A Sensitive’s Need for Space

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I don’t always know my limits.

I try to be extroverted, on the go, social, always available, but I have a sensitive system that I often curse. I push way past my limits in order to be like everyone else, and my body always reacts in some way to let me know.

I need space to recoup and regroup. It’s a fundamental need. As a sensitive person I process things slowly and deeply. I don’t just process the surface but the multi-level happenings underneath, so there is much to sift through. My mind is like a giant computer picking up data left and right and making connections. Then I need time to download, digest, and understand. I need quiet space where I only hear me and my thoughts, only feel me and my feelings, not the whole world around me, or I will get lost.

It’s hard to explain to others. You feel like a freak, different, flawed in some way, but you are just differently wired…maybe with an advanced computer inside.

Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to explain to others.

I have had in-laws who never understood and felt rejected. How could they when they are wired their way and don’t know there is another way to be?

I identified the bigger problem. It’s communicating my limits calmly and with strength to others. “I have hit my limit!” But, if I don’t acknowledge my limits, I have a problem. There is a problem with me and acceptance. Deep deep down, I don’t want a sensitive body. Maybe it’s just having a body. How many times have I dove into a project on the computer and I forget or ignore I’ve had to pee for two hours? That pee thing is annoying. If I could go without peeing for a day, think how much work I’d get done! Think how many car trips I wouldn’t have to stop anywhere for breaks!

So, maybe I should just accept that there is so much I can do in a day, and I need to take care of myself. If I was a car, I could push myself all I wanted to but it isn’t going anywhere if I run out of gas. What if it’s just that simple? This car won’t go very far if there aren’t breaks to unwind, disconnect and refuel (which translates into some alone space). And what if…I explain it that way to others?

“I am not being anti-social, and it’s not that you are a horrible person that I need a break from you or that I don’t like or love you, I just need to put more gas into my car at this time, and I will be back on the road with you momentarily.”

Do you think that would work?

Are Sensitive People Part Border Collie?

chaos calmI don’t like chaos. I used to think it was wanting control but I am realizing it’s my sensitive brain needing order. It all makes sense. As a highly sensitive person, I have a ton of information coming in at once. I notice the big things, the tiny things, and the things on an intuitive level also. That’s a ton of neurons firing and sorting at once. So it makes sense if I walked into a room that was, for example, a crazy party, my brain would take in the flashing lights, the music, the people, the people and their thoughts and feelings, ALL AT ONCE and I could easily overheat my main drive.

Walking into a crazy classroom, I feel like a border collie wanting to get some order with these disorganized sheep that are wandering here and there. I look to create immediate order, and the best way to do that is create some kind of focus in the messiness in front of me. Being sensitive is all about the path of self-acceptance. If I had physical limitations, like one leg, or couldn’t see, I would have to adapt and create a way of being. And I don’t think being sensitive is a limitation, but being not the norm in society, we sure are treated as such. We need to know ourselves and know what we need. (And the positive flip side of this is I am great at editing, pulling together a product or project, and can pull out intuitive information that isn’t available to everyone, and a host of other gifts.)

I like the gas in the car analogy. If I know my car needs special gas to function well, I don’t shame and frown at the car. If I know my body can’t do milk, I don’t shame my body (although I do get frustrated when pizza is around), I listen to my body. This is what this body needs or doesn’t need. Pushing my system to just “adapt” to wild chaos and the party in front of me, is just funny. It’s ignoring how you are wired. With the party situation, I know that I need to create some focus. I can focus on my friends, or the dessert table :), or dance and just go into my own little world. Focusing can help block out the extra noise so I create order in my brain. I accept I have a border collie in me that is protecting my sensitive system. And when the little guy can’t round up the sheep, I know I will have some difficulties and will need to work through it and with it, not ignore this fact. Otherwise, I know the consequence, and it looks the same as if I had eaten that slice of pizza.

Clear Expectations and Rubrics

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I have a guilty pleasure.

I watch reality television. My favorite kind of show are design or cooking challenges. I am a Project Runway addictee and I’ve pretty much watched every season up to date. This past weekend I finished watching the finale for the past season and HULU suggested another show, Australia’s Top Model. I do admit to watching the last guys and girls season of America’s Top Model, and I was entertained by the drama and the fashion photography. That show falls into the same category as the cooking shows I watch. I am a horrible cook so watching good cooking is a bit of a fascination for me. There’s no stress because I know I will never aspire to be even a bit better than I am as I have no talent in this area. The model shows are much the same. I will never be 5’10, twig-like, flat-chested, or eighteen again, so it’s safe to witness another world I will never be a part of. I have realistic expectations.

Surprisingly, the Australian show was much more brutal with criticism then the American show. From watching a two season marathon (yes, I watched two seasons while drawing most the day),  it seemed the judges made up the rules as they went along. Girls were judged by their runway walk, but once they got that down, they SHOULD have worked on their photos instead. And the judges picked out their final photos from a large pile they took of them usually choosing the best or the odd one of the bunch to their preference. Sometimes, criticism made perfect sense and we, the audience, learned a great deal about how to model, although, I have to say, I really don’t have that interest. Other times, criticism was random and odd. Particularly brainless was giving the girl criticism about the size of her butt who clearly showed signs of early eating disorder and was model thin.

All this model show watching had me thinking about clear expectations. I am realizing something rather important as a sensitive. I need clear expectations. What is often hard having my own business is that there is a part of me that thinks, I will do all this work and offer all this, and in return, I will be rewarded with what I need. The problem is often when that doesn’t happen and I am left with an uneven exchange.

Most sensitive folk are very responsible and we like to please. Whether that pleasing is for approval, and approval can mean acceptance, or it is simply to keep the peace because we hate conflict. In order to please we need the rules, and the rules, like in that tv show, aren’t always very clear. We want to know that if we do A/ then B/ we get a reward. Many situations we think we do A and B, we may even get chastised for not doing C and D, when we hadn’t even known there was a C and D, which is what often happens with unclear expectations or hard to please people.

In Grad School classes we were told about Rubrics. We had set expectations for each course we took describing what was expected of us. If we did a certain amount of work we received a grade. If we did things well or did more than expected, we received good grades. None of this was subjective, it was super clear. If I wanted that A, I had to do a certain amount of work and I was rewarded. WE NEED THAT!

I think we’ve all lived through situations growing up that we may have been expected to be more extroverted and do things like extroverted people do, and to be less sensitive or emotional.  This is much like being asked to be eighteen again and model thin. Impossible expectations are just that…crazy and unrealistic. We will fail but not because of what we are attempting. Trying to please and fulfill those expectations might be even crazier. (It’s what I call the Treadmill). Maybe it’s time to walk away from situations that ask that of us and be pulled to the ones that have a very clear, upfront formula for success. And if isn’t clear, we can ask that it is.

Are you picking up thoughts? New class

The other day I went to Walmart and got my usual Walmart headache. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the prices and the fact that if I need a Vacuum bag that fits only a Kenmore C, I can get that alongside my favorite cookies. As an empath, I usually pick up a ton of feelings that aren’t mine in that store, probably because of the Dome Affect. There are no windows in Walmart. There is no energy circulation, so to speak, so it all gets nicely trapped inside. And the thoughts are rampant bouncing around the walls hitting you, henceforth, the Walmart buildup headache. All these bouncing thoughts had me wondering about psychic ability of Telepathy.

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You can pick up thoughts from someone ruminating on you from far away, and walk away with them thinking they are own, much like the latest virus. Next thing you know, you are feeling hyper, angry or crazy (that’s their energy you are picking up from those thoughts.)  It’s the ability where you know who is ringing your cell before you even say hello. It’s even the knowing you have when you use animal communication on your dog companion.

In this new mini class, we will explore our telepathic ability and how to unload and balance it out, and then develop it to be able to read more energy and not feel so overloaded in our brains. It’s a superpower ability you already have! Check out the class HERE, which starts in only a few weeks. Sign up in October to get the shiny Early Bird rate over here.

Weird Ass Energy Alert

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Have you noticed the last few weeks energy has been kinda wacky? For the empathic person, this has been a crazy time.  Perhaps it’s the dreaded Mercury Retrograde, which has been talked about often in local new agey circles. It could be the overall malaise from the country battling things like weird ass fears (Ebola), unexpected losses (Robin Williams), and news of terrorists cutting off heads and being brutal, magnified by the wild moon action (red eclipse). Energy-wise to the sensitive, the energy feels choppy, bumpy and well, weird. Manifesting seems like a struggle and uphill battle, and our usual guidance might even be quiet (I hate those times of feeling disconnected). How do you get through it? I have noticed many colleagues and friends avoiding Facebook and the News, which, especially has been a big downer. Taking plenty of time out to touch base with Nature or be alone to regroup is also helpful. And telling yourself, this too will pass, is a good reminder. Hang on Sensitive! With any energy build-up, there needs to be a release.