Jenna answers your questions
My biggest question is what do I need to do daily to enjoy my life, not just endure my life?
I'm also wondering how to live in harmony with my environment, specifically I am re-designing my office and the workspace . . . and I am wondering if you have suggestions on colors, ideas, designs, woods for cabinets, carpet fabrics etc. (Definitely I am getting rid of all the florescent lights!).
I just bought the Protection and Boundaries for Sensitive Souls and I am looking forward to listening to it right now.
Thanks for allowing me to feel like I am not crazy!!! You give us all hope!
Thanks for writing. My nutshell answer to both your questions is the same: Follow your sensitivity.
Luckily, sensitives are blessed with a refined inner sense of what works for us and what doesn't. The problem we run into is that we aren't willing to give ourselves permission to do only what works for us because we think we "should" be doing something else or something more. Usually when we're in "enduring" mode it's because we're forcing ourselves to perform as if we are non-HSPs.
If you want to enjoy your daily life, tune into yourself and ask, "What would raise my vibration right now?" Then do it.
If you want to live in harmony with your environment, ask yourself the same question and see what comes up for you. I truly believe this is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves.
That said, I personally prefer using soothing colors and focusing on creating beauty and serenity. I like to find ways to organize the practical stuff (files, papers, etc.) in beautiful, clutter-free ways. I also find that many sensitives prefer to use products that are as natural and "green" as possible to reduce the impact on our sensitive nervous systems. I love to bring in plants, incandescent lights, and inspiring art. I have all the elements represented in my work space -- plants for earth, fountains for water, candles for fire, and bells or soft chimes for air. Having the elements represented keeps the energy balanced so we sensitive souls don't try to balance it with our own energy.
How do I learn to focus on the person that I am listening to in a crowded room? The noise is so distracting that I cannot hear anything but noise.
You might want to first consider choosing other places to meet with people. Most sensitives do best with conversations in quiet settings and one-on-one or with small groups. (Though more extroverted sensitives may find larger crowds more pleasant than introverted sensitives.)
If you have to be in a crowded room, the first step to improving your focus is to be prepared to do so. In other words, come to the event rested, having had a supportive and calming day. This way you'll have a reserve of energy to cope with the crowd.
Then, you might also consider inviting the person to step outside or into a quieter corner with you, saying, "I don't want to miss anything you're saying."
Another idea is to use energy skills to ground your energy, stay present in your body, and define your listening space. I love to teach sensitives how to these things in my energy classes.
Lastly, as often as possible, communicate from your heart and soul. Connect with the other person by gazing into their eyes and truly engaging with them on a soul level. Sensitives love to connect deeply. I sense that making that kind of connection will help all the surrounding chaos drop away.
My question is how do I distance myself from people who obviously do not respect my nature of being sensitive without being nasty? I love my friends but I think at this point in time I need to stay away from them.
Self-awareness and personal growth do seem to result in a release of outdated relationships. Sometimes this happens naturally and quietly without need for discussion. But sometimes we find ourselves needing to find a way to gracefully bow out. Sensitive souls don't enjoy confrontation (it is overstimulating, after all).
I'm not sure that I have the best answer for this question, but if it were me, I would approach it differently depending entirely upon the closeness of the relationship and whether you want to end it completely or transition to seeing each other less often. With a bosom buddy or close family member, I would have a clear, honest discussion along the lines of, "As much as I have valued our connection over time, it feels like we're getting into conflicts as I get clearer about myself and my needs. It doesn't feel like our relationship is working for me anymore and it's time for me to move on." Or, "I think it would be good if we took a break for a while."
With an acquaintance, I would simply be less available over time, without offering explanations. Sometimes people grow apart after all.
I want to know where to find others like me, so that I can talk to them and be reassured that I'm not alone and I'm not defective.
You can find out about finding other sensitives and online HSP communities here (my links page) and here (my blog).
In addition to the many wonderful online communities for sensitive souls, you might want to consider attending an HSP Gathering. Jacquelyn Strickland has been coordinating gatherings for the past several years and they are a wonderful way to meet other sensitives. There are two gatherings planned for 2008, including one in California in June.
You could also consider participating in a telephone conference for sensitives, like my Home-Study Program teleconferences and periodic TeleClasses. Jacquelyn also offers periodic TeleConferences, as do other coaches for sensitive souls.
I find that it is incredibly healing and validating for sensitives to gather and support each other. Keep reaching out.
And by the way, you are NOT alone, and there is NO CHANCE you are defective.
I wish all of you all the best and thank you for your questions! I plan to answer more of them in next month's e-zine. What are your biggest questions about being highly sensitive? I'll be selecting a few to answer. Post them here.
Copyright May 2008, Jennifer K. Avery
For more articles like this one, see Jenna's Articles or her E-zine Archives online.
This article may be published on your website or in your e-zine as long as the copyright notice and this complete note are included:
Jenna Avery, the Life Coach for Sensitive Souls, offers an original coaching program designed to guide highly sensitive souls to a deep sense of inner rightness, so they are inspired to step forward and shine. You're invited to visit her website at www.highlysensitivesouls.com to take her free online assessment, "Is Your Sensitivity Working For You?"