It’s been a Long Month

It’s been a month since I have posted here, and I have beat myself up almost every day for not posting. Ugh. Such non-loving behaviour toward myself, I need to have a sit down with my Inner Critic.

Things have been squirrelly, my daughter was sick with a low-grade fever for all of January and had her tonsils and adenoids out and tubes put in her ears (aka The Works) at the end of the month. We hope that this will be the end of 18 months of chronic sickness, double ear infections and rounds and rounds of antibiotics. She went back to school yesterday with the remnants of a cold, but so excited to see her friends and teachers.

I can’t write when she is home (unmedicated ADHD brain) and I am too tired to form sentences by the time she goes to bed. I need silence to write. I need a clear head. And I need to stop berating myself for having these needs. They are not good needs, nor bad needs, they are just my needs.

Don't Feed The Inner Critic

All month I listened to my Inner Critic and instead of seeing what was really bothering me and reassuring my Critic it was only a month, I immediately jumped into THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU mode.

“Why can’t you write with her home? Why can’t you write at night? You are just lazy.”

“Why are you overwhelmed? God, get a grip! Millions of people all over the world are going through much worse. You are spoiled and selfish.”

“You shouldn’t even want to write when your child is sick. You shouldn’t want time for yourself. What is wrong with you?”

I do not even want to estimate how many times thoughts like these went through my head. So I felt badly about myself constantly, and I binged to dull the pain.

I looked after my girl and I kept up with my mediumship classes but that was all. And looking back, that was more than enough. Why couldn’t I see that clearly just a few short days ago?

It’s been a long month of illness and recovery but we made it through, and in the future, it will just be a tiny blip in our story. If I could do it again, I would do it with so much more compassion and understanding for myself.

Peace and love to you, and to myself.

Listen – 2014

I, like many other women these days, choose a word to focus on for the year. It’s much healthier than resolutions for my perfectionist tendencies. In 2012 I chose the word Connect and it surprised me in many ways, the person I ended up connecting with the most was myself. In 2013 I chose Shine, as in it is my time to shine. I shone in quiet, gentle ways which was perfect for me.

This year I thought I had my word picked out – Present. I want to live in the present, I want to be present for my family and I want to look at life as the gift it is. But on New Year’s Day I switched it up at the last minute and I couldn’t be happier.

Listen

 

I have posted before that I am working through my people pleasing issues. And it is not easy to undo almost 40 years of this destructive behaviour, but I know it will be well worth the effort. So the number one person I have to listen to is me. I have to Listen to my soul – dig past the ego, the fear (perfectionism, OCD, anxiety, etc.) and really listen to what I need.

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I need to listen to my body. Hitting a big milestone and not feeling great has be realizing that I need to make some gentle changes. More yoga. More movement. More food that makes my tummy happy.

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In the past year I have developed (or redeveloped is most likely the case) a relationship with my Spirit Guides. It is wonderful, beautiful and so comforting. I know they have nothing but love for me, an almost overwhelming amount, but now it is time to start actually letting them do some guiding. If you are wanting to take a course to get to know your spirit guides, I wholeheartedly recommend this course from my friend and spiritual mentor Michelle. It was life changing.

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Listen incorporates everything that I want in 2014. I want to really listen to my family and friends.

Most People do not listen

 

Guilty as charged, Mr. Covey.

I also need to continue to stop the external noise, the mental clutter I do not need. Only listen to the things that will raise my energy – inspiring podcasts, my favourite music, spiritual audiobooks.I don’t need to fill every second of every day with noise. It is ok to be in silence, in fact, it is preferred.

The quieter you become.

 

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I will post periodically about how LISTEN is changing my life in 2014. All the images on this page can be found on my Pinterest Board.

Do you have a word this year? What is it? How do you listen?

How did it Become 2014?!?

2014HereWeGo

I cannot believe it is 2014. That seems like such a far away year, like when your new credit card would expire. But alas, we are here.

I have been spending much time in quiet contemplation since Christmas, well as much quiet contemplation as you can have with a busy 4 year old. New purple journal in hand and a set of Sharpie pens. Planning, plotting and scheming.

2014 is going to be a big year as I have a big birthday coming up. I am very excited to celebrate the big four-oh this year. I love birthdays and even celebrate my half birthday, but I was surprised how I sunk into a mini-funk just before I turned 30.

This time I am ready and running to the finish line. I am excited to be 40. I am finally comfortable with myself. I am developing my spirituality and mediumship abilities. I am finally me.

One of my major goals this year is to write more, here. To carve out my own little spot where we can connect and talk about this big and little things in life. Books, music, movies, experiences, spiritual thoughts – all of the good stuff.

I am finally ready to get out of my journal and into the world.

My daughter is having day surgery in a few weeks and I am both scared shitless and so excited for her to feel healthy again. She has been fighting against her tonsils and adenoids for a year and a half. I cannot wait for her to be able to smell, and have ice cream, and hear properly, and sleep soundly at night.

I’m jumping in to 2014 with both feet and I hope you have a wonderful peaceful year.

Peace,

C

So … Things are Going to be Changing Around Here.

Wow, the last time I posted here was September 11th, almost 3 months ago. I can’t believe it has been that long, and yet I can’t believe all of the changes I have experienced in that time.

I honestly do not know how make a smooth transition. To segue into this new chapter. It’s all awkward and uncomfortable, but hey, it’s real. It’s me.

I’ve started working with those in Spirit. Yep, Spirit.

It started over the summer with a rapid intensity as if the cork I had place on my abilities for 20 years finally popped off. Energy was a flying everywhere. It was incredible and scary and really kind of odd.

This fall I decided to get serious about it and the most important step I took was learning about Spirit Guides and working with my team. To say it was life changing does not seem like a big enough declaration.

I am overwhelmed with the love and support I receive on a daily basis, from my amazing guides.

I have also started developing my mediumship abilities, but not to a point where I feel comfortable. This is still pretty new and although much of it feels familiar and comfortable, it is a very serious role and I am not yet anywhere in my development where I feel I am ready to help people connect yet.

So this is where I am, on a new adventure, filled with much love and positive energy.

I had to make a transition post with authenticity and honesty. Here I am, I am not sure where I am going, but I hope you come along on the journey.

Much love.

Daring Project 1 – Lose the People Pleaser Part

I haven’t blogged in a while, life got overwhelming and then the whole back to school thing through me for an expected loop. I was kind and gentle with myself and got through it pretty unscathed. Phew!

This blog is about being daring while being sensitive (HSP, empath, introvert, whatever you are) and there hasn’t been much daring yet. That’s all going to change with my new project on Losing the People Pleaser Part of my personality. It’s there, it’s rampant and it’s time to let it go.

At this point, I am not even sure how this project will go, I am just starting it to kick my perfectionism to the curb. Or kerb if you are British. The only plan I have right now is to post at least weekly on what I have been doing to address this issue and what has and hasn’t worked.

The Backstory

I have been a people pleaser all of my life. For me, this comes out more with acquaintances or people I don’t even know. I can tell my husband exactly what is wrong but I break into a cold sweat thinking about complaining in a restaurant.

I was texting with my sister the other day and was musing on how odd it was that we went to a farm to buy some grass-fed meat and the chicken weighed in at way more than I wanted to spend, but I could NOT tell the guy “Oh you know what, I don’t want the chicken.” I bought the stupid high-priced chicken, and I don’t even like chicken that much! Now the chicken is sitting in my freezer, taunting me. My sister also has taunting chicken, we have chicken problems! :)

I read this amazing post this morning and realized that it is now time to life a truly soulful life and I cannot do that being a people pleaser.

The Goals

Obviously most of my work will be digging into why I care so much what people-who-don’t-mean-a-thing-to-me think of me.

I want to get to a point where I can say “no thanks” and not worry what that person thinks of me.

I want to be able to say exactly what I need in a situation.

I want to feel comfortable sticking up for myself.

***

So this is the start of the project, a totally organic project with no proper plan, I know that the universe will provide me with all of the practice I need and I’ll report back weekly.

Peeling the Onion

I’ve been feeling really good for the past few weeks, like I am finally getting my emotional/spiritual shit together. “Aha! I have turned a corner and all of my hard work is paying off!” I thought with exuberance.

Well, that feeling was fun while it lasted. Other people, more seasoned travellers on this road, have said that this journey is like peeling layers of an onion. Just when you think you have a nice, smooth surface, you find another level to go down.

Or maybe we are spiritual matryoshka dolls, the beautiful Russian nesting dolls.

DGJ_4705 - Russian Matryoshka

The good news is, every time we peel a layer, we remove some baggage, and our “issues” get smaller.

Currently I am realizing I have more work to do, more hard work. Work that is necessary for growth, for spiritual fulfillment, for happiness. But the work is no longer overwhelming, in fact, some of it is exciting.

The reward is now sweet enough to make the hard work worth while. In the beginning of the process, two years ago, the work was harder and the reward was iffy. I was feeling for the first time in 20 years, and there was a reason I didn’t want to feel my emotions.

Instead of a giant, numb sweet onion, I am now a cooking onion. One day I will be a pearl onion. Or a little baby matryoshka.

Travelling – Trials or Trivial for the HSP?

Chipperfield Circus caravans, Town Moor, Newcastle

I’m not a great traveller. I would love to be drugged from the moment I know I will be going somewhere until after I arrive. The whole process builds up a lot of anxiety – method of travel, what will I eat, the alone time I require, will the bed be comfortable, what to pack?

Just typing that out makes me feel like a giant wimp, which of course brings up my inner critic. Thankfully, I am now secure in the knowledge that I am a Highly Sensitive Person and I just need to prepare myself for the changing energies.

We will be going away for a few days this month, thankfully to a relative’s home that is kind and accepting. Here is how I am going to prepare to travel in comfort:

Food

My daughter and I both have opposite needs, food-wise. She would happily only eat fruit and veggies and carbs while as I need lots of protein and a small amount of carbs to feel well. My sister doesn’t like fruits or many veggies and she prefers carbs to anything else. I have explained this to our host and we will be going grocery shopping together to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Thankfully, my husband eats everything!

If we were staying in a hotel, we would definitely splurge for a room with a kitchen so we can all eat heathy and get what our individual bodies crave. I would also check out local restaurant reviews on Yelp to find a few places that look friendly to our needs.

Sleep

I really wish I could travel with my own bed. I love it so. As that is never an option, I recommend bringing your own pillow including pillow case. It will be close to what you are used to, and you don’t need to worry about scratchy linens or reacting to a new fabric softener. Make sure your pillow case is a distinctive colour, so your host or the cleaning staff don’t think mix it up with theirs.

We sleep in a pitch black room, which is pretty easy to replicate in a hotel, not in someone’s home. Bring a sleep mask & ear phones and sleep apps/mp3s to help relax you in unfamiliar surroundings. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is great to use if you are feeling anxious at night. I always sleep badly the first few nights as I get used to the different energy, and my daughter is the same way. Which brings me to the next point, if you need down time in the day …

Rest

I look at rest as a separate item from sleep. How can you rest, recharge and re-energize during the day? Make sure to build time in for you to ground yourself or keep up your energy. We try to have mandatory quiet time with our iPads (reading for me, movies for my daughter). I also like to play music that either energizes me or calms me. If I need calming, I always put on classical music, which drowns out the background noise and soothes my soul. Experiment with what works for you.

Nature is very grounding/soothing so a walk in the woods or sitting at a park might be just what your body needs to recharge. If you are travelling somewhere with water, a trip to the lake or ocean can calm those nerves.

Rituals

If you perform certain rituals at home – burning a certain candle, writing in your journal, meditating, doing yoga or exercise every day – try to keep those up while you are away. This is an area I really need to improve upon, I always let things fall by the wayside, even though I know I would feel better.

***

What are your tips for reducing the stress of travelling and vacations?

The Long Road to Yoga

I have been trying to do yoga for years. If you are not an HSP with a raging inner critic/perfectionism issue you will not relate to this post. Fortunately, I am an HSP and working very hard on my inner critic/perfectionism issues so I completely relate to my own story. Ha! I also hold a lot of tension in my body, mine and a lot I take in from other people, still working on creating energentic boundaries, but that is a post for another time.

I used to hate yoga/yoga people. I wanted to punch them. They were all mentally calm and physically bendy and that was the opposite of me. Then I went to see a shrink (who diagnosed me with ADHD-PI, GAD and OCD) and we both agreed it would be best to try a non-pharmaceutical approach (I had a terrible reaction to anxiety meds in the past). He recommended Mindfulness training and daily yoga. The thought of going to a yoga class filled me with more anxiety than I had before, so I took a Mindfulness class in the winter/spring of 2012. I learned a ton in that class and was able to reduce my daily panic attacks to only twice a month. That was a win!

Mindfulness is hard, especially if you have a brain that doesn’t stop. I still prefer guided mediations, because they keep me meditating, but I can do shorter Mindfulness sessions (10 mins and under).

I started noticing some stiffness in my hips last summer, and my sister was appalled and how inflexible they were. I took an online beginner’s yoga class and the first week’s video was great, but by the second week I was out of my league, or so I felt. After our family crises last summer/fall, I never went back to trying yoga.

I went to a yoga class with my sister this spring, we thought it was beginner’s yoga, but it was actually senior’s yoga and it felt awesome. And there were some pretty bendy seniors there! After 1 class, I got too confident and decided to try a non-senior’s yoga and oh my God, I nearly died. All of those downward dogs were killing my wrists. So much moving and stretching and I just felt like a giant pile of failure.

After class, the sting of failure was still there, but I noticed something I hadn’t felt in a long time. My body felt looser, better, slightly pleasant. My mind felt blissfully calm. Woah.

So I have been slowly, and I do mean slowly, getting into actually doing yoga. I’ve been doing it at home with my Yoga For Inflexible People dvd and it is starting place for me. There are plenty of routines, both long and short. I really enjoy the 30 minute back and hips routine. Props are encouraged including some with a chair that have made my hips so much happier. I find myself doing some of the poses several times a day, just because it feels good!

Now the woman in the dvd can still do way more than I can, and sometimes it seems like an impossibility that I can ever be as flexible as she is, but I am noticing big improvements after a few weeks. I am going to move an unused piece of furniture out of our bedroom tomorrow to create a spot to leave my mat down, so I am more tempted to do it morning and/or night. On the days I don’t do it, I actually physically crave it, and that my friends, is huge.

So that is my incredibly succinct process to thinking about yoga to actually practicing it, in 2 short years :)

Note: Every time I tried to type “yoga” in this post, I typed “yoda”. There is so much to read into with that …

Do you have any yoga dvds, apps or program recommendations for me? I have signed up for, and really looking forward to Practice: Embodying your Curvy + Beloved Body at the end of this month.

The Growing Pains are Worth it

#choosingbeauty I will never tire of clouds.

 

I’ve been on a journey, perhaps a spiritual one, definitely a soulful one for the past 2 years. A lot of it has been hard.

I did not even know that I had numbed myself for 20 years. I used lots of different ways to numb myself, to get away from feelings – mine and the ones I could feel from other people. I did not understand why I felt everything so intensely, all I knew was that there was something wrong with me.

Waking myself back up has been both incredibly liberating and incredibly painful. Every emotion was overwhelming. Why did I feel other people’s anger and sadness in my bones? What do I do with all of this noise in my head?

I’ve had diagnoses like ADHD-PI, GAD, OCD and BED.  Finally some answers to what was wrong with me! But as I worked through the treatments, I didn’t seem to be “getting better”.

For the past year, I’ve been supported by therapists and coaches, who have helped me realize that maybe I wasn’t all of those labels, but that I was a HSP and an Empath. I learned that numbing is never the answer, stuff will always bubble up, even when you push it down for years. I felt raw, with my freshly exposed, emotional skin.

Now new patterns have replaced old ones. New thoughts help me be more loving and accepting of myself. Knowledge has strengthened me and continues to supply endorphins daily. I’ve been embraced by a new community of people just like me, which makes me tear up just thinking about it. There is nothing wrong with me, at all.

A noticeable shift happened a few nights ago, my husband came home late from work, hungry, tired and still had a ton of work still to do before a midnight deadline. In the past, this would have left me sucking in his frustrations and anger like a vacuum, feeling physically ill. I would be stressed and angry and not know where to direct it, so I would try and numb it with food, with checking out. I would think that it was unfair for him to be directing his frustration outward, just so I could catch it, in other words, that he was purposely giving me his anger.

Tonight was a new story, he was stressed and it showed but I was able to empathize with him without getting overwhelmed by his emotions. I was able to stay completely neutral and could actually try and help him through the evening.

It was such a different (and welcome!) experience, that I actually cried tears of happiness. Not only was I not responsible for his frustrations, but I didn’t have to have them physically manifest in my body.

I finally feel a sense of freedom, like I can manage my Empathic gifts with work and probably boundaries. After many, many years, I feel truly happy.

August Intentions

August is an emotional month for us. Last August my sister was hospitalized, put in an induced coma, almost died and delivered her wee baby, who was not strong enough to live through the trauma.  It’s a bittersweet anniversary, she is still with us and recovering well, but her grief is overwhelming for her.

Since August is such a triggering month, it seems the ideal month to begin to blog in ernest. I am participating in Michele Bergh’s Inspired Blog Challenge and my goal is publish 5 posts a week.

August 1, 2013

This where I stand today. This photo was taken from a prompt in a self portraiture class I am taking in August called Be Your Own Beloved. I am really looking forward to the class and hope to share many of the photos here. It feels quite daring (read: uncomfortable) to do self portraiture, which is why I need to do it. I want to be my own beloved.

Gentle exercise is the goal for the month, lots of yoga, walking and swimming. The Yoga For Inflexible People (affiliate link) dvd has been a wonderful way to get my non-pretzel body used to moving in new ways.

A short family holiday will hopefully be the highlight of the month. We are all excited and I am trying to overcome my bee phobia enough to enjoy nature.

I am researching a new spiritual awakening that seems to be occurring inside of me (key word being spirit), but don’t feel brave or daring enough to share yet.

Finishing up the last couple of weeks of Inner Moves with Maureen Clancy, we are reigning in our “I’m Not Good Enough” parts. It feels so good not to have to be a slave to my little troll-like critic all the time. Can’t wait to see where this works goes.

Developing rituals and routines so everything can get done, especially as school starts next month. I want mornings to be more peaceful for all of us this year.

Being kind and gentle to myself and my family.

What are your plans for August?