I've always been sensitive. I'm o.k. with the "label" now, but when I was a kid, it was not easy to wear. Most people would say it as if it were a bad thing, "oh, stop being so sensitive." It was not always easy being one of the few who felt things more deeply than others and this hyper connect to life, at times seemed more like a curse than a blessing. It is sort of like both ends of a battery; one is positive and one is negative. And, indeed, for me, maturity and just living life's circumstances helped to grow into my gift of sensitivity.
Being sensitive is like wearing an invisible antenna that picks up other people's feelings -- or vibes. As I've learned to manage my gift, I have had to discern the difference between my authentic feelings and those which I have absorbed from others. Yes, it is totally possible to absorb someone's vibe! You know, when you are around grumpy people and suddenly you get grumpy. Or when you are around high energy, uplifting folks, this too is absorbed into your vibe-sphere. Here are some ways of protecting your good vibes, especially when you encounter someone less than pleasant:
1. Color your vibe-sphere
You have an invisible vibe-sphere that surrounds you. Just imagine a 360 degree hula hoop or sphere in all directions. Fill your sphere with whatever color feels the happiest or calmest. This color will bathe you in its positive vibes and act as a cushion of protection. You can send out this color to others as well.
2. A Golden Shield
Just as a suit of armor, erect a golden shield of light so that negative vibes bounce right off you. Once working in a toxic work environment, I put a shield right outside my office door!
3. Angel's Wings
Imagine being enveloped, held and comforted in an angel's wings. This is especially comforting in difficult times as well.
Even today, my sensitivity can sometimes surprise me. Not too long ago, I had my first trip to a race track. I was invited as a guest by a group of friends and so I accepted the invitation. I was having a nice time. The weather was perfect -- not too hot, not too cold -- and I was enjoying the company of wonderful women. It was when we were waiting for the race to begin that I started to feel sort of restless. I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first, and so I tried to ignore it. I was watching the horses warm up and I increasingly felt uneasy. The horses were showing protest and the trainers were prodding. Pulling and pushing the horses into submission. All I could think of in my head was, "what if they don't want to run?" I realized how distracted my thoughts were becoming as I was watching and tried, again, to shake it off. As it was just about time for the race to begin, we went down to see the horses at the starting gate. Sure enough, two of the hoses were bucking and wouldn't enter the gate. The race was delayed. The independent horses were cajoled and maneuvered into the gates to take their rightful places. A shot range out and they started to run. My heart was pounding to the rhythm of their hooves. It wasn't excitement I was feeling, but panic. A feeling of being forced to do something I didn't want to do, began to rise up inside me.
The air was electric with people shouting and yelling for their horse to win. And I stood there with a heavy feeling in my chest thinking, "let it be over, just let it be over." I looked around and wondered if anyone else was feeling what I was feeling. I could think of nothing else but wanting to free each horse in a green meadow.
Time for the second race. I now braced myself. I put a golden light around me, and as I breathed in and out I sent this golden light to each of the horses at the gate. I sent messages of relief and calm, so that they could safely run the course. The second race began, and while I certainly wasn't comfortable, I focused on sending light and love to the horses and this seemed to calm and protect my vibe.
As I tell the story and think back to that day, I can still feel the loss of breath I felt then. I hope that in some way, my sensitivity was a gift to those animals and that they received what they needed as they raced around the track.
How has your sensitivity impacted your life?
What kind of mother are you? To your SELF........
If there were a meter installed to calibrate the percentage of time in a day that mothers contemplate, worry about and/or do things for their children, I’d venture to say it would be a conservative 90% of the time! And why not! Our children are our joy (most of the time!).
But then what happens during the other 10% of a mother’s brain space and activity? Well, she works, inside and outside the home, is a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister and before she knows it she has surpassed the 10% by a mile and maybe just maybe before she collapses into slumber with one eye shut and the other on it’s way, she’ll ask herself, “did I take my makeup off yet?”
The instinct to mother others (whether you have children or not) is innate in women. What is not as instinctual, however, is being a mother to ourselves. Nurturing, coddling, lulling and lovingly caring for ourselves. I’m not talking about the weekly manicure or massage or trips to the gym (which is all great, by the way!). I’m talking about an exploration of what makes your toes curl, makes you laugh till your sides hurt or connects you with your soul – and living it daily.
When I was first acquainted with the term “extreme self-care” it made me feel really uneasy and even angry. It seemed so self-indulgent and unnecessary. And, the thought of me “having to do” yet another thing set me into a spin. I was disconnected with what gave me joy outside of my family and my work. And that was the point: the joy was outside me. I didn’t have a clue as to how to find the joy inside.
I was so uncomfortable with the idea of “taking care of myself” (oh, o.k., I colored my hair!) that it took an illness that rendered me motionless for a time, to wake me up and smell the coffee.
This was no longer something I could ignore. It was staring me down. But, I hated the idea of being “selfish”. So I changed the word to “self-full.” That felt right for me. My journey to self-full living continues today. Just as a new mom learns how to respond to her newborn’s needs, I have had to learn how to be a mother to myself and nurture my mind, body and spirit.
So during this month of May when we celebrate our mothers, I will be sharing some of my favorite ways to care for, cherish and love thyself! I hope you will post yours as well! Stay Tuned!
Paula G. Rosario
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Laura West, President & Chief Creative Officer, www.centerforjoyfulbusiness.com