My inner-Hermit has been exercising her right to undiluted indulgence these past few days.
Whether due to all of the inward-drawing energetics or some intense extroversion recently, I found myself not just craving quiet time and introspection, but ‘just doing it’ as the saying goes.
And Goddess alive, does it feel good to replenish the well. In fact, it’s essential, as I know from past experience (when I ignored the signs and the needs for replenishment).
For many years, I routinely overruled my more contemplative nature, as do many natural introverts who are conditioned towards an unnatural extroversion and nonstop ‘busy do’.
It’s taken many years and devoted practice to honor the introspective core of my nature, and to shed the conditioning that favored perpetual extroversion — a bias that is common in our culture.
That’s no doubt why I greatly appreciated Susan Cain’s TED Talk about her own journey as an introvert in a sea of extroversion.
My favorite tidbit from her talk is when she mentions the unrelenting focus on ‘teamwork’ and group-work in offices and schools and says, “Just stop it.” You have to see it to appreciate it.
Cain’s message is nothing new to those of us who know this deeply and personally.
But even if we know that is our innermost nature, we forsake again and again for the sake of ‘fitting in’ behind an Extrovert Mask, because somewhere along the line, we got the message that extroversion is normal and introversion is not.
Western culture is starving for a little bit of quiet time and some introspection, though, since perpetual extroversion and ‘outward referencing’ yields neither wisdom nor the magical right-brain gifts.
And this is the natural expertise and comfort zone of the introverts among us — though, admittedly, introverts can hang out just as easily in left-brain mode, too.
Nowadays, thanks to all manner of challenging experience calling me back to my true, essential nature, I don’t just honor The Hermit within, it feels utterly blissful to do so.
That’s a good thing, too, because it’s more and more important for my expression in the world.
Even more, when I live first from The Hermit — with the quiet, solitude, introspection, and gentleness of that domain — I feel much more able to express my extroversion more authentically, and with the right pacing and timing.
Introverts aren’t antisocial — those are very different things.
We just don’t go to a party when we need to unwind or recharge. For that, we happily turn off the phone, quietly read, walk solo (or with an introversion-respecting peep) amidst nature, and so on.
The Hermit card of the tarot’s major arcana speaks this message perfectly. The inward focus of awareness offers a light which guides us on our way, through whatever storm, forest, desert, or rainforest we might be traveling.
And often — and increasingly — our more naturally extroverted fellow humans find their way to us when they, too, need to reconnect with some of that deep, quiet wisdom to set things straight.
So, hail to the introverts, the hermits, the contemplatives, the mystics, and the Wise women and men.
How’s your own Hermit doing these days?
For more introvert-respecting Muse food, read Beautiful Madonna and the Inner Way of Mary Magdalene and check out the Resources for Empaths & Sensitives Series, all from the Sophia’s Children Archives.
Image Credit: IX The Hermit from Kay Steventon’s Celestial Tarot. This is one of the few tarot Hermit cards that features the Hermit in her Feminine form — the Wise Woman. How fabulous is that?
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