The Practice of Constraints

by johnandterri

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One of the gifts of walking the Camino, that I did not realize till I reflected on it later, was the gift of solitude and silence that it gave us. This gift was provided by the very nature of the walk. There is just a lot of time where you are isolated and walking with just your thoughts. There is a natural constraint in place that gives you the chance to be in silence and solitude. It gives one space and time to think. It is a gift for sure.

We recently spent a week on the Washington coast in a town called Moclips. It is a isolated town that has almost no cell service or commercial businesses. It had natural constraints that allowed us to be in solitude and silence. Our goal for this Spring getaway was to not go and do but to sit and rest and soak up the silence and solitude of the ocean. Our mission was accomplished. It was a gift we received by the natural constraints that were in place and our desire to not do but to be.

I realized from this ocean solitude and silence experience that if I want to experience this more often in my life, then I must practice the art of applying constraints, for you see we I seem to be incapable once I return to my life back home of having these extended times of solitude and silence. I find that once I return home, every moment of my life I fill with music, social media, reading and podcasts, my photography projects, and all those duties and responsibilities that make up my life. These are individually not bad, per se, but collectively they make it so hard to achieve these moments of silence and solitude, that are so important to my health and growth and creativity.

So, what I have learned from the Camino and from our time at Moclips, is that one it is going to take discipline (see my last blog), to apply constraints to my life if I want to experience these special times of solitude and silence. For it is in the “classroom of silence” that we are able to see with clarity and contrast those areas of of life that are most important and where we find our creativity as well.

So, I am looking forward to working on the “practice of constraints” in my life. What can I stop holding on to and drop that will free me? Can I stop all those silly notifications I get constantly from my phone that distract me? Can I get off that computer and go for more walks instead. It is all about creating the space as it does not come to me naturally, it seems.

I hope this message resonates with you as well if you are also finding yourself needing some silence and solitude in your life.

Blessings and all good,

John

Photograph of the Week

Solitude

We had lots of great storms during our week on the Washington coast but also some special moments between storms to explore and enjoy the peaceful and solitude of the ocean.