We all want a good life. Many of us are more externally driven, looking outside of ourselves for satisfaction. Some of us are more internally driven, knowing what our pattern is regardless whether it makes sense to others. This is the major simplistic difference, as I see it, between extroverts and introverts. Both types of people are needed for life to be balanced. If we didn't have both kinds of people on the planet, many of the introverted inventor's inventions might never have gotten into the hands of all who needed their ideas and creations. Did Thomas Edison thrive because he was an extrovert, or could deal with extroverts? Did Nikola Tesla's brilliance not get a chance to shine because he was an introvert or couldn't "sell" his ideas?
I believe I was born an introvert. My mother says she could run after my older brother and get him up and moving into his day, then come to me in my crib where I'd be sitting quietly, looking inquisitively around, or playing with my hands. She says I was a calm child. As I grew, I learned that success seemed to deliver more love than failure or obscurity. I developed extroverted qualities, which allowed me to run for elections and win, act out many different parts on the stage, and be socially active. The busier I got, the more success I acquired, the more tense my insides became and my behavior was undermined by obsessions and addictions, even if hidden from others.
It took me a long time to return to a quieter existence. I needed lots of permission and time to stop beating myself up because I thought something was wrong with me. I was rarely calm anymore. I've learned to calm myself. I know what triggers me and am getting somewhat better at making decisions and choosing options that help me stay calm.
Both types of people need more pleasure. While extroverts might be able to eat stress for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and be ready for more; introverts may find less stress to be pleasure enough.
Who doesn't want more pleasure? Which extroverts can't fit more pleasure into a busy schedule? Which introverts, if honest with themselves, don't recognize that pleasure doesn't have to take them out of their comfort zone? Who would feel guilty if more pleasure is easily available, and as a result, be unable to allow themselves to include it in their day? What if finding and enjoying more pleasure wasn't a long process? What if you didn't have to read anything heavy or technical to get a gadget to perform, or a partner to behave?
Many times people have said to me, "Why don't you just write about pleasure? You don't have to use the word orgasm." It's like the word "orgasm" is a bad, dirty, trigger-point word. But Dr. Oz says we should all have them at least three times a week for maximum health benefit.
In order to process my cancer, I'm attempting to heal emotionally and spiritually what is dysfunctional within me physically, I've written a book about my relationships with men. Included in this expose is my relationship to sexuality. While I thought I was courting men, I've come to realize, all along I was really courting me. Each man I've interacted with taught me a little bit more about myself. The concept that it's all an inside job is really beginning to ring true for me. Everyone we interact with mirrors to us the process we have going on within. Heal it within, and often that shifts the dynamic and the external can also move into greater health and well-being. Only by taking the time to write this book have I become hyper-aware of my patterns, and with a choice to be conscious, I can change them moment at a time. My mind might still be busy with obsessions, but my behavior is changing daily as a result of my deep introspection and soon-to-be-shared expression.
My brother, a true extrovert, believes my book should get out to the masses. I'm torn about putting my very personal project in front of people's eyes. I've come to love my calm obscurity. The concept of getting more public (extroverted) again makes me sweat. But instead of begging an agent to represent me or a publisher to publish me, I like the Kickstarter concept of people deciding on their own what they want to read, watch, study, listen to, and do during their recesses in life.
My brother has chosen Kickstarter to build a campaign to put my book in front of the world in order to introduce them to the concept and see whether they think it has merit. This is an experiment for me to see if I'm really ready to let my deepest feelings about my soul journey in this life leave my hands and enter others. My mother used to say, "You were so reticent as a child. You always put your toe in the water. You never just dove in until you knew it was safe."
My brother Marc believes that extroverts could profit from the moments spent releasing stress to build up inner resources and introverts might benefit going out and dancing more often.
I look at it this way. In spite of all of life's tough decisions, extreme moments of challenge, and for some even existential pain, all people want pleasure. The thing is, we need it too! Pleasure helps us to relax. Relaxing helps us think, be creative, and come up with new solutions to old problems. Pleasure is our recess. Life is a school. We have to study hard to learn our lessons. But we get recess twice a day, in addition to our longer break for lunch. I definitely need to dance more, how about you?
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