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I often get into conversations with parents of sensitive kids who don’t know how to help.  They were never given the tools to manage their own sensitivity or they don’t have the same sort of sensitivity. I was a sensitive kid.

Some people are simply born with more sensitivity to the energies around them. They have natural empathy, feeling what others feel. And frequently get drained, overstimulated or emotional in response to their surroundings.  They don’t yet know how to recognize when what they are feeling is not their feelings, or how to create healthy boundaries.  Sensitivity has two main roots:

  1. Nature
  2. Trauma

Trauma based sensitivity is a result of conditioning. Many highly sensitive people had childhood trauma. Their sense of safety required heightened alertness, “reading” people in order to minimize abuse or manage stress. A survival skill to navigate home life or societal traumas such as war.

I’ve recently identified a new branch on the trauma root that previous generations did not experience. Sensitive children conditioned by the stress of over stimulation. Constant stimulation has particularly deep impact on developing minds.

What we experience in childhood sets the baseline for normal throughout life.  Trauma that heightens sensitivity doesn’t have to be first hand.  Frequent exposure to unpredictable violence through the media can traumatize a child. Make them feel unsafe at school or other environments where a sense of safety was previously the norm. How a child learns to manage it shapes their life forever.

My parents were sensitive too. Like most of us they were taught or found ways to suppress their sensitivity when it got too uncomfortable. There are a lot of ways we suppress sensitivity:

  • Substances that alter our state of sensitivity, from coffee to alcohol or pharmaceuticals
  • Checking-out, habits that detach us from feeling, TV, internet, video games
  • Staying busy, not allowing enough time to process experiences
  • Eating for comfort
  • Using the mind to deny what one senses

Now that you understand a bit more about the roots of sensitivity and how it is typically suppressed, what can you do to help yourself or your sensitive child?

The first step is to shift from thinking sensitivity is bad. Sensitivity is heightened awareness. It is a skill. Even a gift when we get comfortable with it. Getting comfortable with it is the tricky part.

Second, you learn to notice when it’s happening and identify it as something you are experiencing in response to your environment rather than your own emotions or thoughts. To do this ask yourself or ask your child to ask themselves a few questions:

What do I feel? Is it “my” feeling? Is it something I feel around me? What or who around me is feeling like this?

This begins the process of getting clear on what you sense that is your energy and what isn’t your energy that you feel in your environment.

Once you know that something you feel is not yours, you are free to consciously give your Self space from it. You can do this by visualizing the emotion, thought or physical sensation moving into a rose or a pretty rock. Somewhere separate from your body. As you are practicing you might want to have a clean-out rock or crystal that you use for this and periodically soak it in water with Epsom salts to clear the energy.

Over time your awareness of the sources of your sensitivity becomes clearer and your ability to separate from the energy that isn’t yours is a habit. Then you will experience your sensitivity as a tool or a gift to help you navigate life.

The magic of sensitivity is revealed when you are not suppressing it, turning it off or denying it but can see it as valuable information. Then you are free to apply the understanding to your choices in a given situation.

We all encounter experiences that trigger a knot in our stomach that just won’t go away; relationships that are unstable, bills that we don’t have the money to pay, situations at work that undermine our sense of power, unexpected changes that leave us feeling out of control of our circumstances. When we dismiss our intuitive guidance it adds to this sense of anxiety, we are at odds with our truth. Ultimately we all desire to have a sense of inner peace.

Anxiety is formed at a decision point or indecision point, when a fight or flight experience occurs.  If we deny ourselves permission to confront or exit a situation, we must control, ignore, or belittle the response in our body overriding it with our brain’s demand to stay put and tolerate it. In doing so we discount our most basic survival need, a sense of safety.  The desire to run or defend ourselves, churns in our belly with no place to go.

Anxiety is felt in the abdomen, our third chakra core of personal power.  When we deny our self permission to act, we suppress our power and our stomach tightens.  Our body holds the cellular memory of trauma. It can be activated even if we’ve psychologically and emotionally processed an experience.  While we may not feel the emotion of anxiety, we may notice the tension held in our belly.  A new experience triggers a memory of when we suppressed our instinctual needs in the past.

Reunion with the body’s wisdom happens when we notice the tightness in our stomach before it turns into something more painful, letting it inform our path of action.  A check-in with our intuition helps us see if the anxiety is asking us to speak our truth, physically leave a situation or make different choices that don’t result in us finding ourselves in the conflicted environment again.

To cultivate a sense of inner peace, we can consciously assist our body, mind and spirit with alignment.  First we breathe into the part of our body where we have tension and notice what it brings to mind about our life.  Then we free ourselves from anxiety by listening to our intuitive guidance and acting in accordance with our needs.

The Power to Heal Yourself

Natalie —  October 14, 2010 — Leave a comment

In recent generations of human evolution we have grown more and more distant from the messages offered by our body and spirit.  Demands on our time, the drone of city life and our constant interaction with people we do not know, have resulted in us shutting down certain levels of perception. We do this as an act of self-preservation, in order to avoid feeling bombarded and overwhelmed with these sensations when making our way through everyday life.  This sensory awareness may result in physical and emotional indicators that cannot be explained.  Western civilization has given us clinical names and labels, such as depression and anxiety, for the mystery symptoms experienced by large numbers of people.  While the symptoms have both physical and spiritual origins, on a spirit level they are signs of the oversaturation of a person’s aura with the energies of others.  

Without healthy boundaries, the aura of highly intuitive people is like a sponge absorbing our surroundings.  We feel the energy of the unhappy driver behind us, an angry co-worker or bitter words said between husband and wife at the grocery store.  Over time, the aura, our filter of the world, meant to be the beginning and end point of our body-spirit signature, gets congested.  If our energetic filter is not being cleaned out regularly, like bacteria built up in a sponge, it gets stinky and is less effective at its job.  The consciousness of our times demands development of skills to create healthy boundaries for ourselves and experience inner peace.  

It is an act of self-healing to release energy that is not ours from our space.  To set our space each day is preventative medicine for our energetic body. When we cultivate these skills within ourselves, we claim our capacity to heal.  It takes less than 15 minutes to clean out your aura at the beginning or end of each day.  Here’s one way: 

Visualize a tree trunk attached to the base of your spine and rooted into the center of the earth.  Own it by writing your name on it and bring it into present time adding today’s date.  Include a switch or button, one that you can set to “full release.” Notice anything in your aura bubble that is no longer serving you, watch it release down the tree trunk.  This energy is simply changing form, not causing any harm to the planet or others.  Then set your intention for the day.  Imagine the aura bubble around your body as complete, without any holes or gaps, give it a new color.  Fill in your energetic body with a positive vibration of your choice, to set the tone of your day.  Place protection roses on the outside of your aura in the six directions: in front, behind, right, left, above and below.  Step into your day from a point of inner peace!