Last week I was away on a yoga and meditation training. I’ve been on enough trainings and retreats to trust my own inner rhythm and find comfort in being by myself and making choices that are nourishing.
I savored the long walks alone, sunrise dips in the Jacuzzi, star gazing in the evening, and quiet meals. I felt content and happy with the blessings of sunshine, nature, reflections, and inspiring teachings. I was feeling energized by the time alone.
However, at lunchtime, I made a conscious effort to find a table with other people and share a meal. “Hi, I am Carly. Do you mind if I sit here?” I was always welcomed and then afterward returned to my quiet and introverted ways.
On the fifth day, I arrived at my door to a cup full of beautiful daffodils. There wasn’t a note, just the fresh yellow flowers. The gesture was sweet, but I wondered why someone would leave these flowers for me, since I did not really know anyone. So I pondered and came up with scenarios to calm the confusion of not knowing. Would it really be appropriate to start asking people if THEY happened to leave flowers at my door and if so why?
I relinquished my quest to figure it out and enjoyed their simple beauty on the windowsill. On the last night, I walked past my neighbor’s room and chatted about the training. As I left, something caught my attention . . . a vase full of daffodils.
“Did you leave me flowers by chance?” I asked. She replied, “yes.”
“Why,” I asked.
She replied, “you looked sad and alone.” I smiled at her, without any urge to explain.
I’ve been thinking ever since about the dilemma faced by myself and many others I know who are introverted. I fill up and get nourished by quiet, being alone, space, reading, and personal connections. I get overwhelmed by noise, chaos, and big groups of people. Small talk is anxiety producing, while sharing about feelings and life feels natural and inspiring.
This also reminded me how easily introverts can be misunderstood as someone who is withdrawn, protective, sad, and anti-social. It can give the impression that they don’t want to connect, but the truth is that introverts are sensitive, contemplative, and appreciative of genuine heart connections.
A lot goes on behind their quiet ways.