I hope the coming holidays will bring some much needed time for you to rest, recharge and bounce back with renewed energies and motivation in the coming year. This may be a good time to start contemplating ways to shape your lives to fit better your sensitive nature, and continue on your path of becoming a more authentic and empowered highly sensitive person. The world perhaps never needed more sensitive souls, who are willing to demonstrate more meaningful ways to live, than what is in the mainstream culture. And this can be especially important at this festive time of the year, which can easily overwhelm us all by its increasing demands.
Peter Messerschmidt’s recent article about overwhelm reminded me how important it is to recognise that our overwhelm is not just to do with us personally (ie. our highly sensitive nature), but our world itself seems to become more and more overwhelming. Ironically, in this age of information we seem to get more lost about where to find information that is trustworthy and meaningful, and how to limit it to a digestible amount. Technological advances also seem to create more frustrations and sap away more of our time then ever, instead of making our lives easier. The world of politics appears to be in a turmoil, producing some unexpected events in 2016 that shocked a lot of caring sensitive people. This raises some big questions for all HSPs regarding how to protect our sensitivity from external issues like these, without completely isolating ourselves from the world.
It can be helpful to remind ourselves that our biology, such as our highly sensitive nervous system, has not been able to change as fast as the external world has been changing around us. This means that adapting to our rapidly transforming environment is becoming increasingly challenging. But perhaps this is not such a bad thing. A Krishnamurti quote comes to mind about this:“It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” At times the main issue is not how to get to somewhere, but to know where is worth going to. Keeping our priorities right can be our saviour, whenever we have to find ways to cope with too much. Bearing in mind what are our essential needs, and what are just desires influenced by the messages received from the outside world, can be what saves us from wasting our limited time and energy on things that ultimately won’t matter. Learning more about the basic facts about your highly sensitive trait can help you to see what are essential needs for you as an HSP, and give you ideas about how to create a life that fits your sensitive nature better.
Most people – but HSPs especially – can also benefit from dedicating some time to inner contemplation – away from the noise of the world. This can bring you much needed clarity about what matters to you the most and steps you can take right now towards those goals. You may have noticed that the HSP newsletter I have been editing has been more sporadic than usual in the past year. The main reason for this was that my own contemplation about ways forward lead me to decide to go for a long sabbatical abroad, which has been a mighty undertaking. As probably many of you, I have been finding that modern life has been making increasingly severe demands on my time and energies and felt that a drastic re-balancing was needed to get out of what felt like constant fire-fighting mode, and start honouring truly my sensitive nature. So, I am writing this issue from outside of the UK, in more peaceful surroundings, where I have been recharging slowly for some time now. Giving myself ‘time-out’ is not just about resting however – it is also time for looking at the big picture instead of getting lost in the daily grind. It is about actively reflecting on my life and anything that I could change to make it better for me. I know that going on a long sabbatical is not a solution that can work for most of you. I am hoping however, that writing about this can motivate you to direct your energies towards pondering on what is truly essential for you and what are the things that you can let go or at least park for a while. Any bit of extra time you can give yourself for this will pay you back multi-fold, more than you ever thought possible.
In my own quest to create time to focus on what is essential, I had to let go some commitments that were dear to me – such as organising HSP Meetups in Brighton – which was not easy. Luckily some lovely HSPs stepped in to continue to organise some HSP events locally, and also the National Centre for High Sensitivity in the UK is organising HSP Parlours now that highly sensitive people can attend on-line. (If you are interested in attending this, it happens via an application called ZOOM , which is very similar to Skype and you can read more about using it here.) Never forget that it is not just solitude that can help sensitive people to bounce back, but also meaningful contact with kindred spirits, who understand and care. I hope this new way to talk about your sensitive trait with other HSPs will allow more of you to benefit from learning from each other on your journey and encourage you to accept and embrace your sensitivity more. I also hope that 2017 will be a year when many highly sensitive people will find their own unique ways to overcome overwhelm and start living the kind of life that works for us.
|Article written by Ildiko Davis (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)|