Thoughts of a Sensitive: wrong way

I can’t believe that I’ve had this blog/website since 2007. I was looking through the posts and I could see where the first Healing Fairy Alphabet Deck card was born and the first class from a tiny idea that grew into a school. Honestly, it’s been a long climb with so many changes, and this site and what I do has evolved and changed through the years, as have I. I am working on the TURTLE SHELL (book 2, focusing on boundaries for the Sensitive) and other books right now including a kid’s book, closing out what I started on this crazy journey. Here’s an excerpt, one of the Thoughts of a Sensitive that is included in the book.



from the upcoming TURTLE SHELL book you will be able to buy at

The Right Help and Avoiding Confusion for the Sensitive


I am seriously confused.

It’s partly from the allergens that are flying around in my house. My cooler–it’s an Arizona thing that wets the dry air while cooling the environment–hasn’t been cleaned in at least five years I’ve been here so it’s making my head really foggy every time it spits out air with gunk. So I called up my landlords and they immediately responded because they are fabulous. At first, they thought they would have to brainstorm how to clean out this moldy cooler, so I thought I would have to wait awhile, sneezing. But then I got a call from them that an expert would be coming to clean out the ducts and make my life easier to breathe. This expert specializes in cleaning out coolers of allergens. It was the perfect solution and the landlords knew where to go for help.

That experience lit a lightbulb up in my head. I have always given myself a hard time for not succeeding at times in business matters and that’s because I would go for help in the wrong places. I wouldn’t have the right answers. I would flounder about and get lost in shame. After all, I am a Capricorn and we are supposed to be good at everything. (ha ha) But what if it’s not the right help?

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A couple of times lately I have seen in action just the right piece show up for friends that they needed, but I have also seen in my life the opposite, where the wrong help creates more confusion.

I remember graduating from the Grad School program and having pretty much having vague help finding a job. I was told my skills and resume were fabulous and would have no problem finding something, but where/how wasn’t clear, except to look at a list of job search places to tackle. When what you do is so out of the box it is difficult to have a clear map. I always joke about wishing I was an accountant because the path is so clearcut. I’d go to school for a clear program, find jobs in accountant offices, and DONE. Vague help is the worst because it doesn’t provide you with specific steps. It’s almost like giving you directions to a house by saying, “Yeah, it’s somewhere over there.” Where? To the right of there or the left of there?

I have seen in others what happens when they have the wrong help. Trying to create something they bring in the wrong person who can’t really solve their particular problem and they make a bigger mess.

So what is the right help? First, I need to get very clear what is needed. That isn’t always easy. Often you are so overloaded that there are too many pieces floating around your head. It’s hard to pinpoint what the problem is or what you are needing. You know you need help with being healthy, but does that look like going on a diet? Starting a workout program? Going to do a doctor? What is the specific issue? I think I run into having too broad a problem. You can relate? And then overwhelm happens because there’s too much to tackle at once, and as a sensitive, I am already overloaded with stimuli and information ALL THE TIME.

So I write down very specifically what the issue is. The cooler was easy. It’s concrete. I know when the cooler turns on I sneeze, so that thing must be dirty. I then need to find someone who can clean out a dirty cooler. But what about more complicated questions like, how do I bring in more money? Or how do I bring in more peace to the household? Etc. etc. Those questions are trickier.

I am learning…

Sometimes having the right help is about lightening the load. You can’t do it all. (My Capricorn inner self just cringed.) You can’t be everything to everybody, you need to bring in assistance. Find what solves that particular problem– be very specific, research, ask around, and zero in on that one thing at one time to avoid overwhelm.

Until next time,


A Message For You: When Things Ain’t Moving

When you are pulled back in six thousand ways.

When what you are doing doesn’t work.

When it all feels like an uphill battle.

What worked before isn’t working.

It’s time to rest. Time to regroup. Time to follow what excites you NOW. Follow the new breadcrumbs. And the biggest message is:


A Sensitive’s Need for Space


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


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.