Archive for highly sensitive

Feb
18

Hidden Stressors-Part One

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All your physical issues are from stress,” my doctor told me. They were the last words I would ever hear from her; she passed away shortly after.

But haven’t I been working on reducing stress for all these years with The Healing Codes?

The answer is yes. And they have helped tremendously. I honestly don’t think I’d even be alive now if I hadn’t been doing all I’ve done since I got my various diagnoses before The Healing Codes (osteoporosis, IBS, GERD, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, PTSD).

The Healing Codes, Halo, the c.Balance (now upgraded to the HOLOS) have all helped me not be hampered much in my daily life by these diagnosed conditions.

Now, however, the symptoms started popping up again, worsening. Why?

As always, I prayed for insight into this. Were there hidden stressors of which I wasn’t aware?

What came up surprised me.

  • You haven’t been honoring your Highly Sensitive nature enough.

  • Your nervous system needs to recover from the traumas you’ve been through.

  • You are finally ready.

Part One: The High Sensitivity Piece

I’ve known for a while that I have this trait around 20% of all species share, in which the nervous system is wired differently. Dr. Elaine Aron explains in her ground-breaking book, The Highly Sensitive Person, which put this trait on the psychological map, that HSPs are like a different breed. Great Danes and border collies are both clearly dogs, but they are quite different. So, too, HSPs and non-HSPs are human, but they are actually quite different in many ways.

(Find out more about whether you’re a Highly Sensitive Person here.)

Maybe for you, sensitivity isn’t the issue. Maybe it’s some other kind of “diversity” that is part of your nature that you’ve not been honoring.

Maybe it’s that you’re an introvert who gets energy from reflection and alone time, and you’ve always been pushed to be more outgoing. Or vice versa. Maybe it’s that you have ADD/ADHD and your brain works differently than others.

Whatever it is that may set you apart a little, so that you tend to push it away rather than honor it, could be a hidden stressor for you.

I’ve known about being Highly Sensitive, but I haven’t been living it.

I hadn’t been honoring my need to process things deeply and thoroughly, for one. The last few years have been particularly stressful for me. On top of all the stress of the pandemic (and HSPs, by the way, are more susceptible to Emotional Inflammation), there were several personal traumas: dealing with a mold issue in the home; settling my sister-in-law’s estate out of state and fending off a crook; breaking my foot; 16 months of hell settling my mother’s estate (with all the family of origin issues that brought up); and a devastating diagnosis of a close family member.

If you’re Highly Sensitive, you need to realize that such stresses affect you more deeply than other people. You take in more information than most people. You are more sensitive to subtle stimuli than most people. And then you absolutely need to process all that you are taking in!

I’ve written about my current focus on subtraction. As a HSP, I need to be aware of (and limit as much as possible) the amount of information that’s coming to me. More information = more needed processing time. When life piles up, and I don’t get that processing time, my symptoms seem to flare.

So ways I’m trying to honor my HS nature more is to limit the amount of information I take in, and then making time to process it completely.

This often means saying no to social engagements, no matter how enticing they seem. I have to stand strong when someone tells me why it would be so good to attend X. (Ever notice how many people think they know what’s right for you? Often, what’s right for “most people” isn’t right for an HSP.)

I’m also the kind of HSP who seeks a lot of mental stimulation and loves to learn. I need to resist the temptation to sign up for yet one more masterclass or telesummit. I have to revisit my own goals often and tell myself, “My commitment to (my goal) is more important than this (distraction) right now.”

Honoring my HS nervous system also means changing my environment. I’m finding that clutter really gets to me these days. I subtract as much from my environment as I can. Someone said every object in your home has a “to-do list” or a message attached to it. So true!

  • The pile of papers cries out, “Pay me, file me, check me for sales!”
  • The unused clothes in your closet castigate you: “When will you lose weight so that beautiful outfit will fit you again?”
  • The old computer monitor in the spare room? You might need it someday, if you current monitor goes out.
  • And what about the files and photos on your phone or computer? Shouldn’t those be organized so you can find them more easily?

Guilt, anxiety, feeling like you’re “not enough” or not doing enough creep in with these messages. If you’re HS, not only do you feel those things—you also feel them more intensely!

Perhaps these things don’t overwhelm you like they do me. But if they do, know that doing even a little clutter control every day will help you feel calmer and more organized.

I need the downtime to process. I need more sleep than I’m getting. I need to allow myself to feel. I need to be aware that I take in a lot of information and to do what I can to both limit it and manage it.

I need to honor my sensitive nature. Without, I might add, feeling guilty or “less than” because of these needs.

If you have seen a flare up of symptoms you thought you had healed, know you’re not alone. Many of my clients and friends are also experiencing this. Whether you’re Highly Sensitive or not, there are likely hidden stressors that are chipping away at your resilience.

Do what you can to identify those stressors, and heal what you can.

In future posts I will explore more about hidden stressors: how to identify them, what to do about them. Including hidden traumas—the second piece of the insight that was given me.

Stay tuned!

 

Jan
14

Nervous System Rx

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I woke the other morning with two words in my mind: calm focus.

calm focus

The words themselves had a calming effect. I often wake up feeling anxious, not sure why. Emotional inflammation? Maybe. Some of my other clients (especially the Highly Sensitive ones) report the same issue.

But this morning, those two words immediately seemed to override the anxiety.

I’ve been using them all day, returning to them again and again, especially as I begin a new task. Just saying the words to myself, calm focus, seems to bring that very thing into my being.

The word calm is calming in itself. Once I feel the calm, the question becomes, “How can I bring calm focus to this task?” That’s the mental part.

What words bring peace and calm to your nervous system? Read More→

Oct
22

“That Doesn’t Work for Me . . .”

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Have you ever read (or heard) something that sounded like great wisdom, great advice . . .

and you try it and it doesn’t work for you?

Then you think, There must be something wrong with me.

I just read some advice about how to feel better when you’re feeling down. The writer called her sponsor and said she was upset about something. The sponsor told her, ‘Get over yourself and go find someone to help.”

The person took the advice, and felt better, she said.

Maybe this works for some people, like her. But for me, as a Highly Sensitive Person who also grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), it’s all wrong. (If you’re not sure if these apply to you, take the free assessments here.)

Read More→

Oct
23

Escape the Deadly Trap of Comparison

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There’s a “harmful action” that I and nearly every client I work with easily fall into.

It wreaks havoc on our self-esteem, as well as social relationships. And it affects our health.

There are many forms of it, and it’s sneaky. For instance, because I didn’t fall prey to the more obvious forms, I thought it wasn’t a problem for me.

I was wrong.

What is this common, destructive trap?

It’s the trap of COMPARISON.

There’s a basic human need that drives this, which I will talk about in another post.

For now, I want to help you identify how this might be showing up in your life. Read More→

I don’t know about you, but the events of the past several years have given me quite a case of “emotional inflammation.”

I’ve been writing about “emotional inflammation” and how these troubling times can literally affect us physically. The negative energy is all around us, and we can’t escape it.

In the past few years, it’s only gotten worse, it seems. I’m sure I don’t need to delineate the detailsof what I’m talking about.  Even if you limit your news intake, as I do, you still can’t avoid the negative energy all around.

For some of us, especially if we have the trait of High Sensitivity, the energy is palpable: we feel it in our bodies.

One client said recently she sensed a “dark energy cloud” around her. Yep, that’s a good way to describe Emotional Inflammation.

Authors Dr. Lise Van Susteren and Stacey Colino say in their book, Emotional Inflammation, that it’s a state “not unlike post-traumatic stress disorder, but one that stems from simply living in today’s tumultuous world.”

That book was published in March 2020–right before “all this” became worse. It’s even more relevant now. Read More→

Aug
07

Overwhelmed? Try These Steps to Peace

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all that’s coming at you, all there is to do?

overwhelmed

I know I do. As someone with the inborn trait of High Sensitivity (or Sensory Processing Sensitivity, its technical term), I take in a lot more information than non-HSPs, and process it more deeply. Understanding this has hugely helped me to understand what’s going on, but I still have to deal with it all.

On top of that, there’s this tendency to “overthink” things. One of my gifts is that I can often see down the road to just how something will play out, for me or others. I’m usually right. However, I’m finding that you still have to walk through all the steps to get there. (I just want to leap frog to the end that I can see so clearly.)

So what do you do when you have to make decisions and move ahead, when there’s so much to sort through and it’s difficult even to know what’s most important to do so you can set priorities?

Remember that famous quote by Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind?  (“I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.”) That’s what we feel like doing, isn’t it?  There are times when we do have to just take a break, but you know the “mañana” attitude doesn’t get you very far in life.

Here’s what I’ve found helpful.

Step 1: Pray. I pray for wisdom, knowing that God desires to give it and to guide me.

Prayer also reminds me that it’s not all up to me, that there’s a lot I can’t control, and that a loving God desires to help me.

One of my favorite verses is, “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you’” (Isaiah 41:13). Such tenderness and kindness in that Word!

Here’s another one of my favorite promises: “The LORD himself goes before you, and is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be discouraged; do not be afraid” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

And finally, this: Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him, in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Reminding myself of these promises from God’s Word helps me to trust that he will guide and help me as I step out in faith.

mind map of tasksStep 2: List out all the things that I’m dealing with, all the decisions to be made. This is how I mind map. I do this on paper usually, to get things out of my head, where it can feel overwhelming. Seeing it all written out helps me look at everything more objectively.

Step 3: Triage the decisions. When I’m facing a lot of decisions and not sure what to do, I look at the probable outcomes of acting now, acting later, or not acting at all. The decisions that have the worst outcomes if I don’t act now get priority. The trick here is to make sure you take into account the not-so-obvious, and/or longer-term consequences.

Conversely, you can ask the famous One Thing question: What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

Between looking at the worst outcomes and the one thing that will yield the best results, it should become easier to prioritize. But there are other factors to consider.

Step 4: Clarify what I do and don’t want. I have a tool for this that I use with some of my clients, which helps tremendously to clarify my real desires and fears. It’s important to take these into account as well, because fears can block you and desires can fuel you into getting what you want.

Step 5: Tune in to my Heart and intuition. Having gathered all this information, I then pray again and tune into my Heart/Spirit. I know there are factors of which my spirit or subconscious may be aware, that my mind is not. I have learned to trust that vehicle of transmission from Spirit to mind, my intuition. I wait to things to “jell” into a Clear Next Step.

Once I get that Clear Next Step, I then have peace. All I need to focus on is my own Clear Next Step. Everything else is up to God and perhaps other people to do their parts.

Another important thing: I don’t proceed until I get that Next Clear Step. I continue to pray, and wait. I only act when I have a Clear Next Step.

step by stepThis is a process, a continual  process.

Often when I take one Clear Next Step, the next clear step presents itself. If it doesn’t, I wait and pray, or go through the above process again.

Try this with any decisions or tasks that tend to overwhelm you, and let me know what happens.

And if you would like help with this or any other “heart issue,” check out my coaching at https://HealingCodesCoaching.com.

Jun
11

What to Do When Your Day Gets Derailed

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Have you ever had a day like this?

You start out with a plan, and high hopes of getting something important accomplished.

Then you get a notice of some kind. Let’s say it’s a low balance alert from your bank.

You go to fix that, and notice that there is a charge on your account that is way more than it always has been for like, the last 10 years. Like, more than 10x the amount. Of course, it’s an automatic charge.

You go to the vendor in question, to see if there’s any notification or explanation of when or why this suddenly exorbitant charge came about.

What you find: There’s no way to post a support ticket, no clue as to why suddenly this charge was made or was  more than 10x as much.

You open what looks to be a support chat. The bot says they’ll be with you, and the window will remain open for you to keep checking back. (Like, I have all day to keep going back to check.)

You get an email saying, “For the fastest response possible, please do not update this ticket until you hear from one of our advocates.”

The next thing you hear from them is an email saying that you left the chat.

Case closed, apparently.

As you can guess, this happened to me. It reminded me of one of my favorite children’s books.

The incident I described was the first of about 5 things that attempted to derail me from the task I meant to get to first thing in the morning (which was this blog post).

I started to deal with the low balance alert at 10:30am. I finally got back to it at 4:30pm. And by the way, I disputed the charge on my debit card, and stopped automatic payments with that vendor. I don’t want to do business with a company like that.

Seems like modern life is full of such frustrations, doesn’t it? At least, if you have to deal with technology of any kind. (And who doesn’t, nowadays?) Especially, they tell me, when mercury is in retrograde as it is now–whatever that means.

So what do you do when you have a day full of interruptions, frustrations, and technological glitches?

What I did today: I kept re-returning.

I know that seems like a redundant term. But it reminds me that I can come back, again and again and again, to where I want to be.

I can shake off the frustration and refocus on my initial goal. (My Release & Infuse Technique really helps here.)

So that’s what I did. I released “anger, frustration, derailment, lashing out, and giving up. “

I infused “productivity, patience, peace, joy, and focus.”

And I got this written.

If you’d like this tool that allows you to clear negative energy is less than 3 minutes, and re-return to the state of mind you want, just go here. It’s free.

This technique is especially helpful if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person and/or empath who tends to take on other people’s energy.

A client told me yesterday she had one of her headaches come on, and she used the Release & Infuse Technique, and the headache went away right afterward!

Side note: The good that came from this day, which seemed wasted in so many ways, was that I got to write this piece. Perhaps for YOU. I am learning that when I roll with the changes (accept and adapt) and trust God to bring good out of the seemingly bad, I do see good.

The other day my friend told me her whole family was sick with stomach flu or perhaps food poisoning, yet it turned out to be a sweet, peaceful day of being together, despite the yuck.

God can bring good out of any “yuck.” If we re-return to trust and surrender, that is. The Release & Infuse Technique shows you how. My gift to you.

And if you would like personalized help for healing your heart issues, releasing old beliefs and infusing new ones to transform your life, check out my coaching packages at HealingCodesCoaching.com

Apr
24

Are You Too Nice for Your Own Good?

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I always thought it was a good thing to be a nice person, and strove to be a nice person myself.

Until I read this article by Jason Henry.

Henry says that people who are are “nice” (as opposed to “good”) are people who don’t want to hurt others because they were so hurt and traumatized in the past and didn’t heal, that they make a vow (perhaps unconscious) to never make others feel the way they felt.

Perhaps those who possess the trait of high sensitivity are even more susceptible to this. I’ve often thought that HSPs were the nicest people in the world. Because we feel so deeply and take in so much, including our own suffering and that of others, we often bend over backwards to make sure we don’t cause suffering to other people.

Sounds noble, right? Even, perhaps, “Christian.” Do not do unto others as they have done unto you.

However, Henry says that when you dissect this vow for its ramifications, there are several big problems. Read More→

Heather Dominick, mentor to Highly Sensitive Leaders, is teaching “Weekly Activation calls” on A Course in Miracles, and I’d like to share something that spoke to me from a recent call.

(While I’m not sure what I think of A Course in Miracles itself, I do like the way Heather gleans very practical principles from it and applies it to being Highly Sensitive. I also like the Course’s definition of miracle: “a shift in perception.”)

The Miracle she taught on that so struck me was #30, about guilt. She talked about how so often, guilt is used as a means to control. How many times has someone tried to guilt you into doing what they wanted?

So I asked her: How do you handle it when someone does this—they try to guilt you into something that isn’t right for you? (A situation I was currently experiencing.)

Heather asked me, “What do you usually do?”

I admitted that I usually want to be gracious, so often I give in. (In my case, the person was using all kinds of things, from “we’re family after all” to “A good Christian would….” The latter especially tended to hook me.)

Heather then helped me to see that being gracious does not mean giving in. I could trust that I can handle conflict from a place of grace, which doesn’t mean saying yes out of obligation. It means that I can fully accept that other people have feelings and viewpoints of their own, and they may not like mine, but I can come from a place of “both/and”– which is grace.

“Grace in not an act, but a way of acting,” she said. With grace, I can consider “you and me,” rather than “you or me.”

Coming from a place of “you or me,” someone has to lose, someone has to give in. I was thinking that giving in was somehow grace, but it would be an act. Approaching the situation with grace means I can approach the other person from a “both/and” place. I can access the words that communicate what I need, acknowledge what the other person needs, and be OK with the differing needs being at odds. If I’m in alignment with my own deepest values, I can stand firm, and trust that the other person will be able to take care of themselves.

And if they can’t—if they try to draw me into the Dreaded Drama Triangle of Persecutor-Victim-Rescuer, I can refuse to be pulled into that triangle. So often when people use guilt tactics, they try to pull you into one of more of these roles.

Read More→

Jul
03

Healing from “Not Enough”

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When I wrote last December about “settling into the energy of enough,” I had no idea it would be such a journey.

I thought it would be a simple process of figuring out what “enough” was, via reading a bit about Minimalism, clear some space physically, mentally, and emotionally. I thought it would be mostly about gratitude. I did not think it would not be a big deal.

After all, haven’t I been doing healing work every single day since 2007?

Well, it’s turned into quite an undertaking. Turns out, “settling into the energy of Enough” is a lot more involved than I thought.

First of all, there’s the becoming aware of how pervasive and deep “not enough” is for me. Who knew?

I began to realize that it goes all the way back to childhood (as most things seem to do—sigh). Because I grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect and was so different from my family (highly sensitive),  “not good enough” became a big part of me. Though I excelled at school, the family was indifferent to it. My father often said, “I wish my boys had your brains.” I took that to mean they were wasted on a girl. All that mattered for girls, in the culture I grew up in, was that they be pretty and please others, especially men.

Also, there was “not enough” of other things in the family. Attention, love, interest, money. As an adult, trying to grasp this suddenly huge issue of “enough,” I realize I continued the process by denying myself so many things that are really “me,” in favor of doing “what’s expected” (which was a big value in my family).

Religion also plays a role in this “not enough.” Distorted or incomplete religious teachings can lead you to feel you’re not good enough for God unless you do X, Y, or Z.  Even if you do grasp the meaning of grace, which is what true spirituality is all about, there’s often the subtle pressure in churches to “serve.” This is fine, but when there’s the sense that you can never really serve enough, the needs are so great and you’re being selfish to think of your own needs when there are so many people worse off than you who need what you have—then, at least for me—it becomes very toxic.

It’s not just religious communities who can send that message, either. Work environments can also foster this “not enough” mindset. “You won’t be successful if you don’t push harder, put in more hours than other people.”

You’re not enough. You don’t do enough. You don’t know enough. There is not enough. These messages are everywhere, aren’t they? Advertising is based on it.

Just becoming aware of how “not enough” affects you is the first step. Bring this unhealthy belief and the memories behind it to your Healing Code work! Using the Truth Focus Statement, I am enough, I do enough, I know enough, I have enough, there is enough has been quite a help. As I have worked with this, oh the freedom I’m experiencing!

If “not enough” is an issue for you, I would love to come alongside you on your healing journey and help you find the freedom to be you as well. Check out my coaching at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

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