Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Last Call

I am going to call it a night, but before I do, I wanted to get some thoughts down about my day today. Today I was in a meeting with one of my introvert techie friends.  She is reading the book Quiet, and we are conducting informal book study conversations.  I really enjoy talking to her about introvert tendencies.

I spoke to her about blogging.  She told me a number of times that she would blog, but never did.  She went to a technology conference and someone that she was following on Twitter advised her to start blogging.  She met this person face to face.  She told me that she thought of me when those words of encouragement came out of the lady's mouth.

Two days ago, she said she stayed up late and blogged.  She said she felt much peace about doing it and is trying to let go of the "perfection syndrome" about not blogging because it wasn't so perfect.  I told her that her message and getting her voice out there is far more important than being perfect. She is letting that part of her go and is blogging!

I think that this phenomena of blogging and tweeting is very interesting.  Susan Cain has spoken about the fact that introverts are drawn to blogging and the digital world. I know that I am and I love to talk to other people who are drawn to it as well. I also know that I was a mad blogger the last 4 years or so, but I slowed my roll, due to road blocks in my life. I allowed these road blocks to stifle my reflection time and my creativity.  Because of my talks with this fellow introvert, I have drawn inspiration from her.  When I take the time to blog and just let go of my inhibitions and glitches in the way, then blogging calms me and allows me to be introspective in a deeper realm.  That is what I need right now as I transition from an uncomfortable job, to move happily to another job that is better suited for what I need to do and accomplish. I am moving to a job where I will be able to free my spirit, be creative and have some down time with the people that are a part of the Quiet Revolution. It will be refreshing to be around people who "get me."  It has been a long time coming.  Let's say two years coming.  Last call and I am ready to shut down and get some serious zzzzs.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Checking In

I am just checking in after a somewhat busy weekend.  I have taken my Sundays and have tried to make them complete down days. I really need some down time or I feel that I might just explode.  Yesterday I worked all morning with a 2 groups of students on discovering the joy of writing.  Oh, how I love to do that!  It energizes me!  I got to work with some awesome colleagues. Then when I arrived home, I crashed for a few hours.  After that I wanted to spend some quality time with my daughter so we binged watched a few shows on Netflix.  I really enjoy spending time with her.  Sunday came around and it flew by.  We went out to eat late morning and then I got into reading a few books and posting like a crazy person in my virtual book clubs.  I really like to do this.  It is fun, but my day is gone and I haven't had a chance to continue my journey with Quiet.  I am on page 203 and my journey is almost over!  I am feeling a little sad, because I want to read more on this. I guess I will look at the notes and find something related to this. Perhaps some more research will fuel the fire that I have felt has become ignited within.  I will check in later!  Find your quiet!  Get your down time and don't apologize for being wonderfully introverted!  It is a gift!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Flow

Flow...oh how did I seriously get flow in the chapter entitled Why did Warren Buffet Prosper?  Susan Cain defines flow as: is an optimal state in which you feel totally engaged in an activity--whether long distance swimming or songwriting, sumo wresting...in the state of flow you are neither bored nor anxious and you do not question your own adequacy. Hours pass without you knowing. It is activity for its own sake.  You could be absorbed for days.  This happens to me.  I don't ever want to get out of the flow because it feels so good to be locked in.  This happens when I am blogging or writing poetry. I went to see Alma Flor Ada, the Spanish poet extraordinaire. She gave a workshop on Spanish poetry and then we wrote some of our own poem in Spanish.  She started us off and then I was hooked. I was literally engulfed in what I was doing.  For the next 5 hours, I didn't pay much attention to anything else but crafting the poem about my daughter.  There was lunch, but I don't remember much about it. I kept thinking I had to get back or lose the words and idea.  I didn't want to break the flow.  Then I had to attend a workshop in the afternoon.  I attended and sat in the chair while a nice woman talked about teaching poetry and ideas to help.  She was more like the teacher in the Charlie Brown classroom. I didn't hear her, because I was in the flow.  I kept on writing and thinking and writing.  When I arrived home, I got on my desktop computer and went to my blog Just Write Baby! and then kept going amid the tears.  I wrote and recrafted and wrote and recrafted until I got it just write.  Then I posted and shared with my daughter what I had wrote about her.  Of course I sent it out and my native Spanish speaking friends helped me with a few things and I edited it over and over and then revised a bit more.  Was I ever proud of it!  It just came to me and flowed.  Did I write it for a reward?  Hardly, I wrote it because it needed to be done.  It had to come out.  When the spirit moves, you have to move with it or never have that idea be realized.  So that brings me back to my introvertedness.  It is easy to post online.  You don't know who is reading, but there are people who do read.  I have no problem posting my work.  It is a joy, especially when I get in the flow.  The problem I have is with people I don't trust or feel truly know me. I cannot, without reservation, express what I think and feel around them.  I trust the small group and the people that I have spent time getting to know.  The people where I feel safe.  When I am around those that I do not have a strong rapport in a bigger setting, forget about the flow.  I get uncomfortable and need to find a place to feel safe and me.  In those instances, during meeting and what not, I tend to search out a 1 on 1 situation or small group, to survive and maybe thrive.  I might just cocoon into my notebook.  As of late my doodles look like art and if I were a tatoo artist, I would be in high demand and filthy rich.  You should see them.  Being an introvert is a gift!  Can't wait to get into more flow and now I am searching out the opportunity!

Quiet Reflections

I am almost finished with my book called Quiet by Susan Cain.  I lament the fact that I am almost done because I don't want my journey to end.  It is as if, by reading this book, I have ventured into new territory.  Reading this book and pondering the many possibilities has made reexamine my life and my gift of being an introvert. Yes, I know...to some it may be considered a curse.  To me, now that I know what I am and why I am the way that I am, it is freeing.  I am on page 200 now and I love the way Susan Cain has compared and contrasted the different cultures that extol the introvert and those that unfortunately diminish the gift of the introvert or soft power. "In the long run," said Ni (person being interviewed for the book), "if the idea is good people shift. If the cause is just and you put your heart into it, it's almost a universal law: you will attract people that want to share your universal cause. Soft power is quiet persistence. The people I am thinking of are very persistent in their day-to-day and person-to-person interactions. Eventually they build up a team." Soft power, said Ni,was wielded by people we've admired throughout history: Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Buddha. Cain sighted Gandhi as an introvert. Gandhi's passive resistance was categorized or repackaged by Gandhi himself as "firmness in the pursuit of truth." I like that so much better.
Gandhi thought things out and picked his battles.  He won over his enemies without lifting a finger and being aggressive.  Calmness and questioning were his tactics. Firmness in the pursuit of truth indeed!
I sometimes feel that I am being taken advantage of if I don't speak up and stand my ground in some instances.  It doesn't feel right to me many times and I don't want to appear to be a complete idiot protesting so much.  My question is this:  How do you get people to notice your ideas and creativity when they are being drowned out by the extroverts that are so much louder and obnoxious? I have so many ideas, but do not always get them out there because I am waiting for a moment to speak and that moment never seems to come my way. I need to read on to find out how I can be heard and my ideas be appreciated for what they are.  I may not know an answer right now, but give me time to think and ponder, think and ponder and then watch out...but if they are never heard because it is so difficult to find away to be listened to in a world that won't stop talking.  Love the book Quiet...The Power of Introverts In a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yesterday Was

Yesterday was such a great book study.  I believe it was the best book study that I have ever been a part of frankly.  Two colleagues and I discussed the book Quiet and made our own Quiet revolution in our discussion.  It was so cool to be able to connect for 3 and half hours discussing our introverted lives and understanding why we are the way we are.  We aren't apologizing anymore and thinking that we have a problem.  Introvertism is a gift that needs to be explored.  Epiphanies were had and freedom was just at my finger tips.  I wrote this poem today to celebrating these epiphanies.  Hope you enjoy it and "get it."

Free
By Maureen Ucles

Trudging
Smudging
Rather pudgy
Looking
Based on the
Weight I gained
Seemed so insane
The stress
Worry
In such a hurry
To get to…
Today

Today
I have gone
Closed the door
Turned the key
No more worries,
Not for me
No more pain
No, not in the least
I am
Completely
Unequivocally
Surprisingly
Free
Free like MLK
or maybe LBJ
Returning home to Cleveland
Not a care
Not a worry
Simply
Utterly
Free



Free like lunches
Served up piping hot
at  
soup kitchens
homeless shelters
Free like…
Government cheese
Grilled to perfection
Free like…
Free like...
That would be...
That would be
ME!
Open the gates
Let the shackles fall
Down, down, down
This is surreal
Mind blowing
In slow motion
Under water
No noise do I hear
‘cept sweet serenity
PEACE
Just like me
So free

Let the cell walls crumble
I'm a
Walking out
Solitary confined me
No more
Light of day
Sears my eyes
Doesn’t matter
In the least
‘cause baby
I am free
On my own
Free like a bird
In the Southern sky
In December
Free
Water all up in my eyes
Face and cheeks
Baptismal font
Free



Simply free
Am I
To be more
Do more
Be ME!
Out of the box...
Look out y'all!

Feels…
Some kinda good,
all the way to great
maybe
All of the above
Elevating
Strolling
Out of controlling
My emotions

Spectacularly free!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Needing Down Time

Talking about my findings from this book is a joy.   I have opened a gift of great value and I need to share it.  Share it I have. I have shared this with many different people that are like me.  The funny thing is that they are fascinated by it and can't wait to buy it themselves.  One person snapped a photo in their iPhone.  Another looked it up on Amazon during a break at one of my workshops and bought it. Today, I had the book on a table, while I was unpacking my computer.  A lady that I didn't know walked by and commented on it.  "That's a great book!  I bought it for my sister!" No doubt it has touched many people's lives and has given them the answers about themselves. My brother in law is so very interested in it.  I told my sister about it and she told him all that I was learning.  He is definitely an introvert.  He far more introverted than I am.  We share many of the same traits though.  I remember talking with him about weekends.  I told him that I do not like having any plans during my weekend.  It is my time to decompress and chill, if you will.  If I don't have my down time, then I am no good to anyone.  He agreed with me.  He also agreed that making small talk is worse than root canals and the silence and lull in the conversation.  I abhor small talk.  More to post later.