This is a guest post, by the beautiful Tanja Gardner. She lives in New Zealand, although she spells like she’s British, and she’s an amazing writer who’s taking a powerful stand for introverts stepping regally into the full expression of their purpose in business.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone dismiss introversion as an “excuse to play small”, I’d… Well, I’d probably invest it, live off the interest, and offer my coaching services for free.
Seriously, the myths around being introverted — that we’re all just shy, poorly socialised, or just too selfish to make an effort — are mindboggling. Errr… no actually, there’s a growing body of scientific evidence for genuine physiological and biochemical differences between introverted and extroverted brains. (In everyday terms: we really are wired differently!)
That said, introversion can make an incredibly convenient excuse to avoid stretching beyond your comfort zone. So how can you tell whether you’re being true to who you are as an introvert, as opposed to hiding your light?
It’s a complex question, and without getting to know you, I can’t say for sure. But here are a few things to consider that might help you figure it out for yourself.
Before we talk about whether you’re honouring your introversion or not, it might help to check that we’re all talking about the same thing.
Being introverted (or extroverted) is basically about how your energy levels tend to respond to interacting with others.
Note the terms “generally” and “mostly” there. That’s because introversion and extroversion aren’t absolute characteristics – most of us experience a little bit of both in different situations. So instead, the terms refer to what you tend to experience most often.
(Not sure which “-vert” you are? This fun, free and totally unscientific quiz might help you figure it out!)
Look, I don’t wait for the stars and planets to align to inspire me to recalibrate, renew, or restart, and I don’t advise you to do that either. You get to make those transformative, empowering, and liberating decisions in any moment, in any breath.
Paradoxically (on the surface, anyway), as a woman who lives connected to and respectful of the cycles, of the wheel of the Moon and of the seasons, I take each New and Full Moon as a special and sacred invitation to stop and connect with the energy of the season and the planetary positions and alignments. I consider each Dark Moon a perfect time to intentionally go inside, to go deep, and to do the clearing and releasing work that will let me set achievable intentions for this next lunation (Moon cycle).
Life hands out opportunities to claim sovereignty over how you react to the challenges, surprises, joys, and tragedies that can come at any time. In your business life, too, right? In the face of the unexpected, or the seemingly unendurable, how amazing does it feel when you plant your flag in faith, and take the time to stand in the zero point? They taught me in 12-step recovery that I can start my day over again as often as I need to do so. A zero point New Moon (and this one is the second in a series of four, so we will get to look at this for a while) invites you to take a quiet moment and ask:
I learned this lesson a long time ago, and I’m revisiting the concept again as we come up to the Taurus Full Moon. After all the drama of the Aries Full Moon Lunar Eclipse which was followed by the intense Scorpio New Moon Solar Eclipse, this apparently ho-hum Full Moon in Taurus might seem rather boring. I’m here to tell you (as a Scorpio fixed-sign woman) that it’s those still times that can bring about major and lasting transformations.
I have learned that while I may be feeling unsure of myself, what others see is often brash, brave, and confident. I have learned that when I’m anxious, my external affect may look calm. Knowing this about myself helps me see everyone in my life with so much more compassion. When someone reacts with anger, I can see past the anger to the hurt inside. When someone expresses elation, I remember that there might be some sadness underneath, or behind, it.
Remember, this Moon is bringing the Taurus energy, with its themes of security, stability, possessions, health, and wealth. What’s working? What’s not so much?
Don’t let the Taurean desire to hold on to everything keep you from embracing change. Remember and embrace the opposites. Holding tight to what is and to what you have can hold you back from stepping into the next unfolding of your highest good. And don’t forget: the Sun’s in Scorpio, Venus is in Scorpio, and Mercury will finally re-enter Scorpio on the 8th after the last retrograde. Embrace change, beloved. So much easier than holding tightly. And as I learned in a 12-step meeting, “When you walk around with your hands clenched shut, you can’t receive the abundance that’s coming your way, that’s meant to enrich your life.”
As one of my favorite teachers, Jen Louden, said in her recent blogpost: “I keep trying to open to the ache of being alive. I mostly fail. I don’t stop trying.”
I find that when I stand in and express my gratitude, I’ve made a good start. Gratitude opens my heart and oh-so-resistant mind to what is, what’s moving, what’s changing, and what’s coming.
I’d love to know how this Full Moon is shining in your heart. How will you enjoy the stillness and invite change? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your insights and your gratitude in a comment.
The Yamas are one of the spiritual practices I learned about in yoga. The Yamas, when practiced with intention, add to your groundedness and balance, allowing you to live in peace, good health and harmony with yourself and your world.
Spiritual neuroscience teaches how negative behaviors became habits by repetition, which is the good and the not-so-easy-to-take news. The good news: Once you start repeating intentionally positive behaviors, you can actually create new patterns and habits that will eventually replace the old. The other news: It can be so challenging to begin to let go of the behaviors you used to protect yourself early in your life. It can feel so tender and so uncomfortable when you start making these changes. You are not alone. Your heart knows your true essence, trust your heart. Remembering the good news will it easier for you to make each effort willingly — one thought, one word, one action at a time. It will pay off. I’m living proof. (You can read other articles I’ve written about neuroscience here, here, and here.)
I recently learned about the five Yamas (and their sister practices the Niyamas, which I’ll come back to in another post, if you find this one useful), in a yoga class, of course. The Yamas are described as universal, and outer-oriented, in the teachings. But what I really like is applying each principle from the inside out. How am I treating myself? First I look at my relationship to myself, and when that is in balance, then I can apply the same principles to my family, friends, community, clients, colleagues — in ever-expanding ripples, to my world.
So, beautiful, what do you think? How are you folding these spiritual practices into your own life? Let me know in the comments. Blessed be!
This is a very meaningful time of the year for me, always has been. What kid doesn’t have a special love for her birthday time? My love for this season has seasoned over time. It’s no longer about birthday celebrations, although I love my birth date — my birthday falls on Day of the Dead (November 2nd), a day I just love. In my spiritual tradition, we say that the end of October, Samhain and Scorpio season, is one of the two times in the year when the veils between the worlds thin, making it possible to connect with and honor our ancestors in a deep way.
I keep an ancestors altar, with photos and figurines that represent my beloved dead. I choose to honor those who have gone before me, and everything they taught me, the behaviors they modeled, good and bad. I choose to honor every bit of my Scorpio nature all the time, and with an extra dollop of awareness during this season. Scorpio — transform or don’t. Transform or die.
Welcome to the first in an occasional series about WordPress, blogging, email marketing and other things geeky.
Many of my clients, readers, and colleagues — the Magnolias West tribe — are doing their online businesses and blogs on a WordPress site. And since I’m passionate about all things geeky, I’m going to share some of the awesome WordPress secrets I have learned and continue to learn — there’s a lot to know! I teach this information one-on-one and in Facebook groups all the time; and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you. None of the links in today’s post are affiliate links; I’m simply sharing the tools I know about, use and love.
All the solutions I suggest can, beloved, be implemented by you, or by your awesome web-savvy virtual assistant (VA), or [ahem] you could call me; I can help. If you have questions about any of this stuff, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you understand.
Servers are unstable (they’re just computers), and just because you’re paying for hosting doesn’t mean your site is protected enough by your host to recover everything if your site crashes. Your site is self-hosted, right? Which means its url is yourawesomebusinessname.com, not wordpress.com/yourawesomebusinessname. (If you haven’t made this change yet to a self-hosted site, please do — you get a lot more functionality, and you have a more professional domain name), and if you need help doing this, please get in touch with me.) Many of us, me included, buy cheap shared web hosting when we’re starting out, and servers can go down. Just like that. Often. So you need to have a backup scheme in place.
Consider this scenario: Your site is on cheapsocheaphost.com and boom! — they go down. For days. How empowered would you feel if you could find a better host (more uptime, managed hosting), and in a matter of a couple of hours have your last backup (less than a week old) to the new host, change the settings so that the interwebs see your new site, and move on! The way you do this is to have a backup plugin that automagically backs up your entire site every week (because you told it to do so), keeps a copy on your web host, and to cover your butt in a most elegant way, makes a copy to another cloud independent of your host (also because you told it to do so) — I send my copy each week to my Dropbox. The two most popular backup plugins these days are Backup Buddy (annual fee, which I use) and Back WP Up (free and fee versions available). Please, get one and set it up.