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Nancy Okerlund
Volume 3, Issue 7, 05/14/09

Diving Deep and Surfacing

The phrase "diving deep and surfacing" came into my mind a few days ago. I think it may be the title of a book. I know it's not original from me and I have a feeling I didn't read it if it is a book. But I'm definitely identifying with the idea.

I'm not surprised I identify with the idea of diving deep and surfacing. If breadth is a concept associated with extroverts (which it is :-), the parallel for introverts is depth. And the surfacing makes natural sense. (Especially if you've ever actually dived!)

Here are a few wandering things I have to say about myself and diving deep: It's so satisfying to be thorough, to go deep, that I almost can't help it. What if I can't help it?!

Sometimes I'd love to dive into something but I hesitate, or even decide not to, because I'm afraid I may forget to surface and pay too big a price. Or not forget, but choose not to, and still pay a big price. (And not diving has its own price.)

I notice that my deep diving can drive extroverts around me crazy.

Some things in life are optional, some aren't. How do I balance choosing what attracts me with what one of my clients calls "do-outs" things that must be done? Especially when I (almost) can't help but dive deep, no matter where I am. Seems like a deep diver could use up all her oxygen on just the do-outs.

For me, diving deep (interestingly similar to my one real scuba diving experience :-) is comprehensive: it impacts me physically, mentally, emotionally and probably spiritually, but I'd have to think more about that.

Not to bore you with a long list, but here's what comes to mind as I randomly consider places I'm diving, or have dived recently: Some special spring presents for my nieces. Writing an article for a professional newsletter. Emma the (20-year-old) Cat having kidney issues.

Getting obedience-trained with Frances the Corgi. Four days of qigong conference. Multiple books I'm reading. Being a good mother. Turning into a grandmother. Becoming a laptop (computer) user. Each of my coaching clients precious, fascinating. All my relationships, really. And planting flowers.

I could go on :-).

My own experience of diving which I don't assume is universal to introverts (but it may be :-) is that the depth seems potentially endless. The question of when to come up for air isn't a small one for me.

Satisfying as it is, I notice diving deep (and surfacing) isn't light exercise. And it takes time. And doesn't respond well to rushing.

I've been in this introvert body for quite some time now, so I'm not a beginning deep diver. But being conscious of it as part of my introverted temperament is relatively new.

This week I'm trying to cultivate a little amusement at the meaningfulness of it all. I think becoming a master gardener can wait till my next lifetime. And I'm going shopping for a raft.

End of food for thought on to a practical idea:

A Practical Idea for Introverts

Wonder about you and diving deep and surfacing :-).

A Practical Idea for Extroverts

The next time you're frustrated with someone who seems to be taking too long, being too thorough, attending to too many details (this very well may be an introvert, whether you know it or not), imagine him or her dressed for a scuba dive.

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