The Hermit Within
It has been said for centuries — and perhaps for eons — that to find oneself, you need to go into isolation, into a monastery or a cabin overlooking the sea, away from the hustle and bustle of society. Once there, you will find yourself.
When I was a broody teenager growing up, I would immerse myself in the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Existentialism was where I went for comfort, a counter to my angst. It’s where I went to find myself. Who was I? What was I doing here? How have I found myself here? These are the questions that formed my adolescence and followed me into adulthood.
I recently found an old notebook in which I had written some prose on how I felt as I started the relationship that eventually led to my marriage. I share it here.
To be alone, together in love,
To a black sky, containing a void,
Alone complete, together complete
Togetherness must be complete as aloneness
To separateness in a void world,
To separateness in a living world,
A being that is being and not to just be,
To you that is and is to be,
To me that is and was to be,
To me that is and is now to be.
The point of sharing this is to show the inner dialogue that was taking place at that time. When we allow our inner experiences to be shared, we allow a piece of ourselves to be shared. We start a conversation and in that conversation, we share that part that is hidden from view.
The need for quiet space and reflective time gives us an opportunity to explore the inner recesses of our Soul. Many people go into nature to experience the tranquility it provides by just being there. Nature is a powerful tool that can work with us to establish a greater degree of stillness while in this world.
This past July, we spent a week on the island of Vulcano. What an experience! The view from our hotel enveloped us in the stillness emitted from the volcanic rocks majestically rising out of the sea. It gave me a deep Remembering of what it means to enter into stillness, into my stillness, into my hermit within.
Below, I share with you some of our summer views of stillness, ones we immersed ourselves in as a group during the retreat in Italy. Allow the scenes to unfold within you as you enter into stillness. Reflecting on these images can be an effective meditative practice. They can also assist in clearing out misalignments that may present as you Look at them. There are many opportunities presenting for you in this moment…can you Observe?
To go into stillness, to be in stillness, and to eventually Be stillness, is an act of courage. The hermit is awaiting many of us. In his reclusion, he waits to be found by the one the world awaits.
Be brave. Come out of hiding. Share your conversation. And if you want, share in our conversation by watching the video below about Katherine’s journey to her inner hermit.