In Praise of Shyness

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I’ve seen something popping up a lot lately, and I have been going back and forth about whether I wanted to write about it and address it. I’ve decided that I just feel too passionately about it to let it lie.

There’s been a lot of press in recent years about introversion. A lot of great books have come out explaining more about it and helping each of us (whether we are introverted or not) understand what it’s like to walk through life with this wiring/chemistry/innate nature.

It will most likely come as no surprise when I share that I’m extremely introverted. I’ve been pretty public about it and have done interviews where I talked about it and really feel passionate about helping others be better able to understand this aspect of themselves and fully embrace it.

I love all of the press that it’s getting. I love that the stigma and misunderstandings around it seem to be lifting. And I love seeing more and more fellow introverts raising their flag and sharing with the world that they, too, are proud of it.

But what I don’t love is the wording that sometimes comes with it. You may have seen it since it’s in almost every explanation of what introversion is and what it isn’t. It usually reads something like this (overly dramatized for effect):

“Being introverted doesn’t mean that you’re shy (thank God!). It doesn’t mean that you are afraid of the world. It doesn’t mean that you cower around others or are hiding in your home 24/7. It doesn’t mean that you are a total absolute loser who can’t seem to get a grip on how to live in this world because you’re too freaked out by it. It doesn’t mean any of these things (Whew!). It just means that you refill your energy by being alone.”

I know that it’s true that you can be introverted and not be shy. It’s just the same as knowing that you can be introverted and also be male, female, a good singer, a horrible singer, a lovely person or a not-so-lovely person. But none of these other traits/characteristics ever seem to get mentioned with introversion, do they? Only shyness gets called out – over and over and over again. Introversion is seen as the trendy trait and shyness is seen as the trait that could be likened to the plague. And, as an introverted person who also happens to be shy, this tends to ruffle my feathers. 

I’ve always been shy – sometimes painfully so. I used to hide behind my mom’s pant legs when meeting new people and slowly peek out and quickly hide again in the safety of the fabric. I used to dread being called on in school – not because I didn’t know the answer but because I didn’t want all eyes to be on me.

In sixth grade I had to sing a solo in a recital. I was so nervous that I developed tiny blisters all of my hands the night before and begged my mom to let me skip it. Instead, she handed me a pair of gloves and sent me on my way. :)

In college, I based my classes on whether or not I would have to give a speech, and I took as many independent study courses as possible simply so I could avoid being in the classroom.

Throughout my life, I’ve been accused of being aloof or a snob simply because I wasn’t as talkative and stood back a bit when first meeting others. I’m not comfortable in crowds and will do my best to avoid them. When the doorbell rings, I tend to freeze and stay as quiet as possible until whoever is there leaves.

Because of the negative stigma attached to shyness, I used to try to push through it or ignore it or hide it. I felt “less than” in so many ways and wondered why I couldn’t just “buck up” already and be like everyone else.

Thankfully, I no longer feel this way. I now see my shyness (and all of my other qualities) as part of what makes me who I am. I see it as something to embrace rather than hide. I see it as a gift that I’ve been given to help me empathize with others and be extra sensitive and introspective and perceptive. I now know for sure that being shy is not a weakness. It is such a powerful strength. 

I hope upon all hopes that we can all just learn to embrace our whole selves – the socially accepted traits and also those that aren’t yet seen in a positive light. Because the more we do so, the better we’ll feel. But also the more permission we’ll give to others to do the same. And this ripple effect of self love will impact all of us in one way or another. We’ll walk a little taller and will shine our light a little more and will embrace exactly who we are and exactly who everyone is. It’s just the way it works. And it all starts with honoring each part of ourselves.

So yes. I’m introverted. And I’m also shy. And I’m so many other things as well – each of which come together to make me exactly who I am: a loving soul.

There are so many of us in the world who are innately shy and innately wonderful. And it’s my hope that we’ll embrace this trait and see it as the gift that it truly is. We’re doing such great things in the world – from the comfort of our own homes, behind our screens, and in whatever way feels right for us. And we’re truly making such a beautiful difference. I love that so much.

Hugs,

jodi

250 faces copyP.S. – If you’re planning on joining us as a contributing author in our upcoming book, 365 Ways to Connect with Your Soul, please be sure to do so soon! There are just 35 spots left!

It’s a wonderful way to share your words and inspire others! You can learn all about it here!

Loving Support in Numbers

inspired copyAs many of you know, I have been healing from adrenal fatigue over the past nine months. It’s been a period filled with a wide array of emotions and experiences. I’ve been frustrated beyond belief at moments – just wishing that I could feel normal again. But it’s also been a time of such growth, and I’ve learned more about myself in this relatively short period than I had in my entire life.

One of the biggest things that I’ve learned is that it’s okay to let go, to trust, and to allow others to support me. I’ve always prided myself on being independent – on being able to take care of myself. And it’s so interesting to me that oftentimes the things we hold onto with such tight fists are the things that we most need to let go of in order to grow and expand and heal.

Allowing myself to be supported is a huge part of my healing journey, which hasn’t always been comfortable. Asking for help brings up all sorts of outdated beliefs within myself. And at first, asking brought on feelings of weakness and vulnerability. I felt like I should be able to handle it (whatever “it” might be) on my own. But… I was too tired to handle it on my own. I was too tired to keep my walls up. I was too tired to judge myself for this perceived weakness. And I began to open my heart up and let others in.

And boy did the floodgates open! The energetic healings and intuitive readings and health assessments and outpourings of love came rushing into my world and into my heart, and I felt supported in a way that I had never felt before. I realized that all of this time, I had always been surrounded by this love and support. I just hadn’t yet allowed myself to receive it. I had to let go and trust and stay open, which is what I’ve been focusing on. It’s been seriously life changing for me to take in all of this love, and I could write an entire book sharing about all of the beautiful offerings that have poured in.

For now, though, I want to tell you about one of these offerings: a numerology reading given to me by my friend, Toni Cay Snyder. It really helped me put into a larger picture sort of context how I got to this place of feeling so weakened and what I can do to feel strong again.

I will be completely honest and say that I don’t know a ton about numerology, other than it’s always seemed really interesting to me. Before this reading, I knew that we all have a life-path number, but I didn’t really know much beyond that. So I went into it with an open heart and the possibility of learning something new, which I certainly did.

I’ve known Toni for the past year, and every interaction that I’ve had with her has been so loving and positive. She is someone who really understands what it’s like to feel burned out and hopeless, and she knows how good it feels to empower yourself to follow your heart and live the life you were born to live.

Based on my name and birth date, Toni was able to share each piece of my life path – including the possible highs and the possible lows. It was uncanny how spot on she was, and she helped me better understand how I got to this place that I’m currently in and how I can get myself to where I want to go. I believe that nothing is wasted and that we can find something positive from every experience, and so this reading was great confirmation of that for me. I learned that there are two sides to each number – one that’s a higher vibration and one that’s a bit lower, and we get to decide which side we want to focus on. My thoughts have certainly been focusing on how tired I feel and how frustrated I am, and Toni’s reading helped me see that I can instead be focusing on all of the gifts that are coming from this current experience. Such a great reminder!

toni copyIt was a great reading, and I’m so grateful to Toni for it. If you are curious about your own numbers or about numerology in general, I highly recommend connecting with Toni to learn more.

She’s put together a free assessment where you can easily calculate your personal life path! 

This amazing worksheet is the first step to understanding your blocks, sticking points and limiting beliefs, as well as your unique strengths, talents and inner gifts.

Click here to receive this free worksheet!

And feel free to share below what experiences you’ve had with numerology!

Hugs,

jodi

Shaking Things Up

believeLast week, I did something that I had never done before: I invited 5 of the archangels into my home. A friend had just finished her time with them and asked if I wanted to host them for five days. I talk to my angels all of the time, and I was excited about the possibility of miracles occurring by having all of their loving energy here at one time. When my husband and I opened the door and welcomed them in, we both felt tingling sensations throughout our bodies. And I knew that they had arrived.

I wasn’t immune to the magic that angels can bring. Over the last few years, since I’ve opened my heart to them, I’ve received daily signs that they were standing by – always near me. I’ve had a stone and a necklace appear out of nowhere. I’ve had lights flicker and shadows appear and all sorts of other beautiful ways that they check in with me and let me know that they are surrounding me with their love. So while I had no idea what to expect during this time, I knew it was going to be an amazing five days. And I couldn’t wait to see and feel their magic. I was hoping for visions and concrete messages that were clear beyond clear.

The first day went by, and I didn’t feel them at all. Same with the second. By the third, I was starting to feel really frustrated and angry, and my skepticism returned and wondered if they were here at all. I wasn’t feeling any magic or miracles. If anything, life seemed a little more bleak than before they arrived. I felt extra tired and extra “off.”  I felt sick without actually being sick – spacey and lethargic and just blah. I was so angry with them for not showing up and angry at myself for believing that they would. I just was ready to call the entire experiment off and be done with it.

But something inside of me – deep, deep down – believed that they were here and believed that they were doing exactly what needed to be done to help me – even if I couldn’t see or feel it. And so I settled down a little bit and waited for whatever sign, message, or guidance I was meant to receive to appear and become clear.

At the end of the third day, I was on Facebook and saw that someone posted about the west coast having more earthquakes than ever before over a 2-day period. The article said that the entire coast shifted a bit, which was unheard of. I’m such a sensitive soul that this explained why I was feeling so off and blah and spacey and unsettled. The ground was literally moving underneath me.

I felt that this was somehow related to the message that I needed to hear from them, but I still wasn’t sure what it all meant. My husband said that I wanted a big sign that they were there – something huge. And what bigger sign than having the entire earth shake! But I felt that there was another piece to it, and the next morning it came to me. I needed a big shake-up in my life – things have stagnated so much for me over the last few years. And the angels came to help move things around and literally shake things up again.

I’ve been through so much over the last 5 years (grieving, illness, uncertainty, immense amounts of stress, moving, etc.), and I have created a cocoon that I could sort of hide in and lick my wounds. It was absolutely necessary to do this to allow me to heal, but I’ve been feeling lately that this cocoon has become a comfort zone and a crutch. I’ve been feeling that it’s time to prepare myself to fly again and really needed a kick in the pants in the form of a huge sign to get me to take action.

While I’m still working out the details within my heart about what “shaking things up” means for me, I know that it’s big. I know that it’s not just a few tweaks here and there, but more a life overhaul. I’m turning 40 in a couple of weeks, and the timing feels perfect to sort of start over in many ways – to hit the reset button and welcome a fresh start. It’s time. And I’m so thankful to the angels for sticking with me long enough to make sure I received this message. They are now on their way to others who are getting ready to welcome them into their homes, and my heart feels full that I got the chance to experience their love while they were here. I know that I can call upon them anytime, and I certainly will from now on. And I’ll be a little more trusting with them and a little more grateful for them as well. :)

I’ll definitely keep you posted on these changes as they become more clear to me. And I also want to invite you to see how you can shake things up in your own life as well! 

Hugs,

jodi

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Embracing the New Normal

allowed to be happy copyThis past week has been a blur. Last Wednesday, I received some wonderful, life-changing news that I promise to share just as soon as I am able to. And I spent several days floating around in a happiness balloon.

At first, I was filled with complete gratitude and found myself feeling a lightness that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. My insides were smiling and doing cartwheels and were absolutely elated. It took me a few days for the bigness of it to sink in – to not feel like I was living a dream but to remind myself that this was real.

Feeling this increased joy was wonderful. I felt free and validated and at peace. I felt happy. I couldn’t get myself to do anything other than bask in this moment – this place where everything seemed to align and come together for my highest good. And so I gave myself permission for several days to step away from the daily routine and just be in this new space.

What I found, though, was that a part of me kept trying to bring me back down to “reality.” A part of me wasn’t comfortable in this happy space and was doing its best to ground me in what I knew – what I was used to. So I heard all sorts of voices in my head worrying that maybe it wasn’t all going to work out the way I hoped it would. Or maybe something would happen and it would all be taken away. I squashed these naysaying thoughts as quickly as I could and continued redirecting myself back to the celebration.

Then they started appearing in my dreams:

In the first dream, Dan and I had gone on a wonderful road trip and stopped at a friend’s house on the way home. We had just seen some amazing sites and experienced such joy together. But from the moment we walked in, it was clear that our friend didn’t want us there. We were packing up the car and getting to ready to go home when I heard him talking on the phone with his friend – not knowing that I was listening. He said, “They just think that everything will come easy to them – that it will just flow. They’re just weird.”

In the second dream, I was taking a class with Bob Proctor, and he went through my notes to find what underlying belief may be holding me back in any way. I had written “Sounds suspicious,” which he circled in red and said that this was the one. Not fully trusting and thinking that if things seemed too good to be true, they probably were.

Clearly, I have some deep-seated beliefs that want to protect me from getting hurt – feeling that if things just flow easily and lovingly that there must somehow be a catch. And thinking that if I am no longer struggling in some way, that there must be something wrong – that it can’t be real.

Yesterday, I woke up with a sore throat and felt like I was coming down with something. So it seemed that my body was also getting on board the “let’s bring her back to reality” train – wanting me to go back to the known.

But here’s the thing: I so appreciate each part of my psyche and mind and body and heart wanting to keep me safe. I know that they are all coming from such a good place and just want to keep me from getting hurt. I know that none of these pieces of me are doing this maliciously, but they certainly aren’t helping.

Yes, it’s true that this place of struggle and uncertainty and mistrust are comfortable for me. They are normal for me. But I want to create a new normal. I want to raise the bar on my day-to-day existence. I want to embrace happiness and ease and flow and possibility. I want the joy that I felt over the past few days to be the norm. I want the freedom and lightness to be the routine.

And so I’m going to stay conscious of these negative thoughts and do my best to lovingly redirect them just as soon as they come up. I keep hearing from the universe and my soul that it’s time to soar – that it’s time for a new normal, a new reality. And I’m certainly not going to get in my own way of fully experiencing that. Not after I’ve seen the light and lived in the light – it’s just too wonderful of a space to exist in to not want to be there as much as possible.

If you’re also feeling your way around this new normal, I hope that you’ll choose to stay here, too. That way we can be here together.

Hugs,

jodi

 

I’ll Be Happy When…

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We’ve all said it. We’ve all thought it. We’ve all felt it. And we’ve all believed it. 

The “I’ll be happy when…” illusion/trap. 

“I’ll be happy when I meet my soulmate.”

“I’ll be happy when my finances all come together.”

“I’ll be happy when I quit my job and leap into my soul’s calling.”

“I’ll be happy when my body feels healthier.”

“I’ll be happy when I get to wherever it is that I want to get to. Then, everything will come together. Then, the stars will align. Then, life will be pure bliss, and I will be in absolute heaven. Until then, though, I guess I’ll just wait for happiness – postpone it since I know it’s just around the corner.” 

Does any of this sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me.

I’ve been using the “I’ll be happy when…” phrase (both consciously and also subconsciously) for most of my life. In fact, I found myself using it just the other day when I was talking to my sweetie, Dan.

My dream is to move to the beach and to live a completely peaceful life there. And I know that this move is somewhere in my future, and I know that the ocean and I will be best friends when the time is right. And I know that I’ll be happy there.

But what about now? This moment? My present reality?

Why am I putting off happiness simply because I’m not exactly where I want to be?

I’ve been focusing on all of my dreams that are in the future and all of my lack of dreams that are in the present. But that’s not really fair – because when I stop and think about it, I have so many potential happiness inducers all around me. I’ve been so busy putting parameters around my own happiness that I just about missed embracing my currently available happiness.

It’s true that right here in this moment, my life doesn’t feel like a particularly good incubator for growing happiness. I’m currently sick with a chest cold; we still are taking care of a dog that we found who takes a lot of time and energy; I don’t currently live at the beach; my book is taking longer to write than I originally thought; I’m in my eighth month on the couch from adrenal fatigue….and, just as I was writing this, my cat puked all over our bed. Blah, blah, blah…

Yes, all of this is true. And yes, I could make a great case for why this isn’t the perfect time to feel happy.

But that really would make me miserable, wouldn’t it? And I actually don’t want to feel miserable. I want to feel happy.

So instead, I’m going to do my best to eliminate the “I’ll be happy when…” phrase from my vocabulary completely. I’m going to do my best to fully embrace all of the good in my life rather than focus on what’s not quite how I want it to be or focusing on how I hope my future will be.

And it’s really not hard to do once I make the decision to shift my focus:

  • I am so happy that I have an amazing husband who loves me so beautifully.
  • I am so happy that I have three sweet cats who make me laugh everyday.
  • I am so happy that I have such a nurturing relationship with my mom.
  • I am so happy that I have dear friends who love me for me.
  • I am so happy that I get to spend all of this time on the couch – healing and resting and nurturing my soul.
  • I am so happy that I live in such a beautiful place where I look out my back door and see a beautiful field and green mountains.
  • I am so happy that I get to spend each day writing and creating – two things that feed my soul.
  • I am so happy that I get to connect with others from all over the world – that we really truly see each other at the soul level.
  • I am so happy that I am alive in this day and age – with all of the advances in technology that make all of this connection possible.
  • I am so happy that I get to choose what I will focus on and what I will embrace.
  • I am so happy that I am so happy. It feels good, and I love that I can do this any time I want to.
  • I am so happy that I don’t have to wait for happiness. That I don’t have to wait for everything to line up perfectly and exactly how I planned for it to in order to feel at peace. I am so happy that I can be happy right here in this exact moment simply by choosing to be.

This is what I wish for all of us – to remember that happiness is a moment-by-moment choice. I forget that sometimes, and I’m so happy that my soul always, always, always bring me right back.

If you also have a tendency to get stuck in the “I’ll be happy when…” mindset, I would love to invite you to join me in removing this from your vocabulary, too. Let’s focus on being happy NOW!

Hugs,

jodi