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The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself Might Just Be Alone Time!

April 25, 2014

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This is part three of our interview with Colette Bennett, who launched The #ican Project. Check out part one and part two of our discussion, or listen to the audio from our interview.

What helps you do your best work?

Alone time is essential for me to hear myself speak.

One thing that I have learned is that people don’t really spend any time with themselves. My favorite way to start my day is by getting up two hours before I’m supposed to go to work, and doing things that are just mine. So that’s yoga, or meditation or even writing in the morning. It’’s like time that you would set up for a date — earnest attention that you would give to another person, but instead you do it with yourself. I think people know themselves less than ever because there’s so much other [information].

So this mindfulness helps a lot?

I enjoy my time with people and enjoy activities and new experiences and work and all those things, but the alone time is essential for me to hear myself speak. If I don’t listen, I might not hear a voice that says “Eh, this situation is not good for you” or “Mmm, these people are okay but they’re really don’t’ reinforce you” or that type of thing.

As great as it is, and as “connected” as you feel, there’s another “in the world” version of you that needs cultivation too.

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And social media as well – it’s easy to get a lot of instant gratification from posting something on Twitter or Facebook.

I feel like I hear people around our age or in our circles getting tired [with social media]. As great as it is, and as “connected” as you feel, there’s another “in the world” version of you that needs cultivation too.

That alone time gets scary when we have negative voices in our heads, making us feel insecure and vulnerable.

I can say that I feel that I’ve definitely suffered from [social media addiction] in the past, where I absolutely turned to it for validation, or to not deal with issues that I don’t want to deal with. I’m not saying social media is bad, but I think we’re going to see some changes in how people handle it, or maybe more people start unplugging.

You can either choose to be the cool kid that stays out all night or you can choose to be the person that cares about being well rested for the next day.

The last part of our interview with Colette, about being kind to yourself and growing, coming next!

Photo credits to Colette Bennett, Meredith Placko, as well as the #icanproject tumblr.