Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.~Mason Cooley
I was on my way home after purchasing a lavender-scented candle to help kick start a relaxing atmosphere I desperately needed to wind down from a terrible and emotionally draining week at work. I was rummaging for my keys in my purse for what seemed like forever.
Oh no! Are you kidding me? I didn’t have my keys!
I could see my keys right now in my mind’s eye. There they were, resting on the table by the side of the door. That morning my boyfriend locked the door as we headed off to work, while I unknowingly left my keys at home.
The thing was that he just got on a bus to meet up with a friend on the other side of town.
I couldn’t help but laugh miserably at myself. What a fitting ending to a horrible week.
Stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth.~Susan Cain
I’ve been an introvert my whole life — but until recently, I was working against my brain.
That is, I was trying to force myself to be social when I was mentally exhausted, to work in conditions an extrovert would thrive in, to not allow myself some sweet alone time that all introverts love every now and then. No wonder I was always tired!
Here’s the thing: It’s OK to be introverted, just like it’s OK to be extroverted.
Unfortunately, it’s an extroverted world at first glance, and many introverts try to fit themselves into an extrovert’s life, not realizing that they would be so much happier if they simply went with the flow of their body and brain, living a more quiet life.
Here are six tips that I’ve learned as an introvert that have vastly increased my happiness, productivity and overall peace of mind.
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it everyday.~Henri Nouwen
“If I’m not fully happy right now in this moment, nothing will ever make me happy.”
The thought struck me as I stood at the kitchen sink scrubbing the dishes. It appeared organically, but it felt like something I already knew, a conclusion I was returning to, not recognizing for the first time.
One of those moments where you say, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”
It wasn’t a moment that I should have been happy — one of those milestones in which happiness is actually a requirement, i.e. graduations, weddings, etc.
It was ordinary. I was tackling a mundane task and thinking about what I needed to get done in the next 24 hours.
Yet, in a moment of clarity — one I didn’t muscle into fruition — I recognized that everything I had longed, begged and dreamt about a year ago was there, in my current experience.
We accept the love we think we deserve.~Steven Chbosky
I’ve been going through life feeling like a fraud.
Every time a friend expressed awe over my seemingly perfect life, I gulped a big one and prayed they would never realize what my banal day-to-day existence was really like.
When I was in school, at every exam I hoped that this wouldn’t be the first one I would fail miserably, starting a chain reaction of terrible grades, followed by flunking out of school and ending up on the street … or in jail.
Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about someone anymore. It's just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.~Deborah Reber
All my life, I have relied on goal-setting to achieve results.
Whether it came to school work, or even just taking time to hang out with my friends, I would plan the entire day out on outlook or use one of many goal setting techniques that I had learned.
For example, I would stick a piece of paper on the ceiling of my bedroom with my goals written on it so it would be the first thing I saw when I woke up.
And while all this helped me achieve great results, I noticed that I was always chasing the next big thing or the next goal I set for myself. I noticed that I never felt genuine contentment in my life.
It wasn’t just with goals. When it came to my social life, I cared too much about being popular and tried too hard to maintain a good social image by pleasing people. And I constantly felt like I didn’t know who I was, and I definitely wasn’t happy.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.~St. Augustine
I’ve spent the last year wandering around the globe and exploring this wondrous thing called life. Through 26 flights, I’ve managed to circle the globe twice and touch five of the seven continents.
The journey led me to scuba diving for a month straight with whale sharks on islands in Thailand to hitchhiking my way through an African country to being paid to make sand castles on the beautiful Australian beaches to almost having a foot amputated in Asia.
It’s been a hell of an experience. I’ve learned more about the world and myself than any book, teacher or person could tell me.
I’m not claiming that this has made me a superior human being. Maybe a bit wiser, but I’m just as much human as you are. I still have trouble putting my own insights into practice.
We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul.~Deepak Chopra
Imagine it is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and the sun is shining bright. There is a light breeze that just feels like a gentle hug. You are walking down your favorite street. Everything you see is just beautiful.
As you walk, your sense of peace increases. You then turn the corner and all of a sudden dark clouds appear out of nowhere. The sky turns dark. The gentle breeze is replaced with powerful winds. Pretty soon, you are pushing yourself against the wind. You think you are moving forward but actually you are stuck.
This darkness that appeared is not the weather. It is what happens when you stray from your innate nature — bliss — and succumb to the power of the ego.
Have you noticed that some people have sparkles in their eyes, shining with joy, while others seem to be traveling with a storm cloud over their head, consumed by problems? Those who exude joy don’t have fewer life challenges, they’ve just figured out ways to better handle their egoic mind.
It has taken me many years to realize that I was wrong.
I felt the need to be free at an early age. I recall packing my bags to leave home at five years of age. My poor parents had a hell of a time with me when I hit my adolescent years. And of course, the teen-age years were even worse.
Let age, not envy, draw wrinkles on thy cheeks.~Thomas Browne
This morning I spoke to my sister on Skype for almost two hours. She lives in Istanbul, so we don’t chat as often as when we lived in the same house, but we’re pretty close despite the ocean between us.
I remember in the not-so-distant past that getting off the phone with her was bittersweet. She’s lived in Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Italy, South Korea and even international waters. The bitterness didn’t come from being so far apart from my lovely sister, but the fact that I was extremely jealous of her.
I remember vividly sitting in my home in Minnesota expressing my excitement for her when she told me she was planning on moving to Asia.
“You’re so lucky,” and “This is such a great opportunity for you,” came out of my mouth, but what I was thinking is I can’t believe I’ve lived in one state my whole life. I should be traveling and exploring too.
It was embarrassing to be jealous of my younger sister, so naturally I denied it to myself and anyone else who had the guts to say it. But in my head, the envy found a place and rooted itself there, determined to make permanent residence.