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Nancy Okerlund
Volume 2, Issue 7, 04/10/08

Stewarding Our Energy

A few days ago I glanced at a calendar and noticed it was the Hindi new year. Into my mind came one of my Hindu friends. I wanted to call her up and wish her a happy new year.

But within a moment of the thought, an "introvert monitor" showed up and canceled the idea. I felt disappointed but resigned.

This friend was out of the country for more than a year and even though she's been back a few months, I haven't talked to her. I knew I wouldn't be satisfied calling her unless we could have a "real conversation". It wasn't that I didn't have enough time – it was that I didn't have enough energy. My tank was empty.

As I sat there knowing I wasn't going to call her, I also felt a little resentful, because I could easily think of several extroverts in my life who could make a two or three-minute Happy New Year call, have a great connection, and come away satisfied (and no doubt even energized.)

The Dalai Lama has said the most important thing we can do is to "steward our energy". I've been fascinated ever since I heard it – that one of the most respected spiritual leaders in the world would say managing our energy is the most important thing!

I'm fascinated and I'm trying to figure out how to do it. (The Dalai Lama didn't say the most important thing for ‘introverts' to do is to steward our energy but I know he wouldn't disagree :-).

As luck would have it, I'd barely finished being disappointed, resigned and resentful, when I happened on a reading that I'm sure would get the Dalai Lama's stamp of approval. It reminded me that stewarding my energy is probably more about going with my flow and less about figuring it out.

And I notice I'm speculating that one of these days my introvert monitor will give me the go-ahead to call somebody and wish them a happy new year without a wonderful conversation. It won't take too much energy. I'll be satisfied. And we'll have the wonderful conversation later.

End of food for thought – on to a practical idea (which is the reading I happened on):

A Practical Idea for Introverts and Extroverts

"Rest when you're tired. Take a drink of cold water when you're thirsty. Call a friend when you're lonely. Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed. Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard, when the problem is that we're already pushed too hard. Many of us are afraid the work won't get done if we rest when we're tired. The work will get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe. They are well-timed, efficient, and divinely led." From The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie

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