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I am extremely sensitive—from my emotions, to my mind, to my body—right down to my teeth.
My sensitivity was my kryptonite. In the past, colleagues, friends and partners used it as a means to their ends. I gave my power away a lot.
I was your stereotypical “giver,” and placed other people’s needs before my own. Others dominated and abused me emotionally, and I didn’t know how to show up for myself. The worst of it was being in a long-term relationship with a malignant narcissist where I endured unbearable emotional and mental torture.
Friendships and relationships weren’t a place of nourishment, support, safety or equality. People with ill intentions, who sensed my weak boundaries and innate kindness, continued to gravitate toward me in what felt like a never-ending cycle. I didn’t know that by attending to my own needs, I’d find refuge, peace and protection.
Does this sound like you? Or a past version of you?
Thankfully, I’m no longer in these situations, as I now own my sensitivity. It’s my greatest treasure!
Here’s what I’ve learned through consistent soul-work:
Sensitivity is an expression of the divine feminine. Contrary to kryptonite, it is a source of immense power, a potent energy worth cherishing and protecting. Once I learned to channel this power, outer circumstances began to shift. The right kind of relationships appeared in my life. I was able to say “no.” I’ve even learned how to use my emotional body to manifest certain experiences I wish to have.
I am awakening more and more to the consciousness of the feminine, as are many women and men around the world. The sleeping Kundalini is uncoiling and unravelling.
Feelings are where transformation, change and healing occurs. Life is change and movement, therefore, a conscious connection to our sensitivity paves the way for the cultivation of more life force—Shakti, our feminine essence.
Sensitivity is only a curse when we’re unconscious to our internal selves. The monsters and demons of the world gravitate toward us when we are in shadow, and that’s when they are at their strongest.
I believe the new feminine rising is the archetypal warrior. She is here to shift the balance of power, to heal the disconnection with ourselves, with others and with the Earth. For this to take place, we need to walk bravely through our darkness and meet our shadow selves in our inner and outer worlds, and allow ourselves to be witnessed with our authenticity and our emotions—the fullness of our being. We get to choose how we exercise this fullness. For me, it’s through yoga, martial arts, spirituality, art and writing. As creatives, our self-expression and authenticity—using our life as our message—is our gift to the world.
Anais Nin grasps this magical energy beautifully:
“You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”
I now know that when the density and darkness of our emotional sensitivity is wielded consciously, when it is tended to as sacred, it becomes a superpower.
Here are six ways to use our emotional excess to our advantage:
1. Use it as self-protection.
In martial arts practice, we train our senses so that we can be alert to the slightest dangers. In a similar way, we can train our mind, body and emotions to pick up on “bad vibes.” As sensitive people, we already know when people mean harm—our bodies or intuitions sense the negative intent. Trust what you feel. Keep the company of sattvic people—those who hold pure intentions—at all times.
2. Become a conscious creator of your life.
We can manifest the reality we want. It takes practice and consistency of effort. Imagine what you want. See it in your mind and then shift your attention to your emotional body. How does it feel to accomplish this goal? Where does it feel good in your body? In my daily writing practice, I usually set an intention for how I wish to feel by the end of the day. There are so many ways to bring your vision and dreams closer to you. Make it a consistent practice to visualise and write down what you desire.
3. Turn pain into power.
Have you heard of the quote, “The cure for pain is in the pain,” by Rumi? Resist it and you intensify the experience—this is the same for all emotions. Be present with it, and the intensity lessens. When big emotions arrive, it is an opportunity to listen and befriend them. Get creative: make art, draw, write, dance. Move your pain, transform it rather than getting stuck in it. The other side of pain and grief is joy.
4. Absorb positive and joyful feelings at will.
Sensitive types know how easy it is to absorb other people’s energies. When we’re not consciously managing our borders, toxic emotions can find a way in. It’s important to spend time in solitude, recharge and have a regular practice of self-inquiry, like daily journaling and yoga. Here’s the great news: as quickly as we absorb uncomfortable energies, we access good feelings. Movement is key. Throw on some music and dance, listen to an upbeat track or watch something that will make you laugh. By simply shifting your attention to something new and different, you can change your state immediately.
5. Don’t toughen up, think smarter.
“Toughen Up!” I’m sure you’ve heard this one, but that’s not how we roll. Our strength is our empathy and compassion, so long as we practice these on ourselves first. We don’t need to override our feelings with an artificial sense of toughness. In fact, this is detrimental to our well-being. Instead, identify your core needs—how can they be met? Reinforce your self-connection with a daily check-in.
6. Bring forth righteous change to the world.
We are gentle giants. We have a calling that we can’t shake off. The more we resist it, the louder it gets. It stems from our strong desire to affect positive change in the world. We’re here to align with our dharma, our authentic path, and to bring light and healing to the world.
Rise into your greatness as a sensitive being! Work with your emotions, rather than detaching from them. Feeling is a gift from the feminine divine. A source of nourishment and vitality. A superpower of the soul. Wield it well!
Author: Payal Patel
Image: Monique Prater/Flickr
Editor: Catherine Monkman