July 2019
I treasure time to be alone. It has proven to be one of the most life-giving practices in a large repertoire of spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial practices. Some relate this desire and enjoyment to being introverted. Others believe it to be sticking my head in the sand. What labels have you put on people who value, seek, or prefer alone times? Recluse? Independent? Isolated? Aloof? Depressed? Passive? Perhaps you value being alone too and then would naturally view and label it differently? Wise? Spiritual? Self-care? Discerning? Visionary?
I'm also aware that being alone, or perhaps worse--feeling alone when you are actually surrounded by people--often appears to be the most taunting of torture for the human race. So much fear around being alone, worried about being alone, and believing that you can be alone, permeates our mental and emotional space. It seems to be the core of the litany of other common, normal human fears --- the underpinning of the suffering.
I've questioned this stressful thought and belief hundreds of times for several decades now. I've facilitated thousands of people in questioning their fear arising from this deeply held belief. I notice that I deeply, and yes, sometimes desperately, want me and them to drop into the realization that we cannot and will not actually ever be alone, no matter the circumstances. Hopeless of course!

However, I have experienced and witnessed with countless others, the freedom and space that is created when we get in touch with the TRUTH of reality and experience even a moment--one full or deep breath--one long exhale --- shoulders dropping down relaxed somewhat --- one renewed spark in the beautiful eyes of the resilient human spirit, or one little upturn of the smile that was headed toward dormant.
"Alone can be the most spacious gathering for some and the most terrifying for others."
  ~ Martha Creek
So if you want to question the thought or belief system about being alone, here's one technique: www.thework.com
Thought:  I'm alone.
Question 1: Is it true? 
Question 2: Can I absolutely know this thought to be true? 
Question 3: How do I react, what's the affect when I believe the thought? 
Question 4: Who would I be, what would it feel like, if I did NOT believe this thought? 

Turn the thought around to the opposite:
I'm not alone...
Find examples from your direct experience of the turnaround being as true or truer. 

I'm connected-- 
Find examples of how that is true or truer. 

I'm being breathed-- 
Find examples and embodiment of this as reality. 

For example... 
I am connected:
I have family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, work friends, church friends, social media connections, animals, prayer line associates, health care doctors/nurses/physical therapy/chaplains, prayer, well actually billions of people on the planet, the moon and stars, oceans and sun and rain.

I'm in no way recommending being alone is good/great or anything similar. I too realize that depression and isolation are symptoms that are sometimes exacerbated by "too much" aloneness.
Here's a writing from a favorite poet, David Whyte. It prompted my reflections and writing. It continues to encourage me to make space for it all. Allow. Allow. Allow.
"Alone is a word that stands by itself, carrying the austere, solitary beauty of its own meaning even as it is spoken to another. It is a word that can be felt at the same time as an invitation to depth and as an imminent threat, as in 'all alone', with its returned echo of abandonment. 'Alone' is a word that rings with a strange finality, especially when contained in that haunting aggregate, 'left all alone', as if the state once experienced begins to define and engender its own inescapable world. The first step in spending time alone is to admit how afraid of it we are.

Being alone is a difficult discipline: a beautiful and difficult sense of being solitary is always the ground from which we step into a contemplative intimacy with the unknown, but the first portal of aloneness is often experienced as a gateway to alienation, grief and abandonment. To find ourselves alone or to be left alone is an ever present, fearful and abiding human potentiality of which we are often unconsciously, and deeply afraid.

To be alone for any length of time is to shed an outer skin. The body is inhabited in a different way when we are alone than when we are with others. Alone, we live in our bodies as a question rather than a statement.

To inhabit silence in our aloneness is to stop telling the story altogether. To begin with, aloneness always leads to rawness and vulnerability, to a fearful simplicity, to not recognizing and to not knowing, to the wish to find any company other than that not knowing, unknown self, looking back at us in the silent mirror.
One of the elemental dynamics of self-compassion is to understand our deep reluctance to be left to ourselves.

Aloneness begins in puzzlement at our own reflection, transits through awkwardness and even ugliness at what we see, and culminates, one appointed hour or day, in a beautiful unlooked for surprise, at the new complexion beginning to form, the slow knitting together of an inner life, now exposed to air and light.

To be alone is not necessarily to be absent from the company of others, the radical step is to let ourselves alone, to cease the berating voice that is constantly trying to interpret and force the story from too small and too complicated a perspective. Even in company, a sense of imminent aloneness is a quality that can be cultivated. Aloneness does not need a desert, or a broad ocean, or a quiet mountain; human beings have the ability to feel the rawest most intimate forms of aloneness whilst living closely with others or beset by the busyness of the world: they can feel alone around a meeting table, in the happiest, most committed marriage, or aboard a crowded ship with a full complement of crew.

The difficulty of being alone may be felt most keenly in the most intimate circumstances, in the darkness of the marriage bed: one centimeter and a thousand miles apart, or in the silence around a tiny crowded kitchen table. But to feel alone in the presence of others is also to understand the singularity of human existence whilst experiencing the deep physical current that binds us to others whether we want that binding or no: aloneness can measure togetherness even through a sense of distance.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, to feel alone or want to be alone is deeply unfashionable: to admit to feeling alone is to reject and betray others, as if they are not good company, and do not have entertaining, interesting lives of their own to distract us, and to actually seek to be alone is a radical act; to want to be alone is to refuse a certain kind of conversational hospitality and to turn to another door, and another kind of welcome, not necessarily defined by human vocabulary. 

It may be that time away from a work, an idea of ourselves, or a committed partner is the very essence of appreciation for the other, for the work and for the life of another, to be able to let them alone as we let ourselves alone, to live something that feels like a choice again, to find ourselves alone as a looked for achievement, not a state to which we have been condemned."

'ALONE' in Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. 
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press 2015


My primary spiritual practice includes, " I accept the mystery of life." I must lean toward accepting the challenges and the normalcy of human suffering as part of our learning processes. I'm much more present for myself and others when I stay more intrigued by the full spectrum or life unfolding as it does. I KNOW FOR SURE this reality based alignment is the greatest gift I can provide for myself, and therefore it is a gift to those I serve, serve with, friends, colleagues, family and ministry.
I'm working mostly in northern California this month. Come see me. Yet another way for connection!
ALLONE in love with gigantic blossoming hugs,
Martha Creek

Martha Creek




"The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone."
  ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"I'm learning a lot about myself being alone, and doing what I'm doing. "  
~ Chantal Kreviazuk
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Upcoming Events with Martha Creek

Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in Stockton, CA
Sunday, July 7 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT
Unity of Stockton

Self-Inquiry Workshop in Stockton, CA
Tuesday, July 9 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm PDT
Unity of Stockton

Integrating "The Work"-Living in Joy in Palo Alto, CA
Saturday, July 13 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm PDT
Unity of Palo Alto

Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, July 14 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT
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Sunday, July 30 - Saturday, August 17
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Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in Louisville, KY
Sunday, August 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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Thriving Congregations Facilitator Training in Evanston, IL
Thursday, September 5 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm CDT
Unity Church on the North Shore, Evanston, IL

Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in Evanston, IL
Sunday, September 8 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT
Unity Church on the North Shore, Evanston, IL

Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in Miami, FL
Sunday, September 15 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
Unity on the Bay, Miami, FL

Unfrazzle Women's Retreat - A Journey to Heart, Jupiter, FL
Friday, September 20 - Sunday, September 22 
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The Gift of Quitting-Unity of Canada 2019 Conference
Tuesday, September 24 @ 5:00 pm - Saturday, September 28 @ 2:00 pm CDT
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Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in Unity Village, MO
Sunday, September 29 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT
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ANTN - Affiliated New Thought Network Conference at Unity Village
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Unity Village Chapel, Unity Village, MO

Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in San Francisco, CA
Sunday, October 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT
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Self-Inquiry Workshop in New York City, NY
Saturday, October 12 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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Guest Speaker for Sunday Services and Self-Inquiry Workshop in New York City, NY
Sunday, October 13 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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Sunday, November 10 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST
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Sunday, November 17 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm CST
Spiritual Living Center of Greater Milwaukee
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