Tag Archives: Live

Advice of an Introvert

Born into a world that values extroversion, we are told to be loud and bold, to be the life of the party. Because to be the life of the party is what everyone wants right?

glitter girl

Maybe not.

As an introvert, I’ve always enjoyed going to parties, but to be the life of the party was never what I set out to do. I enjoy getting dressed up, talking to friends, listening to the music, and observing all the crazy things people decide to do, but to be the center of attention frankly scares me.

Over the past few years, I’ve been pushing myself to be more outgoing and extroverted. To be bolder, and to try new things. To be daring. And I think I’ve done a great job, but when it comes down to it, I’m still an introvert. And I’m proud of it. 🙂

She floated

Often times, extroversion and introversion are confused with one’s personality, when in essence, it is how we energize and recharge. Extroverts recharge by being around people, while introverts recharge by being alone. So it is true that one can be outgoing and an introvert, and vice versa.

Even with this in mind, both extroverts and introverts have stereotypes based on how they are perceived; some are accurate, while others are far from it. Overall, extroverts tend to be seen in a more positive light as outgoing, friendly, talkative, and leaders, while introverts seem to carry a more negative connotation of being anti-social, reserved, and loners.

This saddens me, because neither the extrovert nor the introvert is superior. For it is the combination of both which makes teams, families, and life in general more complete. And to confine an introvert to a stereotype is to limit their true potential. Although introverts may come across as a little more reserved in social situations, that doesn’t mean they are any less friendly.

don't underestimate me

Ultimately, it just comes down to caring for people for who they are instead of trying to make them into something they are not.

Below are a few great ways to care for the introverts in your life.

  • Respect their need for privacy
  • Never embarrass them in public
  • Let them observe first in new situations
  • Give them time to think. Don’t demand instant answers
  • Don’t interrupt them
  • Give them advance notice of expected changes in their lives
  • Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing
  • Teach them new skills and reprimand them privately
  • Don’t push them to make lots of friends
  • Respect their introversion. Don’t try to remake them into an extrovert.
Advertisements

Live in the Moment

As I sit on a bench looking out at Lake Washington, my thoughts are scattered. I think about my past. The relationships I’ve had and the things I could have done to change the outcome, but I also think about my future. Starting a new job and finding ways to push myself to become who I want to be.

It’s interesting though, that even when we are physically present, we can be living in a different time in our mind. Whether in the past, replaying memories; or in the future, planning our next steps to success. Yet living in the past or the future, can prevent us from truly experiencing the present moment we are in.

It is true that reflecting on the past can be beneficial, helping us learn from both our mistakes and success’. But reflection is merely a visit to the past. It is when we are living in the past that it can become dangerous. Maybe we are living in the past because we believe we have already had our best moments and that the future can’t compare. Or we have regrets. Things we wish we could change. So we replay the situation over and over trying to change the unchangeable.

Looking at the past

Yet we mustn’t get stuck living in the past. Memories, often times, are distorted. The further we go back into our memory the hazier our memories become, making it difficult for us to see those moments, whether good or bad, without bias. As they truly were. We tend to either remove all the negative and see only the positive, or remove all the positive and see only the negative. Neither interpretation which is accurate. We need to learn to leave the past in the past, where it belongs. What is done is done. By living in the past, we are preventing ourselves from moving forward, holding us at a standstill. Just like a train stuck at the platform, we aren’t reaching our full potential.

Past calls

However, living in the future is no better. Where we are always concerned about the next step. Our next career goal, who we want to marry, what age we want to have kids, where we want to live. These are all good things to think about and aspire to, yet sometimes we get carried away. We think once we reach a certain point in the future we will be happy. Once we have this job, we’ll be happy. Once we’re married, we’ll be happy. But once again this kind of thinking just steals away from our present sense of peace and contentment. Because we are always looking ahead; to what is just beyond our grasp. This anxious, goal driven mentality creates a cycle where we are never satisfied with the present and are always looking to the future to make us happy.

Past and future

So I’m going to stop letting the past have power over my present and stop borrowing troubles from tomorrow. Because in this very moment I have so much to be grateful for. The liquid movement of my pen, the sound of the waves lapping the shore, the seagulls flying around calling to their friends, the fresh air tickling my lungs, and the sunlight warming my face.

I would encourage you to start letting go of your past and stop trying so hard to control your future. Live in the moment. Right here. Right now. Be present where you are. Because this very moment is where you are. Embrace it. 🙂

To be alive

The past is the past and the future is the future. But I am going to be present. I’m going to live in the moment.


What I Learned in 2014

Different person

With a New Year approaching, I always like to take time to reflect on what I’ve learned over the past year. And this year is no different. Looking back on the year reminds me of how far I’ve come, but also inspires me on towards my next adventure. In some areas of my life I grew only a little, but in others I grew exponentially. The next few paragraphs are just a few of the things I’ve learned this year.

 

It’s harder to meet people after college.

 

“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off” –Taylor Swift

 

Music has the profound ability to express our emotions even when we feel like we can’t.

Music

In a relationship, you should love and be loved exactly as you are. Not based on who you expect them to be or who they think you should be.

 

It’s okay to cry. It means you cared enough for it to hurt you.

 

There is nothing like a good friend to comfort you and distract you from a broken heart.

Inability to see worth

Your self-worth is not based upon your accomplishments, so even when you fail, you are still worth more than ever.

 

Certainty is sexy.

 

Never stop trying new things and building up your life.

 

Some of the best moments in life are totally unscripted.

Memories

Even when God feels distant, He is always right there in your greatest times of need.

Crushed in spirit

If your gut is telling you that something isn’t right, you really should listen to it.

 

The ultimate battle is fought in your mind.

 

Although credit cards have a negative connotation, as long as you pay them on time you can gain all kinds of great rewards just from buying what you usually do.

 

There is nothing like a good workout to boost your mood and send you off ready to conquer a new day.

 

Live in the moment. Live with passion.

Stop waiting

I’ve learned so much this year! Every experience I’ve had, both good and bad, have shaped me into who I am today, and it’s crazy to think that I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of the year. With all that I’ve leanred, I’m excited for a new year. A year of adventure and intrigue. A year of no boundaries or limitations. A year of joy and excitement.

So as the sun sets today, it not only signifies the end of another day, but the end of another year. A year of joy and sorrow; beauty and pain; triumphs and failures; things I wish I could forget and things I never want to forget. What a beautiful year! Even so, I’m ready for the next one ❤


Beauty in Pain

She found herself lying on the floor again, a place she knew far too well. Tears gently fell from her cheeks, letting go of the dreams and hopes she had held onto so tightly. Yet, this is where God wanted her. At His feet. Humble. Crying out to Him. Of course, God didn’t want to see her in such pain, but He had a plan for her, with dreams far greater than her own and hopes more beautiful than she could imagine.

Romans 8_18

When disappointment comes, most people fail to see the beauty in the pain, with eyes clouded by tears and hurt, they become bitter and afraid, closing themselves off to the world and to their potential to grow. But pain is a necessary and unavoidable part of life. For it is in those moments of our deepest pain and disappointment, where we find ourselves weak and vulnerable, unable and unwilling to get up, that we realize who we are and what is really important to us.

Highest Self

Pain refines us.

Teaching us who our true friends are. Teaching us humility. Teaching us to not make the same mistakes we have in the past. Teaching us to be more careful with our heart. It shapes us into a better version of ourselves. Inspiring us to overcome our circumstances and learn to provide comfort to those experiencing similar disappointments.

Sometimes

Pain and suffering can define you in one of two ways. It can make you bitter and afraid, closing yourself off to life and opportunities. Or it can make you better; growing you, refining you, and shaping you into a better person. The main difference in which direction your heart chooses to take is hope. Never lose that hope. For there is a light at the end of the tunnel and beauty in the midst of pain.

The moon


“Give it a Try,” Whispered the Heart

She stepped tentatively onto the board, testing her balance. She’d never been on a longboard before. The board beneath her feet felt unsteady; even so, she pressed off feeling the board pick up speed and send a jolt of anxiety fluttering through her stomach. Panicking, she jumped off the board letting it roll into the grass. With adrenaline pumping through her veins and determination flashing in her eyes, she stepped back onto the board. A little more cautious this time, her body moving gently to the left and to the right directing the board where to go. The breeze flipping her hair softly as a giant smile lite up her face. She did it. She tried something new.

Longboarding

When was the last time you tried something new? I mean, really tried something you’ve never done before. It can be absolutely terrifying, but it can also be quite exhilarating. Pushing ourselves and accomplishing something we were once hesitant about can really give us a sense of pride in who we are and help us grow. It breaks down the walls of limitation we’ve created for ourselves. The walls that hold us back, preventing us from truly experiencing life as it’s meant to be lived. It pushes us outside of our comfort zone and depending on the activity, can challenge us both mentally and physically.

Go Ahead

Nonetheless, fear comes to the surface and we start overanalyzing. “What if I fail? What if I look silly in front of my friends? What if…” The list goes on, crippling us from following through with our idea to try something new. We need to stop asking the negative “What ifs” and stop letting fear hold us back. Think optimistic. “What if you succeed? What if you surprise yourself with a new skill you didn’t even know you had?” All you need is 5 seconds of insane boldness and you can do anything. Because within that 5 seconds you’ve already started; there is no going back.

So although trying new things can be scary at times, I would encourage you to be brave. Start incorporating new things into your life, no matter how little. The reward of putting yourself out there and trying something new far outweighs the risk. For even if we are to fail, we’ll have great stories to tell. 😉

Whispered the heart

 


Just a Little Spice

Wake up. Eat. Gym. Shower. Work. Eat. Read. Sleep.

Repeat.

Throughout the week life can become monotonous and predictable. Routine. Days blend into one another as each day is filled with the same activities. Within this routine, we’ve created for ourselves a sense of comfort and control. We’ve become creatures of habit, where we no longer have to think about what we do. We’ve done the same thing for so long that it has become ingrained in our system, coming naturally to us. This security we cling to could be partially due to our fear of the unknown or it could be attributed to a lack of creativity, even laziness. Are we stuck in our routine by default? Unable or unwilling to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone?

Unexpected

Routine does make sense though, especially when it comes to managing our limited time productively and efficiently. However, routine and planning have their time and place. Born the oldest child, I have always been the practical one, the responsible one, the planner. Always taught to be prepared and to anticipate needs in order to avoid awkward situations. Yet more often than not, I find that I take life too seriously. Through this routine I adhere to, I have created limitations for myself without even realizing it. But life is too short to live the same day over again every time I wake up. Naturally I will fulfill my obligations, but I want to stop thinking so much and do something crazy. I want to break the mold that I have created for myself of who I think I’m supposed to be.

I want to be spontaneous.

bring your camera

I want to put aside my logical serious side and say, “Why not?” To experience that moment when, instead of brushing aside that crazy notion, I actually do it. To have the audacity to drop my planner for a day and go wherever my feet take me. To travel on a whim and experience life outside of my carefully planned box. To break down my fear of the unknown and wanting to control everything.

I don’t want to merely exist, I want to truly live.

Spontaneity adds that spice back into life, flavoring our most average days with zest. Sparking our creativity, spontaneity inspires us to break report in turn fueling our adventurous side. This freedom is exhilarating and tends to defy both social norms as well as the norms we’ve created for ourselves.

By no means does spontaneity have to be grand, but by adding that random inspiration to a relatively predictable day can be the highlight of your day. Maybe by adding spontaneity inducing practices into your life, you will be able to experience things you never would’ve experienced had you been doing your regular routine. Like anything, the key is to start small. At your favorite restaurant, order something other than your usual. Drive a different way to work. Take a walk without a destination. Try cooking a new recipe. Wear something completely ridiculous. Hang out with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Sign up for a random class.

Take chances

Don’t let yourself get stuck in a routine that limits your potential for creativity and adventure. When was the last time you did anything truly spontaneous?  Spice up your life! Be spontaneous 🙂

 


I AM IRON MAN

You know that moment when you get that idea. You know it’s crazy; it’s nothing but a pipe dream. But then you think to yourself, why not? Why not me?

So you push yourself. Physically, mentally, and emotionally to achieve this dream you have within your heart. You research all the ins and outs to determine your actions steps to get you to where you want to be. You try things you’ve never done before all to prepare for that day.

Today. That day you’ve been planning for months and months. It’s not just a dream anymore; it’s within your grasp and you want it.

Nervous energy courses through your veins, dulled by the spark of confidence radiating from your eyes. That glimmer of hope shining through, small, yet palpable. You’re a dreamer and today your dreams will come true.

You look in the mirror and feel beautiful, ready to take on the world. So you go, you perform, and you give it all you’ve got. Your smile lights the room as you do what you’ve prepared months to do.

And then you wait for the results… did you make the team? Did you get the part? Your beating heart creates the back beat for the song that is your thoughts. The results go up and with bated breath you look. You’re sure you made it, but your number isn’t there. You look again, maybe you just didn’t see it the first time… but you didn’t make it.

After all those months of planning, all that time and energy practicing, and the hope you held in those bright blue eyes.

At first it doesn’t seem real, but as reality sinks in the tears begin to fall. You tried so hard! What went wrong? Did you not have the right “look” or was it your performance that was lacking? Maybe it was just tough competition.

Even so, your world feels as if it’s crashing in on itself. All those who supported you try to be comforting, “At least you tried” or “There’s always next year,” but you just want to be alone…

And that’s where I sit now… alone, yet surrounded by people. Just a face in the crowd. I close my eyes and let the sound of the waves calm me, the sun warm my face, and the wind to dry my tears as I reflect on my past and look to the future.

Despite my failure and disappointment, this journey pushed me out of my comfort zone. I defied the box people put me in, I choreographed my own dance routine, and I met some amazing and beautiful women along the way.

Failure is hard though. I’ve failed so many times, but I get back up and that is where true strength lies. “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.” (Romans 5:3-5a). In spite of my suffering and failure, I know that it shapes me into a stronger person and with that in mind, hope spurs me on.

2 Corinthians 12_9

Someone I really respect once shared a story with me that, though simple, is quite powerful. After a major disappointment, he was sitting in the back of a movie theater watching Iron Man 3. At the very end of the film Iron Man says, “You can take away my suits, you can take away my home, but there’s one thing you can never take away from me: I am Iron Man.” This resonated strongly with him and with me in turn, becoming my new mantra. They can take everything away, but I will keep on dancing, I will continue dreaming big. I am Iron Man!

iron-man

So as I sit by the waterfront and when the cloud covers the sun, I won’t let my failure determine my future. I will continue to dream bigger and push myself. I am my greatest asset. I am Iron Man.