All posts tagged: emotions

Distancing Myself from Empaths

Over 3 years ago I described my understanding of empaths and acknowledged that I fit the description. I reluctantly admitted that there was something more to the empath experience than just being a highly sensitive person (HSP). Today I revisit the Empath label, and explain why I can no longer identify with it. Firstly, in recent years Elaine Aaron has been very clear that HSP is a trait, not a disorder, disease, schema, error in thinking, acquired preference, or anything else obtained through conditioning or experience alone. Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is the more accurate academic description of the trait. There is new evidence to support it from brain studies and a growing mountain of qualitative evidence in the form of interviews, surveys, and clinical observation. See the Highly Sensitive Person Website and Esther Bergsma’s website for research details. Drs Begsma is a Dutch expert on high sensitivity, and while her website is in Dutch I find Goggle Translate does a good job converting it into English. Check out her blog on work stress here: …

Pros and Cons of Being Highly Sensitive

Defining Terms Sensory processing sensitivity, SPS, is the accurate academic term for the trait behind the more widely known and used HSP or highly sensitive person. SPS is my preference because it describes the trait, rather than making the trait the defining attribute of the person. Primary Characteristics of SPS/HPS are DOES: Depth of processing, overstimulation, emotional sensitivity and empathy, and sensing the subtle. Secondary Characteristics: DS Differential Susceptibility: SPS children who did not receive the engagement from adults that would cultivate a sense of safety, validation, and encouragement are more likely than others to be depressed, anxious, or shy, whereas those who received the necessary engagement as children do better in life than those who are not so sensitive. They are more confident and less likely to be depressed or highly anxious. Pronouns: I use the terms “our and “we” to refer to HSP/SPS as a way of personalizing or humanizing the trait. Pros Cons Depth of processing. Recent evidence [2], [5], [8] supports earlier surveys and interviews that suggest we have strong activation …

Coming Out as an Empath

The same sensitivity and awareness that causes increased pain, also empowers empaths to know deeper and richer levels of solitude, sabi, and mono no aware. They see all kinds of beauty and they tend to see it everywhere. They feel deep connections in nature, and with others. Their heart it touched every day.  I intuitively knew that if I numbed my pain, I would also numb my joy.

Meekness,Wu-wei, and De

Because powerful people lose empathy the longer they have power, some mechanism is needed to counteract this phenomenon if they are to remain responsive to those they lead, and a benefit to the community. Various traditions, including Christianity, Daoism, Zen, and Stoicism, have all discovered ways to foster meekness and related qualities.

Sabi is the Bedrock of Zen

John G. Rudy in his book, “Wordsworth and the Zen Mind” says sabi is the bedrock of Zen enlightenment. Here is the full quote: Chief among the moods of Zen – and the one that, for all practical purpose, forms the bedrock of Zen enlightenment – is sabi, the spirit of non-attachment or freedom. – John G. Rudy This matter-of-fact assertion by a scholar deeply immersed in the poetic work of the English Romantics seems at first to be slightly provocative. Provocative for me because I’m not sure if I would say that sabi is the spirit of non-attachment. Sabi is Paradoxical As I explored here, I see sabi as a paradoxical state or mood; a combination of loneliness and satisfaction, or perhaps even sadness and contentment. These elements are popularly considered both negative and positive respectively – thus the paradox. How is this possible to be contented and lonely at the same time? I think if we can answer that question we will glimpse the mechanism at the heart of sabi’s essential “spirit.” Sabi is Internal Before …

The Welcoming Prayer

Sadness, loneliness, depression — feelings most of us don’t welcome. Speakers like Tony Robbins and Sharon Pope as well as a growing number of Psychologists say that suppressing or avoiding feelings is not good for us. Experiments show that suppression of emotions leads to increased sympathetic activation of the cardiovascular system and worse memory for social information such as names or facts about individuals seen on slides 1. There are also authoritative references that link cancer to a “type C personality.” Type C personalities are known for their tendency to “suppress wants, needs and desires.” 2. The implication being that suppressing these things increases the risk of cancer. Dr. Gabor Mate explains that the type C personality does not predestine a person to get a disease. Instead the type C personality predisposes a person to certain ways of thinking that increase stress. It’s like a kind of internal stress magnifier. Since our ways of thinking can be changed, there are ways we can reduce our risk. The Welcoming Prayer is one of them. The Welcoming …