L084050annwig016“…… giving a human being the most precious gift of time and space to think and reflect, select and reject, build confidence, courage.. and freedom to choose.”

As an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), time and space to think and reflect, to chill out and dream – to give your overstimulated brain a chance to recover –  are hugely important. This is what I stand for and is a core tenet of Permission to be You.

Some folks say “you think too much” like it’s some kind of accusation. A fault, a flaw.

I’d say that whilst over-thinking to the point of paralysis helps no-one, denying someone who is intellectually agile the pleasure of thinking is torture. It’s also a total waste of potential for creativity, insight and possible problem-solving.

I sometimes describe myself as  ‘butterfly-brain’ because my thinking darts around from flower to flower. Or perhaps I could better say ‘butter-bee brain’ because, like a bee, it picks up nectar from each place it lands that it can eventually turn into delicious honey.

This brain flutters and flits, buzzes and ….. sits … yes sometimes it withdraws into a protective cocoon and takes a break, has a rest. Sometimes seeks stimulation, sometimes needs relaxation.

I didn’t used to know why that is – why it is that I need all these breaks and contrasts and time to be stimulated and time to be quiet and alone.

Then I discovered the work of Dr Elaine Aron and her book The Highly Sensitive Person. And suddenly I could see a perfect reflection of me! She describes me down to a T … well no, not ME but my experience of life.

I am a lover of paradox and chocolate box. Variety and dependability. Mezze, tapas, sharing platters. Sunshine, seaside, outside, beautiful vistas. Sights and sounds and tastes and aromas and touch to excite the senses. And then different ones to calm and cool same senses down. Easily bored and yet able to do absolutely nothing. (Sometime needing to do absolutely nothing). Sociable yet sometimes needing to retreat, curl up and withdraw.

For a long time I was stuck. Never satisfied. Always wanting what was, what IS to be different. I wanted to be in the sunshine, living near to the sea. So I did it for a while – I moved to Tel Aviv. And loved the sea – still do. But found myself overwhelmed by the constant noise by the frantic busyness – by how exhausting it was to have  shop signs and web pages in Hebrew when I’m used to English as my default. So after all that move I transitioned back here to London – which whilst a much bigger city, offers more in the way of contrasts. Yes there is exciting noise and shops and bustle. And there are quiet corner and parks and serenity in the midst of all the chaos. And much more civilised supermarkets!

I do miss Tel Aviv, especially now in the springtime as spring is so glorious there. It’s a riot of joyful colour with the flowers in bloom and days of perfect warm/hot sunshine and bright blue skies – whilst not yet too hot and humid to venture more than a metre from the air-con. Come high summer it’s hot, sultry and humid; the bugs may love it but I am not so keen. Longer term, I hope to spend more time there but London will mostly remain my main base. (for now …)

It is so tempting – so easy to find reasons why we cannot do something, have something, be something. Sometimes there are genuine financial barriers and hardships to overcome.

And, at the same time, the longer we swoosh away our desires and what’s important to us – the longer we don’t honour what we need in order to thrive instead of simply survive, the more resentful, the more depressed, the more stuck we become.

Whilst it may not be possible to solve everything in an instant (oh for the love of a magic wand!), it is never too soon to start. From confusion and obfuscation to clarity and calm. Knowing what is important to us is a cornerstone of self-acceptance. And self-acceptance is a foundation of wise decisions and paths to action. Paths of action.

I love sunshine, I love the sea. I yearned, I pined. I thought I couldn’t have it. And then I did – I packed up and moved. But sadly realised I wasn’t really all that comfortable. And being in an environment that fits me is hugely important to me. It’s a part of how the HSP thing (or SPS – Sensory Processing Sensitivity as it’s also known) manifests itself in me. Whilst we all need to stretch and expand our comfort zones if we are to grow, I also need to be able to move quickly and easily between environments if where I am becomes uncomfortable for me because I am more sensitive to my environment and its stimuli than most.

So, there’s a snapshot of me and some of what’s important to me. Now over to you – I invite you to give yourself time and space to reflect on What’s Important to YOU? because I’m here to help you identify, clarify and build a life that sits comfortably with who you are and what’s important to you.

I care about what’s important to me and I care about what’s important to you. I offer you the time and space and permission to find out.

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