Are you Solar Powered or Battery Operated? Understanding Introversion and Extraversion

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As a “mind/body” therapist, I’m interested in helping you understand the physical aspects of your mental health.  In the two previous articles, I described sensitivity in regard to your physical nervous system.  In this article, I will be describing the physical aspects of how you get energized.

The terms ‘introverted’ and ‘extraverted’ are most commonly used to describe  a person either being socially outgoing or withdrawn.  Usually, extraverts are viewed more positively as “social butterflies” while introverts are seen as the more awkward “wall flowers” or “book worms”.  Some people can even be “ambiverts”, meaning they can go either way, just as ambidextrous refers to being right and left-handed. Continue reading

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You’re So Insensitive! (Sensitivity Part 2)

As promised, here’s my post for those of you who find yourselves on the lower end of the sensitivity spectrum that I will refer to as Low Sensitivity People (LSP).  Now, I have to make a disclaimer and tell you that I can’t find much information out there about LSP types in regard to a “physical” nervous system difference, so this will be based on personality temperament theory and my own interpretation.  I will also mention that you LSP types are more likely to come across this post because your more sensitive friend or family member would like you to see that you have your challenges also, since many of you often think you’re just fine as you are and that others are just being “too sensitive” (see the last post) :).  And, no doubt, you do have your strengths.  Let me start with these first – (hold on sensitive ones, I’ll get to the challenges soon).   Continue reading

You’re Too Sensitive! (Sensitivity Part 1)

How many of you have heard the comment “oh…you’re just too sensitive”?  So, in addition to feeling hurt, you’re left to think that there is something wrong with you.  What is sensitivity?  The answer to that has a lot to do with your nervous system.  According to Elaine Aron, Ph.D in “The Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP), research shows that approximately 20 percent of the population has a highly sensitive physical nervous system.  If this isn’t you, just imagine wearing your nerves on the outside of your skin.  I am sure, like many other things, sensitivity has a spectrum ranging from very low to very high, with those on the extreme ends having varying degrees of difficulty in experiencing the world around and within themselves.  In this post, I will discuss those who find themselves on the highly sensitive end of the spectrum. Continue reading

Four Years Later….

So I’ve picked back up on blogging after a four-year hiatus!  It was this time four years ago, that everything got really busy at the therapy office and I was beginning to enjoy the experience of having an amazing 3-year old, Dylan (now 7 yrs old) in my life.  Anyone who juggles parenting and working knows what a challenge it can be, yet so rewarding.

I’ve also had the honor of working with many of you and witnessing your struggles and growth.  I have learned so much from all of you and look forward to sharing my reflections with you through this blog.  If there are any topics you would like to see me address, please let me know.  And, of course, feel free to make comments on my posts.

Take care,
Shannon

In the moment

Fall has always been a season of excitement for me.  It feels more like the new year to me than January 1st.  It could be the years of programming for “back to school” that I would associate with a new beginning.  New books, new classroom, and a whole new set of uncertainties that would usually bring a mixture of nerves and excitement.  Certainly I could always feel the energy in the air…and a warmth that comes from the glow of the sun as it changes angles in the sky.

It’s an especially exciting season for me this year as my life now includes an energetic and curious 3-year old boy.  It’s not particularly natural for me to “let go” and be in the moment, and this is exactly what I’m learning through his eyes.  It’s been about balancing between wanting control and just relaxing and enjoying things as they are and understanding that the future is born out of the present.  I find myself grateful to see  the world from a perspective I’ve long forgotten…pure, unassuming, and completely alive.

Attachment and resistance

Originally Posted:  June 26, 2008

Summer is here and so am I….what’s wrong with this picture?  I suppose I’m alluding to needing a little vacation.  There’s something about getting away that is very therapeutic, even if it’s just a road trip or camping in the mountains.  ahh, yes….well, perhaps I’ll have to create some time for a getaway.  For now, I’ll stay here and enjoy the summer activities such as the Utah Arts Festival, the Farmer’s Market, the Twilight Concert Series, lazing by the Steiner pool, and golfing (a more recent venture).

You may notice in my blogging that I reference the weather and the seasons.  I’ve always been aware of the rhythm of nature and the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that each season brings.  You may notice how some people are attached to certain seasons and resist the change into the next one.  This is not unlike the seasons in our lives.  While we are eager to move into some phases of life, we resist entering into certain other phases.  It is this resistance that causes much suffering.  And, it is futile as nature will always win.  So fighting these changes or not is the difference between choosing to suffer or not.  If we let go of the old and embrace the new, we may find that there are aspects of this new phase to be enjoyed that you never experienced in past phases.  And it is theses very experiences that can inspire new creative expression.  For as we grow and learn, there are new things about ourselves and our experience of life to discover and express.   It is also in these new phases that we can more effectively reflect back perhaps better clarity…(hindsight).

Then there is always the impatience of waiting for the next season to come….same problem.  Resisting nature and what is happening will always create suffering.  Making plans for the future is a necessary task and can help the time pass, however, there comes a time when you must just allow the present to be what it is…and discover the enjoyment that you might be missing while you are too busy looking at the future.

Rhythms and patterns

Originally Posted:  April 2, 2008

Hello Spring! ….um….hello?  Okay, so Spring is taking its sweet time getting here this year.  Nature is unpredictable, and yet, it still maintains an overall rhythm.  We would do well to heed nature’s example and adhere to an overall rhythm in the way we maintain our lives.  While life tends to be unpredictable at times, it is wise to maintain good habits such as regular sleeping patterns, regular exercise and eating habits, and regular recreation and relaxation.  Just remember not to freak out if something gets in the way from time to time, just get back on track as soon as possible.  Recently, I’ve experienced an unpredictability as I caught some sort of virus/flu type thing.  I hate being sick and lament the limitations of my human body.  Then I surrender and as soon as I do, it makes things go a little smoother.  So, as we wait patiently (or not so patiently) for winter to uncover us from its heavy, cold blanket……take care of yourself.  Before you know it, the warmth will be too much to bear!