A few weeks ago I was browsing in a bookstore with my daughter. I wasn’t looking for something specific, just enjoying the atmosphere of the shop and the smell of the books.

My eyes rested on a shelf, the title of a book attracted my attention: “How to find peacefulness” by Tina Jefferies. The other appealing element of the book was this bright yellow/orange hammock. I simply pictured myself dreaming and relaxing in this hammock.

Then I asked myself a question: “Where and when would I be able to relax in a hammock?” It was an impossible question with an impossible answer.

So, I decided to buy the book and teach myself to use solitude to beat stress and achieve success (as the book says).

I was only at the beginning of the book that I found myself receiving the biggest reality check.

One of the paragraphs goes like this: “A life without solitude… Without periods of solitude, your personal needs, desires and character traits remains unexamined. They continue to exist and are lost among the competing crowd of externally driven thoughts, demands and expectations. Personal growth is inhibited.”

I kept reading and I’m so grateful to Tina Jefferies. She managed in just 142 pages to teach me how to slow down, turn my phone off more often, to give my undivided attention to people (especially my children) when they are talking to me, to accept days where not much is happening and to… enjoy solitude.

It made me realise how much I was often out of touch with myself and how much I had to reassess how I was living my everyday life. I’m still learning and I’m not in a rush to become the Master of solitude. As I always say: “One step at a time”.

I encourage you to think twice before answering your phone while the kids are having dinner, and on those days where nothings planned and you’re home alone (or not), pick up a book and lie down or watch one of your favourite movies, don’t feel guilty just enjoy yourself. As my grandmother always said “it’s the simple things that can make one happy”. And if those days simply don’t exist, then make them happen! It’s all in your hands, you are the master of yourself and peacefulness x

See you soon.

arielle-handwritten