Earth Day Being

Earth Day – at its best – is a state of being that self perpetuating, much like life. It inspires worldview shifts and action.

What it inspired in me today was the urge to listen deeply to the ecosystem where I live. To better know this place, so I can make more aware choices and take more informed actions.

Let me introduce some of my neighbors…

Virginia bluebell buds

Leaders creating “islands of sanity”

When I think about highly sensitive women and body-centered practitioners, this is the kind of leadership I see living in us…

“It is possible, as leaders of organizations, communities, and families, to discover deep and abiding satisfaction in our work if we choose not to flee or withdraw from reality. It is possible to find a path of contribution and meaning if we turn our attention away from issues beyond our control and focus on the people around us who are yearning for good leadership and engage them in work that is within reach. It is possible to use our influence and power to create islands of sanity in the midst of a raging destructive sea.” Margaret J. Wheatley, from her book “Who Do We Choose To Be?”

HSP’s cannot help facing the reality of the world because we feel the world so intensely and our empathy responds to that tidal wave of sensory input. Our perceptivity and deep processing mean we can see beyond now into the very real potential for social collapse.

Body-centered practitioners — massage therapists, acupuncturists, yoga teachers and therapists, somatic therapists, etc… — can literally feel and see the collapsing world’s impact in the bodies of their clients and themselves. They’re also very likely to be highly sensitive people.

Because of who we are and what we perceive, HSP’s and body-centered practitioners are uniquely positioned to compassionately lead locally with clear-eyed resolve. To create the “islands of sanity” Wheatley calls for, focusing on what can be changed.

We love, we empathize, we feel what’s happening to our communities in our marrow. AND…we have the capacities to midwife small, local changes that will make a difference. Let’s begin using them now.

We cannot change the way the world is, but by opening to the world as it is we may discover that gentleness, decency and bravery are available, not only to us, but to all human beings.

Chogyam Trungpa, Buddhist teacher (found in Margaret J. Wheatley’s book “Who Do We Choose To Be?”

I’m Tracie Nichols, a holistic business coach doing coaching that’s comfortably practical with its roots in wild magic. I help body-centered practitioners and highly sensitive women build thriving businesses guided by the wisdom of their bodies and the natural world. You can learn more at TracieNichols.com.

Image credit: Pixabay

3 a.m.? Really?

I’ve been having a blow-it-all-up day for weeks.

Mired in anxiety, worry, stress. Feeling the two ton block of shoulds and musts precariously balanced on my short woman shoulders slowly swallowing me.

Things were getting dark, but I wasn’t going down easily.

So, I stayed up to 3 a.m…….listening…..

My throbbing, raw HSP senses needed a nearly new moon night’s dark, empty blanket to sort things out without torrents of noise, movement, texture, color, smells and empathy driven emotions enveloping me because the rest of my local world is awake.

I lit a candle (electric light felt too harsh) and let my mind and body just pause. No agenda. Stepping back from expectations as much as possible.

It took a bit, but my breathing slowed, my jaw relaxed, my head emptied and I found myself smiling gently. Empty space is good.

Eventually I could hear myself — my quiet, calm, occasionally wise inner voice. And, damn, did she have some helpful things to tell me.

I no longer want to blow it all up. My creativity is asserting herself. I’m consciously engaged with the must-do’s on my list. Breathing….

It’s not a miracle. There are still things to sort out. My stuff will continue to come up. But…I’m listening. I put down the two tons of guilt stones and picked up only the true priorities.

This moment is good. I’m leaving the next moment until it arrives.

Being an HSP, multipotentialed entrepreneur

Doing some project planning, I looked at my upcoming events and YIKES! is there a lot happening. Events and classes to facilitate; projects to develop, self-care practices to practice… It’s joyous tangle of quiet creativity and sharing what I’ve created with people.

I both LOVE and DREAD when my work finds this rhythm.

My multipotentialed self is like a kid blowing bubbles — laughing, sticky, and totally in her element.

My highly sensitive self — especially my conscientiousness — is freaking out a bit. Ok, maybe a lot.

In the middle of it all, Tracie-the-center is busily weaving, weaving, weaving together the threads, doing my best to stay in the flow of crafting a coherent fabric rather than staging a great unraveling. (To be fair to great unravellings, at some times of year or certain places in life they can be exactly what’s needed.)

It’s messy and imperfect, creative and thrilling, worrying and rewarding. It’s what building a business is like when the world looks a giant rubber band ball of possibilities and you feel it so intensely it’s like life is literally singing in your nervous system.

Being who and how I am invites me to go at life and business differently. Especially business.

I’ll be talking to folks about approaching work and business differently at the Health & Healing Fair at Anahata Yoga & Wellness this Saturday, October 21. Just stop by my table any time from 11 am – 2 pm and ask me one burning question about your business or career. We’ll peer into the works and see what holistic answers await you. No charge.

If you’re inspired to offer cash for your question, I’ll donate it to support the beautiful healing work done by Kathy and the amazing practitioners of Anahata.

Speaking of healing…there will be a bunch of wonderful healers at the Fair, offering 20 minute sessions for just $20. How blissy is that?

Hoping to see you Saturday!

P.S. If you are intrigued by doing business differently, one of those projects I’m developing is group and individual coaching and classes in business basics for yogis and other magical body-centered practitioners. Add yourself to the email list to be the first to know when it’s ready to go!

Please. Don’t look away.

So many people responded when I published this in my newsletter this morning that it feels important to share it more widely. So, from my heart to yours…

With devastation of all kinds in so many places around the world, you’re probably overflowing with advice about how to help or where to give. Me too.

But I deeply needed to speak to the tumult we’re all living through. To offer help, to serve, to extend myself beyond contributions and worry. So, with the highly sensitive, intuitive, empathic people of the world in mind, I’m offering these. With love.

I’m thinking of them as guidelines for burning times.

1. Don’t look away. That doesn’t mean stay connected to news or social media 24/7. No. It means let yourself be fully aware and awake to the events rolling across the world. Witnessing. This is the core of compassion.

2. Being emotionally uncomfortable won’t kill you. It just feels that way sometimes. Like any state of being, it will pass. Honor your discomfort. You’re being changed by what you are witnessing. That’s one reason we keep dipping ourselves in the salty experience that is a human life.

3. You can’t fix it. Not the whole thing. Certainly not alone. That’s OK. Be kind. Stop walking around wearing the suffering of eight billion people – or even eight – as if it’s your sole responsibility. Breathe.

4. Make every action a thoughtful one. Help each choice perpetuate kindness. Marinate every word in compassionate truth. Especially what you share on social media.

5. You count. Whatever thoughtful action you are able to take will contribute to making a difference. The key word here is “able”, not “comfort-able”. Should you stay in your comfort zone? See #2. Should you throw yourself at every wall? See #3. How to find a balance? That’s what #6 is for.

6. Keep living. Do your day-to-day. Love the people you love and do it out loud. With exuberant hugs. Lots of exuberant hugs. Find one moment of beauty each day. Don’t look away. Appreciate it. If you stop living, your resilience will falter and so will your thoughtful actions and compassionate witnessing. Then where will we be?

Witnessing with you,
Tracie

PS – The butterflies are a moment of beauty for you, today.

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

You can love them and still want them to leave….

 

I posted this on Facebook on the day an extended family visit ended:

Looking forward to a quiet day restoring my home to its usual energy of semi-messy sacred space. I love seeing my family. And, I need the rhythm of everyday tasks to recover my center after so much go-go-go. There are poems brewing and workshop ideas simmering. They are whispering… “…solitude, spaciousness, unfettered attention…this is what we require of you…”

When you’re highly sensitive you live with the weird push-pull paradox of, “I love you and I love being with you. Will you please leave, now?” And, it’s OK. Not easy. Certainly daunting to try to explain. But, OK.

A strategy that works for me is knowing my sustainable limits. Setting those boundaries at the outset. Building in recovery time.  “I’d love to see the Barnes Museum with you! We could spend about 2 hours there, then meet later for dinner.”

Are you OK with the push-pull? What are your sustainability strategies?

 

 

Our greatest challenge is our greatest gift

“Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

As a child, I used to climb the huge white pine tree next to our home. I’d cling to the trunk like a little girl barnacle as the wind blew and the tree swayed. I was convinced tree and sky were telling each other stories, and if I just listened closely enough, I’d be able to hear the stories, too. The mystery of their more-than-human conversations nourished my child imagination — and eased the ache of feeling like an outsider.

I still listen to the conversations happening all around me among the nature beings with whom I share an ecosystem. I’ve found that I do understand their language…if I listen with all of my senses, and if I’m willing to surrender into sound and rhythm, rather than needing words.

And, there it is again….the beauty in being gifted as highly sensitive, the wonder created by the intense curiosity of being multipotentialed.

The way we perceive the world can be our greatest challenge…AND our greatest joy. What do you think? Any stories out there you’d like to hear?

Monday Moorings are quickly read morsels of thought, ideas, perspective shifts, and self-care practices inviting you to moor yourself into your gifts of high sensitivity, multipotentialism, and introversion. Published (nearly) every Monday.

The highly sensitive advantage

I’m a night-owl. My creativity most often has the same rhythm as night-blooming jasmine, waking after dark and coming into it’s fullest in the depths of night. Mornings though? Mornings are more about foggy thoughts and stumbling feet.

One winter morning I was waiting for tea to brew (and trying to remember my name) when my attention was captured by the insistent “chip, chip, chip” ing of a cardinal. He appeared to be in conversation with a cheerfully “chick-a-dee!” ing chickadee, while a crowd of crows “caw” ed in the distance.

Groggily curious, I leaned into their conversation, opening my senses to explore more of what was happening, shamelessly eavesdropping on their morning chat. As I listened I realized that I was starting to feel less … foggy. Hmmmm…..

As high sensitives, we spend so much time with our senses protectively armored we forget there’s an advantage to the intensity with which we can feel the world.

That morning I was eavesdropping with more than just my ears. I leaned into their conversation, literally. My body canted toward their sound and all of me was listening. More precisely, I was sensing into the birdsong with the full sensory capacity of my body/mind/spirit. In my sleepy, non-thinking state, my sensory armor went clanking to the ground and I drank in the unfiltered multi-sensory experience of morning birdsong.

It was darn near psychedelic.

Birdsong, it turns out, grounds me. At this not so favorite time of day when my natural rhythm is at an ebb, listening – whole body listening – to birdsong leads me gently towards awareness.

Your catalyst could be any sensory experience. What works depends on the person doing the sensing. Maybe it’s the scent of coffee or tea brewing. Patterns of color dancing outside the window. Reading and savoring inspiring words. The feeling of moving your body.

Fully engaging our exquisite senses – at the right time – can deepen and sharpen our state of awareness and help us be more present.

Radically present, actually. The “at the right time” caveat is important especially for HSP’s, obviously. But, when you can, making full use of your senses can bring the world into focus in unique ways.

OK, my highly sensitive friends….go explore! What’s your HSP advantage?

What I love about you and me.

What I love about you and me is this: we’re different.

We are part of a community of 12 – 20% of the population offering unique and needed skills, perceptions, and perspectives in these challenging times.

One of the things I also love about us is that we face similar challenges. Like the challenge of not believing that being the way we are – highly sensitive or multipotentialed or introverted or all of the above – is a good thing. Or the challenge of walking into a networking event. Or the even bigger challenge of staying at said event. Or talking about ourselves at the aforementioned event. You get the picture.

So, today, I’d like to share with you some of the most wonderful things about being who we are. Who you are. I gently invite you to give yourself the gift of noticing yourself in these attributes. It’s a pretty delicious list. And you’re definitely in there. (There’s a LOT of crossover among the categories, so don’t get hung up on them. Simply drink in those attributes….)

Awesome attributes of the Highly Sensitive

  • Multitalented
  • Strongly imaginative
  • Rapid and deep learners
  • Often intellectually gifted
  • Intuitive
  • Deeply empathetic
  • Big picture/long range/ often visionary thinkers who process deeply
  • Understanding the importance of working at a natural pace/rhythm. Often that’s slower, but not always.
  • Can be an oasis of calm in a sea of chaos (if already resilient, and well-resourced)
  • Extremely perceptive. Often have a clear sense of people and their motivations – even when those are hidden or unconscious.
  • Can be very aware of the mind/body connection and use it to advantage.

Renaissance Soul/Multipotentialite/Scanner superpowers

  • Integral thinkers
  • Innovative thinkers
  • Synthesize ideas readily
  • Holistic thinkers
  • Amass a unique collection of skills and experiences
  • Often intellectually gifted
  • Able to effectively and accurately communicate with diverse groups of people about a wide variety of subjects. Is often the person in the room or on the team who is translating between disparate groups.
  • Rapid learners
  • Our passion makes us inspiring people to be around.
  • Adaptable as hell. A really important skill to develop to thrive in the 21st c.

Intriguing Introvert specialties…

  • Learn more frequently and often more quickly. Could be said we’re learning constantly.
  • Cultivate genuine connection and relationships more readily because we prefer meaningful conversation and are generally empathetic.
  • Especially good leaders for groups where members are proactive, collaborative, and have high emotional intelligence. Spend less time asserting their leadership and more time listening and innovating.
  • Attentive to detail.
  • Can take on extroverted traits when it’s important. When the project is aligned with our core values and the situation demands risk taking, taking a loud stand, being a forceful leader.

So….read….notice….breathe….notice again….take a shot at believing….notice how that feels…repeat as desired.