I am an Introvert.
It wasn't until I packed up, moved my entire life and homestead from the East Coast to the Midwest that I realized this was true about me. I was getting married, and moved from Maryland to Texas. I was happy, yet overwhelmed. Completely. I was getting married, had to find a new job, and absolutely stressed out because I left my entire family behind, of whom I was at least used to seeing twice a month. It was at that time, my new husband to be, noticed me.
He recognized that I was very stressed and handed a book to me about introverts.
After reading two chapters. I realized I wasn't going crazy after all, and that my life was in transition. Yet I still needed to keep a certain momentum, in my life. Over the past seven years I have crafted and shaped a new life for myself, because I gain and preserve my energy completely different than most. I love that I am one who loves to listen to myself think. I have learned the person with the most important things to say, is myself. And if I haven't heard it first, then it hasn't really been said.
I am going to share with you the completely creative ways I prevent inertia and maintain my productivity, because it's total self-care and provides mental productivity - which then preserves my physical, psychological, workplace and spiritual self care, as well.
1. I value my inner voice. I just can't believe it's taken several years in order for me to find it. In order to hear it, though I must listen. Cultivating listening takes skill. And it won't happen unless we make that space in our lives for it.
2. I listen to my soul. I can truly say I appreciate cultivating the skill of maintaining a balanced peaceful and happy state of mind. Let's face it, mental health care is not something everyone focuses upon, yet something everyone NEEDS. without it, we would lose a lot of things and not all of them are material. Emotional and spiritual care reigns high on my list of priorities because they SUSTAIN my inner being, and not only do others like me, I like myself.
3. Finding myself in nature and nothingness. I find stopping the "rat race" helps me to be more productive. Once I pull away, and become refreshed, then I can regroup and focus better. What sustains me, in those moments are: walks in the park, "quiet", friendships, prayer and meditation, getting a kiss from a child that does not necessarily belong to me; but is happy to see me when I walk through the door. Simple, sometimes planned, and sometimes unplanned events that make me smile.
4. Remaining grateful. I have taken to over the last few years to being grateful, because I love noticing the things I wouldn't necessarily notice unless I was slowing down. How sun feels on my face, for instance, and how citrus calms my mood and help some to be a bit sprightly... noticing how a nice cup of tea soothes me and helps me to relax. Or to notice how much more refreshing it is to have a cup of ta while I read my favorite book on a nice, relaxing chair on my porch. when I place everything in perspective, I see the combined effect of being able to bring several of those instances of warmth and comfort to my soul in one place, and then I recognize I can say to the universe: "thank you."
5. Intentional celebrations and rewards. Celebrations have been a rewarding tradition in my family. Growing up, I have fond memories of going on simple rides in the country, treating ourselves to ice cream, 'just because' as a family, or traveling once every summer to see distant relatives after a long season of work for my parents. Today, rejuvenation looks like the same. I am glad I have carried this tradition and ritual of celebration into my family life and legacy. When I married my husband Tim, rewards became even more important. He believed even if you didn't have money, you still had to find a way to enjoy the moment. Carpe' diem, became a regular occurrence, and I was on my way. Some of my best moments imprinted in the fiber of my mind have been when I slowed down and then would rise and be encouraged, because either obtained great resolve in my decision-making; or had a 'creative jolt' that was out of this world, and helped launch me to another level of success, in my career. I have a very fond moment of when I made a final decision to get out of an unhealthy, unproductive relationship that wasn't satisfying for me. It came after going to a bookstore, buying my favorite book, and treating myself to Red Lobster, and eating alone.
I could tell you many more restful, productive moments for me. Yet, this may become a really long article. One of the greatest blessings of productivity may have just been taking the time to find myself and enjoy the moments in between.
And for that, I am grateful.