Portrait of the Inner Journey by Susan Seddon Boulet
Many highly sensitive people (HSPs) realize as early as in kindergarten (me!) that something is not quite right. I shed more tears than my siblings, friends, and cousins combined, and was flat-out told that these tears were ‘crocodile tears’ and not real. Why? Because they lacked ‘good reason’ –– sigh . . . as if feelings ran on logic.
The Tender Cry-Baby Years
In grade school, HSPs like me often get teased for being cry babies. We get in trouble for being too much or too little in comparison to the norm: in first grade, I needed to go the principal’s office for being too soft spoken, too timid and too easily shaken up and emotionally overwhelmed by my teacher’s loud reprimands, when I wasn’t even the one in trouble.
Adolescence: the Weird, Dramatic, Serious, & Intense Years
It doesn't stop there. In middle and high school, our peers think we’re weird, overly dramatic, too serious or too intense. Many parents don’t know what high sensitivity is or how to best guide their HS teens. My parents wanted me to open up when overwhelmed and needing to shut the world out, yet glazed over and toned me down when I shared my full range of feelings. They couldn’t wait for my precocious, emotional, hormonal phase to end.
Tragedy & Truth: HSP Symptom Shame & Self-Blame
By the time we reach adulthood, we’ve got HSP symptom shame and self-blame down-pat. We’re convinced that it’s our fault that we can’t crack this confusing relationship code that everyone else seems to get.
The truth: we sense and are impacted by subtle nuances and other people’s disowned shadow parts and emotions that the rest of the population (80% or so) either benignly neglects, actively rejects or entirely misses.
Trapped in the Lose-Lose Double-Bind
This places us in a lose-lose double-bind. In order to belong, we need to artificially dim the light on our version of reality and push truth that’s unacceptable back in the shadows. Being the harmony loving creatures we are, we often become masters at doing whatever it takes to fly under the radar. We chameleon through life, even when overwhelmed by all the stimuli and imbalances in our environment that run through our energy systems –– a key characteristic of HSP. This initially pays off but over time takes a big toll on our well-being. We eventually prefer to go through life in stealth-mode without realizing the hidden personal price we pay when we resort to this and the loss to the world when we dim our bright light and true potential.
Nature: my Escape
Growing up in a country almost entirely covered by Amazon rainforest provided me an easy exit strategy out of modern life’s mazes and matrices. Whenever I struggled with self-blame, I hid and played in the forest (a patch of undeveloped land across the street) within the loving arms of Mother Nature, who embraced, rather than shunned, my natural disposition.
In the jungle, it was clear that I wasn't the problem. People who had lost touch with their peaceful true nature, vulnerable hearts, and joyful spirit were.
Mother Earth as HS Go-To Refuge
You can probably relate. HSPs frequently report that the natural world offers them refuge, clarity, and solace. Many of us are also able to receive deep soul messages and guidance from Mother Earth, nature spirits and animals who help us to develop higher than average EQ by learning to regulate and identify our strong emotions and needs.
Unfortunately, life’s many twists and turns derailed and disconnected me from my safe nature sanctuary and spiritual lifeline. It took a spontaneous shamanic initiation –– drumming sounds, as persistent as a song stuck in your head –– to re-awaken me decades later while a student in a clinical psychology graduate program. What initially felt like reliving the highly sensitive, double-bind all over again became a liberating journey of deep transformation and soul healing.
Best of ALL Worlds
Today, two and a half decades later, I’ve integrated the best of modern psychotherapy and ancient shamanic healing practices into 5 SOULutions for HSP –– inspired by guidance from nature and elemental spirits.
I learned to replace all that I’ve lost and continue to excavate the depths of my being for more treasures. I now teach my clients how to build a protective inner sanctuary and invoke a dreamteam of elemental guides with teachings that are particularly beneficial to HS women wanting to resist and reframe negative messages about their emotionality -- their powerful energy-in-motion.
These guides will activate and catalyze your natural genius and transform self-blame and distorted beliefs that most frequently sabotage healthy emotional regulation in HSPs.
Ready? Let’s Get Started . . .
5 Highly Essential SOULutions to Inner Peace