Posts Tagged ‘introverted’

Vulnerability Woman!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

This weekend, I started on the first item from my One to Grow On list. I had my first improv class, and my head didn’t explode or anything, though there was a close call.

I’m pretty sure this was an HSP reaction, and not related to the shyness or introversion. We started out with a bunch of games to get us to loosen up. When I type that out, it sounds like a form of torture, while it actually worked well, I promise.

Have you ever taken ice skating lessons? In my first ice skating class, the first thing they did after herding a dozen gangly wobbly children to the middle of the rink was tell us to fall over. Right…… A couple of kids did it, but the rest of us just stared back. We wanted to learn how to skate, we already knew how to fall over. Of course, they wanted to teach us how how to get up, but first, you have to fall over. Repeatedly.

And… Release

A big part of improv is letting go of the preparation, the mental planning that we do all the time. You know how all the relationship experts tell you to really listen and then come up with your response rather than what we naturally do, which is listen to the first bit and then pretend to listen while we start creating our own rebuttal? It’s the same instinct. Our brains want to protect us, they want to keep us from being vulnerable.

The thing is, we’re rarely vulnerable in dangerous ways now. Getting laughed at won’t kill me, so far as I know. And let’s be honest, making myself vulnerable is a big part of what I do. I want you to see me take risks, and sometimes, I want you to see me fall on my ass. Because, as unnerving as it is, I’m always able to get back up, and so are you.

Plaaaaaay Ball!

So, we went through several games designed to make us mentally flail around and get back up. Repeatedly. Toss a ball… ask a dull party question, catch the ball… answer another dull party question. The group’s gotten good at it? Cool, add another ball. Five balls and a hat later, and brain splody was approaching. We also threw noises and skittered around the room trying to find a perfect spot between two other class members who were trying to find a perfect spot between two other class members who were trying to find a perfect spot between two other class members who were trying to find… Right.

It’s impossible to stay completely focused and straight faced under circumstances like those, which was, of course, the point. The more we did these games, the more guarded I became, as my HSP reactions got stronger and stronger.

Biggest Risk Mug zazzle_mug
I you like this thought, take a peek at theSocial Caterpillar Store

The last one before break involved, one person moves around the circle asking a question and the people on the other side of the circle dart around trying to change places without getting caught. If the questioner sees an opening they can dart in and whoever’s stuck in the circle starts asking the question. I stayed perfectly still. There was no way I could have darted anywhere at that point. I was actually wondering if I could finish the class.Then we took a break and I sent the tweet above and something in my brain shifted. I don’t know what happened, but in that fifteen minutes between sessions, I was okay again. It was still unnerving, but we were all in it together. We were all vulnerable.

#Fail

Next came the Failure Bow. It’s exactly what it sounds like, you screw up, you shout “I fail!”, you take a bow. I’m still trying to find phrasing I like better, as I prefer positive wording whenever possible. But here’s the thing, you took the risk and you got the applause, and you keep going. So, love.

We moved on to very short story telling and vignettes, which dropped the overstimulation factor as well. It wasn’t any less unnerving, but easier to practice awareness about, without the added dimension of… activity.

For me, taking improv is about making myself vulnerable, learning to become more comfortable with being in front of an audience, and letting go of planning when I need to be listening.

Do you intentionally make yourself vulnerable? How?

Want to receive small comfort zone stretches and resource recommendations every couple of weeks? Sign up for Inching Along and I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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Two Faced

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Sometimes it seems like there are (at least) two different versions of me, the one who likes to hang out and be sociable and the one who all but refuses to leave the apartment. In reality, it’s more of a spectrum, from no-human-contact to oh-that-sounds-like-fun-let’s-go, and all the tiny points in between.

I’m at my best when I find my harmony point. Where I can take into account all the other things going on in my day-week-life and realize what events will make me feel good versus those that will make me feel exhausted. Because, they may be the same events, just a difference in the surrounding details.

Varied Personalities Bag bag
If you like this thought, take a peek at the Social Caterpillar store

 

I’m My Own Rainbow

And then, there’s the way I am when we first meet, the way I am when I’m in a crowd, the way I am when I’ve know you a while and it’s just us… All different, often *quite* different. I have a friend whose husband thought I didn’t like him because the first two times I met him were large group settings and it was all I could to to remember who everyone was, including myself.

I have another friend who recently told a mutual friend that he thought my quiet side was a front. Heh. That’s cute. I mean, I can see why he would think that. When we first met, I barely said a word. Now he can hardly get me to shut up and he’s seen all the ‘outgoing’ stuff I’ve done over the past couple of years. It could easily look like an effortless transformation if you weren’t in my head and so far, I’m still the only one in here.

But really it’s all me. Just me at different times, in different situations, under different circumstances. We all do it. You don’t act the same way in front of your grandmother as you do with friends you’ve had since Jr. High, do you? Please, say the answer is no. Or that your granny likes to smoke with you behind the garage.

Juuuuuust Right… Now

Different isn’t necessarily wrong. It’s that my variables are different that other people’s. Or even my own, depending on what else I’ve got going on. I can feel like grabbing supper with friends one Friday and not want to leave the house the whole following weekend, just because of a difference in all of the other stuff I had going on each week. And that’s great, because it’s what works for me, as long as I see it and make allowances for my limitations wherever they happen to land at that point.

What about you? Do feel like you should always be the same or have you found your rhythm of differences?

Looking to stretch your comfort zone in tiny ways and pick up some resource recommendations? Sign up for Inching Along, and every other week I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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Dear Future Me

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Dear Future Me,

I know right now it feels like you can’t… Like you don’t have the whatever-it-takes to do what you need to do next. But you do. I know you do. Remember when:

you went to that first conference and didn’t know a soul? You met people, got irritated and started this blog.

you walked up to perfect strangers in a grocery store parking lot and asked them what they were doing and that’s how you saw just how beautiful moonlight and pollution can really be?

you drove from Dallas to New York City and back, alone?

you sold all your stuff and got a one way ticket to Chihuahua, only knowing that you intended to head farther south?

you got back on a horse after twenty-some years?

you got your PADI open water certification even though you were fairly well convinced you were going to quit breathing and die?

you climbed a volcano and rode a toboggan back down?

you created a program to help people become a bit more social in ways that work for them? Then you put it out there for them to accept or reject?

you zip lined across a river canyon hundreds of feet above ground? oddly enough, didn’t write about that one, maybe some day

you asked people to share their stories of being shy and introverted so that we can hear that it’s not just us, whenever we want?

you rode atop a float in Carnaval in Rio despite a stupid number of (or number of stupid, it could go either way) obstacles?

you told people no and had them rewrite contracts?

you went back to school to get your PhD, knowing full well that it will take another ten years, give or take a year? this one actually starts in a week or so

you created a membership community where shy/introverted/highly sensitive people have a space to share and learn about themselves and each other? You put you tiny sweet idea out there because we needed that space.

you learned how to hula hoop and navigate the city bus system?

you stood your ground with a taxi driver who seemed to think he could take advantage of you?

you hosted a Twitter Party and even had fun?

You did all of those things and at the time, they felt scary and your brain was screaming at you that it wasn’t safe. You did them anyway, because you knew it was safe enough and what you wanted was more important than the screaming.

What you want is still more important that the brain-screaming. And you can do this too. Whatever it is. What’s your first tiny step? Start there.

Love,
Me

Dear People Who Aren’t Me,

That quite a list up there isn’t it? Enough to make you feel a bit funny about your own list, maybe? Here’s the thing, I made a commitment to myself to try things that scared me. I took my risks. You’ve got yours and you’ve had your successes too. They are certainly different, but no less powerful.

We’d love to hear your successes, if you’ll share a few with us. If not, go ahead and write Future You a letter, maybe one like this or different altogether, either way, I’m sure Future You will appreciate it. *hugs*

Want to receive small comfort zone stretches and resource recommendations every couple of weeks? Sign up for Inching Along and I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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Gathering is not Harvesting

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

I spend a lot of time planting seeds, making experiments, trying new things. Mostly, just to see what happens next, to see how I react, how I feel. This is a whole lot like when a three year old plants seeds. Sometimes they are seeds. Sometimes, they are dimes, or roasted coffee beans, or mom’s earrings.

I plant with no real intention of harvesting. Sure, I’ll come back and gather whatever fruit has fallen from vines that sprung up near my plantings. Did diving lead to volcano boarding lead to watching the sun rise from the top of a Carnival float? Or would I have done each of those things without having done the one before.

I have no idea.

Experiment v Intention

This year has been about experimentation for me. It’s been great and I’m thrilled about my experiments. Now, I want more. I want to have a goal. Or several. I’m not ready to share them yet, though I will. They’re still tiny sweet things.

I can’t stand resolutions. I don’t make them for one simple reason. Resolutions are wishes.

  • I’m going to lose weight
  • I’m going to go out more
  • I’m going to get a better job

How much weight are you going to lose? What’s your nutritional plan? What’s your exercise plan? What is your motivation to lose weight?

What does ‘more’ mean? Who are you going out with? What do you want to do? Why do you want to go out more?

What kinds of jobs are you looking for? Do you have the skills you need? How will you get them? Where will you look for jobs? Why do you want a better job? What are your deal-breakers?

Goooooooooaaaaaaaaal!!!!!!!

Goals are measurable:

  • I’m going to lose twenty pounds by June. My first nutritional changes are swapping unsweetened herbal teas for my sodas and changing three meat based meals into vegetarian meals. My exercise plan is two to three pilates classes a week and a daily twenty minute walk at lunch. If I haven’t lost three pounds by February (unlikely) , I’ll make more nutritional changes.
  • I’m going to go out with Sarah and/or Kim twice a month. I’d love to meet new people and get to know my town better, so we’ll go out to classes once a month and try a new restaurant or bar once a month.
  • I’m going to get a job as a nurse. My first step is to apply to nursing schools nearby. I want to have a steady paycheck and help people. I won’t take a job in the ER, it’s too high stress.

Time to Share

Okay, I’ll let you in on one goal for next year. I want to try public speaking. I’m pretty sure that unless you’re new here, you already knew this. (Hi new people!) That’s my seed. I’ve even found my first step, going to try out a few Toastmasters events. I’ll chose  one or two to attend regularly. I’ll apply to speak at Ignite Austin, TEDxSMU, 140 Conference, and Blog World Expo.

I’ve got a license to teach Unfolding Your Life Vision and Dream Box (not out yet) from Jennifer Lee, so I’ll be putting myself in front of small groups on a monthly basis too.

What’s your goal for the upcoming year? How will you know if you’ve made it?

Looking to stretch your comfort zone in tiny ways and pick up some resource recommendations? Sign up for Inching Along, and every other week I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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One Tiny Thing Thursday #27, Cracked

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Welcome to One Tiny Thing Thursday, where we choose to do one lil bit of a part of the scary, instead of trying to tackle the whole overwhelm all at once. Because, starting small is usually better than not starting at all. Join us?

It’s December. Well into December, in fact. This is the month when my day job workload doubles. And I know this, quite well. Still, things are falling through the cracks. Slipping and dropping.

Today’s tiny thing is forgiveness. I’m forgiving myself for not doing all the things I *should* be doing. And remembering that next week, I can truly begin to recenter.

Hugs to all who need/want them and I did manage to write a post, which will be up on Saturday.

Update from last time: I made it to the grocery store and now I’ve got a friend staying with me, so he has been grabbing a few things for me when he goes. A major bonus during December Overwhelm.

If you want to play along, then just tell us in the comments what you’re One Tiny Thing is. And if you like, you can always come back and let us know how it went too.

Looking to stretch your comfort zone in tiny ways and pick up some resource recommendations? Sign up for Inching Along, and every other week I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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Permission

Friday, November 25th, 2011

It’s okay to be overwhelmed.

It’s okay to need a nap or a ‘nap’. Either one.

It’s okay to go for a walk to get away.

It’s okay to go home early.

It’s okay to take care of yourself, however that needs to happen.

*Hugs*

If you’ve got things that work for you and you want to share them, please do, but no pressure.

Want to receive small comfort zone stretches and resource recommendations every couple of weeks? Sign up for Inching Along and I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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Open Home, Open Heart

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Recently, I’ve been working under the theory that my mind is clearer when my home is less cluttered. But, what about the heart?

For years I’ve been really good a building walls between myself and other people. Not letting them in emotionally… and physically. Very few people get invited in to my home. It’s not that I don’t like them, but… more that I’m not letting them see the *real* me.

Behind the Curtain?

The real me and my lack of perfection. My dining area that has a rug mat and no rug, a folding table and two director’s chairs. And before, in my old house, the, well, the dining room was unfinished there too.

Hmmm. I leave the one room in the house that is primarily used for entertaining as the last room to be finished. I finished the studio, that I never used, before I got half way through the dining room in my old house. Wow, okay, I started with one metaphor and ran smack into another one, which still fits with the first one.

Mine, All Mine

I’m keeping my life and my self to me. Not sharing, not inviting people in. I mean, I know more people and I’m more social, than I was, but still. I keep people at a distance. And maybe I need that, but maybe not. It’s a pattern to watch, at this point.

The excuse of clutter, the excuse of unfinished rooms, that’s what they are. Excuses. Reasons to keep people at a distance. And I’ve been wondering, if I’m spending all this energy keeping people out, how do I start letting people in?

All of the people who I’ve invited into my home, they are people who have seen me in my jammies and with sleep hair. I know them that well.

Opening Up

What about having acquaintances over for tea, or a few new friends over for supper? These ideas don’t seem particularly out of the ordinary, and yet, I don’t do it.

So, this was supposed to be about softening my walls and creating an inviting home, opening my heart and mind to finding someone new, someone special, and instead, I ended up at a much more general version of the same idea. Which is maybe where I need to start any way…

Now, I’m curious. How do you handle your boundaries for your home? Where do you draw your line?

Have you been thinking about adding a few comfort zone stretching challenges to your life? Get those plus resources and other fun nuggets of info in your inbox every other week, sign up for Inching Along today.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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You Get to Call the Stops

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

You know something? Just because you start something, doesn’t mean you have to finish it. You don’t have to finish it right then and you don’t have to finish it ever. And that makes it *so* much easier to start.

Sometimes, video is a better format for what I want to get across. And when I’m making the video, I enjoy it, but when I *think* about video, it feels like it just takes so much. Make notes, record, edit, upload, post… I’m as likely to wander off as I am to get started.

Not Even Baby Steps

Knowing that you can stop is a lot like chunking. Only, you don’t have to separate it into multiple steps, you just start. Then, you stop whenever you want. When I’m doing videos, I usually stop after I record. Then a couple days later I start again with editing.

It works with things like the dishes you didn’t do for three days, because you were so tired. You just start. Knowing that you can stop, whenever. You don’t have to finish right then.

Or making a big purchase. What if you knew when walking in, that you really could leave whenever you wanted? The dishwasher will still be there when you come back.

Talking, It Makes a Girl Tired

The other day, I took my bike in for service. It hand’t been ridden in forever and I wanted  someone who knew what they were doing to give it a once over and I am so not that someone. They called me and told me what they recommended doing. I may have confused them when I said “Let me think on this and call you back in half an hour,” since it probably seemed like a simple decision to them. I wanted time to stop and think. And taking that time made me feel more confident in the decision I made.

Making a practice of stopping makes it easier to stop when it’s more more difficult to do so. It wasn’t that long ago that I would have felt like I need to give the guy at the bike shop a final decision right then.

Do you make a practice of stopping? When do you like to use the idea of being able to stop?

Want to receive small comfort zone stretches and resource recommendations every couple of weeks? Sign up for Inching Along and I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

 

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If I Were Choosing…

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

After having a conversation with Taryn in the comments on her blog, I realized that I had added a trick to my Trying Things bag and I never told you. It’s incredibly easy and super useful too.

I started doing this in Guatemala when I would walk through the square, with the park surrounded by vendors. Wonderful smells coming from all the goodies cooking, people calling to one another, stall after stall of beautiful fabrics intermixed with touristy tchotchkes.

So overwhelming.

I would walk through and not even slow down. When I got home, I always thought of how I *should* have stopped and bought a pastry or looked at some scarves, vowing to do so next time. Of course, next time, it was just as overwhelming as the last.

Lady’s Choice

So, I started practicing “If I were choosing to… I would”. Like this: If I were choosing to interact more with the vendors, I would stop and look at the jewelry table. I don’t have to *do* anything, just notice and think about my options. If the thing I would do sounds appealing, I can go ahead and do it, or not.

Since I’m distanced from the whole thing by the fact that it’s what I ‘would’ do, not what I have committed to doing, I can carry on, without doing a thing, no blame. It’s great. Also, it gives me practice at taking time to think in overwhelming situations.

What tricks do you use so frequently that you don’t even think about them anymore?

Have you been thinking about adding a few comfort zone stretching challenges to your life? Get those plus resources and other fun nuggets of info in your inbox every other week, sign up for Inching Along today.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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Totem!!!!!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

In August, I signed up for a Totem from Tori Deaux and she delivered this beautiful darling:

And I said to my self, ‘Oh, how cool!’ and then proceeded to get distracted by, um, I don’t actually know what all, anymore. I just have a vague feeling of dozens of things happening all at once. *sigh*

Here’s the text that accompanies my dear Wrendolyn:

Wrendolyn

(the not-so-simple wren)

Once upon a time, there was a great gathering of the Feathered Kingdom to appoint a new leader. Since flying was their greatest accomplishment, it was decided that whichever bird could fly the highest would become The King of Winged Things.  Eagle, of course, was a near certain winner, so he took off lazily, flying in circles up, up and UP, towards the Sun.

When he’d flown as high as he felt he could, he paused to declare himself the victor, but before he could speak? Out from under his wing popped the wren! She’d hidden herself there, hitching a ride. With a simple flap, flap, flap, she rose a few inches above the Eagle, who could only watch, stunned…. and she let out a little victory peep!

And that is how the humble wren became the Highest of the Winged Things.

If the Wren speaks to you as a totem, consider how powerful the humble and small can be, and how the larger, stronger and braver among your flock might lift you to new heights, and allow you to lead.

Wrendolyn is inspired by The Social Caterpillar, where Kathryn Hunter leads a merry band of introverts up, up and away, to new and higher horizons.

Self Care of the Quirky Sort

Wrendolyn conserves her energy and looks for the right opportunity to show her strengths. She makes use of planning and strategy, rather than trudging when no trudging is necessary. I’m especially happy about her qualities of Rest, Joy, and Creativity.

If you want your own Totem, Tori has a update list here, and I have it on good authority that she’s got an even bigger surprise on the way.

Do you have some type of totem or other representation that you use when you think about your life or business? What Qualities do you try to focus on in you life?

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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