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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.

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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I wrote already about a course I took with Julie Bjelland, about how to embody the gifts of High Sensitivity, otherwise known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity.

I am thrilled to announce that Julie has started a very reasonably-priced membership site, Sensitive Empowerment.

This global community will not only give you a way to continue to get some of Julie’s best teachings, but also to learn from experts she will interview. For instance, a naturopathic doctor will be talking about “How to Care for Your Highly Sensitive Body.” Replays of interviews, QA with Julie will also be available.

Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of membership, however, is the community you will connect to. Validation of our trait is one of our main needs as Highly Sensitive People. 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→

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.

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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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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