Dear Sensitive Soul,

This month my focus is on supporting Sensitive Souls who have just discovered their sensitivity. If you know someone in this tender place, perhaps you’ll share this month’s issue with them. If you are a Highly Sensitive “newbie,” perhaps you’ll benefit from the exploration. Enjoy.


On Transformation
Are You A Highly Sensitive Newbie? (Part I)

Have you just discovered that you’re a Highly Sensitive Soul? Are you wondering, “Now what?” If so, you’re in the right place! (For more about being Highly Sensitive, see my article “Are You Highly Sensitive?”)

Discovering that you’re sensitive is usually exciting, relieving, and overwhelming – all at once. Because you are sensitive, you’ll see the possibilities for how this will affect your life, and that alone can be over-stimulating. It’s OK! Take a deep breath! In this article you’ll find tips for learning to adjust to your new discovery.

OK, I’m Sensitive. Now What?

1. Take It Slow
Increasingly, there’s more information about sensitivity available. Take your time reviewing it. A terrific place to start is by reading “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When The World Overwhelms You,” by Dr. Elaine Aron. She is the seminal author on the topic, and reading her book is like visiting with an old, dear friend you didn’t know you had.

2. Make Your Sensitivity Your Own
Often we’ve been told that we are “too sensitive.” We’ve accordingly learned that we’re quite different from others around us. For most, this means years of asking ourselves, “What’s wrong with me?” We’ve spent lots of time trying to fit in and to be different than who we are. Now it’s time to nip that pattern in the bud. Ask yourself: “What if my sensitivity is one of my gifts?” Let yourself be open to the answers that emerge.

3. Extend Your Sensitivity to Yourself
Imagine that you are introducing a small child to being sensitive. Your own sensitivity would be a powerful means of supporting her, would it not? You would be gentle, thoughtful, caring, and empathic in your tender welcome into a sometimes-confusing world that differs from our societal norm. What would it be like to extend the same compassion to yourself as you explore this new territory?

4. Reframe Your Past
When you’re ready, it’s helpful to look back at your life and “reframe” past experiences that you’ve interpreted as failures. For example, although I was very successful as an urban designer in my previous career, I found it terribly difficult to tolerate disharmonious office politics, shared working space, late hours, and constant deadlines and pressure. While these things are tough for many, I found it painful to the point that I had to leave the profession. When I reframe this experience in light of my sensitivity, I see that an extremely high level of constant stimulation and negative energy overwhelmed me. It wasn’t a failure. It was a poor match for my Sensitive Soul.

Next month: Part II

A Sensitive's Success Story:
An Animal Tale

Rebecca Chapman’s story is a terrific example of a sensitive who brilliantly integrated her sensitivity with her career. She created a successful business working as a pet sitter and Flower Essence practitioner for animals. (And, I personally recommend her services to those of you in Berkeley and surrounding areas.) Rebecca has this to say about her journey to finding a sensitive-supporting career:

“Finding my right livelihood involved a long search, only to discover what was right in front of me: my lifelong love for animals and a passion to serve them. Though as a child I realized this love, I ended up working as a secretary for more than 30 years. On the side, however, I volunteered in Wildlife Rehab, studied Animal Communication, read everything I could about animal behavior, psychology, health, and spirituality, and later became certified as a Flower Essence practitioner for animals. Through a series of synchronistic events and eventually a big leap, I left my secure job and opened my own business providing “animal sitting” services along with my Flower Essence practice.

“In just one year my service blossomed into a full-time business. Though it takes a dedicated effort to handle all the aspects of being self-employed (like setting limits so I don’t work 16 hours a day) I am happy making my own policy decisions, paying attention to details, and following my own personal and business ethics. I find the solitude of working alone with the animals very gratifying. My spirit is joyful and contented now.

“I have learned to trust my inner wisdom and that’s what keeps me connected to the Divine in all living things. As a Sensitive, this connection is very important for my well-being. Now I am able to make a living doing what I love and though (for now) the income is much less, the rewards are much greater.”

Visit Rebecca’s website ->

In Future Issues

  • Are You a Highly Sensitive "Newbie?" (Part II)
  • The Power of Morning Pages
  • What’s So Great About Being Highly Sensitive Anyway?

August 2004

on transformation

career success story

upcoming events

web site resources

tips for
sensitive souls

in future issues



Upcoming Events

Thursday, August 19, 10 a.m. PDT
Next TeleGathering for Highly Sensitive Souls
A free gathering with like-minded souls. Every third Thursday of the month. Sign up for details and announcements. This month’s question: “What have you created as a result of your sensitivity?"




Web Site Resources
Calendar of Events

A Centering for
Sensitive Souls

Are You a Highly Sensitive Soul?

On the Enneagram

About the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Book Recommendations

Favorite & Useful Links



Tips for
Sensitive Souls
Get "Grounded"

Getting “grounded” is one of the most useful skills in my Sensitive Soul survival tool kit. To me, being grounded means being in a calm, centered state in which you have a clear sense of who you are and who you are not. It helps establish a sense of boundaries. It also means you are less likely to pick up any excess energy, whether from someone else or by getting over stimulated, and if we do, we can more easily release it. This is an important skill for Sensitive Souls to master.

Getting grounded is easy. There are many simple, practical techniques for grounding, such as touching earth with your hands or feet, being outside in nature, or being around or in water. One of my favorite methods is to bathe with Epsom salts, which grounds me and clears away any excess energy. Other ways to ground yourself include tangible chores like cooking or folding laundry, and getting exercise. These “real life” activities bring you back to yourself, and help get you “out of your head” – a place that Sensitive Souls often end up, ruminating over issues and ideas.

I also use energy techniques to ground myself. I imagine extending a “grounding cord” from the base of my spine to the center of the earth where it’s anchored securely. I use this cord to discharge any excess energy or negativity down to the core of the earth where it is recycled into pure life-giving energy. Then I imagine that I can draw this cleansed energy up into my body through the soles of my feet, where it fills my legs and then my abdomen with stable, supportive, earth energy. It creates a solid foundation for my life. Sometimes I also work with bringing my energy out of my head by imagining that I can draw it down into my toes. I slowly work my way up my body, imagining that my “essence” is gradually filling my entire body.

I find all of these techniques to be supportive, and hope you’ll find something of benefit for yourself as well!

© Jennifer Avery, 2004
email: Web Contact
tel: 510.528.1696     fax: 510.528.1697