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

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‘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

 

 

 

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. ~

Get a grip, and it let go

Society tells us to chase after the things we want – to push for them and work towards them: “Set a goal, achieve it, next.” And gods forbid we fail… because that can come down on our self esteem like a ton of bricks.

Have you ever become so obsessed with a goal that it takes over your life, and you can’t get it out of your head? Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you try for something it seems to slip farther and farther away? This is sign that sure, you are in a goal oriented head space as in… you’ll do anything for that…thing, you’ll KILL for it, but you’re probably not in the right what I call “heart space”.

If you’ve been chasing after something with your head in the driver’s seat and your heart locked in the back trunk, it might be time to step on the breaks.

Remember this quote? “If you love something, set it free, if it comes back, it’s meant to be…”

Get out of your head about that thing that you want, and go into your heart. Listen to it, what does your intuition say?

There is a very delicate balance to be had between actioning your goals, and setting intentions freely, letting them go so they can flow and grow organically.

This is  tough to do, and I have to consciously remind myself to do this daily, because I know that in the past when I have chased goals and got all caught up in my head about them (us HSPs can certainly slip into that mind trap of over thinking), my world gets crazy and out of balance and I tend to lose myself in the pursuit. I lose sight of what really matters. I find that I am unhappy, and even after getting what I wanted, I am still not satisfied.

When I chase goals with my heart, I am relaxed and content. I am open to the universe and I don’t miss anything that the tunnel vision of my mind might have blinded me from. I am also more ok with my path bending in ways that I did not plan for.

It is easy to loose touch with our heart space because the mind tends to over power, so we need to actively check in with ourselves when our head starts running and trying to control things.

So what I am saying is yes, you need to do the peddling and work towards what you want, but your heart should be doing the steering.

I challenge you to get a grip of your heart, and let go of your mind…. You’ll know what to do.

Thanks for reading my blog post this week! I have so much more in store for you on www.thesensitivetrait.com, and I deeply appreciate all of my followers and viewer’s support.

Until next time,

XOXO your fellow HSP, Chelsie

Keep your fear close, and your truth closer


I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day, and she used the term “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”  This friend of mine is a strong woman, and works hard at her career and her reputation so when she says something like this, she has my attention.

Her statement got me thinking about how I could relate this to my own personal journey. As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently reading The Desire Map, which has me thinking more than ever about feeling the way I want to feel.

And as you know, I am also an HSP, so I think very deeply and complexly about things and I am forever formulating different scenarios and ideas in my mind. This is my attempt to share some of them with you. Let’s have fun with it!

Ok, so bear with me and note this quote again: “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

Now let’s look inward. Let’s flip our perspective away from the people in our lives and look at our relationship with ourselves.

Let’s say that the term “friends” represent your truth, your happiness, and the parts of yourself that you can trust and that make you feel AWESOME. Does this mean that the term “enemies” could represent your doubts, your fears… and all those parts of yourself that you believe have the power to harm you?

I’m going to go with yes! (for the sake of the metaphor I am creating here). 😉

So why do we keep our friends close? We keep them close because they bring out the best in us, we enjoy life with them and have fun… we can rely on them and trust them, they add to us, fill us up. I think that’s why we want to live our truth as well, right? Because living our truth adds to our lives.

Now… why does this quote tell us to keep our enemies closer?! Responses will probably vary, but I think the purpose is to know our enemies so we can and understand them better, so we can be aware of what threats they might pose to us – so we can keep an eye on them, and be ready for them when they come. This gives us a better chance at outsmarting them.

I think this is precisely why we should know our own demons, and develop a relationship with our own fear.

Friends = Truth, Enemies = Fear

So, I say all the more reason to get closer… to both.

Maybe the harder of the two is getting to know your fears – but do – because sometimes your fears are what is stopping you from realizing your biggest truth. So I challenge you to get to know them; don’t cower away from the fear inside you. Explore it. And going into that, remember that you have control of how you want to feel. Always remember the light inside of you. But I urge you to be curious! What is that fear really about? It’s most likely there from memories and experiences in your past. But remember that today, those fears only have the control that you give them.

I am going to change the statement “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” to “Keep your fears close, and your truth closer.” Live in your truth, but don’t ignore the fear, it is also a teacher, your asset. Get to know fear so well that it no longer threatens, because you can see through it to the other side.

Thanks for reading this week. Presenting this metaphor was a great challenge for me, and I hope that it made some sense to you! As always, feel free to reach out to me in a private message or in a comment to continue this conversation. Truth? Fear? You’ll get the most out of life when you know them both within you. ❤

Xo your fellow HSP, Chelsie

9 Ways to THRIVE as a Highly Sensitive Person

Article written by Chelsie Aichelberger, (previously published with Ageless Living Magazine)

Dear followers, I thought that this week I would re-post an article I wrote a few months ago for Ageless Living. Re-reading it  again was a great reminder of how we can maintain a balance and and take care of ourselves as highly sensitive people. Print some of these points out, or write them on a whiteboard or chalkboard you have at home as a daily reminder! (I also like to write words to live by and positive reminders on sticky notes and stick them on my bathroom mirror).

Are you empathetic? Easily overwhelmed? Need time alone? Startle easily? Acutely aware of other’s emotions? Feel a little…different than most people?

That’s OK. These characteristics are often associated with an inherited trait (just like eye color and skin color) called high sensitivity. With this trait, our human nervous system responds slightly more intensely to our everyday experiences.

Highly sensitive people, also known as “HSPs” are usually very creative beings who enjoy the outdoors, and find peace and clarity when near water and in nature. They are often light sleepers, excellent listeners and good friends, but they are also prone to anxiety, fears, and frequently undervalue themselves.

Does this sound like you? Or maybe someone you know? If you’re not sure, take the HSP self-test here, or send it to a friend.

Elaine Aron, a research psychologist and author of the book The Highly Sensitive Person, coined the term “HSP.” She has shed an immense amount of light on this topic and has helped many others, including myself, learn about the trait of high sensitivity in humans.

The term “sensitive” is often associated with words such as “weak,” “touchy,” or “difficult.” We need to change this negative connotation in society because HSPs bring such positive characteristics to the world. They are passionate teachers, great leaders, and often pursue careers that help make the world a better place such as social work, life coaching, etc. In order to function as their best selves, it is imperative that HSPs take care of themselves so they can maintain a calm, healthy, optimal state of being.

Nine activities that will help HSPs to thrive:

  • Make time for downtime. During particularly busy days or weeks it is crucial that HSPs take time to unwind in a quiet space so they can consciously (and subconsciously) process the information and different energies they’ve absorbed throughout the day.
  • Get enough sleep. Whether  7 or 12 hours a day, it’s important that highly sensitive people listen to their body and get the amount of sleep that is right for them. Sometimes they may find themselves wanting to sleep and rest for an entire weekend! That’s totally ok – it’s their body taking the time it needs to re-charge.
  • Intuition check-in. HSPs have the ability to be very intuitive and connected with their inner selves. This is such a useful and important gift to have; whether considering a new job opportunity or deciding whether or not to go out or stay in on a Friday night, they should always listen to what their intuition is telling them.
  • Meditation is good for everyone, but it can have an especially positive effect on highly sensitive’s. When overwhelmed, meditation can be an excellent way for HSPs to calm their minds and nervous systems. Because HSPs are so intuitive, they are likely to cultivate a very soothing inner peace and connection with themselves through meditative practice.
  • Take intermittent breaks. Instead of go-go-going until the ultimate crash, taking intermittent breaks from daily activities is a great way for HSPs to self-regulate. For example, someone who isn’t particularly sensitive to their environment can probably make four errand stops and then go out for lunch in a busy restaurant with a friend. HSPs, on the other hand, might need to take a break in-between stops and drive down to the ocean, or grab a snack and sit on a quiet park bench for 20 minutes so they can re-charge.
  • Spending time in nature is extremely therapeutic for HSPs. Natural elements like plants, trees, water and sunlight have been said to absorb negative energy. Spending time in nature will help HSPs diffuse sensory overload and recharge in a quiet, beautiful place.
  • Pay attention to nutrition and eating habits. HSPs are sensitive to their external environment and to the feelings of others, but they are also sensitive to the foods they eat. In general, food can often affect HSP’s moods and feelings of well-being so it is important for them to pay attention to what may be affecting their bodies both negatively and positively. Sensitive’s may also be more susceptible to food and environmental allergies.
  • Engage your creative being. It’s in them, whether they know it or not. HSPs have the beautiful gift of appreciating art and music in a deep way. Creation, in all of its forms, is a wonderful experience for Sensitive’s. Whether HSPs express their creativity through art, photography, gardening, building, dancing, singling, cooking, organizing, or writing, it is deeply rewarding for them.
  • Write it down. HSPs often experience the overwhelm of picking up on subtleties and energies in their environment, including other’s emotions. They also think deeply about their experiences. As a way of sorting and processing all of this information, journaling can be a great tool for HSPs to use. The process of getting thoughts and feelings out of their minds and bodies onto paper can help calm and actually rid them of any extra baggage they are carrying.

About 20% of the world’s population has the trait of high sensitivity, and the positive characteristics of HSPs definitely outweigh the negatives. If you have discovered the HSP trait in yourself, use this article as a reference point for whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or the need to take care of yourself; and go ahead and be proud of being sensitive – you have so many special gifts that this world needs.

For more articles relative to highly sensitive and empathetic people, visit http://www.thesensitivetrait.com and subscribe to receive new article posts by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking “Follow”.

XO your fellow HSP, Chelsie

 

What if we were raised by our own hearts?

What if we grew up following our own inner compass, with no one and nothing imposing on our path, or steering us away from living as our authentic selves?

What if we were raised with the reassurance that however we felt, no matter what, our feelings were valid?

What if as children, we got to choose what made us the happiest, rather than being influenced to choose what ‘normal’ people choose?

What if when we cried or raged after a long day of noise and overwhelm, that we were comforted and protected instead of being viewed as weak, or punished?

What if we were born into an environment conducive to discovering our highest, truest selves, and what if we were taught that whatever the amount of time we needed to grow and transition was OK?

These are some questions that come to mind when I think about the delicate, beautiful little souls that arrive on this planet with a blank slate every single day. They don’t all get the opportunity to be raised in a way that caters to their authenticity. Society isn’t really set up that way…

I think that in many ways, our authenticity intertwines with our personality and as humans,  part of our personality is predetermined by our genetic makeup.

An example of predetermined/inherited personality is the trait of high sensitivity: approx. 20% of us are born with it (among many other traits, of course). Yes, you read that right; we are born highly sensitive, or not so much – it isn’t something that we choose, or have the power to remove.

Other parts of our personality develop as a product of the people in our lives and our experiences. Our parents, siblings, teachers, and neighbors all play a part in shaping us. So do influential experiences, like that time on the playground when you were deeply embarrassed, or that winning goal you scored in soccer when you were eight.

I truly believe that the personality traits we are born with are there for a reason, with a greater purpose. These innate traits in turn, make up a portion of our authenticity.

Being sensitive allows us to feel and absorb things deeply, to analyze on high levels, and to care a HECK of a lot.

Many great leaders in history were HSPs. They were naturally sensitive to their world; the needs of people, and the planet. Martin Luther King, Jane Goodall, Princess Dianna, and Abraham Lincoln, to name a few, were highly sensitive people.

Unfortunately, some HSPs might have grown up being told to “not be such a softie” or to “grow up” and quit being a cry baby.

These words can be like daggers to a young sensitive child, and their affect may cause our hearts to harden as we grow up. Because of this some HSPs may NEVER cry. They have been conditioned not to. This is an example of how we are often raised to hide or avoid our true authentic selves.

Maybe some of you are angry because of that. And I say, rightfully so!!!

It‘s not fair that our societal norm has been to hide our true feelings, to play “the game” and compete to be the best, hiding any signs of weakness. The kinds of masks we are taught to wear rob the world of our truth, and I think that is sad.

It’s time for a change.

Its 2016!!! We’re smarter than this. 

I am so glad to see that books are being written, and that leaders are coming forth to show that true success and leadership should actually come from authenticity, from the heart. Authors such as Robin Sharma and Danielle LaPorte write on this, as do many others.  I have seen social media communities pop-up to support being authentic, vulnerable, and open as well… even just very recently.

So keep shining – soften up and let your heart and soul pour its grace into this world! That is your truth, and your authenticity is needed. By following your truth you will live your best life, and you will create space for others to do the same.

How in touch are you with your true, authentic self?

Stick with me, we will go far on this journey.

XO Chelsie