Archive for highly sensitive person

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. Read More→

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→

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→

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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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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In 2012, I attended a life-changing retreat for “highly sensitive persons” with Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and numerous other books. People with this trait, which Dr. Aron discovered and put on the psychological map in the late 1990s when her book was published, make up approximately 20 percent of the population. The distinguishing trait is that their nervous systems are more finely tuned than the rest of the population. As a result, they process emotions and experiences differently than most people.

Although only 20 percent of people have this trait in the general population, a much larger percentage of my clients–perhaps even 80%–seem to have this trait. I think this is for three main reasons: Read More→

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