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Feel the Universe

Feel the Universe


“This magnificent refuge is inside you.

Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway.

Step around the poisonous vipers that slither at your feet, attempting to throw you off your course.

Be bold. Be humble.

Put away the incense and forget the incantations they taught you.

Ask no permission from the authorities.

Slip away.

Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.”

― Mirabai Starr, The Interior Castle


Can you relate too feeling you are not living as fully as you could? Having a constant nagging feeling, as if something more is necessary to live authentically? Personally, I don’t think I can recall a time when I did not have these feelings in one form or another. Never one to feel a part of a group, I am a drifter plagued with feelings of loneliness and a specific separateness from all those around me. This feeling creates a constant sense of melancholy, a sense that something is amiss.


Mirabai Starr speaks so beautifully to this with, “Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.” These words bring tears to my eyes. Being well familiar with stillness of the mind, I suffer from a permanent homesickness for this still place that has no geographic identity. The place within that contains all that is and all that will ever be. When closing my eyes and tapping into this energetic freeway, I experience an overwhelming feeling of calm, as if all my nerve endings have been suddenly soothed by the connection.


Observing me when I’m in this place must appear strange to others. It is not mediation, a practice that I do not particularly care for. Rather, it is a visceral connection to the energy of the universe, that which is the creator and the created.  A look of complete surrender and abandon appears on my face. For a few moments all of the shadows of this world are lit up by the light of eternity. Quite spectacular.


I make every attempt to take a few moments each day to slip into this space. I try to let these moments go unnoticed as to not cause concern or worry to those around me. They may or may not understand my practice and this is never a consideration for me. Each person has their own rhythm of discovery and I am in no place to judge the speed of another. In this same vein, it is important that others do not judge or raise an eyebrow to my experience. I have no other compass to guide me except this space and the light. It provides clarity, direction and serenity in a world that has very little patience.


Take a few moments today and “Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway…….Slip away”. Let the universe speak to you and communicate back all of your loneliness, trepidation, fear and joy. Let your internal dialogue flourish and ignore the external voices that nip at your heel. Be yourself, feel your energy flowing and remember that your heart speaks in every moment; you just need to tune into the right channel and listen.


Lending an Ear as a Private Person

Lending an Ear as a Private Person

As an extroverted introvert, I am constantly trying to figure out how best to navigate the world. An intensely private person, I share my deepest thoughts with very few people.  I have a rich inner dialogue that is represented in my writings demonstrated here, but in practice rarely share the depth of my imagination with those around me. While there is nothing wrong with being a private person, it can create a rather closed off experience with a very small nuclei of people allowed into my inner circle.


At the same time, I tend to have a large number of confidants that circle the perimeter of this circle. Not quite people that I would open up to completely, but still very good friends. I care deeply about my friend’s feelings and wellbeing, but still tend to hold back a part of myself even from them. If I am being completely honest, I would have to say my sister Maria is probably the only one that genuinely knows me.  With her I speak freely in most cases, even though we have very different moral compasses. I respect her limits and she respects my lack of limits. She the more structured and analytical one, me the free spirited and spontaneous one.


The challenge for me is to honor my need for space and privacy without accidentally alienating people. As the quote states below, I tend to be sought out, for better or for worse.  Simply put, people tell me stuff. They often call, workout with me at the gym, or visit my office and proceed to tell me their troubles. I suspect it is because I am a good listener and am generally empathetic to their needs.  I value these traits and am not upset by these intrusions, but do have my energetic limits. I ultimately need to crawl back into my cocoon of privacy to recharge and must do this regularly.  


“INFJs will find themselves more sought after than they’d ever care to be, making it even more difficult for them to find someone they truly have an affinity with. Really the only way to be counted among INFJs’ true friends is to be authentic, and to have that authenticity naturally reflect their own.”


Another reason for this intense privacy is that I find lack of authenticity off putting, so much so that I am even hard on myself when I act less than truthful with others.  I project a personable yet reserved exterior when in reality my true self is much more colorful in so many ways.  If I am not comfortable sharing my true self and an acquaintance feels the same, what are we doing?  It seems so disingenuous and with little value in regard to life’s bigger picture.  I have no patience for trivialities and fake relationships, hence my lack of intimate friendships.  It takes a very special person to pull me out of my shell and quite frankly I don’t meet many people able to do so.

I often wonder if my legacy in life will be just that, loneliness with a strong desire to connect.  The paradox of it is confusing and conflicting. I am looking for people that want to be alone with me…is that even a thing? I also wonder if my legacy is just to be an ear for others when they are most in need. I give great hugs and can laugh and cry with just about anyone.  I instantly feel what others are feeling even if I do not verbalize it, and have a sense that this connection is comforting for both parties.  This skill may simply be part of my greater life purpose.  With time, I have learned to not expect the same in return from others as this just leads to disappointment and a lingering feeling of loneliness. 


In practice, I just need someone to sit with me and not say anything when my emotions are at a breaking point,  a difficult thing to ask of those that do not know how to offer quiet and gentle support.  Because of this, I often choose to keep my own counsel and find comfort in the fact that others will continue to seek me out as a lifeline, it is a humbling responsibility and one that I continue to learn from.

Am I Weird? Confessions of an INFJ

Am I Weird? Confessions of an INFJ


Have you ever felt out of step from all those around you, a little eccentric and misunderstood?  I know I have and quite often. Even my kids agree I am a complex woman. The constant dialogue in my mind is endless and I find myself a voyeur of the human condition.  Leave me in a mall and you will probably find me sitting on a bench just people watching. I find that much more interesting than shopping.

It took many decades of self-examination and most recently, the discovery that I am an INFJ, to even begin to feel comfortable with myself. If you have never taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, I highly recommend it. You can find a free test HERE.  I have taken this test many times and each time; I have unequivocally been classified as an INFJ. I retook the test in the hopes that I would end up being another personality, one that is not quite as complex.  No such luck. I am squarely in the INFJ realm and must continue to work on accepting the personality I came into this world with.

So, what is an INFJ? Hallmarks of this personality type include the Jungian categories of Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling and Judging. Without making this a Jungian lesson on psychology, I will point out a few general characteristics that many INFJ exhibit. A very rare personality with only 1-2 % of the population in this category, INFJ people may feel out of step with the rest of the world. They have an ability to exhibit empathy and at times a psychic like talent of reading other’s personalities. They are often mislabeled as extroverted due to their strong communication skills and ability to make others comfortable. In practice they are introverts and often feel recharged by time spent alone.  INFJ’s are also self-expressive, activists, creative and very strong willed when pushed. Sounds like an interesting bird, right?


“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― C.G. Jung


When I read about INFJ’s the first time it was like coming home. I immediately knew that I was indeed a member of this small community. Nothing described me better than this personality. It explained so perfectly why I feel uncomfortable in large groups, yet people still see me as outgoing and easy to talk to. Why I am so sensitive to others energy that it hurts to be around someone who is hurting, empathy is a powerful thing. Why I can become steadfast when pushed to my limit.  It was all there, laid bare.

I understand that beyond a label there is still free will. Claiming of a label can be dangerous to personal growth if used as a crutch for bad behavior. Ultimately, I do not see a contradiction in knowing this information. It simply provides me with more tools to work on becoming a better person. I enjoy knowing that others act and respond the same way I do, it is somehow comforting and less isolating.

If you are inclined to do further research on INFJ’s and other personalities types you can read up on it HERE and HERE.  Both include a free test, which can be a fun summer afternoon activity. Happy personalities research everyone!