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
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
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
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.