Dear Sensitive Soul,

Kitties helping Jenna wrap presents at Christmas time

Happy New Year! I have been enjoying our rainy weather here. My kitties, my sweetie, and I have been in full-on cozy mode, with tea, candles, movies, and fairy lights galore. I hope it continues later into the month when we host our Lord of the Rings marathon. This weather is perfect for snuggling into a comfy sofa, watching great movies, and eating delicious stew.

I have big news on the coaching front. Although my fees officially go up this month, I'm holding over my 2005 coaching fees until Jan. 31. If you've ever seriously considered taking my coaching program, now is your chance to save almost 30%. Just e-mail or call me at 510.528.1696 to set up a complimentary consultation and find out if the program is right for you. The program is a powerful way to find a deep sense of rightness within your self and to develop immunity to all the confusing and conflicting messages that come from outside of us. My clients who have completed the program cannot believe how miraculously different their lives are now. Read more about the program here.

I'm also shifting to a quarterly schedule for the TeleGatherings, in order to teach more content-oriented classes on a regular basis. If you'd like to be notified regularly about upcoming TeleClasses, sign up here: TeleClass Announcement List. This month, I’m teaching an Energy Skills TeleClass on Jan. 12 at 4 p.m. I'd love to have you join me! Past participants have learned a lot from the classes and have greatly shifted their ability to be in their own energy and power.

Speaking of which, this month's article, "Are You Giving Away Your Power?" helps you identify ways that you might be giving away your power, why you do it, and what you can do instead. Enjoy it.


Feature Article
Are You Giving Away Your Power?

In both my coaching work and personal life, I've noticed a recurring conversation around giving away our power. Many clients and friends have found themselves in situations where they have been relinquishing their personal power and over-empowering others. Usually they end up feeling betrayed, taken advantage of, or simply pushed beyond their limits. I wrote this little primer on the subject of personal power for a client, and thought I would share it with you.

You give away your power when you ...

  • Doubt yourself. Energetically other people sense this and take advantage of it.
  • Try to be nice and polite, and make everyone else happy.
  • Just go along so you don't make waves, cause trouble, or disrupt the "peace." Does the phrase "peace at any price" mean anything to you? Are you giving up your own personal inner peace to create the illusion of peace with others?
  • Over-empower others by looking for approval and validation from them, instead of getting it from yourself. This gives other people the power to hurt you.
  • Forget that you do know what you're doing, and you are good at it.
  • Have poor boundaries.
  • Get energetically "mixed up" with other people by not staying in your own energy. Or, you let other people take over your energetic space by leaving your body or by pulling back.
  • Allow yourself to be intimidated by bluster, bragging, or emotional assaults from other people.
  • Don't say what's true for you and then honor it. You can do this without being confrontational.
  • Energetically and emotionally buy into other people's dramas, emergencies, and aspersions.
  • Allow other people to run your life, or try to run other people's lives.

You might do these things because ...

  • It's a habit, or you're engaged in unconscious patterns of behavior with another person.
  • You've been raised to be a "good girl" or a "good boy" who doesn't cause trouble.
  • You doubt yourself, your reactions, and your truths. Our society doesn't validate your high sensitivity, so you've learned to doubt ALL of yourself.
  • You fear confrontation.
  • You try to take care of people.
  • You think that if the superficial level is quiet and peaceful, you will feel better. Sometimes this is true in the short term. But again, at what long-term price?

Here's what you can do instead:

  • Remember to breathe! Focus your breath into your solar plexus and third chakra, which is your personal power chakra.
  • Practice staying in your own energy, your own body, and your own skin.
  • Learn energy skills to strengthen your energetic and interpersonal boundaries.
  • See yourself as a whole, resourceful, and spiritual being, with your own best answers. When you choose to focus from the inside out in this way, you'll be less susceptible to outside influence.
  • Learn to say "No" and mean it. This means being firm -- and not just with the tough people, but with everyone. Your personal power must become your habit, not a reaction, afterthought, or counterattack.
  • Use your anger wisely -- anger is the energy of personal power -- and stand up for yourself.
  • Stand on the courage of your convictions. Believe in yourself no matter what anyone else does or says, or how they behave.
  • Ask for what you need and want. Give yourself what you need and want.
  • Similarly, don't burden others with the task of validating you. Use your own yardstick to measure your successes. Look to your higher self for validation and approval.
  • Own this truth: Other people have their own path and you are not responsible for them. You might even be doing them a disservice by not acknowledging this.
  • Claim your rights and place in the world. You do have the right be treated respectfully by other people.
  • Be detached and practice detachment by observing other people's behavior without attachment. Think to yourself: "Isn't that interesting? I wonder what that's about?" Remember that another person's behavior has almost nothing to do with you.

A final thought:

Some people think that being powerful is a negative thing. When I talk about power, I'm talking about operating in the world from a deep place of strength, trust, and alignment within your self. Owning your power is having the courage to show up as your full and true self, without apologies, and without holding back about who you are and what you want. It doesn't mean being rude, pushy, inconsiderate, or uncompassionate. But it does mean speaking your truth, honoring your sensitivity, and believing in yourself.


Energy Skills TeleClass

If you have trouble staying in your own energy and are unduly affected by other people's energy, you will benefit from learning energy skills to clear away what you pick up from other people and protect yourself from unwanted "stuff." Sign up here for my next Energy Skills for Sensitive Souls TeleClass on Jan. 12, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. PST.

A TeleClass is a class 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 TeleClasses, sign up here: TeleClass Announcement List.


The Art of
Sensitive Living
January 2006 Contents

feature article

energy skills teleclass

upcoming events

web site resources















Upcoming Events

No Walks in January
Berkeley Sensitive Souls Walking Group
**RSVP Required**


Thursday, Jan. 12,
4 p.m. PST

Energy Skills for Sensitive Souls TeleClass


Thursday, Jan. 19,
4 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.


Monday, Jan. 23,
2 p.m. PST
Are You Highly Sensitive?
F.r.e.e. in-person class at the Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley.


Thanks for reading!

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