I had a client ask me recently, “How do you take care of your sensitive self?” Knowing me, she assumed (and rightly so), that I have a high level of sensitivity. She was struggling with how to take care of her own sensitive being and wanted to know how I did it.
“It’s easy,” I replied. I broke it down for her in three simple steps (below). Then, I told her the story of how I skipped my own bridal brunch (also below)– which is oddly absolutely related to this question.
I am aware. I notice what my sensitivities are. That’s your job, no matter who you are. No one, including your own self, can satisfy your needs if you don’t know what they are. I teach this to my kids too. It’s important to know yourself. It sounds cliché, but one thing I know for sure from my work as a psychic is that we are all truly unique. It’s important to assess for yourself what you need and to know what feels like too much for you.
For example, I am very sensitive to sound, even more so when I am straight out of bed in the morning. My body and being need a while to wake up and loud or harsh noises in the morning and especially more than one at a time feel UNBEARABLE to me. I almost can’t even describe what it feels like it’s so intense for me at that time of day. It’s like nails on a chalkboard 10 fold, coming at me both from inside and outside at once. As you can imagine with two children five-years-old and under in my house this occasionally makes for some very difficult AM moments for me. I am also aware (by the same powers of observation) that when I meditate and take the time to set up my inner space first thing in the morning it creates an instant buffer between me and the noise, even if I just awoke. Because of this awareness almost the first thing I do every morning is go to my studio to meditate. Even if I only have five minutes I do this. Especially if I only have five minutes!! I know I need this to find my inner harmony (or at least soothe my sensitivity!) and be able to meet the demands of my life.
If you are not aware of what your sensitivities are, it’s VERY hard to find a happy balance in your being. If you constantly override your sensitivities but never take the time to understand what it is that is pushing you over your edge, it is hard to live gracefully. When you know, you can make allowances for yourself. You can choose your actions based on your own unique make-up. You can discover the little things that are required to make your engine hum smoothly even when the moment’s demands are more than you think you can handle.
Whenever possible I stick to my body’s and being’s limits. This means I don’t purposely override what I know works best for me unless it is just not possible or I can see that it is absolutely necessary in a certain case. More often than not, even in situations where others probably wouldn’t, or it might feel weird or unpopular, I choose what works best for me, what I know I can handle gracefully, or what I know would keep me feeling my most balanced and happy.
Just like I did during my bridal brunch. Here’s the story:
Before I got married someone, my mother-in-law or my mother I can’t remember, had this idea to do a women’s brunch before our wedding day. It was just for the ladies who were there with us in Mexico to celebrate our marriage. It was a lovely idea and I was, of course, game. But as the day approached and it turned out that the only day to do it was the day before our wedding I just knew I couldn’t go.
I had been surrounded by people all week. I am aware that I need alone time to rejuvenate. I had laundry to do and my bags to pack so that my man and I could move to our private honeymoon apartment that afternoon. I also knew I wanted my wedding experience to feel spacious and lovely. I wanted to have enough time to do what I needed to do and to spend some moments with myself before I made the bond with my man official.
So I skipped my own bridal brunch.
“You ladies have fun,” I said and meant it. I didn’t apologize either– I usually don’t. I knew what I needed and I didn’t feel ashamed of taking it or making it happen for myself. In fact it felt like my responsibility. If I didn’t make the time that I needed who would? No one else even knew I needed that. Plus in this situation, getting married felt like a big deal; I wanted to be at my best and able to enjoy it without feeling frantic or ungrounded. I wanted a fresh start, with clean clothes to put on the following day!
So, I literally did my laundry while they were all enjoying a delicious brunch out. During this couple of hours my dad was also putzing around the rental home Jason and I were sharing with my whole family. At one point, eyeing me curiously as I put a load of clothes in the laundry he said, “Why didn’t you go?”
I replied simply, “I just needed this time to myself. I didn’t want to feel rushed or like I didn’t have time to do what I needed to do. And this was the only window of time I had to make these things happen. It felt important to me.”
He nodded, (I think) in understanding. 😉 But the truth is, I didn’t even care if anyone else understood or not; I knew what I needed and I was doing it. People won’t always understand why you do the things you do, especially if you are sensitive. But that doesn’t mean you should short-change yourself or skimp on doing what you know you need to do to feel your best.
And you know what? In my experience it usually works out for the best. The ladies had a great time that day and so did I. My mission was accomplished. I had space for myself to think, feel, rest, get my clothes together, pack up my belongings and be able to feel at ease during the next steps of what was a momentous and joyous moment in my life: Marrying my favorite man.
That day when my client asked me and I told her that story, I said, “Look if the bride can skip out on her own brunch, you can do whatever you need to too. It will be fine. It always is.” In fact it’s more than fine; it’s usually best.
When it’s not possible to stick within my sensitivity range I take the necessary steps to bring me back in balance the first moment I can. You can’t always get what you need when you need it– especially in motherhood. 😉 Or sometimes when you are a sensitive being, some experiences or highly demanding periods of time just feel very intense for you, even if they don’t to anyone else. When I must override my natural limits I follow it up with the activities that allow me to regain my balance. Not “later,” or when I get around to it, but the first moment I can.
For example, I live on an island. This is no accident. I am very sensitive to the subtle energy around me. I live here on purpose because I am surrounded by nature, spaciousness and forward thinking, unique, artistic and live-and-let-live people. I love my island and it provides a natural protection/buffer for my hyper sensitivity. However obviously I need to leave sometimes! At a certain point in my life I was going into the city regularly to do readings. At that time it was intense for me just to spend the day in the city; though of course it was very clear to me that this is what I needed, wanted, and liked to do.
I wasn’t about to stay home and hide-away just because I am sensitive. But I did feel energetically dirty when I came home! It always felt like I had rubbed up against everything I came in contact with that day and parts of it were still sticking to me. So when I came home I did what was necessary to put me back in balance. Usually, it was taking a hot Epsom salt bath. Even if I had plans or other obligations I took my bath and made the time to reset myself before I went out again. I didn’t over ride this urge, or push it out of the way, or say to myself, “When I have a chance I will…” I just did it. Right away. Because I knew that would bring me back to feeling good, clean, and happy in my sensitive skin.
As a sensitive being you want to do that: You want to take the time to do the things you know you need to do. You want to, because it feels good. It’s a no-brainer actually. You want to bring your system back to its happy “zero point” when you’ve had to go beyond it or overloaded yourself. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary. I feel I owe it to myself, my family, and those I serve to be at my best as much as I possibly can. Taking care of my personal sensitive nature is a part of that. It’s as important and as necessary for me as eating. It’s not something I can go without and be effective and loving as a human being.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that it’s super possible to live a happy life, even as a person with a highly sensitive nature. You don’t have to hide away. You just have to care for yourself. It’s pretty simple: pay attention to what you need, do it for yourself, and when that’s not possible take the time and actions you need to bring yourself back into balance immediately.
1, 2, 3… And done. 🙂
Aimée Cartier is a highly sensitive being, happy soul and psychic. She is the founder of Intuition University, a program that helps each student find, understand, and utilize their own intuition and psychic skill set with confidence. She also helps other extremely sensitive beings, or those known as empaths through her Empath Intuition University program. It’s a program designed for those with a highly sensitive porous nature. 🙂 You can find out more about her work at www.AimeeCartier.com.