Dear Sensitive Souls,

I can’t believe October is here. And with such fog, too! September was a challenging month for me. In addition to being sick earlier in the month, my grandmother passed away this past weekend. It was a difficult yet expanding experience for me. I’m saddened by her death, yet grateful on her behalf for an easy passing.

This month I’ll be introducing some products that I’ve handpicked for Sensitive Souls. Look for an announcement later this month. And, I’ll be offering a new service: Personalized Consultation Sessions. Visit my website for details.

As some of you know, I cancelled the TeleGathering last month because I was sick. Thanks for the great outpouring of support! One reader asked: “I'd like to hear how you took care of yourself during your illness. I find being sick especially challenging and would appreciate knowing what self-care techniques worked for you.”

This note inspired me to consider what works for me when I’m sick. (I’m fine now, by the way!) Being sick is a big challenge for me. My perception is that I have a harder time with illness than my less sensitive friends. I hope you’ll find my thoughts useful.

Coming this month and in November, look for me at the Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley giving talks on sensitivity. I hope to see you there!


On Transformation
Healing Well

Illness seems to be particularly challenging for Sensitive Souls. The following thoughts are focused on recovering from a short-term illness like a cold or flu, rather than a long-term or more serious illness (though I’ve also essentially recovered from a chronic repetitive stress injury).

Here’s what supports me when I’m sick:

* I give myself permission to be sick.
I used to feel bad for being sick, as if it was somehow a failure on my part. Now I take illness as a cue from my body. It’s letting me know that I need to take a break. Usually, when I get sick, I can easily see where I’ve pushed myself too hard, whether emotionally, physically, or energetically. So I take the reminder seriously.

* I immediately shift my self-care strategies into high gear.
The minute I start feeling unwell, I take steps to take care of myself. I rely on Chinese herbs, mega-vitamins, plenty of rest, and nice baths. I stock up on supportive foods and liquids and bar the door to my “fortress.”

* I prioritize getting well above all else.
I used to push myself to keep working and socializing while I was ill, like my less sensitive friends seem able to do. Now I pull back. I cancel everything that isn’t 100% critical. (And you’d be surprised: I don’t consider much to be critical!) Then, I go ahead and rest. This means that I cancel appointments, get-togethers with friends, client sessions, and even TeleGatherings! To me, it’s not worth it to keep pushing myself, because I know that’s why I’ve gotten sick in the first place. I choose instead to listen to my body and its wisdom.

* I keep a few self-care tricks up my sleeve.
In this particular case, I had a cold. I benefited greatly from warm Epsom salts baths with eucalyptus and lemon essential oils. I also did lymphatic work including dry brushing my skin and having my partner do a “Spinal Flush” massage for me. (See Donna Eden’s book, Energy Medicine, for details.) All things were great for my aching body. I buy the softest, lotion-imbued, unscented kleenex I can get my hands on. I go ahead and watch terrible television and favorite movies. And I sleep as much as possible.

I’d love to hear what works for you!

E-mail me about your “Healing Well” strategies ->

Ask Jenna

Dear Jenna,

I’m having a very hard time with one of my co-workers. I really trusted her and confided in her and wanted to nurture the connection I felt with her. I have written her letters telling her that I value her friendship and am beginning to feel like maybe I imagined or felt too deeply something that was never there. I know that I need to let it go and know that that’s how she is. With her not telling me either way, I can't seem to get out of it. I need to resolve this myself because I don't think she will be any aid in helping me.

Thank you,
– Sarah

Dear Sarah,

Here's my take on the situation: Trust your intuition.

It sounds to me like you know exactly what’s going on with your co-worker, even if she’s unable to articulate it. I doubt that you were feeling something that wasn’t there. You are Sensitive Soul, and this means that you have great insight about true situations – what's not being said or expressed. It's important for you to validate your own experience. Don’t look outside yourself for confirmation of what you know to be true. You DO know what's going on. I think you've done a great job in articulating what's really going on to her. You've put yourself out there in a vulnerable, authentic way. Sadly, she seems unable to reciprocate. Trusting yourself in these kinds of emotionally charged situations can be hard to do. But I see that the real struggle is within yourself, so that's the place to resolve it. Please don't give your power away to her. Trust yourself and what you know.

When I'm in situations like yours, I try to acknowledge how difficult they are for me and really ramp up the self-care. You might want to try this energy exercise too. Anytime this comes up for you, put your hands over your solar plexus and say to yourself: “I call all my energy back to me.” Take three deep breaths, and then imagine yourself surrounded in a pink bubble of protective light.

Best of luck!


Ask Jenna a question ->


October 2004

on transformation

ask jenna

upcoming events

web site resources

this just in: a new book for HSPs

in future issues



Upcoming Events

Tues., October 12
4 p.m. PDT

" Are You Highly Sensitive?"
Event at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Do you often feel overwhelmed? Has anyone ever called you shy – or worse: “too sensitive”? You may be a Highly Sensitive – with deep empathy and high intensity, and powerful intuition. Come find out how to thrive and what it means to be a Sensitive Soul, including a self-assessment quiz, self-care tips, work strategies, and energy techniques.


Thurs., October 21
10 a.m. PDT

TeleGathering for Highly Sensitive Souls
A free gathering with like-minded souls. Third Thursdays of the month. Sign up for details and announcements.
Sign up here ->


Tues., November 9
4 p.m. PST

“ Holiday Survival Tips for Sensitive Souls”
Event at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

If you're Highly Sensitive, the holiday season is fraught with many challenges - difficult family members, stressful shopping, and endless holiday parties. Come learn energy skills and sensitive self-care techniques to create and enjoy a positive, peaceful experience of the holidays with a joyful spirit and a light heart.




Web Site Resources
Calendar of Events

Five Star Products

Coaching Services

Consultation Services

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



This Just In:
A New Book for Sensitive Souls

Insomnia expert Ted Zeff, Ph.D., has released a book for Sensitive Souls entitled, “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World.” Although I haven’t yet read the book myself, I have attended a coping skills class with Ted that I found useful and enjoyable. Look for a review next month.

Visit Dr. Zeff’s website ->


In Future Issues

The Power of Morning Page

What’s So Great About Being Highly Sensitive Anyway?


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