“There are certain children who are told they are too sensitive, and there are certain adults who believe sensitivity is a problem that can be fixed in the way that crooked teeth can be fixed and made straight. And when these two come together you get a fairytale, a kind of story with hopelessness in it.
I believe there is something in these old stories that does what singing does to words. They have transformational capabilities, in the way melody can transform mood.
They can’t transform your actual situation, but they can transform your experience of it. We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay. I believe we have always done this, used images to stand and understand what otherwise would be intolerable.”
~ Lynda Barry
I ran my latest book club webinar with my Inner Circle yesterday and based on what we chatted about in that hallowed space I realised, dear reader, that we need to have a little chat this morning too.
Has anyone ever said to you, ‘Stop being so sensitive!’
Do you criticize yourself or endure judgement and criticism from others for your sensitivity?
I know that most of my Cauldrons and Cupcakes community identify as being empathic, sensitive, intuitive or psychic. I also know that many of you see this as a problem or a negative trait within in that has to be hidden or overcome.
Sensitivity has come to be seen as a weakness by many in our society. It can also be perceived as weird, precious or a questionable excuse to engage differently or less fully in life. But I want you to know that your sensitivity is natural, and it’s also your super power!
It’s considered that as much as 20 percent of the population have a high degree of sensitivity. If you’re not certain whether you are in this category read through my check list in the blog post: Living as a Sensitive Soul.
I know myself to be highly sensitive, and I hope that by sharing my story here on the blog that perhaps you’ll begin to feel more comfortable about your own sensitivities and intuitive abilities.
It’s no secret now that I’m psychic, but I kept a lid on this part of my life for a very long time. It was a part of my life I felt the need to hide or downplay. I was embarrassed and at times even ashamed of that aspect of myself. I’ve had psychic ability since childhood, although as a child my gifts were much less developed. I was simply known as ‘sensitive’, and yes, it was something for which I was often criticized or punished. It made me feel different to everyone else, and it socially and emotionally isolated me throughout most of my childhood and young adult life, although I did my best to fit in.
I felt everything deeply – I was profoundly affected by the thoughts, emotions and actions of others, and by the world around me. Even as a very small child I had a strong awareness of emotion embedded in people and places, and often struggled with the differences between how people acted and how I seemed to ‘know’ that they felt inside. I had a gift for observation, and I hung back a lot. I was quite shy until I was sure of my surroundings, although I could also be extroverted at times, and I had intense passion for the things that held my interest.
I wasn’t only sensitive to feelings and emotions. I was also at times a ‘picky’ eater; I didn’t often enjoy crowds or loud noises, although at times I could find them stimulating and exciting; rough rides like the Dodgem Cars at the local show upset me; and I was bothered by things like scratchy jumpers. I was frequently told to ‘grow up’, to ‘get over it’, to ‘toughen up’ or to ‘stop being a drama queen’. In fact I didn’t make a fuss about any of these things – being the centre of attention, or drawing focus to my differences, was the last thing I wanted!
What I really craved as a child was acceptance, understanding, emotional connection and support, and to know that I was loved and safe. And who doesn’t need that? Now it is part of my life work to make sure that people like you and I are supported, connected, inspired and included. I need you to know that you are NORMAL, and that your sensitivity is a gift rather than a flaw.
As an adult my sensitivity has become more refined and mostly more manageable. My psychic ability has also become more overt. I have finally embraced who I am, and my life is all the richer for it. I get energetically overwhelmed less often, although there are some physical places (like Port Arthur in Tasmania, which has seen generations of violent atrocities and cruelty) where I find that I simply cannot stay for any length of time. I can tolerate crowds, mostly. I have learned not to take on the energies of others. And I respect my sensitivity – no nightly news or horror movies for me!
I have found that sensitivity and increased psychic or metaphysical ability go hand in hand. When you are highly sensitive in one aspect of your life, you are generally sensitive in all other areas of your life (yes, this can include sensitivity to noise, crowds, food and chemical sensitivity too!). Not all sensitive people are shy and retiring folk – being sensitive just means you FEEL and notice things more, so sometimes you may need to balance periods of being extroverted or social with times of being quiet and withdrawn. When you use sensitivity as a super power it is going to make you more empathetic, compassionate, curious, investigative, and it will help you to support others better, to find breakthroughs, to get to the heart of things, to be a better counsellor, teacher, healer, mentor, creator or coach – or whatever it is that you do. It’s also going to help you value and appreciate the wonders of this life.
Ten Point Survival Plan for Sensitive Souls
Here is my Ten Point Survival Plan for Sensitive Souls. If you feel that YOU are a sensitive soul too I know that these things will help you to manage your sensitivity better. If you are the parent of a Sensitive Child I encourage you to support your child and to help them accept their sensitivity as normal.
- Eat well. Favour organic foods, with an emphasis on fresh, local produce, plenty of leafy green vegetables and root vegetables, neutral grains such as rice, pulses and yoghurt. Avoid processed food and sugar. Some people may need to avoid meat. Others may need meat to ground them. Listen to your body. If you’re especially sensitive limit wheat as well. Avoid alcohol, drugs and stimulants.
- Rest. It’s one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. Avoid crowded places such as shopping centers and football games when you are feeling particularly sensitive or energetically vulnerable. Avoid difficult relationships and people who drain, upset or unbalance you. Limit contact with the crazy-makers in your life. Turn off the TV and step away from the screen and get some true unplugged downtime.
- Take a good powdered magnesium supplement. Your muscles and nervous system use magnesium to relax and it we also burn it like rocket fuel when we are engaging in energy work and psychic activity.
- Drink plenty of fresh, clean water. Staying well hydrated eases stress on all levels.
- Spend time in nature. A walk in the park, a swim, a bike ride, sitting under a tree, playing outside with your dog, sunshine, dancing in the rain…
- Avoid chemicals in your cleaning and personal care products as well as in your diet. Avoid places that have a strong artificial or chemical energy.
- Embrace gentle exercise, especially those modalities that support body, mind and spirit such as walking, yoga, tai chi and qi gung.
- Meditate and Journal. There are so many ways to do this – choose what works for you. Explore your sensitivity!
- Find a hobby. Spend creative time on your own, exploring the things that interest you. Most sensitive souls are also highly creative.
- Accept Yourself and seek out like-minded people. Give yourself permission to live authentically and simply be yourself. We all benefit being kind to ourselves and from having friends who understand us. If you haven’t yet, consider joining my free Facebook group The Journeymakers. I also recommend working with a copy of my yearly Planner – details here.
You are beautiful just as you are! Every person has something to offer the world, just by being true to who they are, and working with their natural abilities. Your sensitivities are part of your gift to the world. My most fervent wish is that you come to believe this as true.
Much love to you, from one sensitive soul to another, Nicole xx