I’ve written previously about the decidedly un-glamorous aspects of business travel. No longer a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young professional, I tend to view business travel as more of a whirlwind of inconvenience, eating poorly, and fellow travelers imposing their weird quirks on the airplane seat next to you.
But, there is one thing that I’ve found to be an amazing experience that I cherish and that is the beauty and peacefulness of eating alone.
I traipsed downstairs to the restaurant within my cactus-filled hotel, bare-faced, groggy, and reminding myself to make healthy choices for breakfast (don’t order the pancakes AND the bacon).
I sat down in a corner with a lovely panoramic view of my fellow breakfasters. They consisted of professional meetings, tourists, families, young couples in love, and a smattering of hipsters.
There is something beautifully peaceful about only hearing the music in your ears and the slow breath of you. No demands for interaction or witty banter pulling you away from being present in the moment. Simple, sweet observation of your surroundings and your body is all that happens in the serenity of solitude.
I found myself able to eat more slowly, carefully, dare I say…mindfully. Savoring the yogurt, sweet cream, and granola crunch. Tasting the bittersweet acidity and fullness of my fresh-squeezed orange juice. I wasn’t focused on what my next to-do was or where I needed to be.
I was, exactly, where I was supposed to be in that moment. Those moments are rare, fleeting, and I feel like I spend most of my days chasing them.
The serenity of solitude is a pure-hearted mindfulness practice. So, I urge all of you, to go treat yourselves to a little morning breakfast and mindfulness practice and allow yourself to be within yourself.