We asked LLP supporter/contributor and family therapist, Deanna Vance, about how she works with highly sensitive children in her therapy practice. She graciously shared considerations and techniques she uses when working with these special kids.
Highly sensitive/intuitive children are extremely perceptive and deeply affected by the energy of the environment and the people in them. For this reason, the very first consideration I make happens before they even enter my office. I begin with myself by practicing good self care. I have a beautiful morning routine which includes meditation, yoga and prayer. Then, once I am in my office I practice a breathing technique before seeing anyone and between each appointment. This breath clears my energy and grounds me to be very present. It goes like this: Breathe in through nose to the count of 4, hold to the count of 9, breathe out the mouth to the count of ten. This breathe is practiced while loosely having your tongue on the back of your upper teeth. Do this breath for four cycles.
The second consideration I make is my office space. Nature is soothing for sensitive/intuitive children and so my space is decorated with plants, shells, stones, fresh flowers, etc. I also keep the room energetically clean by opening windows, playing soothing music, candles, etc. I occasionally use sage and a Himalayan Salt lamp. Sensitive kids ( and adults) can feel the energy of a room the moment they enter. I once heard someone say that your space should be one in which "Angels dare to tread" and I love keeping that in mind.
The third important consideration is providing a kind, loving presence and a positive attitude. These children are easily overwhelmed and need to know that they are safe. They pick up easily on the subtleties and so it is important to be honest and authentic.
Being sensitive carries the need to have skills to manage stress. I always teach children how to take deep breathes and we practice throughout sessions. I have them fill up their "tummies" like its a balloon by breathing in through their nose, holding briefly and then letting the balloon out through their mouths. I also will practice with soap bubbles blowing out very slowly to see how big the bubble will get. The slower you breath, the bigger it gets. Another fun skill at relieving stress is to pretend like you are a wet dog and shake, shake shake releasing the water/stress. I often teach a Tapas Acupressure technique which both calms and grounds: With your left hand place your thumb and ring finger on the bridge of your nose allowing your pointer finger to rest on your forehead. Place your other hand behind your neck. Apply firm, but gentle pressure with both hands.
The fifth important skill that I teach are grounding techniques. A simple way to "ground" is to place both feet flat on the ground (barefoot if possible) and feel the rest of their body in the chair (legs, bottom, back, arms...) and then breath deeply. Children experience the immediate affect of this. I also use "Yoga Pretzel" cards, have them count the number of plants (pictures, chairs,etc.) in my room, pretend to be a tall tree with strong roots, stomp our feet by being a very large elephant.
All of these help to ground and reduce/release stress.
About Deanna Vance
Deanna Vance is a Licensed a Professional Counselor at the New Leaf Wellness Building. She has over thirty years of experience in varied settings including Community Mental Health, Group Homes, Schools & Private Practice. Deanna specializes in Play Therapy which is a powerful & effective reparative approach for children. Trauma and Attachment problems have been her expertise. She also enjoys working with adolescents and adults.
Deanna's passion is in gently guiding & supporting her clients in repairing and healing their relationships with themselves & others. She believes people were created to be in relationship & it is in these experiences that unhealed wounds show up. She guides parents to return to understanding and accepting their children (and themselves) fully and move away from diagnosing and "fixing". Deanna believes people are at their core loving, compassionate, and joyful and by providing a safe place for healing can return to that core way of interacting with themselves and others.
Deanna can be reached at (928)779-5118 x3 at her Private Practice in downtown Flagstaff, AZ.
I have always loved this quote by Mahatma Gandhi. Admittedly, I didn't really understand how I was going to do that..be the change I wanted to see... when I was younger. And truthfully, I didn't care as much as I should have back then.
But all of that changed as I became a parent of highly sensitive kids, as I awakened to my own intuitive gifts, and as I learned that I was an unfortunate member of the childhood sexual abuse survivor club.
As the founder of The Little Light Project, I'm asked a lot what we do and who we help. Well, turns out, we help others who are just like me. But little did I know that, as we're helping others, I'm also learning to heal myself. It's a funny place to be sitting sometimes. The place of the "assumed expert" because I founded LLP, although it's never a title I placed on myself. I'm just a person who was looking for answers and options to cope and to heal and when I found it to be really tough to find balanced holistic services, I figured why not start it myself.
I was so naive back then. I had no idea how much healing I had to left to do. Still have left to do. But I can honestly say if it weren't for The Little Light Project and the amazing volunteers, I wouldn't be healing as much as I am, especially with regards to my childhood sexual abuse memories that resurfaced about a year ago. It was the combination of alternative therapies like intuitive readings and hypnotherapy coupled with traditional talk therapy that has helped me understand who I am and how I was changed by what I experienced. As a survivor who repressed the memories of sexual abuse I endured as a tiny child (ages 3-6), it's hard to distinguish what is truly my innate personality and what reactions/actions are coping mechanisms I've developed over the years. I couldn't do any of this without the help from many healers and certified professionals. Many of whom I met while going through my own healing and then asked to join our team at LLP.
My main objective with sharing this tonight is to say thank you. Thank you for supporting programs we offer free of charge to anyone who needs help. We can't do it without you. While we do have experts on our team, we are also comprised of many volunteers who are also healing and growing. Together, we can help those who come to us and those who volunteer their services.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. We can't wait to share new events, offerings, and services in the new year!
To make a tax deductible donation to LLP, please go here: https://fundly.com/help-us-help-families-heal
How does LLP help parents coping with the loss of their child? Read the true story of how two families came together to help heal one another. All because of one special light in this world.
The topics of school shootings and suicide are in the news a lot lately with the foiled shooting plot in Pasadena, CA and Robin Williams death. Before channeling kids who have passed on, I never thought I would have much to say on either topic. In fact, I didn't understand them the way I do now. Now, I'm not saying I have all the answers but I can share what I've learned through working as a medium passing messages from kids in spirit to families and law enforcement. Believe me, this is not a perspective I set out to have as a kid but as you may have read in my Founder's Message, it is one that literally picked me. And I'm very grateful for it.
For the last four years, I've primarily been visited by children and teens in spirit who have passed on due to suicide, little souls who passed due to early termination/miscarriage, and children who have passed due to crime/accident. It's rare that I am in contact with a child who passes from illness. I don't profess to know exactly why it is this way for me but it is.
The common thread from conversation to conversation with those who have taken their own lives, I'm finding, has a lot to do with heightened sensitivity. Many of the kids tell me they were overwhelmed by how much they felt and many turned to drugs and alcohol to numb that feeling. Due to their sensitive nature, they felt different. Not normal. (On a side note, as it turns out, many highly sensitive kids are also victims of sexual abuse (their open, sensitive, trusting nature) which can also lead to overwhelming depression and thoughts of suicide.) I am very much a believer that depression is real and can be helped via drug therapy and/or alternative medicine however I also feel we're missing a piece. Many of the kids in spirit I've had the honor of communicating with talk about how overwhelming it is to feel everything on such a heightened level and feel emotions of others (called being an empath.) This is one of the main reasons I founded LLP. To help all these beautiful souls coming into the world today whose heightened sensitivities are through the roof. Learn tools to dial it down when they need to and to protect their energy, i.e. bubble themselves so they don't take on others energy and emotion. If we can teach these kids early on they are not weird and show them how to look at sensitivity as a gift, they have a much better shot of not becoming overwhelmed spiraling downward emotionally.
As a medium, I've come to learn (just my experience) that we are spiritual beings living in human bodies and we reincarnate to learn, grow and love. I've heard from some of the kids that took their lives, at the moment, it was one of their exits in life but not the only exit. When the soul decides it's time to exit at an exit point, and the act of suicide is put in place, then the attempt will be successful. We do have free will in our lives. The life plan for that soul may have been to stick around longer and impact everyone in their world differently but an earlier exit was taken. On the other side, they will see how that exit affects everyone but it's not as if they are punished by any means. My experience tells me there is no punishment for suicide as God is love. Period. We are experiencing human life to love ourselves and others.
Some kids have come in talking about the fact they knew they weren't going to live long human lives even when they were in their bodies. Some even shared these thoughts with parents and friends. And that had they not passed the way they did, that an exit would have been supplied shortly thereafter. I'm told that this is contracted before birth for many reasons like the growth and learning of others in their families and communities. In some cases, after the death of the child others lives are saved due to outreach and publicity. In some cases, parents and relatives create foundations that help the masses. This, I'm told, is part of the bigger plan.
If you believe we are all connected in this Universe - that we are all one - then you can see how on a soul level (not a conscious human level), much of what we do here on earth is for the greater collective good. We are all connected energetically so we affect one another (negatively or positively since we live in a world of duality) whether we can see it or not. One child may exit by taking his or her own life, but ultimately his/her death saves ten lives. It's a ripple effect. The death of Robin Williams has put a much needed spotlight on depression, its causes, and ways to help others who are spiraling. School shootings are also putting a spotlight on mental health, too.
We have a whole new generation of kids who are truly a few steps higher up the evolutionary stairs but on a whole, our society still tries to put everyone in the same box. One drug fits all. One way of communicating reaches everyone. We are so complex and we are evolving. Understanding that we are all affected by energy and how we can manage that, especially those who are naturally highly sensitive, will go a long way towards understanding how to help those who are dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts.
To all the beautiful families who have lost a family member to suicide, my heart bleeds for you. It's one thing to understand it on a soul level and take a birds eye view of spiritual purpose but it's another to live through such devastating loss. I can share from my experience your loved ones are still with you, shining their light, helping guide you through life's ups and downs and they're doing what they can in energetic spirit form to help us move forward as a society. Ensure that we all understand the power we have within that we've barely tapped into over the last few decades.
In my opinion, we can truly help kids in pain but it will take opening our minds and hearts and honoring what it means to be highly sensitive.
I had every intention tonight to just kick back and relax watching something mindless on TV but it wasn't in the cards, I guess. Instead, I piddled around doing normal things. Kissed my son hello after he got back from his friend's house. And then out of nowhere proceeded to see in my mind's eye a repressed memory of something that happened to me more than 35 years ago. On my way to the kitchen, go figure. It happened just like that and at lightening speed. Being a childhood sexual abuse survivor who didn't uncover memories until last year means that at any moment, my subconscious can flip a switch and decide it's time for me to learn more. That I'm ready to handle it so a little bit more comes to the surface. It's a very strange place to be. I'm learning more and more through connecting with other survivors that we are truly in a club we didn't sign up for but alas, we all "get" each other. My heart breaks for those who do remember what happened every second of every day of their lives. I kinda feel like the lucky kid in the group because while it affected every aspect of my life, I didn't live with the memories of what happened until I turned 40.
I don't think I'll ever get used to the flash of visions even though it's something that happens quite a lot to me in my work as a medium. But viewing what happened to me as a tiny child is so jarring yet healing at the same time. The cycle tends to be that I see a memory out of nowhere, it takes me back to the feeling of being that kid, I get emotional, and then I want to un-see it and un-feel it.
Sometimes I talk about it with others. Sometimes I just keep it to myself. Apparently, sometimes I blog about it. One thing is for sure. Being in this club is surreal. And getting support from other club members has been a God send.
If you have suffered childhood sexual abuse and want to share your story, please go to this link: http://www.littlelightproject.org/read-about-others-who-have-survived-child-sex-abuse.html. It's anonymous and we'd love to hear from you!
With lots of love,
4/24/2014 1 Comment
So many of our rewarding experiences on this planet come from a full utilization of our physical senses. When I think about the most precious events of my life- hearing my kids belly-laugh, looking upon their sweet faces for the first time, seeing the broad smile of a loved one, tasting the most incredible wine- I know these moments are dependent upon my use of the physical senses I often take for granted. But, in addition to these purely physical senses, I also value my “sixth sense”, my intuition.
I have always considered myself a highly intuitive person and recognize that some of my greatest successes in life are a result of having tuned into my intuition. In my career as a school psychologist, I sometimes get a strong sense of what a family or a child needs from me, simply from spending some time in their presence. Naturally, I access my knowledge of psychology and human emotion that comes from many years of training and experience. But, I also know that as I sit with them, I am tapping into my intuitive sense to help discover the true root of the problem and also, the course of action that should be utilized. My intuition has undoubtedly helped me in my parenting of my own two children. Like many parents, I recall that “little internal nudge” that tells me to hurry up and check on the baby, who at that moment was doing something dangerous. I recall sitting with my crying daughter, seemingly over an argument she had with a friend, and yet knowing, somehow, that this was not the true reason for her outpouring grief. “Dig deeper,” it compels me. “There’s something she’s not telling you.”
We all possess this incredible ability, an “inner knowing” that steers decision making, guides our reasoning and at times, allows us to connect with others on a deeper level. It allows us the amazing opportunity to make good decisions-even major life decisions- when all of the variables can’t be known or measured. We hear people talk about use of their intuition often. Remarks such as “I went with my gut”, or “I just knew it wasn’t the right place for me,” demonstrate that as humans, we know, trust and often embrace these flashes of illumination just as we trust the information that comes through our eyes and ears. It is also true; however, that there are times when we don’t hear or simply refuse to listen to our intuition.
Why would we overlook such an incredible resource? Maybe it just seems too intangible, too mysterious. Perhaps we are accustomed to doubting ourselves- underestimating our divine nature. Many of us sharing this Earthly experience simply fail to recognize how truly powerful we are. And, let’s face it, the idea of receiving knowledge from a divine source or a higher self is pretty special. Are we altogether comfortable with that?
Recently, I surprised myself by completely silencing my intuition. I purchased an online offer for two chiropractic visits at an office I never visited before. I read the reviews of this office and felt comfortable I had made a good decision. The day of my first visit arrived. As I sat in the waiting area, I saw several people passing in the hallway, all wearing scrubs. It was hard to know which of these people would be my doctor. As I gazed over, one person in particular caught my attention. I immediately thought, “I do not want that person to be my doctor.” I felt my stomach clench at the thought of being adjusted by this person. I remember chastising myself. “Stop it. He looks perfectly fine. This is a reputable office. Why are you being so sensitive?” I looked over at the group of people again. “I just know he’s going to be the one working with me. I need to make an excuse and leave.” Just then, he approached me. I went back with him to have my adjustment, feeling completely uncomfortable. All the while, I was scolding myself for thinking ill about someone I don’t know at all. Yes, I was mentally scolding myself. And, I am the same person who routinely relies upon and really cherishes my intuition?
During my treatment, I felt several times that he was being somewhat unprofessional. I didn’t like the way he visually scanned my body, called out specific body parts for putting too much strain on my back and shoulders, placed my hands in unusual places while he performed my adjustment. I remember the mental gymnastics I underwent during this time. “Is this normal? Why do I feel like I want to run out of here? Am I making something out of nothing?” The visit ended. I left in a hurry, knowing I would definitely not be redeeming the second visit I had already paid for.
Here’s the truth. I don’t know what went on in that office. I don’t know why I had an instantaneous negative feeling toward someone I didn’t know at all. I don’t know whether my strong gut feelings interfered with my ability to observe his work objectively. But, I do know this. God granted me a gift of intuition. I treasure it. I know how graciously it guides me and helps to illustrate my path in this life. I feel sorry that I didn’t honor my intuitive feelings in that moment. I put the doctor’s feelings and my own concerns about embarrassing myself ahead of my own feelings of safety and well-being. Moving forward, I want to honor my gift more completely and not make this kind of mistake again.
Noreen Roman, a Little Light Project volunteer, is a certified psychologist and college instructor in the Phoenix area. She grew up as a highly intuitive/ sensitive child, with a strong connection to the spirit world. As frequently happens, this sensitivity to spirit was stifled for decades in order to squash fears and remain in the “norm.” Upon her father’s death in 2010, Noreen began having regular visitations from him, as well as other spirits, guides and angels. Noreen first connected with the Little Light Project when she was in the process of renewing and deepening her connection to spirit. She also sought support from LLP when managing her young son’s struggles related to his own sensitivity. Today, Noreen embraces her strong intuitive sense and the inspiration and information she channels, which often serves to bring comfort and healing to others. She is honored to be a consultant for the Little Light Project, whose goals and purposes are so close to her own heart.
I just stood there behind the fence watching the coaches’ faces. They were intense. I had never seen this kind of tryout. As a kid, I had played baseball myself for nine years. I had been told it wasn’t a “tryout.” It was supposed to resemble an assessment, a let-us-see the player’s skill level and then choose our teams. All twelve coaches stood on the second base line with clipboards and pencils. It seemed like they were already judging the lineup of boys. Perhaps, I should have worked with my son more prior to this day. Perhaps, this wasn’t the right sport after all. Perhaps, T-ball was as far as he needed to go. I prayed he understood the directions the one coach was yelling out.
“I’m going to call you three at a time. If I call your name first you are to man first base. The second name I call will man second base. The third name I call will be our runner, who will stand at home and run the bases. The coach at home plate will then hit a grounder to either the first baseman or second baseman. Should the ball go to the second baseman and I call out get two, you are to step on second base and then throw it to first. If I call second only, step on second, and then throw it back to me as I will be standing in as the pitcher. If the ball is hit to first base, simply field it and step on the bag. Got it?”
“Oh damn,” I thought. I had never reviewed any of this with him. My face felt flushed.
Thank God his name was not called immediately. I was hoping this would give him time to observe the exercise and mimic when it was his turn. I stared at him to see if was absorbing the idea of the activity. He caught my stare and just looked at me with the most tender wide mouth smile. Somehow he was at peace floating in a sea of baseball testosterone. It was almost like he was assuring me that I hadn’t failed him, but I had certainly not prepared him.
The exercise ran its course through three or four rounds before his name was called. And, when it was called he almost acted as if he didn’t know his name or was just taken by surprise that someone was even speaking to him. He didn’t move. The coach yelled his name again. This time he raised his hand. That was not exactly the response the coach expected to get. Finally, the coach walked over to him and asked if his name was Noah. He nodded and offered his up his ungloved hand as if the coach had intention of shaking it. The coach then grabbed Noah by the shoulder and led him to the second base field position.
“Alright, let’s get this going!” he yelled.
The coach at home plate then hit a grounder to Noah. As the ball rolled toward him, the main coach yelled, “Get one!”
Noah missed the ball with his glove hand, but luckily slowed it down with his foot. He then ran behind himself like a dog chasing his tail to recover his fumble. Once he had the ball in his hand he then threw it back to the coach leading the exercise from the pitcher’s mound; after all, he was the one that had shaken his hand. The coach was completely thrown off guard.
“No, I said tag second,” the coach then threw the ball back to Noah.
Noah missed it, but stood still not at all worried that the ball was even lost behind him.
“Now, go get the ball and tag second.” the coach instructed.
Noah turned around and walked casually to the ball. At this point the “runner” had firmly planted himself at second base. There was no real point in tagging second at this point. I was hoping that was Noah’s thought as well, but instead he wound up and threw the ball to first baseman. This got a “what the hell” arm response from the kid first.
As if somehow synchronized, the entire sideline of clipboard clenching coaches all marked something on their legal pads. I imagined the words “not mine” being written on each pad.
It was then time to rotate the players. Noah was now going to be the running the bases. The two other players took their positions. Based on their ready field position, there was no doubt that their dads had been coaching them since they came out of the womb. I could tell they were hungry to impress and getting Noah out was going to be like watching a baby wildebeest fleeing from a family of aggressive boy lions trying to please their dad.
I was standing behind the home plate fence. All I could say to Noah was that I loved him and reminded him to run fast. It felt like I was sending him to an impending death. This single line of expression to my son caught the attention of all the surrounding parental eyes.
I could suddenly feel the judgment of all the coaches, fathers and mothers, possibly even baseball scouts.
The question had been answered, “Whose was this kid?”
Noah turned to me with his wide lipped smile and said, “Thanks dad.”
Just one year ago we had experienced our first year of T-ball together. Unfortunately, his age had required that he move up to the next level of play this year. I wasn’t sure what was supposed to have happened in that one year span of time, but we obviously hadn’t gotten there. These other kids carried monogrammed baseball bat bags, and in these bags, were an assortment of wooden and metal bats of various weights and lengths. We came with just one glove, the same glove that had served us well during T-ball.
The coach at home plate hit a grounder to second. The other coach yelled, “Get one!”
Noah stood watching, he forgot he was supposed to run. The coach at home plate finally looked down at him and said, “Run to first son.” Noah had no “fight or flight” in him, and this coach egging him on was certainly not going to make him feel a need to develop it now. Besides, he had his own secret weapon.
The second base fielder had now thrown the ball to first and with one single bounce secured in the glove of the first baseman’s, at that point Noah started to run. I could see it in his face he was all serious and I was not surprised at all when he displayed his fast flat hands to the onlookers and naysayers. You see, when his hands were flat with his fingers pointed in the direction he wanted to run, he believed they cut through the wind thusly accelerating his speed. He was a flash of glorious light limited only by lanky Bambi thin legs and feet he had not grown into, but he was magnificent in his mind.
He was magnificent in my mind too. Like a switch had gone off in my mind, I suddenly lost the embarrassment I felt for him, the judging, the onlookers questioning glares and I cheered for the fastest boy I knew. I was proud to be the father of the fastest kid alive!
“You go Noah! That a boy!”
By the time he reached his target, the first base man had already thrown the ball back to the coach on the pitcher’s mound. But, in Noah’s mind he reached first before the ball ever showed up. He then turned and looked at me, gave me that same smile along with me his signature thumbs up. We were in this together and we were champions.
It was now time to rotate one last time, but this time he would be manning first, which meant a ball would be thrown at him and potentially at a high speed.
I didn’t care anymore and he was still feeling the adrenaline of supposedly having beaten the throw to first. Before they could start though, the pitcher’s mound coach had to remind Noah to actually not stand on top of the base.
Noah repositioned himself and exercise continued. The ball was hit to the second baseman and fielded admirably. The coach yelled, “Get one!”
The fielder then threw the ball at Noah. Luckily he over threw it and it sailed far above Noah’s head and into the fencing. Noah just stood there not knowing what to do since he didn’t have the ball. This time I yelled, “Go get the ball Noah, it’s behind you by the fence!” This got him into action and he followed my instruction though the runner had now reached first and was headed to second. The pitcher’s mound coach then yelled at Noah again, “Throw the ball to second!”
That however, was not anywhere in the original instructions given for this task, it was a foreign idea. So, Noah went back to first base and stood there triumphantly holding the ball in the air for everyone to admire.
The pitcher’s mound coach yelled again, “Throw it to second!”
Noah reached back and threw it…right back to the coach. In turn, the coach received the oncoming ball straight to his groin.
“Way to go Noah!” I yelled, “You are awesome! Nice job buddy!”
That was the end of our tryout and we left the field rather quickly. Once in my hand’s grasp, Noah just looked up at me proudly as we held each others hands. I could see he thought he had done an admirable job, and as a father learning more about my highly sensitive son, I felt good too.
We returned home that night to Kiersten and our baby girl Grace. They were ready to celebrate, so we did.
Two weeks later we received a call from a really nice sounding coach saying that Noah was on his team, but he had forgotten to call and tell us. We had already missed one practice. I told him that we had gotten out of that baseball tryout all that we needed.
Noah never asked about why he wasn’t playing that season nor did he ever ask to return to the field and play baseball. I think in his mind, he felt had conquered that game and I felt I had conquered a little something myself that day too. It was now time to move on to the next Lego modeling adventure!
3/27/2014 3 Comments
Lessons from the Uber-Sensitive Father of a Highly Sensitive Kid
We’ve raised two highly sensitive kids, you already know that. We’ve talked about our journey as their parents, our learning process to better understand them and either to appreciate and/or just acknowledge their points of view. It’s all very easy to do when they are little. When they are small their actions (what Joe Public sees) can often be excused with “too little to know better.” But, what about when they are 15 years old?
Case in point, I took my son to get his haircut yesterday. This “chore” has got to be one of the most uncomfortable settings for him. For one, he doesn’t really care about his hair and how its cut. Secondly, there are just too many questions that hair dressers ask when you sit under their scissors. Thirdly, he hasn’t mastered nor does he care to master the art of small talk.
All hairdresser conversations go the same way anyway….
“What grade are you in?”
“Where do you go to school?”
“Do you like school?”
By now, you would think he would have stock answers and could quickly maintain a conversation flow without even thinking. But, he doesn’t.
He processes each question as if you have asked him, “Does the Universe have an edge, beyond which there is nothing?”
To make matters worse, these seemingly simple to answer questions come at such speed, further emphasizing that the answers don’t really matter to the asker. It’s just a nicety, perhaps a habit infused with ceremony. But, when Noah doesn’t respond with a quick “9th, FHS, not really” and rather looks perplexed, (possibly overwhelmed) and goes deep into the recesses of his mind to answer these questions-- the uber-sensitive dad (that would be me) feels compelled to come in and save him.
I don’t think 15 year olds like that either.
So, yesterday we tried a new hair place. The last chop shop we visited had done a poor job cutting his hair. Perhaps, it was because he hadn’t answered enough of their rapid fire styling questions as they clipper-ed and cut inches of hair from his head.
“What are we going to do today?”
“What number clipper should I use?”
“Should I take another inch?”
“Do you want rounded or straight line on your neck?”
“How do you like your sideburns?”
Upon entering our new shop we were greeted by the shop owner with, “Oh look, the Russian Mafia.”
To which got a chuckle from my son— though a bit awkward for me, but at least one of us was happy so far so good.
She then proceeded to tell us how she was the owner and could basically say silly stuff whenever she wanted to, she didn’t have to answer to anyone.
This then inspired Noah to make the observation out loud to the woman, that he was excited to see how she would describe the next “unsuspecting victim” who entered her shop. This got a chuckle from her and Noah.
Everything was going great and then Noah started coughing or chocking. He wasn’t sick but we had just eaten lunch prior to entering her shop and he was apparently in the process of swallowing his last bite. He had unexpectedly landed in the middle of a comic bit that he was clearly driving.
The shop owner did not take this well, she suddenly looked scared and possibly angry.
“Are you sick?”
Mind you he’s still trying to get his breath, so there was no response.
She then looked at me with a scowl as if I had committed a huge sin by bringing her a sick teenager.
I was no help so she went back to addressing Noah, “What’s the matter with you?”
I finally stepped in, “He’s not sick, just choking a bit.”
She motioned Noah to sit in her salon chair. As he led the way, she looked back at me and mouthed, “What’s wrong with this guy?”
I was now boiling inside, “Nothing” I said.
She then dropped this one on him, “What are you…hung-over or something?”
Where I had planned on not stepping in, now I was riding at her heals and moving into my no-nonsense business mind. Let’s get this over as quickly as possible, get in and out.
With Noah now seated in her chair, the hair dresser behind him and me behind her I started barking how his hair should be cut. All of us were looking into the mirror at our reflection and none of us making direct eye contact. It then appeared to me that Noah was looking bothered, but I wasn’t sure if it was from my stepping in or all of our focus being on his hair.
I guessed it was a combination of both, so once I finished (what I believed to be) a dissertation on his hair and what went wrong the last time, I went back to the waiting area and took my seat. It was in God’s hands now.
What happened next I would not have expected. The two of them started chatting. I even heard laughter coming from them both.
Then she called me back over. I assumed it was to answer another hair question, but I was wrong. She wanted to know that she thought Noah was very funny and that she had declared herself to be his hair savior for now on. Case closed.
And here’s why. She told us she was a brain aneurism survivor. Four years ago, a brain aneurism had exploded and that she shouldn’t be alive today. She didn’t know why she had survived, but only that this horrific experience had given her licensing to speak her mind and say whatever she felt, after all it was her shop and she didn’t have to answer to no body.
She told Noah that she understood his hair and would take care of him. She knew what to do with the rather difficult series of cowlicks, she would make them work. She was the hair expert. She asked no questions of him but just talked about her own rather colorful life. He seemed to like that, no pressure to respond.
At the end, of the haircut she looked at him in the eyes and said, “You are adorable. I like you and you will come back.” She smiled.
Noah said, “Well, I guess I have no choice in the matter then.” He smiled back.
We left her shop and I was exhausted having gone through such a range of fatherly emotions from that experience.
The parenting of a highly sensitive child never really goes away. Just because you and your child have shared experiences in dealing with situations doesn’t dictate that you can somehow check them off the list and these same lessons won’t reappear? They will continue to appear and perhaps these lessons aren’t necessarily for the kid as much as they are for you and me, the parent. It’s hard as a parent not to want to help them, step in and protect them. But, these kids will find a way to live and thrive just like our new hair stylist. She found her own niche in this world and for the last five years has even been voted the best in town, by the Joe Publics of world. Clearly her brain aneurism had affected her lack of processing social communication norms and/or she no longer cared to just play the game. She was now living in a no bullshit world and had found a kindred and caring spirit in Noah.
I look forward to the day when this type of human mindset is the new “normal” and highly sensitive souls inhabit the majority of this planet. And in my own lifetime, I look forward to the day when my uber-sensitive actions as a father don’t just flair up when I feel my child is being threatened for who he is, but rather is continually heighted to all those around me with great empathy and compassion. No bullshit, that’s the way Noah would have it.
I was born “energy sensitive”. I think many children are. As children, we come into this life still connected to the Divine Source from whence we came and we often bring that connection with us. It takes a while and some pretty stiff social training to "forget" it.
I was quickly taught that what I was seeing, and feeling, was not acceptable, it was not “normal”, it was not OK. As a boy, I was taught that my sensitivity made me weak, to be seen as a detriment. Sensitivity, gentle compassion, sadness, and empathy were to be stuffed down, unexpressed, unless through toughness or anger.
I was misunderstood. In a effort to "fit in" and be loved and accepted I eventually wound up misunderstanding myself, shunning my gifts, and living with a secret, because I still felt and saw the world around me in this deeply sensitive and energetic way. I was taught not to show it, and eventually I didn't show it much, even to myself. It has taken me much of my adult life to reclaim my gifts and the full spectrum of my feelings - to see them as a strength and to manage and use them for the highest good for myself and others.
We're seeing more and more children born with incredible emotional, energetic, and empathic sensitivity, and we're going to see more of them. Not only because it is so important to our current evolution, but because it's who we ARE. It's where we come from.
Some of us may have a more natural ease in connecting with and expressing these energies in seemingly amazing and palpable ways, just as some people are born with a greater natural ability in athletics, or the arts, or science. But it is available to all of us, to experience and participate in, just as these other areas are available for us to explore, each at our own level of interest and development.
What kind of world do we create when we support our children, and ourselves, in being who we are, with our natural gifts encouraged, developed, and managed with Love and Understanding? What kind of world does that look like, not only for these children who have these gifts, but for us in our own exploration, learning, and commitment as a support system for them and our great diversity as the human being?
I feel we are being called now to reclaim - to re-mem-ber - our Divine Heritage and use it in our lives, here and now. These children are here to help us do that. I feel that empathy and connection to our Divine Home energies will become more and more common and accepted, now, in my lifetime. We can learn from these beautiful souls, and we can help them to honor and manage their gifts so they can use them to continue our evolution and re-mem-ber-ing. It may come with challenges, yes. I believe we came here for those - to Create, to Love, to Live fully, each with our own unique gifts and perspectives contributing to the whole.
How will you show up for your energy sensitive child today? What will you say to them? What would you like to contribute to the greater well-being and quality of life of all our children, and ultimately, ourselves?
Interested? Wondering? Need support? Contact us here at The Little Light Project. Talk with others like us who live in and understand these energies and this call to greater sensitivity and awakening. We're here to help.
What a beautiful and exciting world I see as I participate in this unfolding expansion. What a beautiful world we can create, and allow for the children, for ourselves. The time is now.
-- Sultani Trip
As many of you know, we are adding services/resources to help survivors of child sexual abuse.
I want to share a personal story about how releasing the energy of child sexual abuse I endured has helped not only my emotional body, but also my physical body. Five years ago, I would have laughed if someone told me that we hold "energy" in our bodies. First of all, I wouldn't have gotten it. I would have thought they were talking about energy we get from food. But secondly, it just didn't compute with me that something emotional can be stored within and hurt us physically.
Even I was blown away during my hypnotherapy session with Dr. Proiette where we brought subconscious memories to the conscious mind to deal with and release. Prior to hypnotherapy, I was using an asthma inhaler for what I thought was allergy related. I'd been having serious issues with exercise to the point I had fallen to the floor gasping for air after a very easy bike ride. While I saw improvement with the inhaler, it didn't improve like I had hoped. During our session, Dr. Proiette asked if I had lung issues. I hadn't said a word to her prior to her asking the question. After I confirmed that I did, she said, "After this, I believe you will see a big difference in your lung capacity." I was hopeful but still doubtful. How could that be?
While in a very meditative, relaxed state (hypnotherapy) where my subconscious could be accessed, I brought forward more detail about memories I was already having on a conscious level. This allowed me to bring them into the conscious mind as I was fully awake during the session. After facing the memories, Dr. Proiette led me through an exercise to help release the energy of what happened to me by envisioning myself as small growing taller and my abuser as tall growing smaller until he was so tiny I could throw him or step on him. At one point, I literally felt myself getting lighter as energy released and I fully embraced that none of what I endured was my fault.
Almost immediately after, my breathing felt easier. Skeptical Kiersten thought...but would it last? And would I find massive issues again while exercising?
I am so excited to share I have not used my inhaler at all since undergoing hypnotherapy months ago to release the energy of my abuse. Even while walking briskly uphill at 7,000 feet elevation, I do not gasp for air anymore!! It worked! And continues to work.
As it turns out, sadness and grief are stored in your lungs. If you have lung issues or constant issues with bronchitis and pneumonia, dig deep to find out what emotions of sadness and grief you could be storing. There are many ways release energy, not just hypnotherapy. I'm including a link below for Self-Acupressure for Sadness and Grief as one way to release these stored emotions that may be causing illness in your body.
I hope so much it's helpful!! I truly can't believe how different I feel physically by finally addressing and releasing the emotions of the past.
-- Kiersten Hathcock, Founder of LLP
For more on my personal story and why I founded LLP, go here: http://www.littlelightproject.org/founders-message.html