The desert island or the hamster wheel?

IStock 000005579698Small

It’s been a hectic week this week – lots of travelling, speaking and training, meeting new people and catching up with old friends – lots of time away from my children and not much sleep. All in all I feel quite shattered, in a good way but also being marooned on a desert island doesn’t sound like a bad idea right now! This is the theme for our blog buddies post this week – If I were marooned on a desert island…..

Before we had our children I always considered myself to be someone who was energised by others. For many years the thought of being on my own scared me a bit I think. Now however…..just the opposite. I do still get energised by being with others and love to throw ideas around and spend time with like minded people. But I also need much more time alone with no noise, no tasks or work and definitely no people! So maybe the desert island is the place for me sometimes.

What can we learn in those times of quietness and aloneness?

1) We can cope without other people telling us what to do all the time. For many of us the tendency to ask other peoples advice or their opinions on things is a daily habit. When thinking about changing jobs, who to marry or even what to have for breakfast we assume others know what’s best for us more than we do. When you’re on your own on that desert island there is only you to answer to and only you to make the decisions. I wonder if I had made more decisions about my life on my own without other peoples influence whether it would have been a straighter path to where I am now, or indeed a more rockier one? Questions that can properly never be answered and there is something very valuable in asking for other peoples help at times. I’ve heard many people say they were persuaded to do something they didn’t want to do and regretted it. So on my desert island (my occasional days of solitude) I will listen to my gut and trust my instincts more.

2) There is power in the now. I’ve seen this so many times over the last 9 years since I’ve been involved in coaching and since we’ve had our children. Being able to concentrate on what is in front of me and not obsess about the past and the future is so freeing and very powerful. On my desert island I want to be able to experience everything and not miss the tranquility and peace that can be found in just settling into what’s going on right now.

3) There is a time and a season for everything. There is a time for busyness, action and noise and there is definitely a time for quietness, silence and stillness. Without one we can not appreciate the other. We need to know what it feels like on the hamster wheel of life to feel the benefit of getting off and if we never got on the wheel then our lives would not move forward and we would miss those opportunities all around us to make a difference to others.

4) Life is about people. As much as we need those times of solitude and quietness – without people life has little meaning. I’ve learnt some new things about how our brains are wired up recently, namely that we are built for relationships. There are parts of our brain that respond to reciprocation from others around us. As we interact with others our brains receive signals that make us feel good. Also when we are very young our brains develop and grow through interaction – repetitive patterned activity with the people around us. What happens when we don’t get that? Relationships are vitally important. As much as I might want those times of no people and no demands I know that I need them – I need my family, friends and the world around me to thrive.

So whether you are on a desert island in your experience or indeed the hamster wheel remember without the one you can’t have the other – but you do need to take a step back occasionally, get on that desert island and find refreshment to get back into life again.

This entry was posted in Attitudes, Self Care and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply