Are You a Sensitive Soul?
10 signs you might be a sensitive soul, and strategies to reclaim and nurture your gifts.
By Alison Potts
I meet sensitive people all the time. As an empath myself, I am drawn to kindred spirits. In my work as a mentor, I find that many people who come to me are Sensitive Souls.
What amazes me though, is that so many sensitive people have not identified themselves as that or if they have, they have misunderstood what sensitivity means and can see it as a weakness or a failing rather than the strength and gift that it truly is when it is valued, protected and allowed to thrive.
Dr Judith Orloff, psychologist and best-selling author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide”, who is an expert in this field, points out that research indicates that high sensitivity affects approximately 20 percent of the population.
It is rare, it is special, it is important.
The world desperately needs the luminous qualities of sensitive people – probably now more than ever.
Yet a vast number of these people do not know their own strengths and how wonderfully connected they are to aspects of life that simply aren’t available to everyone. Many of the people I see were criticised by their own parents for “being too sensitive” or “over-sensitive”. Those same parents would suggest they should “toughen up”, “be a man”, “stop being so soft” and so on. Some were bullied at school, or are being bullied at work, or by a partner, or have been labelled as over-dramatic. Some have had their sensitivity misdiagnosed as anxiety, depression or as having a spectrum “disorder”.
The misunderstandings of others often contribute to a sensitive person’s own confusion and bewilderment about some of their reactions to situations and people and what to do about them. Feelings of anxiety, far from being caused by sensitivity, arise because a person is made to feel anxious about how they feel.
When these same people begin to understand and reclaim their gifts, their light becomes visibly brighter. They are able to shed years of self-loathing and heal wounds going back to childhood. They learn to value their gifts and protect them as you would anything of deep worth, creating space for their health and happiness to thrive.
10 SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE A SENSITIVE SOUL OR EMPATH
A sensitive soul and/or empath tend to share certain traits. Although they are differently defined categories they have generous overlaps. Can you relate to any of these traits or experiences?
1. You have a generally heightened experience of life.
When you experience joy, wonder or other strong emotions, you feel it vividly. You may even be moved to tears by an experience of natural beauty or connection to another soul. You perceive the flow of energy in life at such a deeply intuitive and sensory level that life is incredibly rich to you. Every moment is felt and life is certainly not passing you by. Because of this heightened level of awareness you may also have a feeling as soon as you enter a room – which can be seemingly- inexplicably negative or positive.
It may sometimes feel you are “missing a skin.” This can make ordinary and simple experiences seem miraculous and you are someone who feels great appreciation and gratitude for the smaller things. You like to “savour” life.
2. You attract love and trust into your life.
You attract love and trust as you are so openly loving and trustworthy. Your friends thank you for being so genuine and they learn from you. Your energy has a positive effect on your environment and those around you. You may even be a healer, light worker, intuitive or similar in your soul-work, professionally, or generally in your approach to life.
3. You experience deep connection with others.
When you make a true, loving connection, it is deep and deeply fulfilling and you may feel that you have known this person before you met them. You are loyal. You are valued. You are very “in tune” and are able to “feel” a person, rather than just seeing or hearing them. You do not just connect to a person by what they are saying, but by their body language, facial expression and tone of voice.
4. You have a huge, very open heart and mind.
These traits bring you remarkable adventures and encounters, deep connections and a passionate connection to meaning that allows you to be directed to the most rewarding pursuits.
5. Withdrawing for protection
As a result of your loyalty, love, trust, open heart and mind you may have also learned from persistent injury and unwelcome energy to withdraw yourself and place your heart behind a barbed wire fence.
6. Sometimes life feels too noisy, crowded, busy, or over-stimulating.
You may prefer the bigger spaces of nature and find places like malls and restaurants over-stimulating and agitating to your nervous system and can make you feel physically and mentally ill. You may crave and cherish lots of alone time.
7. Nature is very healing to you.
It feels less as if you are in the natural world as it does that you are part of it. Your connection to nature is as though you and the natural world are communicating, in an intimate embrace. You may also find you are able to tune into animals and communicate with them.
8. You have a childlike enthusiasm for life.
You can be playful and childlike in your approach to life, making life seem very special, fresh and new. People are attracted to your childlike enthusiasm and air of innocence. However equally, like a child, you may trust too easily, take unprotected risks that often result in getting hurt.
9. You feel drained from small talk and distressing news.
You hate small talk, superficial attachments, rivalry, judgementalism and gossip. Watching or reading distressing news items seem to hurt you while others simply watch them. These things literally bring pain to your body and suffering to your soul. They can drain you and darken your mood.
10. You are an avid dreamer and daydreamer.
You may have premonitions while awake or dreaming. You may feel contact from “the other side” or spirits while you are dreaming.
PROTECTION STRATEGIES FOR SENSITIVE SOULS
Empaths and Sensitives are gentle people. They feel, see and hear far more than they can ever say.
They are heartfelt and hope that the people they trust won’t let them down – though they also sometimes have the gift of seeing ahead and knowing that they will. They know when they are being lied to or spun a yarn. They have a strong instinct to help, even if they are feeling unwell or distressed themselves. They have a strong desire to bring light into a dark situation and will go the extra mile and put in huge energetic effort to try and make that happen. They stand up for their beliefs even when they are attacked or at risk of having their public reputation undermined. They love hard. So often they hold the light for those who can no longer see their own.
1. Know what you are protecting
The first and foundational step is always to know what you are protecting – to feel (or reclaim) your value and power and to love, nurture and cultivate the positive aspects of these gifts you have. Protection is then easier to put in place because it is coming from a place of love not fear. Rather than putting up defences because you feel vulnerable, you are fortifying your boundaries because you are strong.
2. Create and affirm your boundaries
Remember, that a boundary doesn’t just keep things out, it allows other things to come in. We protect our swimming pools with a gate, not because there is something wrong with our pool, but because we want it to be a place of safety where people can enjoy themselves freely. We insure our most important possessions – such as the heirloom jewellery our grandmother gave us – because we are honouring their worth in our hearts.
Let your guiding light for protecting your sacred energy be the high vision you hold for your own health, happiness and meaning. If you need any further reason for looking after your sacred gifts, remember too that other people benefit from your gifts – the world has more shine when you are thriving.
3. Learn from those times when you feel overwhelmed or infiltrated
Try keeping an “energy diary”, which is a bit like a food diary or headache diary, whose purpose is to track how you are feeling emotionally and physically against the activities, people, thoughts and behaviours that were part of your day. Using this high level of awareness, you will soon begin to see patterns and once you do, can make adjustments
“I feel my valuable self and I love my boundaries” is a wonderful affirmation for Sensitives as they do this important work.
4. Find practical ways to protect your energy
Energy protection doesn’t have to mean white lights and crystals. It can be far more practical and immediately accessible than that. For example, if you have discovered that among those things that weaken your energy or agitate your nervous system are going to a shopping mall, being with people who are gossipy and judgemental, rushing through tasks, spending too much time on social media and watching distressing news reports…..then you know that a very damaging and painful day for you is a day in which all of those scenarios exist! How difficult, truly, is it to extricate yourself from such people and places and to switch off those screens which are attacking your sensitivity to a high degree? What things of exceptional peace and beauty flood back into your life once you do?
Even if it might seem difficult at first, once we take action and we feel the very immediate and wonderful feedback from our bodies and souls as they begin to heal and thrive, it becomes easier and easier to integrate these strategies into our lives. They will eventually become intuitive.
As we bring more things into our worlds that bolster our energy field – meaningful, supportive, uplifting connections; activities and places which we love; time alone to regroup instead of saying “yes’ to those things which hijack that sacred space of shelter and refreshment – we feel the reward. We feel inside our own healthy, resilient energy bodies again – happy and alive and most of all truly ourselves. Nothing beats that feeling. And knowing nothing can beat us and that even if we have moments of instability, we can regain our strength and more – is the best feeling in the world. We can live, not under a sense of threat, but in our real selves – luminous, vibrant and replete with trust.
About Alison Potts
As a coach and meditation teacher who works in the healing and energy arena, and born an empath and intuitive, Alison Potts has been been developing practices for psychic and energy protection all her life. A large section of her client base are empaths and sensitives looking for help with the issue of absorbing other peoples’ energy. This is vital knowledge and practice to have as now more than ever we need sensitive people in the world, and we need them whole. Alison has a passion for passing on this vital knowledge and experience and teaching truly effective, powerful techniques. Learn more about Alison’s workshops and tranings at www.innatebeing.com.au