How The Creative Process Helps Highly Sensitive People

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Many people think the creative process is some sort of magical inspirational event.

Actually the creative process is a wonderful process of engagement.

It can be enormously helpful for sensitives who want more control over their lives.

What Is The Creative Process?

The creative process is simply a process that lets us create something that did not exist before we created it.

If you research the creative process you will find many different answers about what the creative process is and how many steps there are in creating.

Most people believe that the creative process starts with an idea.

Not so fast, according to creativity expert, Robert Fritz, who has written The Path Of Least Resistance and Creating Your Own Life.

Mr. Fritz, a composer and film maker, consults with many organizations on the creative process.

He identifies the start of the creative process as the time when you decide on something that you want to create. You might have an idea for world peace, for instance, but that does not neessarily mean that you want to create world peace.

Once you know what you want, then you have to discover your current situation before you can begin to develop the steps you need to bring what you want into being. If you want to write a symphony and do not know what the scale is, then you have to educate yourself before you can begin. Your skills are an important factor in what you want to create.

So many people who want to create something become bogged down and give up. Often it is because they do not fully engage with their desire and where they are in order to determine how to proceed. Then they bump into limitations that deter them and give up. It is better to embrace the reality of a learning curve and resource limitations so that you can deal with them effectively.

The Creative Process Can Keep You Grounded

When you know what you want to do and where you are at the current moment, then you are always in touch with reality, which gives you more control over your life.

It not only helps you to focus on your next steps but also keeps you out of pie in the sky daydreaming that gets you nowhere and can even cause you to become depressed.

The creative process is a great tool to keepvyou moving forward.

It keeps you focused on where you are and the next step you need to take. one of the beauties of it is that you do not need anyone else’s approval or permission to create whatever you want.

The Special Advantage Of The Creative Process For HSPs

Highly sensitive people often have difficulty maintaining control over their own lives, because they have different priorities from non-HSPs which means that they often have little say over work and social agendas because highly sensitive people are usually outnumbered. Therefore in work and social situations we often get preempted which is very uncomfortable.

However, HSPs are often creative. In embracing the creative process we can start to regain control over our agenda.

The creative process is about setting your own agenda and following it through to completion. When you take back your life using the creative process you start to create freedom for yourself not only by choosing what you want but by becoming so in tune with what is needed to make your goals happen that you start to use that skill in all areas of your life.

You acquire an understanding of what is necessary and what is possible, that no one can take away from you. It helps you in managing not only your time but also your boundaries.

The Creative Process Creates Empowerment

Rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty to make something happen is a wonderful way to grow, learn and get control over your own life. Making something happen provides you with knowledge based on experience. It enables you to notice when the demands and expectations of others are inappropriate. It puts you in charge of what is possible and makes it easier not to be subject to the whims of others.

HSPs have too often found it difficult to protect their boundaries and well-being because their values and priorities are different. However, without enough experience and knowledge, HSPs have no way of defending themselves.

The creative process provides highly sensitive people with a way to their own authority so that they do not have to be subject to the authority of others as much.

It is therefore a wonderful way for the highly sensitive to create a meaningful and healthy life for themselves.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

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Inner Peace Improves Creativity

Inner Peace Improves Creativity - HSP Health Blog

Inner peace improves creativity.

Based on my experience as a creative person, inner peace takes us to a different place that improves our ability to come up with fresh ideas.

Brainstorming Is Not Creativity

I have nothing against brainstorming – either by yourself or with others. But here’s the thing: brainstorming is often about what we already know.

When we get together with others we each take what we know and pool it with everyone else’s knowledge and come up with an idea or strategy. This is great up to a point and in increasingly complex institutional environments can be very useful – after all there is too much for any one person to know.

When we brainstorm we mostly rehash what we know. Unfortunately it is usually linear, left brained activity meant to enhance the status quo..

Brainstorming, then, can be limited in what it considers as potential ideas. It may be limited to what exists and what others will accept.

So is it creativity?

What Is Creativity?

According to one online dictionary, creativity is

1.the state or quality of being creative

2.the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.

3.the process by which one utilizes creativeability: Extensive reading stimulated his creativity.

What is key in the definition is the word, imagination. Imagination is a right brained activity. It claims the connections that we cannot make any other way. It offers us the unknown for our progress in solving  problem or developing something new.

Is Imagination Endangered?

Left brained mental processes have dominated human culture in the West for centuries. They are an outgrowth of the scientific method which is evidence based and relies on the material world.

Imagination is elusive. It is energy based and connected to the universal field, the source of all intelligence in the universe.

Science developed as an antidote to superstition. It does not respect  the spiritual, psychic and energetic realms, although that is beginning to change a little. The discredited realms  of modern life are also the home of the imagination, which we find cute and interesting in children not adults.

The Universal Field And Creativity

The universal field is an important support of human life. It is the emptiness and silence of oneness where those wild ideas of the imagination come from. It is therefore a great resource for our creative endeavors.

Here’s the rub.

You cannot force it.

You have to be open to it.

Creative ideas require that we are receptive to them or they cannot make their way to us because we have closed ourselves off to them. Receptivity is a feminine quality and one that is discredited in modern culture. Therefore many are often not receptive to new ideas and it is not just an individual problem it is also a societal problem.

Those who are in touch with their imaginations, their creativity and the universal field may find themselves isolated and have difficulty communicating their ideas and gaining acceptance for them. How many people are really open to and in touch with the universal field?

Inner Peace And Creativity

Creative challenges aside, the universal field is our source for creative support. Interestingly, we learn to move into its stillness through meditation. Yes, the same meditation that helps us find inner peace.  Meditation helps us let go of the petty difficulties of everyday life. It helps us become more comfortable with silence than the drama of everyday life.

In doing so, we quiet the mental chatter that distracts us from our creative source and allow ourselves to receive new information. We open ourselves to new possibilities simply by being open to the universal silence. Meditation helps us find inner peace and in doing so also helps us find and embrace our creative potential.

Why Thinking Can Get You In Trouble

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Yup, thinking can get you in trouble.

Often we think when we are worried about something or trying to figure out something we do not understand.

We can go around in circles, and expend a lot of energy without getting anywhere.

We can improve our thinking if we understand better how to use our brains.

How We Use Our Brains

Usually we use our brains in response to a threat – when we see or notice something that is different, is moving, or something we have to be afraid of. Our brains are most often simply a part of our defenses.

When we are worried about something, when we are trying to resolve issues related to the past, when we are anticipating the future, we are using our brains defensively.

We usually respond to the perceived threat by seeking information from our own brain’s database of experience, researching outside of ourselves – accessing other’s brains, or by using our imagination.

Can We Use Our Brains Better?

None of this is bad or wrong.

Every morning I put out food for the feral cats that live nearby.  Over time, they have come for food enough times that the grass has developed some pathways, that they now seek as a way to reach the food.

Our brains are like that too. When our lives are mostly a succession of threats that we are handling, our brains develop pathways and then other brain potentials are neglected. We then stunt our growth and are unable to develop our brain’s creativity.

Why? Because creativity is mostly constructive rather than reactive.  When we are reacting we are surrendering our creativity more often than not. (Of course we can approach threats in a creative way.)

Why Is Creativity Different?

The simplest way to describe the difference between creativity and threat response is to consider how each uses our imagination.

The imagination is a powerful aspect of our brain functioning. How well it functions and how well it is able to support our well-being is important. If our imagination has been directed toward fear, that is a pathway in our brain that will automatically arise when we are contemplating a task – especially a new one. When our imagination has habitually been directed to imagining something positive, that is where it will naturally go.

These are both brain habits which means that our natural tendency may not reflect reality or it may. It is important to be aware of your brain’s conditioned tendency so that you can question it and make the best choices for yourself.

So the next time you do something, try to notice the direction your brain takes.  Repeat the exercise and if you can journal about it.  You may notice a pattern that has caused you some difficulty and which by being aware of it, you can change.

Sometimes it is wise to be afraid and other times it is wiser to be optimistic.  It is even better when we can feel confident that we are able to respond appropriately to whatever is going on with us or our lives.

 

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What Happened To Play?

What happened to play?

Did you make mud pies when you were a child?

Perhaps you spent time in a playground, or a sandbox.

Did you build castles in the sand?

What happened to the joyful spirit of play in your life?

Enter Insecurity

I was raised in a conservative environment so conditioning started at a young age.

I am not good about being indoctrinated so I noticed when anyone tried.

To this day, I notice.

However, the force feeding of fear and insecurity has an effect whether you like it or not.

It causes sadness, pain and loneliness. And insecurity.

I experienced all of those things.

The fear world causes us to pull back and stop fulling engaging with life.

When that happens a part of us dies a little bit at a time.

Who Gets Hurt?

Children are known to be sensitive to the hurt in others. Many comfort those around them who are in pain.

They are not, however, sophisticated in understanding the source of that pain.

How many of us are taught that if we are not obedient and quiet, we are a source of pain to others?

How many of us are taught that when we  are joyful we are hurting others?

How many of us are taught that happiness is something we earn?

How many of us are taught that curiosity is bad?

How many of us are taught that our creative, fully alive spirit is too much?

How many of us are taught that the more alive we are, the more of a burden we are?

No Room For Play

Play is how we learn.

Play is how we become strong.

So when we slowly close the door on play, we disempower ourselves and others.

Play is the basis of trial and error and give and take.

Play helps us to be open to possibility and to the good wherever we find it.

Playing with others helps us learn to trust them even if they are very different from us.

Play: The Path To Empowerment

Play lets us be more process oriented so that we are less focused on outcomes and more focused on our engagement in the trial and error process of creating

Play lets us work through a problem, so we learn how to do it.

When we engage in play we learn when to move forward and when not to. We learn to act, reflect on our actions and make adjustments. We learn what works and what does not and we acquire our own skills and knowledge independent of any one else.

Children used to go outside to play all the time. It was important to do so because it gave you direct access to your experience and eventually helped you develop skill and wisdom. You did not require the validation of anyone else. Directness develops power.

That appears to have changed and now young people have structured activities that are usually supervised and controlled.

Are they are better off?

Coming Into Our Own

We all need to find and take our place in the world. To do so we need to find our strengths and that occurs through play.

Play enables us to take calculated risks and teaches us how to handle our successes and failures.

Play makes failure a normal part of life. How many of us have a healthy attitude toward failure?

In the interest of safety and security we may have given up our resilience and spirits and I am not sure that we have made the right bargain.

Play helps us become who we were meant to become.

It helps is come into our own.

Which is why it is so important.

A Reexamination Of Comfort Zones And Creativity

Comfort Zones And Creativity - HSP Health Blog

Being in one’s comfort zone or not seems to be a marker of all sorts of wonderful traits including creativity and progressiveness. I can even be a path to success and wealth!

I consider myself a creative person. However, I find many ideas about comfort zones, and getting out of them, to have very little to do with creativity and creating a good life for yourself.

Since I perceive quality of life something that we can and need to create for ourselves, I think that reevaluating comfort zones is a necessary step before it is possible to actually improve your life.

Distorting Comfort Zones

Current ideas of comfort zones, in particular getting out of one’s comfort zone, are very much tied to the growth model of economic progress. Getting out of one’s comfort zone appears to have become somewhat of a cultural ideal and I think that is problematic. Being uncomfortable is not necessarily better than being comfortable. It is important to be able to know when to step out of comfort zones and when not to.

Here are some reasons, a society might value having people move out of their comfort zones:

  • if our comfort zone is “bad”, we will seek continuous self-improvement. Although there is nothing wrong with learning, it is better when it is for healthy reasons rather than to live up to a cultural ideal,
  • we buy and consume more, in particular more than we need. If living in a smaller house and having fewer possessions makes sense for us, it will be demeaned in a consumption based economic system. “Enough” is just a synonym for your comfort zone.
  • it can be thought of as supporting the hypermasculine culture of Western civilization with its emphasis on markets, competition, conquest, and expansion. Nurturing and sustaining activities are mostly devalued. One example of the mindset occurs with those people who assert that they will rest when they are dead, as if rest is a waste of time.
  • if we are out of our comfort zones, we may not be true to ourselves. For example, we are out of our comfort zone when we pretend to be happy when we are not. If we do this often enough we lose access to and recognition of our real feelings and true selves.
  • if we go along with getting out of our comfort zone as a cultural model, we may not be able to identify our real values and aspirations.
  • there is more to comfort zones than the demands of a hyper consuming society.
  • getting out of one’s comfort zone is not about becoming extreme in sports or any other endeavor.
  • getting out of one’s comfort zone implies that what is natural may not be good. Should we be rude because being cordial is in our comfort zone?
  • dissing comfort zones suggests that the ordinary is not good enough. Actually the ordinary is magnificent if we can stop long enough to see it.

Getting out of one’s comfort zone can be as mindless as any other idea.

Reframing Comfort Zones

One way to get out of the trap of comfort zones is to reframe what you are doing because frankly your comfort zone is really not all that important an idea to wrap your life around. It certainly should not be a reason for doing anything.

If you make yourself present to where you are, what you want or need to do and the steps to accomplish what you need to do, how do comfort zones enter into that?

Do you need to get out of your comfort zone when brushing your teeth. Perhaps standing on your head while brushing would be out of your comfort zone, but would it be worthwhile to do so?

Perhaps you should consider sleeping standing up because that would be out of your comfort zone.

A Better Use Of Comfort And Discomfort

All absolutes are problematic, because there aren’t any. Absolutes are an illusion. So turning anything into an absolute as a guide for living life is a mistake. That includes “getting out of your comfort zone” if you use it as a measure of whether or not what you are doing is a good idea.

It is far better to use comfort to determine when something is working or not. We use it as a tool for learning and living in a healthier way.

We HSPs have the ability because we are so intuitive, creative and in touch with our feelings to notice comfort and discomfort as a way to make life work better – not as an absolute but as a tool for compassionate living.

That is really the value of discomfort and comfort and one of the wonderful ways HSPs can add a lot of value and magic to the world.

The Importance Of Uselessness

The Importance Of Uselessness - HSP Health Blog

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Being useless feels awful.

Being useful feels good, doesn’t it?

It is nice to feel valued and know we are valued. It helps us to feel secure.

It also means we are supported to others and that we are welcome in the world.

Is There A Stigma For Being Useless?

As a highly sensitive person, I suspect that the highly sensitive suffer more from being perceived as useless because:

  • we need more rest and frequent breaks
  • we are not handy for dramas and emergencies since we operate more slowly
  • we question a lot of things including others view of what is useful – like I am doing now!

Busyness often seems like much ado about nothing.

The Problem With Being Useful

We live in a very strange time. People are expected to be highly productive. However, in spite of it we are often replaced by machines.

We are filling up the planet with huge amounts of garbage – the residue of our productivity. We are becoming sicker and sicker from our efforts to survive in a system that makes us obsolete.

Being productive does not mean taking good care of ourselves. It does not mean developing greater self reliance. It means participating in the consumption business: supporting it, making it work and reaping rewards from it.

In other words, being dependent on it.

This is one of the observations that highly sensitive people will make about our current system and the idea of being useful: we are really making ourselves dependent.

Busyness Is NOT A Sign Of Intelligence

Busyness has a fatal flaw. It keeps us engaged tactically and removes us from considering the big picture.

As a highly sensitive person, I notice when the big picture and present activities are at odds. In fact, I notice when anything is at odds. Busyness is what we expect from subordinates, the foot soldiers of modern life, the Hans Brinkers of our increasingly decaying commercial system. That means that busyness does not make us masters of our fate. Just the opposite.

Busyness does not seem like such a great deal. It is worth asking ourselves why we are doing all this.

Why are we?

Are You Engaged?

Many people think of being busy as the same thing as being engaged. Often we are made to think that slowing down is a kind of disengagement, even an abandonment of our responsibilities.

But engagement demands a lot of presence. Busyness does not. So when we are being very busy in many we ways we are increasing our disengagement with life. We stop asking important questions about what we are doing and why.

Why Being Useless Improves Engagement

When we are being useless we are open to whatever comes our way. Whatever information that needs to shape our perception comes when we are that moment of rest and open to it.

When we are useless, we are open to a different agenda. It could be the voice of our innermost self speaking to us. It could be an awareness of the big picture that shows itself to us.

Nothing can reach us if we are not receptive. So being useless is a way of being receptive to inputs from any and all sources. When we are receptive, then we engage in a different way, in a more informed way, in a more complete way. It shows up in our work. We do work that is more on point. we waste less time on that which is irrelevant or unimportant and we know the difference.

We rise to the level of creator and steward which gives us and others a greater experience of satisfaction.

Sensitivity And Being Useless

One of the challenges of being sensitive is that it is hard to fool ourselves. We know when busyness is hollow, counterproductive or destructive. We can feel it.

However, we need to work and want to work in a way that suits us. Adopting the openness of being useless lets us sidestep busyness for a form of engagement that is rewarding to us.

It is a good idea for each HSP to spend some time each day not just resting but being useless and open to the voice and wisdom of our true selves.

Our receptivity will reward us with greater enjoyment and fulfillment.

Are Passion And Creativity The Same Thing?

Are Passion And Creativity The Same Thing? - HSP Health Blog

 

Do you think passion is important?

Do you think that creativity requires passion?

These are important questions because many people think that creativity requires passion and that without passion, creativity is impossible.

Does Passion Help Creativity

Many people think that passion is necessary for creativity to occur.

However, we need to reconsider this idea.

Say you bump into an animal that you have never seen before. In your mind you start to invent stories about what kind of animal you are seeing and why you have not seen it before.

These stories are creations of your mind.

Did you need passion to create them?

Creating, then, is a natural to us as breathing since we are always engaging with and trying to make sense of the world around us.

Is Passion The Same As Motivation?

When you are motivated, does it come from passion?

When you are hungry your motivation to eat comes from necessity.

When you treat someone else well, your motivation can come from love, respect, or if you are dealing with a bully from self preservation.

So motivation can be all over the map. If you tie your creativity to your motivation, you will have trouble creating since your motivation will change and fluctuate.

What Is Passion Anyway!

Passion is most often called a powerful feeling.

The Free Dictionary‘s definition of passion describes 4 basic categories for passion:

  1. a powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.
  2. ardent love, strong sexual desire; lust, the object of such love or desire.
  3. boundless enthusiasm… the object of such enthusiasm.
  4. an abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger

I think that we recognize that passion can be a powerful emotion, but there are many powerful emotions. What distinguishes passion is enthusiasm. When we have passion, we feel an enthusiasm for what we are passionate about.

This is another interesting definition of passion from Mapmaker:

Passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do.

Simply put, it’s being who you are and doing what comes naturally. When what you do is in alignment with who you are, you get energy from doing it. It’s like water flowing along its natural riverbed. It actually gains energy from the path it’s taking (compare that to what most people experience in their work, which is more like trying to force it up and over a mountain).

So passion comes from a sense of connection between ourselves and what we are doing. Passion happens because there is some relationship between us and the work. In fact you could say that passion occurs because the work is us.

Passion And Creativity Are Not The Same

Creativity is not passion. It is a skill.

Passion comes from us. Our enthusiasm for something says something about who we are and what we have to give the world.

Passion is about something that attracts us; creating is about bringing something into existence.

Passion is a love of chocolate, creating is make an unusual chocolate cake.

Passion is a love of roses, creating is making a new hybrid tea rose.

Passion is a love of color, creating is making your own painting.

You Need Both

Passion tells you something about yourself. Creating is something you do as a result of your passion.

I personally think you need both.

It is a good idea to know yourself and where your enthusiasms lie.

It is also a good idea to master the self discipline necessary to create something.

Creativity and passion can reinforce and accentuate each other.

When they do you harness the best of yourself and your skills.

That means you can offer some serious contribution to the world, which is a wonderful way to live.

Starved For Passion? Top 10 Passion Killers For The Highly Sensitive Person

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Many say that the opposite of love is fear. I believe that the opposite of love is apathy.

In an apathetic or indifferent state, passion flat lines and numbness reigns supreme. A once technicolor life fades to black and white and well, what’s the point?

If I were brutally honest with myself, I would say that wallowing in apathy is an activity that has become habitual. I tend to drop into indifference when I am subconsciously starving myself with what I call passion killers. Simply going through the motions of life is excruciating not because its painful, it aches because it does not feel like anything at all.

 It’s not enough to invite passion back in. Been there, tried that.

Recovering Passion From Passion Killers

Passion killers are like weeds that take over our lives. If we want more passion in our lives, we must remove these so-called passion killers. Chances are, you may not even know that they exist. I didn’t. They hide deep in our subconscious minds and if you are a highly sensitive person such as myself, your predisposition to these passion killers may be higher than most.

The top 10 passion killers (in no particular order), are as follows:

  1. Indecisiveness Kills Passion – I am starting with indecisiveness because as highly sensitive people we tend to be vastly irresolute, and for good reason. Sensing life on a deep level allows for a more robust vantage point making choosing anything a challenge. We often have to own and  grieve the choice we do not go with which can prevent us from moving forward with any decision at all. But here’s the thing, when we do not choose, we do not get the opportunity to stand fully behind something. We live in this wishy-washy, spiritless land of letting others choose for us. We never get to discover what make our hearts race or what makes the hair stand up on the backs of our neck. We must choose something, anything; passion will follow.

  1. Competing Priorities Kill Passion – On the heels of indecisiveness comes vying priorities. We HSPs have the gift of experiencing energy on a subtle level enabling us to dream big and often. This is precisely where many of us get stuck, in dreaming mode. It means we start 10 projects and finish none of them. It’s good to dream, but not so good to be a dreamer who lacks direction and supplementary priorities. Giving part of our attention to several things at one time is a sure way to leak passion out like a sieve. Choose one priority and go all the way into it. If you are not sure what takes precedence, get quiet. Meditation or journaling are excellent yet simple ways to prioritize.

  1. No Vision Kills Passion – Having no vision crushes passion the same way having too many does. If you were ever asked what you wanted to do in life and experienced crippling shame that screamed, “I don’t know”, chances are you are familiar with this lack of vision. No vision can be correlated to an intensified outward focus. As sensitives, our heightened depth of processing allows us to be incredibly plugged in to the external world whether we want to or not. For this reason, our wants and desires tend to morph into the wants and desires of others. Of course there is no passion in this place because those wants and desires are not our own. Honing a vision begins with turning inward.  We must start asking ourselves what it is we truly want and go after it. If you aren’t sure what you want, there is no shame in that. The first step to discovering what we truly want is lurking right around the corner from what we don’t. Start there.

  1. Halfway Kills Passion – Being halfway is comparable to standing on the periphery of life.  It looks like not letting ourselves speak up fully. It comes across as  hiding, avoiding, playing out addictive tendencies and saying we are going to do something and not doing it. As someone who avoided most of her days as an emotional eater, I know firsthand how easy it is to give into cravings and hole up. I know what it feels like to be the committer who can’t commit. In a word, awful. It is so necessary that we hold ourselves accountable.  Fully showing up requires that we set goals for ourselves and more importantly, follow through. Goals give us a purpose and we NEED purpose. Making goals that are more about what we want to accomplish and less about when seems to be most effective for sensitive types. Time restraint squashes creativity , the natural home of passion.

  1. Inactivity Kills Passion – The inactivity I speak of here is not that of rest or relaxation rather it is inactivity born from fear or resistance; the analysis paralysis type of inactivity. Author Steven Pressfield writes, “Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” I have found that many highly sensitive people let the strong sensation that accompanies resistance halt them in their tracks. That resistance is what paralyzes us and keeps us running to food (or whatever your addiction of choice may be). Moving through the resistance requires that we expand our tolerance for its sensation; and it’s just that, a sensation in the body. Allowing for greater sensation permits us to show up in a greater way should, and when we choose. My guess is that if you are reading this now, your desire to show up is bigger than the resistance that has been holding you back.

  1. Planning Kills Passion – This is a bit of a double-edged sword. There is a time and a place for planning. When we are in a weakened state, rigid planning is what nurses us back to vitality and allows for more flexibility down the road. You can see how this plays out for someone struggling with an illness, addiction, difficult life circumstance or major transition. Staunch care, steady regimens, and consistent routines are necessary in these scenarios. It’s when we cling onto excessive planning outside of these situations or beyond their expiration date where we fall into trouble. Our lives become too small for the limitlessness that we are. There is no room for passion to grow inside of the rights/wrongs, do’s/don’ts, and shoulds that are dictated by our plans. Let go. Let life flow in and bring with it the passion you have been searching for.

  1. Isolation Kills Passion – Apathy affects us especially during extended periods of isolation.  For HSPs this can be a loaded subject. We require solitude to digest all that we sense; yet too much solitude will throw us straight into apathy. As someone who spent much of her life isolated, I can tell you that I am still healing the parts of me that so desperately craved connection. As human beings we need to be listened to, heard and validated. When we retreat from the world because we feel too much or because connecting feels over stimulating, we begin to wither. We get lost in our minds and life becomes lackluster. Put yourself out there even though it feels frightening. Vulnerability is the birthplace for inspiration, passion, and love; all of which are found inside of connection.

  1. Perfection Kills Passion – Because highly sensitive people are processing things deeply (literally on a cellular level), we can easily see where we/others fall short.  When this becomes the measurement device for how we live our life and how others live their lives, it becomes incredibly painful. Maybe you have had the experience of being called “picky” when looking for a significant other? Or perhaps you have lost friends because they have behaved in a way that has gone against your principles? Or maybe you are someone who stands in the mirror each morning picking apart everything from your wrinkles to your stretch marks to your cellulite. I speak from personal experience in each one of these scenarios and I can tell you that exercising abrasive judgment and extreme perfectionism is a surefire way to keep passion at bay. Relaxing into our humanness is the only way to rediscover desire and it requires that we relax our gaze.

  1. Excessive Control Kills Passion – A heightened illusion of control is necessary for sensitive souls.Because we experience an uncensored version of life, there is an overwhelming need to temper its intensity. Our emotions often feel bigger than we are so we minimize them by eating over them, analyzing them, or going numb in some regard. It is in the minimizing that passion gradually disappears and life fades to black and white. Until we can welcome the vastness of our experiences to flow through us, life will continue to feel empty. Know that you are bigger than your emotions and much larger than the sensations and cravings that overwhelm you. Leaning into the enormity of all that we are will quickly create space for desire to return.

  1. Clutter kills passion – Literal as well as figurative clutter is a passion killer. Our external surroundings are definitely a reflection of our internal state. If you we are living and working in a mess, there will be no room for passion to come up. Think about it…if you have a messy closet full of things you don’t like, don’t fit, and don’t want to wear, how are you going to be enthusiastic about getting dressed in the morning? The same goes for a messy mind. If there are a thousand unchartered thoughts running around unaccounted for, how is there going to be space for true desires and inspiration to come through? Simplify your bedroom, your kitchen, your closet, and your bathroom. And by all means, meditate so that you can move beyond the thoughts that do not matter and give the thoughts that do a home. Write them down and add them to your list of goals. There is no such thing as oversimplification when it comes to rediscovering passion.

Highly sensitive people have so many ways in which they can contribute. It is unfortunate when their lives are cluttered by weeds of bad habits killing off our passionate capacity for living. It does not have to be this way. We can clear out those weeds to allow our natural passion and creativity . We are worth it!

 

How Tolerance Makes Us Smarter

open 19 © by loop_oh

I was reading an article recently that discussed how many people want what they want but have little curiosity about how what they want is created. Although a huge generalization it made we wonder about some of the costs to ourselves of our fast, highly mechanized society.

The High Cost Of Machines

I think it is degrading to treat people as just consumers like children waiting for candy every day. It marginalizes us and keeps us dependent.

This dependency suggests that we have lost our ability to take care of our needs. Perhaps we have. We have machines that take care of many mundane tasks to that we do not have to.

We have schools that prepare us to live primarily as consumers. We are now used to the “freedom” to go to the store when we need something.  Should the status quo change do we have schools that teach us how to survive and thrive on our own?

What do we do that requires patience, perseverance and resilience? Are we are so reliant on machines that we have surrendered important part of our personal development?

The Benefit Of Mundane Tasks

Mundane tasks are wonderful for our development. Whether it is cleaning our house, tackling some routine maintenance, weeding a garden or cooking a meal, these daily tasks help us engage in productive ways with our lives. They teach us to pay attention, to stick with the task even if it is not particularly enjoyable, to handle the minor mistakes that we make, and to participate in the process of getting something done. It feels good to engage in our own lives.

Mundane tasks also do something else – they teach us tolerance.

They teach us to tolerate the unpleasant, the boring, the mistakes, the inconvenience the surprises and disappointments.

The Gifts Of Tolerance

What gifts does tolerance bring us?

Tolerance

  • enables us to become strong through struggle. An obvious example is how a bird hatches from its egg after a struggle to break out. Only when its strength is adequate does it emerge. We have to tolerate our weakness as we grow strong, the weakness of other people in our lives and challenges that comes with strength. We also have to tolerate that what may be a strength today may be a weakness tomorrow as we and the world change.
  • helps us become wise. We are each a jumble of desires, impulses and energies that we need to learn how to channel wisely. We have to tolerate our mistakes and disappointments in order to learn how to make wise decisions. We have to tolerate false starts, blind alleys, and wrong directions to learn how to make our way in the world.
  • enables us to see into the heart of a situation or another person. It is our own tolerance for our struggles that enables us to look kindly on other people and their challenges. It is our tolerance for ambiguity that lets us be with our thoughts and feelings as difficult as they can be sometimes to be fully aware of the present reality of a person or situation.
  • guides us through the trial and error process of learning. We cannot know in advance. Too often I hear the expression that someone “should have known…”. Nonsense!  We are not omniscient. Where the demand or expectation comes from I do not know. As a species we are often intolerant of the not knowing of things. However, if I look out into nature, I do not see a tree worried about not knowing. It just is a tree and that is fine. Do you see birds scratching their heads because they do not know?  They don’t; they get on with the business of being a bird. We have to tolerate our not knowing and when we do it becomes easier to persevere.

Tolerance has an open heart to reality. It does not have a list of demands. It is a gentle way of being in the world.

Tolerance lets us be vulnerable and in a state of wonder. When we surrender to our not knowing we let more of the world in, can learn from the rest of the universe and in doing so become wiser.

We have become deskilled and had our wings clipped by a mechanized society. We can become intolerant because we are so used to having so much available to us. If we allow that to occur, we are losing important parts of ourselves. It is unfortunate that in trying to lift ourselves up we may have created our impoverishment.

Duality And The Mastery Of The Exquisite

Everyday We have to choose whether to feed our good side or our evil side. Choose wisely. #YinYang #GoodVsEvil #Duality #conscience.

Duality is something that many of us embrace as a way to develop perceptual sophistication.

You know…
…love vs. hate…
…light vs. dark…
…yin vs. yang…
…good vs. bad…
…masculine vs. feminine…

It’s a start!

Duality Can Be Like Fool’s Gold

Discovering duality can be exciting. It is a way to start to grapple with the world.

We can see differences and we have a way to think about them.

We have a way to make sense of what we see and feel.

We are in control!

Too many people treat duality as the last word on reality when it is really just the tip of the iceberg. It is not the last word in our quest for perceptual honesty and truth. It is only the beginning.

Duality Is A Window

Duality is like a window. It is a way to begin to understand differences.

But differences are not fixed. They exist in relation to other characteristics and contexts.

So duality is not a way to understand something concrete. It is how we begin to understand factors that are always changing.

Duality gives us an opening to learn about and understand the energy of differences.

It lets us be with differences so that we can begin to understand their value.

Light is not just one value, and dark is not just one value. Each offer us many rich variations and different levels of opacity, intensity, and subtlety.

When we engage with dualities we can begin to see what we miss.

Holding The Tension Of Dualities

The creative process provides us with a tension between what we want and where we are currently.

When we hold the tension between the two, possibilities then show themselves to us.

The same is true with dualities.

When we hold light and dark together in our attention, then they start to evolve. They move together, they dialogue, they may argue. They beome active.

Meeting The Exquisite

Holding dualities creates a movement to the middle.

It allows something to emerge. That something is a place that works, where the two elements are not just in balance but where they are the most effective, where they bring out the best in each other.

Holding the tension of dualities helps you find a sweet spot between them. It is a tool to help you hold the tension in conflicts and let solutions find you.

Finding solutions and where dualities are able to meet and work together reveals a sweet spot: a place where you an feel something fall into place.

It’s a place which feels right, a place where everything feels in sync.

When you find it, it feels like you have bumped into something exquisite. It is better than harmony and it is better than compromise.

It is the sweet spot, the exquisite feeling that comes from dualities coming together in the right way for the right reasons.

It is one of the best feelings in the world.