how do you feel about eating alone? do you do it? do you like it? do you feel like a loser or ashamed or weird if you go and sit somewhere by yourself for a meal? when you see someone eating by themselves, what’s your reaction?
i’m only asking because i found myself eating alone pretty much every lunch last week.
and i chose it to be that way.
you see, i have never really minded solitary mealtimes. but, last week, without even realizing it at the time, i chose every single day to sneak away and eat by myself. i only noticed the pattern as i looked back through my photos while preparing this post.
i guess my soul just whispered to me each day to go off on my own. and, in the moment, i did just that.
in addition, i also noticed that most of my photos were photos from last week were of nature. clearly, not only did i feel like i just needed a break and some time to myself, but i felt like i needed to breathe. i needed fresh air badly. and i needed to soak up every single bit of the chilly spring air that i could. it wasn’t a panicky or upset feeling, just a “this is how i want to spend my lunch time” feeling. as i said before, it’s what my soul was urging me to do. so i did.
and during these times outside and alone, i didn’t really ponder anything. i didn’t think or not think. i just was present.
my walks to and from work were similar. all of them took a bit longer than expected because i found myself stopping to snap photos all along the way, looking up at the sky or down at the ground. watching birds to their thing + observing the buds just beginning to peek through on the edges of the branches that i passed by or under.
i felt as if this week i have literally been watching spring unfold and the grass turn green. it’s been magical. and, the music in my headphones as i made my commute on foot did even more to make these moments truly sacred ones.
as i think back, i realize that these are the only times i am alone. and, after having so much time alone before when i wasn’t working, i have realized that i am still adjusting to the changes in my daily routine. but, the amazing thing is, i know what is important to me. i know what i want and need in my life, and how to keep it balanced. and i feel like i’m doing a pretty good job right now. there is a new balance that i am setting up in my life. and i am trusting the process…
so, this week, here are some pics i snapped during my moments alone and soaking up the beauty of nature. i hope that, even though you weren’t here with me, you still find a moment of stillness and peace just by gazing at them. i captured them for you… wanting to share the beauty and quiet of the moment with all of you.
wishing you a few moments of solitude and peace this week, my friends. and, if you feel your soul whispering to you to go outside for a picnic or a meal or just a cup of coffee, i can highly recommend it. just listen to those quiet inspirations from within, whatever they may be saying to you… and then follow your own heart.
I agree that returning to the same place with awareness of the changes in nature unfolding each day is a beautiful meditation and a fantastic exercise in presence. When I had the opportunity to spend most of this past fall in Utah I had a similar experience observing, and really feeling, the change of the season and it was magical and grounding. But you put it so well, as usual, Liz.
Also, not to get all artsy-critical on you, but the second photo where you are across the street from the bright, illuminated pinkish building (hotel?) perfectly illustrates the idea of being and observing and peace. I know you were mostly referring to nature (and all those photos are so beautiful too!!) but the presence of the and weight of the shadow in the foreground cocoons the viewer in this photo, giving them space and distance from the action/stage to BE and observe but doesn’t separate them, as a divided space with a stronger foreground usually does. The lines in the shadows on the pavement draw you/us/the viewer into the world in the sunlight but with plenty of gentle transition space that allows movement outwards and retreat inwards into the self. So perfect and totally amazing.
I rarely spend any time alone these days. And sometimes I crave it – I think that’s part of the reason I get up an hour earlier in the morning now, so I have that hour of quiet but awake time…
I like to try to sit alone for lunch at work, but more often than not we’re chatting with customers, so that quietness need isn’t granted!
I, too, enjoy being out in nature as the sun is coming up. The bird song is fantastic right now. Do you have sounds of nature where you like to spend your time outside?
My time outside is mostly on my walk to and from work, so it’s quite urban. But, I make sure to notice every little bird tweet I can! And the birds are glorious outside our apartment!
[…] in a sense, my gut already told me what to do. i let my initial reaction of excitement start to guide me. and lina was also very excited when i told her about it all. but, i also spent time last week meditating on this in the mornings, pondering it in quiet moments over a cup of coffee at work, and during my lunches alone. […]