Dear Sensitive Soul,

Welcome to February! As you read this, I'll be in Chicago with Sonia Choquette at her Level Two certification training. I can't wait to bring more of what I've learned to you in the coming months.

My January was wild and wonderful. We had a fantastic Lord of the Rings marathon on the 21st, spending a full day inside with our friends and family enjoying a bacchanalian feast of sensual pleasures -- three fantastic movies, cozy chairs, snuggly blankets, and yummy treats, including Moroccan stew, smashed garbanzos, mulled wine, and chocolate cake. Great fun was had by all, though our kitties didn't know what to make of it all.

In addition to the party, I had such a busy schedule in January that I found myself getting overwhelmed and had to do some quick strategizing to bring things back into balance. This month's article, "Recharge Your Energy," grew out of that learning. I hope you enjoy it!


Feature Article
Recharge Your Energy

As a sensitive soul, good energy-management skills are a must. This means tuning in to yourself on a regular basis and continually reassessing and adjusting what you take on. It's a real balancing act. And sometimes, despite your best intentions, your energy gets drained and you feel out of balance. The key, then, is to know how to quickly and easily recharge your energy.

Some of why this situation happens is that highly sensitive people are more susceptible to overstimulation than less sensitive types. Being overstimulated ultimately drains your energy. You may not notice the drain right away because it can also produce an adrenaline rush, which creates a sense of urgency or even panic that's hard to shake. You can fall into flight or fight mode without even realizing it, and even get a little addicted about keeping that urgency going.

On top of this, our culture generally encourages us to over-commit. We try to do it all, fit it all in, and take it all on. This can be overstimulating and draining as well. You might even start buying into the rationale that you DO have to do it ALL, that the world WILL end if you don't get it done, and that you have to HURRY UP about it. So you go into hyper-drive while feeling exhausted at the same time, psychically, emotionally, physically, and mentally. It's enough to make this sensitive soul say, "Stop the madness!"

Other contributing factors lead us to overspending in the energy department. For instance, you may find yourself "over-giving." Many sensitives have a real knack for putting other people first and giving out far more than they are receiving. Sometimes this can feel like a survival strategy. You may trap yourself, thinking that if you can *just* get the people around you to feel better, then you will feel better yourself. (I wrote about this topic last month in my e-zine article, "Are You Giving Away Your Power?") Giving away your energy this way is another way of feeling drained. And once you're drained, more overstimulation isn't far behind. It's a downward spiral that can quickly gain momentum if left unchecked.

So what's a sensitive soul to do?

Step 1. Make a Course Correction
You can take your power back by stopping to look critically at what you're doing and why you're doing it. Drop anything and everything that isn't aligned with your *own* highest priorities, and give yourself permission to seriously reconsider other events and plans. As a sensitive soul, you absolutely have to prioritize your self-care and learn to manage your schedule and energy well, or you jeopardize your ability to engage with others or do your soul's work with any real impact.

My own busy January schedule led me to do exactly this kind of strategizing, toward rebalancing my energy. The first clue that I'd entered the "spin cycle" of over-doing and over-giving was that I started feeling cranky or resentful. These powerful emotional messengers always get my attention and get me into action to course-correct. It was a powerful reminder of "oxygen-mask thinking" -- that in order to support the people who rely on me, I had to put on my own oxygen-mask FIRST by taking the time to renew my own energy.

Step 2. Recharge Your Energy
Once you re-orient your schedule and your life to your own priorities, including your own self-care, take some time to recharge before forging ahead. Sometimes you can get so "spun out" that you can't think of a single thing that will help. I recommend creating a list of activities, people, and environments that recharge, renew, and enhance your energy. Then when you're in crisis mode, you can get out your list and remember how to come back to yourself.

To get you started thinking about what works for you, here are some things that work for me:

  • Reading comic books
  • Reading "girl" magazines
  • Doing spa-at-home treatments
  • Getting a massage
  • Taking Epsom salts baths
  • Talking to close, mutually supportive friends (No energy vampires!)
  • Snuggling with my sweetie and/or my kitties
  • Collaging and cutting out magazine pictures
  • Reading science fiction books
  • Eating popcorn, drinking kombucha, and reading in the blue chair
  • Looking at Barbie dolls at Mr. Mopp's
  • Listening to music on iTunes,, or favorite CDs
  • Pulling oracle cards
  • Meditating
  • Listening to the work of Sonia Choquette
  • Getting outside
  • Being in the sunshine
  • Prowling at Long's or Elephant Pharmacy
  • Playing games
  • Coloring in coloring books

These simple yet playful and nourishing activities bring me back to myself and help me return to my efforts renewed.

So now it's your turn. Make a list: What recharges your energy?

Quarterly TeleGathering This Month

If you're interested in discussing this month's topic with other sensitive souls, please join me at the f.r.e.e. quarterly TeleGathering, which will be held this month on Thursday, February 16, at 4:30 p.m. PST.

A TeleGathering is a group meeting conducted like a conference call over a "bridge-line" that we all phone into at the same time. You can read more about how it works here.

If you'd like to be notified regularly about upcoming TeleGatherings, register online here.


The Art of
Sensitive Living
February 2006 Contents

feature article


upcoming events

web site resources








Upcoming Events

Thursday, Feb. 16
4:30 p.m. PST
TeleGathering for Highly Sensitive Souls
A f.r.e.e. gathering with like-minded souls. Third Thursdays of the month. Sign up for details and announcements.


No Walks in February
Berkeley Sensitive Souls Walking Group


More upcoming classes and events on my website here.




Thanks for reading!

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