I challenge people. And I imagine you challenge people too. The truth of the matter is that we ALL challenge each other, it's what we are here for. To bring to light the shadows and opportunities for growth. To expand our awareness. To look at the things we avoid in order to rise above them and create BIG change.
Here's where sensitives stand out...
We don't challenge in small ways. .
We are mirrors for some of the hardest things inside people, yet we do our best to do this with gentleness. .
We often carry Owl medicine in that we have keen awareness and insight into the inner workings of others to a depth they may not have admitted within. (Truth, I used to feel like a real egomaniac saying that but I'm tired of not honoring my gifts) .
And, to follow my side note above, we can sometimes lack awareness about our gifts, leaving us feeling misunderstood, isolated and a burden to others. .
I'm tired of watching sensitives beat themselves up and get stuck in victim mentality. I'm tired of being witness to brilliantly gifted humans neglecting themselves and their abilities because they don't know how to harness them in empowered ways. I'm tired of feeling like I have an answer to a problem but not helping as many people as I know I'm capable of...
So I'm standing up to be seen, letting you know I am here, and ready to brave the shadows to guide you to the part inside yourself where you keep all the answers. .
I'm not afraid of depth. What I am afraid of is hiding my own gifts and not supporting you in sharing yours with the world. .
Let's create great change together! Sign up HERE for a free Self-Expression Session with me and let's gain some clarity on how this work could change your life.
My partner and I did our good deed of the day down at the Nanaimo Bathtub Races. Showing up late to the party, but hearing there was still one last racer out on the water, we practiced patience and hung out in the shade so we could be part of the small group cheering him on when he made it to land.
Sometimes, we can get discouraged when our growth takes longer than we anticipated. Especially as HSPs, because we have such clear visions for where we want to go.
But remember this, regardless of where you are on the journey, or how long it takes you, there are always people cheering for you.
Even when you arrive at your goal, and run up to ring the bell letting everyone know you made it, that is only part of the process.
In this one racer's case, he was so far past entry time that they had taken down the finish line stage. And it got me thinking... we may arrive at our goal, but the journey doesn't stop there.
By the look on his face, I could tell his adventure had just begun. No finish line needed.
Today I'm feeling grateful for knitted grandma slippers, kind humans who jump in to help as soon as they hear you're not feeling well, and a dreamy partner who takes care of me, rising above my stubbornness with even more of his own, making me finally back down and give in to resting. #battlecry
As highly sensitive people, it can be a great challenge to practice self care instead of being the one who is doing everything for everyone. However, when we push ourselves to do it all, we burn out, ending up depleted, and with nothing left to give anyway.
Remember this: You are enough.
Let that sink in a moment. YOU are ENOUGH.
Just by being alive, you ARE enough.
You don't have to do, or be, or change anything about yourself to be enough. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone. You don't owe someone because they took care of you. You are worthy of being looked after with the same care that you give others. And...YOUUU. ARE. ENOUGH.
"Unless you actively embrace your issues, you cannot reclaim your spirit's energy. Half the battle is won through the warrior's willingness to acknowledge and accept the whole truth at all times." - Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson. .
Wild Boar showed up today, to speak to the sensitives and reminding us that in order to confront what frightens us outside ourselves, we must first confront the fears within. .
As sensitives and empaths, we can tend towards absorbing the thoughts and judgements put on us by others. However, no-one is so powerful that they can make us believe anything about ourselves unless we allow them. .
Wild Boar medicine teaches us to take those triggers and weaknesses and acknowledge them as our strengths. In the work I do with my clients, we are constantly looking to reclaim the wild parts of ourselves that others tried to tame, turning those "burdens" into gifts, and acknowledging the superpowers we were born into this world with. .
Because not only were you gifted those powers for a reason, the world needs you to express them as your full authentic self in order to create the big change you've been called to. .
For those of you feeling inspired to step into the warrior energy and reclaim your whole truth, I would be honored to support you. I invite you to schedule a freeSelf-Expression Session HERE with me to get an idea how I work and see if we are a good fit.
The Impact of Criticism on HSPs
Criticism, shame, blame... some people might deem these necessary ways to interact with others when feeling challenged.
However, this is the least effective way to communicate your feelings to a HSP, and let me tell you why... Not only do we hear the words you use, but we can feel the energy and emotion behind those words. Oftentimes, shame and blame are being used because it feels challenging for you to look at yourself, giving yourself and others the compassion necessary to create healthy boundaries. Instead, criticism comes in, and the power play is made, pointing the finger and wanting someone to take all responsibility for a situation.
Regardless of a situation, each person has 100% responsibility for THEIR experience and actions. In this mature interaction, there is no longer any room for the "I only did this because you did that", the, "YOU made ME feel this way", or my most (read: least) favorite, "You started it". Self-responsible/non-blaming is the ideal, but not often the reality. Instead, fingers get pointed, shame is introduced and blame is put on one person, starting the power play.
The reason this is so hard on HSP's is because we already struggle with not taking responsibility for everything and everyone. We have been hardwired to try and fix all situations, taking on other's pain, because we can feel it surrounding us whether it is our or not.
When you shame us, there is likely a part of us that already believes part of what you are saying to be true, and if not, we allow you to plant that seed in our minds. It becomes a place of doubt inside of us, and we deserve better than that. We are working hard to give ourselves better than that.
Yes, we absolutely do need to take responsibility for our experience as well, and that means developing strong boundaries and confidence within ourselves so we don't take those things on. But that doesn't make reverting to shame, blame and criticism ok, just because it's more comfortable for you, (and I speak to ALL of us, because I know we've each done it). A question for us all, how do you feel taking personal responsibility could transform your daily interactions?
The Importance of Compassion when Connecting with HSP's
Compassion is, in my opinion, one thing that we could ALL use a little bit more of in our lives. And in relationships with HSP's, well, it's a downright necessity.
As Highly Sensitive people, we thrive when we can meet, and be met, with a level of compassion that many people are not sure how to do just yet. Which, in and of itself, is actually a great thing.
Why? You might ask. Well, let's look at it this way, often times, when people do not know how to do something, but it is important to the survival of a connection, they will make the effort to learn it in order to maintain said connection, if indeed it is important enough to them.
So, we go from having a bunch of humans walking around in the world not knowing how to act compassionately, to actively learning how to best do this so they can grow together... Pretty cool, right?
The next piece about the importance of compassion is that it is inevitable that things are going to come up for both people in the relationship. A HSP is going to be challenged to find a mode of communication that supports the potentially more logical, to the point, approach of who they are in relationship with (partner, coworker, family, etc), which can bring up feelings of not being able to be themselves, fear of shutting down, not feeling heard, and so on.
Whereas, the non-HSP can feel challenged by the request/invitation to go deeper into their feelings and express more emotions. This can leave them uncomfortable, like the HSP is asking them to change who they are, and like they aren't ever enough for the other person.
By holding each other in compassion, rather than reverting to defensive modes and assuming attack, we can see where the other person is being challenged and can honor all of who they are. This makes it sooo much easier to move forward in growth, as individuals, and together.
Where in your life do you feel compassion could be a game changer?
Reasons to Love a HSP
Someone reading my post about “3 Tips to Loving a HSP”, may have thought, “What's in it for me? If I have to deal with their sensitivities making me uncomfortable, then what do I get out of it?” If that was you, this is the part to stop reading. Because you are exactly the wrong person to be in a relationship with a HSP. (or perhaps anyone, for that matter). On the flip side, if you recognize the magic in your HSP relationships, and want to learn more about their gifts, and the way they impact your life, please, carry on...
The number one reason to love a HSP is...
1. Because you do! You love ALL of them. No, not every single HSP in the world, what I mean is that you love the HSP's in your life because of the fullness of who they are. You recognize that their depth of kindness wouldn't be possible without their ability to feel ALL the emotions at that depth. You loving them fully doesn't mean they never challenge (or annoy) you, but you don't just love parts of them, you love them as a whole.
Now that we've got that down, reasons to love a HSP can now transform into:
Reasons Loving a HSP is Awesome!
And the list goes like so:
1. They are wildly considerate.
2. They know your potential are your greatest cheerleader as you work towards your goals.
3. They are incredibly patient, (with everyone but themselves).
4. They are weird and quirky. Once they open up to you, you'll never stop laughing.
5. They see you, and will challenge you to grow into the fullest expression of yourself.
6. They will care for you with their whole heart, and they love to do it, so let them. Don't expect it from them without any appreciation though, because they are extremely rebellious and can't stand obligation or expectation.
7. They find so much joy in the little things.
That's just the beginning! HSPs are amazing friends, coworkers, partners and all around humans because they are dedicated to changing the world, and they start at home by looking out for your needs and doing what they can to support you. Just be sure not to take advantage of that, and do your best to remind them when they have forgotten, that they are important too.
I might be a lot, but I am never yours to take.
Curiosity has sparked, and I am certain I am not the only Highly Sensitive person who has experienced this... We are in relationship (with friends, partner, family, coworkers, etc), getting comfortable, being more ourselves, and we hear the dreaded, “You're a lot to take”. It's that heart crushing moment when someone in your life tells you that you are simultaneously “too much” yet “not enough”. Many times I've experienced this moment. It comes at the peak of my vulnerability, just as I've nestled myself into a comfy place between sharing my heart & soul, and being honest about the big emotions I struggle to embrace, each day.
But pay close attention to their words and notice a monumental flaw in that sentence... “You're a lot TO TAKE”. Who said I am yours to take? Who gave you the idea that I was anything other than my own person. Highly Sensitive, yes. Feels on a big scale, and to a level some people might describe by using the words “a lot”, absolutely. But never am I here to be taken.
If I give you my energy, presence and time, consider it a gift. Use the words “a lot” to describe how much I care, how excited I get about little things, how much beauty I see in the world, how deeply I laugh, the amount I care for the people around me (aka. The WORLD!) Know that with my “a lot – ness”, aka my BIGNESS, comes the depth of the shadow emotions as well. I will feel sadness, and express it in a way you may not understand. I can feel the pain of the world around me, and I may request some comfort, or some time to comfort myself.
If my bigness scares you, know that I don't think any less of you. I respect you just the same, and would appreciate that same consideration. If my bigness makes you uncomfortable, that's not permission to beat me up with judgement, but an invitation to retreat to your comfort zone.
Do that with respect and I will respect you with all the depth that my bigness allows. And THAT is A LOT.
However, if you're ready to step outside the comfort zone, exploring your own bigness, then I will meet you, happily, and will guide you to the place within that knows no bounds.
How to Love a Highly Sensitive Person
Did you know, each of us knows at least one Highly Sensitive person in our immediate world? One out of every 5 people are Highly Sensitive, which means 20% of the population experiences the world with heightened sensitivity, strong emotions, and a level of awareness that would blow your socks off.
Yet, many HSPs struggle to get their needs met in relationships, and are challenged by relationships that deem them "too sensitive", "not laid back enough", and "over emotional.
Here's something though... You care. You're reading this, learnig how best to support the Highly Sensitive people in your life, and I admire you for that.
It took me a long time to condense this to only 3 tips, but here are three that are absolutely crucial to loving and respecting an HSP.
1. PRACTICE COMPASSION: for the HSPs in your life AND yourself! It's no surprise that this is challenging. HSPs show up 100%, unafraid of sharing the true depth of their emotions, and asking others to do the same. This can be tough, and downright terrifying for even the strongest of people. Practicing compassion means looking at everything that is coming up for the both of you, honoring those experiences and doing your part to make space for the supportive connection to take place. (Notice I didn't say BOTH parts! You're only responsible for you).
2. CHECK THE CRITICISM AT THE DOOR: Trust me, we've tried our very best not to be this sensitive. It doesn't work. It's not how we are wired, and THAT IS OK! So, any attempts to tell us to "toughen up", or "grow a thicker skin", are a waste of your time and ours. Instead, talk to us from a place of love. Share your concerns, ask for what you need, and trust us to care enough about you that we will find a way to offer that to you. But leave the shame and blame out of it.
3. LISTEN: You may not always understand why they are crying about how intelligent elephants are (true story, happened to me), but hear them out. Let them know that you are present, their experience matters to you, and get curious. There is no better feeling to a HSP than when you make the effort to understand them.
HSPs what would you add to the list?
I recently had a conversation with my 2 year old self. She was scared, and I came to her rescue to help her understand why people were yelling, and what she could do to protect herself.
As a highly sensitive child, it is so easy to take on what you are surrounded by. And if you are in an environment full of fear, anger, chaos and anxiety, these are the emotions you are going to embody and express. Which is exactly why I was so misunderstood growing up, all the way into my early 20's.
As I came to her side, I fully intended to protect her. To hold her and let her know that everything was OK and that I would make sure nobody hurt her. She, being the strong, intuitive and wise little firecracker that she was, asked me to teach her how to do that for herself.
Here I had come with my cape blowing in the wind, ready to save the day, and there she was, asking me to help her tie her own cape and teach her what direction to stand in so it blew the right way. I was honored to do so.
So we had a conversation. We talked about how awesome it was that she had these super powers of her own and what she could do to embrace them today, and every day thereafter.
Here is how it went...
Deep down, you have a knowing inside of you that is reminding you where you came from, and what you are here to share with the world. Listen to your intuition as it will guide you throughout your life. The more you tap into that guidance, the deeper it will accompany you on your journey. Sounds simple right? It can be, and the first step is to make the choice to listen. Listen from your heart and really hear what this guidance is trying to tell you. You have the ability inside of yourself to feel what is intuition, and what is ego. All it takes is practice.
Kid version: You know that little voice inside of you that tells you stuff? Like what teddy bear needs the most cuddles, why the dog is barking, when you are safe and when you are not, and why to wear gumboots even though mom says it isn't going to rain? ALWAYS listen to that part of you. It is going to be with you for your whole life, and it loves to feel heard. The more you listen, the more it is going to talk to you. That is your very best friend in the whole wide world.
Remember that you are infinite love. You did not come into this experience to feel disconnected, alone, lost, frightened or separate from the world. You are here to remember your connection, to feel that connection and to embrace it. What fills you up? Do something each day to support yourself in feeling that connection. Sing, dance, play, paint, run, jump, skip, hug and kiss the ones you love, and know that you deserve happiness just as much as anyone else.
Kid version: Remember that feeling you had when you first came into this world? The feeling that you still get when you see someone you love, when your puppy kisses your face, when the raindrops fall on your cheeks and you puddle stomp in your gumboots? That is something you want to always remember. There will be things in life that try and take that feeling away, but you are so strong, and you have the power to stay connected to this feeling. Pay attention to what makes you feel this way and do that even more! Sing, dance, play, paint, run, jump, skip, hug and kiss the ones you love and be happy.
Know what is yours
Hurt people hurt people. We have all come across someone in our lives who was hurting, and seemed to feel it was easier to bring another human down with them than reach their hand out to be pulled up. Don't take on the things others try to place on you because they don't know how to heal them. The only person you have responsibility for is yourself, and that is a magnificent realization once we come to it. This doesn't mean you don't care about others. Quite the opposite actually. By giving people their "stuff" back and not carrying it on yourself anymore, you give them the incredible opportunity to take responsibility and actually begin to heal the things they have been projecting for so long. Embrace your power, and allow others to do the same. This is a gift for everyone.
Kid version: Sometimes, people might say things to you that don't feel very good. You don't have to believe the mean things others say, because they are hurting inside of themselves. A lot of the time when people are hurting inside, they say hurtful things to try and get that feeling out of their body. You can just give them love and let them know you are sorry they are hurting. ALWAYS, always give that love to yourself first and know that you are perfect just for being you.
Practice protection, without shutting down
There is a feeling of overwhelm that can show up when we are living in this world wide open. It can be scary, absolutely. And you can protect yourself, of course. But don't shut down your gifts entirely because that isn't going to do yourself, or the world, any good at all, my dear. There is an energy of brilliance that comes along with being vulnerable. The world needs vulnerability now more than ever, and you can be one to gift that to us all. We have become so used to building up walls, or shutting people down, and closing each other out, all in the name of "Protection". However, that is not protection at all. That is Rejection, and when you reject the opportunity to put yourself and your amazing gifts out into the world, you are rejecting yourself. You deserve better than that. Learn tools to protect yourself from energies that are not helping you heal or thrive, but remain open and allow yourself to be vulnerable by sharing that vulnerability with the world.
Kid version: You know that energy that you feel every day? Some days it is stronger than others, and in some situations you feel it deeper in your body than before. That is OK. This energy is here to tell you what feels good, what feels bad and it is going to guide you through your life to help you make the best decisions you can. You also have a really cool and unique gift which is why you are here in the world. If you close this energy off because it is hard or scary you might not get to share that gift with the world. The world needs YOU. You are important, special, brilliant and incredible. Listen to that voice inside of you and learn new things to help you feel protected from the energy that doesn't feel good so you can really enjoy the energy that feels GREAT!
Have fun with it
Have you forgotten how to play? When was the last time you put on a cape, ran around the house with your arms outstretched and honored yourself for the inspiring super hero that you are? This is something that we can do everyday! Well, perhaps we don't put on a cape, or our underwear over our pants when we are headed out to work, but you can take this mentality and mindset with you. Take a moment, each morning, to show gratitude for the ways in this world that you are a super hero. Embrace the gifts in being Highly Awesome - Sensitive, Empathic and Intuitive, as these are GIFTS. Not a curse, though some may tell you that. Don't listen to them. They are speaking out of fear, and have begun to shut themselves down. You are here to share yourself with the world in a powerful way, and your laughter will echo throughout the hearts of those you are meant to speak to.
Kid version: What is your superpower? What makes you special, makes you stand out, and makes you AWESOME? Do that thing every single day. Some people might not understand your superpower. They might want to tell you that there is something different, weird, or wrong about you. They are wrong. You are a super hero. You are here to change the world. Don't let anyone stand in the way of you being your amazing self. And always remember to have fun doing it. Laugh from the bottom of your belly and let all the sun beams shine out of your smiling face. Oh yeah, and ask Mom or Dad to make you a cape with your very own super hero symbol on it. Every super hero needs a cape!
When we finished the conversation, we held each other for a moment in a deeply healing hug, and as I pulled back from the embrace I saw her. Standing before me, cape blowing in the wind, Little Erin had embraced her gifts, her superpowers, and her trust in herself. All of these things she had been told not to do, or led to believe that she was wrong about, were now a part of her BIG self in this little body. She was here to change the world, which was something she had always felt within, but now she KNEW it.
It was that day that everything changed in her life.
What are you willing to allow that knowing to do for your life?
Here's to changing the world, one windblown cape at a time,
Fearless Leader for the Highly Awesome