As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc and cause heartbreak, the emotional climate for creative people, meaning everyone, has changed radically. Why then do some people find this time easier to adjust to than others do? How you fare in the face of such enormous change depends, in part, on your temperament.
Your Fundamental Temperment
Each of us is born with a fundamental temperament. Our inborn nature is instrumental in the development of our personality, which, in contrast, is learned and acquired over time. Our temperament affects our behavior and our emotions.
Awareness of your temperament gives you broader insight into your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to not only creating, but also as you attempt to adjust to our new normal during COVID-19. Awareness of your inborn nature helps you better understand when, where, and how you draw energy. Though there are other types of temperaments, our focus is on introverts and extroverts.
People who thrive in the company of others—seeing acquaintances and colleagues regularly; going out for coffee with friends; attending cultural events, parties, fund-raisers; being a member of groups, clubs, a work force; stepping up to volunteer; bringing family and friends together; and embracing a wide circle of companions—typically find creating and being alone a challenge. And now, with the added burden of sheltering-in-place you might be feeling grief and loss, and experiencing this as an especially lonely and difficult time.
Many of the major trials and tests an extrovert undergo to live your best creative life revolve around coping with the isolation of creating alone. And, during this time of being sequestered, though you may love being surrounded by family, you find yourself grieving the loss of all that defined you and once occupied your time. You’re required to adapt and use your creativity to find the still-point within yourself.
Introverts, on the other hand, might be feeling a certain relief in foregoing socializing. For those who innately thrive in solitude with a natural detachment, and actively seek tranquility, this time is a quiet and internal comfort.
Anyone with a “one-in-herself” type of personality is content to focus on writing and drawing and baking, concentrating so much so that at times you become oblivious to outside world problems, happy to be with yourself and your creativity.
If you’re born with the temperament of introversion, you’re reflective and reserved and might call yourself a homebody. So long as you have adequate resources to keep yourself comfortably settled, you’re quite capable of entertaining yourself.
More comfortable in the company of a few than many, you tend to thrive in a calm, quiet environment without many distractions. Unlike an extroverted creative, who loses energy in solitude, an introvert draws energy in solitude.
With all the social pressures to conform removed, you cherish the inner quiet time you thrive within. However, now that the entire family is sheltering-in-place and you’re surrounded 24/7, you may feel overwhelmed. You mourn the loss of the quiet time you once had to sink into your own thoughts. Solitude is hard to come by. You’re required to adapt and use your creativity to find the still-point within yourself even amid chaos and distractions.
A Time to Venture Inward
As with every challenge we’re given in life, this is a time to uncover and explore your thoughts and feelings. A mindful practice of untangling your beliefs invites you to explore memories long buried, truths you didn’t know you held, and emotions that control you. Reflecting on your inner self often reveals surprising results.
Inner strength and belief lead you to accept the changes surrounding us, and, at the same time, open access to more creativity and vitality in your life. Connecting to your inner self helps you discover your own personal spiritual trip as it aligns with your outer path, celebrate the natural rhythm of your everyday life, and adjust what isn’t working.
The deeper you travel into the mystery, the more you appreciate you’re growing and changing. In the end, you know yourself better and those around you. You heal and forgive, grow and transform, gain courage and acceptance and enjoy everyday more creatively.
The coronavirus has thrown the entire world into a tailspin, making this a time of great change that also offers the possibility of personal, societal, and universal transformation. Each of us is faced with the challenge of actively shedding the old and seeking change. Transformation happens in the doing, when we consciously accept the reality around us and actively take part in forging a new path.