Being Present: All You Really Need

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development4 Comments

Being present is often treated as something to strive for. It is a kind of Holy Grail of spirituality and well being. Being present is where you live when your head is out of the way. Why is it so elusive? How Our Heads Get In The Way It never ceases to amaze me how much our heads get in the way of living well and enjoying life. It happens so innocently, too. Our heads which are in the business of helping us and trying to make sure we survive, grapple with our environments and questions about our lives and ourselves in an attempt to make our lives worthwhile. Our brains start at a very young age with the business of making meaning. Our immature brains do not know that when we are young we are unable to fully make meaning. However, our young brains are undaunted by what we do not know and plunge into the complex waters of meaning. Our meaning makers bump up against the meaning makers of our parents and families as well as our cultures. A lot of mistakes get made in the area of meaning, resulting in prejudice and stereotypes that we then have to work awfully hard to eradicate. Once we have made meaning, then we continually work with that meaning as we make a life in the world. So we are often drawn back to the past as we try to come to terms with mistaken conclusions we have formed about ourselves and others. So naturally being present is out of the question. How we made meaning can affect our view of the future and whether or not we over focus on the future. If we learned to dread our environment as a child we may have a recurring and habitual dread … Read More

Do You Suffer From Emergency Mind?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress4 Comments

When we afraid everything around us looms large and chaotic. Lately though it seems that fear has become the norm and we are living in a perpetual state of emergency. Perhaps it has always been this way but I am noticing something else at work that needs questioning. Emergencies Are Not Innocent Emergencies have become a way of life for many of us. Notice our entertainment. They are mostly about emergencies. Whether depicting our health care system, focusing on national security, or relationships, many of our movies and television entertainments are based on the idea that life is an emergency. Of course, we have some emergencies – some of the time. However, I think we need to ask why emergencies have become the norm for our lives. It seems to me that we have been suffering from emergency creep for a long time, and now emergencies have reached a critical mass to the point that we may not recognize life without them. Emergencies are not innocent. They take huge amounts of energy and resources. When they occur, they replace any other priorities. A continual state of emergency is a great way to control the social and even political agenda of a family, community and society. The Consequences Of Emergencies When an emergency is over we are often poorer for it. If we have a hospital emergency we certainly understand the enormity of the bill, even if paid by our insurer. When we have major storms, it is obvious how much damage is done to the physical plant of a community but also how disruptive of the ives of the people affected it is. It takes no imagination to grasp the horrendous losses created by wars. Occasional major emergencies create small disruptions. Large and continuous emergencies do much more: they make … Read More

An Easy Way To Discharge Stressed Out Energy

Christine LacedraEmotional And Mental Health, Stress1 Comment

  Nature is one of the most powerful and natural healing modalities available to us and yet it is largely untapped as a healing resource. We highly sensitive people are more vulnerable  to a stressed nervous system  from the high levels of stimulation that are so rampant in our western culture. Over my lifetime I have tried many modalities to relieve myself from the excessive stress out feeling I get from being ‘out’ in the world. What I have found is that Nature is the one consistent place my body, mind and spirit automatically relaxes and comes into a state of harmonious synchrony. One way nature creates this nervous system balance is by helping us to shift our attention from thinking to sensing. The sights, smells, sounds and general energy level of nature is a lot more harmonious and attractive than the loud and discordant stimuli so often found in cities, the workplace and even our homes when the T.V is on. How Your Heart Field CanRelieve Stressed Out Energy Studies have shown that when you shift to sensing you alter the electromagnetic field of your heart. This causes the heart rate to slow as well as bringing the two parts of the nervous system into a dynamic state of alert relaxation. The quickest and easiest way to bring yourself into this state which scientists call coherence is by actively seeking out that which you find attractive. Appreciation for beauty activates the heart’s energy field. Science has shown the size of the heart’s electromagnetic field is much larger than the brain’s. This means that the rest of the body and mind will entrain to it which creates that much sort after state of relaxed ease and openness. The more you practice direct perception and appreciation the more you will move … Read More

The Importance Of Fatigue

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Stress3 Comments

photo credit: Ryan Kilpatrick Listen to your fatigue. Exhaustion is an important message from our bodies, emotions, and spirits. Western thinking and cultural practices treat fatigue, at best, as an inconvenience. Such thinking is a mistake and particularly problematic for highly sensitive people. What Fatigue Does For Us All living things need renewal to be healthy.  If we do not make time for renewal, we are depleting and ultimately destroying ourselves by ignoring a natural part of the life cycle. Unfortunately, we humans have been operating this way with ourselves and the environment for a long time as if people and the environment are simply part of a larger factory system. One of the consequences is the growing numbers of sick people on the planet. Highly sensitive people are fortunate to be holistic, not linear or mechanistic thinkers. But HSP’s need to protect themselves from the linear, mechanistically organized world of production capitalism which is destructive for their health. On a personal level, most of us can cope with a certain amount of fatigue and not feel too debilitated.  We may not be at our best, but on occasion, that may be an acceptable compromise. However, how we handle that short-term fatigue can have serious impacts. Most short term solutions for fatigue are nothing more than one form of stimulant or another: stimulants like coffee and sugar snacks throw the body further off balance, and create a temporary boost while depleting us later. It’s a kind of deficit spending for the body. working harder is another often used approach. Many people have to work long hours that are not really suited to their natures. One Ayurvedic doctor told me that working six hours a day was considered far superior for health and more natural for us than our current culture … Read More

The Special Benefits Of Health For HSPs

Maria HillPersonal Development, Physical Health0 Comments

  Do you know what it means to be healthy? Most people do not. In our culture, health is often assumed to be the absence of visible symptoms of disease. That is a mistaken view of health. So what is health? What Is Health? Health is a state of harmony between all aspects of your being. It is a state where you are able to function optimally. Health means that nothing is dragging you down: poor food that cogs your system, environmental toxins, poor digestion, stress factors that create the conditions for metabolic syndrome, toxic relationships, toxic work conditions. Health is a state of perfect balance and well being where every aspect of your being is in sync with every other part of you. You are a fully functioning in the holistic sense. You may be thinking that it is too good to be true. And yes I am describing ideal conditions that do not exist. However, more is possible than you may think. Why Bother? Once you have a picture of perfect health, of total well-being and perfect functioning you can begin to formulate a health plan. In health this is important. We are unlikely to create perfect conditions in our lives and in our health because life is not perfect. The good news is that nature has provided us with a cushion for life’s ups and downs: our immune system. However, our immune system has its limits especially the immune systems of highly sensitive people which can be easily overwhelmed by stress and toxins. In order to prevent toxic overload you need to take into account your living situation and your medical vulnerabilities to begin to figure out what adjustments are necessary to bring your situational challenges in line with your capacity to handle them. Here is a formula … Read More

Suffering The Human Blind Spot

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress1 Comment

I am human and I have a blind spot. We all do. It has been called a lot of things: reactiveness, shortsightedness, mindlessness, ignorance. The labels really do not matter, because labels do not help us understand ourselves better. In fact, if we react to the labels, they may make our situation worse. What Is Our Blind Spot? Like all other animals, we are all vulnerable. Our brains are organized to discern and respond to threats. When we are not being vigilant, we are pleasure seeking creatures. Most of the time we operate in one or the other way of being, trying to minimize threat and maximize pleasure. We, therefore, turn the world into one or the other: a source of potential harm or potential pleasure. Our vision and brains can keep us stuck in the vicious cycle of going back and forth between pain and pleasure. Our minds categorize everything according to our desire to minimize pain and maximize pleasure. This is why wise people tell us that our desires can create problems for us. It is not so much that our desires are a problem, it is what we do about them. What We See Is What We Get Our vision is the beginning of our perceptual system. Our vision system is one of the largest systems of the brain. It sorts everything in our environment and processes the information. It is not clear at what point visual inputs turn into cognition. However, it is clear that our visual system is the beginning of our perception. Our visual system may be more important than we realize. According to MyBrainWare, vision is responsible for 70% of what we learn. That is a lot of our learning! Our visual cortex is thought to be a part of the brain which plays an important role in visual cognition. It … Read More