Sensitivity may seem like a curse to some, and like a double-edged sword to others. There are books that suggest how to better cope as a Highly Sensitive Person that have tips on avoiding fluorescent lighting, strong perfumes, loud noises and large crowds. These are things that rattle the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) indeed, particularly when we are drained physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Being a run down, highly sensitive person in an overwhelming and chaotic situation can be a special sort of torture.
But I’m here to tell you that it is a blessing, an absolute gift that serves us from early childhood throughout the duration of our lives. It enhances our interactions with others and with the world around us. For one moment here, just think about all of the times that your heightened sensitivity has kept you safe, or salvaged a situation. How many people are fortunate enough to manage a situation after sensing even a slight shift in energy -before it escalates into a full-out crisis? How many times have we been attuned to another, and able to recognize that something has just impacted them in a way that had not been intended? And outside of the relational realm, how many times have we experienced the sort of joy, peace and contentment that makes it seem as if our hearts may just explode in gratitude from something as simple as witnessing the sun rise?
The real question is how often are we as sensitive to our own needs, as we are the needs of those around us, or our jobs, responsibilities and other commitments? The common answer among the people that end up sitting across from me for support is “not often enough”. The beautiful thing here is that if we are capable of great compassion with others, then we are equally capable of cultivating that same level of compassion for ourselves. Let me repeat that, because it’s important: if we are capable of great compassion with others, then we are equally capable of cultivating that same level of compassion for ourselves.
Using a biopsychosocial/spiritual model, I can do a holistic assessment to discover which aspects of a person’s overall health they tend to well, and which have been neglected. In doing this assessment, another fundamental truth presents: we are born with everything we need to thrive as a human being. As babies and children we instinctively knew the importance of living in the present moment, and did so with zest! And often, we used to engage in activities that kept our buckets full... but they gradually slipped away, and we forgot how much we loved them. I often refer to this knowing as our internal divine, or Buddha nature (with Buddha meaning “awakened one”). The great news is that when someone comes in for counselling, the process of awakening has already begun, and that deep and intuitive knowing part of them has already nudged them forward to seek out growth and transformation. The goal in creating a Wellness Plan based on the holistic assessment is to restore balance, shake off the slumber and awaken from autopilot. The hope is that our tunnel vision might expand and we will feel our cups overflowing with gratitude and joy once again. And here is how to do it...
We have a long discussion and exploration of how you are tending to your physical health, mental/emotional health, social health, spiritual health and whether you feel there is any other aspect of your life that needs more care and attention. We collaboratively come up with a menu of suggestions for enhancing any of the above areas that may seem out of balance. I assign home practice and provide resources and materials for tending to these aspects of your wellness and we review progress over the following weeks. I practice what I promote as well. I start off my day with a ritual of meditation, smudging, yoga and reading. I constantly review my own journey and make adaptations whenever I recognize that there has been a shift in my own life that has left my own self-care unbalanced. My cup overflows and my life is deeply entrenched in abundance. I am no longer thrown off balance by storms in my own life and find that I remain steady and at peace in the midst of change. I value my own sensitivity and capacity to have compassion for others, even if their own struggling causes them to react in ways that are harsh or unkind. I see this suffering and recognize a sensitive soul that is temporarily out of balance... but even in witnessing this struggle I smile inwardly because I know that this too shall pass, as soon as the sacred and knowing inner-self decides it is time to create change.
Sending out sincere warmth and gratitude for your sensitive soul