Coach, Author, Speaker, and Highly Sensitive Person
For 30 years I thoroughly enjoyed my career as an audiologist. I worked with adults with hearing loss, improving their quality of life through the use of hearing aids, and, even more rewarding was my work with children with diagnoses such as autism, dyslexia, speech and language delays, ADD, ADHD. and other various developmental and learning differences.
I learned so much from the children that I worked with, and their parents. My motivation was to support children like my brother who grew up with developmental and learning differences that were undiagnosed and misunderstood as behavior problems, as well as to support parents like my mother who was overwhelmed by her son’s challenges.
Today, I realize that my journey to help and support others, was actually a journey into self discovery and the path to discovering the Purpose and the Gifts that each of usare here to share with the world.
My journey from a shy overwhelmed highly sensitive child, to honoring and embracing the Beautiful Gift of Sensitivity.
For 30 years I thoroughly enjoyed my career as an audiologist. I worked with adults with hearing loss, improving their quality of life through the use of hearing aids, and, even more rewarding was my work with children with diagnoses such as autism, dyslexia, speech and language delays, ADD, ADHD. and other various developmental and learning differences. During my time working 1 on 1 with children and talking with their parents, I started to notice a trend.
I sarted to notice that more and more children were coming to me with diagnoses of stress, anxiety and depression. These were young children. I remember the first time I heard a mom tell me her first grade son was being treated for depression. I was shocked. When I first met heimat age 4 he was a happy sweet boy, full of laughter and joy.
I also started to notice and here from other professionals how more and more children were being diagnosed with different developmental delays and learning challenges. Schools were having difficulty keeping up with the on going increased need for special education services.
Then, parents were coming to me and describing how sweet and compassionate their children were. Some of them seeming to loose that sweetness and becoming more angry and less caring for the needs of others as they got older.
Then while I was writing my book “No Child Left Unwrapped”, I realized there was another piece to the puzzle, and that was the sensitivity piece.
You see, I focussed my entire career on helping children like my brother who grew up with an undiagnosed learning disabilty and suffered as an adult with depression and anxiety due to all of the challenges he faced growing up. I also wanted to help all the parents understand their children better so that they would not have to be overwhelmed as my mother was not understanding her son’s challenges, and even feeling guilty at times.
So you can imagin how I must of felt when I finally realized that I was also writing about children like me.
No, I never had a diagnosis, I did not have any difficulty learning, in fact I was a pretty good student. But what I learned about myself is that I am Highly Sensitive, a trait that Elaine Aron wrote about in her books “The Highly Sensitive Child” and “The Highly Sensitive Person”.
Wow! This was a real revelation for me. It helped explain all of my unusual behaviors growing up, how being a people pleaser, an over achiever, and a perfectionist were all part of my survival strategies. It brought light to all the bullying and teasing I recieved and how I was shamed for what seemed to be a total lack of control over my emotions.
This led me to the realization that their are different sensitivity types, and that sensitivity is actually a beautiful Gift that needs to be cultivated and developed, not managed or controlled. Learning to regulate our emotions while honoring and respecting them, is the key to living a peaceful life.
Out of this came the understanding that each of us has our own unique sensory code, unique to us. This isncludes our nervous system, and our aquired belief systems, that together help to explain our behaviors. Then it is our behaviors that often get labeled as a disorder.
Then, as life often does, my path took another turn. This time it was in a direction I never expected. I started working with people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. My dad was in recovery all of my adult life, so I was exposed to the 12 step program, and I also recognized that my dad had a sensitive side, that to most people, was hard to see, but it was there.
While researching information for my book, I found that people who are prone to addiction, are often highly sensitive, or extra sensitive in one way or another. And as I started to work with more and more indviduals struggling in their recovery, I noticed that this is very true. You see, when it comes to addiction, it is not the addiction that is the problem, it is the inability to regulate our emotions that is the underlying problem, and the addiction comes when a person attempts to numb their overwhelming pain.
Yes, our children today are suffering. More and more of our youth are growing up and struggling with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide.
It is my intention to share this information in order to shine a light on what is really happening today. You see, when it comes to addiction, we are talking about more than drugs and alcohol. Today we see that addiction can include work, relationships, sex, food, video games, television, books, gambling, and the list goes on.
I believe nearly everyone today is struggling with one addiction or another, because so many of us are struggling with regulating our emotions because we live in a society that values intellect over feelings, and therefore we are not taught to honor and respect our feelings. Instead, we are taught to hide them. We are taught that being sensitive is a weakness that we must overcome in order to be successful.
However, the truth is that we have had it all wrong. Sensitivity is a beautiful Gift. In fact, I believe more and more children today are being born extra sensitive as an evolutionary advancement. For who could argue that this world can certainly use more compassionate people in it.
This is What I Want for You
I am sharing my journey with you in hopes of inspiring a new understanding about the importance of emotions to our health and wellbeing. Ultimately, what I want for you, is a life connected with the Heart bringing you peace and calm in any moment.
As more and more people connect with the energy of Heart, the everyday stresses of life will begin to melt away. Then we will all experience a world with more compassion for one another and less judgment of others, more cooperation and less competition, and more Love and less hate.
True connection comes when we first connect with our Heart, then we can truly connect with others, bringing peace, joy, and love with us where ever we go.