The world has undoubtedly changed dramatically over the last year. Life as we know it has shifted towards… well, something else. Some people have found it easier to adapt to the existing life conditions, whereas others feel trapped and confused. Regardless of the fact that internet memes suggest that introverts are enjoying isolation times and handling them much better than extroverts, finding joy in their solitude, truth is we are going through a collective trauma, in one way or another. Some are separated from their loved ones, some are afraid for their health, some lost their jobs and have no stable income, some lost loved ones to the virus, some are dealing with a great deal of anxiety over the uncontrollable times ahead.
Up until now, our Western society has been promoting work, movement, rhythm and pace. And now, things have slowed down dramatically. What do we do with that? How do we make use of this time and space to embrace this period and gently take care of the essence hidden within?
“With her eyes gently opened, she delicately places her finger between her lips.
Everything around her is quiet. The only sound she hears while sitting onto the still warm balcony floor tiles is the church bell somewhere in the distance. Her back is slightly tickled by the house’s coarse, lumpy walls, sending a long wave of shivers towards the nape of her neck. Her right arm, twisted around her thin mid-section, is still protecting her body from the gentle wind, while her left one is supporting it, as her wide fingered palm is propping against the auburn floor tiles.
Slowly, while the air that’s just becoming to feel chilly enters her nostrils timidly, she starts connecting with the way her heart is beating. With every breath of fresh air, her body is invaded by vividly colored lights, by chemicals she feels she’s never encountered before, by sounds that make her entire being vibrate.
She raises her left arm from her body and touches the nape of her neck with the tips of her fingers. The slightly rough texture on her skin gets into contact with the far more delicate one that nestles her collarbones and she feels as though an explosion of senses occurs. With every breath, her chest is moving back and forth, inviting her fingers to delicately glide in a magical waltz created by one of the vital functions of any organism.
All of a sudden, she feels as though her fear vanishes. Her anxiety, her agitation, her fear, they all grab each other’s hands, make a bow and turn their backs, disappearing in a cloud of smoke. The liberation felt in that moment makes her body tremble for a few moments, as she closes her eyes. Her eyelashes go down and decide to rest for a while onto the delicate skin covering the bottom side of her eyes.
The breeze intensifies, and her hair becomes a force, whose passion transforms it into a storm, in the middle of which ballerinas are performing an outstanding show. Amid the tiny clouds made of smoke, her dark locks of hair connect and twist around each other, creating a picture, seemingly painted by Salvador Dali.
In that moment, she wakes up from a seemingly profound sleep and her whole being starts to get together into the midpoint of the midpoint, in the center of gravity of her own being. The entire blend of sensations, perceptions, thoughts and emotions is getting pushed together into a ball of light that becomes aware. It becomes aware of its own consciousness.
“I exist.” A simple and seemingly obvious affirmation becomes the echo of herself. “How many times have I truly been aware of my own existence? I often repeat to myself or to others affirmations that reflect my existence in one way or another.”
“ “I’m a woman.” ; “I am young”; “I am a brunette.”; “I am a student”. But I forget to become aware of what the core behind all these affirmations is. I forget to become aware of the fact that I am currently living right here and right now, amid the feeble wind blowing, facing the moonlight, inhaling the intoxicating cigarette smoke. I exist. I pulsate together with the Universe, together with the church bell, together with the temperature of the auburn floor tiles, together with the stars that shine brightly above my head. I exist together with light, heat, time and space. I exist, I exist, I exist.”
Her eyes open, her body raises off the floor tiles and she walks gently back to the dimly lit room, inhaling the vanilla smell exuded by her favorite candles. Allowing her body to delicately glide between the bed sheets, she falls asleep, but the last thought she has before that, is: “I exist. Thank you.” “
Introversion comes along with a superpower. The ability to redirect the mental flow towards the inside. Times like the present one require us, more than ever before in our generation, to make a shift in attention towards our inner life. What kind of emotions are we experiencing and how strong are they? What thoughts are coming up, scaring us? What do we truly and honestly need?
I’m not saying that extroverts wouldn’t benefit from an exercise like this. They probably would just as much. But introverts might find it easier to access such mental processes and also guide others through their inner journey. Let’s start a collective movement of self-love and self-acceptance. Let’s change the rhythm, the pace, the outward perspective our society has gotten us used to.
Remember: “You exist”.