The Secret Gift Of Being Present

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Energy Healing, Personal Development8 Comments

being present

Being present offers a secret gift. Being present is something we are increasingly exhorted to be – something that identifies us as a good person. It’s a shame because being present has the capacity to offer us so much more. What Does It Mean To Be Present? Being present is the source of all potential goodness in our lives: being present means that we are not living in our heads. Our heads have a way of taking over and running our lives with ideas about life rather than life itself. being present means that this moment is enough. being present means that we are fully awake to everything in our lives. being present means accepting our humanity with all of its faults and imperfections and also the same in others. being present means also accepting our limitations. Another way to say it is that when we are present we are grounded. Why Bother? So why bother? it is a mentally organized world with lots of different ideas about life that seem to have the upper hand making decisions about our lives for us, isn’t it? Being present can means seeing, hearing and feeling the judgments and negativity of the world and that can be painful especially for highly sensitive people. Who wants to drown in all of the injustice and meanness? I know I don’t. There is a part of us that wants to remove ourselves out of self preservation to a place with less conflict, meanness and pain. I expect that we all have that desire. Being Present Isn’t A Time Being present is often treated as a form of time but it is really more a type of space. The past and future really do not exist. They are fictions of our minds. They occupy mental space but … Read More

The Social Challenge Of Highly Sensitive People

Maria HillPersonal Development, Social Smarts, The HSP Trait19 Comments

  Highly sensitive people are known for being independent and able to be alone.However, that does not mean that we necessarily are happy and comfortable with it. Recently I have been asking myself why being alone is considered, “bad” or a sign of a problem. Do I need to be herded into a group, an identity, or a cause? Why Is Being Alone Stigmatized? Have you ever noticed that being alone carries a stigma? Why do we disparage the “crazy cat lady”, or the “poor” bachelor? It amazes me that to this day the early definitions of being human still apply. You are to be married, have children, women should be mothers and men should be warriors. These are important and valued roles. They are the subject of most social discourse. Succeeding at them is gives us status which gives us social protection. Does Popularity Protect Us? Acquiesing to and succeeding at these roles also give us popularity. That is a lot of social incentive to conform! Does popularity protect us? Popularity may have had important survival implications in the past.  Consider an old civilization having food shortages. Who would eat and who would not? Certainly the least popular would  be less likely to be saved. The popular social roles once has serious survival implications. People did not live long, so we continually need new ones. War was common and soldiers were needed. War, disease and short life spans meant that only certain roles were supported, roles that affected the ability of the group to survive. Those days may be over. However, they still seem to live in our minds. We have certainly developed a lot of skills around coercing people to be a certain way. And the stories that we tell are often around our survival story. Saving ourselves … Read More

Separating Ambition And Greed

Maria HillCulture And Sensitive People, Emotional And Mental Health, Personal Development2 Comments

greed

Ambition and greed are often thought of as the same thing. They are not easy concepts for highly sensitive people and can be a source of pain and unhappiness. Greed does Not Work For Highly Sensitive People Greed does not work as a life strategy for most highly sensitive people. Part of the reason is physical because it requires a lot of energy directed toward personal gain. Another reason is our natures. We see the dehumanizing side of greed and the destruction of animals and natural resources that is required to sustain greediness. A third reason is that it is our nature to reflect before we act. We take in so much information that we have a high need to process what we take in and understand it before we leap to conclusions or take action. It helps us to be in integrity with ourselves. Our natures and natural processing style slows us down which means that we cannot do greed very well. The Effect Of Structural Greed On Highly Sensitive People Structural greed which is what capitalism is has a significant social effect. Whenever a culture structures itself to achieve an objective it then elevates the values that support it. When a culture is oriented toward making money, then greed becomes a positive value in the culture. Those who manifest the desired value advance in the culture and those who do not fall behind at least in economic terms. That would not be so bad if social safety nets existed.  Unfortunately, in greed-based societies, they often do not, which means that you either participate in the money-focused structure or you struggle to survive. Many highly sensitive people struggle to survive. Greed Energy Is Different From Ambition Energy Greed and ambition are very different energies. Greed energy is built on … Read More

Those Pesky Boundaries

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress7 Comments

boundaries

Fuzzy boundaries? Boundaries are one of the biggest challenges facing highly sensitive people. They can be a source of aggravation and unhappiness. There are many reason why boundary issues are a problem for us, some having to do with us and others having to do with the world. It would help if we could get a handle on them. Why Boundary Issues Are Different For Highly Sensitive People Boundaries are personal and impersonal. When we stop eating because we are full, we are responding to a natural boundary. When we are on time for an appointment we are respecting a social boundary. When we stop our car at a stop sign we are responding to a societal boundary. Those boundaries are fairly easy to deal with. Then there are the others. These are values and identity boundaries that create all sorts of problems. An identity boundary would be the one on same sex marriage that is being challenged and overturned. A values boundary would be one about war, or greed. Values boundaries show up in the priorities we set. Setting boundaries is different for HSPs. Highly sensitive people often have humanitarian and compassionate values that conflict with the world around them. Their physical needs are greater and therefore they will have situational challenges in setting boundaries. So what can we do about this? Step 1: Know Yourself And Your Needs As A Highly Sensitive Person This first step in creating boundaries is to make some time to consider your needs and ideas. You need to create a way to confidently handle boundary issues. When you have that map in your mind, you will be able to handle conflict in a way that works for you and hopefully the other person, whether they are highly sensitive or not. Here are some … Read More

Overcoming The Need To Please

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development16 Comments

Highly sensitive people have many ways of handling their nature and the overwhelm that they experience. Being different means that relationships are often difficult for us. We often feel at a disadvantage in relationships feeling one down because we feel disrespected. There are many reasons for this. Our compassionate non-competitive natures seek mutuality in a one-upsmanship world which does not respect our kindness. So we often want the respect we deserve but cannot claim. So we seek ways to achieve social acceptance. Pleasing is one of those ways. Do You Feel The Need To Please? The need to please comes from our need to establish and maintain the interpersonal bridge with others. there are many ways that the interpersonal bridge is created and sustained. Most of the time there is some kind of shared experience or other kind of bond created through: blood relationships being neighbors school and school activities shared interests work community activities shared values shared life experiences Highly sensitive people have trouble with the interpersonal bridge because often their values are different from those around them and also because they are different and experience most things differently it is hard for them to bond over shared experiences. Many times HSPs are loners but not by choice. The weakness of the interpersonal bridge is something that we live with each day and it is often a source of feelings of vulnerability. We do not fit in and know it. We suspect therefore that we are unwelcome. Coming To Terms With The Challenges Of Being Different Being different does not necessarily mean that we are unwelcome. Humans are notorious for comparing themselves to each other so we may remind others of undeveloped aspects of themselves and in that way create feelings of discomfort. That is not our fault but … Read More

Are You Really Inhibited?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress4 Comments

inhibited

Are you  inhibited? What does inhibited even mean? Is it just another one of those value judgments that we use to hurt each other? What Does Inhibited Mean? According to the Free Dictionary, to be inhibited is to restrain, to prohibit and forbid. Inhibited also means to act with self consciousness rather than naturalness. Merriam-Webster defines inhibit as “to discourage from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints.” So to be inhibited is to lack spontaneity and to be subject to inner and social conventions. It sounds like an infection! Inhibition Is Not A Trait Inhibition is essentially social restriction. It is how we turn people into participants in a culture and economic system. In many ways, inhibition becomes a form of self discipline that can be false. There is nothing wrong with self discipline; however, misdirected self discipline is destructive. Inhibition is a society’s way of laying claim to our energies. How Inhibition Takes Hold Inhibition take hold through numerous forms of social control: values  accepted ideas about purpose roles rules approval and disapproval rewards and punishments These are substantial forms of social coercion and inhibition. How Inhibition Is Experienced Internally we experience social expectations as a wall of some kind. Since humans learn through imitation, we inevitably acquire the walls that are given to us as children by imitating adults. Our brains send us an error message if we go against our inherited “self” or what is expected of us. That means that biologically we are wired to conform. If your early training was rigid and perfectionistic you may have developed some very restricted ways of living, so you will experience your inner critic taking over the minute you deviate from the script. Is Materialism Another Form Of Inhibition? Western society currently devalues some inhibition because it is … Read More