Flourishing with Sensory Processing Sensitivity
Greetings dear ones. When I opened my eyes this morning and remembered our current state of affairs I thought “can this please be over soon?” Sigh. This check in will be as fragmented as my thoughts have been. Let’s begin with 30 seconds of silence ok? Pause reading and close your eyes and let’s enter the quiet together. I’m serious.
There. It’s new for me to turn towards deep silence and discover something. I had done it a 1000 times before this surreal season (I don’t know what to call this time) but never without an agenda. In previous attempts I was petitioning heaven to heal a loved one or give thanks for the food I was about to devour. These days I’m turning to the great Quiet and finding unnamed spaciousness and (it feels like), Presence. I’ll take it. I need it. We all do.
I don’t have answers or timely tips to help you thrive in this peculiar time. I am one human waking up each day and wondering how I will navigate through. Like you I have plentiful emails from authors and spiritual teachers offering tips and tools that seem to help in the moment but soon feel insufficient in moments of terror.
So from one human to another here are a few observations I have made in this unique time in history and being HIGHLY sensitive.
-There is no perfect way to go through this. It reminds me of grieving. We each do it differently and need to. I also don’t need to do it well. Striving while surviving is ludicrous. Let’s lower the expectations some of us are silently confronting and wrap ourselves in the deep love we need to absorb that is ours to draw in. (I felt it yesterday when 9 geese flew over me).
-I must take care of my body. My central nervous system is communicating in very loud and palpable ways. (aka high alert status) Oh my goodness. Breathing really is our first gear. Don’t be like me and breathe yourself into a panic attack. Review some basic guidelines for breathwork and allow that brilliant innate mechanism to keep you calm(er). https://www.calmwithyoga.com/dangers-deep-breathing-done-incorrectly/
-For those of us confronting terror. So far this is the biggest stretch for me. It can be expressed in physical sensations. It reminds me of being in labor and panicking during contractions. The great news is these are moments. Let’s be reminded that any discomfort we feel is a protective response not a defective one. Try not to resist the sensations and instead allow your body to move through them. It will. The other day I got word that the shelter restrictions were going to change again and felt my body ramp up. I noticed them and went to Spotify and put on Nat King Cole. Minutes later I was standing in the kitchen (with Nat singing to me) and my body had settled back down. Mere moments. Music yes or just getting up and walking to another room or even better walking outside!
-Realizing social distancing does not have to equal feeling distant from others. I have never been a big phone person and surely not a Zoom lover but holy cow when the going gets rough. A deep part of me keeps wanting confirmation I am not alone in this. It doesn’t take much to get that validated. Texting at 2 in the morning counts. Each time I make contact with another the road ahead seems a bit more doable. Even eye contact with strangers on the trails around town have been momentary gifts of “yes we really are in this together.” (Please don’t miss the videos I have further in the newsletter that confirm this).
-For those of us living with other humans 24/7. Gasp. Again another blend of gifts and challenges. Meeting that can require fortitude and patience we didn’t know we had. Keep reminding yourself of different temperaments and that we are each trying to find our way through this. And do not forget about the highly sensitive person’s (unique) daily need for quiet and downtime. I am finding great comfort in noting “quarantine moments” in my journal. Moments that I think would not have happened if it weren’t for the restrictions of this time. Having our 80 lb. dog sit next to me during phone sessions is nothing less than wonderful.
So until next time please take extra great care of your body, get outside and allow the earth and sky to feed your soul and senses and for right now remind your precious self we truly are in this together.
Last week I enjoyed being on a webinar with my friend Alane Freund. We discussed parenting and co-parenting as a highly sensitive person. Enjoy!
Every single day our bodies need focused, tender and consistent care today more than ever.
Look what thread I am focusing on these days…Soak these in. We truly are in this together.
UPDATE!!! The folks who are featured here have been found! Please show them a little love on their YouTube channel! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k0ci5EYb9qA&feature=youtu.beI have no clue who these people are but they are the cutest couple w/ an adorable song!!
Posted by Chaya Parkoff on Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Thank you Mary Oliver. You left us words and images we can cling to.
In this together,