It is a common occurrence in our practice to have a client say, “I’m too sensitive, please fix it.” They want to get rid of their sensitivity, run away from it. It’s a hard-sell to convince them that their sensitivity is in fact a gift, one that helps them navigate the physical, mental, and emotional currents of their world. It is that same sensitivity that allow us a healing facilitators to do our work.
Our sensitivity is a built-in tool for survival, giving us information about the nature of potential threats, dangers, and pitfalls. At the same time it biases our bodies to take action as needed. Our sensory systems take in our surroundings and interpret for us, so that we can avoid pain.
Our senses also bring us the beauty of the world, the taste and fragrances of good food, the warmth of camp fires and close friendships, the knowledge of great teachers — in short, many countless blessings. We would be lost without these things.
Sometimes extreme sensitivity includes the inability to tolerate our increasingly polluted environments of both chemical and (dare I say it) man-made electro-smog, such as cell signals, wifi, microwaves, and other sources. The air we breath, the water and food we take in are not the same as they were even a few decades ago. We are living in a different soup these days. These things are not going away, so the body must adapt and we must become more aware of what we need to help ourselves move forward.
It is not likely that we will give up our cell phones, tablets, or computers and live in a tent, though some with extreme sensitivity have to do so. Most of us will soldier on, making some adjustments here and there. I am not writing this on a stone tablet, but I no longer let my microwave oven spew out waves into my home. (The meter went off the dial when I tested it with the door securely shut.) We are more careful about what we eat, choosing less processed, less treated, less sweet, more complex foods.
Added to these measures are the time-honored practices of the spiritual traditions that have informed our lives and that we teach our clients and students – prayer, meditation, chanting, movement, music, mantra, study of the wisdom teachings, time in like-minded community, silence, and practices for clearing the body and mind.
Clearing is a favorite standby and we refine its use everyday as the need arises. For me it means taking the time, many times a day if necessary, to let go of what I may have picked up consciously for unconsciously from the environment, including from other people. We all do this, pick up stuff. Letting go can mean looking out the window at a tree or the horizon and sending anything I no longer need in that direction. (Don’t worry, letting go will not harm the tree or that mountain in the distance.)
I often repeat, “May anything no longer useful to me to dissolve and flow away.” Invoking the 5 elements of the ancient world as a means for clearing is simple and effective – asking earth, water, air, fire, and/or space to remove and transform the dross that has accumulated in my being over time. Movement, a walk, dancing, singing can all come into play as ways to clear.
Let me be clear – your sensitivity is a gift. Be clear and see.