How to stop being a loner
A loner (aka a hermit) is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society. And lately I’ve been figuring out how to stop being a loner!
Seriously, hermit? Yep… I have a HUGE hermit streak. I wish there was a better ‘word’ to describe it. Loner isn’t much better…but it’s kind of true. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried over the years to sugar-coat this quality with as much flair + pizazz as I could:
Independent | Introverted | Need alot of ‘me-time’ | Love my own company.
All that and more. But I am what I am. I’m owning it. I am a hermit. I like to be alone. It’s been refreshing and relieving to step into my hermitty-loner shoes.
‘Being who you are is another way of accepting yourself’ – Unknown
Since starting my own wellness coaching business in 2011 I’ve definitely let that ‘hermit’ streak take over. Truthfully, I had to. Preferring to bunker down for work, study, meditation, prayer, yoga was almost a prescription written out for me to get me through the highs and lows of soul-preneur work.
The thing is, right at the point where I finally felt fully comfortable with this loner streak (and my inner circle has come to accept it, I think) something else has shown up to shake things up.
My networker or ‘social butterfly’ streak has recently rocked up with swagger and flair. Looking for action, looking to ride that zingy high of connection and collective experiences. So here I am now, having to remember another truth – another layer of my being – I love to cosy up with like-minded souls and get FULL, love-drunk almost, on that connection.
As I write this, the butterfly inside me is all a flutter, she has been for a while. Now awake after a dormant, groggy sleep. She wants some action now. She’s calling for connection. (It’s one of my core-desired feelings for 2014!) I’ve spent so much time moving inward over the last few years that it’s near impossible to hear the message being delivered:
‘Connect. Be part of a community. Find your tribe’.
The hermit-loner in me is still ever-present, thankfully, but it now needs to take a step back, just for a little while, as I let this butterfly soar, in search for the sweet nectar of life that is so vividly painted through loving, openhearted connection and community.
Now, before I completely let my butterfly loose my inner wisdom has nudged me to call a round table discussion with myself, my hermit and my butterfly.
How can we work as a team, it asked? How can we keep the peace, maintain some order and balance?
I hear that inner wisdom with a nodding approval. Thank god for wisdom – which recalls (with so much clarity + detail) how, in the past, when I let my butterfly take over I’d be left burnt out, disconnected from my true self, sick, stressed and anxious.
So, lately I’ve been experimenting, pondering on and toying with this question– how can I balance out my hermit and my butterfly?
I can’t be one without the other, I know that now, so it’s time to seek out that ever-elusive space of balance – it’s like the Holy Grail or that perfect recipe for a delicious life. Something I didn’t do in my early 20s!
My experiment has been bearing the fruit of happiness, content, joy, inspiration, gratitude, intuition, connection and devotion. So far, so good.
Right in this very moment, I feel SOO ALIVE. I’ve managed to get my daily dose of me-time but also feel ecstatically and delightfully FULL on that deep, heart-to-heart connection I so crave and love. I’m sharing my time between the hermit and the butterfly with such ease it almost feels, dare I say it, balanced.
I also dare to declare that if you are reading this that YOU have the Hermit and the Butterfly fighting it out for prime position. It wouldn’t surprise me if you are seeking out some balance – a little true between these two energies.
Let me share with you a few of the steps I took to balance out my Hermit + Butterfly. You might find that you are craving some equilibrium between these two potent yet necessary energies.
1) Be clear on what your ‘non-negotiables’ are.
Create two separate lists: one for Hermit and one for Butterfly. What are the experiences, situations, people or practices that you absolutely need to nurture those two energies.
Write them out clearly.
2) Check in regularly. Close your eyes. Breathe gently yet deeply. Place your hand on your heart and ask your heart directly:
- What does my soul need this week?
- Does the hermit in me need nurturing?
- Is my butterfly calling out for attention?
- What is paramount to my soul’s happiness?
- What do I need to feel alive, content and nourished?
- What do I need to call forth, right now?
Listen and wait for that intuitive, soulful voice to communicate what it needs. Jot down what you learn. Scribble notes.
3) Open your diary and create space.
Look at your week ahead and see where and how you can make space to respond to the needs of your hermit, butterfly or both!
Do this weekly, if you can. Be committed to your hermit and your butterfly.
Be prepared for it to change all the time. My Loner Years were vital and integral to my growth (professionally and personally). Now, the butterfly is fluttering forth because my soul is calling for it. And even today I have a whole week of networking, socializing, playing and exploring. Then next week I’ll let the introverted, inwards, quiet and reflective me step forth.
love + light,
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