A Seekers Guide to Sanity

Powering through Panic

I am standing in the bathroom of a Fortune 500 company hyperventilating, my body buzzing like I’d just downed ten Redbulls, my brain threatening to shut down in preparation for a full blown panic attack. I have no idea how I’m going to get myself out of here in shape enough to teach a presentation skills class to 15 salespeople (all male as it happens) who may be a bit antagonistic toward me I’ve been forewarned, as they see their required attendance in my class as an affront. A big ego blow when speaking is your primary career currency!

The audience was not new to me. I’d successfully handled at least 80 such groups (the uber unreceptive variety) over the previous ten years, and yet, before every such class I felt like my insides were being electrocuted. So what did I do? What I always did: Told myself that every time I walked into that room to teach in spite of my panic, I was winning a huge battle. I was proving wrong, every person...

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The Weight of Mortal Skin Part 2: Self-Care

Okay, so you’re a Highly Sensitive Person..now what??

By way of recap, here are a few of my own take-aways from The Weight of Mortal Skin post:

  • If you’ve always felt especially sensitive to stimuli, get overwhelmed easily and/or experience things very intensely, then you could be a Highly Sensitive Person.
  • There is no shame in being Highly Sensitive! This is a real, researched condition with very real psychological, emotional and physical manifestations, and there are an estimated 20% of us out there.
  • When you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, you are more susceptible to things like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, so self-care is especially important.

If any of that resonated for you, or you were already aware of your HSP status and are looking for ways of making the day to day of high sensitivity a little more manageable, these are a few things I’ve come up with for myself as a starting point of sorts: Simplify, Soften, Slow Down.

Simplify

First, simplify what...

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The Weight of Mortal Skin

Missing My Psychic Safety Suit

I’ve never been easygoing. Not uptight exactly. Not high strung. Just not a dance through the tulips without a care kind of gal.

Now this is not to say that I’m a stick in the mud. No, I am a big fan of fun, laughter, and all manner of silliness when the opportunity arises (as my 4 year old will attest). But between romps through happy land, its been suggested (alternately as an compliment and criticism), that I err on the side of ‘intense’. This is not by choice mind you. Intensity has not served me especially well over the years, and given a chance for a do-over, I’d certainly opt to come back as Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde over say, Cate Blanchett in just about anything (riveting as her intensity always is—and I am a huge fan).

Life has just always felt intense to me. The good, the rotten, even the seemingly innocuous, manages to power right through to my core with something akin to laser like precision....

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Can You Please Be (at least a little) Indignant?

New York in the Older, Harsher Days

I lived the better part of my late teen and adult years in NYC, specifically the East Village (Alphabet City at the time), back before it became the polished, cultural showcase that it is today. This was the East Village of junkies passed out in doorways, skinheads bragging about their gay bashing jaunts in the West Village, roaches turning up in your $2.50 diner omelet, an entire park (then called Tent City) that served as the ‘home’ for hundreds of homeless people, many of whom had been precipitously released from mental institutions. This New York looked like what the inside of my head felt like, a matching mess that I found that oddly reassuring.

However (and this is a big however), it was a mess that I desperately wanted to fix. I was pained by all the pain around me, and felt forever compelled to address it in some way. This compulsion manifested in activism of varying sorts: volunteering for myriad social and environmental...

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Welcome to Mindfulness For a Messy Life

First the “Messy"

Having travelled many a mile on the twisty, turny (often torturous), path of self-discovery–tripping, stumbling, lurching headlong down many a rocky road and into any number of snake pits in an attempt to make some sense of my existence, I’vedeveloped something of a nose for what actually works (to lighten, perhaps even elucidate our proverbial load)—and what doesn’t.

As any well-worn seeker, I’ve spent my share of time, energy, and resources (both the internal and hard-cash varieties), in search of the ‘one thing’ that would fix all the brokenness, and neaten all the messiness of my life. As you may have guessed, I didn’t find it. As it turns out (surprise, surprise!) there is no one single answer to life’s many complex questions, nor is there a healer, guru, religious dogma or spiritual leader (however inspired and inspiring) that can offer a viable antidote to the trials and tribulations of the...

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