This Saturday morning I’ll be meeting up with some lovely women and we will be discussing the theme around sensitivity. I often like to look up words in the dictionary (ummm, I mean “google” them) that mean something to me so I can understand the word on a deeper level and maybe even gain more clarity of what the word means to me. So I did that with the word “sensitive”. A few definitions popped up but the one that really stood out to me was the first one “quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences.”

This resonated with me the most as I like to refer to my sensitivity as something I use to guide me. I am really quick at detecting slight changes in people’s moods or behaviors. Or if someone is being dishonest or disingenuous. I can feel when something is “off” or when a change needs to happen in my life. I am sensitive to the harshness in the world and sometimes feel overwhelmed with what to do about it all, but also care enough to improve the small corner of the earth I live in.

As you can see, we can use our sensitivity as a gift. It doesn’t need to be a hindrance of any sort. I use my sensitivity in guiding me in making decisions. I allow it to guide me to people, situations, activities, events, places, and even food that are life-giving and are good for my mind, body and spirit. And just as I use it to know what to move toward, I also use it to know when to walk away, to let go, to create boundaries, to say no, and to remove myself from situations that are harming me in one way or another.

Without tapping into my sensitivity, it would be impossible to live intentionally and carve out a life I love off the beaten path. Yes, I’ve always been sensitive and it’s part of my wiring, but I do believe that everyone can learn how to connect to this part of them and learn how to quiet, surrender, trust, and allow your sensitivity to lead the way.

Here are some ways I’ve learned how to use my sensitivity as a guide:

1. Get really quiet. We must be still and remove ourselves from all distractions. Whether that looks like 5 minutes a day or 2 hours, whatever you can gift yourself in your current season of life that’s okay. I don’t meditate or try to do anything with my mind. I just sit with what is present that day and feel whatever is ready to come up. I often ask myself “How am I feeling? Where is that feeling in my body? What do I need today?”

Another way to get quiet is taking a break or setting boundaries with the news, social media, magazines, any sort of media, and other noisy input you may have in your life. When the loud voices are gone pulling and yanking you from one direction to another, you can finally hear what’s most important and what truly matters to you. Oh, and spend as much time in nature as you can. Even 10 minutes a day does wonders! This is the quickest way I connect to myself and feel grounded.

2. Feel and heal. A lot of the time we make decisions based on our wounding, and mostly we don’t have a clue this is happening since we aren’t aware of it. This is why it’s important to become aware of those wounds. I don’t necessarily believe all wounds will heal nor do they need to. Some are just too deep for that to happen in our short lives. But we can become aware of these past pains and wounds by getting quiet, feeling our feelings, doing the deep and courageous work, and even by journaling.

Often when I’m journaling that’s when I see those sneaky patterns or behaviors popping up or I discover the wounded part of me is leading the way and making decisions in my life. We don’t need to focus on healing completely, but we can take the brave step by healing just one layer. That’s it. Just as a wound will heal on our body with some TLC and time, so can our hearts.

3. Trust yourself and take action. Once you start carving out more space and solitude in your life, it’s easier to connect to your sensitivity and to notice the nudges and feelings that arise. Pay attention to those, and most importantly, trust what comes up. I have found the more I act on those gentle knowings and pushes and pulls, the more I gain trust within myself. And then the more I trust myself, the quicker I act on those whisperings (it’s super quiet compared to the rest of the noisy world we live in). It’s like any new habit or practice we are incorporating. It does take time, but just like any muscle, it will strengthen.

When I learn how to go off the beaten track, slow down, feel, and listen within then I can start to notice what my needs and desires are. I can start to make intentional choices that are giving me life mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But we need to get quiet and pay attention first by removing ourselves from the distractions and noise.

Your sensitivity isn’t a hindrance. It is a gift…a blessing. So let’s build a relationship with it! Let me know if you try any of these tips out or tell me how your sensitivity plays a role in your life. I’d love to hear from you! Kelly Xo