Learning to Be Me

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~ Henry David Thoreau

After writing my last blog post about the 4 indigenous callings of The Warrior, The Healer, The Visionary, and The Teacher, and understanding that- just like the seasons- my calling changes, I have gravitated towards understanding more about what I believe to be my natural calling- The Healer. I remembered my fascination with the Myers-Briggs personality-type profile work (with which I was involved years ago in my professional life) and my “tested” profile of INFP.

So, I looked it up again…

Ahhh, the INFP profile is “The Healer.”

Interesting….

From Please Understand Me II – Temperament Character Intelligence
by David Keirsey

Healers present a calm and serene face to the world, and can seem shy, even distant around others. But inside they’re anything but serene, having a capacity for personal caring rarely found in the other types. Healers care deeply about the inner life of a few special persons, or about a favorite cause in the world at large. And their great passion is to heal the conflicts that trouble individuals, or that divide groups, and thus to bring wholeness, or health, to themselves, their loved ones, and their community.

Healers have a profound sense of idealism that comes from a strong personal sense of right and wrong. They conceive of the world as an ethical, honorable place, full of wondrous possibilities and potential goods. In fact, to understand Healers, we must understand that their deep commitment to the positive and the good is almost boundless and selfless, inspiring them to make extraordinary sacrifices for someone or something they believe in. Set off from the rest of humanity by their privacy and scarcity, Healers can often feel even more isolated in the purity of their idealism.

Also, Healers might well feel a sense of separation because of their often misunderstood childhood. Healers live a fantasy-filled childhood-they are the prince or princess of fairy tales-an attitude which, sadly, is frowned upon, or even punished, by friends or family members. With external pressure to get their head out of the clouds, Healers begin to believe they are bad to be so fanciful, so dreamy, and can come to see themselves as ugly ducklings. In truth, they are quite OK just as they are, only different from most others-swans reared in a family of ducks.

At work, Healers are adaptable, welcome new ideas and new information, are patient with complicated situations, but impatient with routine details. Healers are keenly aware of people and their feelings, and relate well with most others. Because of their deep-seated reserve, however, they can work quite happily alone. When making decisions, Healers follow their heart not their head, which means they can make errors of fact, but seldom of feeling. They have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate, like the other Idealists, a remarkable facility with language. They have a gift for interpreting stories, as well as for creating them, and thus often write in lyric, poetic fashion. Frequently they hear a call to go forth into the world and help others, a call they seem ready to answer, even if they must sacrifice their own comfort.

From Truity.com:

Healers (INFP) are imaginative idealists, guided by their own core values and beliefs. To a Healer, possibilities are paramount; the realism of the moment is only of passing concern. They see potential for a better future, and pursue truth and meaning with their own individual flair.

INFPs are sensitive, caring, and compassionate, and are deeply concerned with the personal growth of themselves and others. Individualistic and nonjudgmental, INFPs believe that each person must find their own path. They enjoy spending time exploring their own ideas and values, and are gently encouraging to others to do the same. INFPs are creative and often artistic; they enjoy finding new outlets for self-expression.

INFPs value authenticity and want to be original and individual in what they do. They are often concerned with a search for meaning and truth within themselves. Following tradition holds little appeal for the INFP; they prefer to do their own exploration of values and ideas, and decide for themselves what seems right. INFPs are often offbeat and unconventional, but they feel no desire to conform. The INFP would rather be true to themselves than try to fit in with the crowd.

INFPs are accepting and nonjudgmental in their treatment of others, believing that each person must follow their own path. They are flexible and accommodating, and can often see many points of view. It is important to the INFP to support other people; however, the INFP may react strongly if they feel their own values are being violated. They especially hate being steamrolled by people who insist there is one right way to do things. INFPs want an open, supportive exchange of ideas.

INFPs may initially seem cool, as they reserve their most authentic thoughts and feelings for people they know well. They are reflective and often spiritual, and often interested in having meaningful conversations about values, ethics, people, and personal growth. Typically curious and open-minded, the Healer continually seeks a deeper understanding of themselves and of the people around them. They are passionate about their ideals, but private as well; few people understand the depth of the INFP’s commitment to their beliefs.

INFPs are sensitive and empathetic, and engage themselves in a lifelong quest for meaning and authenticity. The mundane aspects of life are of less interest to this type, and they are more excited by interesting ideas than by practical facts. They typically accept others without question, and may take special interest in offbeat points of view or alternative lifestyles. They often have a special affection for the arts, especially the avant garde, as they love experiencing new concepts in self-expression.

Oh yeah… and a famous INFP? John Lennon… one of my boyhood idols…

Deep inside, there are some things that you just KNOW. We put labels and descriptions on things and classify them as types. But as we learn more and more, we realize more and more what we really already know… about ourselves and about our worlds. And that we don’t need to judge, classify, or compare them… but it’s also good to understand ourselves and others.

We are each special and unique… we are each human just trying to Be ourselves… but we are all also learning to live together. Aren’t we?

Wasatch-Inspired Callings

Meditating Again

 

Like powerful cottonwood bending in stiff North breeze,

Steadfastly standing through cold Winter freeze,

I am here; I am present: Warrior am I.

I am present: Warrior am I.

 

Like granite earth lying beneath warm Spring streams,

Lovingly embracing our flow South with ease,

I pay attention; I seek heartfelt meaning: Healer am I.

I pay attention: Healer am I.

 

Like East desert sun on hot Summer days,

Clearly shining light as we walk together on our way,

I look for truth without blame or judgment: Visionary am I.

I look for truth: Visionary am I.

 

Like raindrops silently sitting on West-facing tree leaves,

Trusting Fall fate, knowing nature’s wisdom always succeeds,

I am open to possibilities without real attachment; Teacher am I.

I am open to possibilities; Teacher am I.

Inner Power: Balancing Life-Forces

I’ve been fortunate so far in this life to be able to “weather the storms” which often bring havoc to our lives. Sometimes, I feel like I need to be the rock which stands steadfast in the storm, clinging to my mission. Sometimes, I feel like the best course of action is to let go and let the natural forces of nature guide me to a better place.

As I reflect back, I wonder about this sense of inner power which has helped guide me through these ever-occurring changes.  It seems to simply emanate from an understanding and appreciation of opposing life-forces, then practicing ways to find steadiness and equanimity as these forces shift.

From a Tao perspective, one might say that our spirit is guided by opposing forces. On the Yin side, we accept that our life is an animation of our organic matter and our natural instincts. On the Yang side, we shape our character through our life choices and our expression of ego.

We are consumed by a culture that focuses on the Yang: comparing our situation to others, then making choices, often ego-based, to create the situation we desire in life. Our actions are usually self-directed, fighting external forces with personal strength, determination and ambition. It’s often a “win-or-go-home” attitude; be successful (in comparison to others) in order to survive. We participate in competitive sports, we strive to get higher grades, we compete to have better jobs or make more money or be socially accepted, in order to build character and a sense of self as expressed in comparison to others.

We often see success from this perspective… from an externally-based sense of power and strength.

But in the long-run, I wonder if real power, inner power, comes from more of a balanced perspective between Yang and Yin, action and non-action, pushing forward and letting go, outward action and inward acceptance.

Perhaps this is why more and more people are finding comfort in restorative Yin yoga, meditation, and other relaxing mindfulness-based practices. Perhaps that is why more and more people are choosing community-based service as a means to find personal happiness and satisfaction. Perhaps this is why more and more young people are choosing cooperative relationship-based lifestyles over highly competitive work environments. Perhaps this is why we are paying more and more attention to the ways of our natural environment and the survival of our earth and our climate.

Instinctively, we know deep inside we are living in an unsustainable “red zone” of stress and externally-based achievement. We know deep inside that our health and happiness depends on feelings of connectedness with others, with nature, and with everything around us.

Perhaps the pendulum is swinging back towards our Yin nature and an enhanced understanding and acceptance of our instinctual nature as we find balance again. Perhaps with this balance we will feel a more powerful sense of flowing-with-life.

For me at least, it seems that developing an understanding of these opposing forces helps me maintain a sense of calm in the storm, a sense of purpose within the chaos, and an inner sense of power that is unending. And it seems that as I understand more and more about my body through yoga, personal exploration and interpersonal relationships, and time in nature, I know that many of the answers in life are inside of me, and within my power to let (or make) happen.

I guess it is my Yin nature that helps me realize that inner power comes from a deep feelings of connection with the Universe, and feelings of unconditional love and respect for everything which lies both within me and outside of me.

And if I operate from this place, perhaps, I will better utilize my Yang capabilities to effectively impact this world in more positive, sustainable, and powerful ways.

cropped-577600_3970733993744_1442315810_33641971_1786642033_n.jpg