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Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
D.R.
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.

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Introvert Prefers a Sense of Ease to a Sense of Urgency: Making Space for Creativity, Connecting and Authenticity

Photo credit to Rona Keller

Photo credit to Rona Keller

Half of the real problem of exhaustion comes from distraction. The problem is not being too tired. The problem is having a divided mind.

James L. WalpoleYou’re Not Too Tired to Create. You’re Too Distracted.

My mind has been divided lately. Creating and (softly) promoting the new website meant a lot of doing and task focusing. I’ve had to make a lot of decisions and take a lot of action. My kids have had a lot of activities and personal needs. My man and I have been opposite ends of the physical versus cerebral spectrum lately. He’s all movement and doing and I’m all, I can’t keep up, must retreat to my happy place.

I’ve been feeling uneasy and anxious. This way of living with no slowing down and no space for stillness, stifles my warmth, kindness, patience and openness. I find myself exposed to more arguments, gossipy conversations and frustrating situations. I’m not sure if my dis-ease attracts or causes other dis-ease or if I am putting myself in more negative environments. I just know I’m missing a few things that are crucial to my peace.

Non-judgmental, understanding friends

I had to skip my writing group last month due to schedule conflicts. I really needed to sit with my writing sisters, sharing honestly and vulnerably and feeling absolutely accepted. In that space there is no judgment, only listening, witnessing and compassion. I can’t express in words how much I value the freedom and love found there. We laugh, cry and tell our stories. No one argues. No one makes you feel small. Honestly, along with writing for space2live, it’s my most effective therapy.

I did assuage some of that longing for friendship with a lovely conversation with my writing coach, Lauren Sapala. Lauren puts me at ease and makes me feel understood.

A brief conversation with an old friend the other day helped and I plan to go to happy-hour with another  dear friend tonight.

That kindred spirit connection is so vital.

Creativity

In a harried state, my creativity all but dries up. Writer’s block creeps in the room and sits on my shoulders, commanding me to write forced words lacking color and imagination. All I can compose are complaints and problems. I don’t want to fill the page with grey bitchy chatter. I want to create content that matters. I want to engage and inspire.

I believe creativity requires a certain amount of idleness. The kind found while driving long distances with the radio on. The kind found in the early morning hours before anyone else is awake. Imagination blooms in hours empty of interruptions and multi-tasking.

Yesterday afternoon I read and read. Reading also fosters creativity. It expands me on the inside. It allows my thoughts to play with each other and have ‘idea sex’. Associations are made and lead to inspiration and creative output.

Relaxation

I’ve had a hard time relaxing. I mostly have a wired buzzy feeling. Sleep eludes me. My body feels tense. My Psoas muscle is acting up again. By the way, does anyone else know or have issues with their Psoas muscle? It’s a new discovery of mine. Supposedly, it’s the muscle that keeps us upright and walking. It also is where we store tension from trauma, but I digress.

It’s been a while since I felt like I could sit back and relax. I’ve had too many other things I ‘should’ be doing. I’ve barely watched TV. I just got back into reading (offline). Even the conversations I’ve had with my man lately have felt more like debates than meaningful mental connecting.

For the last two days, I incorporated five to ten minutes of meditation into my day. I need that white space. I need that internal focus to release my stressed muscles and ease my divided/tired mind.

I’m also going to stay away from political discussions with my man.;)

I miss myself

I have not felt warm, spacious and open in a while. I haven’t felt relaxed enough to let down my guard. My relationships have been missing the sweetness and comfort required for me to be me. When I am harried and around negativity, I close up. It’s as if my skin, my brain and my heart can’t take any more. The light inside of me dims and doesn’t shine on others like I would prefer it to. I’m sure this is related to my creative slump as well. It’s hard to express myself well when I feel like conserving my energy and light. This makes me feel bad. I want to be open and available to others.

Solitude, true friends and a relaxed atmosphere restore my sense of self. I need to be selective about whom I spend time with. I need positive environments. I need time alone to come back to myself.

How and when do you feel at ease? What sparks your creativity? What dulls it? How do you get back to good?

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16 Comments

  1. Janet October 19, 2015 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I took a deep breath after reading your post and felt validated after so many years of trying to figure out what was “wrong” with me. There is nothing wrong with me – thank you for making that very clear. Your explanation of exhaustion vs tired is right on. I describe how I feel some days as sitting in a chair, arms hanging down at my sides and all my energy draining out my fingertips. I get overwhelmed by all the input, excessive energy and demands put on me by people around me. We live in a society that does not know how to slow down and just enjoy “being.” I am learning to not put myself in situations that are draining without some self care first and most importantly I am taking time for myself and the things I love. Thank you again for you insight – your words describe exactly how I feel.

    • Brenda Knowles October 20, 2015 at 7:56 am - Reply

      Time for yourself really is the best remedy. Make space to breathe and see the good in your life. We get so harried we don’t have time to process anything and then our systems short out. It often requires a strong ‘no’ to protect our nervous system. Be intentional about how you spend your time. I’m so glad my writing resonates and lets you know you’re not alone.:)

  2. Lauren Sapala October 6, 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    This made me smile. I love our conversations!

    Also, I clicked the link and learned about the Psoas muscle and heard a little ding-ding-ding! in my head. This explains the chronic back, hip, knee and leg pain my HSP husband has been suffering from for years. I’m so glad you included this information, you may have just changed our lives.

    • Brenda Knowles October 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm - Reply

      Woot woot! I hope the Psoas info leads to healing. Whenever I’m stressed mine acts up. I relax and so does the Psoas. Good luck with that and thank you for all of your beautiful insight Lauren.:)

  3. Pearl October 5, 2015 at 2:30 am - Reply

    You have no idea how your writing makes me feel so validated Brenda. You give me permission to be myself 100% and that is so liberating. You are the long sought friend who manages to perfectly articulate what I feel in a natural and at ease manner. I have for many years rejected who I am and your blog has held my held my hand and brought me home. May life profoundly touch you the way your writing has affected me.
    It’s a constant struggle for me to get back to good. Reading your blog, self-soothing, gym and therapy are the only things that help me at the moment

    • Brenda Knowles October 12, 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Did I not reply to you Pearl? I’m sorry. You were so kind with your words. I must have been dealing with technology glitches and missed your comment. I absolutely give you permission to be yourself. That’s how you attract others who love you for who you are.:) Keep on with the self-soothing. Surround yourself with loving, encouraging people and get sleep! Those are the keys to calm and peace. Sending you a big loving hug — sorry it’s late.

  4. Samantha October 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    You’ve described this perfectly. Divided mind and the lack of freedom to remove myself from a negative atmosphere that I experience nearly every day at my job is something that I think affects my creativity and ability to even take anything in. I have to steer away from political conversations lately too, because I don’t have the energy to bear it. I can’t even read articles about what’s been happening in the world lately because it just makes everything worse.

    To make a long story short, I’m glad that I’m not the only one. And my creative slump is starting to ease. Reading has helped a lot, and I’m hoping to begin doing more coloring and crocheting soon to help relax me and get my pen to paper again.

  5. David Kanigan October 3, 2015 at 10:29 am - Reply

    The problem is having a divided mind. Yes. Right there.

    Love the post and your new blog Brenda. Nicely done.

    • Brenda Knowles October 5, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

      Thank you David. Darn that divided mind.;)

  6. Alexis October 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    I’d say all of the above. I often need time all by myself, whether I listen to a message from a favored speaker, read from an interesting book, take a shower when I’m not actually tire or exhausted, or take a much needed nap. But other times I need a friend. A good friend who understands me, or at least empathizes with me. Non judging. Someone to have stimulating (but not overly so) conversations about anything in life. I’ve been feeling burnt out lately and my good friend and I have plans to go to a Korean spa this weekend (without husbands or kids) and just hang out…literally. The wet spa is segregated and also is nude, which puts in an extremely vulnerable position (in a sense) but also totally free at the same time. There are also dry saunas (clothed) and a small waterpark of sorts that we will enjoy…but I have to admit, the freedom of the nude sauna is very invigorating. And I only share that with my closest friends. It’s a chance to unwind and stop being critical of yourself and others. You can also see that most women do not have the stereotypical body type. It’s just much needed. We’ve had a lot of stressful situations going on and I’ve been needing this trip to help me out things back into perspective. And to just unwind and relax.

    • Brenda Knowles October 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      That sounds heavenly! You two goddesses have a wonderful girls’ weekend.:)

  7. Diane Koosed October 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Thank you for putting words to this so perfectly. You’re speaking my mind and heart for me.

    • Brenda Knowles October 2, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      Yay! You’re welcome. Love it when my story resonates.

    • Sherrie October 2, 2015 at 9:24 pm - Reply

      I am with Diane K. you put the words SO perfectly, speaking my very mind heart and soul.. your words and what you give me permission to feel/experience (note to self, work on self permissions) are blessed and soul balm <3

      • Brenda Knowles October 5, 2015 at 8:16 am - Reply

        I know the gift of permission to be yourself. It can change everything. When I receive that gift I feel like a flower blossoming, so open to everything.:)

        • connie cunningham March 11, 2016 at 11:41 pm - Reply

          I have been in a very unfriendly area of the country for over 10 yrs. It is only when my old friends come to visit that I can recognize myself again. And when they leave I fall into a depression of epic proportions. Because its like “I” leave with them. It is so hard to explain this to people.

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