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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.
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
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
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
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
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
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.
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
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.
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.

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The Simple Secret to Euphoric Living

We stand in my drop-cloth covered, nothing-in-its-place, kitchen and talk for a good thirty minutes before everyone else arrives.  It’s early morning and things are still invitingly silent.  Phil, the lead painter on my, please let new paint and carpet be all my house needs to sell project, is with me.  He shares engaging stories about his children and eye-sparkling descriptions of his fiancé (an introvert like him).  He tells me of his grand appreciation for a good cup of coffee or a nice piece of fish. I tell him how book and music suggestions are my favorite gifts and how I relish an open afternoon.coffee

As we wind down our conversation, Phil puts his phone in an empty bucket for amplification and asks me to listen to something beautiful.  I listen and hear the most angelic and lovely voice rise from the lowly bucket.  The heavenly sound ascends the messy surroundings.  He tells me it’s his sixteen year old daughter. If she were my daughter, my heart would burst every time she sang.  We stand transfixed.  We savor the new light of morning, the after-glow of a meaningful conversation and the sweet sound of an enchanting voice.

And I was prepared to be completely annoyed by workmen in my house all week…;)

Precious gift of introversion and high sensitivity

The most precious gift of introversion and high sensitivity I have found is the ability to savor and be moved by simple things.  Conversations can be heady.  Food and flavors, sublime. Music speaks to me as if it were my first language. Time in solitude enhances the molecules in my body.

Can savoring be taught?

StarryNight-of-Brazil_TafreshiI believe it can.  My parents were never flush financially but we oohed and aahed over fresh sweet corn or a crisp starry night. My mom showed us the beauty in fine clothing and the exquisite flavor of a roast cooked until it falls apart.  My dad taught us to appreciate every genre of music and to pay attention to the nuances of nature.  My step-mom taught us how to drink life from a paper cup and be happy.  My grandparents taught us that slow is often better than fast when it comes to experiencing the richness of life.

Were my parents and grandparents introverts and/or sensitives? Yes and no.  They could all be bubbly and social in a crowd but they also enjoyed the smallness of our clan.  We lived out in the country so days were spent “in town” working but after-hours were spent in the rural quiet. My dad is a friendly doer but as he ages he seems more and more content to stay home. My mom has always had a penchant for downtime mixed with occasional social bursts. I think they all feel/felt things deeply.

I pray my kids develop the satisfying art of savoring. The tiniest new aspect of the latest Apple software mesmerized my boys.  My daughter asked to go for a walk the other night to our neighborhood gazebo.  As we walked on the trail between meadows, I had her stop for five seconds and just listen.  We heard the buzz of zillions of insects and the solo hoot of an owl.

Savoring, succeeding and love

Chicago_Skyline_Panorama-2074_5_6_7_8Growing up savoring was a subconscious act exemplified by my parents and emulated by us kids.  As a post-college young adult I tasted all aspects of Chicago. I found the El (train) enchanting and Lake Michigan enthralling.  The food options dazzled my mind and mouth.  The Chicago skyline beguiled me.  It’s depth and vastness gave me a mini high.

I moved away from Chicago and got busy creating and nurturing a family. I savored night nursing my babies in comfy chairs. I got to travel more than I ever had. I tasted the sweetness of financial security.

Then savoring simple things fell away to the drive and hum of keeping up with a busy, successful lifestyle.

Towards the end of my marriage I realized I was missing the slow pleasing satisfaction of savoring.  My depth of feeling was stunted.  It was all about surviving, succeeding and rushing.  I was dying to slow down and feel connected to something bigger than myself.  I was dying to feel connected to my partner.

I feel savoring life with another is the highest form of connecting.  It’s appreciating beauty together.  It’s awe and wonder.  It can be the biggest love buzz ever.

Living large with very little

You don’t need much if you can let things linger in your senses, mind and heart. There Bucketfulis something so satisfying about paying attention deeply. It calms and expands you all at once. The smallest thing becomes a jewel of transcendence.  It may only take a bucket full of music and a thoughtful conversation to inspire and light you up.

Are you a savorer? Are you moved easily and often? What would it take to enhance your ability to appreciate?

If Euphoric Living made you feel all warm and fuzzy you may also enjoy:

Peak Experiences in Self-Actualization: Gifts That Transcend Your Head

Introverts Do It Passionately and Creatively: How It’s Possible to Love Solitude and Be Popular

How To Be Lively, Energetic and Vibrant When Your True Nature Is Thoughtful, Introverted and Reticent

Moving at the Speed of Introversion: Living With a Slow Richness and Loving It

How Quiet Places Could Save the World

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4 Comments

  1. elizabeth2560 October 1, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I am enjoying getting back to a more simple way of living. It is truly uplifting and liberating for me – the ultimate introvert.

    • Brenda Knowles October 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      Simple is so much easier on our energy stores. It gives us time to savor. I’m glad you are feeling liberated! 🙂

  2. markat323 September 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Even with an under 2 year old, I try to encourage her to watch and listen. This savoring reminds me of this article. Did you post it or was that someone else?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-macy-stafford/the-day-i-stopped-saying-hurry-up_b_3624798.html
    The article did hit home because, as any parent knows, getting a small child (or any?) to get moving can be a challenge. And Karma is one to stop and pick up the rocks or weeds or stick. I’ve been really trying to remind myself to not rush her, (and I failed miserably this morning when we were running late!) and allow her to do things on her own (like walking to the car in the morning, trying to dress herself, etc). This post is another reminder to also allow her to savor not only nature and music but her new SKILLS and experiences. Thanks!

    • Brenda Knowles September 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      It really is hard to slow down and let kids marvel at the little but beautiful things. Most of the time we are running out the door. When mine were really little like Karma I remember always giving them 5 minute warnings before a transition. I guess we never should stop doing that. I keep thinking my kids will be able to get themselves around by a certain time but they still dawdle until I poke them.;) I love it when I don’t have to hurry them, like on lazy Sundays.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment Mary. I did read the Huff Post article. It made me feel guilty but the message is right on.

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