There Are Others Like Me – INFJs Unite!

Pizza at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto.
Pizza at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto.

A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick. – Brene Brown

Until recently, I believed that I was the odd one out. How did I know when someone was being fake or was lying to me? How did my intuition get to be so freaking accurate? How do I feel emotion at such a heightened level? How can I feel what others are feeling or know what others are feeling? Why do I have a hard time watching sad movies about inanimate objects – my sister makes fun of me, I feel sadder at Wall-E than at people dying in House (a medical drama)?

Learning more about the Myers-Brigg Personality Type INFJ has made me feel more and more comfortable with who I am, because I am not alone and that gives me solace of some kind. Here are some things about my INFJ quirks. Continue reading

Making Myself Smaller To Hide My Light

Being intense like a fire, Distillery District, Toronto.
Being intense like a fire, Distillery District, Toronto.

“I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay with being different, and with being this alive, this intense. (xxvi)”
Eve Ensler, I am an Emotional Creature

The older I get, the more comfortable I get with my intensity. When I get excited about something, I get extremely intense and animated. I am banging on the table, and I’m pontificating. I get so involved in speaking on the subject that I kind of forget where I am, or who’s with me.

Once, I come back down to Earth after, a shame always washes over me. I berate myself for being so intense, and for speaking too much. I feel bad for monopolizing the conversation and I worry about boring the other people on the table. I am always reassured by the people around me that I was just being passionate, and the people actually enjoy seeing such passion on someone else, as it reminds them of their own passions. Continue reading

Zen And The Art Of Stock Options Trading

Snowstorm Zen, Toronto, Canada.
Snowstorm Zen, Toronto, Canada.

The best part is anything can happen; every market moment is unique. – Richard Hale Shaw

I have spoken about my journey to options trading in past posts. I have been noticing more and more that options trading has a lot of Zen-like teachings in it. I wanted to expand on that a bit in this post.

Nobody knows anything

Like the Zen teaching, there are no teachers, there are only students. The more I listen to the so-called ‘gurus’, the more I realize that no one really knows anything. They don’t know how the market is going to react to some random big news, or a Fed meeting. No one knows anything about how the market will react. We all make some assumption based on our knowledge, and our background, and we use those assumptions to create high probability trades – some of which go in our favor and others that don’t. Hopefully, you are doing a lot of these small high-probability trades, so that the odds end up in your favor over time. Continue reading

Saying Yes To Life – Yes To Everything

View through to a coffee shop, Distillery District, Toronto.
View through to a coffee shop, Distillery District, Toronto.

“In life, most of us are highly skilled at suppressing action. All the improvisation teacher has to do is to reverse this skill and he creates very ‘gifted’ improvisers. Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvisers develop action.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

I recently read a book where the author spoke about Improv (Blink by Malcolm Gladwell). He said that great improv is all about saying yes to everything that your improv partners say or do. There is no dissension, there is no discussion, there is no argument. There is just ‘Yes’. You do not suppress action as the quote above says, you develop action as a good improviser. I am not really familiar with improv in general, this being the first time I read about it. But the analogy between life and improv is so clear, I had to write about it.

As in improv, life is all about saying ‘Yes’. We spend way too much time and energy analyzing, discussing, dissecting, thinking, worrying, and generally saying ‘No’ by delaying reaction. Recently, I have tried a new way of doing things. I have decided to say ‘Yes’ to whatever life throws at my fragile body. Continue reading

Oh, Look At The Clouds – Making The Ordinary Extraordinary

Distillery district, Toronto.
Distillery district, Toronto.

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. – Elliott Erwitt

Last week I was walking around downtown Toronto with a friend, and suddenly, I felt a sense of wonder. I looked up at the sky and the clouds just seem so high – I felt so small. It wasn’t an extraordinary moment in an extraordinary place, although, I would consider now that every moment in my life nowadays is laced with that extra something and Toronto is a very special indeed. But if you looked at it with a logical lens, it shouldn’t be considered an extraordinary moment.

Continue reading

I Will Not Love You, If You Don’t Love Me

Cloud garden, Toronto.
Cloud garden, Toronto.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. – Ann Landers

There are so many different kinds of love; relationship love, animal love, motherly love, love of a friend, love for a cause, self-love, and so on. Recently, I have had the opportunity to explore a different kind of relationship. I met a person with whom I had an instant connection, and whom I love dearly in the way I love the important people in my life. The reason it’s interesting to me, is because he doesn’t love me back. He likes me, I believe, and likes hanging out with me, but he doesn’t love me, like I love him.

In the past, I have always been the last one to say I love you, the last one to acknowledge I had any feelings, the last one to show emotion (lest I get hurt).

I thought to myself, I will keep myself closed off, and if I do that, if the other person doesn’t like me, or doesn’t want to be with me, then it will be alright. I don’t have to feel hurt. I protect myself by numbing myself, by not allowing myself to feel, not acknowledging how much I love the person. Continue reading

Using Busy-Ness For Numbing

Wood carving, Distillery District, Toronto.
Wood carving, Distillery District, Toronto.

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. – Thomas A. Edison

I know whenever I get really self-righteous about something that the universe is going to go knock me on my head and ensure that I realize I’m thinking wrongly somehow. Or just to ensure that I’m not getting too big for my boots. The last time this happened was a few days ago.

Continue reading