November 1st, 2013

Do you consider yourself enough?

I haven’t written for a while, have I?  Where does the time go? And even though I haven’t written to you all I have be thinking about you, my faithful readers so, here I am sat on a balcony in the French Alps surrounded by snow capped mountains and blue sky.  I am away skiing and have been on the slopes until 2pm and am now taking a break and enjoying the peace that comes from this place.  There is a tall pine tree in front of me, and the snow comes right up to the lower branches.  Every roof I can see is covered with snow and the mountains in the background are all in black and white with the sun making amazing shadow patterns across the crags and ravines.  All I can hear is birdsong from the little birds as they fly from tree to tree and the drip, drip of the water as it runs from the snow covered roofs and down the gutter to join the streams that are appearing on the mountainside as the snow transforms to water in the sunshine. The tapping of my keyboard is the only other noise which tells me that I have things to share and hopefully some of this will resonate especially with those of you who are HSP’s [highly sensitive people] and working out how to make sense of your lives. Sitting here allows to me to consider the ways in which I hide my sensitivity and I wonder how many ways you do too?

I skied for many years with the same group of lovely people,  our kids all grew up together and enjoyed fun in the snow.  We used to be up early and out to catch the first lifts up the mountan and skied till we dropped, and then would stay up chatting in the evening and then up again the next day to ski again etc etc.  I used to get home after the holiday and feel completely exhausted and I didn’t understand why, I used to want another holiday to recover! What I realise today is how I made myself keep up with everyone else, I couldn’t ‘let the side down’. I wanted to fit in, wanted to be the same and yet every holiday I would get back home so very tired.  Today I realised just how I put my own needs on hold back then, I didn’t listen to my inner voice, and I didn’t listen to my body, I really hid my own needs in order to be liked and included. Actually it was all a little too much and I would have liked to have taken some time for me at some point during the day.  Do you ever do that?  Do you find that you can be a chameleon and you fit in with a situation and or people, even when you know that deep inside its not ok for you?

So let’s do a little experiment, a little self hypnosis……

Just take a moment, close your eyes…… take a deep breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel your shoulders drop down…. Feel your body begin to let go……Allow the out breath to be twice as long as in the in breath and exhale really slowly, blowing slowly, slowly out …. And repeat several times…..  and then just ask yourself these questions….

Where do I feel most the comfortable?

Think of a situation where you were really happy, contented, peaceful, in touch with yourself… for some of you it may be on a beach, for others, it may be in your bed, in a forest, on a mountain, by a waterfall  or you could even make a place up… but here’s the important piece… really get in touch with what’s happening on the inside, deep inside, notice how you feel, be curious, be aware, what does this feeling feel like, realy take your attention al the way down, on the inside….. and now give it a name… it could be ‘peaceful’, it could be ‘warm’, it could be ‘calm’, could be ‘in touch’, joy, ME, whatever it is will be perfectly right just for you and sit with that and get to know it, really get to know it well.

Now think of a situation where you found yourself somewhere or with someone and wished you weren’t there.

What does that feel like?  The same as the above situation or different?  What does that feeling feel like, do you want more of it?  I didn’t think you would!  So what would happen if you had an invitation and noticed  ‘this feeling’ on the inside and it meant you didn’t want to go or the situation just wasn’t compelling enough.  Would that change the way you respond?’  If you felt that feeling even for a fleeting moment would you hesitate before you said ‘yes please’’? Would that give you enough time to ask yourself, ‘Do I really want this’?  Could I say ‘no’, or ‘I would rather not’. Could you say something that honoured you and the other person?  How would that go?   It might go like this… ‘I really appreciate you asking me to …. and on this occasion it doesn’t feel right for me, and please ask me again’.  Getting in touch with what’s right for you and also gets you a win win situation creates a lot more comfort than being dishonest to yourself and others.  And doing this is a little like exercising a muscle, the more you use it the easier and stronger it becomes.

The final part is this, there may be situations that require a ‘maybe’ answer.. they are not a ‘I would rather not’ and not a ‘yes’ they are a ‘maybe’, can you feel what’s that’s like?

Can you think of a situation where you are just not sure of what to answer.  You don’t get the ‘happy’ feeling on the inside and you don’t get the ‘no’ feeling either it’s kind of in between.. well, that’s a call for more information so start to ask some really good questions, in fact brilliant questions.. first of all think ‘what do I need to know about this situation that will allow me to make a good decision’?
Imagine that you have been asked to go on holiday with a friend, the place seems interesting but you have a ‘don’t know’ going on… ask yourself what needs to happen for me to have a good time?   Your brilliant questions may be ‘ will I have my own room’?, ‘Will I have space in the evening for myself’’? ‘Will  we be go out to eat in the evening’? ‘How does the week need to work out’? ‘What would happen on your ideal holiday if you were to go away with this friend’?

Each question you ask, gives you more information, keep asking both yourself and your friend until you have enough information so that you can either answer ‘yes’ or ‘I would rather not’..

So begin to consider…..How valuable and honest is your ‘yes ‘if you don’t say ‘no’?

Do you adapt to situations and put your own needs at risk?  And when you do that, what happens to you on the inside, to your spirit to your heart, to your very own self?

If you say yes when you really want to say no, are there certain circumstances when this happens, or with certain people, or do you do it most of the time?  What can you notice and learn about that?

Keep increasing your awareness about yourself and you will find you are also increasing your awareness around others.  Keep being curious, its like life blood, it leads to wonder, it leads to new possibilities……

Till next time, take care
Love Ali

Ali Plowright