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  • Janis E. McKinstry

Why am I so sensitive?

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Other people don't seem to feel things as deeply as I do. It seems I feel and sense everything, I mean everything! I've noticed that I see colors differently than my friends, as if I'm processing all the the different hues in the same flower that we're looking at as if I could separate the colors by shades into glowing qualities that have taken on color. My friend may see a pink flower and I see a magenta flower with golden undertones and ruby striations with fuchsia tips and sparkling iridescence under the petals top layer. I smell scents before they do, sometimes finding them offensive and overwhelming when they barely notice them. I can't go into a department store with perfumes or I'll get a crushing headache with nausea. (Chemical sensitivity is another blog.) Tastes are another experience all together. Some tastes are complex and sublime, and deserve to be savored, while others can't be forgotten soon enough. And, sounds! Some radio stations immediately irritate me as if the radio waves are discordant, & certain music agitates me. Constant talking at me without connection exhausts me, loud sudden noises jolt me. Texture can feel so soothing and soft, or rough and irritating like a sharp object in my shoe or the label on my shirt. ...too sudden, too loud, too much seem to be a theme here. Maybe that's why I've been called too sensitive, too much, too intense, and more.

And, I am more than that! I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and am like about 20% of people, and many other animal species, that feel & process deeply. Do you relate to what I've described? Are you an HSP too? We're not too anything, we feel deeply, process deeply, are highly sensitive, and are empathic with keen emotions. We are gifted with a highly developed sensory and emotional system that is constantly taking in information from our environment within ourselves and around ourselves. Elaine Aron uses the acronym DOES to describe us: D is for depth of processing, O is for over stimulation, E is for emotional reactivity & empathy, and S is for sensing the subtle. We feel deeply and process mightily. We're gifted.

If we haven't learned that we are gifted we may not realize that we can find pleasure in our senses just as we are, and that we can enhance our highly tuned systems with loving self care. Sweet self care. We can create that spaciousness we long for with lovely quiet, kind, gentle healing and restorative space by taking time to prepare a loving and nutritious meal, enjoying a long relaxing epsom salts bath, a leisurely walk in nature, digging with our hands in our gardens, being barefoot on the warm ground, and other things that feel good to our soul to calm our nervous system and restore our sense of calm. Yoga, Tai Chi, soothing sound baths, massage, meditation, prayer, deep meaningful conversations, and making love are a few nourishing things that I love and recommend. We can learn how to be with ourselves, make wise choices from our heart, and create self loving boundaries around what we'll allow into our energetic and environmental spaces, and nurture loving, kind, and supportive relationships that honor and appreciate our sensitive selves.

Because we've been given the message that we're too much, too sensitive, and too intense for so long it's common for trauma of being wrong has built up as body memory and needs to be released so we can heal and feel that spaciousness that we so desire. I've developed Somatic Release as a blend of Mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing for us HSPs. It's a very gentle and loving way to relax the nervous system by tenderly soothing the vagus nerve and offering the kind of spacious loving care that we are yearning. You can do it yourself with my guidance and feel the relaxation, release and relief with each practice. I have a gift for you here: scroll down to the bottom of the page and subscribe to my Monthly Musings to receive your gift

Please contact me if you'd like to explore how I can help you find your gifts as a HSP. It's my greatest honor to guide your healing process and witness your awakening into your authentically empowered self.

Warmly, Janis E. McKinstry, MA


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