Sensitivity is my tree trunk, my flower stem, and my nucleus. It’s my belly and my heart, and it’s my gently rounded cosmic edge. I have found that it can either lead me to a wild field of flowers, or to my cold, damp little fortress.
Being highly sensitive is incredible. It’s beautiful. It’s raw. It’s so f*cking tender. But it’s also misunderstood and a power that isn’t always easy to harness.
I’ve spent more than half a lifetime repressing sensitivity’s magic—its pulse of intuition, its surge of empowerment, its call to service, its ignition of creativity, and its glimpse at true beauty, and—let’s not forget—its ability to heal.
One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned about being highly sensitive is this: what you resist persists. You can’t hide amongst the flower stems and petals forever. A visit to your dragon will sooner or later become necessary.
When I resist my sensitivity, I take a B-line straight into the hands of my demons a.k.a. heart-numbing habits, self-destruction, and self-sabotage. For me, this also means a lot more human-related misunderstandings. (And who needs more of that?!)
So I’ve learned to harmonize with my hypersensitivity, and you can too, by taking this first step: out your highly sensitive ass.
Understanding, accepting and shouting from the rooftops that I’M A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON, has changed my entire life—for the better. Prehistoric me, or closeted hyper-sensitive me, was often confused or guilt-tripping for feeling too intently, too intimately, too sensitively. I used to dilute my innate, sensitive superpower with weird delusions of who I thought I should be. I’d get super stressed out in large crowds or by having too many things to do. I’d get super triggered by loud music or injustice or violence on television, and I’d either react strongly or I’d withdraw. And I’d always feel bad about it.
I didn’t understand how to utilize this precious characteristic of my being so instead I’d stress out for feeling overwhelmed by stuff that seemed easily manageable by other people.
Why couldn’t I just be more easy-going?
What was wrong with me?
When I gave myself permission to slide my feet deep into my sensitive shoes, I gave myself permission to be who I was. And well, when I (and we) do that, everything automatically changes. Life becomes lighter, more magical, and challenging in a glorious way. Like Marianne Williamson said, “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
Sensitivity is the clearing river, a blossoming wildflower, an anchor to Earth, and the compass-branded Soul. It’s an ingredient the world needs more of. Starting now.
With you—and me.
There’s nothing wrong with being highly sensitive. There’s just something unconventional and uncommon about being highly sensitive. I think you could also say that in today’s world, being sensitive is avant-garde, rebellious and revolutionary. Perhaps even a bit taboo, a wildflower off the wild wall. That hypersensitivity is for people like us, the middle-of-the-night poets, the magic-makers, the status-quo challengers, the creatives and the dreamy-eyed misfits. I’m OK with that. Because being hypersensitive is what I’ve been called here to be and do.
So if you’re wondering if you’re a highly sensitive person, I’ve concocted this easy, self-made 60-second gauge. Take it now:
- Are you highly affected by the moods of others?
- Are you easily rattled by having a lot thrown at you?
- Are you aware of subtle changes made to your home, work or creative environment?
- Do you often need alone time away from stimuli, sounds, and other people?
- Do you feel that you process situations on a deeper level?
- Do you have a sound awareness of your thoughts and physical sensations?
If you answered most of these questions with a quick YES, you’re most likely a highly sensitive person. Hurrah! High-five! Bear hug! Sparkle fingers!
But note, highly sensitive people may exhibit some of the following characteristics, depending on who you are, but being highly sensitive does not automatically make you or anyone else a loner, an introvert, or a person with some kind of neurosis or low self-esteem issue. It may, however, make you a heartfelt bohemian, a tender dream-maker, a soulful leader, an intuitive teacher, an amazing parent, or it may just support your urban witchery and craft. Bam.
I believe being highly sensitive is a natural and healthy condition, and it has a number of unique gifts, such as:
1. Stellar Intuition
Highly sensitive people tend to be accurately perceptive of what is happening beyond outer layers — below the surface of situations, in the creases of crossings limbs, the pauses at the tip of exhalations, in between the lines, and without narrated reasoning.
Keep harnessing this power: learn to trust your gut, your ears, your shoulders, and your heart. Pay attention to the subtle reactions of your body and your inner self, and tap into the ability to feel the Oneness of all things. You are a vessel for transmission, and of great insight. Feel when your body is pushed forward or back toward people, places and things. Become aware, observe and react accordingly. The more you do it, the more it will grow.
In two words: trust yourself.
2. Energy Whisperers
Highly sensitive people often feel the remnants of an experience, conversation or presence when entering a group, conversation, or room. Being able to sense stagnant or leftover energy pockets creates an opportunity to learn how to cleanse, release, increase, or decrease vibrations. In other words, become aware of subtle energetic, flowing Universe around you.
In one word: feel.
Keep harnessing this power: become aware of your unconscious behaviors and how you consciously react to the space that you are in.
3. Powerful Empaths
This goes beyond just the cordial sentiments to walking a mile in a person’s shoes without ever putting their boots on. Being an empath is to feel another’s beating heartache, song, and laugh in your own chest.
In one word: breathe.
Keep harnessing this power—give your heart permission to break open again and again and again in order to expand in every direction.
4. Naturally Magical
By magical, I mean having the playful openness to experience, feel, see, and taste the impossible—to courageously replicate what exists beyond the ordinary. Create magic through your body, voice, expressions, words, stories, and art.
In one word: create.
Harness this power. Explore your whole body. Create with your hands. Feel the beat of your heart. Don’t overlook what comes easy to you. Open up to what makes you shine.
5. Super Sexy
Yes, it’s true. Highly sensitive people are super sexy. Why? Mostly because they see with their hearts, love with their hands, and create with a hopeful light.
In three words: stop holding back.
Keep harnessing this power. Give yourself permission to move, create, and engage in life intuitively, with your entire body and all of your senses. Allow yourself to become enlivened and open.
Sigh. I’m a highly sensitive person with grounded feet, a body of water, a heart of fire, and a head of hair full of wild wind. I’m a highly sensitive person, and I’m learning to accept and fall deeply in love with all that means. I hope that by being here, you’ll claim your highly sensitive nature, and start to unleash the power of YOU even more.