Sundays have a certain feel about them, don’t they? My intention is to use this day of reflection to reflect on where I am at right now, and what I am going through.
My hope is that these stories help my dear INFP and INFJ readers connect with me on an even deeper level, and may also get some ideas and inspiration for their own personal growth, whether right now or in the future.
💛 Thank you so for being a reader, it really means the world to me 🌍
This time of year
Reflections on what happens as the days get shorter
Last weekend, Daylight Saving Time ended and the clocks went back an hour. What that means is, suddenly, it gets even darker. Though it’s bright upon waking, it’s starts getting dark real early, at like 5pm-ish.
I've recently written about the changes I experience at this time of year, as the days get cloudier, darker and shorter. (I’ll soon be publishing that post).
In short, I experience a lull in my energy. I feel a bit meh and need to slow things down, almost as if I'm going through an energetic shift of relaxation and re-birth.
I've been using a hot water bottle in the evenings, getting into bed early (though, come to think of it, it's only early because the clocks have still gone back; it's just that, now that's it's darker, earlier, I feel inclined to get into bed at, say, 8.30pm rather than 9.30pm - which is, of course, still 9.30pm in old time pre- clocks going back).
NaNoWriMo started this week, and I've been floating between either finishing my 1st novel, and starting a new manuscript. For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo is an annual initiative which has gathered pace, where writers all around the world commit to writing and - specifically - commit to putting down 50,000 words.
There are approximately 50,000 words left to edit of my 1st novel's edit and, if writing something new, I had this 50,000 word 'goal' in the back of my mind. After all, this is the 'feat' I had accomplished last year.
Recently, I've been watching Lauren Sapala's videos for intuitive writers (i.e. INFPs and INFJs, in particular). She talks about how NaNoWriMo doesn't work for many of us, and the need for us to go at our own pace, to honour ourselves and our energy.
I've decided to do just that. This Friday just gone was the 1st of November, the start of NaNo, and I was feeling like not writing at all. (This time last year I started strong, and was initially following the daily word targets as per Reverse Nano).
Recently, I've been going through this phase of curiosity and what feels like growth, in exploring more spiritual and religious matters. More of that in a moment.
I had a flash of inspiration in the evening on Friday; the sort of 'flash' which I've learnt to tell myself isn't the way to think of it. “Don't wait for inspiration, write anyway, commit to writing daily” is the sort of stuff we are used to hearing for writers and other creatives when it comes to making art.
I'm realising that, for me, this doesn't feel quite right (and, in fact, it was watching Lauren’s aforementioned videos that helped this realisation click into place; seriously, watch them, they’re great). I did experience a flash of inspiration on Friday evening, and I spent around 20 minutes throwing down the very 1st scene. That’s what it felt like. Like suddenly there was some energy in me and my body telling me what to write about, telling me what sort of story I wanted to start putting down, the sort of message I wanted to communicate in this new draft of mine (I don’t say ‘book’ yet, because that sounds daunting and, after all, it’s not a book, yet, just mere words on paper - or on screen).
The doesn't feel like so much of a big deal, but it was words, however few, and I had honoured my energy and intuition. Also, one can argue that the very first words of a draft are the most difficult. In doing so, you are deciding on the theme (or, at least, what will become the theme) of the whole story. You are saying yes to a particular story which is coming out of you... you are trusting the process and taking those first few steps. At least, that’s what it feels like for me.
So, there's that.
I also mentioned this spiritual and religious stuff which is coming up for me.
It is difficult to describe such matters of spirituality, of growth, of emotion and feeling and energy... that's what it feels like. These things aren’t so easily put into intellectual words.
I don't see any rational explanation as to why I am suddenly diving into this stuff. It feels like I'm very much going with the ebb and flow of my energy, and doing what feels right. It's like my soul is calling out for this stuff.
I have been further exploring matters of Sikhi (the religion I was born into), of Christianity, and that of Native American and other indigenous people.
I am soaking up wisdom and understanding and doing what feels like work for the soul. It feels like I am feed medicine to my soul.
I feel that there is great wisdom and inner, deep knowledge in these religious scriptures, and in the stories that these indigenous people have. The latter have a connection with the earth, and understanding of life and energetic vibrations which 'rational' Western scientific thought cannot comprehend.
It feels interesting that, the last two days of my 6-Minute Diary have presented to me the following quotes:
I believe in synchronicity and I have observed a fair amount of synchrony in recent days and weeks.
As much as possible in this blog, it is my intention to share what is happening for me in real time. That’s actually quite scary, and uncomfortable, and vulnerable, to share with others what you are going through as/before you have really processed and made sense of everything.
I still get sucked into the fallacy that a blog should be all about sharing wisdom, advice, actionable stuff that folks can take away with them. In others words, I still experience some self-doubt and uncertainty when I merely write a post with what’s coming up for me at this moment in time.
In other words, I don’t feel that each post requires some form of definitive knowledge, some profound wisdom, for it to be useful, for it to be valuable.
I am going with my instinct here and just trying to share what is going on for me, and in the process, connect with others going through the same journey, or who might be inspired by what they read, what I am going through, what I am putting "out there". Sometimes, I'll share a particular story in a blog post and then, at the end, write down the learning that has come from it for me and - perhaps - what others, too, might also learn from this.
However, whilst I think that this can be useful and interesting for readers, I have found that it is often the learnings and conclusions we come to ourselves which are the most powerful. So, whilst the 'learnings' I identify might strike a chord and also help an INF reader 'learn something' - sometimes, it feels appropriate not to say what I have learnt.
Indeed sometimes, like with this particular post and the inner work I am exploring, there may be no tangible 'learning' to report back on.
(Though, it feels like each year I continue to learn how to best ride out this time of year, and I am thus taking learnings with me with each Winter that passes, and have come to understand those things I can do at this time of year which seem to be useful things to do). Which nourish me and feed my soul and honour my energy.
In other words, I am trusting that others will derive comfort, connection or some other form of value from it. I don’t feel like ‘value’ necessarily has to be mean ‘imparting wisdom’, but - again - I have to keep reminding myself of this. I continue to be inspired by other writers, like my good friend Jae, who also happens to be an INFJ and is running a similar sort of authentic, story-telling blog.
It has felt to me that I am most profoundly affected by stories that I connect with. Whether those stories are 'teaching' us something tangible, or whether they are merely stories to be heard, to be read, and for the reader to make some sense of. It feels like that’s the INF way. To connect with things on a deep level and make sense of stuff in our own way, to take suggestions or leave them depending on whether or not they feel right for us at this moment in time.
The writing I share on INF club are my own stories, stories which for some might help guide, or in some way resonate; one such 'story' (blog post) may be inspirational for someone, for another it may be something they have never come across and they will be inclined to delve more into something (Native American wisdom, for example - I've been devouring podcast episodes just like this one), or others will feel a strong connection and resonance through the writing they read.
I am trusting that, whatever I am putting out there, connects with those with whom it is meant to, in the way that it is meant to. After all, us INFPs and INFJs are all soulful beings with depth, who are nourished by deep connections.
I guess that's why INFP me is seeking more depth and understanding, through those religious and spiritual stories and wisdom which I am currently engaging with.
Who knows where it’ll lead (if anywhere) but, either way, it just feels like the right thing to do. 👣
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