I’m an introvert. Most people who work with me are shocked when they discover it, but it’s true. A volunteer I worked with absolutely nailed it. We were hiking along a portion of the Appalachian Trail for a tourism video shoot and having a lovely conversation. I’ve long since forgotten what I said that precipitated what came next. But whatever it was, he heard it, looked at me, cocked his head and said “oh, now it makes sense.” Now it was my turn to look a little befuddled. “You’re an overcompensating introvert. Takes one to know one.”
He was right and I’ve used the label ever since. It always resonated with me and helped figure out my quiet quotient; that elusive part of life path math that keeps me balanced. It explains why I can do the work I love with ease and also need plenty of quiet time, usually in the woods, to reset and recharge.
We live in a very loud world. At any given moment, there are dozens of distractions vying for our attention. Some are important. Most are not. Don’t get me wrong, I have no interest in breaking up with any of my devices. But, there’s value in quiet. In stepping away into the abyss for just a few moments…even if that abyss is the next room and only involves leaving your phone on the kitchen counter.
I often hear quiet calling when I feel myself drifting into decision fatigue. That feeling of constantly reacting, rather than consciously choosing. For me, quiet is usually found outdoors. Give me trees or waves and I can feel my nervous system immediately begin to put down it’s armor and rest.
And that’s where the magic is, right? Choosing, if just for a few moments, to stop battling our days and show some grace. To take a few breaths before the onslaught of emails to center ourselves. To blink in the sunlight before settling into our screens. And perhaps, to let creativity flow freely without the obstructions of our busy schedules.
The Quiet Quotient
How much quiet do you need to replenish your reserves? And what does quiet look like for you?
Our quiet quotients are unique and living things that change based on what we’re doing and where we are in life. But, we usually have an idea of what we need. We may not always honor it, but we know the importance of letting our minds rest for a bit.
These moments of quiet help to balance the clamor of our days. They open a window and let fresh air into a tired mind, making it easier to listen for the whispers of intuition. And, when we get better at listening to ourselves, we inherently listen better to others. We soften just a little and remember to leave space for possibility.
Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between, there’s a “quiet” that’s right for you. I can find it almost as easily in traffic or at a piano, as I can in the woods or on the water. Here’s to your version of “quiet” and finding a few moments of it today.