Archive for Highly Sensitive

Pivotal Memories

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People often ask me what kinds of memories to start with to get the fastest, deepest healing. 

I always look for the “fractal memories”–those memories in which the core beliefs/feelings will repeat themselves and branch out to affect your life in all kinds of ways afterward. Heal these, and the ripple effects of healing begin effortlessly  to penetrate into all the areas of life affected by that memory.

In another post I talked about foundational memories. They are one kind of important fractal memory.

Another kind of fractal memory is what I call a pivotal memory. This would be a memory, usually conscious, that changed the course of your life. Something happened and you came to believe something about yourself that forever after influenced your life. Such memories can form your identity–for better or worse.

On the “better side,” pivotal memories can be quite positive. One important pivotal memory that shaped my entire future happened in college, when I fell in love with publishing. I was always a bibliophile and a writer, and the field fascinated me, so I decided I would major in English, but not teach. I would make a career in publishing.

Everyone told me, “It’s practically impossible to break into publishing.” Especially since I didn’t know anyone, even by the time I was a senior in college. Also, this was at a time when people with PhDs in English were driving taxi cabs. 

No matter. Publishing was my passion and I would find a way. When my pastor suggested I go out to Illinois to study in the C.S. Lewis Wade Collection for my Honors thesis on Lewis, he added, “There are a lot of Christian publishing houses out there, too.”

I spent my mid-semester break in Wheaton, Illinois, and interviewed at three Christian publishing houses. One of them hired me, for a job they created for me. I still thrill to the fact that I had a job lined up in my chosen field before graduation, and before any of my friends with more sure degrees (like nursing) even had a job offer. That first job, in which I interviewed authors and created radio spots, remains one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever held, and led to other opportunities.

Positive pivotal experiences can lead the way to success in many areas. Use these memories as a focus point when you’re doing a Healing Code for a success issue; it will increase your confidence and shift your energy and focus in a big way.

Negative Pivotal Experiences obviously need to be healed. The lies and perhaps even vows that result from such memories must be changed to truth, or you will remain stuck.

To find a negative pivotal memory, look for an area in

your life where you feel blocked.

I’ll give an example from my own life.

In fifth grade, I had two teachers who seemed to love to pick on students. I was one of them. But my worst memory of these teachers came not from them bullying me, but another student.

One day I witnessed them verbally attacking  a male student in the hallway. (Not sure why I was there, but I was the only other witness, and the teachers seemed oblivious to my presence, so intent were they on their tearing apart that boy’s self-esteem.)

As the teachers lit into this boy, who I now realize was a Highly Sensitive Person, Richard cried. That just made the teachers belittle him more. I saw him stand there, helplessly crying more and more, while the teachers mercilessly ridiculed him.

Up to that point, I, too, was a person who felt deeply and cried easily. In fact, I desperately wanted to cry about what I just saw. I almost burst into tears on the spot, but somehow I stopped myself.

I stopped myself by making a vow, right then and there. I vowed that nobody would ever do something like that to me. If this is what happens when you show your emotions, I would never show my emotions again.

That day, I learned how not to cry. I learned how to turn off my high sensitivity. (Or so I thought.)

The problem was, I turned off all emotions. For a long, long time, I went through life feeling very little. I was what the Yerkoviches (How We Love, Expanded Edition: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage) identify as a classic Avoider in their Love Styles quiz. Having grown up in a home where emotions were pretty much absent, and I’d been ridiculed for being “too sensitive,” it felt right and comfortable to go through life not feeling.

Except . . .

Except that turning off the negative emotions also turned off the positive ones, like joy and tenderness and letting myself be moved by art or music.

Except . . . I am a Highly Sensitive Person, and one of the inborn traits is that we can’t help but feel and be emotionally reactive. 

As it does for most people who are Avoiders, the negative energy went into my body. The energy of emotion must go somewhere (e-motion = energy in motion). If you allow yourself to feel it, it will be processed. It won’t get stuck in brain and/or body.

If you don’t . . . you set yourself up for all kinds of problems. Dr. Gabor Mate says, “When you shut down emotion, you’re also affecting your immune system, your nervous system. So the repression of emotions, which is a survival strategy, then becomes a source of physiological illness later on.

That’s what happened to me. I developed an autoimmune disease.

Oddly, even though I went through therapy for a while, no one ever really helped me to understand and process my emotions. Maybe I just wasn’t getting it. It was The Healing Codes that started me on the path to actually healing the heart issues at the source (and also, quelling the physical issues).

It wasn’t easy to heal that Pivotal Memory. I had to identify the lies and the vow. My heart was fearful of being hurt, or humiliated like poor Richard was. (He was never the same after that incident. I noticed.) By understanding both High Sensitivity and Childhood Emotional Neglect, and by identifying the lies and replacing them with truth and images of how to handle emotions in a healthy way, I have found healing and a new way of being.

What Pivotal Memories do you need to heal?

You will greatly speed and deepen your healing when you identify and heal both foundational and pivotal memories. You will also remove many blocks that have held you back in many areas of life. Start today!

And if you need any help, check out both the free and personalized coaching from HealingCodesCoaching.com.

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In my coaching, as I listen to clients tell me what’s bothering them most (the starting point for finding heart issues), I want to find the deepest issue their heart is ready to heal at this point in their healing journey.

I’m listening for what I think of as “the keywords to the heart.” These are words that have the most energy, that seem to encapsulate the essence of the heart issue.

When you put these “keywords” into your prayer of intention, your heart, like a search engine, will come up with the memories that need to be healed.

Your “keywords to your heart” could be one or more feelings. Or a phrase (see below for an example).

It could include one or more beliefs. Or a relationship. Or a harmful action–something they’re doing to numb the pain.

Or–all 4! In fact, I call these four areas the 4-part program: feelings, beliefs, relational context, and harmful actions. Most issues have at least three of these elements (not all issues have the Harmful Actions component).

If you want to speed your healing:

1. Identify your issue–what’s bothering you most? It might be a relationship issue, a health issue, a financial or success issue. Just jot down what’s bothering you most.

Important: Note how you feel about this, or any phrase that comes to mind about this issue. (We will come back to this later.)

2. Explore your issue a little further. Look for the 4 components of your issue: feelings, beliefs, relationship context. (Does this issue involve just you and how you feel about yourself, or some other person, or even God?) Are there any Harmful Actions or behaviors you do because of this issue? The obvious ones are taking substances to numb the pain, but there are many other ways to distract yourself or numb the pain. Working (too much) was always one of my harmful actions. Because I love what I do so much, it was easy to avoid unpleasant feelings and situations by working more.

3. Some people find it helpful to rate how much the issue bothers them, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being unbearable and 1 being hardly bothersome at all. This can be useful to track your healing after doing a Healing Code. Other people, however, find it stressful to try to rate an issue. If it works for you, do it. If not, feel free to skip this step.

4. Tune in to your body for a moment as you think about your issue. Where do you feel that feeling/belief in your body? Again, if this is too hard, skip it. But it’s useful to keep trying. It will train your heart and your body to tune in to each other.

Now, as you hold that feeling and/or body sensation in your awareness, ask yourself, “When have I ever felt this before? What does this remind me of?”

Often what will come to mind is a memory. However, not always. If you’ve grown up with Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), for instance, memories might be few. Pay attention to whatever comes up. These will be the “keywords to your heart.” Put these into the Prayer of Intention, and just like putting keywords into a search engine, your heart will come up with all the associations with those keywords–and heal them!

Sometimes the keywords can lead you into the 4-part program. Let me give you an example from my own recent Healing Code session.

I knew I was working on some kind of grief or sadness issue. In fact, I began to cry. As tears rolled down my face, I heard the words in my mind, “What’s wrong with you, that this bothers you so much?”

I don’t remember any specific times when this was said to me, but it sure was the tenor of my experience in my family. The beliefs I came to hold (which I am healing now) were, “I can’t have my feelings. Feelings make others reject you. Feelings are dangerous. Feelings slow you down. You don’t have time for feelings.” Harmful action: avoiding feelings. (When I took the Love Styles quiz, not surprisingly, I scored high in Avoider. I come from a family of Avoiders.)

The “keywords” that led to the beliefs and grief were, “What’s wrong with you, that this bothers you so much?” I realize now that my Highly Sensitive nature made me feel things at a depth that many others don’t. I didn’t know that then, though. Reactions from others to my highly sensitive nature led to much shame, guilt, and wrong beliefs.

But the good news is–I am healing these now! And you can, too. You can heal whatever “heart issues” are holding you back from the things you want most in life–the loving relationships (including with yourself and God), the success in fulfilling your destiny, and the good health your body is always seeking.

Emotions have great energy, and if we don’t “feel and deal” with emotions, especially those long buried, they will erupt in physical symptoms. But that’s the subject of another article….

Download the free “4-part program Tracking Form” I use with my clients. If you would like help in identifying the “keywords to your heart,” check out my coaching at https://HealingCodesCoaching.com.

THE Key to Healing Code Results

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If there is ONE THING I can point to that will make the most difference in healing, it’s this: consistency.

I often say, doing Healing Codes or practicing healing prayer (the two approaches I’ve found to be most effective for healing) is more like taking vitamins than taking an antibiotic.

An antibiotic is specific to addressing one kind of ailment–infection–and it can knock the infection out in usually 14 days. Then you don’t have to take it anymore.

Vitamins you need every day, because every day your body uses them up.

You need to address heart issues daily because of . . .

The Stockpile Effect

Heart issues don’t just add up, one on top of another. When you’ve experienced a trauma, your body, soul and spirit record it.  (Note: a trauma could be anything from the famous “Popsicle memories” mentioned in The Healing Code, to childhood emotional neglect and the absence of nurturing, to outright abuse.)

That’s not the end of it, though. Whenever something happens to you that’s like the original trauma, the negativity of the memory is intensified and compounded.

Thus you go through life, stockpiling, magnifying and compounding the pain of the original memory–often unconsciously.

When you interrupt that process with The Healing Codes or healing prayer, that’s a good start. But if you spent the better part of your life building on these negative memories, it’s going to take consistent, persistent effort to heal it all the way down.

You will be peeling an onion, layer after layer.

Surprising Results

The beautiful thing about the process, though, is results don’t come only when you have peeled all the layers of that onion. No, results often come quickly, often in surprising and unexpected ways. Read More→

Have you ever wondered what emotions are good for, anyway?

And what happens when you refuse to deal with an emotion?

Let’s say you feel sad about something, now. Growing up, if you showed sadness or cried, it made your parents feel uncomfortable. Feeling sad made you bad for making them feel uncomfortable. (You can substitute any other feeling you “weren’t allowed” to feel.)

If you were male and you cried, you may have been told, one way or another, to toughen up.

If you grew up this way, what are you likely to do with that present sad feeling?

If you let yourself feel it, you might find guilt being added to it (because when you felt sad in childhood and other people didn’t like it, you came to believe your feeling sad made someone else feel bad). Or shame (“I’m bad for feeling sad and causing a problem for someone else”). Read More→

When I was a child, I somehow got the idea from my family that I couldn’t have what I wanted.

When I asked for gymnastic lessons, my mother couldn’t be bothered with taking me back and forth to lessons.

When I asked if I could learn to play the piano, she said crossly, “Where would we fit a piano in this house?”

I’ve written about how I was triggered on Fourth of July by memories of never getting a helium balloon at the parade, and how that and other things led to my forming the beliefs, “I can’t have what I desire. Other people will think I’m selfish and reject me if I do or ask for what feels right for me.”

Which eventually led to a feeling of guilt and shame for even desiring anything pleasurable. Which eventually shut me down.

Hearing teachings by various spiritual leaders only reinforced the idea: It’s selfish to seek what I desire, wrong to seek pleasure and avoid pain. One renowned religious radio teacher even said repeatedly, “If you have a choice between the easy way and the hard way, always choose the hard way” (because it will build character).

Being part of the 15-20% of the population whose nervous system is programmed differently only made things worse. Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) are literally wired to feel both pleasure and pain even more acutely than others. To deny us the pleasure and say we shouldn’t avoid the pain cuts us off from the essence of who we are. Also, to shame us when what we desire or need is different is also very damaging. (I was called “Little Miss Fuss-Budget” by my father because things bothered me that didn’t bother other people, like scratchy clothing. I was supposed to endure things that bothered me because I “wasn’t supposed to” be bothered by them.)

Was it any wonder that I had trouble feeling joy, or indeed, anything?

And was it any wonder that I developed poor boundaries, allowing other people to take advantage of me because I was ignoring the emotions that warned me to avoid pain? (Uneasiness, anxiousness, outrage, disgust.)

Well, I’m healing from all that. Here’s what I’m doing.

Steps to Healing

The first step is to recognize the lies.

As human beings, we were created to seek fulfillment, to go after pleasure and avoid pain.

We seek the pleasure of eating, so we are nourished. We seek the pleasure of relationship, so we seek community, we bond and procreate.

Of course we can seek pleasure in ways that are ultimately destructive. When we seek only our own desires, at the expense of others, we harm them and ourselves. We can try to avoid pain through destructive means, too. But that doesn’t negate the validity of  seeking to fulfill our desires and avoid pain in legitimate ways.

In fact, I believe God puts desires into our hearts so that he can feel the pleasure of fulfilling them.

Think about how how you try to find the perfect gift that will really make the recipient feel loved, special, known. Isn’t that what God does for us? I believe he finds joy when we receive his gifts with pleasure and joy. (I wrote a whole book, Abundant Gifts, about the transforming power of looking for and receiving God’s gifts.)

And doesn’t God try to warn us to avoid things that will cause us pain? The Word of God is filled with cautions not to do certain things because he knows they would be bad for us.

The second step was to renounce the lies, and embrace the truth. I did Healing Codes to heal the memories that led to my believing the lies. I infused the truth that it’s OK and good to let my legitimate desires and needs be more of a priority, and to take better care of myself.

The third step was to incorporate the new beliefs into my everyday life. I made a list of things that give me pleasure, and I incorporate those into my life whenever possible. I focus on savoring the simple things.

Not surprisingly, I’m finding my stress load lessening dramatically. My joy is increasing.

Also, I took a good look at what was causing me pain. A couple of key relationships that now felt toxic to me came to mind. Painful as it was, I cut off those relationships.

Again, my stress load lessened by quite a bit. I did Healing Codes to help heal the grief of letting go of the relationships.

I believe that a big part of healing and mastering the stress in our lives has to do with seeking pleasure and avoiding pain in life-giving ways.

The key is recognizing temporary vs. more lasting pleasure and pain, and to find life-giving ways to do both.

Life-giving is key. It often means we may give up a temporary pleasure for a more lasting satisfaction. We’re still seeking pleasure, but it’s a more permanent pleasure. And sometimes that includes embracing a little pain, but again, you’re exchanging temporary pain for lasting pleasure.

An example might be teaching your child to clean his room. He may act ornery, and as if he hates you even, but you are willing to put up with that because you set your gaze on the more lasting pleasure of having a child who knows how to take care of things. (And in the long run, it means less work for you.)

If you can relate to what I’ve been saying, I encourage you to list what gives you pleasure, what is causing pain. Look at the beliefs you might have that are blocking you from embracing pleasure and/or avoiding pain in legitimate ways. See if you can identify memories attached to those lies. Use The Healing Codes or healing prayer to heal those memories.

Then, add as much pleasure, avoid as much pain as you can. Life has enough suffering that we can’t avoid. Let’s not let guilt or shame or a false sense of what it means to be a “good person” keep us from embracing the abundant life God has for us (John 10:10).

And if you need any help with identifying and healing those lies and memories, I’m always available for custom coaching with The Healing Codes at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

With The Healing Codes, we look for memories that carry the same kind of feeling as the main issue that bothers us. The idea is that what bothers you now is likely attached to something called “implicit” memory (memories hidden in the subconscious mind), and if we find and heal that original memory, the current issue will resolve.

But what if, like many people, you can’t find any memories with that feeling?

Maybe you’ve had that feeling most of your life. Maybe you have very few childhood memories, period.

All the more reason to use something like The Healing Codes, because the original memories are likely so painful, that your Heart wants to protect you from the pain of remembering.

(This why, by the way, a lot of times “talk therapy” alone isn’t very effective. I had a therapist tell me, point blank, “therapy doesn’t heal anything.” We need a way to get at these implicit memories that carry the original lie.)

If you can’t remember much from your childhood, it may well be for yet a different reason. It could be because you grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect.

Running on Empty

What happens when you grow up in a family in which emotions were not acknowledged, validated, and dealt with?

In her excellent book, Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional NeglectDr. Jonice Webb says that it’s not necessarily what happened to you that can cause problems. What failed to happen for you as a child “has as much or more power over who you have become as an adult than any of the events that you do remember.”

Some call it Type A trauma–the Absence of nurturing. And it can be just as damaging as Type B trauma, where the bad stuff like abuse happened.

Memories are formed when you feel strong emotions around an event. If your feelings were ignored, if no one ever helped you process your emotions, it can have an insidious effect on your life as an adult.

That’s because our brains record events as memories. Things that fail to happen go unnoticed, unseen, and unremembered.

You might struggle with self-discipline and self-care, of feel unworthy, disconnected, unfulfilled. Empty.

If you have the trait that 20% of the population has, High Sensitivity, where your nervous system is wired to process things deeply (including emotions), susceptible to over-stimulation (sensory or emotional), emotionally reactive, and sensitive to subtle stimuli–Childhood Emotional Neglect does even more harm.

When you’re Highly Sensitive, emotions are your native language. That’s a big part of the trait–emotional reactivity. If your language is not spoken or understood in your family, to them you were constantly speaking gibberish. You may have  been shamed or ridiculed. You may have tried to shut down, to turn off those feelings.

Thus you may have few memories, a feeling of emptiness and more likely than not, problems with your health, relationships, and/or career.

Emotion is energy, and that energy has to go somewhere. If it’s appropriately processed, it goes to a memory that becomes part of your life.

If it’s not properly processed, it becomes hidden trauma, and it goes into the body and mind and causes illness and disease. More and more scientific evidence points to emotional issues as the source of many if not most physical problems.

Then of course, there are the mental, emotional, and relational problems that show up because of hidden, unhealed memories. In How We Love, Milan and Kay Yerkovich identify five “injured Love Styles” that can show up in families where there has been emotional neglect or other circumstances that interfere with a strong, secure emotional bond with caregivers early in life.

What’s the solution? How to you begin to heal what Jonice Webb calls “the invisible force that may be at work in your life”?

Reconnect with Your Emotions

First, you may need to relearn the language of feelings. Just allow yourself to name the feelings, to yourself and others. For some, this may not be easy. You may feel shame for having certain feelings, or having feelings at all.

Or you may have trouble even identifying your feelings. Running on Empty includes several pages of feelings words, and so does How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.

Ask yourself when you felt that way earlier in your life. If a memory comes up, heal it with The Healing Codes and/or healing prayer.

If no memory comes up, don’t sweat it. Just say in your Healing Code Prayer of Intention, “… from the childhood emotional neglect.” Assume that’s the source.

If you have any fear around the idea of welcoming emotions into your life, start with healing that fear. We always start where we are. Ask, “What’s bothering me? What exactly am I feeling? When did I feel like that before”? If the answer to that last question is, “All my life!” then that’s what you put into the prayer: “from a lifetime of emotional neglect.”

These questions will help you move forward in your healing journey.

And if you ever need more help, e.g. with finding hidden memories, just contact me at www.healingcodescoaching.com for some coaching.

 

 

 

Have you ever had anyone say to you, “Why can’t you just get over it?” about something that upsets you?

You try to “just get over it” but … you find yourself mulling over it and over it, working it through from all angles. Other people may get exasperated with you. Now, on top of the original issue, the old “what’s wrong with me, that I just can’t move on like other people?” kicks in.

You can quit beating yourself up right now. (Please!) The answer lies in one of the key traits of High Sensitivity: depth of processing.

Highly Sensitive People process pain deeply. That’s how

we’re wired. Hence, we also must process the healing

deeply.

I believe that everyone must process the pain as deeply as they experienced it, if they’re to truly heal.

Those people who can quickly “move on” are those for whom the pain was not that deep in the first place, or they are what Milan and Kay Yerkovich in their How We Love book term Avoiders–people who developed a style of avoiding pain and emotions as a result of how they grew up.

It could well be the Avoiders who are telling you to “just get over it.”

Of course, one can truly fall into the trap of ruminating over a hurt and never getting anywhere toward healing from it. The difference is whether you are moving through the healing process.

That means being able to name your feelings, preferably in the presence of another person who has the capacity to listen and empathize, and not try to fix you. What you want to get to is the place where you can have compassion on yourself for having suffered this, but also perspective on how you have become wiser because of this incident/relationship/problem.

Take as long as you need in this process. If you can find another HSP who is able to listen and perhaps provide perspective, that’s ideal. But often even journaling by yourself can yield that enlarged perspective that you seek.

Then you won’t have to “just get over it.” You will be over it.

And if you need a little extra help along the way, I’m always available for a coaching session and a custom Healing Code. For notices when more articles on High Sensitivity are published, click here.

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Are you a person who is very spiritual by nature but you feel like you have to keep that part of you separate from your business success?
 
Most likely that’s because you are what Business Miracles Mentor, Heather Dominick, refers to as a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur. Not sure what that is? You can take the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur quiz here.
 
You can also join Heather this Wednesday in a webinar class that will address the things that can trip you up in business.
 
I find Heather inspiring, refreshing, and encouraging. She has helped me to gain confidence that, as she says, HSEs are uniquely positioned to help other people if we can learn to go with our HS strengths and not get snagged by the things that can trip us up….
 
Things like:
  • what to do when you feel overwhelmed so it doesn’t stop you in your tracks
  • what you need to prioritize during your business day (so it feels good, gets done and generates income)
  • who you need to speak to in order to attract your ideal clients (and how it doesn’t need to feel all intimidating)
Reserve your seat here (even if you can’t make the live class, as there may be a recording).
 
Heather says that for Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs it can be tempting, when it all feels too much, to shut down, contract and try to protect yourself at all costs (or go into chaotic, panic, road runner mode). When what’s actually happening is you are receiving a call to OPEN UP, not give up.
 
It’s an opportunity to consider the possibility that there might be another way.
 
That’s exactly what she’ll be teaching you on this LIVE webinar class and it’s FREE. Click here to register.
 
2019 is calling for Business Miracles!
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Have you felt misunderstood much if not all all of your life, and/or like you didn’t fit in?

Do you feel you have a more finely -tuned nervous system than most people?

If so, you might be part of the 15-20% of the population with the trait of being Highly Sensitive.

Understanding what this means may well provide the missing piece to understanding yourself that can make all the difference–in your health, your relationships, your own sense of self.

So what does it mean to be “Highly Sensitive”? Read More→

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