Seeking Simplicity? Find Solitude.

If you’re seeking simplicity, finding some solitude is essential.

Most of us seek simplicity because our lives are out of control or at least seem that way. Without some solitude, however, our brains can’t really register just how simple and uncluttered our lives are becoming. Does that make sense to you?

This is the first in a series of posts about some of the things that those of us who are on a journey toward simplicity must findl. I hope to offer posts on this topic throughout the fall and winter, but I reserve the right to change my mind — because I don’t need the potential of an unfulfilled promise to you complicating my life.

Step Away From The Silliness

Solitude allows for processing time. There’s no time to be grateful for what we have or to make plans for adjustments if we don’t find a bit of alone time.

The world, however, is a busy place filled with unbelievable silliness, and many of our homes match the nonsense level of the world at large.

If there’s not a child or spouse pining for our attention, there’s a dog or cat jumping in the middle of our meditation time. The right human or animal presences can enhance our feelings of comfort, peacefulness and well-being while the wrong ones at the wrong times can detract from it.

No one can join you in your solitude, however.

Not Necessarily About Absence Or Silence

Strangely, though, solitude doesn’t require being physically alone so much as it requires a mental separation from your surroundings.

Where you find it depends on your history with a location. The Starbucks down the street from your home can’t offer you any solitude if you go there often, know the employees and often see your neighbors there. But you can really think things through at the coffee shop across town where no one knows you and no one will engage you. You might be able to stare out the window and consider the progress you’re making in your life for hours before anyone will disrupt you.

Also strangely, solitude doesn’t necessarily require silence if your brain can block out background noise and aural clutter.

You’ll find some solitude today — even if for only a few moments — when you:

  • close a door
  • ask to be left alone
  • go to an unfamiliar place
  • drive or ride your bike aimlessly
  • seek it because you know you need it.

Where do you find solitude? And does it help? For me, it’s an essential part of cutting through the silliness of life and getting down to a simpler state of mind.


  1. Slightly different angle but this post reminded me of my holidays (vacation time). I love going to a country where I do not speak the language. Years ago this made me feel inadequate (almost impolite) and as though I should learn enough to do more than just ‘get by’. I’ve tried to learn French and this has been on my hit list for a while. However it was this year that the realisation hit me that one reason I love France so much is I cannot follow a conversation that I should not be privy to. I can read signs and if I concentrate and can read a little and make myself understood. Not only do I have a mental break from words flowing through my head constantly, I can’t pick up on billboards (unless I deliberately try), or any other wording around the country. It really is switch off time!

  2. That is a very nice post. Breaking the silliness in life and get down from simple stat of mind is a great way of improving your life the better. Love the quotes. 🙂

  3. Hi Gip,

    Very nice article. I enjoyed it since I am turning into a minimalist with my tiny but firm steps.

    Being simple is not easy.

    It requires us to stop behaving like programmed robots and cut out distractions. Once we are distraction free, we get back our time.

    Once we have time, we have so much of life in front of eyes.

    Nice writing Gip. Keep inspiring.

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