Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Dear Friends

While at a 9-year-old's birthday party last weekend, I saw one of the little girls take a break from all the raucous romping in the bounce houses. As I watched her quietly get her book, read for a bit, and then return to her friends, I couldn't have been more impressed -- not because she was a book lover (although that's great too!), but because she had enough sense of self to regulate what was comfortable for her. How many of us can say that about ourselves?! I was equally impressed with the mom for understanding her daughter and not forcing her to go play with the others out of fear that she'd appear odd or 'anti-social.'

After reading 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking,' I've come to greatly value the importance of being true to our nature (introvert or extrovert) more than ever. Although I don't have a shy bone in my body, I am every ounce an introvert and crave 'restorative niches' in my day. In a society that tends to reward and even expect extroversion, it's refreshing to see introversion finally being more understood and accepted.

Sometimes (perhaps lots of times!) it's challenging to be an introvert parent raising an extrovert child or an extrovert parent who thinks there's something wrong with the child who just wants to stay home instead of go on another play date. That's why I'm glad to see a growing awareness of our differences, understanding that neither personality type is better or 'right.' After all, where would the world be without Chopin, Einstein, and Stephen Spielberg (famous introverts) or Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Madonna (famous extroverts)?

The important thing is to know our children and respect their needs as well as our own, somehow finding a balance. Had the mother of a little extrovert at the party removed her child from the action in order to have reading time, it would have been hard to watch! Our children need us to support them in who they are — not who we want them to be. Granted, we all need to stretch our limits at times in order to grow, but we can do so while being true to our nature.

My hope is that we come to understand our children and ourselves a little better and that we respect each other's differences and learn from them. Yin and yang is a good thing. Whether introverts or extroverts, let's celebrate the unique gifts we bring and, most importantly, be ourselves, even if that means excusing ourselves from the bounce house for a season.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- The Art of Imperfection

From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

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