Energy Sensitives, Healing, yoga

Change Takes Alignment, Not Time

I was practicing yoga on the deck today (one of many reasons I will never complain about being a grown-ass woman living with my parents: private home/yard surrounded by nature where the continuous sound of birds overrides the sound of traffic) and I had one of those common sense epiphanies. Always love those. And me being me, I got super meta about it. I was simply re-centering myself in Tadasana, the blueprint of all poses (aka standing in anatomical neutral). Just as I noticed tension in my low back I was guided by the words: “Just come back into alignment to avoid injury.” As I scooped my tail and relaxed my lower ribs, my back calmed. 

Good advice, I’d say. Proper alignment it crucial to injury prevention. I’ve been practicing alignment-based yoga for years and have loved getting technical and geeking out about body mechanics and how they effect our non-physical layers. I also have a long history of chronic injuries, and I sense that a part of my fascination with alignment has to do with avoiding pain. The truth is that with my ultra sensitive nature I end up feeling pain after most of my practices. I have a tendency to look at this in two ways: 

1. My injuries run deep enough that they will never heal.

2. I failed at alignment and that’s why I am in pain…I STILLLLLL need to work on        boundaries. Typical. 

Neither are very positive… At this particular moment I realized I have been approaching alignment as a form of protection, and have been ignoring the overall essence of what alignment is: It is what allows for all things to manifest. It is the foundation for us to reach out and create the pose of our choice with integrity and wisdom. It is what keeps us balanced and centered so that we can reach and stretch and explore sensations that keep us engaged and curious about living. It is the framework for feeling, rather than just doing and thinking. Form means nothing, can provide no nourishment when the alignment is not there. You can take any position you want, and it will not transform you unless you are holding yourself in such a way that allows energy to flow smoothly. Lack of integrity is what makes us scattered, compressed or unreceptive. 

I will say that I have excellent form and integrity. Yet, I often “reach”because I should, and not as an authentic result of energy flow. It is interesting that my injuries keep nagging, while I keep nagging myself, to uphold structure and safety, and let possibility and potential stay on the back burner. I bet you will be surprised (not…ha!) to hear that I have lived my entire life playing it safe, and now I want to explore what alignment can do for my spirit, or rather how my spirit will guide me when I am in alignment, and can access the sweet space of expansion and freedom. (How exciting and scary!!!) We cannot make such things happen by fighting. I must not punish myself for having imbalanced flesh. It is only trying to communicate what I do not yet know how to care for. 

We cannot assume that time is what determines the outcome. Time means nothing when our actions and intentions do not support our desires. Time is what happens in our minds while we learn how to live in harmony, and thus for dreams to enter reality. When things don’t manifest we often assume or worry that they never will, and that they are not meant to be (the job, the vacation, the love, the healing etc). This may not be so, for things will only manifest when they are meant to, which is when your intentions and your actions are aligned with what you seek. Things can happen, shift, transform, manifest immediately if we are ready. We can can learn in an instant if we are open to it, and if we can handle the shift it will create in us. 

This is not to say that I expect to accelerate through all my lessons, and quickly reclaim my status as back-bending queen. Not at all. I don’t even know if that would serve me. (As long as I can do Mermaid Pose and embody my Disney childhood I’m happy.) However, I do claim a new intention and a renewed relationship with alignment on and off the mat. That is to play in the realm of what is possible and what I am wanting, rather than containing myself for the sake of wishfully imagined safety. 

Empaths, Energy Sensitives, Healing, Humor, Intuitives, Self-compassion, Sensitivities

“You’re So Sensitive!”

Have you ever been called “too sensitive,” “so sensitive,” or just plain “sensitive?” The first two suggest that you are an extreme case, and the third indicates that if you are sensitive at all, you are an outlier. So what if you are? Is the person who called you this a robot? Are the majority of our species actually robots? Are we the few authentic human mammals left standing? 

What does this even mean? When did our culture decide that the appropriate way of being is shut off from our capacity to feel, and in denial of true experience? Who decided what the acceptable level of sensitivity is for humans? Why is it frowned upon to freely and safely express our truths and vulnerabilities of being alive? Even on a subconscious level, we try to stomp out emotions and other energies: “bad” ones because we think they are bad, and “good” ones because we think we are unworthy. I don’t want to feel sheepish for picking up on more subtle data than most people do. We were given these bodies to feel things.

And while I want to give these folks a big “Deal With It!”, I’m simultaneously internalizing the ridicule, and taking on the label. Is it YOU who calls yourself sensitive? I don’t doubt it, considering how much the masses have made us feel like we are faulty or weak. 

And I’m not just talking about emotional sensitivities, such as getting nervous, irritated, upset, insecure…I’m also talking about the physical effects our flesh experiences. Maybe you get lots of headaches, or your skin breaks out, or your back goes out easily, or you can’t eat anything without having your gut in knots.

Being energetically sensitive likely means you experience or are aware of a lot of “symptoms.” Symptoms aren’t fun to begin with, and because of the way society has labeled “sensitives,”  we often get thrown into this cycle (I would make a circular diagram if I knew how on the computer, but for now I’ll just keep it as a list): 

  1. Symptom
  2. Uh oh!
  3. Judgements from other people for exhibiting a stigmatized way of being
  4. Being sensitive to other people’s judgements
  5. Feeling ashamed for being sensitive
  6. Manifesting additional or heightened symptoms
  7. Hiding it and denying it in fear of more judgement
  8. Reinforcing perceived ability to operate in the world without being a complete mess. 
  9. Repeat…

For years I was great at wadding up my mental/emotional messages and shoving them deep deep inside me. Well that really did the trick, because now I’m such that if even ONE of my leg hairs is out of alignment, I know immediately. (Maybe I don’t shave my legs so I can used them as energetic antennae? Isn’t that one of the evolutionary functions of body hair? I would definitely survive in the wild cuz I would always know when danger was near.) I’ve spent a long while thinking this was a curse, because I couldn’t do anything without feeling a sense of insecurity, and I thought my creativity was a threat. I told myself my body was weak, my mind was scary, and that I was susceptible to any pathogen that came within five miles of me. Well that was a great way to live, let me tell you! So much for self trust…

People will say, “Wow, REALLY? That bothers you?” How dramatic… sorry? Why it doesn’t bother you? Should I be able to smell fabric softener and not be effected? Is that what humans were meant to do? Sorry I can’t eat food that would slowly kill me while capitalist society acted clueless about the obesity epidemic? Sorry I can’t live in denial? Seriously, folks, we’ve evolved so much and some of us still have the emotional capacity of a Neanderthal. And I bet even they wouldn’t like the smell of fabric softener! Should I really have to feel lame because my body rejects things that humans were never meant to have contact with? Should I have to put up with people who don’t treat me (or others) well, no matter how subtle the act? No way. When we are triggered by something, it is a sign from our higher self that it is something to cautious of, to pay attention to, or simply to stay away from. 

And why aren’t, say, “angry people” considered sensitive? They obviously are if they are angry about things…they are just able to express their sensitivity in a way that is “strong” or “bold” rather than “wimpy?”  I’m not saying that people who aren’t sensitive are inconsiderate. Not at all. But some of them are of the mindset that if THEY don’t personally experience something, then it is impossible for others to as well. I’m like, “Forgive me, I consciously chose to be nauseous because I want you to be uncomfortable, and since I REALLY like to suffer, I threw in some brain fog too.” If things are super subtle then we’ve imagined them and we are crazy. By and large, our society has encouraged and trained us to deny our humanity.

It seems to me that being extra sensitive is only considered a “problem” if it is a human who exhibits these qualities (or at least real life humans…extra sensitive people in movies get a lot of fanfare). You wouldn’t badmouth a rabbit for being a rabbit, would you? Or a horse that startles easily? Or a dog dog with a tail habitually between their legs? You would probably want to study them, or try to comfort them. But if it were a human, most would probably be like, “NOPE. STEER CLEAR. THEY ARE COMPLICATED.” Not that we all should be little bunny rabbits; it’s a tough life! Besides, many of us are more akin to bulldogs, and that’s great! We need bulldogs! But we can’t disparage someone for being of their true nature (even though a bulldog would probably attack the bunny). Even bulldogs have their own unique sensitivities.

Sensitive does not equal susceptible. This gift of receptivity can be harnessed in a way where we learn to navigate the world with strong boundaries. Where we pick up on things but we do not take them on as our own. May we stay open and remain strong. Your intuitive gifts will take you far if you honor them. 

Doe and babies I encountered hiking in California’s Point Reyes National Seashore