From Good Girl to Fighting for the *Greater* Good. Let’s Be Paradigm Shifters, Together.

This is a funny combo of quiet and outspoken, and I know I’m not the only one:

I’m a recovering “good girl” who now openly questions the insane harmful systems that dominate around the globe.

In other words, when I was younger, I used to be too quiet in an attempt to seem “good” and to stay safe (beyond the normal level of the positive quiet of introverts).

Now my desire for the Greater Good is winning out, and I’ve become more outspoken, more and more each year.

I am determined to be part of moving from the dominant broken paradigm (money-driven and violent) to a life-affirming, nature-centric paradigm.

I know. It’s a long journey from here to there but I am finding it joyful along the way, whenever I turn in that direction. It’s way better on this road than the old crumbling one. Especially when I connect with kindred spirits.

This “New” Paradigm Is Our Ancestral Heritage

Triskele - symbol of natural resilience

This Triskele is an ancient symbol found in Ireland and other places in Europe, most likely about natural rhythms of the seasons.

A nature-centric world view is what research has shown me is the true ancestral heritage of all humans.

No wonder it feels so much more true to my own nature. No wonder so many are drawn to it.

This true nature paradigm has been alive all along, sometimes in the shadows and in Indigenous cultures around the globe, and it is expanding, despite pressures against it.

I’ll share more of what I mean about what’s unfolding, why it’s hard, and what can help. Continue reading

Heartache > Solidarity > Maybe a Big Awakening Too. (They seem to go together.)

For so long I have craved more progress about racial justice. It’s possible a tipping point is happening, and I am daring to feel some hope, amidst the grief of all the pain that has led to this increased uprising.

I think it’s always like this, that important awakenings come out of pain. When we add in Solidarity.

You know that relief you eventually feel after leaving a job or a relationship? At first, it’s so hard to face, and then it feels so right when you say “Enough is enough.” Getting there is often partly thanks to someone who was with us in the dark tunnel.

We are all in this together.

… forever.

And right now, many of us have had it with big trauma for our Black communities, and we are ready for change, and even more ready to bring about that change.

Whatever you’re feeling today, it’s OK. It’s normal. I am with you if your heart is aching.

I’m also writing today to check in on what you’re finding to turn to for solace and direction. I’ll share what’s helping me.

I’ve been sad, angry, bereft, ready to march in the streets…. then hopeful. Then repeat.

It’s interesting that in the time since I started writing this post a week ago, I’m finding more reasons for hope already. What a difference a week can make.

Finding Solace, Hope, and Direction

I am fortunate to have found some solace and direction in community, in long talks with honest friends, in stirring music, in nature, and now in the signs of progress already happening.

Here are some favorites that have provided some clarity and energy for me: Continue reading

The Joy and Challenge of Finding Your Purpose

I love this article (below) on the secret to a long and happy life… which, to paraphrase the article, is…. To do what you love, or more specifically what brings a sense of meaning and purpose. It seems like a simple equation: Do what makes you happy in order to be happy.

But somehow this gets all complicated for us, doesn’t it? Worrying what others will think, how to find what you love, how it all fits with making a living, and all that practical stuff.

The article has some good hints and inspiration. They talk about a Japanese philosophy called “ikigai” which loosely translates as sense of purpose, or doing what you love, or following the call of your heart. The article contains some fruitful yet simple questions to ask yourself to help you find your purpose in life. I’ll provide some tips below too.

A helpful excerpt from the article:

It’s not as easy as that sounds, of course. ‘Modern life estranges us more and more from our true nature, making it very easy for us to lead lives lacking in meaning,’ García and Miralles write. ‘Powerful forces and incentives (money, power, attention, success) distract us on a daily basis; don’t let them take over your life.’
Instead, they advise, follow your curiosity and intuition, which are the paths back to ikigai, as is self-awareness. Find the activity you love, surround yourself with people you love, and stay true to that internal compass.
~ David G. Allen, CNN, in “Ikigai, the Japanese path to live longer, happier”

I know what they’re saying is true. But it’s not so simple, is it? “Internal compass,” huh? I’ll explain. That’s one of my favorite topics.

image - happiness

Happiness is not all about rainbows. But in this case, a rainbow did make me happy, and I danced with it. For me, following the happiness that appears is so key. Those moments of trusting and following instincts add up.

“How do I get one of those Internal Compasses?”

From what I’ve seen up close and personal as a coach, most people, in Western cultures, have a very hard time understanding what is their internal compass and how to hear it.  Continue reading

Managing the Whirlwind of Feelings in a Whirlwind World

Dear Val: “Sometimes feeling all this stuff in the world and in my own life, and the people around me can feel like too much. All these feelings moving through me…. Sometimes I want to hide under the covers. But I also care. I’m not sure how to find the right balance sometimes.” ~ A highly sensitive introverted woman.

I’ve heard many versions of this same concern. As a sensitive introvert myself, I get it. I have now designed a life that doesn’t usually overwhelm me, even with all the feelings inside and around me, and that is so different from in the past. It still happens that I feel overwhelmed at times, I mean, this life, yowza! Whoa. But I can see that my choices and some daily habits are making it so much easier. #Grateful

If you’re like me and well, like all humans, you’re feeling a big range of things— from gratitude and love, to confusion or loss— all in this one moment. Seems strange but that’s life I think. And yet…

What if it feels like too much?
AND it’s also worth asking:
What if it opens you up to something wonderful?

I’ll share how I think of it.  Continue reading

My 15 Favorite Books for Caring Introverted Women

[image of reading a book]Like many introverts, I love books. There’s so much richness in there! When I see a shelf of books, I see each book as a little world I can explore and savor.

I’m very picky about which books are worth reading. I start a lot of books, and put them down if they aren’t engaging or useful in some way.

When I find a book I love, I can get a bit evangelical about it. So, indulge me in my sharing some favorites that I think other caring introverted women will enjoy.  Continue reading