I work with a lot of people who identify as Sensitive, such as Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, and Introverts, and I identify as these myself. Here's some of the things my clients and I have struggled with as Sensitives:
Overwhelm (all.the.time), over-processing situations and ruminating on past conversations or mistakes made, perpetual and unmanageable overstimulation from work environment or social situations, constant low level of anxiety that flares into panic attacks often (for some), numbing depression, feeling depleted by life/work/other people, wanting to hide from the world/hiding your true self because you're “too sensitive, too fragile,” fear of judgement from others, utter exhaustion, feeling impaired by being Sensitive, sad at not being understood by most people, especially loved ones, low self-worth, “under-doing” in life because that's all you have the energy for, being a spectator rather than participating in life, not following your dreams-no energy for them, not in touch with who you are because you’re so attuned to others/environment, fear, lots of fear, frequently retreating to solitude, feeling like your sensitivity is a burden to you, to others and a weakness, disability, or limiting factor . . .
Can you imagine feeling even just one or two of these every day? If you're also a Sensitive, then you may be crying right now in recognition of yourself. You see, Sensitives are wired differentIy and actually do feel things deeper than non-Sensitives. We get slapped in the face with not only our own emotions, but often the emotions of everyone we interact with, and also the emotions of the collective at large. That's a lot of emotion-energy in motion-to process and deal with on a daily basis. It's exhausting.
But it doesn't have to stay this way.
From my own personal experience and my work with my Sensitive clients, I have found many tools to help Sensitives live a sustainable and even thriving life.
That means that yes, us Sensitive CAN achieve peace within ourselves, peace within our environment, be proud of our sensitivity, in tune with our sensitivity, in tune with our needs and our bodies, aligned with our truth and able to stand tall in it, be our authentic fully-self-expressed selves, have healthy boundaries with others, calm thoughts, self-confidence, able to participate in life, work-life balance, contentment, joy, head held high with self-confidence, with plenty of resources to deal with overwhelm and overstimulation . . .
We just have to go about it in a different manner than non-Sensitives.
What does that entail, you might wonder?
Here's what needs to happen:
You need to Cultivate Self-Awareness:
of your triggers,
of how you are doing moment to moment,
of what you need and how you can resource yourself.
You need Resources & Routine:
to soothe your nervous system when triggered,
to release pent-up stress or other people's "stuff" you may have picked up,
to prevent yourself from being further triggered.
You need Healthy Boundaries:
to know where others "end" and you "begin",
to only allow certain energies or certain levels of stress in your environment,
to only allow people who honor and respect your sensitivity into your inner circle.
You need to be Willing to be Different:
to acknowledge that you ARE different than most,
to acknowledge that your needs are different than most,
to acknowledge that you have to try on different ways of being if you want different results,
to acknowledge that new habits need to be taken on in order to create new experiences in life.
You need to be Willing to Ask for Help:
to realize that you don't have to do this alone & that there are others like you,
to accept support and guidance from those who have already learned to master these steps,
to cultivate "Beginner’s Mind” and openness to learning/trying new ways of being in the world,
to let yourself be held in a safe learning environment tailor-made for Sensitives.
Bonus Step, but oh, so important: You need to have enough Devotion to your own wellbeing to take these steps
But what gets in the way of people being able to do the above steps?
Being attuned to other people more than yourself
Being attuned to the environment more than yourself
Being stressed/overwhelmed/overstimulated to such a degree that you're just one big ball of nerves
for Resources & Routine:
You don’t know how to resource yourself
You aren’t aware of your triggers
You’re tired of feeling like a “Special Snowflake” and resist doing anything "extra" to support yourself
You have resistance to creating a routine for yourself, whether from feeling "unworthy" or simply feeling like you don't want to put in the effort
for Healthy Boundaries:
Lack of awareness of your energy field
Worries about what others will think of you
Your hopes that you can somehow force yourself to be like everyone else
You simply were never taught how to have healthy boundaries
for Willingness to be Different:
Hoping you can magically force yourself to adjust to social standards
Pretending like these things don’t affect you
Trying to fit in with the crowd
Stubbornness and a defeatist attitude
for Asking for Help:
Shame for needing help?
Prefer to go at it alone/figure it out for yourself?
Worried reaching out would make it worse?
You tell me!
There’s nothing shameful about needing help; in truth we all need help at some point in life! We simply aren’t taught how to honor & support sensitivity, in Western culture at least.
Worried reaching out or learning in a group will make it worse? Here’s the deal: we need each other. And a cool thing is that learning in a group cohort means we get to “borrow benefits” from witnessing each other’s "aha" moments and healing processes. You also get to be seen and heard, and lovingly shown your blindspots that you can't see when you take the "Lone Ranger" path. The healing for each individual goes so much deeper when held in the correct group container.
So the question is: do you want help, or do you want to stay stuck? Do you enjoy being overwhelmed and overstimulated? Or would you like some guidance to creating a more sustainable and fulfilling life? Because…..
I am here to help!
Once or twice a year, I offer a 6-month Group Coaching Program called Struggling to Sovereign Sensitives. This group is 6 months long in order to give plenty of time to build the skills and habits necessary to shift into a thriving state of being as a Sensitive. It also gives plenty of time for deep bonds to be made and group healing to occur.
Here's some of the themes we cover:
What type of sensitive am I?
Understanding your sensitive superpowers
Conquering the mind-negativity bias
Turning down the volume on external programming
Tuning inward vs. tuning outward
Being present in your hyper-tuned body
Caring for your own soul/well-being
Becoming important to yourself
Going from Head Down/Hiding --> Chin up/Owning your Sensitive Superpowers
Tools to protect your precious energy
Awareness of triggers and how to navigate them
Awareness and cultivation/strengthening of your energy field
Your masterplan for meeting your sensitive needs
Creating Healthy Boundaries
Plus some fun bonuses including yoga, EFT, meditations, and more!
If you want to see everything included in this group coaching program, check out the info here.
By the Way:
Still want to go at it alone with a mentor? I do have a VIP option to get the whole coaching program 1-on-1! But spots for this are extremely limited as it takes a lot of presence and energy on my part to hold space for individuals as well as the group. In fact, there's usually only 2-4 slots per year available. If this feels right for you, apply here.