Self-Examination, Meditation And Being Alone

by Sherry Riter in Motivation,Self-Development  

bird on branch white clouds 4 

“Men go abroad to wonder
at the heights of mountains,
at the huge waves of the sea,
at the long courses of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motions of the stars,
and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
~ St. Augustine ~

This weekend I was very much alone and it gave me plenty of time to think about my relationships, goals, dreams, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and life.

Saturday I went on a long drive and took lots of photos. Even though it was late afternoon when I got home, I took a nap. It was a nap that lasted almost all night. Obviously, I was very tired.

bird on branch white clouds 1

When I awoke on Sunday, I expected to have tons of energy because of all the rest that I had the night before. It took a while to wake up, but I still had enough energy to spend a large part of the day cooking to prepare for the upcoming week. I took several short naps with Bella during the day while things were boiling or baking which revived me enough to keep going.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
~ Socrates ~

I had plenty of time for self-examination. Thinking so much actually made me tired because my life has been very full.

With the responsibilities of going to work for a huge portion of every day, stopping to contemplate life is usually not a priority for most people. Actually, society dictates that we don’t stop at all. It pushes us to fill every moment with new experiences and new things. That much activity is really not good for us. We need empty time that is void of responsibilities and activity so that we can sit quietly and meditate.

bird on branch white clouds 2

Examining our life will give us a better understanding of who we are and why we tend to make certain choices. We will gain a deeper understanding of our subconscious actions which will help us avoid repeating behaviors that cause us unhappiness. All of this “thinking” will bring about a calming feeling and inner peace.

When we feel that we can actually make a difference in our own life and that we have control, we are not only happier with ourselves, but also make better choices. Those good choices in turn makes us happier and it is a continuous cycle of great behaviors and positive thinking.

bird on branch white clouds 3

It is important that we step back and see the whole picture. Take the bird in the photographs. The first close up photo leads you to believe that it is a very cloudy and dreary day. By the time you get to the last photo which is pulled back revealing more of the sky, it is evident that although there are some gray clouds, there is also quite a bit of blue sky and puffy white clouds. The sky was actually very bright.

Well, that is how meditation and self-examination can help in your life. Right this minute there may be a bunch of things that are bothering you. Maybe you feel that there is no way out of a bad situation and you have no idea how you got to this point anyway. That is the perfect time to stop life for a few minutes to obtain peace, understanding and direction. Contemplate what got you to this point, what choices you have and where you are headed or would like to be in the future. Take the time to step back and look at the big picture.

So being very alone isn’t always a bad or lonely thing. Sometimes being alone is actually necessary to refocus, redirect our life and to rid ourselves of the chaos so that we can gain inner peace.

“I went to the woods because
I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn
what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die,
discover that I had not lived.”
~ Henry David Thoreau ~

When was the last time you took the time to examine your life? How often do you make an effort to re-evaluate where you have been, where you are now and where you are heading?

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D June 11, 2012 at 2:22 am

I love the photos, & they beautifully reflect the substance of your post. It’s so true that being able to back away from the clutter of life can lead to valuable insights. Thanks for such a simple yet powerful reminder.


2 The Redhead Riter June 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

Thank you, Skip.


3 Susanne June 11, 2012 at 7:30 am

I have found that being alone with yourself, not only clears your mind, but confirms that you are indeed “okay”. Some actually dread spending any time alone. That’, according to health care professionals is an issue. Now you can check one thing off of “the list” indicating that you are a sane person. Isn’t that a relief?! It’s alright to exhale now…lol.


4 The Redhead Riter June 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

LOL Susanne! You are so funny!


5 mom June 11, 2012 at 7:54 am

Every day child, every day. I have had regrets in life but they all taught me something. Matter of fact if I think of what was fun or successful, I find I learned nothing. I can go along every day and unless I make a wrong choice or mistake, big or small , I find I have learned nothing all day. Some things I wish I had not learned the hard way, but those are the ones I learn the most from. There is no choice we can make that we cannot do something about except those that God chooses for us – we have to endure. He does not give us only bad things either. I am afraid He gets blamed for things He did not do.

Each night I kneel to say my prayers, I reflect over the day, thankful for my blessings, requesting for the safe keeping of my family, the strength to handle the trials facing me, and to bless me with health. It is a good time to just ponder the day, and when you go to bed, you lie there thinking, “This is a good day,” or “I am glad this day is over, but I got through it.”

I love your post, your pictures and I will be glad to hear a gut wrenching laugh from you again one day. I love you. Have a good day. If this fatigue continues, see the doctor! lol. Just being mom.


6 The Redhead Riter June 11, 2012 at 8:21 am

Great insight, Mom. I wish I could have passed by all the hard stuff without having to make mistakes. Ugh.

I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

No, I do not need to see the doctor. You’re so silly.


7 katlupe June 11, 2012 at 9:52 am

I have been examining my life a lot lately. If I could make changes, it wouldn’t be so depressing. Working on it though!


8 The Redhead Riter June 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

I feel the same way, Katlupe.


9 Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli) June 11, 2012 at 10:16 am

Lovely pictures and how true that we are not encouraged to slow down and lead an examined life…it is delicious to be able to have some time to reflect and just “be.”


10 The Redhead Riter June 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

Thank you, Kathy. Yes, just “being” is wonderful.


11 Stéfan June 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I love spending time alone to contemplate. Your photos show your analogy very well. Wishing you a great week!


12 The Redhead Riter June 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Thank you Stéfan!


13 John Raubenheimer June 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks, I enjoyed your thoughts. I’ve lived on my own for the last eleven years, since my wife died, and it’s been a time of peace and healing mostly. Luckily I have work and I belong to a church; life is sprung between the poles of work and church – people – and home. I don’t have a TV. Have a little radio… and I have the computer I’m using now (portal to the big wide world.) What you say about stepping back from time to time to peacefully contemplate the whole picture (I liked your use of the series of photos of the bird) is valuable – and I am going to share and favourite your tweet.


14 The Redhead Riter June 12, 2012 at 1:08 am


I’m so sorry about your wife passing. Eleven years is a long time, at least it is to me. I’m glad that you have work and church to keep you busy, but nothing really replaces someone you love and you know that all too well.

I’m so glad that you enjoyed my post! Thank you for sharing it. {{{{huggsss}}}}


15 Heather June 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm

With 4 kids and a husband who works 70 hours a week, I don’t get time to myself hardly at all. 🙁 when I do, I spend it catching up on sleep. I really should take more time to reflect. Though, I do do that a bit before I go to sleep, after 1 AM when the husband is finally home, the last kid has finally stopped fighting sleep, i close the door, lay down, close my eyes and just let my mind wonder.


16 The Redhead Riter June 12, 2012 at 1:12 am

You definitely have a full plate, Heather! Having so many responsibilities is even more of a reason that you need time to reflect and re-center yourself. Meditating before I go to sleep wouldn’t work for me at all because I fall asleep in ten seconds. LOL That wouldn’t be enough time for very much meditating. LOL


17 Tina June 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Nice post! I’m what people like to call “very self-aware” lol. But I spend a lot of time self reflecting. I also try and spend time being grateful, so that requires that I examine what goes on in my life. I can say the times I have spent rushing from one thing to the next have been the unhappiest times in my life. The one thing I know I will truly regret at the end of my life is realizing that I spent all my time focusing on what I was going to do next instead of enjoying what I was doing at the moment. I’ve made a committment to myself to try my best not to miss out on today in search of tomorrow.


18 The Redhead Riter June 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Thank you, Tina. You’re so right about rushing from one thing to another without appreciating the current experience. Tomorrow will get here way too soon and we really do need to stop and enjoy today. 😀


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