Are you listening to me, or yourself?

I’ve been quiet for a while because I spent several weeks last month recuperating from what is considered a routine exam at the doctor’s office. Having a highly sensitive body can be especially challenging sometimes. And, what they say about our bodies becoming even more sensitive as we get older, I’ve discovered is true. Perhaps, you have too?

So, I was reluctant to return to the doctor and report how my body had responded. I was afraid she’s want to poke around and cause a flare-up of the pain I was slowly leaving behind as I recuperated.

Yet, everyone I spoke to about it encouraged me to go back. So, I finally did, when I was starting to feel better.

Have you ever spoken to someone who appears to be listening to you but at almost every opportunity tells you about their situation, as if it was true for you too? I know you have if you’re a recovering people-pleaser or highly sensitive. We listen with caring and respect and too often others seem to be listening but are really listening for how they can talk about themselves. That’s how it’s been with this new doctor for me.

What I find interesting is that having a productive and low stress conversation with people like this may be possible. But, I’m really not sure. I’m certainly more assertive than I used to be but I find I have more difficulty being assertive with someone when I don’t know them well and am just developing a relationship with them; like this doctor.

Unless I really needed to speak again to someone who communicates this way, I wouldn’t, so I most likely wouldn’t develop a relationship with them. That can make it feel difficult when we do need to talk to them again, like I needed to tell this doctor what had happened.

I also don’t like having to back up everything I say to prove my point. This feels like arguing to me which I really dislike and leaves me wanting to retreat to peace and quiet afterwards.

What I think would be far more productive in speaking with a doctor, would be to find one who is sensitive and caring, a great listener, and is willing to offer and discuss possible options with their patients. And, perhaps most importantly, is willing to acknowledge that their patient knows a great deal about their body. (I really do hate that word, “patient”! We’re clients, not people patiently waiting in the waiting room, patiently waiting to be cured by them!)

There are a few medical personnel like that out there. My nurse practitioner in Michigan was like that. So, I’m out to find one. I hope you are inspired to find one too, if you’re needing more attentive care.

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Happy Valentine’s Day to You!

Happy Valentine’s Day to You!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about expressing your love to another person. Indeed, we can only extend as much love to another as we’re able to receive or send our own way.

So, I invite you to look within your own life – where do you not love and treat yourself with compassion?

Does your inner critic say mean things to you and you listen to her?

Do you procrastinate and worry about it?

Do you expect yourself to be perfect, even though you are human?

Are you waiting to be kind to yourself – when you get that new job, lose that extra weight, do a certain task perfectly, or – you can fill in the blank here.

If you’re doing any of these things, I invite you to simply notice. There’s no reason to beat yourself up about it.

And, I invite you, on this Valentine’s Day, to pick one thing you will do today to show yourself love and compassion.

Here’s some ideas for you:

Buy yourself flowers and really notice how beautiful they are.

Spend time out in nature and let it nourish you.

Go out in the sunshine and breathe it in – breathe it in deeply until you feel completely filled with sunshine!

Call or visit someone you feel really alive with. If it’s someone you haven’t connected with in awhile – even better!

If you’re daring and want to really enjoy feeling loved – I encourage you to
buy yourself a valentine, and write a love note of appreciation – to you.

Listen in to your heart and see what calls to you! Then do it!

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What’s Stressing You Out?

Stress is a part of life. Yes, there I said it. You might not like it but I’m sure you agree. Now, I believe that a little stress is even good for you. Stress gives us that adrenaline boost when we’re doing something new, making us more alert and feeling more alive. And, that’s certainly how I’m feeling when I’m sea kayaking out on the huge waves on Lake Michigan or Lake Superior.

Yet as you know, too much stress gives you a headache, disrupts your digestion and burns up your precious life force energy. Stress can also make you irritable and feeling overwhelmed and long-term stress like this will make you feel like your life is a struggle. This happens to people-pleasing and sensitive women way too often and I want to help you bust your stress so you can feel incredible and really shine.

Here are some steps you can take to bust that stress:

Continue Reading & Comment

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Ten Ways to Love Yourself on Valentine’s Day and Beyond

1. Listen in to your heart everyday to discover how you can love yourself and let go of trying so hard and live life one step at a time.

You can use the meditation, Listening in to the Wisdom of Your Heart, that’sin your Inner Peace and Purpose Starter Kit. If you don’t know where it’s gone to, search for “Annie Notestein” in your email’s inbox.

2. Notice when you are judging or criticizing yourself

Is this really helping you to do something even better? If it is, then perhaps there’s a tiny bit of value in all that criticism.

If you want to learn from what you may have done wrong, get out your journal and write down what you’ve learned. Then, remember it’s not possible to be perfect all the time – you are human.

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Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Joyful

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions this year? Congratulations if they work for you! However, for most people they’re forgotten before the end of January. I used to make them religiously every year because everyone else I knew was making them. But, they never worked for me. And a New Year’s resolution is the last thing that women who have difficulty saying “No” and sensitive women need.

Why is that?, you may ask. Because you have enough “shoulds” spinning around in your head already. And, a New Year’s resolution is really just another should”. It’s something you’re telling yourself that you must do or must not do. Continue Reading & Comment

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The Merry Month of May

I adore May. I can finally partake in my favorite past time of enjoying the spring ephemerals (the flowers that bloom, fade, and disappear by the time most of the trees have fully leaved-out). It’s that between-time; between the cold of early spring or the warmth of rain in April and the sudden heat of June.

May feels decidedly romantic and is the month idolized in Thomas Dekker’s poem, The Merry Month of May. My husband and I return to taking long walks in the forest and pointing out the tiny, beautiful wildflowers to each other.

So, what will you do this month to make your life merry? What new growth would you like to foster within yourself – that will bring you incredible joy and wonderful memories that will continue to warm and nourish you when the cold returns in fall? Continue Reading & Comment

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Are You (Too) Sensitive?

Have you been told that you’re “too sensitive”? Did you feel that that person just didn’t understand you at all and that they were being insensitive to the situation and to you?

If you’ve been in this situation over and over, you actually are not alone!

There is even a name for this trait, called the highly sensitive person or HSP.

Elaine Aron, a research psychologist, herself an HSP, has done quite a bit of research on the trait and has interviewed and surveyed thousands of people to help her define the trait and get a clear picture of the challenges experienced by highly sensitive people. She’s written many books on the subject.

Highly sensitive people (as you may already know if you recognized yourself immediately in the title of this article) are highly sensitive to their environment, other people, and their own inner world.

They may experience challenges with being overwhelmed by too much stimuli that the non-highly sensitive person actually enjoys. A good example of this is being in a large group or crowd. Continue Reading & Comment

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How’s Your Money Relationship?

What is your relationship with money? Does it come over and walk through your door when you invite it in or do you have to work hard to get it to even look your way, much less come home with you?

If you would like more money in your life, it’s necessary to become aware of how you view money and what your relationship with it has been up to now.

If having enough money to meet your expenses or increasing your income when you’ve wanted to has ever been difficult for you – if it feels like you are coming up against an invisible wall that’s keeping that money away from you – then there may be more than external circumstances keeping you from experiencing the financial abundance you desire.

Your beliefs about what’s possible for you may be affecting your finances. Continue Reading & Comment

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here is a Valentine’s Day Heart Connection Meditation for you:

Breathe love in with each in-breath. (This love can be from God, your spirit guides, nature, etc.)

With each out-breath, breathe that love into your heart.

Do this until your heart fills full of love.

Now, breathe the love in your heart outward around you until you feel surrounded by love.

Really bask in that love. Notice how it feels to be surrounded by this love.

Now, send some of this love outward to someone you love or someone who may want more love in their life.

Imagine this love creating a glow around them. Please let me know what you experience!

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What Goal Will Inspire Your New Year?

We all have great hopes for the New Year but as the days go by we often lose sight of those hopes. Life seems to get in the way of achieving our dreams and we may just try to get through the week. Then when the weekend comes we may be too tired to remember our dreams.

That’s what so often happens with our New Year’s Resolutions. Have you ever made a resolution that you started out being motivated to achieve but by the end of January you were berating yourself for not staying motivated and in action toward your goal? I certainly have.

The problem isn’t you. Rather, the problem is the method that we’ve been taught to use to achieve our goals. We’ve been taught that if we just try to force ourselves to achieve a goal worth achieving, that we will arrive there. Or, if we just hope against hope, maybe it will happen. Continue Reading & Comment

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