Simon Sinek explains being an introvert perfectly. 

An introvert wakes up with a stock of coins. As the day progresses, and as interactions with others take place, those coins are depleted.  

An extravert on the other hand, wakes up with an empty piggy bank and recharges with personal interactions during the day. 

By the end of the day each of those personality types has a very different perspective of what should be taking place. 

For an introvert, we are generally retreating to a quiet place for reflection to recharge, while those extraverted among us are off socialising with a full balance of energy coins in the bank.

My Noisy Environment 

You can imagine, I arrive at home – from my home office, it’s not a far walk (wink) with only a very few coins rattling around inside,  or the coins have been fully expended. 

It is difficult to describe this feeling, save to say that its quite an empty sensation. Like you have no energy in your muscles – a fog in your brain. 

Living in a big city doesn’t really help either. 

There is noise all about – all the time. 

Although I am always grateful for electricity, especially as a South African, electricity has a noise. There is a buzzing that even through the moments that might be quieter, reaches my ears. 

The noise is ever present. 

And then there are the people, the traffic, the noises of the buildings around me, the pets who probably feel like they too need to escape to landscapes quieter. 

Getting into Nature Changes the Sounds 

I love the drive into the Kruger Park especially. 

For those of you who don’t know the Kruger, its Africa’s largest nature reserve, expanding an area bigger than Wales.

A big attraction is that it houses Africa’s Big Five and its allure is of a time gone-by where the traveler really gets to experience what the birth of mankind might have been like. 

There are roads in the park where you will not see a car for miles – nor hear one.

You can be on your own in a place that is desolate. You can imagine the peace and quiet. 

Although it isn’t really very quiet at all. 

The African bush has a sound all of its own. The wind through the leaves and the dry grasses; the insects buzzing and if there are animals around the sound of them moving almost silently through their maze of flora.  

Yes, its quiet but at the same time the sounds are a beautiful cacophony of nature.  

Even the elephant as large as it is, walks with respect of the earth. He moves purposefully and mindfully to his destination – wherever that is for him.

Even when he pushes over a tree, it is with purpose to get to the softer, juicer leaves usually only reserved for the giraffe.  

As soon as I enter this sacred place, my radio is switched off and my windows are rolled down to let in the freshness of the air, and the natural noise of nature.

It is here that I find the most peace. 

Peace and Presence 

Aside from the peace of the natural environment, there is a presence about it. 

This is not just in the looking. It is in the feeling and the smell of the presence too. 

I often find myself being so present in the moments when I am in nature, that I can hear my heart beating.

It seems to be a normal progression to go inwards when we are in the nature, and I find that when we are “inwards” we are so much better when we are outwards. 

Inwards gets us fully present into our moment.

This moment when we are safe from the external world. Where we are living our perfect lives,  and achieving all of our dreams. 

Inwards and being present sets us up perfectly for being empowered to take on a normal day – a normal day in the noise and in the frentic way that our outer – worlds are unfolding around us. 

When I am in nature, and this place in particular there is no other option but to be present in the moment.

Each blade of grass, each perfectly positioned tree and flower constantly remind me to be fully in that moment and to be grateful for all the wonder that is with me in that time. 

Solitude and Empathy 

I am a huge fan of being together with like-minded people. In fact, I think that together is better, but for my introverted nature often solitude is the best way for me to regain my strength to take on the world again.  

I am so grateful that I have people in my life who understand this part of my character, since it can be slightly weird for a lot of people to get their heads around. 

Being on my own and in solitude – especially on those wide open roads in the Kruger allows me to firstly completely recharge my coin supply, and then more importantly to discover the immense capacity that I have in my heart for empathy towards others. 

I think of all the wonderful people in my space, and I consider their lives, their hopes and dreams and their presence and it’s in these moments when I come closer to understanding the purpose of empathy. 

 Because, if we are truly wanting to live with purpose and mindfulness, empathy is a fundamental part of those two things. 

It is in these moments of solitude, when I am always reminded of my own place in the world, of my purpose and of my connection to others. 

For an introvert, being connected can pose its challenges, but for this introvert being connected is a fundamental and undeniable aspect of my character. 

Being in solitude, is only the way I recharge my introverted soul. 

Weekly Blog by Robyn-Lee Nichols aka The Perpetual Pilgrim

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