Sunday, 11 May 2014

Harness Introvert Power No Matter Who You Are


What sort of images crossed you mind then? Did you see someone cowering, shy, stuttering? Did you see a shadow or an ant, that larger and louder people cannot stand, so they step on it? Did you see someone who is not successful? Someone who won't go anywhere in life but dead in a ditch from suicide?

Whatever the images were which crossed your mind. Or the thoughts which bounced under them like karoke captions, they were largely untrue. Why? Because all those things I listed are things that could describe anyone. Regardless of being defined as an Introvert ot Extrovert or those people who sit somewhere in between.

Being an Introvert simply means we draw energy and power from being alone. We are most creative and most alive in that state. However that does not mean we cannot speak in front of crowds, that we cannot be successful, that we cannot live a full and happy life.

Steve Jobs and Rosa Parks were Introverts, as is JK Rowling.

An entrepreneur that started one of the biggest companies in the world, a civil rights activist for African Americans in the 1960's and an author of one of the most read series in contemporary history.

But that is all actually quite beside the point of this post, which is to challenge you to spend some time alone, at least fifteen minutes day, for a week. And I mean completely alone. The sort of alone where you are not going to pass someone else walking on the street, or being surrounded by individuals in a coffee shop. If you have to, shut yourself in a closet. Though a better option would be to hike somewhere or somewhen, that would allow you to be completely alone. For at least fifteen minutes.

While you are there, close your eyes. Breathe. Identify sounds your hear. Identify smells. Identify the feel of whatever ground you are sitting on or the wind, the sun, the rain on your body and face.

If your mind wanders. Go back to using some of your senses to pick out the world around you. But keep your eyes closed.

When the fifteen minutes are open. Open your eyes. Breathe in deep.

Now, let your mind chatter away. Let all the worries; what you are making for dinner, whether you'll get an interview for a job, whether you'll pass an exam you just wrote, whether you'll have enough money for rent next month, or what a particularly stubborn character needs to do for your story to conclude. Let it all chatter through your brain.

You'll notice you'll suddenly have answers for some of those things. You'll notice you suddenly feel calmer about the things that don't have instant answers. You'll notice that really, having any solid answers doesn't matter because you are here. You are fortunate. You are alive.

You are alive.

As an Introvert, that is the best advice I can give you. Be quiet. Alone. And just listen to the world. Do a little every day. Regardless of how you identify yourself as an individual, everyone could all do with a little bit of Introvert time.

Illustration by Maurice Sendak from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss
Sitting on the Rock. Living.

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