Can You Handle 30 Minutes of Solitude?

I’m having some knee problems, so last week, I went in for an MRI.  Because it’s a magnetic imaging procedure, when they position you in the machine, you can’t have your cell phone, or other objects.  There’s no TV in the room either.  Plus, they don’t want you to move, so I couldn’t bring a magazine or book.   So there I was, laying on my back for 30 minutes while the MRI machine did it’s thing.  Then, I started to get a bit twitchy.   If you know me, you’ll know that while I’m probably not A.D.D., I AM easily distracted.  At any given waking moment, I like to be DOING something – reading, checking email, Twittering, writing, scanning something – ANYTHING.  But I couldn’t move for a half an hour, so I had to take a deep breath and just listen to my own thoughts.  Trust me, in this age of distraction, spending 30 minutes in absolute solitude is a challenge.  Frankly, I was way out of practice.

So I’m wondering if that’s something I need to start doing on a daily basis.  Spend 30 minutes a day just thinking.  Not making notes, checking email, or watching TV.  Just thinking, meditating, praying, and/or hearing my own thoughts.

Might be a good habit.   Have you tried it?  What do you think?


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  1. I like your thinking. I agree, we get so caught up with everything around us that we don’t think about stopping everything for a short period with no distractions. I bet it would help a lot. Thanks for the idea, I’ll probably start doing this.

  2. I got hit by an emotional tsunami / could not see it coming.
    Here I am now, able to finish necessary errands , but to do the one thing I really need to finish, involves strategy : the need to sort out, think. Finding it very hard.
    But yes, to heave out 30 mins/24 x 7 : dedicated to what can happen in that silence…
    hey thanks for stirring my very own BethesdaPool 🙂

  3. I used to attend an annual men’s retreat in the mountains of Oregon. One of the things I looked forward to each year was walking to a secluded area near the lake and a small stream than emptied into it. There was a small wood bridge there. It was always snowy and brisk and I would just stand there for an hour. It was difficult at first but I found myself looking forward to this each year. It gave me insight into the new year and gave me a chance to ‘hear God’ through silence.

  4. Phil, My husband and I get out to La jolla on a regular basis to just unplug! One of our favorite time is in the morning to grab a cup of Java and just watch life go by…..the sea gulls in their beautiful formations, people coming to see the beauty of the morning! It really reminds us of how important it is to detach our mornings and evening sunsets to just Be still and know He is Man! Peace that passes anything we could create! My husband had a difficult time
    at first just doing nothing but after a few days he begins to see the painter create in ways tha blow us away! Try it: coffee, time, and thinking about who gave you this day! Energy to get through the mundaneness of life and give you time to relflect.

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