe that it is something that waxes and wanes depending on how much we listen to that little voice inside that guides us.
Often, if we’re not careful, we can confuse fear for intuition. If we’re not familiar with our fear, what it feels like in our bodies, what it tries to convince us, then very often it becomes what drives our actions - disguised as intuition.
When we go on a solo adventure there are bound to be moments when we are pushed out of our comfort zone. For some it may be being those moments where a decision needs to be made, for others it will simply be the act of not having someone to chat with along the way. Whatever it is in that moment that challenges you, when you notice it, It’s a relatively safe way to bring up fear and then practice working through it.
Often in life we don’t get to choose when and where our fears triggered.. Many times our fears can even be abstract or harder to identify, like a fear of failure for example. Pushing your comfort zone through soloing gives you a concrete way to get to know your fear, allowing you to better distinguish it from intuition.
That way when it does come up in those super abstract, larger than life ways, you’ll be like a Jedi Master at helping yourself through it, and less likely to have it cloud your judgement or reactions.
Your first step?
Commit to a date, time and location for your solo adventure! Then come back here and comment below with how it went. I’d love to hear your experiences.