(This post was originally scheduled to go live on December 30th, my actual birthday. But I finished it earlier than expected:)
Having my birthday fall two days before the New Year makes for good year-end reflection and intention setting for the upcoming year.
As I wrote here, my word for this year is love. I toyed with convalesce (inspired by this post from Amanda) because for a long time I have just sensed that a rest was in order. Not that I have been physically sick per se, but my lack of self-honoring has taken a toll on my physical and spiritual well-being.
And so as part of the year of love, I am starting with myself. My(almost:) 45 year old self. I truly love growing older!
The first part of this New Year(at least) will be reserved for paying attention to who I am. Not to use personality as an excuse to disengage from others, but not to pretend it’s irrelevant either. There is always a balance. Part of what makes me “me” is that I am an introvert. This does not make me special, as at least one-third and possibly one half of the population are also more inwardly oriented. (According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking)
I LOVE her TED talk, here, if you want to check it out! If you are a fellow introvert, you will relate. If you are an extrovert, it will help you better understand your quieter loved ones or colleagues.
There are many recent books and posts on the positives of being an introvert. I suspect that like myself there are many introverted bloggers who find it easier to write their thoughts clearly but might get tongue-tied if trying to convey the same sentiments orally.
And like many of you, I have found myself trying to take on things that were not only uncomfortable, but unnecessary. I am not talking about growth in healthy ways here, but the false sense of obligation that leads us to over extend ourselves in the name of being social. For an introvert, this can have a very high price tag.
So what might this self-honoring look like for me this year in a practical sense?
* Signing up for the Hibernate winter retreat at Beauty that Moves. It looks like just what the doctor ordered.
* Choosing the less crowded grocery store.
* Saying no to a social engagement when saying yes will deplete my energy unnecessarily.
* Reading more.
* Making creativity a priority, not an afterthought.
* When I find myself with a more boisterous personality, not to automatically start talking nervously, but rather to spend time first listening and asking questions.
* Respond, not react. Live from the deeper place.
* Make being outdoors a part of each day.
* Not jumping in to try to fix problems. But stepping back and listening for the quiet wisdom that always comes if I make room for it.
* Not being afraid to set boundaries in love.
*Being open to move previously placed boundary lines when I know it is time to do so.
* Using the awareness of my own needs in temperament to help me better understand and mentor the different personalities I live with: Niles, the ambivert, Gray, my fellow introvert, and Snarfie, who is showing every sign of being the most extroverted member of our family. Hoodie is also an introvert but is probably more balanced. He has no trouble with public speaking and is generally more comfortable in social settings than I am.
Thanks so much for joining me on the journey in 2013. I think that 2014 is going to be a beautiful year. I have some thoughts on some new projects here that I will be sharing in January.
For New Year’s inspiration on December 30th, Andrea at Waldorf Salad and Cottage Fries will have our final holiday blog hop post on creating intention boards. I cannot wait to put her ideas into practice.