The Highly Sensitive Woman
Do you find yourself more stressed than your friends when you have lots to do?
Maybe you find yourself scheduling in lots of alone-time to recover from being with other people.
Is your inner life a vibrant place, sometimes even more interesting than your external life?
Is it important to you to ‘manage’ or avoid charged situations with people?
Have you even been judged as being over-sensitive and told to get a grip?
Do you get quickly overwhelmed by smells, the feel of some fabrics or noise?
Maybe you notice more about the world around you too; the colours, textures and people around you.
If any of this chimes a chord with you, then you are probably a Highly Sensitive Woman. Elain Aron has done a great deal of research into sensitivity and her book ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’ was a game changer for me. She has a simple test to see if you are highly sensitive. Up until the point I read it in my early 30’s, I had always felt I should be able to withstand more stimulation, more time with people, more intimacy, more work and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t. Spending time in charged or stimulating situations just gave me the jitters and jumping from work, onto the tube, then on to my training, then home to watch movies without any downtime just heaped more and more stress on my poor nervous system. I felt that I had to change, rather than seeing the need to change my environment.
Reflecting on the concepts in the book I became aware of how much I was judging myself as ‘neurotic’ when in fact I was just sensitive. Over time I learned to manage my sensitivity by creating more space around activity, reflective practices like journaling, more meditation, and generally just accepting myself as I was.
In fact my sensitivity has enormous gifts, the ability to contact energy and stay with the subtlety of peoples’ process, the joy of a rich internal life, the imperative to share that internal life through creative projects, a deep pleasure in colour and visual senses and a loving connection with anything out of the ordinary.
I am very grateful to be built this way.
No surprise then that I find deep satisfaction from understanding and supporting other sensitive women in their process, because I get how crushing it is when someone imposes their ‘opinions’ on your process, invades your space and contributes to your over-stimulation in some way.
Nearly all of my clients have some sort of sensitivity issue and my work has become centred on holding a safe space either in Menstrual Medicine Circles or Intuitive Bodywork to allow frazzled nervous systems to re-set.