Q & A
Questions from sensitives come fast and furious these days. I can't answer them all, but I hope to touch on some key points periodically in this e-zine.
~ How can I find other highly sensitive souls? ~
There are many ways to find and connect with other sensitive souls. For instance, there are online discussion boards and groups that can help you connect with other sensitives virtually or in person. For instance, you might participate in a TeleClass or TeleGathering, join an online discussion group, or attend an in-person meeting, support group, workshop, or other event for sensitives. I've posted a great deal of information about how to get involved in these sorts of things on my blog.
You might also consider looking for sensitives in your local area. (Unfortunately, I do not have a list of groups in areas outside Berkeley or New York. If you know of any, please let me know.) How? It's easy! Where would you find yourself? Consider also these ideas: an art class, a hiking club, a dowser's meeting, a psychic school, a sensitive's workshop (see the sidebar), a feng shui class, a personal exploration or discovery workshop, a museum, a library, a bookstore, a yoga class, a folk music event, etc.
There are more details here: ->
~ Are all sensitives such perfectionists like me? ~
Elaine Aron wrote about the tendency of sensitives to be perfectionists in the August 2004 issue of Comfort Zone Online (http://www.hsperson.com/pages/edAug04.htm). She points out that we lean in that direction for two reasons: 1) Because we have learned to avoid unpleasant surprises by doing things perfectly; and 2) Because we can envision how things can be done perfectly and aim for that.
Remember that because you have such high standards, others will likely consider what you consider "just okay" to be outstanding. Learn to judge things as "good enough" and let them go, particularly when it means making a choice for your own wellbeing and sanity. Other strategies you might consider are setting time limits for projects, and thinking of your efforts as "experiments" that you can adjust next time. You might also consider the concept that you are a whole, perfect, and complete spiritual being, here having a human experience. This means that it's OK to make mistakes, have fun, and get messy. With an eye on a greater view of wholeness, I take great delight in the idea that I can't get it wrong and I'll never get it done. This means I have my whole life to play, experiment, enjoy, experience, and explore.
~ Do all sensitives put things off the way I do? ~
As noted, many sensitives are perfectionists. This means that you're likely to fear getting things wrong. This can make it hard to start anything. It can seem safer to wait indefinitely rather than suffer the discomfort of doing it imperfectly. This is a huge trap, and it can be particularly detrimental when you end up working yourself into a lather trying to finish something at the last minute, all the while lashing yourself for doing such a bad job. The trip to the land of stimulation overload gets short, fast. This is one of those places where it's better to be smarter than your ingrained habits. You might want to try scheduling time for the projects you want to work on, well in advance of their due date.
Another reason for procrastination is that many sensitives are drawn to variety and exploration. This can mean that it's hard to commit to one thing because it can feel like saying no to something else. Consider instead the notion that you are just doing one thing at a time.
Here's a third reason: Many sensitives are averse to deadlines. This means that when you know there's a deadline coming, you'll find almost any excuse you can to escape it, because you know the pressure is so uncomfortable. The sad part is that it ultimately makes it that pressure worse when you do it at the last minute. Here again, planning ahead and working proactively is of huge benefit, if a radical mind-shift, for our reactive society. Steven Covey has some great advice about learning to focus your energy on what's important but not urgent, so that you don't end up in urgency overdrive through procrastination. There's some solid wisdom there. I recommend his books First Things First and Seven Habits of the Highly Effective Person.
On the other hand, I used to give myself a hard time for being a huge procrastinator, and I still do procrastinate from time to time. But I've reframed my thinking to include the idea that I do things when they are ready to be done. That cleaning my office is a way of clearing my mind and energy field to get ready to get to work. That taking the time I need is a form of self-care. I also find that now that I'm doing work I love, it's much easier to do the work I need to do in a timely fashion, at the right time, when it is ready to be done. I do this by leaving large chunks of unscheduled time on my calendar, by limiting the number of things I say "yes" to, and by always knowing that I am ultimately the one who can change my "deadline" if I have to.
One great resource on this topic is The Procrastinator's Handbook by Rita Emmett. This is a terrific book that explains lots of little mind-shifts and tricks to overcome procrastination.
I hope these answers help!