The Difference Between Being Sensitive and Taking Things Personally

Over the past few weeks I have been carefully examining the difference between being sensitive and taking things personally. Woof! It's a fine line! Being a sensitive person is a gift and a strength but taking things personally is a heavy burden. We often confuse the two: both within ourselves and with others. If you're reading this post there's a very good chance that at one time or another someone has told you that you're too sensitive- that's not possible! Being super sensitive makes you an excellent nurturer, friend, partner, family member, and counselor. Being too sensitive is not a thing just like you can't be too good at math. It would be absurd for anyone to accuse someone of such a thing and saying that someone is too sensitive is like saying, you're living too close to your heart. If someone says you need to get a thicker skin it is a way of telling you to build a wall and cut off direct access to your heart- no thanks! People tell you this when they don't like what you're reflecting back to them which is the effects their behavior. 

The tricky part is knowing whether you are taking things personally or feeling sensitive. The way to examine this is by creating a little distance. My daughter went through a short phase of being afraid of bugs lately. We had many conversations around this fear by saying things like, "I understand that you're feeling scared when you see bugs right now. When I feel afraid I try to look at things like a scientist." We would count how many legs they had, look at their antennae, and guess what they were doing. Now when we go outside my daughter searches for ants and gets them to crawl on her arm. Creating a little distance when necessary can actually foster connection. Who knows what the fear of bugs was about but looking at things like a scientist helped take some of the intensity out of the whole situation.

I tried this method after realizing that I had been taking something way too personally. A good clue is feeling completely overwhelmed and consumed by a an old and familiar emotion. Depending on whether or not you believe in past lives this emotion, pattern or narrative could be ancient! Know what your patterns, narratives and karma is so that you can easily recognize when it's coming up for you. You probably have surrounded yourself with people who take turns reminding you of what needs to be healed. Hehe! I know I have and I wouldn't be able to do this work without their (er...) encouragement. One of the greatest skills I have gained through HeartMath training is to go from feeling fierce anger with someone and moving into a place of gratitude. I know this sounds like complete bologna but I promise it's true. My life's path would not be where it is now if I hadn't experienced people pushing me to demand better for myself. Thank goodness they did because I'm exactly where I need to be right now. 

Stay sensitive and surround yourself in beauty. Enjoy the song that I thought Jewel wrote for me when I was in Middle School.

A Different Song

Sometimes life feels tough or Murphy's Law seems to take over, either out in the world or in my personal life and usually it's both at the same time- I'm a big believer in synchronicity. Things have felt that way recently in both the world and my world. My mentor was teasing me that I needed to change my theme song from the "Itsy-bitsy Spider" to "This Little Light of Mine." This is my current practice. Changing my song whenever I'm feeling washed out. 

My wise mentor has also told me that every obstacle or trauma I have worked with throughout my life has been part of my internship that has lead me to this point in my journey- to help others working through similar themes. I asked her, "why couldn't I have just gotten coffees for people like a normal person?!" She just laughed and said something about how I get bored too easily. It's true- I'm the type that needs to keep moving. What's also true is that I much prefer working in a meaningful and transformative way with others. The lovely thing about this is that my work transforms both me and my group- this is what synchronicity looks when it comes from the heart.

We can always choose ease and joy. In each moment we can choose a different song and it's most powerful when we make this choice together. The best way to practice is with others who are making the same choice at ever turn. If you're working on changing your song please contact me. The more of us that do this work the louder our music will be. I am looking to form more communities of light bearers (no pun intended).  


Dr. Wayne Dyer explains synchronicity beautifully in this video below.

Care Bears

In Dave Chappelle's Netflix exclusive he discusses his childhood love of Care Bears. This is something we share. Of course the way he talks about them is hilarious and insightful. People who are sensitive often use humor to get through pain. The funniest people I know tend to be sensitive and anxious because they are able to see the truth no matter how difficult it might be. In this routine Chappelle speaks fondly of the Care Bears stare. In amazement he states, "And I'm not even bull$%&*ing you, actual love would shoot out of their chest and would dispel anything that was F-ed up," this cracked me up because there is a moment (or perhaps years) in our lives when we feel this isn't possible and it's devastating. We have a desire to fix things with love and good intentions and feel helpless when our efforts fail. My daughter recently started watching Care Bears at a point in my life where I'm beginning to believe again. We do have the power to emanate love. Scientific studies have proven that we give off energy from our energy fields as author Gregg Braden discusses in the clip below. If you are a sensitive, compassionate person looking practice you Care Bear stare let me know!

Bringing it Back

One of my favorite videos by Brene' Brown is her blame video. In this video she discusses how it is much easier to blame someone else than it is to take personal accountability. What the video does not discuss is how it feels when we blame ourselves and hold onto that discomfort and pain. Usually we are doing some combination of blaming ourselves and someone else which can make things complicated and murky. Using HeartMath's Coherent Communication technique followed by the Freeze Frame technique can provide you with clarity and ease in a stressful situation. When you understand the root of your own discomfort you can work through it holistically. Understanding that the only thing that matters is if you can forgive yourself. Once you forgive yourself, you can forgive the other person and may find that you weren't actually mad at them in the first place. This is when we're able to use empathy. Her empathy video is my absolute favorite. I have shared it with many people I love only to find that perhaps I wasn't being treated with empathy because I wasn't practicing it within myself. If we practice enough we become so steady that nothing can shake us off course. I'm still practicing, knowing that it takes a long time. When we practice these techniques together it is a caring exchange that helps both of us grow and feel rewarded. Please contact me if you would like to be more gentle with yourself and others. If payment is an issue please let me know. I feel that it's most important that I share these techniques and skills as much as possible.


"You can find happiness right where you are,"

The newest Disney movie, Moana, in all its brilliance, has been a huge inspiration to me. You can find and cultivate happiness right now. I may live in a smaller home, have more financial stress and less material things than many of my peers but I feel joy and abundance all around me because I've made the choice to build it- you can too. Starting this business has been terrifying. I've really chosen to put myself out there. If I learned anything from the Grandmother character in Moana (or from my own Grandmother) it's summed up pretty well in the film, "The village may think I'm crazy or say that I drift too far but once you know what you like well there you are." This is who I am and this is what I love doing. Once you come home to yourself nothing anyone says will make you want to go back to your old way of living. My Russian literature professor once shared that his favorite texts were written in simple language but with deep and meaningful themes- I certainly share his preference especially because of my connection with children. There is also a short at the end of the film called "Inner Workings," that beautifully illustrates the heart-brain connection. These themes come up in the media when people are ready and in need of this kind of healing. If you're ready, give it a try. Try growing your own happiness through the heart center, I can assure you that it is the most brave and rewarding choice you could make.