“The Happy Introvert”

IntrovertLadyDo you know if you’re an introvert? Would you be proud to know you were? As I say in my book, “The Happy Introvert; A Wild and Crazy Guide to Your True Self,” when I proudly announced to my mother that I was an introvert, she shot back angrily, “You are not! You are a nice girl!” Now that many decades have gone by, I can say with certainty that being an introvert has brought me many pleasures. I’ve never been bored except when other people don’t know when to stop talking and I try not to let that happen. I generally love people and I spend much of my time studying them. I also like my own company and can find many ways to amuse myself. This is a big subject that I filled a whole book with, so there’s not room to cover it here, but here are some questions you can ask yourself if you think you might be an introvert:

1. Do you usually prefer limiting your time with people to an hour or two?

2. Do people usually realize you’re interesting only after they get to know you fairly well?

3. Are you critical of superficiality?

4. Do you tend to concentrate in depth when doing a project?

5. Is your style of speech relatively calm and quiet?

6. Are you more likely to engage in learning or improving your skills than looking for outside stimulation?

7. Is your ability to remember people’s names average to low?

8. In social situations, do you sometimes or often stand back and observe?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, it’s likely you are an introvert. We all use both introversion and extraversion every single day, but one of these feels more easy and natural more of the time. I kept hearing people talk about introverts in a negative way and I wanted to help clear up some of the misconceptions about this subject. I’m glad I did. “The Happy Introvert” helps those introverts who might think something is wrong with themselves, when really introversion is perfectly natural and necessary. It also tezches people how to relate better to the introverts in their lives.

See the cover and order the book at wagele.com and/or read my articles on “Parenting Introverts,” “A 5 on Music, The Enneagram, and Infinity,” “How to Get Along with Introverts,” and “Introverted Feeling Types;” and see some reviews and an interview here.


“Finding the Birthday Cake”

The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party

“Finding the Birthday Cake; Helping Children Raise Their Self-esteem” is a small book I wrote for children to teach them the Enneagram and provide a fun story about some animals’ adventures. The cartoon included here isn’t in the book; it’s a child’s version of the cartoon by the same name that’s in “The Enneagram Made Easy.” How fun it is to go back to childhood and start remembering the songs, nursery rhymes, and feeling of being very small compared to everyone else. Animal dolls had a special happy significance as an intermediary between children and adults. They “knew” who they were but they didn’t have an agenda for us other than to be fuzzy, scary, strong, vulnerable, or whatever we wanted them to be. As stuffed toys. They seemed to love us back but they didn’t fight us on anything. Ah, those were the days.

When I was around 4, I had a dream that helped me realize some important ways I was separate from the rest of my family and guided me to going inside and exploring art and music. As an adult, writing and drawing my dreams help me figure out some puzzles about individuals and human nature that perplexed me. I will continue to be curious about human beings as long as I live. My dream drawings provide material for some of the drawings in the books I write. So I can’t say enough about my respect for that part of ourselves that we often call the “unconscious.”

My Career As a Composer

Playing sickI majored in the composition end of music at Cal, Berkeley, where I composed a few short pieces while studying with Seymor Shiffrin, Arnold Elston and Andrew Imbrie. I took orchestration and instrumentation from the entertaining Mr. Denny. Later I composed a song when my husband Gus and I counseled at a summer camp north of the Bay Area. It was a round called “Redwoods.” In the last few years I improvised two sets of variations – one on the familiar “Chop Sticks:” one variation  for each Enneagram type; and another lullabye-like set on the nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill.” You can’t call these few compositions a career, though I have another song in mind that I want to record for “The Career Within You.” Maybe composing is a minor sub-career.

Would I have liked to have been a composer? I think it might have been difficult to keep thinking of new musical ideas. COULD I have been a composer? Well, Brandeis University offered me a scholarship to graduate school in music composition, but I turned it down. I think I was both too afraid I wouldn’t have enough new music ideas in me and too in love with the idea of staying in Berkeley to accept their generous offer. I’ve often wondered, however, how being around other budding composers might have affected my motivation to compose.

I have recorded my variations of “Chop Sticks” and “Jack and Jill” and I’d like you to hear them. They’re on my web site, http://www.wagele.com/musical-enneagram.html You can hear Chapter 7 of “The Beethoven Enneagram” CD on my web site, too, if you’d like to hear me play some Beethoven, at  http://wagele.com/beethoven.html  Who knows? Maybe I’ll become a career changer some day and become a full time composer. You never know!