The SimplyBe. Magic Mastermind retreat in Rome wrapped up a few days ago. Tomorrow I’m heading to Sardinia for A-Fest. For the three days I had to myself between these transformative, high-energy, action-packed events, I’ve chosen to spend time completely and totally alone.

That’s right. It’s 10pm on an (almost) summer night in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and while all my friends are out partying and dancing and walking the streets, I’m in my AirBnb, a little outside the city, ready for bed and all alone.

It’s nothing personal. I love my friends and they know that. They are just giving me the space I need to reconnect with myself and restore my energy. Despite what people might first think when they look at my out-there website, my well-documented Instagram stories or my jam-packed calendar, I am an introvert.

I used to be ashamed of this part of my identity.

I felt that, as a businesswoman, it was my job to constantly be “on”. I needed to be at every event, present and happy and ready to engage at all times. And to some extent, as an entrepreneur, this is true. You need to be out there meeting people, making connections and establishing your brand, but you cannot build your business at the expense of your mental health.

It is only in times when I have not given myself the space to Simply Be in solitude with myself and my thoughts that I truly unravel. I need to deep, long periods of alone time. The kind of alone time that extends beyond just an afternoon at the park. I’m talking days of simply existing on my own. Around this time last year I took an alonemoon to Costa Rica, and it was truly one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Recently,  I urgently felt that I needed to do something similar, hence my current seclusion.

It’s definitely not easy to take this time for myself. I don’t want to miss out on spending time and making memories with people I care about.

However, during the Mastermind, I spoke with my healer, Priya Lakhi, and she said something that really stuck with me: self-care is self-discipline. You have to work hard and train yourself to take actions that are good for you. That’s what I’m doing, because I have finally accepted that being an introvert does not need to be some “dirty” secret. It’s who I am and I have to listen to how my body and soul feel if I want to be happy and successful.

I need my alone time for me, and consequently, for those around me. It’s not personal. It’s just how I recharge, and there is a powerful independence in that—which I am finally ready to accept.

It’s okay that my favorite part of speaking events is getting in my car at the end and driving home *alone* afterward. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s freakin’ awesome. While I still have nothing but admiration for people who can spend their entire lives in large crowds, constantly keeping up with everything around them, I have embraced that there’s pride to be taken in how I operate work, too.

So for all you fellow introverts out there, don’t be ashamed of choosing you...first.

jessicazweig_letslfy (1).png