I always find it interesting when the things that most make you who you are sometimes become things that you rub against most harshly. That’s something I’ve been thinking about this weekend. Like approximately 15% of the population I’m a highly sensitive person. And there’s no doubt in my mind it’s one of the reasons I’m so good at my work. My heightened receptivity makes it very easy to access my intuition; very easy to connect and read energy; very easy to both read the Akashic Records and to be a channel. And research defines other gifts that being highly sensitive can bring that I find delightful as well, such as increased creativity, deep awareness of rich sensory detail, heightened perception of nuance; greater empathy, and great emotional awareness. For me these are all pluses that make my life opulently wonderful.
But these very gifts also carry some challenges to be aware of. I’m easily overwhelmed and overstimulated and I need to build in a lot of space and time to myself into my life. Awareness of the emotions of others is truly a gift, but it also has meant I’ve had to work very hard at maintaining healthy boundaries that serve my sanity. And I very often feel like I’m out of sync with the rest of the world who seems so much to value extroversion and being highly social. As I’ve aged I’ve become lots more comfortable with being seen as eccentric, but I won’t lie, I do sometimes feel stung by judgment. No doubt, some of it clearly my own. And I wish that part were easier.
This weekend we had a block party – I believe the first ever in the history of this neighborhood. I woke up Saturday a little nervous (hello… BIG party…scary!) and a littIe excited (hello… BIG party… my chance to debut a new personality – social butterfly at ease among millions).
LOL – what was I thinking?! Alas the party was much harder than I’d hoped. Because I’m good at seeing energy, I often think in those kind of visual terms. And so I often experience myself as a kind of evenly rolling wave, and other people as waves of energy as well. In small doses we can gently play in each others fields, but when too much, from too many directions comes at me, I feel my wave disrupted and I see and experience dissonance. Ouch! One of the great things about yesterday’s experience was the retreat to the safety of my house sanctuary was always less than a block away. So I came and went as I was able, or felt most comfortable. And even amidst wishing I were somehow different, I still remembered to build in some of the necessary things I’ve learned help me most easily recover when I’ve had a big dose of overwhelm.
I work with a lot of highly sensitive people and I’m often asked what practices can help in recovery. Here are things I find useful:
- Be conscious of grounding and centering. Overwhelm pulls you off center, so institute practices that bring you back. Simple breath practices can be helpful here.
- Send love. This can be a preventative measure when feeling on the edge of overwhelm. If you can step back just a bit and flood the situation with love it can be helpful. I know some of you are thinking “what?!” but this can be a perfect time to engage in a metta prayer. Sending love and compassion to yourself and everyone can help create harmony that lessens that jarring feeling of dissonance. And it can also be very helpful in the recovery phase as well. In those times I often find myself seeking out Jennifer Berezan’s album In These Arms . It’s a wonderful example of a lovingkindness practice and can feel really good. If you’re interested in getting a taste, this is an official video you might want to check out.
- Water. Drink lots. And salt baths can be a good way to clear and detox as well.
- Energetic Clearing. I clear myself and I have people who will clear for me as well, and this is a lovely blessing. One of the easiest methods is one Megan Potter of Limitless Living teaches, and she’s on a mission to get everyone to learn how to.
- Aromatherapy and flower essences. I’ve been using these supports for decades and really can’t imagine life without them. I literally use them every day. I developed my Feel Good Energy Shift business precisely because I find them so helpful, and so do my clients.
I used all these practices this weekend and I’m feeling fine.
Are you a highly sensitive person? I’d love to hear what you find helpful. Please drop a line in the comments and add to our collective harmony rebalancer. And who doesn’t want to be part of that?