After you create something new, in life or in business, do you celebrate? Do you rest?
Do you need to? Does rest call your name? What about play?
The Yoga of Entrepreneurship Satsang preview series and program opening in September was a period of tremendous creation and production for me. My husband and I spent July, August and September planning, prepping, designing, interviewing and editing. Voila! September 21, we were there!
Except somehow . . . I had “forgotten” that September through November is the busiest time in my law practice and that I’d taken on facilitating 2 new groups of professional women, which started 3 days before The Yoga of Entrepreneurship Satsang started.
What I had actually forgotten, or failed to honor, was how 3 different lines of business, at their height at the same time, would impact my body and my joy. I was actually mystified that I did not see this coming, that the time build into my schedule for rest and play was not enough. At that moment, on the couch, surrendering to a nap, I understood my own energy as a precious resource. A resource that is renewable, but not unlimited. A resource that is subject to the realities of my own constitution (vata/air) and personality (introvert/INFP). (I’ve always, always blindly wanted to believe otherwise.)
Marla Hunter-Bellavia had asked me to write a guest post for Wise Introvert, which was the perfect chance to dig into and share this energy exploration. I share it with you here. (And if you’re an introvert, be sure to check out all the wisdom and resources that Marla has to offer atWise Introvert.)
I am often confused with an extrovert. I’m a talker. I have a loud, resonant voice. I engage with people warmly, even in small talk, cocktail settings. I love public speaking.Traits that we often equate with extroversion are so much of my personality, that even I forget: I am very much an introvert.I recharge through quiet pursuits, alone. Reading. Writing. Painting. Meditating. Day Dreaming.
Extroversion may light me up, but it also always wears me out.
For many years, I pursued the “light me up” side of this equation and was frustrated by the period of depletion that inevitably followed. The opposite would also be true: I’d get in the placid groove of my introversion and resent going back to extroverted activities that felt like “too much effort” or an “energy drain.”
Recently, however, through my yoga practice, I have come to understand that, as an introvert in an extroverted world, I need to practice consciously expending and recharging my energy.
I invite you to try 3 practices I use for conscious energy conservation to nourish yourself and harness your energy to be at your best when you do step out.
1. Build solitude into your schedule.
Solitude has been characterized as “the ecosystem of leadership” because it is ripe for the cultivation of wisdom and the connection of disparate ideas. For us introverts, it is even more: it is the source of our energy.
2. Build space into your schedule.
With life and business going along at a lightning clip these days, building space into your schedule can feel like a huge luxury. For us, dear introverts, it is not: it is essential to us showing up with all we have to offer.
Try not putting your appointments back to back. Give yourself 15 minutes more than you think you need, for everything. Start building your schedule by blocking off how much solitude—and space—you optimally need.
3. Practice sensory withdrawal.
In yoga, there is a practice of withdrawing your senses inward, called pratayahara. By turning the awareness of your senses inward, you eliminate the distraction of outside stimuli and allow yourself to listen more deeply to yourself. I’ve also found it to be incredibly replenishing.
Turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. Take a hiatus from social media. Unsubscribe from mailing lists once or twice a year.
Let your solitude be not only solitary, but quiet.