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  • Janis E. McKinstry

Authentically & Soulfully Being a Highly Sensitive Person

You're so sensitive and you've finally realized that there's nothing wrong with you. You're a Highly Sensitive Person living in an insensitive world. And, you've made the decision to live life more aligned with the truth of who you are deep down in your soul with no more trying to fit in by accomodating other's views of who you should be. It hasn't been easy, nor has it been fast. It's taken time and energy to sift out the chaff from the wheat to find what is nourishing and supportive of yourself. The burden of meeting other's expectations at your own expense has taken its toll on your nervous system and the healing work that you're doing is calming it, smoothing those frayed nerves as you dedicate this time in your life to your own integrity. Those areas in your life that feel burdensome are draining your energy and straining your nervous system. “Your soul knows when it is time to close a chapter.” Anonymous. What are those areas that need closing? Being true to your authtentic self in all areas of your life takes real dedication to yourself as you filter out all the shoulds and have tos coming at you from so many directions, and you're doing the best you can. If you're still figuring this out then I would be honored to guide you because counseling can help you to gain insight into your beliefs and habits, and help you to shift them into more alignment with your true nature which will bring satisfaction and peace that has been missing from your life. It will be a relief to feel as though you're meant to be here feeling loved and valued.

We're not here to be anything or anyone other than our true selves. There's only one of us so we have this sacred opportunity to get to know ourselves and step up into our unique and wonderful self. No more pretending to be someone we're not. We're so much more than our name, gender, sexuality, job title, address, bank account... so much more. We're spiritual beings having a human experience. “In a world where everyone wears a mask, it’s a privilege to see a soul.” Anonymous. Being authentic is the true expression of the soul. We're here to learn about all the feelings, emotions, challenges, joys, and triumps of this life. We're souls living in this body so that we can act on what the soul has learned from spirit. If we didn't have a body we wouldn't be able to do all things that the body is able to do. We wouldn't be able to see the sunrise, or a squirrel playing in the trees, or express our feelings and thoughts, or hug or smile, we wouldn't be able to build a garden, a house, a bench, a dollhouse, or ..., we wouldn't be able to hear the birds, or babies, or horns, or music...or taste tiramisu, lemonade, or fresh bread. Our bodies are the housing of our souls and it's up to each of us to realize this and awaken to this privilege. As we realize this we also realize that this self growth journey is really a spiritual journey. All the experiences of life seem to take on a different focus as we realize our divinity.

We're so much more than being human, and being human is amazing, but it's not the sum of us. We're connected to our ancestrol lines, the collective consciousness & unconsciousness, the energetic fields, the quantum field, and so much more. All of this is the divine and we are part of it. For this musing I'm touching on the soul within us. We're directly connected to the divine through our soul (our channel) and it would be so sad to not be able to feel that union. We don't need an intermediary, we don't need anyone to connect us to the divine, we just need to tune in through meditation so we can listen to the divie, mindfulness to feel and witness the divine, and prayer to speak with the divine. This is one reason why I use breath and mindfulness in therapy sessions is because slowing down, quieting down, and feeling into our body helps us to listen to it and be able to feel and hear the wisdom within. So as we learn more and more about who we really are as individuals we become more and more aware of who we are as divine beings. And as divine beings we have choice in how we behave and move through this life. This is why self growth through therapuetic counseling is a spiritual journey. We can decide to live as if life is a contest and just play games and wear masks, or we can decide that we're each here to shine our light just as we are, being true to ourselves and contributing to the great light show of life on earth.

I have the great honor of working with you as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) to peel away the illusions and hone in on your authenticity to guide your realization of the value of who you are in this world. Being one whose many senses are heightened, empathic skills are keenly tuned in, and being loving and understanding of the depth and breadth of life's experiences is of great value to our world today and into the future. I believe it's time for all of us to take that step into authentic empowerement to be wholly ourselves and shine our brilliant lights together. I don't believe our ascension is about a physical place, rather a consciousness that includes and transcends where we've already been. So, with that in mind, where do we want to guide our evolution? We've been shushed, denied, gaslit, dismissed, and overlooked long enough, for too long, and it's time we ask for help to calm our nervous systems, gain confidence, and feel empowered enough to speak our truths and walking our talk. It's time for the sensitive folks to stand up and shine as we lead the evolution of human kindness and inclusion into the next era of human consciousness development.

Self growth, depth work, and the therapuetic counseling I do is not just for you and me. It's for all of us. Being authentically yourself will benefit you with the feeling of belonging in this world, more joy and gratitude in daily life, and modeling this as a way of being to those around you. No more trying to fit in and feeling like the outsider. Trying isn't enough. You deserve to feel welcomed and that you belong. Authenticity allows us to be ourselves in a rich way that naturally attracts more authentic folk to us and for us to find more resonant folk to align with in all aspects of our lives. We'll recognize them, for “your eyes show the strength of your soul.” Paulo Coelho. We can become beacons for each other. “Those doing soul work, who want the searing truth more than solace or applause know each other right away.” Rumi.

When we're authentic we live in integrity, so we're trustworthy, and trustworthiness is very valuable. HSPs are typically honest and so trustworthy, kind, generous, patient, understanding, and so much more, and often co-dependent because we don't want to hurt anyone. We know when someone is not being honest and it's very confusing to us because we have no reason to lie so it's hard to understand why others would feel the need. We tend to give too many chances to right the situation often without ever getting there and getting hurt again. We feel injustice as if it were an electrical volt and get stuck there, so we need tools and skills to resource ourselves to feel calm and stable again. We see straight through to the soul that is so sweet and pure and often ignore the personality. And, this is what often gets us into trouble until we realize that not everyone is like us. Before we realizee this we can get into shaky relationships with not so integrious people because we ignore the signs and our gut. We can be taken advantage of by dishonest people because we think others are honest. Takers take and take and take from us because we're givers. We can have our hearts broken a million times by trusting someone who isn't trustworthy. Even with those blind sides we are very observant and notice every little thing that often goes unacknowledged, but we often ignore them. Hopefully though we don't ignore them anymore. Our challenge is to stop ignoring our intuition and follow through with what we know in our heart and soul to do.

Our intuition becomes highly developed when we allow it and honor it. As we become more self aware, understand ourselves better, learn how to express ourselves effectively, and feel more empowered our intuition and observation strengthens too. Imagine if we used our intuition and that keen observation more actively and on purpose to pay attention to life around us. We are already taking it all in, so imagine if we used this skill to help ourselves while helping others. Imagine if this insensitive world was given the opportunity to hear what we have to say about any of these valuable traits that are so natural to us. Imagine if we spoke up in defense when someone was being unkind or hurtful to us without accepting their gaslighting or manipulations. Imagine if we took the extra time to sit with and listen to a child express their feelings without any expectation or pressure. Imagine if we acknowledged the little nuances of someone's attempt at something helpful and that person felt heard and validated. Imagine if we all felt heard & validated. Imagine a world where we all were kind and loving through respect that honors difference, and nips cruelty in the bud with healthy boundaries. “Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even into your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” Swami Sivananda. HSPs put our hearts and souls into just about everything. We are different from the many that don't see the beauty in others. We do. We see so much beauty.

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” Mahatma Gandhi. I wonder if that beauty we feel so deeply comes from a strong channel within us HSPs which is the soul. Maybe we're still more tuned into our souls and haven't learned to turn them down or off. Maybe we're not wired to turn them off. Our souls are the direct channel to the divine and its ours to use at any time we desire. The soul is the eternal, the divine conduit, our life force. We don't need anyone or anything else to access the divine. Knowing this naturally ushes in a rich life full of wonder and gratitude as we experience each gift.

I think one of the greatest injustices of life is that somewhere along the line we were taught that we're separate from the divine. We're not. Maybe us HSPs still know that. The divine is within us. Just think about this for a moment. If we weren't meant to access the divine we would not have a soul, that part of us that brings meaning to life. I don't know if you believe in souls, but I do. If you've ever been with a living soul, a human being, when they're dying you may have noticed the soul leave the body at the time of death. I have had the honor to sit with the dying a few times and the moment of death of the body is palpable. There is no denying it. It's very real. The life goes out of the body and it's not just that the body has died, you can see that it's different. The body laying there is not the same person after death - they literally are different. The soul is the life within, and the life force of the soul leaves like a wisp of smoke, an essence of light, a lightness of being, and it's clear that the body has lost any sort of vibrancy. It's more than a heartbeat or a thought, it's not just the breath, it's the soul. It is the soul that is that vibrancy of life force, that light, that essence of being. Even our expressions such as "a living soul, eternal life, such a good soul, sell your soul" elude to this elusive power that connects us to spirit.

I share this insight into the soul's existence to encourage you to be the divine being that you are here to be. You're so much more than this body. You're divine. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to follow a strict set of rules you don't understand. You don't have to succumb to being controlled. You don't have to become some great success by someone else's standard, or to be a shadow of who you truly are to please someone else, you just have to be comfortable in your own skin so that you can speak your truth, feel respected and valued, feel as if you belong, share your joy, spread your kindness, and feel all the feelings that you have. Perhaps we can adopt Rumi's words “My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.” I believe he meant that when we live in alignment with our soul we naturally feel at home in the divine. What could be better? “Let your soul shine as bright as the sun.” Anonymous. It's time to peel back the layers of belief that have kept you a prisoner for too long. As you become more and more comfortable with your true self you become more and more empowered to be that bright light that you are here to be, and in that you influence those around you to be kinder, lighter, and brighter, and also to attract more and more light into your life. Life is so satisfying when we're authentic and at peace in ourselves never trying to compete or outdo, just loving every moment for what we can bring to it. Ahhhh, life is good when we're at peace in the truth of who we are.

I invite you to ponder these thoughts and ask yourself how you've been perceiveing yourself. Do you feel deserving to feel loved, welcomed, and belonging? How would being authentically yourself change your life? Are you ready to look deeply within and discover your true self? I'd like to help you realize these birthrites. If you are thinking about working with me I'd be happy to set up a free consultation.

I'm Janis McKinstry, MA Transpersonal/Somatic Counseling Psychology: Psychospiritual Counselor and Authentic Empowerment Counselor for Highly Sensitive People. Please visit my website at and sign up for me free gift of a simple mindfulness meditation to relax, release, and renew, send me a message at, or call me at 925-302-9900. I look forward to talking with you soon.

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