Lone Wolf or Leader of the Pack? A How-To Guide.
I haven’t always been good in groups. I’m naturally an introvert and although I’m comfortable in groups, if given the choice, I’d generally choose going solo. I used to go to the movie theaters, nice restaurants, concerts and art museums just totes alone. I saw “Walk the Line” in the theater alone, twice. That’s a story for another day.
I found many benefits to being a lone wolf; first of all I loved calling myself a lone wolf. It’s empowering and it meant that I was intelligent enough to not need others. A quality that later needed adjusting. I loved the independence. And I loved not worrying if the other person was enjoying the movie or if I’m taking too long in the store, ect, it was just easier. Stubborn? Yup.
I lived and breathed and felt and loved and never had to explain myself. To me, It meant ALL doors were open. Like nothing could hold me back. I could live by the moon, I could live by the sea. I could paint all day. I could be poor. I could move. I could quit my job.
But over time, my heart had hardened and I realized I was avoiding others because I didn’t want to be vulnerable around them. And when I crashed, the walls I had built around me had crashed too. No longer did I find the comfort in being alone that I once had; I longed to be a part of something bigger.
Lone wolf seeks pack; must love the outdoors and dancing under the full moon.
I wanted to understand more fully but found myself on repeat, finding bits of myself, losing bits of myself. I was so focused on my “goals,” none of which I ever really achieved or really cared about in hindsight. I was fixated and stubborn; trying to fix things, fix myself, fix others, save the world. It was the only way I felt I had enough time to accomplish the things I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I opened up to others and allowed myself to be open and soft did I make any real progress. I later realized vulnerability was uncomfortable, but it passed. I didn’t have complete independence but I also no longer needed to carry the world on my shoulders. Moving forward, I understood that I was just longing for balance.
Humans need solitude. They need people too. They need to breath within themselves and dig deep. But they also need community and support. They need to have meaningful relationships with themselves but others as well.
Being a lone wolf in a world that is so connected takes actual work. You can connect with infinite sources and people from your own living room. It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos but setting aside time alone is beneficial.
Solitude will guide you in the direction you are meant to go. By giving yourself silence you are allowing yourself to think unbiased thoughts and opinions that you might be surprised about. Being alone allows you to dig deep and find the true beauty, art, creativity, passion and drive that make up the very essence of who you are. Research also proves there’s a connection between solitude and high emotional intelligence. In general, it’s good for every part of who you are, from your spirit, to your bones and your lungs.
In solitude, you will uncover unresolved issues or inner demons, but that’s what forces us to deal with them and move on. Solidity is not only good for yourself, but good for the people around you. By knowing yourself more, you are enriching your relationships with others. These things allow you to release negative energy and grief, sloughing off what’s holding you back and allowing you to attract people who are on the same wavelength as you. Here are a few quick tips to get you started on your lone wolf path;
- Power down. Set aside time to completely disconnect. Scary, I know. We are no longer naturally wired to do “nothing.” It seems counter-intuitive but put it in your schedule if you need to. Don’t even bring your phone in the same room if you need to. It’s helpful to find a calm space that you can reconnect to everyday. Start with just a few minutes. Don’t watch the clock; don’t fidget. Don’t think about what your doing later or what your cooking for dinner. Those things will be there for you. Focus on your breath. Focus on your lungs, your ribs. See how your body can mimic a calm ocean. Slowly rocking back and forth. Bring your awareness to observing and feeling. Try it for just a few minutes to start, then work your way to longer periods of time.
- Free write. You don’t have to create a novel or something amazing. Just put words on paper. Start with descriptive words, how are you feeling in this moment? It’s ok if this is challenging in the beginning. As a society, we have gotten used to outside sources telling us how we “feel.” Now is the time to access those feelings, name them, and maybe when you get comfortable with this you’ll feel like expanding and maybe uncovering the roots of these feelings. Go into this writing like you’ll never read this stuff again. P.S. the moment you let go of trying to be good at everything, you’ll be much happier anyways.
- Use your hands. Create. It doesn’t matter if you are an “artist.” That word is subjective anyways (art itself is subjective!) Just get some paints or some colored pencils and allow yourself to be free with them. You can even get one of those little “adult colored books” they already have the outlines there for you. Just breath into what you are creating. So many people have found this incredibly stress relieving and relaxing.
- Go outside. The benefits of being in nature are countless. In fact, there will be a whole blog in a future post about nature, earth magic and the beauty of connection. Go outside. When we are outside, we realize how small we are in the grand scheme of things. Which, makes anything weighing on us seem minuscule. Breath the fresh air. Listen. Hear the birds, the wind in the trees. Watch the seasons change. Walk the dog, actually let them take you for a walk. You don’t need to have all the answers. Don’t zone out on your phone, or catch up on emails. Go to a park, go to a stream, go to the woods. Any of these are a great place to find solitude and connect with mother earth.
It takes a village.
Before we had states and counties, colleagues and acquaintances, we had tribes. Tribes were built upon common interests, familial lines and protection. Now days, we don’t necessarily solely have to rely on a tribe for our safety and security but we ultimately benefit from them in many ways. What’s amazing about tribes is that you get to create your own, and you can have multiple tribes. There is nothing more instinctual and human as creating a sense of unity and learning to work together. Online communities, group meet-ups, dance classes, painting classes, sailing, blacksmithing, moon gazing, rock collecting. Whatever this looks like for you, there is something out there for everyone. Through this, communities are formed which is how others can lift us up and how we can be of service to others. This is how you grow and learn and play and share magic with others.
- Think of something that makes you happy? Like, truly happy. Even if it’s the silliest, most “uncool” thing ever. If nothing comes right off the bat it’s ok, think back to something that made you happy when you were a child, or maybe when you were in college. What did you look forward to? What made you lose track of time? What made you feel light or connected to your true self?
- How can you connect with others that love the same thing? There are so many resources, Online, meetup groups, rec centers, community colleges, gyms, these options are widely available. Sometimes you have to get creative, but they are out there!
- You do you! Set a goal for yourself. It might be a little out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it. Challenge yourself; give yourself a deadline if you need. Write down your intention and put it somewhere you see often.
- Let down your guard, open your mind and just see what happens. Breathe deep and know you have nothing to lose. Jot down a few notes about how you felt sharing your passion with other people. Keep that in mind when it comes time to go again.
It’s so easy to simply not make time for the things that seem frivolous, however this is not a luxury. I challenge you this week Braveheart, to intentionally make time for yourself as well as your tribe. Be present, and allow yourself to be present with others. Be supportive and compassionate. I look forward to hearing about your adventures!
“Be around the light bringers,
the magic makers, the world shifters,
the game shakers.
They challenge you, break you open,
Uplift+ expand you.
They don’t let you play small with your life.
These heartbeats are your people.
These people are your tribe.”