solitude - solitude 2

Without great solitude,
no serious work is possible.

Pablo Picasso


What is necessary, after all, is only this:  solitude, vast inner solitude.  To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours--that is what you must be able to attain.  To be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grownups walked around, involved with matters that seemed large and important, because they seemed so busy and because you didn't understand a thing about what they were doing.

Rainer Maria Rilke

If there is a better cure for self-deception than solitude, it has yet to be discovered.

E. Herman

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

Albert Einstein

Before you can enjoy your solitude, you have to get to know yourself--who you are, what you like to do, what raises your spirits, what gives you a feeling of accomplishment and exhilaration.

Phyllis Hobe

Solitude is simply spending time connecting with ourselves.  Solitude means we do it alone, spending time in reflection--perhaps talking to ourselves, writing a journal, meditating.  When we practice solitude regularly over a period of time, we develop a deep and abiding connection with our self.  We can use that connection to alleviate isolation--from ourselves and others.

Jan Johnson Drantell


Being alone gives us the space to listen again to our
inner rhythms, to embrace our inner selves.

Patricia Hoolihan


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Living alone, though it may not be the state you ultimately
desire for yourself, affords an unparalleled opportunity
to know yourself, to be yourself, and to develop yourself
as a unique and interesting individual.

Phyllis Hobe


Self-renewal usually begins quietly.  The lonely griever becomes
a person with a confident solitude. . . . In contrast to loneliness,
which mourns the loss, solitude is positive aloneness, a confident
presence of self-suffering.

Fredric M. Hudson


Alone, but not lonely, I postulate philosophies, explore my soul,
and, in the modesty of solitude, expose my love and angers, wishes
and disappointments.  I examine each, and put it into its place.  Alone,
I redefine my appreciation of the people with whom I live.

Joan Mills

Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone. . . .
women need solitude in order to find again the true essence
of themselves:  that firm strand which will be the indispensable
center of a whole web of human relationships.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

In many societies, voluntary isolation from others is considered necessary
for the completion of certain phases of personal growth.  Adolescent males
entering adulthood in certain tribal cultures are expected to wander alone
in the forest, mountains, or desert for as long as several months at a time.
During this period the solitary wanderer is instructed to communicate with
the Divine, compose a song, or experience a magic dream.  Those who
return without their dream may be sent back into the mountains
and told to return when they are successful.

Barbara Powell


I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday
night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel.

Audrey Hepburn


solitude - solitude 2

I prize the privilege of being alone.

Carl Rogers

You need solitude if you are to fulfill your promises.

Francis Steloff


If one is to know oneself, then periods of solitude
should be courted, planned, and embraced.

Mary Kay Blakely

Cherish your solitude.  Take trains by yourself to places you have never
been.  Sleep out alone under the stars.  Learn how to drive a stick shift.
Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back.  Say no
when you don’t want to do something.  Say yes if your instincts are
strong, even if everyone around you disagrees.  Decide whether you
want to be liked or admired.  Decide if fitting in is more important
than finding out what you’re doing here.  Believe in kissing.

Eve Ensler

Great minds are like eagles, and build their nest in some lofty solitude. . . .
People can be themselves only so long as we are alone, and if we do
not love solitude, we will not love freedom, for it is only
when we are alone that we are really free.

Artur Schopenhauer


If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied
by even one companion you belong only half to yourself or even less in
proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct and if you have more
than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight.

Leonardo da Vinci


In solitude one can achieve a good relationship with oneself.

May Sarton

Whatever those unacquainted with it may think, solitude and utter
loneliness are far from being devoid of charm.  Words cannot convey
the almost voluptuous sweetness of the feelings experienced. . . Mind
and senses develop their sensibility in this contemplative life made up
of continual observations and reflections.  Does one become a
visionary or, rather, is it not that one has been blind until then?

Alexandra David-Neel


One lives and endures one's life with others, within matrices,
but it is only alone, truly alone that one bursts apart, springs forth.

Maria Isabel Barreno


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

In order to get to know oneself, a person needs to be
alone with his or her thoughts now and then.

Richard Triumpho

I love being by myself.  And as I grow older, I love that more
than anything else.  There are so many things
to think about and work out.

Gwendolyn Brooks


We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private:
and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.

C.S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory


The most important education you get is your own--
the one you learn in solitude.

Erica Jong

Being alone gives us the space to listen again to our
inner rhythms, to embrace our inner selves.

Patricia Hoolihan


It is only in solitude that men and women can come to know
the happiness that is like the delight of children in nothing at all.

John Cowper Powys



solitude - solitude 2

To love solitude and to seek it does not mean constantly traveling
from one geographical possibility to another.  A person becomes a
solitary at the moment when, no matter what may be one's external
surroundings, one is suddenly aware of one's own inalienable solitude
and sees that he or she will never be anything but solitary.  From that
moment, solitude is not potential--it is actual.

Thomas Merton

Retreating into oneself to find purpose can be like straddling a boat
leaving the dock; pulled in opposite directions by the intense
desire of the mind for human involvement and the equally intense
need of the soul for its own company.  In the sheer immensity of
solitude, when one can no longer draw energy from external
sources, we come to see how much of what we habitually call
meaningful purpose is merely the evasion of sitting still and
meeting what is most difficult for us to receive with compassion--
our own pain.

Dawna Markova
I Will Not Die an Unlived Life


We need periods of being by ourselves—alone.  Sometimes a fortnight
or even a week will do wonders for one, unless he or she has drawn too
heavily upon the account.  The simple custom, moreover, of taking an
hour, or even a half hour, alone in the quiet, in the midst of the daily
routine of life, would be the source of inestimable gain
for countless numbers.

Ralph Waldo Trine
The Wayfarer on the Open Road


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Against the love of pleasure, effective beyond all else is solitude.  For
those who put out of sight the things that are worldly lose the desire for them.

Moses H. Luzzatto

To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter
into the desert of loneliness and change it by gentle and
persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.

Henri J. Nouwen


We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our
innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering.  But then our solitude is
overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self
is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves
in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our
innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.

Hermann Hesse



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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