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Can you tell me a story of when synchronicity changed your life? You ran into the right person at the right time. You learned about something that led to a new job, passion or relationship. You were following your inner-guidance with courage and some trepidation, when support you would have never imagined showed up along the way.
Synchronicity, in the spiritual sense, is the way your inner-guidance shows you that you are on the right path or helps you get back on that path if you’ve taken a detour. The thing that can be challenging about this sort of magic is allowing enough flexibility in your life to listen, adjust and say yes to the guidance.
In 2000, I decided to go to a writing retreat not far from home in Grand Lake Colorado, it was a last-minute decision because I didn’t have a lot of money. I was questioning many parts of my life, self-employed as an artist, having just turned 30. The retreat was at a hostel and our group mostly filled it up but there were a few other travelers staying there.
One of the travelers was a man from the Netherlands, Philippe who had been hiking through Rocky Mountain National Park. He had planned to hike a loop back to his starting point but twisted his ankle and needed to exit the opposite side of the park to get a ride back to Denver. I was enjoying the discussion in the common area with the travelers when we met.
The next morning at breakfast we had a great conversation. He was getting a ride to Denver. An older woman in the writing group had been engaged in the conversation at our table. When he offered her his business card she turned around and handed it to me. She said, “Actually, I think this young lady needs it.”
After the writing retreat I went home, got an office job and ended my live-in relationship. I was listening to my guidance. A few months later I ran across Philippe’s card when I was cleaning my desk and sent him an email. We became email friends, it was before social media existed. A couple years later he came to Colorado and we climbed Mount Bierstadt together. Four years after we met, he came to visit again and we fell in love.
We had a magical and challenging time together, as many long-distance relationships go, that require one person to move countries. We loved deep and taught each other many things while together. The synchronicity and karmic connection we experienced was profound and wonderful. Each of us listening to our inner guidance lead our paths in different directions after a few years. If I hadn’t made room for synchronicity I might have missed this amazing experience.
Making plans creates the structure of your life and allows you to get many things done in a concentrated amount of time. Stuff that might not happen if there were no plans. Yet too many plans or chronic busyness can block your inner-guidance, make you overlook the synchronicity altogether or not have time for it when it shows up.
Listening to our inner-guidance and being open to synchronicity isn’t always comfortable. We might hear something that means we need to change in a way that is scary or unsettling. But living without listening is not living at all. It’s getting caught in a current that is not taking you where your soul wants you to go.
Over and over life presents us with unexpected opportunities that stretch our comfort zone. There really is no such thing as getting comfortable unless you avoid contact with others. Even nature brings experiences that affect your energy and require shifts to plans. Ultimately, we all desire to stay centered and be at peace regardless of what happens in our life.
From the energy perspective, you have peace when you have graceful boundaries with the people in your life, feel grounded, refill your energy regularly and have balanced exchanges with others.
Sounds simple, but as far as I can tell it’s the most complex part of being a soul in a human body.
People want more than you have to give at times. Their fears or trauma get triggered, so they grab on to you to ground and regain their balance. It can really throw you off. They make mistakes that impact you. Or you make a choice that has unexpected consequences. Having something unexpected rock your world, including someone who brings destabilizing energy, is like getting caught in a storm.
You’re on a hike in the mountains on a sunny day. You feel at peace.
Thunder rolls in the distance. Your inner-voice says, “I know this one. Got it. No problem.”
Lightening ripples across looming dark clouds you see beyond blue sky. Do you feel at peace now?
Hair stands up on your arms as the storm moves your way. Your inner-voice is like, “Maybe it’s a good idea for me to change my plan, turn around, move to lower ground, seek shelter?”
Do you feel at peace now?
Lightening is hitting the high points. Torrents of rain are pelting down. You didn’t bring a rain jacket. Your inner-voice is running through all sorts of possible bad scenarios laced with criticism, “You know better. You didn’t tell anyone where you were hiking. You didn’t come prepared. Your intuition nudged you to turn around. If you had, you would be back to your car by now.”
Your drenched, tiny hail pelting your skin. Thankfully the lightening has passed. But not the self-critical voice. Your energy was thrown off. How do you regain your peace?
Life happens. Your peace will be tested over and over again. Sometimes it will be due to a choice you made that has consequences you didn’t expect. Sometimes it will be others energy that impacts you and requires some work to reclaim your peace.
When something is stealing your peace, its most important to return to the basics (see diagram).
- Visualize your grounding cord. A fresh one, deeply rooted in the earth. (RED ARROW)
- Reset your aura bubble. This is me. That is you. We can love each other, have compassion, help each other and NOT be IN each other’s bubble. (BLUE CIRCLE)
- Call your energy back to you. Imagine it coming from the person or situation that your peace was lost to, pouring back in to fill you up through the top of your head. (GOLD SUN & ARROW)
The tests to your peace will come. That’s a guarantee. But you always have the power to reclaim your peace by reclaiming your energy.
Who taught you what boundaries were allowed or expected? It’s not a subject taught in kindergarten or elementary school. Boundaries are demonstrated socially. They are both subtle and exacting.
The greatest cause of suffering I see in sensitive people originated from a lack of clear boundaries.
Your parents may have told you “no,” punished, shamed or discouraged you from activities that made them feel uncomfortable, crossed their boundaries. They may have had no boundaries or a lot or rules about touch, words, privacy, food, allowed emotions, money, how to dress, nudity, topics of conversation, personal space, time, performance at school, in sports or work.
The rules you learned at home may not have worked at school or with your friends who had different boundaries.
You need healthy boundaries. When another person shows you their boundaries you know how to relate with them. They create a clear container for understanding your world.
When the adults around you growing up don’t have boundaries, don’t honor your boundaries or change the rules frequently, it creates a state of heightened alert. The good news is that you likely have stronger than average intuition. The bad news is you have it because you didn’t feel safe and had to intuitively read the world around you all the time, to navigate the shifting boundaries.
Intuitively tracking those around you all the time is exhausting and confusing. It’s exhausting because you don’t get to relax into a sense of safety. It’s confusing because often the energy or feelings you sense in those around you gets misinterpreted as your own experience. Keeping your psychic antenna open all the time blurs the boundaries.
For example, you work at an office and have a passive aggressive co-worker. You find yourself feeling angry a lot but can’t say why. When you leave work, the anger subsides. Because you are immersed in their energy with no boundaries it feels like your own anger. Reading the mood of those around you is a skill learned in order to camouflage and create a safe space in an environment with unpredictable boundaries.
As child in an environment of unclear or absent boundaries reading others to protect yourself and prevent harm is essential to survival. But to read someone this way is to get in their psychic space. Over time this survival skill creates suffering because you feel everything around you. So how do you learn to reset your psychic boundaries?
Resetting your boundaries so intuition can work for you rather then against you requires consciously owning your energy field on a regular basis. Practicing simple active meditation tools is what works for me. A series of visualizations that create healthy energy boundaries can be applied on a walk or in a conference room. In the simplest form, you notice your grounding cord, set your aura bubble, put up protection roses and call your energy back to yourself.
To feel more of you and less of those around you isn’t hard-hearted. You still have compassion and can even help others more when you aren’t matching their emotional state.
If you are interested in cultivating these skills Active Meditation training can be purchased HERE.
Tags: boundaries, energetic boundaries, family rules, healthy boundaries, intuition, life, meditation, personal space, psychic sensitivity, sensitive children, sixth-sense, trusting your intuition, visualization
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:
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.
Tags: anxiety, boundaries, clarity, emotional, empowerment, feeling others pain, intuition, mystery, parenting, psychic sensitivity, sensitive, sensitive children, sensitivity, sixth-sense, stress, suppressed feelings, suppressing emotion, trauma
Life tests us when we least expect it. We can get metaphysical and see it as an opportunity for spiritual growth, yet tests challenge us. They feel uncomfortable, stressful, confusing and even painful, they may bring up our anger or disappointed. Tests are asking us, or forcing us, to change. It can be as subtle as a shift of our thought patterns or as explicit as how we live every day.
Our physical body, mind, emotions and soul are always unconsciously striving for a state of alignment with each other. An illness may cause our mind to struggle with our body’s lack of cooperation. The death of a loved one may cause our heart to question the body’s purpose as we are left behind while their soul has moved on.
In the midst of being tested, there is a temptation and a tendency to suppress discomfort. But our physical and emotional discomforts are indicators. They will guide us through life’s tests, if we listen. They bring awareness to our combined physical, mental and spiritual state of being.
To lessen the discomfort without just postponing it, we have to pause to listen to our intuition. The act of stilling the mind through meditation, tuning into our breath (body) and listening to our soul, may initially draw our attention to the discomfort. But with a bit of commitment to breathing through the edgy space, it will reduce our suffering.
When we listen to our inner-guidance it shows us what we need in order to walk through the fire of life’s test. It may tell us it is time to step away from a relationship or job. It may point out that it is time to commit to our health by changing the way we eat or to taking regular time for our creativity.
Meditation is deep listening. By listening we are consciously participating in alignment of our physical experience with our souls intention. This alone reduces stress regardless of life test we are experiencing.
The beauty is that we don’t have to stop living to listen. As Thich Nhat Hanh says we can invite inner-peace through consciously breathing in and out no matter where we are or what challenge we are facing. It is that simple.
The mind does an excellent job of balancing our bank account and other logical tasks. But when it looks to translate our emotional experiences or the more mystical intuitive “knowing”, it gets stuck. Over analyzing is the number one block to our intuition. We mentally stack the bits of and pieces of our experiences next to each other looking for an answer.
There’s no winning when the mind tries to figure out what we “sense” intuitively using evidence, logic and proof. Or if it tries to figure out what we can’t know, what hasn’t happened yet or is not ready to be revealed.
The monkey mind’s searching, busy; spinning in circles on the same unanswerable thought is merely a distraction from listening. Our inner guidance can only be accessed when we stop trying to figure it out and listen.
I’m never at peace when my mind is stuck thinking and rethinking on a topic, trying to figure out what it means and how that meaning applies to my life or what I need to do in response. The mental effort gets in the way of listening and trusting the inner-knowing.
Recently I’ve been practicing “living in the question” by asking my inner-guidance a question with a commitment to not “think” about the answer. I simply set the intention that I’m listening for an answer and put it into the universal flow to percolate.
Using this practice, I find that answers to my deepest questions don’t jump into my mind like a thought. They come through experiences life offers me that I feel a “yes” to. And as I say yes, I realize, “Hey, this is the answer to the question I sent out to the universe.”
The wonderful thing about the mind is that we get to both benefit from its skill and direct it. To turn off the monkey mind we need to remind ourselves when there is no answer we can “think up.” The answer exists but it’s not one the analytical mind is responsible for deriving.
Here’s an experiement to practice release of the monkey mind, write down whatever your mind is churning on and if you have any possible answers already milling in your head, tell yourself that there are possibilities you can’t even imagine. Then ask your inner-guidance to show you and set the question aside while you go about your life. This is where the magic comes. By releasing the attachment to “figuring it out” with your mind you are allowing your intuition to inform you.
Please comment and let me know what happens!
You might think your family didn’t teach you much about your intuition but they did. Whether they taught you to doubt your gut feelings by telling you that you were wrong when you voiced something you sensed but couldn’t prove, or they simply were living examples of listening to their inner-voice; they taught you something.
One way I was taught to tune-in to my intuition by my family was through working with my dad on the ranch. There were always projects to do. The list was never ending with land, livestock, buildings, fences and equipment to keep in order. Dad would often have me and my brother help him when he was working on a project. He did most of the heavy lifting and our job was to keep him in his efficiency-zone by handing him whatever tool he needed next, holding a board in place or plugging in a power tool.
While he taught us how to do things along the way and verbally asked us to hand him the next tool or piece of material he needed early on, over time we were expected to know what he needed next, to read his mind and be one step ahead of him as he worked. This was also the way his dad, our grandfather worked. My brother and I learned to either be savvy enough to know what was next in the project or intuit their next step.
We were experiencing non-verbal communication. As the helpers we tuned-in to what was happening and kept track of the fast pace that activity was moving. We not only were tuned-in to whether a next tool was needed but if it was time to get dad a drink of water.
Practicing awareness of another through observation and intuitively tuning-in to foresee what they may need next was one of the languages of our family. In the full throws of a project if we weren’t tuned-in it could mean someone got hurt or the rhythm or efficiency was broken. It also insured we didn’t get scolded for being lazy and not doing our part.
Reading or empathically feeling others emotions and translating that into what to do for them is one of the tricky areas where we can either be affirmed or taught to doubt ourselves in a family. The nice thing about intuiting the material next steps of a ranch project is that it not as dicey of ground as intuiting someone’s emotions and knowing how to respond.
Our families subtly teach us how to use or disregard our intuition. As we identify some of the ways this occurred in our life, we can use it to reclaim or further hone our intuitive awareness.