Exploring the healing gift of hyperfocus (once realised, owned and embraced as a valid choice) for those of us who derive clarity, calm and sense of groundedness from the sheer intensity of our interests.
Cultivating joie de vivre
As an autistic person, I find there is a definite link here between my particular wiring for high sensory processing, which can make me feel more overwhelmed than some other people might be in the same situation, along with a tendency to live in my thoughts way too much, plus also the need to actively process those senses though my body in such a way that the body fully registers them, but without overwhelm, on the way through…because, otherwise, I can tend to bypass the body altogether. Not least because of issues with chronic pain, learning to bypass the body can become a really big issue. Also gentle grounding activities, such as letting energy passively drain through me into Mother Earth, doesn’t feel quite enough.
Rather, I tend to need to actively participate in the processing part in order to remember what my body is there for…and that it is important and useful for me to have one (something I tend to forget…), which is where the power of dance comes in for me. Dancing, quite literally, puts me back in touch with my body and helps me to remain more grounded for a long time afterwards. Yet whilst this especially applies to someone like me, as in highly sensitive person with autistic wiring, I suspect it applies to anyone that lives in their head and has become detached from their body to a very high degree…which is more common that you might think; a typical modern phenomenon.
I plan to share much more about the proven benefit of dancing, for autistic people, soon in another post that I’m working on for Living Whole.
To start off this topic, here is a post I shared yesterday, in my other blog Spinning the Light, on the importance of GROUNDING joy into the physical body (an absolute essential for health and for navigating these times), whatever that happens to take in your particular case.
Cultivating joie de vivre
…has never been more important, or elusive-seeming, so how do we conjure up, specifically, grounded joy, rooted in the body, during such challenging times?
(As doing the research that led to my retrospective post the other day reminded me) a relentless sense of my own joy of life has always been one of my defining traits, as it were, rescuing me from some very hard times, even way back when as a child feeling quite helpless in situations that traumatised me. As an adult now dealing with chronic health challenges, I have come to regard it as an utterly essential ingredient of life, so much so that I cringe when I watch so many people loose their grip on it (not that I blame them in the circumstances) because of perceiving themselves as victims of those circumstance, knowing as I do that unless we take our own personal steps to…
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Our opportunity – life beyond stress
Stress has been the modern pandemic since long before covid-19 came along, which is why so many people and systems have been wrong-footed by it...but therein lies the opportunity to evolve. individually and collectively.
Choosing my edges
We all need some sort of containment, a reliable edge to our experiences, to enable us feel held and supported in life...and belief systems can do this for the majority of people (to a point). My neurodiverse way seems to have required that I build by own edges from scratch, plucked from a cacophony of sensory experiences and turned into the life supporting routines, rituals and focal points of my life; some distinctly more supportive than others (but getting there). Exploring the need for edges and how to make them better - Asperger's style.
Under pressure: the EDS anxiety link
Hard science has uncovered a mechanism whereby the same collagen abnormalities in EDS that make joints especially flexible seem to affect blood vessels, making those with it prone to accumulation of blood in the veins of the legs, an effect that may lead to exaggerated cardiovascular responses to maintain the output of blood from the heart. This and other foibles, which I feel are versions of the same response, put those of us with this issue under immense pressure and strain, all the time, as our version of "normal" so just imagine how much we then react to any additional triggers, to which we tend to be hypersensitive (I share my about theory about that too...), setting off our nervous system at regular intervals in a way that has nothing inherently to do with mental health...although, no surprise, it can start to manifest as anxiety over time. Joining some dots and celebrating just how much people with hypermobility type EDS deal with as their daily benchmark...plus some practical ways of making it better.
High-sensitivity, synesthesia…and hearing tones, seeing lights or other anomalous experiences
Some people, and I count myself among them, are prone to experiencing anomalous experiences; that is, experiences that lie outside the so-called "norm", from high-frequency "tones" ay and night to flashing "lights" and many more special effects. These count as some of the most disturbing and supposedly detrimental to quality of life of all experiences people are said to be encountering in their health today; alarming and even depressing them into states of hopelessness in many cases. Yet what if these sensations are not what they seem, via the rundamentory five-senses system we currently rely upon. What if, like the artist scrabbling for the right colour to express a brand new hue that seeks expression and having to draw on many pigments, textures, all kinds of materials mixed torgether just to get even close to an aproximation of this new "message" that is coming through, our bodies are forced to mix up all our sensory messages...yes, like synesthesia...to try and get through to us something that is just so very important...and its all for us to hear.
If some of us feel as though we are floundering under he weight of "feeling too much" then lets take a broader and more optimistic view of this. Together, we are becoming more robust and I suspect the reawakening of the mirror neurone is a signal that we are descaling our furred up neurology in readiness for a bigger experience of all that it means to be human; which is a far less isolated, self-interested, muffled-up-to the ears experience than we have long tended to believe. In my view, this is the stuff of frontline evolution.
That INFJ foible: making a full-time study of ourselves
An INFJ (Myers-Briggs) personality type can make an entire life's career out of researching themselves. Yes, you heard me...a full-time job. And not in the way you think, not as self-obsession or run-amok ego or hypochondria or anything else like that but because, in our view, why would we need any other interface; an alternate, … Continue reading That INFJ foible: making a full-time study of ourselves
Knowing how to hold that inner space of unconditional wellbeing intact whilst facing up to whatever is going on and taking part in all aspects of life that require our attention is such an important skill set; as I was reminded this week. Once we have a handle on this, it demonstrates to us that there is nothing coming at us from outside as such and that it is that inner choice point of how to respond - a decision made from the creator seat at the very heart of us - that determines everything going on in our reality; manifesting as our most minute body responses and so very much more. We start to dare to live with a foot in both camps; one in the inner sanctum and the other "out there" in the world, newly trusting that these two aspects of ourselves can learn to walk together, "one...two...one...two...one...two". In being enticed to practice such a balanced approach (when we may have thought we had withdrawn forever) lies the potential for a whole new level of healing as we are encouraged to believe that we are not signed up for life's perpetual hopping race but can really do this whole "being divinely human" thing without expecting to keep falling over when something rocks the boat.
Meeting our electric selves
What do you do when you find out you are super-sensitive to something to the point where it causes you actual pain...it could be anything but take, for instance, electricity. This is what happened to me; and, it turned out, there were some things I could do about that "problem" but also some that I wasn't prepared to consider and that included anything that looked like "hiding away" from it or making myself a victim to it. For instance, I wanted to get out and travel more, not less, over the next few years and how would creating an artificial safe-zone equip me to do that? I have experienced many times how, the more you protect yourself from something deemed undesirable, the more you then react to it when it is back in your experience range…and I didn’t want that; I wanted recovery to mean full integration back into my humanness, without limitations. To lock myself away from the current reality of this planet would be to make an enemy of the present-day living conditions on this planet and I wasn’t prepared to declare war in that way. I want the rebalancing of my health to mean I am fully equipped to lead a life that means I can say “yes” to any experience I choose without feeling compromised by my health and that means the kind of recovery where I feel truly robust, not maintaining some sort of fragile equilibrium by walking a knife’s blade of carefully managed circumstance. A recovery on those terms would feel conditional in so many ways and I am shooting for the fully unconditional variety!
What happened next...well, it was transformative and it taught me such a lot about stepping into my own power and meeting myself - my electric-self - on its own terms, learning how to optimise all that I am, without compromising.