This fiery heart of mine

The past year has been very much about seeking what feels right for me in terms of my vocation – and it has not been easy! I’ve learned a lot about myself and my ambition along the way. Actually, I have discovered this pattern in me; maybe it’s in you, too? It’s this searching hard for something that my heart desires, and then pouncing on it full-force. Which is all good, except for when it doesn’t work out or my feelings about it change. That part has been the hardest… admitting that what I found whether it was blogging about a specific topic, consulting for a company whose mission I believe in, or working hard for a global company wasn’t everything I expected. These things didn’t turn into a solid forever.

But, maybe they led to the most wonderful thing of all. There are some lessons I have learned over time, like how to distinguish gut feelings from anxious thoughts, and also how to be OK with letting things go that have taken their course. But the truth is that all of these experiences have led me somewhere. They’ve led me to be patient; they’ve shown me what life is all about. Life goes up and it goes down, and we get let down when we grip too tightly to things. Sometimes we’re only meant to do things for a short time even though we enjoy them. We must remember to appreciate and let go.

It’s funny, all my soul searching and writing and study on my personality trait and helping other HSPs has taken me full circle back to when I was very young. Crazy how we know things right from the get go but our worldly conditioning covers that up. Sometimes we need to take a longer road to get there. But hey, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Something that has pulled on my heart constantly my entire life is to help others – to help them feel understood and to help them understand themselves. I am fascinated by the mind, body and soul and how they intertwine. I want to show people how they can improve their own lives through healing past wounds but also through discovering the current strength within them. And I have been doing that here, there, and everywhere in pockets of my life, but I am ready to make a switch. A big leap – a career change. I am really, really, really, excited to share that I am pursuing a masters degree in counselling psychology to become a registered clinical councillor. Things take time. And the journey is the best lesson. Here’s to a new bend in the road!

All my love and blessing to you ~

Your fellow HSP,

Chelsie

 

Should you trust your thoughts… or your feelings?

Published in Happiness and Wellbeing Academy

“It all begins and ends in your mind – what you give power to has power over you, if you’ll allow it.” – Leon Brown.

It’s true – the human brain is an incredible organ that makes up our experiences; actually, it makes up our entire reality.

Kinda weird to think about, right?

I am reading a book right now written by a wonderful and hilarious Buddhist woman called Pema Chödrön. I am not necessarily a Buddhist myself but like all religions, I think that Buddhism shares concepts about the world and humanity that are extremely transcendent and universally true.

And, the three chapters I have read so far have all had to do with the mind. Our mind holds the ability to both trap us, and set us free. I have experienced times in my life that were full of worry and anxiety. I know all too well that debilitating cycle of thoughts that go around and around. You know – the ones full of uncertainly that consume you until you cannot make sense of what you really feel vs. what you think you feel …

That state is not a fun spot to be in, and it’s easy to feel helpless; but I bare good news, you can help yourself with the wisdom I am about to share.

Do you ever have thoughts pop into your head that make you feel terrible? Or confused? Do you ever think about the worst case scenario and let the frightened feelings those thoughts bring put a stop to your actions? Do you believe your thoughts enough to allow them to conjure your reality?

There is a pattern to the questions I just asked you. Your thoughts are creating your feelings in these situations.

Don’t listen to feelings that are born from your thoughts.

Thoughts are just thoughts. They don’t have any meaning unless we give them meaning, and they can cause you to feel things that aren’t true.

Let’s switch gears here to my second set of questions for you.

Do you ever look out at an open field and feel an overwhelming sense of freedom? Do you ever look at a puppy and feel giddy and playful? What about when you look into your lover’s eyes, do you feel butterflies? Attraction? Safety? Bliss?

The similarity between all of these questions is that they are examples of situations where feelings come before thoughts.

You don’t look at your mother and think “Oh, I love my mother” and then feel love, it’s the other way around. You feel first. All those feelings that come before thoughts are TRUE. Believe them.

And it’s as simple as that.

So again, the secret to remember about your feelings and thoughts is this: If the feeling comes before the thought, trust it. If your thoughts make you feel something, feel the feeling but then let it go, it doesn’t have to control your reality.

Love, Chelsie

How to own being a Highly Sensitive Person

Hi everyone, this week Happiness + Wellbeing Academy published an article I wrote for them! Please have a read: How to own being a Highly Sensitive Person.

XO your fellow HSP,

Chelsie

I write deep things while listening to top 40 pop hits

It’s true, I do. This morning I came up with the perfect topic for this blog post while listening to “Don’t let me down” by the Chainsmokers feat. Daya, and I was like, “Daya, you absolute gem! Thank you for inspiring me with that bridge you just owned, I know exactly what I’m going to write about now.”

One of the biggest internal struggles I have faced since beginning to share my thoughts and wisdom with the world is due to having somewhat of a black and white mindset. I have felt at points like maybe I am supposed to give up some of my old ways. Can I be a deep, reflective writer and still be the life of the party? Can I still be the silly one who is forgetful and makes all of her friends laugh and wonder why my hair isn’t lighter? 😉

Do I have to give up living the way I do, to become who I am becoming?

I’ve gone back and forth with this in my head; it has caused me anxiety because the idea of changing anything about they way I am now makes me feel sad. So why would I inflict this struggle upon myself?

Understanding that we always have a choice in how we feel is difficult to grasp, but once we do, it is incredibly freeing.

Even though I write deep things, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the world on a day-to-day level. I am a soul searcher and a dreamer, but I also enjoy the simple things in life; wine and really cheesy pizza, craft beer with my main squeeze, crude jokes, and ridiculous YouTube videos. I shop at Aritzia and I love top 40 pop music…especially Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Selena is pretty cool too.

One of the most beautiful things about deciding to live an authentic life is that you can choose what you fill it with. It’s never just black and white.

So who says I can’t live in this world and enjoy everything it has to offer, and still be deep and wise in my writing, too? The only person who tells me such a thing is me. So I am going to allow myself to have both.

I am choosing to embrace the newly expressed parts of me, without throwing out the old.

Thanks for reading again this week ~

XOXO, Love Chelsie

‘It is both a blessing, and a curse, to feel everything so very deeply’

(Quote in title is by David Jones).

Dear community,

Thank you for welcoming me back, I have taken a bit of a break from writing. And admittedly I missed it, terribly. So here I am.

Over the past month, things have been slowly building for me. I have set some intentions and embraced new opportunities. I have spent a lot of time with my family and abundance of friends, for whom I am truly grateful to have in this life.

Actually, I don’t think they realize just how much my heart gushes for every single one of them.

Since I began sharing my journey of self-discovery as a highly sensitive, empathetic person about a year ago, my personal growth has been rewarding. But it’s been difficult too. Combating my anxiety in certain areas of my life has been a challenge. Self doubt crops up now and again, and so does the overwhelm and fear that comes from being vulnerable and exposing who I am to the world.

But more than all these challenges combined, I feel like I have grown a new set of wings.

It is hard to share the fact that I am a sensitive person with the world sometimes. I worry about things like: “what if my employer or co-workers see me as weak or less capable or fit to do my job?” I have had some fears around telling new people that I meet about my work and the community I lead for highly sensitive people. “What if they don’t see the value in what I am doing?”

Just as I work to lift you all up to see the positive characteristic of being sensitive in this world, I struggle with it sometimes, too.

But I also love myself. I love the way I am and who I am. And I am no different from you all; I am sensitive, so sometimes I need to take breaks. Sometimes I have bad days and doubt myself. But this doesn’t mean that I will stop following my heart and my calling to help others. And as I continue to grow, I will be there for you with my writing. You are all a reflection of who I am, and your support and your feelings mean the world to me.

I have noticed that over the past year, my capacity to do what I love: to help others, to lift them up, to make them see their beauty and believe in themselves has widened – it has deepened. The joy I get from this has also grown. My heart could just burst when I witness others discovering their true power and the simple, utter beauty in which they are.

I believe this is a result of loving myself more, and getting to know more parts of myself; weeding through the dark yucky parts, facing the truths and realities that I have buried.  Since I have spent more time and care and money on my mental and physical health than ever, I have also been able to find a partner whom I love on a level that I never knew existed.

I am making more careful decisions. There is always a grey area; something that I haven’t thought of before. My soul and my intuition are much better friends, and they are present in my everyday life.

But my capacity still has its limits. The delicate balance of a happy HSP’s life is fragile. It needs to be just right: enough love and friendship, downtime time, sleep, creativity, humour, passion, and sense of accomplishment on a perfectly balanced scale.

When I get busy, I tend to start putting others first and reverting back to my old habits of saying yes to too much. I had to cancel plans with two people this week which I absolutely hate doing, because I knew it was going to throw me too far off balance. The light in me would begin to die. Instead of enjoying the time spent with these people, I would feel flickers of frustration or resentment. Or I might have just broken down and cried – that is very possible, too.

I hope that my stories and accounts of personal growth inspire you, and motivate you to seek after whatever makes you burn and glow furiously inside.

We HSPs and empaths have a special gift because we often seek our desires out from a young age. We are intuitive and in touch by nature. We contemplate the meaning of life, and have depths inside of us that are as vast as the universe.

So keep exploring, keep being you.

 

With all my love,

Chelsie xoxo

 

 

 

Breaking down fear, for what it is

I have been reading and thinking a lot about stepping out of comfort zones lately – you know – the spaces that fear keeps you in to avoid emotional and physical vulnerability. I am learning that we can’t really blame fear for this, either. After all, fear is just trying to do its job – to protect us from harm.

It makes sense if you think about it. Fear is a survival strategy that has protected our race as we have evolved. Back when survival was the main concern in life, fear would keep us from getting too close to danger.  (Now go ahead, think cave men and women around the fire sewing hides together for clothing and cleaning their latest kill… if the Flintstones come to mind, that’s cool too 😉 ). Fear would also drive us to go out and hunt for our families because if we didn’t, we would all die from starvation.

We have many kinds of fears, but we can usually categorize them into either physical, or emotional. Emotional fear was important to survival because we did not want to get rejected, or lose those nurturing relationships that protected us and gave us strength in groups. Rebelling against the pack meant you were left on your own to fend for yourself – literally.

Ok, now let’s fast-forward thousands of years and take a look at Jenn, who is sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop on Broadway in Vancouver, BC. She’s settled at the high-top table by the window, casually scrolling through some job descriptions on her mac book. She sees one that requires three more years of experience than she has. Jenn’s thoughts: “Oh, no definitely not that one, I am not sure I could do steps five and six.” Then she sees a writer position posted, but immediately glazes over it because she’s never had that job title before, even though writing interests her. Her eyes drift upwards out the window and they fall upon a good looking guy. Jen has been single for a while, and she would love to meet that guy out there, but there is no way she would risk the possibility of embarrassing herself by going up to him, in case he wasn’t interested.

There is a common theme during Jenn’s experience in the coffee shop. Every time she decides not to do something, it’s because of her fear. This is when fear sucks, today. It keeps us small, and gives us the easy way out so we don’t rock the boat or put ourselves into nerve wracking situations.

Imagine though, if Jenn applied to the job that required more years of experience than she had. Two things could have happened during the interview: She could have impressed the heck out of the employer by being who she was and pulling on the strong skills she did have, or, maybe the interview doesn’t go that well, and they thought that indeed she was unqualified. So what? A little disappointment is the worst that could have happened.

But, that feeling of fear is so intense. It says “no! don’t do it!” But really today, we would not be seriously harmed if we failed at an interview or got rejected by a boy.

If you want to go for what you REALLY want, and take risks to live truly to your own heart, then sure, you might get criticized by someone else, you might put yourself into situations that you feel are out of your league. You might get embarrassed or fail sometimes. But today, this isn’t a matter of life or death. It’s just a matter of getting past the fear that keeps us small. I also believe that once we do something we were afraid of and succeed, we re-train our minds and the fear disappears because whatever it was protecting us from didn’t in fact, attack us in the night and end our lives.

Thank you all for reading this week, I hope that seeing fear in this perspective will help you recognize it for what it is, and appreciate it, but refuse to let it stop you from going after what you want. F.E.A.R. is just a feeling, and it is always FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.

XOXO until next time,

Your fellow HSP, Chelsie

 

Life isn’t meant to be taken so seriously

I don’t know about you, but whenever I am reminded of this, I feel lighter and more relaxed inside. There is so much power in these words. My dad used to say it to my sister and I when we were kids. I loved to be reminded of it, especially when I was a teenager. Back then, one pimple could ruin my day! I can think back to so many times in my life where I was so consumed with something that was difficult, stressful or anxiety creating. I was hard on myself. “What if I don’t figure out what I want to do in my life by the time I am 25?” “I just stained my brand new white shirt when I spilled coffee on myself,” “That magazine I submitted my article to didn’t get back to me…”

The concept of not taking life so seriously might be tricky to understand sometimes too… especially for those of us who are naturally hard on ourselves. Where are my HSPs and empaths in the room?! I know most of you have been too hard on yourself at some point of your lives. 😉

Pushing ourselves to go far and succeed can get us places, yes, but what if we don’t meet the extremely high expectectations we have set for ourselves because, well, we are only human?! Too often, we turn a corner right into a snow bank of self doubting thoughts.

“Life isn’t meant to be taken so seriously….”

Give yourself a break. Life in this skin we are in is short and I don’t know about you, but I want to feel as happy and content as often as I possibly can. We are going to let others down in our lives, and we are going to wind up doing something or taking a turn that we didn’t plan for or expect.

But remember, you have the ability to feel the way you want to feel. I am really practicing that right now. The difference between then and now is that today, when I start going down a road of fear or doubt, when I start getting confused about what is next I remember that I have the power to go back to being happy again by letting go; getting back to the basics. Whatever it is that we want, we usually want it because we think it will make us feel good and happy. But if stressing about getting it is causing it to be “un-fun,” then we are missing the point.

So next time you are taking a matter REALLY seriously, ask yourself:  “Where was I, before I started feeling stressed and unhappy?” Your response will probably be similar to: “oh yah, I was living in the now, focusing on my life day to day and all the blessings it presents.” Remember how far you have come. Think back to all that you have accomplished. And don’t take what you don’t know or didn’t do so seriously…. It is all a journey that unfolds as we go.

Thanks for reading this week,

XO your fellow HSP, Chelsie

~Oh and thanks Dad, for telling me not to take life so seriously, and thanks to my boyfriend Matt for reminding me of it the other week when I really needed it hear it. ~