Posts Tagged ‘sensitivity’

Friday link roundup 4/28

The complicated relationship between men and dancing. Discusses social stigma, cultural factors, and more.

Do you remember in 1997 when actress Rachel Leigh Cook did a “this is your brain on drugs” PSA? She’s back with an updated PSA about the implications of the war on drugs and race. This time, the PSA tells the story of the lives of two drug users: one who gets caught and one who doesn’t.

Musician Lorde opens up about her experience with synesthesia.

Reflections from Dr. Elaine Aron on neurodiversity and highly-sensitive people (HSPs).

NASA has made their media library more accessible to the public.

New evidence suggests that humans arrived in the Americas earlier than previously thought. 

The list of national monuments that are being reviewed (for potential reduction or elimination) by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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From frustration to acceptance

The experience of being me is challenging sometimes.

It’s challenging after spending a weekend reeling from sensory input and having to slow way down.

It’s experiencing intense overwhelm and heaviness after trying a healing technique — one that others are praising and saying how good they feel afterwards and how much it benefits them.  I try it, and it feels like so much. Too much?

It’s my thoughts that “other people aren’t experiencing this,” and “Why is this happening again?”

And perhaps many people are not, maybe not specifically sensory processing issues or other sensitivities, but, as my Aikido/Tai Chi instructor reminded me on Tuesday night, everyone has limitations of some sort that they have to honor, and also reach their “too much” point at times. He said that being at the edge often means learning, and going over can lead to burnout or injuries.

I sometimes really want things to be easier, simpler, more relaxing for me. Not to get exhausted, even from doing things that I want to do. Not finding it challenging to be in my body at times and stay anywhere close to grounded.

And then, there’s returning to acceptance. There’s softening towards myself. There’s having a vulnerable moment after Aikido that opens up a conversation and other people sharing vulnerabilities.

 I realize that often when I feel overloaded and scattered, I often interpret it as I’ve done something “wrong.” And maybe whatever I did was too much for my system at that particular moment, but it may not need that strong of a label. My nervous system is giving me a signal that I need to slow down, back off. That requires honoring myself, pausing, and resting. It does not require a label or a value judgment. Once in a more grounded place, I can have more perspective about that experience and think about what to consider in the future regarding that activity. Experimenting and finding that that activity was too much at that moment doesn’t require chastising myself for wanting to see what it would be like. It may be an opportunity to give myself space and to learn from that experience.

I have done so much work the past few years around creating a life that more fully honors my sensitivities and limitations. I have so much more respect for myself and what I need. I still have moments where I get frustrated, where I want to do more, be more, and where I want to push through.  I also have more moments of acceptance, of giving myself space to be how, where, and who I am. I’m taking this moment to honor and acknowledge all of this.

Love letter: Senses 

sensesImage of Senses:  from bottom center clockwise:  proprioception (sense of self in space), taste, vestibular system (sense of balance), auditory/hearing, tactile/touch, smell, interoception (sensing internal responses such as hunger, etc), and vision/sight.

Dear Senses,

I’ve known you were heightened, that your volume was turned up in many ways, for quite awhile.  I didn’t know exactly how much effort and energy it was taking you, taking us, just to feel and be aware.  I’m glad I know you better, that I’m no longer trying to override you or shut you out.  I’m glad you’re slowly adjusting with me as we go through occupational and vision therapy.  I know it’s exhausting, and I know sometimes you want to – and do – shut down.  Thanks for sticking with me through all these changes.

I’m so glad we have tools now to help us, including the weighted blanked and the Wilbarger brush. I once thought that doing sensory integration work would dull and numb my senses, but I think you are getting clearer and brighter.  I’m more clear about the messages you give me, I’m more aware when we’re getting flooded, and I know what can best soothe us.

Thank you, senses, for being so strong that I can sense energy around me; take in vivid colors with my eyes; taste something delicious and have a near-erotic experience;  hear the intricate layers of music; when my love touches me it’s like every fiber of my being is singing yes with pleasure.

Thank you for taking care of me, for alerting me to possible dangers.

Senses,
I am so grateful for you.

Friday link roundup 4/8

The benefits of napping.

Self-Care Ideas for a Bad Day.

An artist created and installed small rooms in abandoned manhole covers in Milan to make an important statement.

Ever been told you are “too much” or “too sensitive”?  On embracing vulnerability and “muchness.”

April Love 2016:  Daily prompts for love letters for the month of April.  For more information, go here.  I’ll be posting some of my letters and art soon.

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Friday link roundup 8/14

Source unknown.  Love this quote.

From Storypeople. Love this quote and illustration.

Ever been told you’re too sensitive?  Deconstructing the destructiveness of the sensitivity shame game.

A woman and a cat grieve together – and both find healing.

Girls Scouts can now earn a Mental Health Awareness Patch.

From Everyday Feminism:  8 Things Feminists are Tired of Explaining in 2015.

Sensitive Soul’s Manifesto

Sensitive Person's Manifesto

I made this as a reminder and encouragement for myself.  I’m thinking of making prints at some point.

When volume of the world went up.

Over the past few weeks, as I’ve begun my tactile exercises and sensory diet for sensory integration, I’ve noticed that I’ve been more sensitive to sounds.  I’ve been startling evening more easily.  It was definitely noticeable, but more of a point of observation than a cause for alarm.

That was true until Tuesday evening, when I was putting away dishes after dinner.  The sound of a spoon against a mug sounded like it was amplified several dozen times, like someone had turned up the volume level to the point of hurting my ears.

I decided that the best solution would be to put in earplugs and stay as still as possible for a little while, since even the sound of my own footsteps on the wood floor set me on edge.  When I took out the earplugs before bed, I still felt sensitive, but a little less so.

I woke up yesterday morning feeling like I’d been to a loud rock concert the night before.  My ears felt sore. Sound was still amplified, but much less painful.  I told my Nia teacher what was going on (yay for self-advocacy!) and asked her if she could keep the music volume consistent during class.  She agreed, and was both understanding and supportive.  In class, I was mostly sensitive to certain tones and beats than the volume, and that remained true throughout the day.  I also discovered in DBT group that I felt fine as long as multiple people didn’t start talking at the same time or someone made a strange noise (like whistling or squeaking).  I did give the group facilitators a heads-up that I was feeling extra sensitive to sound, too.

Today, it seems like the volume of the world around me is still somewhat higher than usual, but it’s definitely more tolerable.  I talked to my occupational therapist today and she said that sometimes these kind of things happen when the sensory exercises are working and the brain is trying to find a new kind of balance.   She wanted to make sure, though, that noise levels are generally tolerable for me and not intense or extreme.   She recommended that I cut back to going on the swings to every other day, and if that didn’t help, to reduce brushing.

Sometimes, this all seems like a great experiment.  I don’t know where I’ll land, or if I’ll feel landed when I get there.  In the meantime, hopefully there are parts of this extra-sensitive hearing experience that I can enjoy, such as soft whispers, the sound of the wind on the trees, or the laughter of a child across the street.