Archive for highly sensitive person

Aug
26

Hidden Stressors-Part Five-Technology

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I received a phone call and email from a long-time reader of my newsletter, thanking me for what I wrote about how my nervous system got overwhelmed and threw me into a several-day near shut-down, complete with physical pain.

Paulette wrote:

You put into words what I have been dealing with for several years! On Saturdays we have been attending a [particular group] study via Zoom. It begins at 10:30 a.m. and continues until at least 2:30 p.m. with no breaks. The teacher’s entire life is spent studying [this topic] — I mean 14 hours per day EVERY day. She always says there is so much more she wants to share, but just doesn’t have the time.

macbook pro displaying group of peopleI have gotten to the point that after one hour I am ready to scream. All of her words run together for me. I really don’t hear much after that point. My husband doesn’t have the same problem. [My note: notice the difference between Paulette and her husband. Paulette is Highly Sensitive; her husband is not.]

About the same week I received your email, I said enough is enough. I told the group that [my husband and I] would be taking a break. Since we have left I am happier and more relaxed. Yesterday my neighbor commented that she had noticed a change in me.

Studying [this particular topic] when there is so much bad news all around us was more than I could handle. I have learned a lot over the past several years, but I think my health has suffered as a result of attending this group.

Thanks for putting into words what I have been feeling.

Paulette’s words to me reminded me that we often don’t recognize the hidden stressors that are sucking our energy and stretching our nervous system to the limits, because those stressors are such a part of everyday life. Read More→

Jan
07

Subtraction—The Best Way to Change?

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In a recent post I wrote about how I’ve dubbed this year, when I’m 66, “the year to fix—or nix.”

By “nix” I mean: subtract.

Most of us, when we think of changes we want to make in our lives, go directly to addition. We buy a new course that promises the result we desire. We add new routines, new rules.

How often do we even think of subtracting?

A fascinating article by Leidy Klotz, author of Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less, explores how we naturally tend to add when we’re trying to solve a problem. He even conducted experiments to prove this.

Taking things away, Klotz’s experiments show, just doesn’t occur to people naturally.

Why is this? One of his experiments points to a possible answer: cognitive overload. We have too many things to deal with at once, and this cuts into our ability to think of a wide range of solutions—including subtraction.

(Sound familiar, fellow Highly Sensitive Person?)

Our minds tend to add before taking away, and this is holding us back.

We pile on “to-dos” but don’t consider “stop-doings.” We create incentives for good behavior, but don’t get rid of obstacles to it. We collect new-and-improved ideas, but don’t prune the outdated ones. Every day, across challenges big and small, we neglect a basic way to make things better: we don’t subtract.

Thus we get houses with more stuff than we can manage (and studies have shown that clutter increases cortisol levels—bad for our health). We get institutions bogged down by more and more rules and regulations. Children get more rules, grown-ups deal with federal regulations that are 20 times as long as they were in 1950. (And what about all the rules added since the pandemic? Time to subtract—yes, yes and YES!)

Whatever you’re hoping to change in 2023, consider how subtraction plays in. Apparently it’s not as natural to think of (or implement) than adding, but could that be due more to culture than nature? Leidy Klotz’s two-year-old son solved a Lego problem by taking something away; Leidy only thought of adding.

Could it be our culture of “fast, more, be productive” is what keeps our brains from considering subtraction?

(I see the inclination to add in myself a lot. For instance, in thinking about this topic, I’m tempted to get minimalist expert Joshua Becker’s Uncluttered course. But—would that be adding something that would take more time, when I could be using that time to do the actual decluttering—the subtracting? There’s proof right there that my natural tendency is to add….)

At least now I’m aware that I automatically think of adding, and it often doesn’t occur to me to subtract. Awareness leads to new options, to choice.

Perhaps we shut off the idea of subtraction because we unconsciously equate it with loss. But is it loss if we consciously choose it? It doesn’t feel like loss to me when I choose to let something go. At least, there’s a counter-balancing reason to let it go that’s greater than the urge to keep it.

As I’ve pondered this in the dead of winter, I realize: subtracting should not be any big insight, nor does it have to be seen as loss. Every fall, much in nature is subtracted: the leaves on the trees, green grass, flowers. Every year, at least those of us with four seasons get a reminder that in order to replenish, we must subtract and allow things to lie fallow for a while.

If you’re a gardener, you know it’s important to prune, to deadhead, if you want fruit and blooms.

Nature renews itself through subtraction.

And so can we. We can choose nature over culture. We can prune to promote growth and renewal.

If you are longing for renewal, for a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment in 2023, contact me (diane at healingcodescoaching.com) and we’ll set up an appointment to explore how you can heal your heart issues and Align with Your Divine DesignTM for a sense of purpose, connection, and better overall health.

On one of my routine checkups, my doctor reminded me of four pillars of health: sleep, nutrition, stress management, exercise.

When I googled “pillars of health” I came up with anywhere from 3-12 suggestions.

Most of them mentioned, in one way or another, “connections.” It is this that has taken the biggest hit with the pandemic, yet it’s so crucial to our emotional, spiritual, and even physical health.

So today I’d like to guide you to explore what your “crucial connections” are, if and how they’ve become disconnected during the pandemic, and how you can reconnect.

Read More→

Dec
21

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 meetings in which local prayer ministers gathered to watch and discuss a video of Dr. Lehman facilitating someone in Immanuel Approach. I also meet regularly with other prayer ministers to give and receive Immanuel Prayer.

Now I run group sessions I call Immanuel Connections, in which we meet once a month to connect with Immanuel and allow him to show us what lies we are believing, and what the truth is, among other things. These are very powerful sessions! I invite you to sign up below to download information on how it works, and receive an invitation to the next call as my guest.

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Oct
26

How to Fully Process a Feeling

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Do you know how to fully process your emotions?

I sure didn’t, for most of my life.  I grew up in a family where emotions were never talked about. (I now know it’s called Childhood Emotional Neglect.) Sometimes people were angry or sad (hardly anything else), but I never saw anyone work through any of it, not even when something really tragic happened. I got the sense that feelings were a great inconvenience to other people. So I just stuffed them.

Making things worse, for me, was that I was born with the trait of High Sensitivity Processing, shared by 15-20% of the population. One of the four main aspects of the trait is “emotional responsiveness.” As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I was literally wired to be emotional. Yet it was a language that wasn’t spoken. No wonder I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere!

It wasn’t until I met April, in my twenties, that I got a clue that emotions might actually be useful. April was the first truly emotionally healthy person I had ever met up to that point. 

I got to know April really well from being in a small group at my church with her and her husband Bob, among others, for many years. She would regularly ask, “How do you feel about that?” or “How are you really?” And you knew she really cared, so you opened up to her. No surprise that she went on to become a licensed social worker, and a very successful therapist.

I recently saw April, and she spoke openly about what it’s been like to grieve the loss of her wonderful husband, Bob, with whom she had been in love since they were both 13. Bob was very special to my husband and me, as well.

Talking to April again, seeing how thoroughly she was processing her grief, reminded me how important it is to know how to feel and work through emotions so that they are fully processed. I hope what follows will help you in your own healing work. Read More→

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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→

Aug
14

Your Personal Trainer for the Brain

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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→

May
09

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→

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, check out my coaching options.I’m always available for a check out my coaching options. For notices when more articles on High Sensitivity are published, click here.

Comments (1)

I have written before about being a Highly Sensitive Person, because so many people who come to The Healing Codes are HSPs. HSPs feel and process things more deeply than other people, and are usually rather tuned to spiritual things as well. Thus, a spiritual-based modality like The Healing Codes would attract–and benefit–a high percentage of HSPs.

Many people have written to thank me for making them aware of resources such as  The Highly Sensitive Person book by Dr. Elaine Aron, and the self-test for figuring out if you are one. You see, HSPs often don't get a lot of validation from the larger culture for being the way we are. Resources that help us understand this trait and work with it, rather than against it, go a long way toward healing for HSPs.

That's why I want to make sure you know that a film is being produced (if they raise the needed capital) for a PBS special on Highly Sensitive People. You can view the "sizzle" here, which in itself is a good introduction to the topic. If you feel so led to contribute toward the making of this film, you will feel like you've donated to a very worthy cause, I think. I donated to the creation of the sizzle, and am thrilled to see what they did with it. You can donate as little as $1 and still be part of it.

Understanding what it means to be a Highly Sensitive Person has been one of the greatest leaps in self-understanding and healing for me. If you are an HSP, I think you will know what I mean. So many of my clients are HSP, and using The Healing Codes to heal the wounds from it has also set them on the road to experiencing all the blessings of this wonderful trait shared by 20% or so of the population.

UPDATE, 9/10/15: Sensitive: The Untold Story premiered on Sept, 10, 2015 and will be available to watch via Livestream until 9:30pm Pacific Time on Sunday, September 13. After that, you will have to wait until they get distribution for it, and there's no date for that at this point.

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