Are You an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)?

Does this scenario ring a bell for you…

“I’ve always been highly sensitive, and as a creative and inventive person, this is usually considered a very good thing.

Except when non-sensitive types always made fun of my sensitivity~cracking jokes at my expense, or finding fault with everything about me, and then accusing me of being “overly sensitive” or “touchy” or “having no sense of humor” when I didn’t laugh. I actually have a very good sense of humor and an ability to laugh at myself, but I am also highly sensitive.”

Some HSPs pick up on other people’s energy and have a hard time shaking it off. Others become easily over-stimulated and find being in the world very overwhelming. A number of HSPs constantly feel like the world is against them and being true to themselves feels like an uphill battle. Still others had the blessing of realizing they are HSPs, and have found ways that help them function better while taking advantage of their amazing sensitivity.

If this rings a bell with you, you might be an HSP. The good news for HSPs is that they are usually very creative and often find it easy to think outside the box. The world needs you!

Elaine N. Aron, PhD. wrote the first real self-help book for HSPs: The Highly Sensitive Person. Her website, hsperson.com, is a treasure trove of information to help HSPs find a better way to experience life while appreciating their gifts. On her site, it says…

Elaine Aron has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a thriving psychotherapy practice. She is the first therapist to tell HSPs how to identify their trait and make the most of it in everyday situations. Highly Sensitive People have an uncommonly sensitive nervous system – a normal occurrence, according to Aron. About 15 to 20 percent of the population have this trait. It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed when you have been out in a highly stimulating environment for too long, bombarded by sights and sounds until you are exhausted.” An HSP herself, Aron reassures other Highly Sensitives that they are quite normal. Their trait is not a flaw or a syndrome, nor is it a reason to brag. It is an asset they can learn to use and protect.

If you suspect you might be an HSP, you can try the self-test on Aron’s website.

There are many great online and offline resources for HSPs. If you haven’t already listened to my October 2009 Co=Creation Cafe Call with Jenna Avery discussing how HSPs can embrace their sensitivity and find their authentic calling, you can listen to it or download it here.

Are you an HSP? Share below in comments what has helped you embrace your sensitivity

Everything You Experience…Is a Blessing!

If the title of this post seems shocking or incorrect to you, then you are exactly the person who needs to read this entire post. Keep reading…

In western cultures, many are taught to believe that if anything happens to you that can be categorized as “bad”, it sucks and you rarely can do anything about it so it should be avoided at all costs. People struck by fear of such experiences buy insurance to protect themselves.

In eastern cultures, many are taught to believe that every life is destined for hardships, that they are unavoidable…that the noble seek them out, dwell in and suffer through them in order to grow in character. People struck by fear of such experiences perform rituals and buy objects to protect themselves despite the inevitability.

What if there is another reality…a greater truth?

What if the truth is: Everything you experience, regardless of how it is categorized (good, bad, happy, sad, miracle, or tragedy), is actually a blessing that will improve your life in unforeseen ways?

Think about the current struggles in your life. How would you live your life differently if you began making the assumption that each struggle is actually a great blessing for which you are grateful?

We know that what we think about, comes about. That where attention goes, energy flows. What does your future hold for you if you are always fearful, angry, frustrated, and worried? In contrast, what future experiences are you attracting if you are happy, grateful, and appreciative?

How would you live your life differently if you knew that a dire medical diagnosis would teach you to value life, help you overcome phobias, live more fully, learn about your body, and make great new friends? That’s what happened to my friend who was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease for which there is no known cure. She embraced a positive attitude and asked family, friends, and church members to pray for her. All those positive thoughts focused on her well-being: Her disease is now in remission, which her doctor previously didn’t think was possible! Without the initial diagnosis she would not have lived through such a rich and rewarding experience, nor experienced the miracle of others focusing positive thoughts on her (prayer).

How would you live your life differently if you knew the financial nightmare you are experiencing would actually teach you how to ask for help (and get it), teach you how to receive, and allow others the experience of being your angel? That’s what happened to someone dear to me…always the giver, it took a difficult experience for her to allow others to help. In realizing that she and others were benefiting from this ‘struggle’, realizing the blessing and becoming truly GRATEFUL for it, her financial situation turned around almost overnight!

How would you live your life differently if you knew that a sudden job loss actually allowed you to refocus your career on what you’d rather be doing, gives you time to decompress before starting anew, and puts you on the road to a better career with higher income and better quality of life? This is what happened to me…TWICE! The first time, I started a new job (at a temp agency) the next business day making 50% more than I was before, and jump-started an entirely new career. The second time, the severance package allowed me to start a new business with greater earning potential, and flexibility to work from home as I raised my son. That was more than 14 years ago! Now when I hear someone has been laid off, I call them and congratulate them on this wonderful new opportunity in their life.

Still not sure you can view your hardship as a blessing?
Then you need to watch this video about Baby Eliot, whose parents made a bold choice: To view their son’s genetics as an opportunity, not a tragedy. Regardless of your views (pro-choice or pro-life), it cannot be denied that we all have a choice how we view our life experiences. You can dwell on the anguish or you can make another decision, and experience the BLESSING in doing so…



If nothing else, I hope you will pause to rethink how you feel about your life and your experiences. I know this to be true: From the moment you begin to see each life experience as a blessing, an opportunity to grow and be blessed, it will begin to morph into exactly that…thrilling you in ways you may never have previously expected!

Nearly two years ago, I was struck by this epiphany and it has changed my life completely! Everything I experience is now a blessing…either obviously so, or in choosing to find the abundant blessings and silver linings.

Is there an experience in your life that you can begin to see as a blessing? Please take a moment to share it with us below.

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