“Solitude matters for some people, it’s the air they breathe” ~Susan Cain
In a society where extroversion exists as the preferred expressive style and “having tough skin” is what we aspire to possess, some of our greatest gifts as human beings become overlooked. Messaging matters so the messages we’re taught as children become wired up in our brains alongside very particular preferences. Emotional sensitivity is typically conceptualized as a negative trait that should somehow be overhauled by a badass attitude and extroverted personality. But it is our human capacity to attune to various emotions around us that can become the most sacred superpower of all. It’s sensitivity to emotion and energy that allows us to pick up on nuanced facial expressions, energetic fields and intuitive inklings ~ all emotional cues that can go unnoticed. I’m here to tell you that your greatest strength exists through the portal of your sensitivity.
As a child, I experienced what I’d call sensitivity shame ~ a deeply held belief that somehow I was inherently bad because I felt my emotional environment at an intense cellular level. Witnessing conflicts at school, roadkill and violent media images (all common occurrences) shook me to my core as I would ask myself, what’s wrong with me? Why am I feeling this strongly? Little did I know that these were profound moments of attunement, compassion and empathy and it’s these inner resources that create relationships rooted in love and work that’s soulfully fueled.
Through my personal mindfulness meditation practice, I’ve learned to savor sensitive moments as sacred in addition to protecting my emotional energy (aka being vigilant about self-care and saying no to social events and personal requests when needed). Mindfulness allows us to witness our thought patterns without identifying with them. It’s truly amazing to begin observing how aggressive we can be towards ourselves. Awareness itself is curative, and through awareness, we can change the inner narrative to nourish our hearts from the inside out.
To all of my sensitive soul sisters and brothers, I invite you to embrace this divine gift of presence and practice ways you can care for what is most precious ~ your soul’s ability to tune-in and connect. HERE’S HOW:
stillness & silence
I often teach that stillness and silence are our wisest teachers. In a noisy world, it has become more imperative that we rest our nervous systems by getting into nature, allowing stillness and silence to wash over us. For beings who are emotionally and energetically sensitive, these periods are particularly important to refuel the mind, body and heart. My husband and I recently bought a second home at Serenbe, a wellness community South of Atlanta, where I host many of my mindfulness retreats and trainings. As life began to feel more and more like a pressure cooker, the urgency for immersion in nature alongside more stillness and silence set in. In order to keep your sacred superpower of sensitivity awakened, shift into prioritizing mindful solitude.
As sensitive beings, our energy fields are porous. In other words, we take in the stories, energies and emotions of those that we come in contact with day-to-day. Our bodies talk to us through the language of sensation and emotion. In order to journey through life with clarity and connection with your own inner life, we need to also protect our energy fields. When we take on others’ emotions and energy, we can often become confused about what it is that we are thinking, needing and feeling. When you practice your morning meditation, imagine a thin white or gold veil of light cocooning your whole body. Feel the warmth of this light holding and protecting your with untethered love. Throughout the day you can return to this protective veil of light. It can act like your spiritual armor, keeping your power of presence ignited.
When you reflect on what your true personality gifts are, you might sense that compassion, joy, playfulness or humor are at the forefront. We are wired for negativity bias so shifting into a space where we can love and appreciate who it is we are in the world takes tremendous intention. Especially when we’re sensitive beings, we can often stay caught in comparison mindset with our more talkative, extroverted neighbor. But the often unseen gifts of emotional attunement, all encompassing compassion and unbounded love become the world’s greatest gifts ~ these elements that create change beyond our wildest imaginations. When we implement a mindful mantra, repeating the words “I am” as you inhale and then stating one of our inner gifts (for example, “an instrument of compassion”) through the exhale, we affirm the innermost qualities that reflect our true nature.
It’s through the strength of our sensitivity that the illusion of our separateness as human beings melts away. Conflict, discrimination, hatred and rejection are all manifestations of this illusion. Release the desire of who you want to be in order to step into the powerful being that you are. Shine that sensitivity into the world, sit back in silence, and witness transformation unfold, moment-to-moment.
For more on how to cultivate or deepen your mindfulness meditation practice through embracing your authentic self, join me at the Inn at Serenbe or in Northern Vietnam for an upcoming mindfulness retreat. Explore upcoming events HERE.