When was the last time you spent time with yourself, alone?
I don’t do it often enough, but last night I went for a solo stroll in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I hadn’t really wanted to venture out for a walk alone—my favorite TV shows were calling my name—but once I was outside, I felt revitalized. There were lots of happy pups and people out for jogs and bike rides. I even found interactive exhibits and a treasure trove of library books. I watched the sinking sun turn the sky orange and pink and reflect off the water and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The choice of solitude can be met with judgment: you went out to eat alone? You’re seeing a movie by yourself? And yet, being alone is so important to recharge and connect with ourselves.
One of my favorite approaches to practicing alone time comes from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. In the book, Cameron advocates for “artist dates”:
The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration.
We all need the time and space for play and peace. It's restorative. Next time you have a moment to spare, before logging into Facebook or texting your buddies, consider going on a festive expedition with your own beautiful, independent soul.
This post is written by Kelly, a Brooklyn-based writer and producer who really wants to spend more time outdoors with the trees and doggies.