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Archive for March 2015

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I recently finished reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.  I was really excited to read this book based off of the title alone, but after completing it, can honestly say my socks weren't blown off.

As an introvert, I have spent countless hours inside my own head learning and trying to be true to myself.  So yea this book provided scientific evidence, but it was about stuff I already know and accept or want to change about myself.  Having data to back it didn't make me any more or less likely to do that though.

I'm happy ending kind of lady myself, so now that I've given you the bad news, I can move on to the good news.  The book is broken into four parts and every chapter in part one, The Extrovert Ideal, is outstanding.

  • The Rise of the "Mighty Likeable Fellow" details the shift from the pre-1920s American ideal that the best personality attributes dealt with virtue to the standard that it was more important to be exude confidence and likability.  
  • The Myth of Charismatic Leadership really hit home for me. It gave stories of how it feels to be an introvert in settings where extroversion is not only the standard, but where introversion is almost snubbed and not allowed.  It also spoke to one of my biggest pet peeves; just because someone says something loudly and with confidence does not mean they are right.  
  • When Collaboration Kills Creativity also struck a chord with me because it addresses the need to set introverts up for success by not making us work in a cookie cutter setting that is meant to promote collaboration, but just ends up being overstimulating for us.
But because professional development was part of my reason for picking up this book, it's important that I mention my biggest takeaway from this section - what type of leadership different types of people work under.  I found out a group of extroverts works better under an introvert because extroverts are not reserved about providing ideas and introverts are active listeners to all participants.  On the flip slide, a group of introverts works well under extroverted leadership because we're pulled from our own heads and motivated into action.

The other parts of the book were interesting but not as personally impactful.  They include: Your Biology, Your Self? which is basically the nature/nurture debate and how and how much we can expand our temperament; Do All Cultures Have An Extrovert Ideal which followed the cases of a couple of Asian American students who grew up in a California town where they were the majority and their respective cultures were largely intact.  Overall this meant have ambition, but you don't have to step on everyone around you to use it;
"Soft power is quiet persistence"

And the last section, How To Love, How To Work which was more of a how to guide - how to pull characteristics from your opposite type, how to communicate with the opposite type and how to raise introverted children.

A quote Cain provided near the end of the book brought everything full circle for me.  She said,
"Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it."
Simple words, but they needed to be said.  As an introvert, it's easy to allow your voice to be silenced because you get so exhausted from trying to be heard in such a loud culture. But we need encouragement like that to remind us that what we have to say is important too.

~ With ♥ from Halima


The Universe Speaks: Part II

In last week's post, The Universe Speaks: Part I, I told you all about how I was finally able to relax in this life by embracing my faith.  And how I felt confirmed in this belief because of a Facebook post on my newsfeed with a Bible verse that spoke about peace coming through faith.  But I didn't tell you about my second encounter with that still, small [online] voice.

A couple of days after the scripture came across my Facebook feed, I was reading an unrelated Huffington Post article which led me to my new favorite YouTube channel, Soul Pancake.  It's made up of scientific studies on positivity whose findings are demonstrated in life situations.

One of the first videos that showed up on the page with this one titled What's Stopping You From Achieving Your Goals? The video talks about how when most people are asked to give a reason why they don't follow their dream, one of the top responses is, "fear."

I knew I was on to something when I combined my recent acknowledgment that fear and doubt are a problem in my life with one of the featured people in the video saying this:
"You have two choices: you have fear and you have faith"
Serendipity much?? 

So basically I'm back to that scary place I was about three years ago, trying to let go of the fear of  not being in control of everything.  But this time, instead of trying to fabricate a sense of newfound freedom by enjoying the ride, I've filled the void left by fear with faith.

~ With ♥ from Halima

The Universe Speaks: Part I

Like I imagine most people do, I get in ruts where I feel I'm not making any life progress.  And I get caught alternating between pushing to make something happen and a state of exhaustion and desolation.

I'm guilty of spending countless days in my room, blinds drawn in hopes that if the world would just stop so my lack of movement wouldn't matter. Or of spending days sleeping, desperately trying to escape.  And in between these depressed states, I pray.  I pray because I was always taught that if I ask, and it's His will, it will be given to me.

I've been asking, but not only have my requests not been granted, but it seems they haven't even been rejected to be replaced by something more in line with what I need.  You know the age-old adage about not getting what you want because something better may be coming.

So I've recently gotten to the point where I'm questioning God. Asking him if he's forgotten about me.  Wondering why, in the past, he didn't answer my prayers when doing so could only be good for all parties involved.  Working myself up over not getting things I consider to be not too selfish.  Working myself up. 

And then I had an epiphany that if I'm not getting answers, maybe it's because I'm not asking the right questions.  Cliché, right?? I sound like a retro, King Fu movie.  But I changed my prayers despite being embarrassed of my Columbus-like discovery of basic knowledge.  I changed them to not only be direct in asking for what I'd like, but to also ask for the wisdom to know when God was speaking to spirit and guiding me towards His path. 

Then I ran across a Facebook post about faith being the only source of real peace.  It resonated, but I didn't realize how much so until I started relaxing.  This is kind of scary for me because I never relax. So subconsciously I began to think about how I could sabotage this feeling.  But once I caught myself, I starting thinking about what I did to make myself relax so I could hold on to this feeling.  What I realized is that I held on to my faith. 

And then I realized that I got just what I asked for, the wisdom to know when God was talking.  Whether he speaks through a Facebook post or some live-changing-event, he was still talking. It's the little things, right?? 

So I had to share my moment of enlightenment, but of  course, I couldn't find the verse that spoke to me.  Instead, I found John 14:27 which is along the same lines - peace can only come from above. 

Next week, part two of my latest "aha moment." Until then, peace and blessings ;-)

~ With ♥ from Halima

Kindred Spirits, Masterpieces and More

In the process of making art, do you fall in love with the tools for creation or with the resulting piece of work? I ask because I was reading How to Attract More Love In Your Life. an article by Mommy Noire, and ran across this:
"We are all moved by human drama."
I didn't think much of it until later when I started thinking about the people I've known over the course of my life.  People who have bonded with me over a specific trauma, but are absent in other areas of my life. What allows us to align with the negative experiences that shape a person, but not necessarily feel the person that emerges from the experience?

Empathy? Lack of facts? Maybe.

Or maybe Michelangelo's famous quote applies to humans as well.

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it” 
Since I've been reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, I've been thinking about parts of my personality I've always thought were shaped by life events. For instance, I attributed my reserved nature to my learning that, there are some things you just don't talk about. But looking back, I realize I was always shy.  Always the toddler peaking out from behind my mom's legs.  So yea, life situations may have enhanced my reluctance, but the statue inside of me was always there so to speak.

And I'm assuming others are like this as well.  The tools or experiences that shape someone else - no matter how much they resemble situations I've been through - will not produce the same result because their inner statue is fundamentally different.

So yea, I can offer advice and my advice may actually get someone through a life season, but it may not necessarily produce a kindred spirit. And that's okay.  We're all masterpieces in our own right.

~ With ♥ from Halima

I'm What's Happening: March 2015

It's been a while since I've written and I've definitely missed publishing, but I've been taking time to write for myself. Aannnddd...I've also been taking time to work on my crafting.  So, without further delay, here's what I've been up to in my absence.

Fabric lining complete
Okay, sorry for the big build up with no real reveal. But I've been working on a crochet project that keeps encountering little bumps in the road and I don't want to say what it is until I can show off the finished product.  But I will say, this is the first time I've ever lined a piece of work with fabric.

I did it by hand and it took way more time than I wanted to spend on that part of the project. So, I promptly decided I need a sewing machine for future projects.  I did some research and ended up with this pretty girl.

Now let me be clear, I have no idea what I'm doing here.  It took me about two hours, the instructional DVD and about three YouTube videos for me just to figure out how to thread this thing.  But now I'm pumped to maybe pick up some sewing projects.  Which led me to rediscovering Craftsy.  Not only do they have online classes, but they also have about 20 free sewing patterns. I'm about to be spending a lot of time there.

And last but not least, I'm currently reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Listen, whether you're an introvert, extrovert or ambivert, this book is a must read.  It explains quiet leaders all the way from why they are how they are to the ideal leadership situation.  As an introvert, I definitely see a lot of myself in this book, but I'm also learning a lot of new, scientific information and am thoroughly enjoying the case studies.

Until next time,

~ With ♥ from Halima

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