THE QUIET OF SOLITUDE

When lockdown started, all my work as a keynote speaker vanished almost overnight. For a few days I felt lost, and not a little panicked. But then I realised that I had some valuable insights to share. I’ve spent up to five months alone at sea, so I’ve had to acquire strategies for dealing with solitude and fear. Within a month I wrote and published a book called The Gifts of Solitude, hoping to support and inspire people who might be struggling with isolation. https://www.thegiftsofsolitude.org/ I really believe there are gifts to be found in the quiet of solitude – an opportunity for introspection, gaining in self-knowledge, and clarification of life purpose and priorities.

Connecting with nature has been especially valuable at this time. Last year I moved from the centre of Windsor to the Gloucestershire countryside and I’ve been counting my blessings ever since. I’ve been able to get out for my daily pre-breakfast walk along part of the Cotswold Way and up onto Stinchcombe Hill with views in every direction. It has been a real sanity-saver.

In some ways, my horizons have shrunk dramatically. I am used to travelling a lot for speaking engagements, so the last few months have been the longest I’ve been in one place for many years. But in other ways, my horizons have expanded. I’ve started to grow vegetables (with varying results), and have paid more attention to my flower garden. I have learned to appreciate the small and subtle details, tempering my yang with more time and space for yin.