I am always on the lookout for self care and introversion zines, especially for the upcoming Self Care Package subscription service, so recently ‘Creativity for Introverts’ popped up in front of me! Here we have the introductory zine and the first in the series, ‘Understanding Flow.’
Michelle seeks to give support to “those seeking balance, confidence, and general understanding of what it means to be quiet and creative.” Her voice is strong, opinionated and reassuring.
Michelle starts off about admitting introversion and why it’s so hard for people to do that. One big hurdle is that many people don’t understand introversion, thus don’t quite accept it. It may take you years to come to the conclusion that you sway to the introverted side (took me years, anyway) and become comfortable with managing a quiet life and then more time letting people know. I see this a lot. People may not understand why you are so quiet, why you aren’t having fun at parties or why you need to stay home for no ‘real’ reason. And as much as I love that there is so much writing out there about dealing with your introversion in the world, I can’t help but feel sensitive, feeling like us introverts are being told to bend to the extroverted world. We must sound confident in order to be liked and respected, we must speak up about everything, we must put in the effort to network, network, network. It’s lame to hang out at home on a Friday night, right? Why can’t extroverts learn more about existing with introverts? So these zines nurse that wound a little!
Michelle mentions that her zines are not for extroverts, but it may help them understand their introverted loved ones, and maybe even vice versa. “Here’s the deal, and I’m going to put it straight out there. To extroverts, introverts sometimes seem selfish. To introverts, extroverts sometimes seem selfish. Neither group is doing anything wrong; they simply don’t understand each other. It’s fantastic that you’re living and socializing the ways you want to. However, it really seems like both parties want the other to be on the same energy plane as they are — always available and always open for activity (extroverts), or otherwise totally willing to let go of any social obligation at any given time (introverts).”
So besides this lesson on understanding each other and our energy levels, which is always a good reminder, Michelle also wants to talk about how introverts can manage creativity, which is an awesome idea. I am an introvert and creative type, but I often get overwhelmed at life and how many creative things I want to do! It’s a weird cycle.
So, what is flow? “Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines flow as the state when we are completely engaged in a task. Time loses meaning and we forget our surroundings in favour of inner clarity. To Csikszentmihalyi, flow is when we are engaged in the work for its own sake and not for extrinsic reward… In my context and in this issue, flow is a balancing of energy levels so complete that you feel as though you are naturally flowing through life — events are occurring and you’re doing things you might not want to do, but you’ve got your energy levels figured out such that it’s okay. The social pressure doesn’t get to you anymore, because you’ve had time to properly recharge — and you know you will again. You’re comfortable with who you are and how you operate. Like water flowing into a river, joining the overall current without tension or reserve.”
Sounds like nirvana, right?
After ‘Understanding Flow,’ Michelle has six more zines planned for the series. Next, in ‘Energy,’ she will write about how she found her flow and over time, developed a sense of peace. I like that she’s writing these in a series, because learning to manage stuff like this is a constant, rotating task. I’m never going to feel like I fully have my introversion and peace on lock! Just the other day, I was feeling the opposite than usual — extremely anxious at home (thanks, coffee) and somehow felt better after leaving the house and going to a party where I hardly knew anyone. (I’m still trying to figure this out. That never happens.) But I most often feel at peace when I’m with Jack, reading, making mail, get enough sleep, etc.
Anyways, I really recommend reading these! They’re also great to have on hand if you’re trying to explain introversion to someone. Sharing is caring! You can grab them over on Michelle’s BusyWeekends Etsy shop.