When was the last time you found some solitude? I’m referring to a physical place with no unnatural sounds. Whether it's camping in the backcountry or visiting your family's cabin in the woods, that’s the kind of solitude I'm talking about.
Specifically a place with no cars driving by, no cell reception, and no people (unless they're with you). I'd say no planes overhead but there's not much you can do about that other than avoiding airports.
I'm actually pretty lenient when it comes to solitude in that I don't always feel it has to be solitary. Sure, the main idea of solitude IS solitary but if you're out with a friend or two and your goal is to escape the norm for a weekend, I feel that should be allowed. A time of shared solitude (which has to be an oxymoron) can be a really good thing because it brings connection and possibly a deeper level of communication.
I find that every now and then, the tension for solitude becomes so strong that I start to lash out at those around me. When that happens, I know I need a retreat.
For me, I have a place about 3 hours away from home where I can be completely alone and unreachable. I thought about looking for something closer but maybe that’s the point. Maybe it needs to be 3 hours away.
Anyway, I recommend it. Find some solitude. Get away from the noise and busyness of things. Look, you don't have to take my word for it, not only did Superman understand the importance of this idea but even Jesus did too.
For further reading, check out The Spiritual Disciplines: Solitude and Silence by The Art of Manliness.
Make a point to spend some time in solitude this week. Be sure to carry a notebook and a pencil or pen too for when those thoughts and ideas start to flow.