To be sensitive is a gift. Cultivating this gift takes special attention and practice.
Highly sensitive people are either born with or have connected with a series of qualities in themselves that allow them to view the world with an unfiltered, fully engaged presence. Uncultivated, this seems detrimental, a handicap that disallows these people to function and succeed.
When harnessed, understood and honed, sensitivity is the foundation of the greatest innovation, healing for the masses and the glue that keeps this world connected.
In states of relaxation, connection and at a pace that allows for presence, everyone is highly sensitive.
Dr. Elaine N. Aron, a psychologist who has dedicated her work to supporting highly sensitive people, found four characteristics. These include:
- Deep Processing
- Tendency to Overwhelm
- Empathy and Emotional Responsiveness
- Awareness of Subtleties
You process, deeply.
All of the stimulus and experience you go through – the lights, sounds, energy, temperatures, feelings, emotions and thoughts; are received and then, filtered, added to chains of memories and logic, responded to physically and emotionally and then, only then, are you prepared for more.
Stimulus is constant. when your system is inundated and you do not take the time and give yourself the space to process, going deeply inward and waiting, listening for the lesson and allowing for the guidance, you are met with the second quality – overwhelm.
If you are tuned to your sensitivity, overwhelm is noticeable. Your fuses blow and your emotional and mental capacities seem to become extreme and dysregulated.
The world around you has a collective energy of impatience. Overwhelm is not something most people can be with. If you are one who “handles everything” and applies logic and planning and problem solving without emotional affect, this is your overwhelm. This is your numbing, avoiding, fixing and rushing to get away from the discomfort of acknowledging what you are processing, deeply. This is how your sensitivity manifests.
Both styles of overwhelm are directly related to your third quality – empathy and emotional responsiveness.
If you tend to be on the emotional pole, empathy can be disorienting, especially when met with another on the logical, non-emotional pole. Opposites attract so that, in connection, we find balance. These interactions happen constantly. One is highly emotionally intelligent, the other is practical and emotionally unavailable. They come together to even out the experience. Two poles do not find balance very easily. When these interactions happen, both sides step into the fourth quality – noticing subtleties.
The emotionally driven empathetically reads expressions and energies from others, has trouble differentiating what is her emotion versus that of another or of the collective. She cries when she sees another crying. She senses danger as it begins to develop. She sees the need and, again, deeply processes, taps in emotionally and overwhelms.
The logically driven analyzes. He goes into his head to assess risk, danger, outcomes and directives. He avoids how it feels, though he is deeply aware, and stoically fixes.
Harnessing sensitivity is a meeting of the poles, it is the grey area, middle ground between the emotions and logic.
Harnessing sensitivity requires accessing both the emotional and the logical. In dialectical behavior therapy, this is referred to as “wise mind”. When practicing wise mind, you receive information, you pause and slow down to allow for deep processing. You do not do anything, you surrender and allow. This gives time for the emotional waves and the ruminating thoughts that block your intuitive knowing.
My coaching will support you understanding these qualities and organizing your life to make sure they are supported.
Some other benefits of this type of coaching include:
- Distress Tolerance Skills.
- Skillsets to connect to your individual needs, wants and desires.
- Non-violent communication skills for sharing your needs and having them met.
- Relief from controlling, black and white perceptions and thoughts.
- Reparenting and mentorship to shift your relationship with yourself from critical to supportive.
- Consistent refocusing towards acceptance and nurturing.
- Learning to reference and trust yourself to respect and adhere to the pace you need.
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Rachel is your co-pilot on the journey—fact-checking your learned ways of thinking, asking poignant questions that help you to actually learn to listen to yourself, steering you back on track when you drift away from honoring your true needs and desires, and empowering you with the ability to do all that for yourself.Mary C, Dancer/Student
Rachel looks into the subconscious and awakens to our individual sensitivities as human beings.Kelly A, Nutritionist/Pilates Instructor
Her ability to help gently guide me towards feeding myself with self love and genuine acceptance is remarkable.Jen U, Musician
By learning yourself, you get a better understanding of what you feel and are attracted to, or repulsed by, in another or a situation. You get to observe the triggers and boundary to realize what is yours and what is that of another. We all feel what each other is feeling, no exception.
Empathy is part of being human. How we respond or react to that quality shows what pole you tend towards to cope with overwhelm.
The antidote is slowing and observing, feeling into the needs and responding with solutions.
Harnessing your sensitivity is the superpower that brings you closer, has you heal and see yourself in every other and grow in compassion. It protects your heart and strengthens your courage to be the essential person each and every person is.
Let me guide you on your way.