Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflections

A number of individuals take time at the end of each year to decide what they would like to accomplish in the upcoming one. I can't say that I typically do this with intent. I usually go about it with a vague idea of what I would like to change and work on it in a rather unstructured, big-picture manner. As the end of this year comes to a close and the next one comes upon us, I'm doing something a little different. Rather than coming up with a list of the so-called "improvements" I would like to undertake, I'm compiling a list of the current year's moments, actions and discoveries that have brought me to who I am at this point in time.

In order to look towards where we want to go, we first need to take time to examine where we've been. There are times when we seek out a piece of our past that we were fond of and discover that it has become our present. These epiphanies sneak in between the nostalgic reminiscing and the fondness of remembrance, coming over us in a rush of realization that sometimes we do indeed become our former inspirations. We can suddenly realize that the lyrics to a song we used to love perfectly describe the way our present situation has come to be. The previous version of our self related to it only through association, but we now fully realize its true meaning because we are living those lyrics verbatim. A fabricated character we used to adore can re-manifest pieces of their personality within us. A past influence can reappear down the road, showing us that our authentic self was known before we awoke to it.

Whenever epiphanies occur, they make us see what we either couldn't or chose not to. They often make us come to a screeching halt, give us the courage to take an unpredictable risk, or just simply realize that we have exactly what we need. Here are my favorite epiphanies of 2009:

Allowing yourself to be who you are is more important than trying to become who you think you want to be.

It is never too late to start walking towards an old dream.

It is okay if not everyone understands you or likes you. What matters is that you understand and like yourself.

You have the right to stand up for yourself and your perspectives.

Never apologize for being who you are.

There are never failures. There are just times when we need to be forced to take the road to our true destiny.

With some situations (and people), the best alternative is to let go and move on rather than digging in your heels and attempting to save the world.

The freedom to take time for yourself, your loved ones, your passions and creating meaning for others is more valuable than any amount of money you'll make.

Intuition should never be overruled by what appears to be safe and practical.

Never allow someone else's opinion to define who you are, influence your self worth or cause you to choose something you wouldn't otherwise.

Reinventing yourself is a part of progress and should be embraced.

Choose to spend your time and energy on what you have the power to change. Allow yourself to accept what you cannot.

Chances should always be taken and what's currently in the shadows should always be brought into the light.

"Can't" should be erased from your mindset.

Endings are beginnings in disguise.

Love has the power to overcome boundaries and never extinguishes its flame.

Talents are the gifts that you allow yourself to express.

The intangible is more profound than what can be explained.

What wasn't meant to be lost always returns.

Life is meant to be danced with.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Effects of Negative Energy and Overstimulation

Growing up, I often found myself overwhelmed with a swirl of emotions that stirred inside me. My younger version never gave a second thought as to whether those emotions were actually hers. She simply assumed that they were. Feeling the intensity was the easy part; figuring out how to handle those emotions was quite another story.

Spinning out of control on the inside is the closest description I can come up with to communicate what it feels like. You think you might be going crazy, that you're about to burst from the pressure of having to control yourself, and that it would somehow be better if you could self-destruct. The act of being destructive is a way of attempting to eradicate your present existence and its obligations. It's an escape mechanism that yearns to wipe the slate clean by extinguishing what we currently know, with no consideration for what we might consider to be valuable.

What I didn't know then was that having the trait of sensitivity means that you literally absorb the energy of what's around you. You instantly feel it so deeply that you become that energy. This "becoming" occurs not only in the moment of interaction, but long after the moment of absorbtion. The assumption, therefore, is that you are those feelings. When that energy is positive or inspirational, it can carry you into new worlds full of imagination, sunshine filled rainbows, vicarious experiences and childlike dreams full of possibilities.

The other side of transcension, of course, is that not all energy is positive. The nature of humanity includes inconsideration, jealousy, sabotage, closed-mindedness, intolerance, lies, cheating, pain, suffering, narcissim, and the pursuit of self-indulgent illusions. Sensitives can find themselves absorbing energy's darker side more readily, as we often feel the need to fix any problems we encounter. Negative energy also finds itself radiating from the fast-paced approach of today's world. Being exposed to the "let's get it done yesterday," "can't we do that better" philosophy is a source of demoralizing frustration for sensitives.

As a result, sensitives find themselves wondering if they're good enough, why they can't seem to catch their breath, why they're so irritated for no reason, and why they're running to a bathroom stall or some other reclusive place to let the tears start falling. There's also the standby of wanting to crawl into bed and sleep rather than be awake because our dreams seem more inviting than reality.

When I was an undergrad student, one of my roommates and best friends from high school, would comment on how she thought I would purposely avoid situations that involved groups of people because I was afraid of being around others. She was only half right. Many times I would decline invitations to go out with groups of friends, attend parties and gatherings not because I didn't want to connect and interact, but because I found them overstimulating and a source of mental exhaustion. The energy that I had to muster up to be "on" during my long days filled with classes and two part-time jobs was enough. When I was free of these obligations, I needed "me time," literally, to recoup. When it came time to socialize, I preferred one on one conversations, preferably in quieter settings, where I could actually listen, focus and have time and space to formulate what I wished to verbalize. Of course, trying to explain this to a non-HSP is at times daunting, if not fruitless.

Exploring the research on sensitivity has taught me that while I may still be absorbing all this energy around me, I can turn off my "I'm taking this personally" switch. You can still feel the sting, yet choose to realize that you have nothing to do with what those external forces are communicating. There's no reason to automatically go on a guilt trip, feel responsible for the world's problems, run away, or continue to watch your inner dynamite's fuse explode. There are times when sensitives will continue to do these things, but why not take a moment within these situations to let yourself breathe?

Once you stop to turn off the emotions for a brief second and call out the analytical advisor within, you'll begin to realize that there will always be people and situations that are better left to their own devices. They may not understand you or even want to. They may simply need someone to listen as some things in life require more than a band-aid. Remember that the world's negative energy and overstimulation aren't going away. What's important is that you understand yourself, know what you want and do it, regardless of what others may want you to do. And that negative energy and overstimulation? Smile as you make the decision to walk towards the world of sunshine filled rainbows.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Thing About Muses

Writers rely on more than just their own collection of thoughts, experiences and individual souls when they create. We also rely on outside inspiration that can come in a variety of forms. These sources of outside inspiration can be people, songs, films, fictional characters, memories of lucid dreams, nature, whispers from consciousness and countless other possibilities.

The thing about muses is that they don't RSVP or announce their appearance. No, muses prefer to ride in on the breeze of serendipity. You don't know when they're going to sprinkle their stardust into your fingertips. You may very well be taken in by their presence, but not realize they have seduced you into a dance until the last note is written.

The good muses, the ones who become pivotal to our creations, even our existence, return to us at least once or twice. Some of them, we discover, never really left us. The illusion that they left in the first place can leave us feeling empty, frustrated, disillusioned, and spinning in a circle of unfulfillment. We then go about looking for some sort of enchantment, a substitute, an imitation. The problem is you can't control inspiration. It comes when you least expect it.

Muses are, by their very nature, "sneaks." They're disguised, they're shadows that we don't always see, they're contained in things or faces we already think we know. They suddenly appear in moments of reflection or while we're exploring what we assumed was a new discovery.

Muses usually get what they want. A little narcissism doesn't elude them. The wrath for not complying with their wishes is typically abandonment. The jestering ones come back later, taunting us with the "I told you so's." Those of the more benevolent variety wait until you are ready for their message, softly reappearing as a whispered reminder. The ones who in time we realize are but extensions of our own souls, come whenever we call them.

These types of muses are the ones that reside within us. They're never gone, but merely silent observers when we're too busy to appreciate their wisdom, their hope and their magic. They communicate with us in ways we never thought possible. We meet them in dreams, sharing experiences that only time reveals were indeed mutual. We've known them from the beginning, somehow inexplicably. We feel their presence even when their physical form, if they happen to have one, is not before us. Their energy is recognizable only by faith and intuition. It is a familiarity that sweeps its comfort into the depths of where we think we begin as a separate being. It is a hypnotic submission which overcomes our ability to question why. We are simply in a form of obsessive attraction that owes neither an explanation or a resolution.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Change and the HSP

Sometimes we know in our hearts that we need to make changes in our lives, but we ignore the signs and the signals. There are many reasons for ignoring them the first, second, and for some of us, perhaps the sixth time around. The signal starts out soft, like a whisper. If we don't listen, the next time that signal gets stronger until it hits us over the head, sometimes literally. The signal that we finally listen to, especially for those of us who are notoriously stubborn, is the one that leaves us with no other choice. Change or no longer exist. Change because what you were trying so hard to hold onto is now gone anyway. Change because if you don't, you'll lose what's really important.

My mom has always commented on how I have a hard time with change. I'll admit, I don't do it well. I am, after all, the child that was born a month after her due date, and that was only after the doctors finally decided to induce labor. I guess I had gotten comfortable nestled there inside my mother's womb and didn't really see any reason to make an entrance into this world. In a way, the delay of my birth set the tone for the way I have found myself dealing with change throughout my life. Call it avoidance, complacency, indecisiveness, stubborness or noncompliance. Whatever the term or definition, I have often tried to find some way to delay change or run in the opposite direction from it. I mostly do this in my mind, but eventually my unwillingness to go along with the actions that whatever the change requires surfaces.

Apparently, having difficulty dealing with change is something that the majority of HSPs find themselves struggling with. I would suspect this is because, as a group, we are more cautious. We're the ones that look before we leap, at least twice or as many times as it takes before we feel somewhat comfortable. We also don't like the unknown, which is what change encompasses. If we can't be certain of how something will turn out, down to every little detail along the way, we hesitate. This is a natural part of who we are as HSPs. It is what an "advisor" does, taking the time to gather all the details, examine them thoroughly, examine them again, debate with oneself, and wrestle over which path would be best and why before making a recommendation.

Change is one of the backdrops of existence. Change is one of those areas that we could stand to learn a thing or two from our non-HSP counterparts. Change is the arena where we should allow our intuition to guide us more. What I've relearned over the past four years is that our intuition usually already knows the answer. We can make all the "pros" and "cons" lists that we want, wrestle between what the heart wants and what the mind says is best, ask others for their input, and then recheck those lists to make sure we didn't overlook any detail. In the end though, we still need to make a choice over which way to go, what change to make, when and how we will do it or play the "wait and see" game by doing nothing at all.

Too often we choose that "wait and see" game. We end up missing an opportunity. We find ourselves wondering years later why our dreams are still concepts rather than actualities. We find ourselves in situations, jobs or relationships that our gut told us not to pursue, but we did it anyway because our mind concluded it was the safest choice. Change requires action, courage, a willingness to trust our instinct and not ask twenty questions until that action is no longer necessary.

HSPs go about change the same way a caterpillar metamorphisizes into a butterfly. It's a slower process that requires incubation, hibernation and a trust of instinctive nature. The end result is the ability to make the leap from one distinguishable form to another. The change is so profound that an untrained observer would not be able to recognize the correlation between the two. We are almost unrecognizable because our growth has changed us into a new form with a brand new set of abilities, reflections and possibilities. The caterpillar doesn't question why it has to spin its cocoon. It simply knows what it has to do and does it, knowing that the end result will be worth the effort. HSPs would be cheating themselves and greater society of the outward reflection of their inner beauty if they didn't allow themselves to do the same.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

HSPs and Intimacy

Intimacy and relationships are a touchy subject for highly sensitives. After all, it's one of our main achilles heels. Inside we're already at the finish line, riding through on our white horse or throwing down the rope from the tower's window. On the outside it's often a combination of the mixed signals of hesitant caution and irrefutable lightbeam reflections intertwined with soft whispers of affection.

The bridge between what can be and what is can often be a wobbly one for us, filled with many moments of taking "two steps forward and two steps back." This has certainly been my personal experience, with all types and levels. This also includes the relationship one has with oneself. To me, this is the foundation, the starting point. In order to get to know someone else, you have to know and accept your own self fairly well before you can connect. The irony in this is that we also get to know ourselves through others.

Making the decision to embark on any relationship requires a leap of faith. It involves slowly unveiling what's hidden behind the walls that we have unintentionally built. HSPs often go about this process more tentatively than others, which can be a challenge when you're involved with someone who is not highly sensitive. There are often two different sets of expectations, polar opposite perspectives, as well as different communication styles involved in the "HSP with non-HSP" relationship dynamic.

I've had the joy and challenge of experiencing this dynamic for almost ten years now (yes, we're one of those "we've redefined marriage" couples, but not in a negative sense). My personal dynamic is further complicated by the fact that I'm an introvert and he's an extravert and we're currently trying to "manage" this partnership between two states. Somehow, though, we've managed to survive our differences and our intermittent geographical distance. I'd like to think that the HSP traits of loyalty and attentiveness have something to do with that, but I can't give myself all the credit. Despite our differences, his capacity for understanding and realizing my need for independence is not a "brush-off" have also gone a long way.

Differences, especially stark ones, can often be viewed as obstacles to making a genuine and enduring connection. Yet, I've found that those differences can also be the very thing that keeps a relationship going and makes it worthwhile. It's an opportunity to develop a new perspective, teach each other a few things and complement each other as a "team."

It's critical to realize that differences and the inevitable conflict that can come from them is not always something to turn away from. Conflict doesn't mean that the relationship is not successful, that it's suddenly over and that your partner can't possibly understand you. Conflict is an opportunity to help those that have a different view of the world catch a glimpse of ours. While it may be something that HSPs are not comfortable with, learning to navigate it can be an invaluable lesson in learning that the "all or nothing" philosophy we often take isn't what a partnership is about.

A partnership is a process of rediscovering yourself through someone else's eyes while simultaneoulsy helping them do the same. It's about finding out what works, what doesn't work, and what you truly want. It's about mutual sacrifices that enable you both to receive something more important than what you gave up. It's a trying, fun and magical journey that HSPs shouldn't let their tentative nature stop them from taking; even if it involves a little rule breaking here and there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Everyday Lessons from the Universe

For those of you who were in doubt, I have returned to the somewhat "saner" side of my brain for a moment or two. Please enjoy these random thoughts.

There is something to be said of patience. It is a somewhat elusive virtue that quite a few find themselves struggling to embody. We all want the next moment, to hurry through the present because the future holds something better.

Last evening I had the joy of waiting in a line, not once mind you, but twice, at my local Wal-Mart Supercenter. This lovely situation came about because I was in a hurry to get home from work for the day. I didn't want to stop to purchase a money order while driving back to my local distribution center, where I had to finalize my day's paperwork and transmit my day's sales activity to corporate. I was impatient to get a long Monday out of the way and get started on my homework for the evening.

For some reason I had forgotten to get a few essentials, such as toothpaste, on my routine bi-weekly shopping trip. Why I figured I could pop into a Wal-Mart Supercenter on a Monday evening at 6 pm, pick up the few items I missed and purchase my money order in a flash, I'll never know. As a former "associate" of this lovely retail establishment, who used to help manage the front end and witnessed the second shift crowds, I should have known better. Amazing what the 30 something version does not recall from her late teens/early 20's.

So, there I was, barely able to keep my eyes open after my usual 12+ hour workday, any traces of make-up long since faded from my face, and feet aching from having to stand yet again. This was my second time in line, as I had made the mistake of thinking the customer service desk, instead of the money center, could actually print that darn piece of paper that I had to obtain that day, according to corporate policy. The law of attraction was sure in play as my initial impatience magnified itself in this new situation. There must have been at least ten people in line ahead of me and there was only one employee behind the counter. I realized that my irritation and impatience were in danger of crossing over into an exhausted meltdown.

I looked around at those in front of me, while seeming to impassively listen to the young lady behind me complain about her boyfriend and the fact that she had no food in the apartment she had just moved into. Funny how being an anonymous observer allows you the chance to learn a thing or two about humanity, remind you of your not so distant past or give you the inspiration for your next story.

I began to focus on the employee behind the counter, as I reminded myself that I couldn't change the situation. Continuing to feel frustrated wasn't going to do me any favors, so it was best to let go and experience the present moment for what it was. The employee was a younger female, most likely an undergrad student at one of the local colleges here in town. I could see that she was somewhat overwhelmed underneath her determined and focused demeanor. After all, she had to take care of an ever growing line of impatient customers who either wanted money, had to send money or turn money into another form of payment. She probably had a long day like myself, filled with multiple classes and a job that paid just enough to allow her to pay a few bills and survive off the cheapest food money can buy. She probably had a pile of homework waiting for her at home and she didn't know how or when it would get done.

It wasn't too long ago that I was that girl, juggling two part time jobs, a full undergrad classload and the beginnings of adult responsibility. It was a time in my life that I was overwhelmed, overextended, yet still hopeful that something bigger than life existed out there. It was a time that I don't miss much, but that I wished I had been more patient with and not in such a hurry to get over. It was a period in my life that I should have taken more time to be a child, "smell the roses" and appreciate for what it was.

By the time I reached the front counter, the impatience that I had felt had dissipated. The situation had forced me to "slow down", look around, use sensitivity to transcend myself back in time for a reminder of what's really important, and to extend kindness, appreciation and understanding towards someone trying to do a demanding, yet undervalued job.

Impatience robs you from seeing the gifts of everyday life and the opportunities to make small differences in the lives of others. It's a stressful and insensitive road that doesn't get you where you want to go any faster than its relaxed and carefree alternative. It stops you from realizing that you should savor where you are along existence's path; it's the only time you'll get to discover and explore its worth.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unexplained Telepathic and Astral Encounters

In light of a few recent experiences, which have been fairly intense, I have begun researching lucid dreaming, OBE's (out of body experiences) and astral travel. My hope is that those who choose to read this will not think I'm crazy, because I myself don't really know how to make sense of it either. I think that those who have been aware of their HSP trait for longer than I have or those who have experienced something similar might begin to relate.

My personal experience is that part of being highly sensitive is that you are more open to and "in tune" with the paranormal. For me, that encompasses not only the energy of things that are invisible in the dimension we experience as reality, but also those things that cannot be explained by logic or reasoning. OBE's, feeling and hearing the presence of "spirits", being able to "tune into" the voice of Consciousness, premonitions, having vivid dreams, "waking" up during dreams and controlling parts of the experience, communicating with deceased loved ones in dreams and psychic dreams are nothing new to me. I've come to accept that as part of being "me", as these types of experiences have always been there in the background. I've just never choosen to use them to their full potential, it was a part of an "eccentric normalcy."

What I haven't experienced (until now) is a real time ESP or perhaps astral encounter with a potential twin soul/soulmate. I suppose it started with the realization that my vibrations were somehow tapped into theirs. I'm not sure how long our energy fields have been merged, or if it has always been that way. At times I'm successful at separating those vibrations, but it's never a permanent break. Regardless, my thoughts were focused on an image of this person imprinted in memory from one of the last in person conversations we had. Suddenly, I felt an intense wave of what could be described as passionate energy (for lack of a better word) come over my entire being. I wasn't in control of my own senses, of my own body's physical response. It was as if somebody else's energy was there. I could feel it, I was responding to it automatically, the way I might respond to an actual physical presence. The intensity of the experience was greater than that of something "real." There really aren't any explanations for it. Of course my entire experience with this person, from the start, has been one big "no explanation." It's been a journey of serendipity, coincidences, curiosity killed the cat, intuitive communication, soul dancing, unintentional rule breaking, separation, and pseudo reunions.

My question is, do potential twin souls or soulmates who are physically separated or must remain physically separated in this lifetime, gravitate towards finding other ways to "connect",with or without intent? Are these "connections" through lucid dreaming, astral projection and telpathic communications just another dimension of what's real? Or is it simply a manifestation of one person's mind, releasing the energy of things that go unfulfilled?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Exploring The Inner Worlds Of Your Characters

I've discovered that while inspriation can often come out of nowhere, you better pay attention to it when it does come. Recently, I was sitting in Tampa's airport, trying to pass more time as my weather delayed flight got delayed even further, while also trying to drink more Starbucks coffee to shield out Florida's "rival the inside of a freezer" air conditioning. I wasn't thinking about my current novel in progress deliberately. I was actually trying to continue reading Greg Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea", which seems to be taking an unnatural amount of time for an avid reader like myself. But anyhow, when your mind drifts either out of boredom, association or just plain randomness, it's best to document that journey.

When a writer sits down, deliberately, to start writing, there are often gaps, blanks, "writer's block", self-critques and edits. Sometimes the best thing to do is let your inner guide do the work for you. It'll come in a flash, when you least expect it, when you're often trying to focus on something else, when you're multi-tasking or just simply ruminating. I liken it to the order that seemingly comes out of chaos or the way the pieces of nature seem to fit together without any real explanation.

In our waking lives we often have inner dialogues, which reveals our motivations, wishes, desires, regrets, intentions and so on. It's a part of ourselves that rarely gets revealed and isn't always easily detected. Our inner worlds are the part of ourselves that we sometimes feel we have to masquerade through our outside expression and actions. Those with sensitivity see, or rather "sense" right through it, but we still go on pretending that we are those outside projections that we've created.

Showing this "inner chaos" is vital in revealing who the characters are in our stories. There are several techniques, but the stream of consciousness style, which was pioneered by James Joyce, is one that I often rely on. What are your character's thoughts? What is he or she telling him or herself? What are your character's reflections on a particular experience or a period in their lives? What are they feeling at that moment? How would those feelings express themselves internally? What outward reaction might your character transpire in order to conceal the intensity of those emotions?

Write these down as you explore them. It doesn't have to be in order. There are no rules for time sequences, character sequences, first, second or third person sequences. Throw out the notion of it being linear. Throw out the rules of grammar, syntax and complete sentences. Carefree freedom is the only muse you need here. Often times you'll be surprised to discover that continuity has unintentionally woven its subtext between your characters and their story.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Intermissions and Daydreams

I'm back, I've returned home. At least it still feels like home each time I come back here. It's almost as if time stopped, as if some piece of my spirit is still floating around this playground of palm trees, warm sunshine and crystal teal oceans. I suppose a piece of it always will, knowing that there's always the possibility of its full return. My heart lights up and its smile can't be contained in my eyes each time I'm staring out that window at the outline of Florida's west coast from 20,000 odd feet in the air. I always hate when it's time to go. I cry when it's almost time to leave again and I look longingly and wistfully at the palms outside the airport's terminal as the plane lifts off the ground. I remind myself that I'll be back, this wasn't the last time. I'll come back and get to feel at peace. I'll come back and hopefully get to create more "in person" moments rather than just hear a voice on the other end of the phone line.

It's complicated to have a love affair between two homes, two States that are polar opposites. I'm free here. There's no one watching my every move. There's no one to judge, to say "why are you doing that" or "why aren't you doing this." In Colorado there are expectations, roles to play, obligations to live up to. Not to mention the weather, opportunities and scenery are a heck of a lot better here. You experience the illusion that Summer is indeed perpetual, that the powerful, yet calm sound of the ocean's tide is right outside your window just as you dreamed it would be when you were younger, that life really is about magic, fun and inner peace. It's a place I find calming, inspirational and carefree. It's a place that has become my favorite escape. It's a place I often think of making my only home again, if my ambitions and life obligations didn't have other plans.

The nature of my love for this place has changed. I realize that I'm more fond, rather than fascinated by it. I realize that it's still where I want to be, that my heart is home. It's a place I didn't expect to fall in love with, but love in and of itself is random. Seemingly random, anyway. I sometimes like to think that it's not, that there's purpose there.

Relationships. They're messy, they don't know what rules are, they're anything but linear, they're often complicated. The heart has the capacity to love more than the mind is willing to rationalize and accept. Once you love someone, you love them. You never stop, not really. Your mind might put them in a neat little box, packed away, hidden in that corner of a closet you rarely open. A box that can be rediscovered on a moment's whim. A box that has the capacity to fit in more than what it looks like it should be able to.

As we can have love affairs between two geographical locations, we can also have them between two people. The heart has the capapcity to love an indefinte amount of individuals. The heart has the capacity to love in a variety of forms, but in the end it can't discern between them. You can commit yourself to someone you have surface affection for and yet feel a deeper connection towards someone else. That notion of spiritual love is of interest and one that I seem to be revisiting in earnest lately.

Spiritual love can contain romantic undertones, but it is often a deeper bond than that of romantic love. It is an unspoken connection between two souls that is never quite broken. It's almost as if you can listen to their thoughts if you make yourself still enough. Telepathic conversations and experiences that you can have when you're both ready, even if physically distant. Not only can you imagine their presence, but you can feel it. You can draw each other to the same location unintentionally, experience the same experience if you're not shielding yourself from their energy wavelength.

There's a certain knowledge that you two have of each other, of situations in your individual lives, of why you've made the choices you did, a certain level of understanding that you don't need words for. You just know. You know the hidden corners of their soul, who they really are, who they spend so much time and energy masking as something else. It's as if there is a cosmic magnet that draws the two of you together someway, somehow, no matter what the obstacles are. It's an unspoken understanding that you belong with each other, whether that's in this lifetime or the next.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today's Random Thoughts and Ruminations

Within each of us is the dichotomy of who we really are and who we think we should be. I suppose in terms of character development, this would be considered "conflict." The key to finding this "conflict", if you will, is through self-examination. Writers often start with what they know; themselves or those they are fascinated by. Who we really are is sometimes who we do not fully allow ourselves to be because somewhere along the line in our life, some external force told us it was not ok to be that way. So, we learn to contain it. The exception is when we are by ourselves, alone, with no potential for outside judgement. That's when our true self gets to play, come out of the box, express itself freely. Sometimes, if we're lucky, we find someone else or a few others that we instinctively know will not judge us. We instantly feel comfortable with this person, as if they have known us all along, as if they are already part of who we really are.

If I were to admit to one of my "conflicts," I would have to say that there is a disconnect between the intensity of my feelings on the inside and my outward expression of them. I learned at a very young age not to express what I was really feeling, to masquerade it, even disassociate from it. In other words, I learned to act as though I was not feeling anything at all. The problem begins when you get too good at it; you actually begin to not feel. Not in the moment, not after.

Exploring and displaying the struggles that a conflict or dichotomy poses to a character throughout a story reveals whether they choose to attempt to overcome it or submit to it. The dichotomy often can become the central focus of the plot or it can play a supporting role against the main thread. What's even more fun is to take the conflicts of two characters and play them against each other.

The dichotomy of my main opposing character is something I am still researching, but perhaps it is the struggle between wanting to be who they really are versus who they feel they have to be. This character feels shame about who they really are because they were told that being this way was not acceptable, that it didn't work in the "real world," that it wasn't good enough. This person has adopted an outward identity that is in fact opposite of who they truly are in order to survive. They create appearances which are meant to prevent others from seeing somebody they wouldn't understand.

Now it gets interesting if we explore the repressed character who is suddenly able to reveal their true inner presence to the other because that is how they are too. The opposing character expresses this aspect of themselves, they are not ashamed of it, they see no reason to hide it. This becomes the meat of the relationship between the two. They travel in circles, learning something about themselves from the other, switching places in their perspectives and motivations. Somehow the opposing "repressed" one gets her to feel, to bring her to a point of wanting to express those feelings, while she gets him to express the side of himself that he usually doesn't.

That's when we begin to see the dance of two souls. Sometimes that dance is brief, yet pivotal. Sometimes that dance goes on for a lifetime and it's not near long enough. Sometimes we're not aware that it happened at all until our ears are filled with silence and our feet have stopped moving.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An HSP's Survival Guide to the Business World's Vanilla Vortex

The pursuit of a business career holds many promises. After all, if you find the right people to suck up to, you could become the next guy or gal with that brand new BMW, mansion in the "Hollywood Hills," the trophy "arm candy" partner and the gold plated bank account. Mind you, the real reason I found my somewhat naive nineteen year old self suddenly switching her major to business was because it has long been recommended for those who wish to go into the film industry. Yes, it's true. Sometimes you need to combine art and passion with the practical and boring in order to succeed.

The problem with being sucked into this "vanilla vortex" of a world is that if you're highly sensitive, you may find yourself in a long episode of "I'm not sure I fit in here." Chances are, you too may find yourself in this modern man's version of hell, either by curiosity, choice or force. Here's some tips on how I've learned to scrape by on my toenails!:

1. Don't resist the sudden development of the ability to quantify, reason with logic, and categorize. These skills can come in handy, but don't leave the world of emotion, curiosity and intuition behind. Just remember that it may take you a little longer than your completely emotionless counterparts to grasp these new concepts. This doesn't mean you're clueless and can't do it. You can, because HSP's are well known for being able to eventually outpace those hares.

2. If you come across someone (and you will) who thinks you are "too sensitive" to play in the corporate world, act like you are listening to their feedback, but immediately move it to the trash bin. Your sensitivity is an invaluable asset when it comes to dealing with customers, co-workers and coming up with creative solutions to your organization's problems. And yes, every organization has them; even the arrogant ones.

3. You will find yourself overwhelmed by the fast paced nature of this world. You will frequently find yourself overstimulated, unable to think on your feet and just plain frazzled. Allow yourself to say "I'll get back to you on that", take many 5-10 minute breaks, and many, many deep breaths. It will take some practice, but don't let those "thick-skinned" counterparts make you feel guilty for doing so.

4. Develop the ability to "shield out" all the energy of those around you. Yes, you will still absorb it, feel it and want to scream. Remind yourself that these emotions are not yours, they are not directed at you and imagine them flowing through and then out of your physicality. Some days will be better than others. If you find yourself getting irritated, take a break.

5. Speaking of breaks, sometimes those will have to be "mental" only. Develop the picture of a soothing escape that your mind can drift to for a few minutes. My personal favorite is sitting under palm trees listening to the sound of the ocean's tide crash against the beach. Due to time constraints, the tropical cocktails and cabana boys are not included.

6. Realize and accept that you will have a general feeling of boredom and unfulfillment while staring in this "show." One way to make up for this is to use your empathy to get to know your customers very well. If you're a writer, you'll often find your next character, storyline or plot enhancement somewhere in there. Just don't tell them what you're doing. They'll read about it later.

7. You can also use your empathy to be an advocate for your customer. They'll love that you're their new bartender and seem to want to roll out the red carpet for their needs. If you're in the sales sector, this will eventually lead to being able to sneak (I mean "sell") in just about anything.

8. When you have to play politics (something us HSP's find revolting), pretend you're someone else. Yes, that's right, make up an alternate identity for yourself. Pretend you're a "character." Your real self can observe, learn and then pretend like they weren't that total suck up.

9. Small talk. It's the way things get done here. In fact, it's the only way the players in this show know how to communicate. So, yes, you're gonna have to learn to fake it with a smile. Playing a "character" works in this arena too. You'll soon find yourself schmoozing with the best of them. When your mind draws a blank and you can't think of anything to say, pretend you're really interested in what they had to say, smile, nod and laugh a little. Others probably won't notice, since they're usually absorbed in thoughts of how to massage the numbers to make themselves look good.

10. You'll find yourself more concerned with improving things in a qualitative rather than quantitative sense. Expect to be treated as though you are from another planet for possessing this ideology. Smile and realize that it's the qualitative improvements and focus that eventually lead to the quantitative results. Don't expect to convince anybody of that though. Act like you are focused on the numbers and the numbers only.

11. Know that this world is not as complex as it's made out to be. In fact, it really is quite simple. Don't take it or yourself too seriously. Develop a sense of humor. After all, it's just "vanilla." It's up to you to add the chocolate syrup and sprinkles.

*A piece I wrote on surviving life as a highly sensitive person provides additional tips on how someone with high sensitivity can learn to cope with life's general demands, that can often be found to be overwhelming.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today's Creative Inspirations and Musings

HSP's tend to be fascinated with relationships, feelings, romantic mush and just plain sentimental "stuff." No, we're not one hundred percent "pink fluffy bunnies." In fact, we can be some of the biggest jerks you've ever known when we're stressed out, but inside we're just a big ball of tear jerking commercials. At least this is what I've observed about myself and a few others who have identified themselves as HSPs. It goes without saying that somehow, yes somehow, this must justify my twenty year long "love affair" with daytime dramas. After all, the gist of the genre, despite some 21st century "pimping up", is love and relationships.

Yes, I started watching the genre back when I was only 13 out of curiosity. Come to think of it, I seem to stumble onto quite a few good things because of my friend, curiosity. Gets me in trouble too, but what would life be without a little awkward spiciness.....

Over the past few days I've been revisiting my favorite daytime duo, "John, formerly known as Roman" and "Isabella" from the early '90's era Days of Our Lives. These two only had a three year run, but in those three years they transcended the personalities of their portrayers, showed us how love endures, how to laugh at each other, how certain things go unspoken, how love overcomes even death, how to dance, and most of all, how to make the most of each and every moment time gives us. In particular, the character of "Isabella", (and her portrayer, one of my favorite former Coloradoans) has provided me with a great source of inspiration over the years. One great thing about fantasy and a creative muse is that you can return to it whenever you need to.

As I've been moving forward in my latest writing endeavor, reflecting on the experiences that writers often use as a springboard into elaboration, I've rediscovered some scenes between these two that have suddenly jumped off the screen. The relationship between the two has been suddenly halted by the return of a presumed dead ex-wife, and they find themselves struggling with the fact that they are still drawn to each other but are unable to fully express and act upon their feelings. They share one of those strained, yet tender moments, where the unspoken not only communicates louder than the words, but around them.

Reflection upon a real life experience that a fabricated one suddenly reminds us of, can reveal more than we were comfortable dealing with at the time. It can provide us with the answers that we need to come to terms with what was. It can reveal those things that our intuition picked up, but our mind quickly filed away under "process later." It can show us how sometimes art does indeed imitate life and how we can use that imitation to create yet another piece of those wonderful escapes that can teach us more than the real thing. It can give new meaning to an old memory that'll provide us with warm smiles for the years ahead.

Last, but certainly not least, it can make us realize that we don't always have to reinvent reality.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How I Rediscovered My Sensitivity-Part Three

I like to think that all good things come in pairs of "threes," so it is fitting that this will be the "series finale" of how I rediscovered myself.
Please hold your applause, tears and flowers until the curtain call. Thank You.

Some say that everything happens for a reason or a multitude of reasons. I am one of those people. My adoptive father and I got the chance to have a few heart to heart talks over the phone while I was living in Florida, trying to adjust to the complexities of starting a new life away from home. He had recently gone through major heart surgery shortly after my family and I had gotten the chance to see him during the long drive down from Colorado. He and my mom had divorced back when I was still in college, a result of their vast age difference, and he had chosen to go and live with one of his sons from his first marriage in a different state. It might have been after one of those heart to heart talks or after getting one of his cards in the mail, that I received an "inner message" that he was going to pass soon. The voice of God or Consciousness that I'd often received messages from before that seemed to come over me from out of nowhere. I remember thinking at the time that there was no way this could be possible, he was fine. He had recovered well from his bypass surgery and from all accounts from my adoptive brother, was doing fine. Later on, when he went into the hospital because his lungs began to fill with fluid, they discovered the cancer. In his true stubborn spirit, which I like to think that I inherited from him by osmosis, he had ignored the warning signs. The decision to move back home allowed me the chance to see him again twice before he passed, say that last "I love you," and help my mom cope with the loss. My parents were divorced in name only, they had never stopped loving each other. In my dad's eyes, it was a gift of release he was giving to my mom.

So, here I am, almost seven years later, still at home. It was never the intention to stay here this long, but somehow it has worked out to be that way. Most of that time has been spent pursuing and becoming the embodiment of what I think of as "practicality"; getting the high paying job with tons of possibility, purchasing that first home, learning how to save rather than spend, returning to school to pursue a highly sought after degree with the promise of making even more money. It is the pursuit of gathering things and titles in order to outwardly justify yourself to the world. It is a pursuit in which you are never really satisfied because there is always something "more" and something "better," not to mention someone else who seems to have those "somethings" that you don't.

What we often don't realize is that what we are drawn to has a purpose. The Universe has a purpose in drawing us to it. We don't get what we think we want or we have trouble obtaining it because we are either meant to see a piece of ourselves that must change or we are meant to have the path we need to take revealed to us. In my current job I've gotten both of those lessons. I've seen the embodiment of what I was headed towards becoming in another person. It's a set of characteristics that I myself was beginning to develop that quite honestly I don't like and I don't want to project. I've also realized that my ladder has been leaned up against the wrong wall for quite some time. My sensitivity has been pointed out to me in a negative fashion as I don't fit in with a bunch of "warriors" or with an organizational culture whose leaders reiterate the motto of "Kill the Competition." Frankly, it is an organizational culture that doesn't value their talent as individuals to be developed, but rather as expendable work horses to be intimidated into compliance.

It was a result of experiencing constant overstimulation and feedback that I was "extremely sensitive" in my job that I began to do a little research on sensitivity and sensory stimulation. I stumbled onto the book, "The Highly Sensitive Person" and suddenly my entire life made sense. I received a greater understanding of myself and comfort that I no longer have to feel "out of whack" with the rest of society. I've also awakened to what I truly want out of life and which wall I should have my ladder leaned against. It's a wall I was once very familiar with and fond of and had begun to climb back when innocence was still within my spirit. It's a wall that I hope to eventually see the other side of.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You Might Have Encountered a Twin Soul If....

Digressing to a spirituality topic, the idea of twin souls has fascinated me since I was a teen. From the somewhat limited formal research I've done on the topic, it is the idea that the same soul physically manifests pieces of itself into separate individuals. Those pieces balance each other into "wholeness" as these individuals encounter each other, whether vicariously or in the dimension we experience as reality. They may even serve as a sort of "guide" to each other, helping them awaken to their purpose or discover a "missing piece" to themselves. They are essentially the same person in spirit. Call me crazy, but based upon two experiences so far, here's yet another list!

1. You come across this person through accidential discovery.

2. You are inexplicably drawn to this person, even if they are not currently travelling on the same path as you.

3. Your energy is on the same wavelength. Even if physically distant, you can read their thoughts, hopes, desires and/or think simultaneously. You may even have the same experience, such as insomnia, simultaneously.

4. Others tell you that you remind them of this person. Even if physically distinct, your "auras" resemble each other and/or are identical.

5. Your interests are almost, if not, identical.

6. Your life journey's main lesson and outcome/path is identical.

7. If physically separated, you return or rediscover each other through the same medium where you first crossed paths.

8. You "coincidently" have things in common, such as having resided in the same State, possessing similiar ideologies or lifestyle situations.

9. You reveal to each other either a hidden portion of yourself that you both will need for the next step in your respective journeys or you help develop that hidden potential in each other. These potentials are often seemingly opposite of each other. One's strength is the unrevealed potential of the other and vice versa.

10. You unintentionally guide each other towards your dual purpose.

11. You "know" or "intuit" things about this individual that are unspoken.

12. When you look at this person, you feel a sense of "home."

13. You are entranced by their presence.

14. You continue to find correlations between you, years after having crossed paths.

15. They are one of your main sources of inspiration.

16. Your thoughts about them and/or yourself become their reality.

17. Your astrological signs are within the same element triplicity.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

How I Rediscovered My Sensitivity-Part Two

I spent most of my 20's striving towards becoming "something" of significance. My parents, meaning well, reiterated that money and status mattered. The idea of having her oldest daughter venture off to the West Coast to pursue a career in the entertainment industry as a writer was as ludicrious to my mother as the idea that the sky might be green instead of blue. Not being of the artistic sort, I couldn't really expect her to understand, but inside I felt extremely dissapointed and frustrated. She wanted me to stay home and go to college in the same "boring" town she had chosen to move to and that I yearned to fly away from. She wanted me to be practical.

So, I obliged, at least outwardly. Inwardly it was a very different story. My spirit never obliged. In fact, it began to rebel and rebel quite well. The "studious one" began to ditch her classes, experiment with danger, apply and get accepted to other colleges, and then finally left school altogether. I went back of course, but by the end of that year long "break," I had decided to lean my ladder against the wrong wall. I had decided to pursue practicality, a career in business, of all places. A business career meant you could make money, possibly lots of it and become "important," whatever that entailed. A career and field of study involving superfluous things that this world values that have no inherent depth or substance. A world I should've avoided, but my curiosity had other plans.

Curiosity only gets you so far. History began to repeat itself because the heart never loses sight of its true desire. This time my break landed me in Orlando, where I finally got the chance to breathe. I didn't have the obligations and the expectations of being someone others wanted me to be. I got the chance to experience life for the first time. New faces, new friends, new sights, new sounds. Yes, there was work involved too, but it didn't seem like work, despite Disney's high expectations. Maybe it was being able to create fun and happiness for others. Maybe it was being in a world of fantasy and play, who knows. All I knew at the time was that this was where I wanted to be. It was magical and I didn't want that feeling to end. I still made decisions one hundred percent with my heart; logical thinking was nowhere to be found. Well, perhaps there was a little logic. I did return home to finish that first business degree before packing my boxes and moving to the other coast to pursue "something" bigger than what I had known.

The Universe had other plans for me though. Florida became a lesson in learning the value of developing a practical side. I'm extremely grateful for the lesson and the fact that I had who would become my best friend to lean on during those times. I'm grateful that I'm still able to, just in a different way. My heart still wanted the same things, but I took the lesson as a sign that perhaps I was in the wrong place and needed to go home for awhile to rethink things. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. How do you leave a new life you created, that you wanted, but who's pieces weren't somehow fitting together? How do you leave behind a piece of you? Most of all, how do you leave someone that you love more than you thought it was ever possible to love, who clearly is unable to stand the thought of you leaving?

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

We will return to Part Three of "How I Rediscovered My Sensitivity" in just a moment......

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ten Challenges of an HSP's Daily Grind

A highly sensitive person experiences day to day life very differently than someone who is not highly sensitive. Prior to discovering research on the trait of high sensitivity, I thought something was wrong. It was implied by those around me who were not highly sensitive that something was wrong. I didn't understand why I was different or why I reacted differently to certain situations. The following is a list from my perspective on the challenges that HSPs may face during their daily routines:

1. An HSP feels everything around them. This includes the unspoken emotions and intents of others. They are likely to become irritated and overwhelmed when there is a lot of activity or people in the same room. This may unintentionally come across in their body language.

2. An HSP is often physically and emotionally tired. Perhaps this is from thinking too much, absorbing everyone else's energy, being a natural insomniac or a combination. This means they likely won't have the energy to go out after a day at work or they may need more downtime by themselves at home. They may not have the energy to talk at the end of the day because all of the energy they've absorbed is still swirling inside them and they need time alone to process and divulge. This shouldn't be misinterpreted as anti-social or depressed. Being physically and mentally tired may mean they are more likely to need to take naps or sleep longer than others.

3. An HSP often has trouble discerning what they want versus what someone else wants. They are easily influenced by the energy of someone else's presence and may need to "get away" from that person in order to respond to them with their own thoughts and convictions. Others shouldn't take this personally.

4. An HSP is able to intuit more than others. This means that they instinctively know things that others wouldn't without asking questions. They also pick up and learn quite a bit by observing and then reflecting. This may make them seem more withdrawn, uncommunicative and possibly uninterested. Usually this isn't the case.

5. An HSP often absorbs themselves in learning and can at times seem to "become" what they've learned. This comes from the innate ability to transcend themselves, a technique often used by actors to portray a character. This doesn't mean that they actually want to become what they've learned. They do get bored easily and have a thirst to continue grasping new concepts.

6. HSPs often don't believe in their abilities, at least in Western societies. Perhaps this comes from Western culture's preference of the "warrior" type personality. They have difficulty with compliments, don't see the results of their talents as anything special (it is "normal" to them) and at times will have difficulty following through with their ideas.

7. HSPs have a tendency towards emotional downspirals or "depression." They experience emotions more intensely than others and are often surprised and overwhelmed by the intensity. They also have difficulty discerning between their emotions and the emotions of others. It can seem as though someone else's emotions are their own. However, this doesn't mean they actually are depressed.

8. HSPs are easily irritated by the little things, such as hearing neighbors close and open doors, the sound of music playing from a car driving by or through the walls of their home. To an HSP, even the slightest noise can be disturbing and magnified. They are also easily irritated by the small inconsiderations of others, such as other drivers following too closely or others pushing past them in a store. They may find themselves reacting in a frustrated manner, which may come across as rude and mean to those around them.

9. Introverted HSPs hate small talk. They don't find it interesting and it can actually be almost impossible for them to do it. They would rather have philosophical, deep conversations. This can make them appear unapproachable. They are anything but.

10. An HSP has an intense desire to help and please others. They become so absorbed with what others expect that they forget about or are completely unaware of what their needs are. They take criticism from others harshly, which can result in immediate withdrawal. They have difficulty standing up for themselves and often overlook the devious intentions of others. This shouldn't be misinterpreted as weakness, for they often have an inner strength that surpasses that of those less sensitive.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Today's Creative Inspirations and Musings

Today I find myself immersed in the French film "The Lover." Why I've chosen to use this film as the backdrop for inspiration today has made itself quite known as my "novel in progress," well, progresses. I was first introduced to this film when I was all of either 16 or 17. The year was 1993, back when what was to become my alma mater still showed foreign films for next to nothing.

I was quite impressionable back then, as most who are coming of age, and was just beginning to discover my love of art house culture. Fast forwarding to my now 33 year old self, this is still one of my favorite films. Some of the reasons are the same, such as the fact that it is a writer's autobiographical account of her former self and one of its themes is love overcoming societal boundaries. However, I've discovered that I share a commonality with the main female character; the discovery that you did indeed love someone that at the time you didn't fully realize you had.

The story of the two main characters in this film is somewhat tragic, but altogether real. Two lovers who connect at a common point along their journeys in life, but who are aware that they cannot have a future together. Despite having to go their separate ways due to societal obligations, rules and boundaries, their love for each other never dies. The male character is always aware of his love, but the female character doesn't fully allow herself to recognize it until after their relationship has ended. Perhaps it is because of the age difference. When we are coming of age we often don't fully understand what we are feeling and why. It's only when the older, more experienced version of ourselves reflects on what was, that we fully awaken to what happened.

It's funny how time and experience help us connect the dots more logically versus the younger version's impulse to rely on intuition alone. We can only hope to smile in reflection on what was and move past the pain of what could've been. Perhaps the satisfaction of knowing that anything is possible when two people love each other and that love continues despite life's demands, obligations and rules is enough.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Things Often Taken for Granted that Shouldn't

1. That there will be a tomorrow.

2. There will be another moment to say "I love you," "Thank You," "I appreciate and value having you in my life."

3. Nature's beauty and complexity.

4. Each person we encounter has a story that they need someone to listen to.

5. Our actions won't have negative consequences.

6. We can continue to take from the people in our lives without giving back.

7. We will continue to be forgiven for our "wrongs."

8. Entitlement to what we think we want.

9. The acquisition of "things," "titles" and "appearances" to validate ourselves without first seeking this from within.

10. Who we are will continue to be who we will become.

11. Our very existence.

12. The material things that we have acquired will continue to be there.

13. The relationships in our lives will always be there to fall back on.

14. There will still be time to do what we really want instead of what we have to.

15. That others will find us as interesting as we find ourselves.

16. That the pursuit of what we think we want will result in happiness.

17. That love can somehow overcome the boundaries and obligations that the world places upon us.

18. That we can continue to disguise and deny our true feelings in hope that someday we will get the chance to reveal them.

19. That the demands of life won't change us.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

...More to come after a brief intermission into practicality

Friday, October 23, 2009

How I Rediscovered My Sensitivity-Part One

I've gone through most of my life somehow knowing that I was a little different from the majority of people. I've felt things on a level that not a lot of others seemed to get. I could never stop thinking, even about my own thoughts. Everything meant something, it had to. I could feel people's energy and sense what they were really saying behind the words.

It's ironic that in the pursuit of striving in the opposite direction of what I truly wanted that I stumbled back into my true self. After taking a year off from my undergrad studies, I decided to change my major to Business because I thought this would be more practical than pursuing my passions of English and Theatre. I chose marketing as my concentration because it seemed to have the most possibilities and I was somehow drawn to it. However, I soon realized that I was in a world that I didn't understand. I didn't think like the professors who taught the classes I was in and I didn't know how to answer their questions. I recall being in my first accounting class and having the professor ask the class for examples of things of value. What he meant was monetary value, things that accountants classify into debits and credits and the like. My mind automatically thought of relationships, flowers, people, poetry, etc. This is probably why I barely scraped by with a "C." Thinking quantitatively has never been my strong suit, as my high school and undergrad transcripts can lovingly attest to.

As I got closer and closer to the end of my program, I knew in my gut that something was wrong. Sure, I enjoyed some of my more "qualitative" classes; the management and marketing electives that let you deal with concepts and people oriented subject matter. But I didn't want to do it, I couldn't see myself in a boring "business" career. I knew I wanted something more alive, something with more passion, something more meaningful. So, with three classes to complete before earning my degree, I decided to take a break. That "break" was participating in Walt Disney Word's College Program. It's an experience that I will never forget and will always be grateful for. It's one of the pivotal experiences in my life that changed me, but it was just the beginning.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beginnings

Today is a beginning. The beginning of what exactly remains to be seen. The rest of existence, the rest of life. The embarkment of a journey into something new. A new direction. The hope of a new direction. There are a lot of things that can be done; a lot of things put off in lieu of practicality. No more time can be wasted on practicality. After all, what is the sense in living without passion? Practicality only gets you born, but it doesn’t make sure you continue breathing.

My strengths and interests are advising people, writing, researching, learning, music, films/theatre, telling a story, analyzing, empathizing, one on one relationships. Stimulation can often be my enemy. If I could only go back to that 17 year old girl who knew exactly what she wanted, but chose something she was told she should want instead. College, was that road I chose, despite knowing that I wanted to pursue my writing instead. That first year was difficult, but I had something right the first time. The fields that I studied were my passions. I was told that year that I had a “fine mind” and was encouraged to enter the honors program. I’ve been told that throughout my school years, even now that I’m pursuing my Masters.

This is part of being a highly sensitive person, according to Dr. Elaine Aaron, who has pioneered much of the research on this trait. Gifted, yet misunderstood as shy, unapproachable, timid, inward. Overstimulated by external forces that others are ok with. I’ve always known my whole life, from the time I was very young, that the label “shy” was incorrect. I’ve never felt “shy” in the sense of the word. I’m not scared. Quiet, reflective, yes, but not “shy." I’ve rediscovered myself. It's been a rediscovery of who I really am and reaffirming what I’ve seen in the background my entire life, but have been made to feel wrong about. Putting words to who I am, finding reassurance that there are others has been such an awakening. I am ok, complex as I am. The business world may need someone like me, but perhaps I don’t need or want it. Perhaps it is time to be 100% true to myself. To create through the written word is my lifeline. It's what fuels me. To engulf myself in the what could be, rather than what is. For “what is” is boring really. Where’s the fun in actuality? Isn’t that why we long to escape on a vacation, in a movie, in a book, in a song, in the stories others gossip about? To get away from who we really are, from our own life? The dullness of it can be painful. What we could be is always more alluring, like a seductive scent that carries with it all the possibilities of something more. Alive. Not kept in the darkness of sameness.

To see who you are sometimes requires going back to who you were and to what and who influenced you. I’ve been doing a lot of that recently. I remember as a child falling in love with flowers, tulips specifically. I couldn’t get enough of them, my nose was buried in them, examining the delicate intricacies of their interior, taking in their scent.

I didn’t get the chance to know my biological father too well, but perhaps it is from him that I get the majority of my sensitivity. I do believe that my mother, in her own way, is sensitive as well, but not in the artistic sense. No, from my father I believe I received my love of film, theatre and the gift of writing. I do remember going to movies with him as a child, that is a love and appreciation that was instilled very early. Of course, we went to many Disney films as he was a lover of all things "Disney."

My love of film blossomed in my senior year of high school, where it took on a more artistic tone. Writing is something that has always come naturally. A love of books, knowledge as well. Music is something I was drawn to at an early age. Those passions are still very much alive. I’ve just buried them since I was nineteen in pursuit of things not so sensitive. But it has never felt right and I’ve never been truly happy. At seventeen in my AP English class, my instructor commented that I displayed “sensitivity” in my analysis of literature. At the time, I didn’t fully understand the gift or even the full meaning of the concept. I do now, but of course it is always amusing to look back and know that you’ve always known who you were, you just got lost somewhere along the journey of life.

The pursuit of what you are not can only lead to frustration. Wouldn’t it be better to fully be who you are, to live your dreams, your wishes, to no longer hide behind what the world says you should want and what you should be. I’ve never been good at one hundred percent conformity. You could say that I have a bit of an inner rebel, an onryness that at times can land me in hot water. But the one conformity that I made has changed me. This world requires you to support yourself somehow. Practicality. Things to be acquired, bills to be paid. One thing I’ve learned though is that you can reverse or change your situations in life. If you made a wrong turn, went down the wrong path that looked right at the time, it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck there.

Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.

Today's Random Thoughts and Ruminations

Today is only a reflection of yesterday's dreams. When we touch another, it's as if they transform us into what they want us to be.

We are more than our individual selves. We are life. A collection and collaboration of thoughts, feelings, dreams. Collective consciousness exists because all of our souls co-exist in the past, present and future. To tune into what will be, we only need to listen to it.

I am an actress. I portray who I think others want to see. I only portray what I want others to see. Very rarely is my true self revealed. That is if I even know my real self. Not many do. To do so would require a journey of self reflection and silence. Most of humanity walks in darkness, controlled by the wishes and desires of authority figures’ wishes. The feeling of being outside ourselves does not come from not knowing our true self, but rather from trying to be a reflection of another’s perspective. When we don’t meet those expectations, we are shunned. Often an unwarranted rejection of sorts. Do we do this automatically to others, without getting past the surface, without seeing past what is visible?


Copyright 2009 by H.E.A.