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Solitude: Lifestyle Practice

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The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

Your Lifestyle Practice is to find solitude for ten minutes every day.

Every day, you will turn off and tune out for at least 10 minutes. No TV, radio, books, internet, or other electronics.

  • This practice doesn’t require reflection, meditation, prayer, or contemplation. All that is required is that you spend 10 uninterrupted minutes with yourself and your thoughts with no distractions.
  • You may engage in any of the above practices if you wish.

It’s really hard to get any time alone these days. Between email, ever-present communication devices, TVs everywhere you go, and the general fast-pace the world seems to want to operate at, getting even 10 minutes to yourself can be a challenge.

There’s a lot of value to getting some quiet time. Believe it or not, you are competing for your attention as well. Much of the time were just trying to get so many things done, we stop listening to ourselves, putting our thoughts and needs on the back burner until there’s a moment of peace that often never comes.

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It can be difficult to prioritize our self in a world where it seems like everyone can squeeze their way into our lives one of a dozen different ways. It’s hard to say to someone, “hang on, I’m just going to shut down for a bit, I’ll get back to you.” They can think you’re nuts, like you’re violating some agreed upon law of conduct where we are at each other’s beck and call.

If you can take just ten minutes—more if you can manage—you might find you have a lot to say. It may take a while before you can even sort it all out. Have you ever given your attention to a group of people you’ve been ignoring for a while? A dozen voices all at once come clamoring. But you’ve got to start somewhere.

When you start regularly taking time for your own thoughts, you can stop guessing and get a real sense of what you want. When you take a moment to listen, you may find out you have a lot to say.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.