In eight days I depart on a journey to Thailand for winter vacation. I am beyond excited. One of the first questions people ask when about the trip is "who is going with you?".
"No one", I reply, "Going solo".
People are usually shocked by this. I can understand that. Traveling to an exotic place halfway around the world all by yourself does seem a bit extreme but I firmly believe it is a powerful tool for personal growth. I'm excited to see some temples and beautiful beaches, but I'm even more excited for a few weeks of introspection; to contemplate the year that has gone by and reflect inward in relative silence.
Silent introspection is such an amazing and powerful tool. I firmly believe the world would be a better place if we all took a little more time to look inward. My trip to Thailand is certainly on the far end of this spectrum, but the effects on the other side can be just as powerful. We are bombarded on a daily basis with so many things vying for our attention. The news, TV, our jobs, and especially these little computers we carry in our pockets that can flash information and stimulate us at a moments notice. All of these things drown out our inner selves. Even music, something that is one of my biggest passions, something that can make us feel a range of beautiful emotions, is a barrier that blocks us from being able to hear and understand ourselves.
A little less than a year ago I decided to take some time each day where I sat in complete silence. Just a few minutes each day. No TV, no music, no reading, no conversation; nothing but some long breaths. Over time it helped me with so many things. It helped me to be more present in my daily activities, helped me get into the practice of deeper meditation (something I had tried to do for years without success), and helped me to better communicate with my intuitive side which has been the best benefit of all.
I can't guarantee you that you would feel the same if you gave this a try. Practicing silence is something I've combined with my yoga practice, healthy eating, and a focus on awareness. However I'd be willing to bet you would notice a difference in your life if you gave it a shot and approached it with an open mind. You might not get to the point where you'd want to take a trip to Thailand by yourself but I'd be willing to bet you'd eventually be more in tune with yourself and your surroundings, and who knows what could happen from there.