I like my life best when it faces outwards most of the time – Carl Rogers
There is a strange irony in this blog, given that I have retreated from publishing any blog posts for the last few months! And there is also a perfect fit: This particular post was written way back in November. Since then, it has hung out with a dozen other draft posts… surely not especially outwards facing!!!
That’s why I like this quote, it reminds me that nurture can never be an entirely inward, reflective undertaking. The insights that settle during those times have nowhere to flow to without some outward facing aspect – a creative outlet or other means of sharing.
To all introverts who love peaceful space to themselves, relax. You still get that too. As with most things, it’s about finding your own balance. In this quote, Carl Rogers goes on to say…
I prize the times when I am inward-looking – searching to know myself, meditating and thinking. But I find this must be balanced by doing things – interacting with people, producing something, whether a flower or a book or a piece of carpentry – Carl Rogers
Quiet time is nurturing in one way – and the fact that quiet time works so well for you does not mean a diet of 100% quiet time will work even BETTER. (Follow that line of thought to extremes, and life starts to feel like it’s shrinking, till it too small for you 🙂 )
And just in case you are now revving up to go and be 100% outward facing (hello you busy people and extroverts!), this is not permission to go forth and be an exhausted martyr either. Exhaustion from giving without ever pausing to top up the tanks is also unsustainable. Brains need idle time to function healthily.
So what does this mean for our daily nurture? If you’ve been doing a lot of quiet, reflective nurture, balance that out with something outward facing. Ring a friend up and listen. Bake for people. Send a surprise gift or card. Share a smile.
And if you’ve had an exciting buzzy, sociable time, take a bit of space to amble and reflect. Let your mind drift naturally for a while, slow down and breathe.
You’ll know you’re getting the balance right when you’re feeling yourself smile. All it takes is a little internal pirouetting 🙂