In her book, Highly Sensitive People, Josephine Lewis estimates that approximately 10% of the population share the characteristics of being highly intuitive and sensitive to environmental stimuli, to feelings (their own and those of others), and to the world around us. This is neither superior nor inferior to any other way of being in the world; it is simply a difference, and one that I share with many of my clients (and my dog, Roscoe).
Society needs all ranges of this spectrum: those who are less impacted by environmental stimuli are often the explorers and adventurers who break new ground. Those who are intuitive and sensitive often serve as the miner’s canaries, sounding the alarm when things are amiss in the environment, in our families, and in the world around us.
I was in my early 20s when I realized that I was unwittingly picking up feelings and opinions from others without easily differentiating them from my own, and that I had been doing so all my life.
It took me time and effort to learn how to sort out my feelings from those of people around me, to learn how to ground and protect myself, and to honor the fact that I need time alone and time in nature - lots of it - as well as tools of meditation in order to be truly healthy.
I have found that one of the things I enjoy in my practice is working with people who share the trait of being highly intuitive. This runs the gamut from people who are simply sensitive to the world around them to people who work as professional psychics. Techniques that resonate for me often resonate for people who are highly sensitive, and ways that I have learned to help myself are often helpful to others who share this trait.
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