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Posts Tagged ‘introvert’

  1. Tips for the New Year

    January 3, 2016 by Diane

    Gone Fishing

    It’s time, once again, for me to take a break from my blog. But I’m leaving you with some handy tips to help you navigate 2016. Some of these nuggets of nuttiness, er, wisdom, I’ve posted before. Others are goodies I’ve discovered over the past year. Enjoy!

    Do you want to gain or lose weight? Curious about how many calories you’re scarfing down daily, and whether you’re getting the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbs, fats and protein? Check out Cronometer, a free web application for tracking your nutrition, health data, diet, exercise and biometrics (whatever the heck those are). It’s an eye-opening experience.

    Is this the year you start writing your novel? Need a support group, maybe some guidance? Sign on to Now Novel, a structured method to help you start and finish your masterpiece. You’ll be prompted with questions about mood, theme, character, plot and so on, guiding you to develop a blueprint of your novel. You’ll also have the opportunity to get feedback from other writer’s on the site, as well as give feedback. This might be just the nudge you need to reach your fiction-writing goal.

    Okay, you’re ready to warm up those writing muscles again, but you only have fifteen minutes a day to devote to your creativity. Here are fifteen writing exercises you can do in fifteen minutes. Set your timer!

    If you’re starting a blog this year, here are 8 tips about blogging from one who knows (and my nutty take on it all).

    Looking back at 2015, do you have any regrets? Any incomplete actions, unfulfilled dreams? Turn your regrets into intentions for 2016 in one easy step.

    Got stress? If not, I want to know your secret. But if you’re like me, reeling from the holidays (or is that holi-daze?), you need some easy stress busters. When I was riffling through some old files, I happened to come across a list of 52 proven stress reducers. I don’t know where they came from or who proved them, but I’ll share four with you now. Try one a week for the next month:

    1. Go to bed fifteen minutes earlier. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you.
    2. Every day, do something you really enjoy.
    3. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with.
    4. Do something for somebody else.


    Last but not least, if you’re an introvert and you want to get out of your comfort zone and attend an event, I offer hope for introverts who feel like party poopers.

    Happy 2016!


  2. A Spoonful of Gratitude Helps the Anxiety Go Down

    November 29, 2015 by Diane

    practice gratitude

    As Thanksgiving dawned once again, I was beset by nervous tension. Why? It’s just another day, right?

    Not to my mind. To my mind, holidays require extra oomph. Preparing a special meal, even a fairly simple one, zaps my energy. Interacting with people for a good part of the day, even people I know and love, zaps my energy. As an introvert, my energy reserves are already limited. Even more so after a night of poor sleeping, kept awake by a mind that won’t allow my body to let go.

    So, with Thanksgiving upon me, and maybe a spoonful of energy available for the entire day, I knew I was in trouble. I needed to build my reserves. I needed to pull my brain from its anxious mode of thinking before it drained whatever remained in that spoonful, and open my heart to all that is right in the world. And what better way than to give myself a healthy dose of gratitude practice.

    Here’s how it works: ponder, talk about, or write down the things you are grateful for. As you do, your energy shifts, your vibrations rise, your perspective broadens. Even a teensy bit is a step up the emotional ladder.

    Here are five things I’m grateful for:

    1. I’m grateful to have a brain that holds my memories, a brain that allows me to create and imagine and discover and understand and make sense of life, even though that brain doesn’t always work well. Sometimes the circuitry gets stuck in anxietyville. Sometimes the messages it sends are lies. Still, for the most part, it’s a brain that I am grateful to have.

    2. I’m grateful to have a body that holds my spirit, even though that body complains at times, gets achy and painful and inflamed and shoots out much too much adrenaline and cortisol. Still, it carries me from point A to B, and allows me to see the sunset and hear the patter of rain on my roof and taste chocolate truffles, the dark ones from See’s, and smell the lavender bushes as I walk the neighborhood. It allows me to hug and cuddle and dance and hike and swim, and defend myself if need be.

    3. I’m grateful to have a cottage that houses my body, even if that cottage is the dimensions of an over-sized closet. Still, it’s bigger than a cardboard box, and it’s not under a freeway overpass, and I have my own bathroom.

    4. I’m grateful to live in America, a country where people who own playhouses the size of over-sized closets can rent them out at exorbitant fees, even though that country has a government that is sometimes populated by clowns. Still, it’s a government that ensures my food is safe to eat, the air is safe to breathe, and the water is safe to drink. It provides aid if I need it, and will rescue me if I’m taken hostage somewhere. Or at least attempt to rescue me. And I’m grateful to live in a country that accepts immigrants because I came from immigrants, we all did, unless we happen to be of Native-American ancestry and really, the only people who have the right to complain about immigrants are the Native-Americans, and why shouldn’t they, since it was immigrants who brought disease and wiped out their buffalo population and stole their land and turned it into high-rises and freeways, and truth be told, if my immigrant ancestors had been walled out by the native tribes, I wouldn’t be living here now, in an overpriced closet, shooting out adrenaline and cortisol. And I’m grateful to have the right to say any of this without being jailed or tortured or put to death.

    But I digress.

    5. I’m grateful to you, my reader. It’s you who make all this outpouring of words worthwhile. It’s you who keep me going when showing up at the keyboard seems like a monumental task. It’s you who make the process of writing complete, who answers the question: if a writer writes and no one reads what is written, do the words matter?

    They do. Because when I write with you in mind, I learn something about what it means to live on this big crazy revolving ball of energy.

    Blessings and love.

  3. The Upside To Being an Introvert

    August 30, 2015 by Diane


    Hipster girl holding a stack of books

    In junior high, I had a physical education teacher who doubled as drama coach. Mrs. Wattenberger, a stout woman with calves like footballs, whose goal was to make us “sweat like pigs” (an odd and impossible feat), directed the school play. I don’t recall the name of the play; it was the sort of melodrama you’d find in a volume titled Best Plays for Junior High School Students Who Need to Sweat Like Pigs, requiring zero royalties and minimal scenery. We performed this low-budget flop in my seventh year of formal education, and I landed the choice role of “The Curtain,” along with eleven other boys and girls.

    Here is the gist of our performance:

    At the end of every scene, we scuttled single file onstage holding a length of fabric, faced the audience, announced “the curtain falls,” and promptly collapsed to the floor. After several excruciating seconds of silence we announced, “the curtain rises,” scrambled to our feet and scuttled off, stage left.

    Mrs. Wattenberger was over the moon with my debut. “It’s so wonderful to see Diane come out of her shell,” she gushed to my parents after the matinee, as if she and her football-sized calves had booted me from a life doomed as an introvert.

    I’m sure she meant well, but I cringed.

    I cringed every time someone labeled me “shy” or “withdrawn” or some such demeaning adjective aimed to snap me out of my supposed state of suffering. And suffer I did.

    Not because I kept to myself, preferring to read a book rather than socialize, speaking only when I had something of value to say, but because others viewed me as flawed.

    From my perspective, those praised as being “extroverts” were the flawed ones, uncomfortable with their own company, attempting to flee it by surrounding themselves with others, feeding on mass energy like vampires sucking the life force from mortals for survival. I was as unfair in my assessment of them as Mrs. Wattenberger was of me.

    Susan Cain, in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, explodes the myth that introversion is a failing. She reveals the upside of the introverted personality—the positive traits, the contributions to society—and points out how the world benefits by valuing the quiet among us.

    It would be years, cringing from such labels, before I discovered what Susan Cain had uncovered through meticulous research. If I could, I would travel back in time, shove Mrs. Wattenberger aside, look deeply into the eyes of my younger self and say, “Stand proud in who you are.”

    But I can’t.

    I can, however, look deeply into the eyes of my fellow introverts and say this:

    Stand proud, you who keep mystery alive by wearing disguises in your profile photos, you book-lovers and creative forces who listen intently so others may be heard. Stand proud, you who converse in your heads sharing aloud only what adds value to your worlds, who make large talk, not small, thinking fully before speaking. Stand proud, you who live in awareness, form deep friendships, add calm to hectic environments and tremble when revealing yourself—because it’s a gift you give, and it doesn’t come lightly.

    Stand proud in who you are.