Archive for Highly Sensitive

As I write this, many people from all over the world have been “sheltering in place,” to one degree or another, for at least a month.

In that time, we have all been thrown into collective grief and shock, because the changes have happened so swiftly, so totally.

Every aspect of our lives have changed—forever.

Things will never be the same.

We need to grieve that. There are some days when grief looms large indeed for me.

Grief not only for what I’ve lost, but as a Highly Sensitive empath, I also feel the pain of countless others who are suffering.

Suffering the loss of loved ones. Loss of work. Loss of a business into which they have poured themselves.

And I can’t even think of the children who are abused, trapped in homes with parents who formerly could not bear the stress, and who now are at the breaking point.

Or other victims of domestic violence.

For everyone, a way of life has been changed forever, more or less, in one way or another.

How do we cope? Is there any way to come out of this crisis stronger?

I believe there is. If we can embrace the hidden invitations of this strange time, we will develop strengths that we can bring into the “new normal” we will soon, we hope, be able to forge. 

What we need is resilience. Here are two steps  to develop your resilience.

Step One: Find the Joy Amid the Suffering

The first hidden invitation, and a big part of the healing process, is to learn to find joy even in the midst of the suffering.

Joy? In the midst of suffering? Is that possible?

Yes, it is. It’s needed now more than ever. And the more we can do that, the more resilient we become.

That potential resilience may be THE greatest “disguised gift” of these unprecedented time.

So how do you do that?

Search for the gifts. I started keeping what I call a Gifts Journal back when I was in a post-partem depression after my daughter was born. It was part of the answer to my prayer, “How can I heal from this depression?”

I began to look for the things that felt like “gifts,” small or big. And I wrote them down. The practice actually led to my book, Abundant Gifts.

(Many call this a gratitude journal, and that’s fine. For me, “gifts journal” fit better, because it’s more personal. It really felt like a personal God daily strews gifts along my path, sometimes gifts chosen especially for me.)

Looking for the gifts and writing them down not only lifted me out of depression, it changed my life. Whereas before, my problems loomed in the foreground and joy lurked in the background (if it was in the picture at all), now it was reversed. The joy spots shone brighter than the problems.

Don’t we need this shift in perspective now more than ever?

Look for things and experiences that spark joy and appreciation, and write them down so you can go back to it. (More on that in a bit.)

Don’t despise the simplest of things. Really look at an object.

For instance, the other day, I noticed a patch of rainbow light on my kitchen wall. The source was a mystery at first, until I realized it was a reflection through my candlesticks that somehow made it onto my kitchen wall. This surprised me because the candlestick was in the dining room next to the kitchen. I don’t understand how the light bounced onto the kitchen wall, but I could appreciate it.

Then, I studied the candlestick. I love the way the glass is cut, so that even with no bright sunlight, there is a hint of a prism–if you really look.

Since you’re stuck at home, make a game of it: what objects in your home give you joy? Really look at one, and let the pleasure wash over you. Take a photo. Put it in your Gifts Journal, or start a scrapbook. Note the emotion it evokes. For me, the spot on the wall evoked wonder, a sense that beauty can happen at any moment, even if I knew not how.

This piece is important: allow yourself to feel that appreciation or wonder or joy for at least 20 seconds.

Why?

Because, as I learned from Julie Bjelland, our brains need at least 20 seconds to actually register a positive impression enough to overcome the automatic negative bias (ANB) that we naturally experience. (And, if you’re Highly Sensitive, that ANB is even stronger, as we’re the ones whose brains are wired to sense more things. We’re the ones who sense danger earlier than the other 80%, so we can warn them what’s ahead.)

Challenge: At the end of each day, jot down at least 3 things you appreciated that day. What felt like a gift? What sparked joy? As mentioned, you might also want to use a photograph, or draw something—anything to capture the moment and express the emotion. Ending your day with this positive focus will help you sleep better, and set you up for a good day following.

This next step is what will make you truly resilient. Use it whenever you are triggered into negative emotions.

Step Two: Heal the Trapped Emotions

Before you do this next step, grab your Gifts Journal and pick an appreciation moment or joy image to focus on.

There are two ways to heal the emotions that will get triggered, again and again, by these exceptional times. In fact, one of the hidden invitations of this time is to allow these unhealed wounds to surface, and heal all of it.

The key to both the options below is to allow yourself to fully feel both the “negative” and positive emotions fully.

Option 1: You may, of course, use The Healing Codes for this healing; they are a wonderful tool indeed. (Remember, there is a free, Coach-Guided Healing Code available for fear, anxiety, worry, and that out of control feeling.) Before saying your Prayer of Intention, allow yourself to let the feelings/memories you want to heal to rise up. Sit with them for a moment. Try to rate what comes up, if you can. Then, you can use your Gifts Journal to pick a Joy Image or Appreciation Moment to focus on while doing your Healing Code.

Option 2: Hold the Grief and Joy Together.

Sit quietly and let the negative feelings(s) come up. Don’t deny or repress them. Picture yourself holding those painful feelings in one hand, your non-dominant hand.

In the other, “grab onto and hold” one of your joy images or appreciation moment. Hold them both together: grief and joy. Sadness and appreciation. Negative feeling in non-dominant hand, positive in dominant hand.

Let the negative feelings well up but just notice them. Be a witness to them.

Now, turn your attention to what’s in your dominant hand, the joy image or appreciation memory. Savor for 20 seconds or more that gift.

Go back and forth, back and forth, grief and joy, until you feel like the negative emotion has washed over you and receded, and the positive has taken root. Sit with it until the joy shines brighter than the grief, or whatever other emotion you are processing.

As you sit there holding the feelings, see if you can also let yourself believe that God is also holding you. And that he is the one ever pointing you to joy, to the gifts he is placing along your path every day.

What you will find is your capacity for both the heights and the depths will be stretched. You will be resilient, able to handle whatever comes your way, the joys or the sorrows, and anything in between.

Being willing to surrender to that process of stretching is, perhaps, another one of the hidden invitations of this strange time.

It is the hidden hand of Grace outstretched to you. Will you take it?

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.

“He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”–Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

Two  Postscripts to Deepen Your Experience

(Note that this podcast was posted on January 1, 2020. Before we really knew about COVID-19, at least in the U.S. But you may find it prescient.)

If you ever need more help, e.g. with healing the unhealed memories being triggered, just contact me at www.healingcodescoaching.com for some coaching.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I hardly ever promote products (other than summits). 

That’s because, frankly, I have to get that “click in my spirit” that tells me there’s something really special about this, before I can really get behind it.

That’s only happened a few times in my life. Each time, the results have been significant–for me and for others.

It happened when I first heard about The Healing Codes. Result: thousands of people helped to heal through the book I helped Dr. Alex Loyd publish, and the clients I’ve personally coached.

 It happened when I heard about Immanuel Prayer, and got trained. Result: an ongoing, unbelievable personal connection with Jesus Christ, and many people I’ve facilitated experiencing the same thing.

It happened with the Halo. Result: I and many of my clients who bought it got healthier.

It happened when I signed up for a coaching program for Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs. Result: business miracles are already happening for me, as I’m learning tools to move me toward using my HS strengths (and developing some of my own–for you!). Side note: If you are Highly Sensitive and self-employed, or want to be, sign up here so I can keep you posted on resources that will help you, too, thrive.

It happened when I signed up for Julie Bjelland’s course and Sensitive Empowerment group. Result: the skills I’m learning to use to move from HS coping to HS thriving have been life-changing—for me and my clients.

These are the few products that have produced a “click in my spirit.” As I come across more, I will add them here.  If you have signed up for my Healing Heart Issues Weekly Digest, you’ll hear about them! Here are my further, more objective criteria for what I recommend.

Gifts from My Mentors

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From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I like to acknowledge the people who have enriched my life during the past year.

This includes, of course, my personal friends and colleagues. But you don’t know them. You can know and benefit from some of my “virtual mentors,” and those are the ones I want to tell you about.

As I reflected on those whose work has enriched either my spirit, soul, mind or body through sharing their expertise, several people came to mind.

Spirit. The most influential–and healing–approach I have ever come across is the Immanuel Approach, developed by Dr. Karl Lehman, a psychiatrist and the author of Outsmarting Yourself and The Immanuel Approach (which we Immanuel Prayer ministers, and he, refer to as “the big lion book” because it’s exhaustive at 759 pages!). From Outsmarting Yourself, I learned about “implicit memory” and how we get triggered, and how to calm body and mind. Dr. Karl Lehman’s work is all about how to let God come in and be with you in the pain, and thus heal it.

I was trained by Margaret Webb and Jessie Handy from Alive and Well in Immanuel Prayer, and continued with training from Dr. Karl Lehman through his Advanced Training seminar and monthly meetings in which local prayer ministers gather to watch and discuss a video of Dr. Lehman facilitating someone in Immanuel Approach. I also meet every other week with other prayer ministers to give and receive Immanuel Prayer.

What has healed me the most, and creates the bedrock of my spiritual life, are my direct interactions with the Lord through these prayer sessions. What has healed my clients the most are the times we use Immanuel Prayer in a Coach-Guided Healing Code. More on that, including videos of my facilitating and receiving Immanuel Prayer, and links to more information, can be found here.

I want to honor Dr. Karl Lehman and Alive and Well for their excellent work. There is no healing like the healing you get when Immanuel–“God with us”– directly intervenes into your issue.

Soul. By “soul” here I mean my emotions, mainly. (As distinct from my spirit, mentioned above; spirit is connection to God and others. I believe our spirit is meant to connect to God’s Spirit, and from that connection life flows to body, mind, and soul, and out to our relationships.)

My mentor in soul healing has been Dr. Jonice Webb, through her book, Running on Empty, and her excellent articles. From her I learned that I grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect, and the impact that has had on me since. I learned why I (and so many of my clients) don’t have many childhood memories; it’s because memories are formed through emotion, and if there was not enough emotional support as a child, you don’t form many memories. You’re also haunted by a feeling of emptiness or “not being enough.” Dr. Jonice Webb has helped me identify my feelings and learn how to embrace and work with them. This has also helped me use Immanuel Prayer better, and to help my clients feel and deal with their emotions.

If you’re not sure CEN is part of your experience, take this assessment to find out and learn more about her excellent work.

Mind (and body and soul). I wasn’t sure where to put Julie Bjelland and what I’ve been learning from her about living well with Sensory Processing Sensitivity (otherwise known as being a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP), because it’s all-encompassing.

I have learned brain-training techniques, breathing techniques, how to calm my nervous system, how to track my stress levels, and so much more from Julie’s course and from her Sensitive Empowerment group. I have also received much validation about the unique experiences of being an HSP, through the Sensitive Empowerment community. And, since most of my clients are HSPs, I have been able to pass on a lot of what I’ve learned to them. Many express how life-changing it has been to learn about this inborn trait, which about 20% of at least 100 species possess, and how to thrive with it.

Thank you, Julie, and my fellow HSPs in the Sensitive Empowerment community!

Body. This has been The Year of the Summits, and I’m a bit tired out from it all. But one teaching stands out.

That would be Ari Whitten’s Energy Blueprint. Ari’s information is science-backed–he really takes the time to do the research, which I appreciate. (Julie Bjelland also keeps her guidance rooted in science.) I am learning (since I’m still working through the course) about circadian rhythms and mitochondria, and how they affect our energy and health at the most basic level. (Remember, I’m all about “healing AT the source,” the only way true healing happens.) While “heart issues” are at the source of so many of our problems, including physical, there is a dynamic interplay between our environment and our physical well-being as well. These days, so many things in our environment work against the way God designed our bodies to work. Ari Whitten is helping me understand how we are made, what environmental factors put extra stress on our bodies (especially true for HSPs, by the way), and what lifestyle changes we can make to mitigate the negatives and foster our own body’s balance and energy system.

You can take his extensive, free Energy Blueprint Masterclass by signing up here. Click here or on the picture link to get his free eblook on science-backed supplements for energy enhancement.

Relationships. I’ve already mentioned Dr. Jonice Webb. Her second book, Running on Empty No More, talks about how CEN affects relationships. If you grew up with CEN, or your partner did, please read this book as well as Running on Empty.

Another influential book for me in terms of my marriage is How We Love, Expanded Edition: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. My husband and I took a class on this a year ago, and continue to meet with an amazing group of couples who are uncommonly open and honest. It is a precious group.

You can take the Love Styles quiz to find out how you learned to relate to people based on your family background. I highly recommend it and ask my clients to take this before our session, as it gives a better context for our work together.

There you have it–my current mentors for spirit, soul, mind and body, carefully curated for you. Check them out as you feel led. You can find the assessments for CEN, Love Styles, and High Sensitivity here.

 

My daughter asked me the other day, “What can I get for you for Christmas and your birthday?” (which happen to be one and the same day). It was Cyber Monday, you see, and she wanted to shop online.

She had asked me the same question on Black Friday. As I thought then, and the other day, about what I needed, I was coming up blank.

For the past few months, I have been “editing my life” by eliminating things that were not truly essential or important to me. This arose from a feeling of chronic overwhelm, which I was working on healing. I realized part of the answer to overwhelm lay in subtracting clutter of all kinds that had somehow accumulated when I wasn’t paying attention.

So when my daughter asked me what I wanted or needed, my first thoughts were of things that you can’t find in a store or online, things you can’t wrap and put under a tree.  A greater sense of margin in my life. Hope that the future will be better, for myself and the world, despite many signs that things are going in the opposite direction.

I realized as I pondered what my daughter could joyfully give me, and I could joyfully receive (for gift giving is my primary “love language“), that I already have all I need. Anything she or anyone could give me would just be icing on the already-sweet cake that was my life.

I have a wonderful husband, two amazing, loving adult children who are on their own and who enjoy being with each other and their parents. I have a home that, while it could use some updating by the world’s standards, suits us very well. I have plenty of clothes (still getting rid of some), I know how to cook wonderful and healthy food. I have a reliable car (which I seldom need to drive because I work from home). I have work I love, many people I love, and I’m (finally) part of a caring community, both in my church and a smaller, more informal group that loves to connect with Immanuel and grow in grace.

I am in the process of understanding and healing the wounds of my past, and I have amazing tools that help me get and stay healthy. I am also coming to better understand my (and my husband’s and son’s) trait of High Sensitivity, and am learning to thrive as an HSP and help others to do so as well (a huge percentage of my clients are Highly Sensitive People, and The Healing Codes are particularly well suited to the deep healing HSPs need).

Is my life perfect? No, not by a long stretch. There are secret sorrows as well as the frustrations most people face in this modern world. However, when I dwell on the things that matter that I mention above, the “less than ideal” aspects fade into the background of gratitude.

CC BY by kevin dooley

What do I need, what do I want? All I need was given by the One whose coming I celebrate on December 25, the One whose birth was announced by angels with a song about “peace on earth, good will toward humankind.”

Settling into the energy of “enough,” I’m finding great peace.

One of the “Truth Focus Statements” I like to use when working on healing my “not enough” issues is: “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. I know enough. There is enough.” I have added this to the Truth Focus Statements that are available here for free.

I wish someone had warned me about this. It would have made life easier for me when it happened.

That’s why I’m warning you now. I really didn’t want to write this post. (What woman wants to reveal her age?) Yet I felt compelled to, because it’s really important.

Something happens when you hit your sixties.

If you’re in your sixties (or beyond), you will probably nod your head and feel validated. I’ve talked to many of my friends and clients in this age group and they all say, “Yes! That’s how it is.”

If you’re younger, you will have been warned, as I wish someone had warned me. I’m hoping you’ll take to heart what I’m about to say, because it will make your sixties much easier when you do get there. The rumblings do start earlier–late forties and fifties.

So what it is that happens when you hit your sixties?

Simply this: All your prior coping mechanisms quit working.

Whatever you were doing that made life work for you suddenly–doesn’t.work.anymore.

For instance, if you depended on multitasking to get things done–you find you can’t multitask anymore.

If you dealt with emotions by pushing them down and moving on–that won’t work anymore either.

If you skimped on sleep and got by–you can’t do that anymore. Your body will start malfunctioning one way or another (sleep affects so much).

If you got along fine without God or religion, OR if you were comfortable in your spiritual practices and religious beliefs–suddenly you may find yourself either adrift, or questioning the very beliefs that heretofore held your life together.

If you feel like your body starts to fall apart in your sixties, I offer this thought: maybe that’s just an outward manifestation of what’s happening inwardly . . . the coping mechanisms fall apart, then the body follows suit.

What is actually happening, I believe, is that in one’s sixties, ANY unprocessed “heart issues” surface, in any number of forms, including physical ailments.

Not only that, but even the heart issues you thought you healed, if not healed entirely, will resurface and demand to be healed at a deeper level.

This may especially apply to Highly Sensitive People, who possess the traits of depth of processing (the pain and trauma go deep), and also emotional reactivity (the original emotions were strong). Unless a heart issue is healed completely, I can almost guarantee it will pop up again in your sixties.

And then, you will have to find a new way to deal with it, if you’ve just been coping rather than truly healing it.

I think it’s actually the spirit/body’s wisdom that makes all this happen. Your spirit and body want you to be healthy, to heal. The body knows that unless all the heart issues are thoroughly processed, that negative energy will compromise the body.

And Body does not want that at all. Body will send you messages. Body will prevent Soul’s former coping mechanisms from continuing to work.

Also, this is your spirit calling you to a much deeper level of being. It is your True Self calling. She/he may have been trying to get through all these years prior, but you were too busy to listen.

Too busy learning how life works and, perhaps, figuring out how to survive in a dysfunctional situation (growing up years).

Too busy figuring out who you were, what you were going to be when you grew up (adolescence).

Too busy building a career, raising a family (adult years until middle age).

Too busy ignoring the rumblings of your spirit and the messages from your body–and the disappointment of dashed dreams (we all have them by middle age).

Now, you’re in your sixties, and your body is screaming, your spirit is screaming: IT’S TIME!

This time you have to listen.

It’s literally a life or death matter. If you don’t listen NOW, two things will happen.

Your spirit will quietly sigh, and slowly withdraw. (Is this what aging really is?)

When the spirit withdraws, your body will give up. It is the spirit that gives life.

If you’re in your sixties, likely you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not yet there, look within. Can you honestly say you haven’t heard the rumblings of spirit and/or body, trying to send you messages?

Listen to what Body is saying; it will send clues. Example: for months I’ve had an itch in the middle of my back. The dermatologist said it was not a skin issue, but a neurological issue. A kinesiologist said my body didn’t agree with the doctor.

A business coach said that a sign you’re being called to something bigger is when you get the ITCH–when part of you just knows it’s time to go deeper.

My spirit lit up with the AHA when I heard that. My body sighed in relief. “She finally got the message.” That ITCH was about my calling to a new plane of spiritual healing and direction. When I recognized that–the itch went away!

What messages are your body and spirit attempting to give to you? Pay attention. Turn up the volume and really listen.

You are being called to finally shed the blocks to your true destiny. May you heed the call. Preferably NOW. Whatever your age, it will shorten the time spent avoiding, and lengthen the time living out, your destiny.

And if you would like help identifying what your spirit/body is trying to tell you, coaching will really help! HealingCodesCoaching.com

 

 

 

 

 

Train Your Brain Away from Pain

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Posture and movement specialist Sukie Baxter was interviewed by Julie Bjelland for Julie’s Sensitive Empowerment group, and I thought what Sukie said about pain was fascinating.

Sukie said if you are not in touch with your body and attuned to its signals, your nervous system can develop a sort of tunnel vision that begins to only recognize pain signals. That then pulls you into a negative loop, where the pain activates the Sympathetic Nervous System (fight/flight/freeze) response), which then makes the pain more pronounced, so that you focus even more on the pain–and so the negative loop goes.

What is the way out? Read More→

Tonight I met with my first client from China to do a Coach-Guided Healing Code.

It got me to thinking about the hundreds of clients I’ve worked with over the past 9 years of being a certified Healing Codes Coach-Practitioner, and what I’ve learned and observed.

First, I have the most wonderful clients in the world. Surprisingly, the vast majority of my clients are also Highly Sensitive. It’s surprising only because Highly Sensitive People only make up around 20% of the population, yet they comprise at least 80% of my clients. Perhaps it’s because The Healing Codes are so attractive to HSPs. It is a gentle process that involves meditation–an approach well-suited to HSPs.

With only one exception (more on that below), all of my clients are remarkably motivated to heal. Many of them have had overwhelming obstacles to overcome–abuse of all kinds, tremendous health challenges, financial hardships, and difficult relationship issues.

Yet they are not giving up! They are not victims. And, because of their commitment to their own healing, they do overcome. Many have dramatic breakthroughs.

These clients bolster my faith in the human spirit. Most people do want to be healthy and happy. God put that desire into us, and I believe he works with us to bring that about. With that commitment and help from God, it’s amazing how much people can overcome.

The one exception? A client with ALS whose doctor brought him to me as a last resort. The doctor warned me that she had little hope of his recovering, and soon I learned why. The man was completely devoid of love for anyone, including himself. I think we got through two sessions. I doubt he ever did his custom codes. He died of his illness within a few weeks of when I talked to him. His doctor said she wasn’t surprised, but had hoped that something could break through to him. Without his commitment to himself, however, no help could get through. Read More→

I recently attended Julie Bjelland’s class, “7 Steps to Embody the Gifts of Your Sensitivity” and I have to say, it has caused some major positive shifts in me.

Rarely has anything had this kind of effect on me so quickly. Putting into practice just a couple of Julie’s suggestions has also helped my husband (who is also Highly Sensitive). So I just have to tell you about this.

Julie calls herself a “personal trainer for the brain,” and it’s refreshing to see her science-based approach. In the first class, Julie explained how the HSP’s brain is different (more activity in amygdala and insula, which is why we process things so deeply, feel and perceive everything), and how to activate the calming centers in the brain.

She gave us very specific but easy things to do to “drain the container” of all we take in–which is much more than non-HSPs. She explained why we need to process our experiences, how to do that–and what will happen if we don’t. Read More→

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.  Read More→

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: Read More→

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