“Thinking brings fear.”
When you overreact to events, like crying before other people, and can’t avoid sadness overwhelm you after catching up with media news, then you are probably a so-called « highly sensitive person ». The earlier you get it, the better. Before my burn out and fake alert trauma, I knew that I was a sensitive person, and sometimes acting like a « little girl », but I wasn’t aware of it like a gift. Being sensitive more than 80 per cent of world population? What a present, I was thinking. Acceptation came actually like thunder’s lighting, after a long time of struggling and fighting against my own personality. When, finally, I met this penpal whose story was much stronger than mine, since he is serving a sentence in a californian jail, for 16 years now, and 7 are left. My penfriend was HSP him self and he had the chance to get a good lady doctor as psychotherapist.
If you allow me, I’ll share this article with you, it is from the magazine « Shambala : The Sacred Path of Warrior » :
« Basic goodness is very closely connected to the idea of bodhicitta in the Buddhist tradition. Bodhi means « awake » or « wakeful » and citta means « heart », so bodhicitta is « awakend heart ». Such awakened heart comes from being willing to face your state of mind. That may seem like a great demand, but it is necessary. You should examine yourself and ask how many times you have tried to connect with your heart, fully and truely. How often have you turned away, because you feared you might discover something terrible about yourself ? How often have you be willing to look at your face in the mirror without being embarrassed ? How many times have you tried to shield yourself by reading the newspaper, watching television, or just spacing out ? That is the sixty-four-thousand dollar question : How much have you connecteted with yourself at all in your whole life ? » The sitting practice of meditation … is the means to rediscover basic goodness, and, beyond that, it is the means to awaken this genuine heart within yourself. When you sit in the posture of meditation, you are exactly the naked man or woman that we describerd earlier, sitting between heaven and earth. When you slouch, you are trying to hide your heart, trying to protect it by slumping over. But when you sit upright but relaxed in the posture of meditation, your heart is naked. Your entire being is exposed – to yourself, first of all, but to others as well. So, through practice of sitting still and following your breath as it goes out and dissolves, you are connecting with your heart. By simply letting yourself be as you are, you develop genuine sympathy toward yourself. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others. »
In order to better understand if you are an HSP I’ll put this article from this blogger, who seems very HSP like. You’ll see that feeling weird, quiet and out of place is absolutely normal and a good sign that you are being your true Self.
You also find a podcast from Alanis Morissette with Elaine Aron, author of « Highly Sensitive Person : How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You”.
Before I discovered meditation, my daily routine was jumping out of bed, at last minute, rushing for having my breakfast, and getting ready for going out, and still hurry up to catch my bus. Typical parisian, I’d say. Yes, except I live in suburbs, and this area is located between country and woods. Even more scary.
Not only my way of walking, but also speaking was speed. Truth is that deeply inside, I am shy, and that means that when I have to speak, I feel I am at the center of attention and I am not confortable. This was me, before. « Hurry, hurry. » Consequently, french guests or colleagues tried hard to understand what I was saying to them. And actually, still do. But this is another story for another bed time. The fact of hurrying each moment of day made me more anxious and tired. Until I fell exhausted. Also, speaking my mind was a big trick for me. Simply, I didn’t take enough time to build up my thought, and this is quite typical for firy aries like me.
When, finally, got this audio-book from french psychologist, Christophe André, I was on a quest of the meaning of here and now. Why being mindful ? What is it ? Why are we not living the present moment, all the time ? It looks like our mind is escaping it, in the past and the future, … So, I started this practice for about TEN minutes, in the morning. Every morning. Straight before my coffee. First time, I kept watching the clock and minutes seemed like never passing by. Was I doing right ? Sat down, and focus on my nastrils, breathing IN cold air, breathing OUT warm air. That was helpful. My mind could start concentrating on physical. Thoughts flew away and then came back. « What will I put on today ? » « What will I eat for lunch ? » Then focus, again. Third eye helps. When you close your eyes, and concentrate on the dot between your eyebrows, I admit, that is powerful. So, what?
Yes, my life has magically changed since. And the results motivate me to hold one this practice. Now, that meditating became a pleasant habit, I spend more time on my orange pillow, sitting on the floor, but that doesn’t mean I am doing it properly. If I can, I let my overthinking release and let it go. Ok, I am anxious and a bit stressed, and that’s okay. I simply accept it. When you become aware of it, that’s a good start for healing. Your subconscious records that information and starts working on it, and eventually send orders to neurons to fight against stress. Your body gets prepared in a certain way. When you are so stressed out and you feel like you can’t meditate, just sit down and take ten minutes to RELAX….. that’s EXACTLY the perfect moment to do it.
Some life coaches call it power hour. The first hour in the morning, where you can write down your journal, reading inspiring quotes, affirmations, doing yoga or work out excercise, and meditate. It’s matter of habits. What time is your clock in the morning? How do you feel now ? Emotionally ? Physically ? Can you imagine advance your clock for one hour ? Ok, ten minutes ? Start small.
If you like, keep on breathing. Darling, you just learnt how to take time for your Self, no matter what. No kids around, or work schedules. Each day is a good day for trying better. You’ll be grateful.
Don’t try, do.
When I was diagnosed « burnt out » by my doctor, september 2015, I used sleeping 3-4 hours per night, five days a week. In my weekend days, I was so exhausted that I didn’t wake up until I had enough. Recovery sleep, what was that ?
Professionals say that our biological system starts producing melathonin at 22 pm, and recovering every single cell in our body, from 23 pm to 1 am. After that time, it’s too late. That means that if you go to sleep after 2 or 3 am every single night, it is quite possible that you develop health issues, and deseases, due to a weakened mental and physical body. As soon as I got my sick leave, a collegue had a terrible accident on his bycicle, when out for competition, on a sunday morning, he had his chest broken and couldn’t do any sport or walk properly, for a long time; another collegue went to hospital for a few months, and when he came back to work, he had to rearrange his schedules the same then I. He was stressed out, but he couldn’t ever admit to him self. The first, who was also my coach, told me that 4 hours sleep for him was enough. And for a while, he went on smoking weeds to help relaxing him self in the evening, until he finally had to quit, because of addiction. The second, who was in charge of « fake alert » (after january Paris attack), with me, moved to another service after a long recovery time in hospital. Because he was in denial, first, with him Self, he couldn’t see that something was wrong with me. He just told me, once, that I looked like I was going to cry, all the time, and that’s it. Also, he asked me if I was bipolar.
When home, not only I felt drained, but unexpectedly, I wanted to do more. So, I used to sit on my kitchen table, and write down plenty of « to do list ». Cook, walk, draw, create, clean, iron, fix bike’s wheel, yoga, relax. I checked the list, except for last one, of course. What you should consider as normal, on an off work day, like having fun, going out, or simply cocooning at home, was not considered, and seen as a waste of time. Yes, I spent my rest time keep doing things. What helped me, during my journey, was this article about being anxious. It stated to try to write down your list, and then destroy it. So, I did it. My table is much cleaner now. And my mind, too.
By the way, the person who really made the difference there, was my manager. During a certain time, she wasn’t there as much as the service required, or I would, due to her family’s configuration schedule, but I can’t blame her. At that right time, I did. I was angry against all management and frustration made me nervous and put me in a bad mood. Instead of leaving, cos there weren’t healthy conditions, to do our job, we felt compelled to replace them (for different reasons, I suppose). When she came back from holidays, she called me on a meeting with her, and asked me if what she heard was true. « Did I really had the courage to claim for a bonus ? » Definitely, yes, I did. We, as a team, did an excellent job, all alone. We had deserved it. Of course, that was the straw that breaks the camel’s back and, finally, bursted into tears. Go away. I was worthy a recognition for the effort. Instead of striking, as we were supposed to do, once the safety conditions are not guaranteed (guests became quite aggressive and they were right to be angry against a lack of service and staff), but we kept on doing a great job, altogether. And not only it didn’t pay off, we’ve been called and judged. That was my chance to blow the whistle. And I haven’t missed it.
That was the right moment when she, the boss – one of the persons I « feard » most– humbly suggested me to ask for help.
The first reaction that I remember, before burn out, was feeling guilty. I felt like I was not strong enough. Others look was very important and you don’t want to desappoint them, right ? Your will is to show them that you are worthy their attention (and perhaps love ?).
Everybody was tired, but my collegues were holding on. Nobody spent a day sick at home. It was very exceptional, because as a team, we knew that if someone wasn’t there, others would do the job. It wasn’t human kindness, instead, but a sort of spiritual pride. Deeply inside, as individuals, we couldn’t bare not to be necessary. My service was precious, I thought, and I pretended to make a difference, in service, too. How could they manage without me ? Oh, well, they could, and they did. After burn out, there were no reaction, but release. Finally, I could start to breath again. And still do.
breeze : synonims, gentle wind, breath of wind, puff of air, current of air, flurry of air, gust
Yes, according to Sebastian Junger, from his book « Tribe », people who develop chronic PTSD are more likely to have lived experiences before going to war or living their trauma. « Statistically, the 20 per cent of people who fail to overcome trauma tend to be those who are already burdened by psychological issues, either because they inherited them or because they suffered abuse as children. » As long as I’m concerned, depression was a family “present”. Depression, in my own words, is the way your soul is telling you how much you NEED to be loved. My grandfather used to spend days in bed, because of financial burdens. He was born in 1910, can you imagine ? Previous treatment for depression was electroshock. By the way, he died at age of 95. His last years he followed a therapy with psychodrug injections. His dreams turned into nightmares. He once told me that he woke up dreaming that he was LITERALLY on fire. The rest of the time, he was okay, especially, when he could hear classical music on his ears. No, not mp3, but simply allucinations.
At age 20, he was a navy led, he proudly attended the Amerigo Vespucci training school, and enjoyed telling me his stories from sailing with Admiral Alberto Da Zara ( one of most renowned charachter, in Italian Royal Navy, who asked him to take care of his own dog, Pippo, on leave time ). His fave tale at Xmas eve. It’s not natural, that grandpas die before we get old. I would like he could speak to me now, and teach me, how to sort all of this mess out.
« Learn english ». This was his statement. « It will open you doors ». He told me this after telling me the story of that unforgettable trip on the Channel, when he had the worst time of his life, because of very bad weather, and eventually, thought he wouldn’t come back home again. He made good friends on that trip, and definitely, enjoyed talking to brits. My grandpa was a storyteller, and, of course, as little girl I was taught to listen to elderly, but I did enjoy it, I promise. So was and still is my dad. This means not only we have the same way to face difficulties (depression is a reaction), but also, we pass on the same way to cope with them. So, pay attention on the illnesses and diseases your family is suffering since generations. They tell you who you are. If this is your case, the 20 per cent is telling you that you are a highly sensitive person and you have to take care of your Self. And your family, it goes without saying.
Sensitive : easily upset by the things people say or do, or causing people to be upset, embarrassed, or angry.
Are your an HSP? Try this :http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/