✨🌈 “It’s a beautiful thing to realize how truly similar we are.
But I also think it’s a beautiful thing to realize how we are different.
Because those differences are how we change the world.” ✨🌈
July Greetings friends!
In the astrological calendar, the sun has just crossed over into Leo season. Leo is the lion, a sign of bold confidence. ✨🦁✨ This is the time of year when we can feel most confident about stepping out into the light and sharing our true selves with the world, letting people see our true personality!
But sometimes…just being ourselves can have unexpected consequences when we don’t fit the perfect social mold.
Or maybe, even just figuring out WHO we truly are doesn’t seem so straightforward!
🌈 Who Are You?
I love this quote from the movie Ride the Eagle; it’s a phone convo between characters Leif and Gorka:
“The band wants you out, and I can’t believe it.”
“It’s not personal. It’s just…your style, your energy, your vibe – and your personality – doesn’t fit in.”
“My personality, Gorka? How is that not personal? It’s MY personality!”
Well…we’ve all been there before, right?!
That feeling that somehow, we just don’t fit in.
When I was little, I was super shy in school. I was great at making friends in a one-on-one situation, but I wanted to die every time the teacher threatened to spontaneously call on someone.
Even though I was a straight-A student, I remember parent teacher conferences mentioning how I could “participate” more. In college I got my first and only C in a class called Changing the World because the teacher graded heavily on “participation,” which meant raising your hand and opening your mouth.
It didn’t matter if you could write well, or how deep or accurate the thoughts in your head were, it mattered if you could open your mouth and ya know, say words, out loud – like literally anything.
I spent a lot of my life in school looking around and wondering why the world valued so heavily being able to open your mouth and say words, despite the accuracy, validity, or relevancy of those words to the conversation.
I also envied those kids who could raise their hands so confidently, say something – right or wrong – and rack up those participation points. It seemed to come so easily to them. The thought of being heard, or being wrong god forbid – barely a concern at all.
For me, the thought of raising my hand was terrifying, and my arm remained heavily glued to my side, my eyes averted from the teacher’s radar, while envisioning my body melting into the chair.
I remember classroom presentations with my voice shaking and my cheeks blazing red.
Being called on and my mind going completely blank with everyone staring at me – the kind kids urging me to say anything just so the painful awkwardness would stop.
And there were the voice tests in choir class where I was expected to sing alone and would panic to the point of producing sounds that I’m pretty sure couldn’t be classified as actual musical notes based on the confused look on the teacher’s face.
Though I’ve become much more comfortable with many of these facets the more I’ve been forced to do them – I mean, I actually enjoy teaching in front of groups now! – it’s still a big part of who and how I am and I can definitely still get nervous.
Even just a couple years ago when I agreed to be interviewed on a tiny local news channel, I was panicking hours beforehand lying in a bathtub full of Epsom salts and dousing myself with calming lavender essential oil as I contemplated faking a car accident to get out of the whole thing.
Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is a huge advocate for bringing the concept of introversion into our collective consciousness and giving it the recognition it deserves as a legitimate way of being – and not as something we must “overcome.”
She says, “Introversion- along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness- is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.”
It was a long time before I ever heard the term “introvert.” I heard it in college while studying psychology, but I didn’t actually resonate with it at the time because I was trying so hard to embody the Extrovert Ideal that I even tested as an extrovert at the time on a self-reporting personality test.
But ohh what a farce that was. Sure, alcohol made me the perfect social butterfly at parties, and a general discomfort of being alone with myself kept my social calendar busy from breakfast to sundown.
But I couldn’t keep it up forever.
When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 26 I worked with a naturopathic doctor and followed a ton of dietary restrictions, including cutting out alcohol.
I still remember going to a Halloween party shortly after that with my now-husband, dressed as Batman and Catwoman. Sitting alone completely sober in the corner of a dance party wearing cat ears and feeling more awkward than ever, I had plenty of time to contemplate, is THIS who I really am?! When you strip away everything else, am I just an awkward cat in the corner?
A few more years would pass before I finally got to the point where I would lovingly joke that one of my hobbies was maintaining white space on my calendar. I was starting to love the space in between, the down time, the quiet moments – and starting to realize just how much I needed it to not be an insane, sick, angry person.
Sure, it took moving to a new state where I knew no one, having Crohn’s disease that sapped much of my energy, being stuck in a hospital and alone much of the time for nearly six weeks, having a spiritual and emotional epiphany, and finally meeting a friend who opened my eyes to a deeper and more nuanced world of personality types where I could finally see my true self reflected back to me – but I finally found my way to my true nature and learned to love my quiet, slow, deep, sensitive self – despite the world telling us that we should be otherwise.
My experience isn’t the experience of every introvert – there’s a lot of nuance those goes into the makeup of who and how we are, and it’s just one individual facet of who and how I am.
But the important part is that no matter who and how we are at our core, we allow ourselves to live and act in alignment with that.
🌈 How to Be Spiritual
Anita Moorjani is the author of Dying to Be Me, a book about a near-death experience where she was deep in a coma, body riddled with cancerous tumors, her organs shutting down and not expected to make it through the night. Yet in this state she had an experience of going to the “other side” and realizing her true purpose before returning to her body, where she says she learned that one of the most spiritual things we can do is to be our true authentic selves.
That we’re so conditioned to believe that we’re not good enough, that we have to be someone else – but that when we don’t allow ourselves to be who we truly are, we don’t allow the Divine to express through us; we instead block that channel, that source of love and light and wholeness.
To the amazement of the medical community, after returning from her near-death experience and regaining consciousness from the coma, her advanced stage cancer began to rapidly heal. Within weeks she was free of numerous tumors and cancer indicators.
She says she spent a lot of time prior to her cancer diagnosis and near-death experience being a people-pleaser, seeking approval, and trying really hard to be a “good spiritual person,” but that she now realizes the question to ask isn’t ‘how can I be more spiritual?’ But instead, ‘who am I? What is my authentic self?’
I believe that your soul chose your personality to help you carry out your life mission here. It’s a tool for you to use – but you have to know how to use the tool.
And it’s not about putting ourselves or others into a box – we are not meant to be slaves to our personality. The personality can serve the soul.
And we have to see it as a process of growth – we start by understanding ourselves at the level of our true authentic soul personality, cultivating the energy of self-acceptance, self-love, self-permission – vital energies needed to allow our soul to express itself freely.
But we have to be very clear about what we are talking about here; there is a very big difference between what we think of as our personality – our conditioning, or the culmination of everything that has happened to us in our lives and the adaptations we’ve created to best deal with that, the “nurture” side of who we are – versus our true NATURE, the personality that is underneath all of the adaptations and the expectations, the personality we were born with, the one our soul chose for us.
But to get to that core part of who we are, we have to learn to let go of everything that is not us.
Everything that is keeping us small, stuck, sick, or less than; we have to learn to let go of the layers of expectations – expectations placed upon us from the ideals of society, school, our family, jobs, our gender, the roles we play such as mother, father, good citizen, perfectionist, people-pleaser. We let go of guilt, shame, self-hatred, and fear.
And underneath all of that – lives who we really are, minus the wounds and the defenses and the expectations and the adaptations.
It is the true you.
🌈 How to Change the World
And yes, underneath all of those layers, at the deepest core of who we are, we are love and light. Just like this person, and that person, and every single person on this whole entire Earth. I think it’s a beautiful thing to realize how truly similar we are.
But I also think it’s a beautiful thing to realize how we are different.
Because those differences are how we change the world.
Those differences hold the specific tools of our soul given to us to equip us with the skills we need to accomplish our missions here on Earth. To hopefully make this Earth a more beautiful place to live.
If we were all exactly the same, how could we solve all of the many varied and nuanced problems that plague us? Thank goodness for our differences, for right now we need everyone’s gifts at full strength on the table ready to go!
We need loud powerful voices and quiet deep thoughts, we need fast action and slow living, we need out-of-the-box thinkers and feelers with big hearts, we need imagineers and dreamers and builders and makers, we need the movers and the shakers.
Sam-I-Am, we need them all!
My friend Lauren always likes to jokingly say that we’re not meant to become so similar that we’re all just a greige blob (greige – an actual official color that blends the best of the dullest grey and beige).
And I love that as a reminder – because tearing down the walls that divide us and the distinctions that keep us separate IS big work to be done in the world right now.
We NEED to remember how similar we are; but we also need to see, appreciate, and love how we are different. A rainbow isn’t just one color, but a beautiful spectrum of many versions of the same light!
But we’re not interested in the differences at the level of our conditioning that take us further and further away from our true nature – but the differences at the level of our soul.
We must learn to LOVE who and how we are wired.
And also to love who and how our fellow beings are wired.
When we do this, we give others permission to be themselves – to be their own version of their wild and perfect wiring.
We stop holding others hostage to some set of expectations that isn’t right for them – and maybe isn’t even right for us.
In freeing ourselves, we also free those around us.
In giving ourselves permission, we also give permission to others.
It’s a very different energy of trying to grow from a place of: I’m not ok, I’m not enough, there is something wrong with me and I must cram my star-shaped self into this bland square in order to be loved, liked, and accepted – versus growing and expanding ourselves from the place of ‘I am perfect and whole and enough AND I can stretch myself into an even grander expression of myself!’
It will still take work to grow from this place, but it’s drawing life-giving energy to us rather than draining our life force by trying to become something we are not.
We have hidden gifts stored in our personality – our natural talents that we can most easily grow into powerhouse skillsets if we give ourselves permission to; but also our weaknesses that are able to show us what we need to cultivate just enough of for balance, for play, for rest, for intimacy.
And if we dig deep enough, we can also discover what our soul longs to bring into the world via our longings and aspirations, sometimes sneakily veiled under what we both envy and loathe in others.
On the journey to our center we can find – and work with – both our shadow and our light.
And how does this change the world?
As theologian and social activist Howard Thurman has said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
🌈 Heal the Soul and the Body Will Follow
I believe that the health of our body and mind is intimately tied to this idea of expressing our true authentic self, as well.
The Moondance motto reflects this concept – heal the soul and the body will follow; support the body so the spirit has room to dance.
I envision a world where each and every one of us is encouraged to live authentically from a place of true self, and in so doing radiates joy, truth and authenticity outward, allowing every cell of the body, mind, and emotions to align in health.
According to the standard medical model, Anita Moorjani’s body should have died – from cancer and numerous tumors. She wasn’t even expected to make it through the night. But her soul had some otherworldly experience, returned, and her body inexplicably healed. A medical marvel.
She doesn’t believe that it was the cancer that nearly killed her – she says that the cancer saved her life, that it was SHE who was killing herself.
I resonate with this in my own journey too – it’s wasn’t Crohn’s disease trying to wreak havoc on my body; it was ME wreaking havoc on my body – and on my mind and my heart and my spirit.
It was perfectionism that was killing me, it was disconnection from my true self that was killing me, it was people-pleasing, and fear, and anger and frustration, it was being a doormat, and saying yes when I meant no, and not listening to my intuition, and not trusting myself, and not giving myself permission to be 100% who and how I am at the level of my soul.
For me, discovering a deeper nuanced world of personality types wasn’t a way to put myself into a comfortable box – it was a way to smash the box that was full of the expectations of how we’re supposed to show up in the world, a way to shed the skins I’d been wearing that were two sizes too tight, a way to release the heavy, heavy weight of trying to be something and someone I am not.
For me, this world of personality types was the missing piece in my own healing journey where nothing else had been working. It was a tool to show me, me. A mirror to reflect back who, on some level, I already knew I was meant to be.
Because when we say things like, ‘hey you just gotta be your true authentic self!’ do we even know what that means?? Sometimes we’re soo far from who we are at our core that we need a little help to remember, we need a map to guide us back to center.
For me, I also knew that this nuanced version of personality types was the missing piece in how I wanted to work with clients.
Even in the world of holistic health, there can sometimes be a similarity to the western medical world – it can be the same old approach, different tools: here’s the disease, here’s the protocol.
But no more to the one-size-fits-all approach and the brown bags full of supplements and meds! No more to external approaches that completely forget about a pretty key piece of healing: YOU.
What I want to know about my clients, and wanted to know about myself, is who are you?
What is your personality type? What is your soul type or purpose? How is your brain wired?
Is who and how you are in alignment with society’s expectations of how we are “supposed” to be?
If not, what does that mean for you – how does that make you feel, and how do you find where you fit?
How is your heart? Do you process your emotions? Where are you storing unprocessed emotions? What are you carrying around in your energy body?
How is your soul? What are the lessons you are here to learn?
Are you living in or out of alignment with who and how you are?
Because all of these pieces are so key in whether the body manifests in disease or health.
And when we start asking these questions, we also find that we tend to stumble upon our purpose. What follows ‘who are you?’ is often the second question, ‘why are you here?’
What is your soul’s purpose? Why did you come here? What are you meant to accomplish?
And if your soul chose your personality as a tool to best accomplish your goals here, it’s a great place to begin searching for clues to that all-illusive question about our true mission or purpose.
But if we build our lives from the outside in, layered upon our conditioned personality and the role we are trying to play or the societal ideal we are trying to live up to – we will always feel like something is missing.
There will always be a sense that something is keeping us stuck, sick, or small.
The trick is to instead build your life from the inside out – layered upon the personality of your true nature – in order to become who you really are: bright, whole, and deeply fulfilled.
🧠 Fun Brain Facts: DID YOU KNOW?
For introverts living in a society that values the Extrovert Ideal, finally resting into your true introverted nature can be a huge a-ha and a big step in the right direction of living from your true soul self.
But extroverts, here’s something fun for you, too, that can be a big step in understanding who and how YOU truly are!
Maybe you’re an extrovert who’s never really resonated with being an extrovert because the definition of extroversion is often too narrowly defined.
The Extrovert Ideal primarily assumes that all extroverts look the same, but did you know that there are actually FOUR different kinds of extroversion?
Renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung first hypothesized the theory, and now modern neuroscience backs this up by showing these different mental processes occurring in different brains.
And just to clarify, according to Jung it is technically spelled “extrAversion” but over time we started spelling it “extrOversion” for no particular reason. “Extra” means “outside” in Latin, meaning extraverts turn outward; similarly “intro” means “inside” in Latin, referring to introverts turning inward.
Either is fine, but just in case there are other grammar police present here (just me?) and the sudden and random change will explode your brain, here’s a heads up that I’ll now be using the technical spelling “extravert!”
The 4 Kinds of Extraversion:
1. Extraverted Feeling
This is the more stereotypical social butterfly, the kind of extraversion that I think we are most familiar with, the ones who love parties and people and will go to great lengths to do just about anything for you – these extraverts are wired to favor using a brain process called Extraverted Feeling.
2. Extraverted Thinking
Then there’s the extravert that doesn’t necessarily need the social stimulation, but are the classic do-ers of the world and derive great pleasure from getting shit done – these folks are wired to favor using a mental process that’s called Extraverted Thinking.
3. Extraverted Sensing
Then there are the extraverts who get their energy from kinesthetic/aesthetic/physical enjoyment, sometimes seen as the adrenaline junkies, who tend to prioritize experiences using their five senses and their bodies – these folks are wired to favor using a brain process called Extraverted Sensing.
4. Extraverted Intuition
And last but not least are the more abstract extraverts, the out-of-the-box thinkers, who derive their energy from sharing ideas and making unusual connections in the outer world – these folks are wired to favor using a mental process called Extraverted Intuition.
Keep in mind, for a deeply nuanced system, the above descriptions are just a tiny little summary that doesn’t do full justice to the intricacies of how these four types show up in the world!
But it may be just enough to start seeing yourself and other people you know in these descriptions.
And introverts – guess what? There are likewise four different kinds of introversion as well! Similar to the above they are Introverted Feeling, Introverted Thinking, Introverted Sensing, and Introverted Intuition.
But we’ll get into that another time. Or better yet, schedule a personality profiling session with me to get really deep into the intricacies of your type! There’s a link below that you can click to set up a free consult 🙂
And For the Ambiverts…let’s clear this one up
And…while we’re on the subject of introversion and extraversion, I know some of you will be thinking, well that’s all well and good, but I’m an ambivert.
So what’s an ambivert?
It’s a term that I both love and hate. It’s a funny little term meant to imply that you are someone who, unlike the introverts and extraverts, are in a third separate category because you possess traits of both of these types.
But guess what? In all actuality, we are ALL ambiverts.
In an extravert’s brain, the primary brain process that is favored will be an extraverted process – one that connects the person to the outer world. So they get their energy from interaction with the outer world.
But the secondary process favored by an extravert’s brain will be an introverted process – that connects the person to their own inner world. An extravert having a connection to their inner world helps them to be a balanced human being.
And in an introvert’s brain, it’s just the opposite – they favor a primary mental process connecting them to their own inner world, which is where they will get their energy from, and a secondary mental process that connects them to their outer world, which helps them to be a balanced human being.
And good thing we have access to both sides of ourselves – our inner and outer worlds. Can you imagine an introvert that literally couldn’t interact with another human being, or an extravert that literally couldn’t stop moving?
So the word “ambivert” is a great term that reminds us that no one is entirely all introvert or all extravert, but it gets used incorrectly by implying that there’s an entirely separate group of people for which this is true.
No one is an ambivert, AND we’re all ambiverts!
🌈 Journey Onward
For me, the most important questions we can ask ourselves are: Who am I? Why am I here? And how can I heal and grow?
My journey is to answer these questions for myself as well as guide others in finding their own answers.
At this point on my journey, I love knowing deeply who I am, and I continue to enjoy the journey of discovering ever deepening layers.
I am coming to understand more clearly and succinctly my purpose at its core, though it can take many manifestations of what this looks like!
And I am in the process of shedding what is not me, in the process of the deep work of healing and growing, the process of re-embodying what I once was but in a way that is even more vibrant and whole than ever before.
Where are YOU on your journey of answering these questions?
Where would you like to be?
If I can be of help by offering guidance, support, and some pretty sweet tools on your journey, please reach out or set up a free consult below!
Happy Leo season, friends!
May you feel an extra boost of confidence over the next month to embody & express the true authentic personality of your soul!
And in so doing, may all your cells align in health.