The great teachers, mystics, saints, and shamans of old went to nature because they knew that the only way to recharge was to connect with something more powerful than themselves. What better way to recharge than to sit on a mountaintop or under a tree for a few days and nights? They knew that some of that natural power could be gathered and stored using special techniques and applied later to their active endeavors. There is no reason any individual cannot learn and apply similar techniques to recharge, gather, store, and apply the renewed vitality gained from solo time. They also used this time in nature to incubate dreams, connecting them to the infinite wisdom of the Spirit World.
What is the difference between backpacking, camping, and vacationing outdoors and a bona fide solo?
In a true solo, there are no outer distractions, nothing to leak or help discharge the power of the experience. Prior to and during the solo, there is an all-important declared intent, a riveting focus to break through to gather power and clarity. This focus, this intent, makes all the difference in the world and distinguishes time alone from an ordinary vacation. In fact, a solo is anything but a vacation and therefore should be considered as part of a working strategy. While an intent and solo time in a natural environment are actually sufficient to accomplish a great deal, there are other important additions to a solo that enhance its effectiveness enormously. First of all, during a solo, a participant can engage in a series of powerful ancient practices designed specifically to break through old patterns, gather and store vitality, and enhance visioning. Secondly, there is great power in doing a solo under the guidance of a master or experienced solo guide who supervises the experience of several people doing solos in the vicinity. This brings a measure of safety to the experience as well as a sense of community, even though the time is spent in solitary. After the solo, the group can gather, share, and integrate their experiences, thus providing much greater overall insight and learning.
The good thing about nature solos is that they can be tailored to a vast number of varying needs and requirements. A solo can be planned with simple but adequate food, water, clothing, a sleeping bag and pad, and even a tent, if conditions warrant. A person may elect to take a tent or not, a flashlight or no light and so on. There are no hard and fast rules as there are in a traditional Native American vision quest.
In general, during a solo, the participant is encouraged to stay within a circle with a radius of eighty feet in a designated location. Cell phones, pagers, radios, CD and tape players, books, and all such distractions are left behind.
Is it safe for single women?
We have had hundreds of single women out on solo and none have ever been assaulted by humans or other animals. We have a system where we check daily on the safety of each person through tied yarn strings, plus each person is given a whistle to alert other people on solo in the area if there is a problem. There never has been one.
Does boredom come up?
Yes, of course, boredom comes up for some people and we have suggestions to handle boredom if it occurs. Boredom can be quite informative, educational, and even helpful if a person does not resist it or fight with it. The key is to allow it to be there and it won’t last overly long. There are also many exercises and processes that one can do on solo that are quite productive.
If I am on a special diet, can I eat on solo?
Yes, a solo is not the same as a hard core vision quest where one fasts with no water, no food, and no sleep for several days. On a solo, you can eat small amounts of food if you are hypoglycemic or have other conditions that require some medication or substance.
What if there are insects or bad weather when I am on solo?
You are allowed to take a small tent with a rain fly or a tarp, and or a poncho or rain suit for wet or inclement weather. Many people report that the change of weather conditions makes for a more interesting solo and was their favorite part of it. Mosquitos, gnats, and flies are a part of nature and may be present at times. You may bring repellent if you need to or use a chemical free insect fog to keep them at bay. Others just make friends with them as best they can. Believe it or not, insects may be powerful teachers while out on solo.
What if I have nightmares, fear, or difficult memories come up during my solo?
This is not unusual, especially if you are choosing too fast. Detoxing the body will often bring up hidden grumpiness and negativity to deal with. This can be a valuable part of your solo. It is not always a rose garden or a trouble free experience, but these challenges can be very productive and even enlightening in many cases. We do not discourage people from having tests and initiations while they are out on solo. Many people report breakthroughs as a result of facing some of their demons. Fear can be replaced by courage or an open heart.
What is the long-term value of a solo?
While we can never guarantee certain results, most people report months or even years later that their solo was an extremely beneficial experience and helped them gain clarity, become more grounded and focused, overcome fearfulness, and a variety of benefits. This is why many people repeat the solo experience year after year.
How long is a typical nature solo?
Usually solos last between 24-72 hours, but often they can last as long as 4 days.
Power Path Nature Solo
Learn about our yearly solo retreat at our 1000 acre ranch, Eagle Bear. Located in Northern New Mexico this 5 day event is a perfect way to reconnect to nature and take some personal time for self exploration and inner reflection in a safe, supportive environment. A 3 night solo can be transformational and give you a deep reset for body, mind and spirit.
Benefits of Nature Solo
José Stevens discusses the benefits of doing a nature solo.