The Introvert Myth

imagesThe world wants us to believe that there are two kinds of people: introverts and extroverts. Introverts prefer alone time and extroverts thrive on social contact. But the truth is that humans are social creatures. We all need social contact. And as spiritual beings, we need quiet time, or time to connect with our higher selves.

Every individual is unique and each has different preferences. If you label yourself an introvert as an excuse not to connect with people, you may want to re-examine your thinking. Distancing can thrust you into periods of loneliness and deprive you of human contact that aids personal growth. Similarly, if you label yourself an extrovert and are never alone, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to get to know yourself.

Balance is key to any successful life. Some alone time. Some time with others.  But never feel pressured to shift the balance based on the advice of others or based on what you think you are supposed to do. Get in touch with your inner self, which provides all the guidance you will ever need.

There’s Only Now

Isn’t it funny that we say things like “It feels like a Thursday” or that the week went really fast? We look at our weeks or days or months and each has a certain resonance. A Tuesday may feel like Tuesday because it is the day we put out the garbage, or it is the day we order pizza, and then if something comes up to change our day, we are thrown off. We feel like it is a different day.

But of course you know that there is only now, this minute, this second. Linear time marches on regardless and the truth is that even if we accept our conception of time as real, people on the other side of the world are experiencing a different day anyway. So whatever day you think it is, it is just that day in this time zone at the moment, and will soon melt into the next time segment.

Although there is only the now, it is sometimes nice to look forward to certain days, but that comes with a flip side: while we look forward to the days we enjoy, we stress about the days we want to avoid, like Monday morning. But we can change the way we think about that.

By looking at time in a different way, we can alter our perception of our weeks. We may still have to take out the garbage when it is garbage day, but we can order pizza on Saturday instead of Tuesday, and we can change many of our weekly rituals. There is comfort in routine, but breaking out of the box once in a while can be refreshing.

So What’s the Matter With Nutella?

9k=Like the woman who received $2 million for spilling a cup of McDonald’s coffee on her lap, we are again amazed by the successful Nutella class-action lawsuit waged by two women who were upset that the product did not live up to its claim. No matter what you think about the case, or the ethics of false advertising, the obvious point is that had the women actually read the label before they made the purchase, they would have known right away that it was not a healthy choice.

Let’s look at the Nutella label. Of course, in general, it is a good idea to look at the numbers. How many calories does the product contain? How many grams of saturated fat? How many grams of sugar? With this product, however, the real clue to its detrimental nature is found on the ingredients list. That is, the first ingredient listed denotes the primary composition of the food as ingredients must be listed in descending order, and the first ingredient here is sugar. Unless the product you are examining is sugar, the first ingredient should not be. The second ingredient in this case is modified palm oil, which is quite a controversial substance. Some have called it a sort of trans fat. Whether modified palm oil is detrimental is not the issue. That it is the second largest ingredient in the Nutella jar means that there is probably little that is healthy in the product.

Do you see the point? The lawsuit premised on the fact that women unknowingly purchased what they thought was a healthy food for their children only means that they did not bother to read the label. If they had, they would have noticed that they were largely giving their children sugar. The lesson here is that labeled food products give us lots of information. If we read the labels, and understand them, we will know whether a food product is a good choice.