I frequently walk outside to organize and clarify my thoughts. As an author, I have a lifestyle that incorporates frequent solitude. For me, quiet space creates indulgent peace. Sometimes that same beloved solitude can be an unseen thorn. 

Quietness can appear tranquil, yet my spirit becomes confused when I struggle against internal noise. On one hand, I crave simplicity. On the other hand, when I spend too much time in deep contemplation, I forfeit peace. I risk self-implosion when I excessively reflect on a situation or concept.

This morning was one of those too much in my own head times. When I realized I had created self-imposed pressure, I needed to implement a coach’s strategy for when players get the wind knocked out of them. “Breathe as best as you can, get up, and walk it off.” I had to breathe, get outside, and walk it off.

I was a few blocks from home and came across a neighbor raking his leaves. He paused, leaned onto his rake handle, and said, “Funny how these leaves I look forward to in spring become the same leaves that cause me a lot of upkeep in the fall.” One comment. One knowing chuckle. I walked away to ponder his perspective.

Solitude. Tranquility. Seclusion. Uneasiness. Perception.

Spring leaves indicate a seasonal shift. Autumn leaves reveal another shift. Like the leaves, life’s colors are limitless. I experience unlimited possibilities and potential when I offer an open mind.  When I cling to strict uniformity, I shut the door to breathtaking encounters.

Yes, I’d prefer to absorb rest from bright soothing light. However, without darker or dull hues, life’s color palette would become drab.

Time to get outside and walk it off,


Readers! Your turn. What is your best strategy to gain clarity and peace?

What do you appreciate about your solo time?

What do you appreciate about interaction with others?

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16).

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