Tag Archives: highly sensitive person

Static is Inner Noise

Stop feeding the static, in the thought book 2014, by Marie D. Tiger.
Stop feeding the static, in the thought book 2014, by Marie D. Tiger.

In my job as a life art coach, I have learned to create spaces of being fully present between myself and the client. Now, being coached by wonderful Molly Gordon again, I notice how rarely I choose to be fully present for myself. Too often my days are spent feeding inner static.

“Should I take care of accounting, or go for a run? Eat lettuce or make couscous? Should I rest when I’m sick or just work a little? Is it my fault that I don’t know what to do? Am I lying to myself? Should I do better” On and on it goes. Every decision has a loooong story attached to it, that confuses both my inner wisdom and common sense.

Yesterday in coaching, I realized that the static of my repetitive thoughts does the same for my inner senses that an amusement fair does for my outer ones. Instant overwhelm. But just as the clamor in a shopping mall is nothing personal, the inner stories that I run with about my choices isn’t either.

There is nothing that needs to be done about static. It consoles me when I remember that static, no matter how uncomfortable it is, does not need to be fixed, understood or analyzed. Awareness is enough. Of course, in coaching it embarrasingly enough means I sit before my red mini I-Pad, staring blankly at Molly in the Skype window, because suddenly I have no more words.

When you realize you’re immersing yourself in the story about what you should do, just recognize it as noise. Impersonal, neutral noise. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in worldlessness for a moment, the state where you just are – feeling, sensing and existing.

What are you noticing about your inner world right in this moment?

Being an Intuitive Sensitive Type


This is created by the wonderful Caroline van Kimmenade at Thehappysensitive.com
This is created by the wonderful Caroline van Kimmenade at Thehappysensitive.com

A few weeks ago Carrie Klassen kindly mentioned the About page here on the blog on the Facebook page of Pink Elephant. Their stuff about doing marketing writing in a heartfelt way is great, by the way.

Then Caroline van Kimmenade contacted me about doing an interview. She works with Sensipreneurs, sensitive types and empaths who run their own businesses. I was honored to be asked and enjoyed our work together.

Too often sensitive people are told that they think too much, feel too much and are generally weird and wrong. People who do not experience life this way, often have a difficult time understanding that we cannot not feel. It is not an option.

The good news is that as sensitive intuitive types, we have a finely tuned guidance system that will immediately tell us when we’re on the right track, or when some further clarification is needed. This is available to us when we learn to decode the signal that our emotions really are.

Caroline has some fine steps for this here. I appreciate her take on being a happy sensitive. Although it can feel completely impossible, it is actually highly probable, once you learn to take care of yourself.

My own quickie awareness serum is:

  1. Go somewhere quiet (bathroom works usually, except if you’re at home with small children)
  2. Take a glass of water.
  3. Breathe, ask: What do I need now? What is happening in my body? Which feelings belong to me?

I hope you enjoy the interview, that you can find here and maybe you find a new kindred spirit in Caroline. I know I have.

How can you take excellent care of your tender self today?






Are They Your Feelings?

Human sponge, thought book 2013, by MDT.
Human sponge, thought book 2013, by MDT.


One of the most liberating insights of my life came at a point in my life when I had studied therapy, coaching and been through various self-developmental processes. I was confused, because there were still times of absolute darkness and inner pain. Although they were shorter, they were no less intense. They were also less easy to pinpoint, didn’t seem to have any substance at all, except the emotional pain they contained and gave rise to.

At that point I started finding literature about empaths, about being so sensitive to other people’s feelings and emotions that you start trying to process them in yourself. I started asking myself: “Is this mine?”

If I had that rootless feeling of not being able to feel the feelings in my body, I started to just let them go. I told myself: “Not mine, not mine, not mine.” Doing something physical helped, running or vacuuming the apartment.

One day, while walking around the small lake near us, I felt awash with joy, this simple exuberance of being alive. Memories of childhood and feeling this same feeling started to jump up like happy puppies and I was filled with the certainty that this joy was mine, had always been mine and would never leave.

So still, at times, when my boundaries start leaking, the human sponge effect starts. With good self-care, equilibrium returns, step by step.

How about you, are you carrying stuff that isn’t yours in the first place?



Taboo Moments

Repost to illustrate the poem, Vulnerability, thought book 2013, by MDT
Repost to illustrate the poem, Vulnerability, thought book 2013, by MDT

Silence about the torment
Silencing the regular losing of myself,
that I have come to expect & endure.
But no numbing this experience.
No drugs, thank you.
It is what it is. I am who I am.
I’m drinking it all in. The agony without reason.
The faceless bliss. Everything in between.
My life. My experience. Thank you.

If it frightens you. That is. Fine.
It terrifies me. How identity can melt into
suffering. No catastrophies. No disasters. Just pain.
I do not believe in normal.
Do not sign on the dotted line of appropriate inner
directions and reactions.

To thine own self be true, is a loaded statement. What
it means is a personal journey.

There is too much life here.
Too much.
Do you know how even a beautiful sound [especially a beautiful sound],
too loud, hurts the ears? So it is sometimes,
with myself and life.
Too much, so loud. That I hurt all over. Lest I keep firm boundaries
around my tender core.
Pad each stimulating event with expanses of
solitude, music, space, physical movement, freedom, love.
Otherwise you find me writhing in pain. Beauty turned excruciate.
Everyday details turned into an elaborate torture of overwhelm.

I don’t understand this woman I call myself.
But dutifully, passionately, I scribe and paint her experiences
With the hope of someday
making sense of all this
happening in the inner landscape of me/her.
It is like understanding the weather.
Why is it raining today?
Why is the sun scorching?

So in the midst of my scribing, I try to remember, how to breathe.
At times like this morning by the traffic lights, breathing
is close to impossible.
Solar plexus moving only by force, doggedly, the air
wanting to hide
at the base of my throat, shy to move.

At times the breath is like a slow tide
moving leisurely.
I am the scribe.
Remembering to experience
the storms, the lulls, peace.
Remembering I feel everything. I own nothing.

Announcement: Compassionate Shame Tea Party

Shitload of shame, thought book 2013, by MDT
Shitload of shame, thought book 2013, by MDT
If you want to purchase this print, click here.

I love what’s real.

In me, in you, in all of us.

That is why I want to talk about something uncomfortable. Last week was a walk of shame. On Monday I felt I had to defend the basic principles of my work and on Tuesday, the financial advisor at my business school for creatives said my work seems like/is fluff. On Wednesday I had my singing lesson, which brings up a combination of shame and helplessness, because “just let your voice go” is a place I haven’t found in my vocal chords and body yet.

The rest of the week was a bit foggy. Today I got tired of the fog, went into my Sunday writing retreat and sat down with my shame to the tunes of Ani di Franco, Bon Jovi, Nickelback and Broadway Here I come, by the Smash Cast. I got a hand from Elaine Aron in her article: Coping Corner: Highly Sensitive People and Shame. Among other things, she asks about when we first remember feeling shame. Turns out shame has been a constant companion for me. From abusive nannies in the past, to alcoholism in the family, to being bullied in High School for being a deep, weird, ugly girl – I have learned to feel ashamed when for being who I am, for being excited, for creating what is true for me.

My strong reaction to the words of my financial advisor and to publishing my art work, to marketing my art work suddenly started making a whole lot of sense. Shame means we feel there is something wrong with who we are and creating is expressing who we really are. So, at least for me, my deepest shame and my most vulnerable, authentic creativity is connected.

After sitting with, working with and feeling through my shame today, I have lots of drawings. As of tomorrow, I’m starting a one week Compassionate Shame Tea Party here on the blog, with drawings, ideas from other blogs and thoughts about creativity and shame. You and your shame are invited in for a cup of tea. Why? Because shame keeps so many of us from creating what we deeply yearn to express. And I believe in creating safe inner spaces, with the power we all have in the present moment and exploring what is real in the moment.

So here’s to choosing a safe space inside and allowing everything to be what it is, in this moment.

Sensory Overload

Sensory overload, thought book 2013, by MDT.
Sensory overload, thought book 2013, by MDT.

The biggest draw back of being a highly sensitive person, as defined by Elaine Aron are the times when sensory overload comes knocking and everything is a huge tidewave of overwhelm. It feels like there are millions of antennas all over the body, all giving different messages. Those are the times when it’s good to go back to basics. Good food, rest, enough physical movement. It will pass, it always does.