Can you hear your own heartbeat? Reader Sarah posted this question in reply to my post on proprioception training because according to a new study being able to detect your own ticker is correlated with better self-esteem, less tendency to objectify oneself and better body awareness in general. Yet it can’t be taught. According to the study either you can or you can’t. My first reaction was to ask Sarah, “What do you mean hear my own heartbeat? People can hear their own heartbeats?!” And then I realized that if I have to ask…
I even went to a quiet room, laid down and meditated as hard as I could on my own heart beat. Nada. Not even a blip. The research holds pretty true for me, anecodotally speaking. I’ve spent my whole life feeling judged for my appearance and never being able to measure up. My self esteem, while somewhat better now, has always been ridiculously low. (True story: The first time my first boyfriend said “I love you”, I blurted “WHY??”). But I’m not sad about this – it’s not new info, frankly – on the contrary, I adore learning new things about myself and this little tidbit was so fascinating to me that I’ve spent the last two days asking every single person I meet if they can hear their heartbeat. (General consensus: Apparently most people can! At least sometimes. I even have one friend who says his heartbeat is so loud that it keeps him awake at nights. So maybe I’m glad I can’t?)
Playing around on ArchetypeMe, the personality-based news site I introduced you to a couple of weeks ago, is also teaching me a lot about myself. Like, for example, the fact I know nothing about myself. After I took the personality quiz I excitedly brought up my personalized news feed (called “The Daily Me”). According to the quiz I’m mainly (47%) a Caregiver, with a sprinkling of Intellectual and Spiritual. That all sounded good, but as I looked through the news stories I discovered that while they reflected exactly what I’d told the quiz I was like… I found them all really boring. This either means that a) I lied to myself taking the quiz and I’m really not the kind of person I think I am or b) I live my life and so others’ lives are way more interesting to me. (Both?) I mean, sure I love helping people out and consider myself a nurturer but I have zero desire to look at a whole slideshow of puppies.
So I decided to look at the definition of each Archetype I’d been assigned:
Caregiver (Woman): Caregivers are nurturing women. They make spectacular teachers, siblings, and of course mothers. Well if I do say so myself…
Intellectual (Woman): While intellectuals enjoy giving answers, they delight most in asking questions, either of others or of the universe. Okay well that is totally true of me too. Nothing pleases me more than being able to corner some person and interrogate, er, ask them all about themselves.
Spiritual (Woman): Spiritual people rely on their dreams and their senses to understand the kinds of things that many of us don’t see or care to see. FAIL. I think I interpret spirituality differently. For me, my spirituality is about my faith in the Divine and trust that people are inherently good. It has nothing to do with dreams or “sensing” or seeing things others don’t. It has everything to do with having optimism and purpose in life.
Thankfully the site also offers an option to check out other archetypes (Charlotte the beta version?) and I had a good time looking through the “rebel” category – which if you know me at all this will make you giggle for days. (Rebel (Woman): Societal values about how women should behave don’t ruin your fun.) I am always ruining my own fun! After reading through all their categories, the archetypes I would have picked for myself without the quiz were different.
And it isn’t because I think I was dishonest, I think it’s because there’s a difference between who I feel like I really am and what I like to learn about. As an Intellectual, I don’t want to read about people like me, I want to learn everything I can about people who aren’t like me at all. Plus, while I don’t consider myself a Fashionista (Fashionista: Innately stylish and drawn to beauty, you make an effort to look your best and you aren’t afraid to let the world know you try), I do love looking at and wearing pretty things.
So once I’d restructured my archetypes to reflect what I want to read about rather than who I think I am, things got really fun. Under the Athlete tab, I got to see a slideshow of President Obama being athletic (love me a good example!) and a note of support to Lance Armstrong that while I’m not sure I agree with was very interesting to read. Under the Rebel tab, I got to see a slideshow of President Obama drinking beer, hanging with Mick Jagger and holding a be-mowhawked baby, which amused me to no end even though I’ve never had a beer in my life, hate the Rolling Stones (I know, I’m sorry – if it makes you feel better I hate most of the music from that era) and feel that mowhawks on kids are fine only as long as the kid chooses it him/herself. And finally, under the Fashionista tab (the men’s version is called “Gentleman”??) I watched a slideshow of Michelle Obama’s best looks, which I enjoyed way more than I probably should have (seriously that woman is gorgeous and her taste is impeccable). Although they left off my personal fave.
In the end, ArchetypeMe taught me something very important about myself: I’m boring. Kidding! It taught me that my best and most defining quality is probably my curiosity and I have endless ways to express that! I’ll leave you with this infographic I found through my ArchetypeMe friend Jasmine (also an Intellectual!) that I think pretty much sums it up.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to take the quiz yourself at www.ArchetypeMe.com!
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