When I was invited to lead workshops and perform at the HSP Gathering in Oulu, Finland last year my immediate reaction was, “Wow! Hell yes!”
In the months that followed the inner voice shifted somewhat. With growing frequency and hostility it began to say, “woah! What do you think you’re doing!?” But despite its best efforts, I managed to transcend those fears and doubts and go. And I’m so frigging glad I did!
It was an amazing experience. One I’ve spent the weeks since reflecting on and mining for lessons I want to use in my life. It was a first for me to be in the same space as so many highly sensitive people. And even when I couldn’t understand a word of what was happening, I felt at home!
In this episode of the podcast I share some lessons I’ve written to myself that I want to keep near. I hope that you find them applicable and helpful too.
1. Say Yes to Stuff That Gives You An Initial Buzz
Lean into your heart and soul reaction when you get an opportunity that makes you think “wow, hell yes!” And know that you will feel fear about it later. You may even curse your past self for saying yes. But dwell on that feeling you had, and know that you won’t regret it. Even if things turn out bad, you wont regret saying yes to trying something that excited you.
2. Treat Yourself Like a Guest
Understand the sources of your anxieties. What is preventing you from feeling grounded and relaxed in this present moment? Plan where you’ll meet your basic needs through the day, and communicate that with yourself so that you’re not in a state of worry about where and how you’ll eat, drink, and rest.
3. The Plane Will Wait
Don’t get swept up by the anxiety and obsessive rushing of fellow travellers. As long as you’re in the right place at the right time, the next thing will wait. Stop. Look around. Be present. The quicker you get on the plane, the longer you’ll have to wait. And when it comes to those busses…first on, last off.
4. Communicate Without Words
Experience life as the outsider from time to time. Get perspective on what you take for granted. It teaches you what truly matters when it comes to connecting with other people.
5. You Are Not Alone (even if you feel it)
Whatever you feel right now, in this moment, about whatever is going on in your life, you can rest assured that there is someone somewhere feeling similar. You see and interact with the world like many other people, regardless of how it may appear and feel to you. Your people are out there.
6. The Online World IS The Real World
Don’t think of some chasm between the online world of social media and the ‘real/physical world’. They are two parts of the same rich tapestry of human life, and can be brought together in beautiful ways. You get to choose how you interact with both, and you can use your life to make the world a little lighter or a little darker.
7. You Are a Role Model
You will never fully know the impact your choices and example have had on other people. The way you behave, the obstacles you overcome, and the manner of your responses to challenging things is a model that others are following. People notice what you do, and they may even look to you for guidance to help them know what they should do. But just as you’ve never told most of the people who have been role models to you, chances are those who have been influenced by your example will never tell you.
I left Finland feeling so built up and fuelled by creative energy and love. The people, the place, the experience. It was such a privilege to be invited, and an honour to take part in the happening. It’s a weekend I wont forget. I hope that you find my reflections helpful for your own life!