Lovely article on how important connection is… from the beginning.

The Opposite Of Addiction is Connection

By Jonathan Davis on Friday July 17th, 2015

Do Stronger Human Connections Immunise Us Against Emotional Distress?

Right now an exciting new perspective on addiction is emerging. Johann Harri, author of Chasing The Scream, recently captured widespread public interest with his Ted talk Everything You Know About Addiction Is Wrong, where he concluded with this powerful statement:

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. – Johann Harri

These sentiments are augmented by a growing number of experts, including addiction specialist Dr Gabor Maté, who cites ’emotional loss and trauma’ as the core of addiction. Compare this ’emotional loss’ to Johan Harri’s idea about lack of connection and it is clear they’re talking about a similar emotional condition.

Click here to read on: here I would like to add to this that for highly sensitive persons and empaths what is considered a non-traumatic experience in childhood can be perceived as a traumatic experience and carried forward as an emotional wound that can lead to poor coping skills. Eating disorders, alcohol and drug addition being common routes of pain escape. So its not about what you or I consider to be a trauma but how the infant/ child/ teen/ adult perceives the experience.

Love,
Andrea

Advertisements

Are you a leader, coach, teacher? Think that you do a good job?

This article is about business leaders, team leaders, coaches, teachers, consultants, healers, parents; in truth anyone that works to guide, support, teach and educate people.

—————————————

How we lead is more about the people we lead than it ever is about us.

Familiar with these?

We can have all the knowledge in the world, think that we are an influencer, a game changer and at the top of the heap; but without genuine connection to those we seek to influence, and an ability to adapt to each individual and their learning style what we achieve is limited.

I know, the truth of this reality is tough because it means that leading comes with a responsibility to be a people person, to learn about body language and communication skills and how to connect with people on a meaningful level for us to successfully impart the skills, education, or information on to those we lead.

It means that we must be more than just smart, that we must hold more than just a vision, and that we must know more than just the goals and destination that we desire to get to. We must be able to inspire, inform, empower, educate and motivate people; tough job eh!

For example, have you ever had someone tell you so many negatives about the way that you do things that you just want to curl up and die, literally feeling the motivation leach from your body?

When learning something have you felt frustrated at over-instruction or lack of instruction?

Have you ever had someone tell you to do something in mumbo jumbo language leaving you feeling daft?

Has someone of more power over you left you feeling small and meaningless?

Have you felt the desperation of never feeling heard?

The frustrating of not feeling understood when you have important insights?

See, those we lead want to have a voice also, as much as they seek to learn.

Our current world is full of experts, people full of talk, and so little action.

Leading people and youngsters whether you are a CEO, team leader, coach, teacher or parent takes talking, acting, listening and observing.

Ask yourself the next time you have an interaction:

  • Am I getting the message through?
  • How can I best get the message through; what is their learning style? E.g. visual or verbal.
  • Does this person understand what I am trying to communicate? How do I know?
  • Am I aware of their body language?
  • Do they need a tough ass or a gentle approach?
  • How much information can they take on board at once?
  • How can I make is simpler? Do they need to know why and how, or just why, or just how?
  • How do I keep motivation levels high and interest levels strong in the task at hand?
  • What environment best suits the learning skills of the person in question?
  • How can I push those I lead to become more, to have breakthroughs and encourage innovation and creativity?
  • and finally what can I learn from this?

It’s easy to call yourself a leader; not so easy to be seen as one.

Love,
Andrea

Ten words of advice to the young girl that didn’t understand her sensitivity

This article is for all sensitive persons and their parents and loved ones. I hope it helps.

—————————————

Life is a barrel of lessons; that hurt. I didn’t have a clue about what sensitivity and empathic traits were growing up. This led to epic fails, bad decisions, and painful mistakes.

It also ultimately led to understanding people, having compassion for lifes journey, noticing the smallest of delights in our wonderful world, being open to the universal nudges and wisdom gifted in every moment and ultimately led me to arriving at a place of self acceptance.

At some point; I promise you life WILL make sense, each moment will feel special and you will see yourself with the kindest of eyes and gentlest of hearts. You will see that you are someone, just like everyone, doing their best. This rainbow of happy vibes doesn’t happen every day; being sensitive in a fast paced world is a mixed bag of tricks; but it gets easier.

Throw yourself in; own it, breathe it, live it; YOUR way.

Life threw a lot at me; and that chat can stay asleep for another day. This article is not about me, but a gentle voice of advice and support that you can take on board or not!

That’s just it, being a highly sensitive person you have sort of popped out with a strong inner voice that knows what is right for you. Practice this now with my words. Some will resonate and some will not. Think about it, play with it and take it from there.

So, if I was standing in front of myself aged lets say 16 to 30 again (because these years contained the most “it fucking sucks” wounds); what would I say to myself about navigating life.

That’s me aged 19 – wish i could say that was an ice-cream. Uni ball 1995

One.

Let’s first make it clear that if you are sensitive or empathic you have a radar to feel that is set at a different threshold for what you sense.

The obvious ones such as noise, stimulus and emotions are felt a little more deeply; but normally this isn’t obvious until several things trigger you and you go from hero to zero in a meltdown which can be an explosion of tears, anger, walls, or negative coping skills. For example a loud commute to school in traffic or someone playing the radio one notch too high, someone banging a pen off the desk, a flickering light and then someone says something negative to you. Ordinarily you could hold it in for ONE of these, but the x, y, and z added to make 1000 in terms of sensory overload.

I wish mine were that calm!

But also your radar is acutely tuned to feel people and the world. Thoughts, emotions, vibrations, pain, world news, and even lunar, solar and weather patterns; on some level and in a variety of ways these can be sensed. How you know all that you sense is not entirely clear to you and many times you will feel a little odd, unsure, and shaky in what exactly it is that you are sensing.

Some sensitive persons can feel spirit energy and thoughts and feelings in places from events that may have happened in the past or recent past. These ‘knowings’ can feel positive or negative; but generally it is only the negative ones that grab our attention with a big wallop of anxiety.

The dream world can also be intense; beautiful, surreal, prophetic, fore-warning and the whole mash up of life. This can lead to fatigue in some and a feeling of not being grounded or fully present. Does this sound like you?

You are NOT mad; start to practice clearing the clutter and spend time deciphering the messages that are important with a “lets understand this message button”, and over-riding the ones that aren’t with a “delete” button. Too much time spent trying to figure everything out is wasting your time and precious energy. And if emotionally you feel all over the shop, it truly is helpful to have support. I didn’t have support. It was scary and overwhelming; often.

In a nutshell, learn to be discerning.

Two

It’s not all about you. Ouch.

Continue reading

let strength of mind, body, and emotions be the buffer…

I bet some days you wish that you weren’t so sensitive, that you didn’t care, that you could be cold and numb to the world around you and more like “other people”.

It feels tough doesn’t it? You feel separate, misunderstood, and life seems to throw impossible curve ball after impossible curve ball at you?

Your body feels tired, at times you feel sorry for yourself, and you keep running to people in the hope that they will say that you are special as well as normal and not crazy. You want to find someone who will make it better and so you run; you run into controlling relationships, therapists that take your power away, spiritual groups that say you must heal yourself to be whole, and maybe even religion that says we can be saved. There are probably a gazzillion others ways that you run; can you think of them?

sometimes it is our perception of being alone that leads to so much pain and isolation. Our pains and wounds, our past life cellular memory triggered by present. Sometimes, our reality is not in truth as we believe….often there is an abundance of love, support and connection trying to find us. But we have built walls and so cannot feel….and we have expectations and place an impossible standard on those people who quite simply love us….

You get stuck in endless negative arguments on social media about how to eat, how to heal, and about illness like fibromyalgia, lymes, chronic fatigue and more. You get pulled into attachment to a specific way, the only way; and it feels hard to let go and accept the cornucopia of wondrous beliefs and theories in our beautiful and diverse worlds.

You feel separate, misunderstood, alone. We all feel separate and alone; because we keep finding things wrong with ourselves, with others and then creating labels for it all.

Why do we need to label just being?

So, how far do you want to run into strategies to stop feeling? What if you could actually feel more?

Feeling is the end result of the information that our senses give us; senses that run right along a spectrum for us all from taste, smell, sight and touch to being able to sense the more subtle energy vibrations of earth and her plants and animals, the body and its cellular vibrations, thoughts and state of being; to everything that is out there and beyond in terms of planets, the sun and the moon.

Everything is energy, and energy has a hum; life has a vibration and how this is sensed can vary between us; for good reason!

So, do you want to feel more or less? How are you going to use these senses?

There gifted people walking amongst us; every one of us with a role. Some are highly sensitive and attuned to feel subtle energies and use it as information, and others more tapped into the energy picture as a whole; the people who create and do. So many of us and we all sense in slightly different ways and use this to do slightly different things.

Some of us feel at home in the vibrancy of a city, people and the mass energy of numbers and others in the slower paced calm of nature; where every small vibration is felt at a different level of intensity.

We are a collective, all here on a mission, all tuned to the vibes that serve our path. No one is better than or lesser than; we are all connected, intertwined and here for the ride.

Life can feel terribly overwhelming however to the sensitive persons tuned to feel every small subtle vibration. It can overload the senses if you don’t employ crucial self-care skills and learn to understand your thresholds and how to manage them. This is something that I have had to learn for me to thrive in this world and something I am passionate about sharing with my clients.

And now to my point; the past weeks have been tough for people who feel a lot. For some these weeks have felt like months and years; their whole lives perhaps.

We can become a victim to our greatest gifts and I am here to ask you to stand to attention and ask these questions:

  • Do you feel sorry for yourself?
  • Are you neglecting your body? Are you overweight and eating all the wrong foods because you aren’t listening to your true appetite?
  • Are you all stuck in your mind and over thinking and over analysis? (and not in your heart)?
  • Do you keep running from therapist to therapist and doctor to doctor because you keep telling yourself there is something wrong with you?
  • Are you running into food, alcohol, disordered eating or other avoidance tactics?
  • Are you getting lost in negative relationships?
  • Despite being a very compassionate and empathic person, do you end up in a self-absorbed pickle of feeling like people take advantage of you, complaining about a lack of personal boundaries, and getting stuck in loops where you become over focused on your mind, body and health? I.e. obsessive type thinking?

Tricky one isn’t it!

So, what do we do?

We build ourselves up; eat well, exercise and become strong in body. Build ourselves mentally through challenges and facing fears; build ourselves up emotionally by allowing the feelings, being curious and not overly self-absorbed, being open to trusting and becoming increasingly self-reliant on the tough days. We manage our energy better with healthy balance of give and receive, and more than ever we spend time in nature and reflection. 

mind, body, emotions, connection to source.

Big love,
Andrea

me as i set off on a long bike ride – nourishing my mind (mental strength), body (physical strength) and emotions (being around a lot of people). While also getting earth connection in beautiful co. limerick countryside

 

Strength takes practice…..

To be and feel strong, what does this mean to you?

Fearless?
Resilient?
Courage?
Survival through hard times?
The absence of fear, anxiety or feeling afraid?

Most of equate strength with the tough nuts and hard asses, those with a good game face and an ability to fearlessly tackle everything including the stuff that would break the best of us into a hard sweat.

But have you considered that strength has many forms? Sometimes it is being vulnerable, soft, kind, compassionate, empathic. Sometimes being strong is to feel fear or anxiety and show up anyhow, to be afraid and decide to try because something says you can do it.

I see strong people every day in my world, they have fears and anxieties and yet decide to shine their light and be seen regardless; they ‘do’ despite being afraid. They don’t feel strong and yet I see someone of amazing strength right there in front of me that inspires me to the centre of my being.

Often the weak and vulnerable person that you see in the mirror, is a pillar of strength and inspiration to those around you. Your perceptions of yourself can be so different to that of others….for a moment, can you see yourself through someone else’s eyes?

Life scares a lot of us; it is important to remember this. Its like this epic balance of being afraid,, controlling things and staying stuck and challenging yourself with new things, still being terrified but living life.

It takes strength to be true to yourself, which sometimes requires saying no. It takes strength to be a person of your word, it takes strength to make changes, it takes strength to buck the norm and live differently to what society dictates. It takes strength to be open and honest and ‘soft’. It takes strength to throw yourself in because it feels right.

Living free is kinda scary!

To me strength is the person that keeps forging forwards at their own pace into the things that ask us to be more, to grow more and that scare us a little. Every one of us has a different set point, but the fact that you keep showing up and striving to be more shows great courage and strength.

Believe…

 

Continue reading

Why do you race to the end of your day?

roadside “weeds”

Why do you rush through your day?

What’s at the end? Did you miss the bits along the way?

Can you breathe in all the precious moments along the way?

This is my morning walk last week; I stopped to absorb the moment; can you?

Did you see the robin greeting you on your morning run?

Did you feel the gift of water as you shower to prepare for your day?

Did you experience the taste of breakfast and the first coffee of the day?

Did you see any of the beauty of the scenery on your drive to work?

Killaloe from Ballina early Summer morning

Did you observe the many smiles that you can catch in your day at work?

Are you open to helping, giving, and being fully present in your day at work or at home?

Can you slow down on the evening drive home to your family; can you take a moment to be grateful for the day instead of running from it?

Time is precious, it is now, not later,
it is here, not there.

Breathe it all in.

Love,
Andrea

 

Respect the balance…..because Mother nature will protect herself…

Last night my boyfriend Garron asked me did I know what the Butterfly Effect was. I said I thought I did and asked was it something to do with a small action potentially creating a great one. He nodded and went on to describe to me how something so delicate as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can create something so powerful as a hurricane on the other side of the world. Like wow.

To clarify the butterfly effect, in chaos theory is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.

The term, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. Lorenz discovered the effect when he observed that runs of his weather model with initial condition data that was rounded in a seemingly inconsequential manner would fail to reproduce the results of runs with the unrounded initial condition data. A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.

Garron then voiced his concerns about could the Microsoft data storage systems under the North Atlantic Sea change our environment through a series of small effects on the local water temperature; its very own butterfly effect. We don’t know, we are only throwing about ideas and theories but his words today resonated through my conscience as I ran in the hills. As I let my thoughts wander guided by my feet on mother earth, our recent conversation came into my thoughts.

Could something so small as the heat generated from this data storage centre (created to be environmentally helpful!) do something to change our whole pattern of climate, the directions of the wind, the currents of the ocean; could that small subtle change in the temperature of the sea have an effect on the rest of our planet?

I don’t know enough but I do know that there is a delicate balance in our world and as humans we keep pushing that beyond the point of rebalance and without a doubt in my mind my feelings are, that there will be consequences.

As I mentioned, I went running today. It was a soul run; a “called to nature” run and I went far farther than instructed by my training plan. Some days when given the nudge there is somewhere I am supposed to run, and some insights I am supposed to be given; and this was one of those days.

Continue reading

Wise Words….

Wise wise words gifted to me yesterday from the sacred light space….I have amended them slightly for ease of reading.


Live

Stop being in such a rush; you are missing it; all of it: the birds, the smell of the flowers, the trees. One day you wont be able to touch them anymore.

Be wary of being too busy.
A smile.
Hello how are you?
Stop in the street; what are you rushing for?

There is a few people that will stop and give you time, and we don’t even see the ones that do. Don’t stop being the one that gives the time because there WILL be one person that notices and for them that will make all of the difference.

DON’T QUIT

Don’t quit on what you believe in. It matters.  People will get it. Sometimes it’s a slow burner; Rome wasn’t built in a day. Not everyone can see you for what you can do for them; but that shouldn’t mean you quit on your dreams and calling.

Take responsibility for your pain and troubles; don’t leave it too late. Don’t run from being responsible for your worries.

People run all their lives; that’s often all we ever do: run.  Run away from, and run away into things that aren’t good for us.

There is only a few people in our life that really matters and yet we place all the importance on the ones that don’t actually matter; (that) don’t actually give a shit. Worry about the ones that do give a shit, worry about what they say.  Listen.  Pay attention. They have advice and they know you; the rest, they couldn’t give a f*** they’re just trying to make money,  bleed you dry.

GIVE PEOPLE THE TIME OF DAY.

It’s not easy to do that when people never seem to appreciate you, but for the one in 100? They do, and then one and a hundred grows to one in 99, to one in 98, and soon you reach 1 in 10 and people start to value you. But don’t let that get to your head, because people then start to put you in the “I give a shit what he thinks box” and then you can run away with yourself.

Don’t let your gift to help become the sword of ego

Stay true, stay true to your values, stay true to the person (that) you were before everything got big. That takes work.

WE ARE SO F*****G BLIND.

We don’t see what we have, we want what the neighbour has, we don’t stop and appreciate what is our side of the fence.

And all it takes is being aware, a simple change in mindset and you have abundance, you have wealth, you have love, you have everything that you could possibly dream of. And all we give a crap about is what another person has.

STOP

Don’t let it matter anymore. Take the weight off your shoulders, live, breathe, give, no expectations, nothing needed in return, it will come. We often don’t see how; but it’s there in the universal balance: something, someone, somehow, we will be taken care of.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t get lost, don’t get distracted, keep your focus on what matters. You live in a world of absolute information overwhelm, and yet there is so very little that forms the basic truth of how it all works, and what really matters.

LET THE MIRACLES UNFOLD.

The miracles will take care of themselves. Just pay attention and listen and you will know what you need to be doing in the moment to make that difference, that nudge, that kick, that push, that pull, that pause; that is all it takes from you.

And so few can hear those words, because it seems too simple and yet simple is so bloody impossible for most. Keep being the nudge, keep being the push, keep being the pull, keep being the peace, keep being the pause. It will be noticed; eventually and it will make a difference.

THERE IS SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR.

Fill your heart with it while you can; it’s so precious. (I got utterly overwhelmed feeling these words. Like a sudden gush of insight into all that is so beautiful around me). Every moment, every bird, every flower, every tree and it’s gone in a flash. Breathe it in.

That’s life, that’s beauty, that’s miracles: how the Seasons return time and time again and we often don’t even notice. Be the one that notices the miracle of life, the cycle, the circle, the return.

BE THE ONE.

Be the one who feels so fragile that it’s just there in front of you and can be taken in a moment; but that will make you live, that will make you breathe every breath like your last.

Say sorry, apologize, let go of needing to be right, it doesn’t really matter.
What’s right? What’s wrong? Who decided?
The truth is a feeling, honesty is a behavior; be true, be honest, be humble, and breathe every last breath, fight every last breath.

Tell everyone it is ok.

Love,
Andrea

Make peaceful moments in your ‘ordinary’ day.

Everyone is busy let’s face it; the world is fast, life is fast, stress is fast, thoughts are fast. And when life isn’t fast we all seem to be getting sucked into and distracted by social media. Where is the mind and soul down-time?

This is not good for us; it is not good for our mental health, our energy, our sanity or our happiness.

There is a very simple solution and that is to start developing the discipline to limit the distractions and to make time to jump on the opportunities for a peaceful space.

signpost of the day!

Impossible I hear you mutter, I don’t have time to hide myself under the stairs. Perhaps not, but I am betting that somewhere in your day you can find, perhaps more than once, the moment where you can sink into and create some peace in the storm. I dare you to prove yourself wrong and me right; it’s in your interest!

So the next step is to create the space or place for peaceful moments.

Most often the healing is right there on your doorstep, to be found in the ordinary. If you take awareness to your day a moment’s peace can be almost always carved out. I see people spend insane amounts of money on spiritual quests to foreign shores, taking them away from the lands that speak under their feet – their home turf. Not only this, the time away is very often spent listening to the guidance of another, when it is the wisdom within, and the messages of your heart, that knows you more truthfully than any other. (Hmmm I am guilty of this also, hence the lesson was learnt!).

So, where can you go to find a piece of yourself?

How can you carve out some silence in the daily tasks?

Take a moment to consider this?

Continue reading

Assumptions & Judgements

Have you read The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz? It’s a great little book; short, sweet and to the point. It certainly made me ponder many of my flaws and prompted me to work on them.

However this is always far harder in the real world, it is very easy to put ourselves in a personal growth and spiritual bubble (i.e. when we are reading the book we are in a calm, peaceful, thoughtful space) but in the fast lane of life we stumble and fumble around. This is as it should be; we are all only human after all. If it was easy, we would have little compassion for others.

One sticking point for many of us is making assumptions, which can then lead to harsh and inaccurate judgements. I see how easily we can slip into this every day.

We tend to jump headfirst in from a gut feeling, or based on someone’s behaviour, actions, or words; or even a feeling that we get about someone before we even meet them. Very few of us delve deeper to get to the core of what triggered us in the first place. Nope we go headfirst in with the assumption and some of us even crediting ourselves on our great skill in summing up someones character.

As a highly sensitive empath this is something that I have had to work VERY hard on; and still am. I am feeling people and their emotions all the time. But I cannot make an assumption on anything because I have grown to be aware that I can be sensing many things around them that can confuse and add layers to the picture I am sensing. For example, I may be around someone and they are angry, like a simmering pot. I could immediately jump to the conclusion that they are an angry person. But what if I am not sensing their anger but the anger that they have been subjected to in their lives. If I sense someone trying to control me or their environment, I could make an assumption that they are controlling but what if they are trying to cling on to the last piece of sanity in an unhappy and abusive relationship? An example for many of us that may not see deeper is the common story of being in the store and subjected to terrible customer service. We could (logically) make an assumption for ever and ever about the person and the store; but what if they just had some bad news or were worried about a loved one ill at home. 

Continue reading