Honoring Your Perseverance

One year ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. It’s also when my state closed the schools and asked us to turn our lives upside down, for an unknown length. A lot changed in an instant.

It’s been a vague kind of trauma, that effects us in some invisible ways (as well as visible ways).

We’ve all been through a lot of change to say the least. Have you honored all you’ve been through and what you’ve learned? In your personal life, and in your work life? In your heart?

Maybe this anniversary is a good moment to pause, to look back, see where you are now, and to look forward with fresh and wiser eyes. I invite us all to bring a sense of grace and acceptance of all feelings that might be naturally arising at this time.

I want to honor you for your perseverance and all the ways you’ve worked hard to protect others. That means a lot to me. Thank you.

I notice a lot of uneasy feelings in those around me, perhaps in that way a trauma anniversary can creep up on us.

I wrote a quick poem, below, to attempt to capture this moment, with this intention:
May we find some gentleness for whatever feelings arise, and may we honor ourselves and each other for our perseverance. We are stronger than we knew.

Continue reading

Oh, These Poignant Holidays… and Now This Too.

The thermometer is dropping as we approach winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, and yet the stress thermometer seems to be heating up right now, in this holiday season.

Of course this holiday stress happens every year, but I’m finding this year is more poignant and palpable than ever. It feels like my heart is aching for everyone.

Every conversation somehow feels like the person is going to cry with the mention of COVID-times holiday. No one has the playbook for this one.

All we can do is turn to what we know, but what we know for the holidays isn’t fitting. So we keep stumbling, feeling stupid, feeling confused, and mostly just tired. Continue reading

How a Highly Sensitive Introvert Held Strong in the Storm

Sometimes seeing the news about floods, hurricanes, fires, and all manner of disasters can really get to me inside, even when it doesn’t directly affect me.

My strength for empathy can be a real challenge at times like that. I can even feel it in my body as I write this. I had a good cry about flooding just the other day. Sometimes tears are just the thing.

I once lost my home in a fire, and escaped in the middle of the night, and that was a very hard thing to be sure. And I can’t imagine the horror of a whole region going through fires at once. As a highly sensitive introvert, I wonder how I would manage.

When one of many natural disasters had just happened and was on my mind, I asked people in my Facebook group for introverts to share their related feelings or experiences. One story came from Ksenia who had just gone through the latest hurricane and flood in Texas.

Hurricane Harvey flooding

I was inspired by her resilience and I think we all learned from her tips too. So I asked her for permission to share this more widely, to help others like us, so we can remember we are stronger than we think.

She gave me permission to share her story here. Continue reading

The World Is Changing Fast and Sensitive People Can Play an Important Role.

The world is changing at an accelerated pace, in unpredictable ways, thanks to climate disruption, outbreaks, and other destabilizing forces.

That acceleration and unpredictability is a scary thought to my human brain that craves stability. I’m talking about more than one temporary change. Sorry to bear this bad news but I think you already sense this, consciously or unconsciously. People with high empathy tend to feel it quite a bit.

Bear with me because I also have good news.

As I’ve been studying what is happening and likely to happen in the short-term and long-term, one of the key things that wise people are suggesting, and I agree, is to know how to calm your nervous system so you can adapt and help others, in whatever scenarios we find ourselves in.

I know we can do that and it’s a good place to focus first. I’ll talk about how, and what about for highly sensitive people and introverts?

Continue reading

Having a Big Heart Can Also Mean Big Exhaustion. Start with Grounding.

My clients and I have big hearts (naturally empathetic), which means we automatically care about people and how it’s going in the world all around us. It’s a gift, and… sometimes it can lead to taking on more stress or responsibility than one body can handle.

We can be at risk for overwhelm from others’ energy or the ever maddening news. Well, let’s be honest, overwhelm can come just as easily from the inner critic (which says things like “You’re not good enough”). This week it was the national news that got to me.

But we have things to do here on earth. Ya know? People with big hearts are needed!

So, I’m thinkin’ we have to find a way that works for us. We need to manage our outer and inner roadblocks as job #1. We won’t be able to live our purpose if we don’t. The solution is not to shut our hearts down. It’s to stay open but add in effective grounding.

We need a giant Pause button so we can find solid ground and start from there.

Persephone, sculpture by Valerie Gilman

She’s saying to me: “Stop, let me take a pause!” Sculpture artist: http://www.valeriegilman.com

As a highly sensitive introvert, I’ve had to find good grounding methods so I can keep living my purpose without exhaustion. I know we can do this.

In this post, I’m including:

  • what I mean by grounding and why it matters so much,
  • what works for me,
  • a self-assessment to help you choose your best grounding methods.
  • a way to learn a simple method that’s especially good for calming during tough moments.

Continue reading