Read. Yes, it is not easy to quiet that restless mind, so pick books that are inspirational and that will engage you every time. Ones that have exercises and great “if I can do it, you can, too” stories. I always had a stack of self-help books and autobiographies nearby, still do. Check out my suggested reading list in the back of Hindsight, or email Anila at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
Write. One of my single girlfriends told me she writes herself love letters. One every night, and they get longer and longer. Then when she wakes up she reads them to herself. Whatever you have pinging around up there, put it on paper. Doesn’t matter how you do it. Journal, write letters to God (he/she will answer back). Who knows, maybe you’ve got the next NY Times bestseller in there!! I wrote copious amounts of dark, intensely feeling poetry in words from the 13th century, channeling my “DNA gone bad” from the past. It was so great to get it out of my body!
Collage. I love to collage, as I am very visual. Pulling pictures out of new magazines (great way to recycle) of people, places, and things that made me feel happy or inspired always worked for me. Sometimes I was surprised at what I learned about myself, what I really liked or longed for.
Talk. I must say I had a list of folks who would talk with me in the wee hours of the morning if I needed to be “talked down”… if you know what I mean. Not men, but friends that cared about me, knew my history and were devoted to my heath and well-being. Honestly, I have never been a big phone talker, but when I got lonely sometimes it would take the edge off—just hearing someone’s voice was comforting enough to get me to the next place!
Play. Anyone who knows me knows that this has traditionally been a hard one for me. It conjured images of silly people running about doing things I would never do. That said, I needed to find my version of what healthy fun was. Things that had positive consequences. I started dancing the Five Rhythms (www.movingcenterschool.com), took salsa lessons, ice skated w/ my son, played cards with friends, ping pong, trained for the Avon Walk (okay, for me training is fun), painted with watercolors, took classes at City College, went to open-air markets. There are a ton of things to do and a million online resources in your area for what I call “clean living,” fun things to do.
Get a pet. I love cats, have two (Chloe and Leila), a dog named Bella and a fish; the current one’s name is Donald. (My niece and nephew named the last three Sparkles One, Two and Three.) I cannot tell you how many times my cats have come and cradled me in the midst of some of some of my most intense loneliness. And I let them. I was learning how to comfort myself when I had only known how to reach to someone else before (most of the time not the best someone, either).And yes, they respect me in the morning, all of them, every time—and best of all, so do I!
Laugh. I have always been the type of person who said, “If I am not capable of mustering a laugh, I know something is really wrong!” and then I revert to the above items. Because I genuinely, regularly love to indulge in gigantic belly laughter. I love to laugh at myself and when I am not busy laughing at myself, I seek out opportunities to find the humor in just about everything. I am easily entertained. (My mother once said that if you are bored you are boring.) Comedians on DVD are fab and I recommend getting a library of them—my current fave is Orny Adamas, he’s available on line. OR a great alternative is funny movies, and my list is long. If you don’t have a library already, it is inexpensive to build, and way less expensive than a one-night stand or bad relationship choice.
Pray. Oh yes, never underestimate the power of prayer. I have said prayers over and over, hoping someone or something out there would hear me, and then one day it happened. I found my Divine connection to…well, The Divine, of course, and have never looked back. It was like coming home, and now I find great comfort in prayer and meditation, as corny or simplistic as this sounds. I know, I know, you are desperately lonely— then I say to you, pray like it!!
For more info about my daily practice, how I found the love of my life, check out my CD series Thrive, 7 Essential Truths for Revealing Your Secret, Sacred Self.