Remember those reckless hopes and dreams you had as a kid?
The way you saw the world before you became aware of the expectations people and society had about these idealised versions of self and those barriers started to build around your own expectations for yourself?
Before people started saying ‘be realistic’ and you could dream as big as you wanted.
Over time these dreams probably faded. Life may have become a bit, sort of…well, ordinary. We accepted that we were not cut out for great things and that we would be better off in the background, or just pretending to be like everyone else.
One upon a time there was…..Every day….One day….Because of that….Because of that…And finally…
I have a screensaver on my computer that goes through some pearls of wisdom from the writers of Pixar movies. I’ve had them for a few years and they still never cease to inspire me when I’m stuck. I love this one in particularly because of its simplicity and reminder that it doesn’t take much to change the trajectory of life.
The Hero’s Story
We all love a good hero’s story. Most stories contain a heroic protagonist. The character who begins in a relatable, ordinary situation. Then are faced with that ‘one day’ upheaval that requires a big decision, to run away or do something they’ve never done before. The hero’s journey then leads them to face the challenge, albeit reluctantly, and end up doing something remarkable.
But…heroes get derailed. It’s what makes the story worth reading.
No one wants to read a book or watch a TV show or film about someone who just goes through life in a normal, comfortable way, settling for things that don’t quite live up to their potential.
You don’t want to read a story about Mr Perfect who gets what he wants with no effort, everyone loves him and he never has any problems. It’s unrealistic and it’s un-relatable.
You want someone who has to really fight for what they believe in, or what they want to see happen, or to get something remarkable.
The Gentle Rebel Journey
These ideas are applicable to the gentle rebel journey, especially when we consider the introvert/HSP response to the extrovert-centric world.
I believe that HSPs and introverts can truly be heroes in the story they write for themselves.They can be the protagonists of remarkable stories of gentle rebellion, stepping out from this normalised way of being introverts; of shadow dwelling or fitting in and becoming accessible introverts. They can find another path. One less travelled, and to craft their own way of gentle rebellion.
The world can be changed from the inside out. As introverts and HSPs embrace their gentle rebellion and strengthen their spirit within as they respond to the expectations of society that feel alien and isolating, they create a potential shift in the external world.
We can develop confidence and self-acceptance that will help us question those priorities and values that feel alien. Not to force our own priorities and values on others, nor to try and fit in, but rather to model a different way of being for others who need that encouragement and assurance.
We’re not on the outside of the world, and we’re not trying to fit in. We simply are what we are, consistently growing more into who we are and how we want the world to be. That’s what it means to be a gentle rebel, and we can choose to write that story now.
The Dangers of the Gentle Rebel Journey
As I mentioned in the last episode there are three real dangers for introverts and HSPs to guard against when it comes to living the gentle rebel way.
Overwhelm and burnout. Emotional and informational fatigue. Social isolation.
These are potential risks when we don’t establish boundaries and expectations from the outset. In this episode of the podcast I share some ‘big rocks’ that we must prioritise as we consider how to protect ourselves on our hero’s journey.
Know Your Expectations and Limitations
Expectations dictate a lot of how we feel in life. They drive wellbeing and happiness. They underpin our relationships and notions of success. And if we are going to flourish we need to understand how they work in our own lives.
Self-care is the ultimate rock that introverts and HSPs are pretty good at overlooking. This usually comes from a noble place. However, it’s not selfish to prioritise self-care. It is in fact the opposite.
Understand Your Finite Social Energies
Be aware of the relationships that you actually want to invest in, those people you want to give your time and spend your energy on, and those which may take away from them.
Nurture a Healthy Creative Processing
What goes in must come out. Having a creative process in place is a necessity for introverts and HSPs because we process everything deeply and internally. Lots goes in so lots needs to come out…
Listen to Your Body and Mind
We are not very good at listening. We often wait for a crisis and react rather than seeking ways to proactively avoid or at least lessen the impact of that moment.
Find Others Who Get it
It can be really hard when you are excited about something and you tell your friends or family about it and they just don’t get it, or they don’t care. This is especially true for introverts and HSPs.
Inside The Haven
These are all priorities that we work on in The Haven. We strive to understand the amazing gifts that come from being introverted and highly sensitive, we recognise the value that these temperaments can bring to the world, and spend time learning from experts, authors, artists, researchers, speakers, and other people out there living the gentle rebel story, so that we can become equipped and inspired to create our own version of the same path.
The community is designed to provide introverts and HSPs with the training, resources, and community support they need to drip feed consistently helpful, encouraging and inspiring voices into their lives. To move their story from one of alienation to one of thriving and flourishing in their own passions and pursuits on their own terms in a way that truly makes the world a better place for everyone.
In essence The Haven basically a place for you to be yourself, to explore yourself, and to engage with transformative ideas alongside others but completely on your own terms.
If it sounds like somewhere you want to be then now is your chance to join us. Go here to find out more.
The doors are open between November 4th and midnight on November 10th 2016.
Listen to This Episode Now: