What does it mean to be highly sensitive? And if you are, how do you learn to shift what may feel like an obstacle in your life to one that leaves you feeling like you have been given a beautiful gift?
The term "highly sensitive person" (HSP) was coined by Dr. Elaine N. Aron in 1996, and according to Aron’s definition, the highly sensitive person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.
On the downside, this trait is often associated with a sensitivity to loud noises, bright or fluorescent lights, and strong smells. One may startle easily and get rattled when required to accomplish a lot in a short time. On the positive side, however, a person’s heightened sensitivity means they are much more attuned to their surroundings, often describing themselves as having a rich and complex inner life, and, if they allow themselves, have a far greater capacity to access their intuition.
This week’s Inspired Woman interviewee, Irene Langeveld, has quite a bit of experience with the understanding and application of being exceptionally sensitive. Through her own experiences and trainings, Irene has been able to pass on her teachings and enable her clients to deepen their intuition and thrive with their individual levels of sensitivity.
Irene knew that she had been born with a heightened sensitivity, but at the age of 22, her world came to a crashing halt as she struggled between studying at the University, working 2 jobs and trying to make everyone around her happy. Her body said "STOP,"and for 10 months she retreated to her home, unable to even shop at the grocery store without being bombarded by all the lights, noises and emotions of the people around her. It was a scary time, but also one of deep growth, as she devoured the books that would open her eyes to another way of being in the world; discovering that there was a way for her to thrive with her sensitivity and not just survive it.
What Irene eventually came to understand, particularly through meditation, was that by connecting to herself, fully grounded and present in her body, she could allow other people’s emotions to move through and out of her, instead of confusing them for her own. She also learned to use and trust her intuition deeply and fully, referring to it today as a compass in every part of her life.
The most valuable aspect of being sensitive is the capacity to feel and experience life very deeply and to use one’s intuition to determine the inner knowings that are so often just beyond our grasp. One exercise, Irene teaches and uses herself, is to use the body to help make a decision. She begins by sitting down and quieting herself and then pretends to have already made the decision. “I observe what is happening in my body, did I tighten up, did I feel relaxed?”, says Irene. Then she makes the opposite decision and watches how her body responds to that. By comparing the two reactions, she finds that the answer is always extremely clear. “The process is not difficult, Irene says, “the most difficult part is accepting the outcome that comes out of it.”
In this interview, Irene Langeveld shares with us her incredible story of vulnerability, discovery and prevailing with a trait that at first seemed crippling. Irene is passionate about living her life in a way that feels right to her, extending the practices she has learned with an open minded approach and encouraging self-acceptance to the clients she serves.
THE INSPIRED WOMAN PROJECT: Irene Langeveld
Irene Langeveld is an intuitive coach, teacher and speaker who helps people to thrive with their sensitivity, deepen their intuition and let go of any fears that are holding them back from doing what they truly desire.
Irene always works with a combination of guided meditations and practical, down-to-earth tools to bring these meditative experiences in daily life. She works with people 1 on 1 as well as through online video & meditation courses on thriving with sensitivity, opening your intuition and heart-centered living.
On her website you can find a free grounding meditation (super-helpful if you're sensitive and feeling other people's emotions!): http://irenelangeveld.com/grounding-meditation/
As well as a free meditation series Living In Peace with 7 short, easy to use meditations and exercises to connect with yourself and stay more balanced, happy & peaceful in your daily life: http://irenelangeveld.com/living-in-peace-free-meditation-series/
Check it out right now so you can be Less Stressed and More Inspired!
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