Honoring Our Sensitivity

sensitivity copyI shared something on Facebook yesterday that seems to be striking a chord with many.

It was a post that I was nervous to share – because even though I know that what I’m doing is right for me, I still have that piece that runs very deep within that feels that somehow I should feel bad or guilty for honoring my sensitivity and taking care of my own needs.

Here is the post that I wrote: 

Jodi Chapman

July 26, 2014

As an introvert, I need a lot of time to recharge after being “on” (around people). While I love connecting with others and it feeds my soul in many ways, I realized that it needed to be balanced with quiet, alone time. So a couple of years ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to talk to anyone (besides Dan) during the weekends to create a cocoon for myself. At first, it felt really decadent – like I was getting away with something. But I loved it so much – it felt so healing. A year ago I added on the first week of each month. And again, that felt amazingly decadent, and at first I wondered if it was too much. But it felt so nourishing that I couldn’t imagine not doing it. And now, I’m so happy that I’m continuing to honor my own needs by adding on another week. So I’ll have 2 weeks “on” each month and 2 weeks “off.” It’s such a beautiful balance that feels really good in my soul. I’m extremely sensitive to energy, and this is a way to honor my own needs while still be able to connect with others. I’m feeling so good about this change – it feels so loving and empowering. Our bodies are always talking to us, and listening to mine and doing what it asks without judgment has changed my life in such beautiful ways.

In writing this, I felt both exposed and free. I felt like I came closer to sharing my truest self – the self that I have shied away from sharing for most of my life for fear that I would be seen as antisocial or different or “bitchy” or uncaring or aloof.

I have always been a combination of introverted and sensitive, and I have always loved being alone and immersing myself in quiet and stillness. There is no better feeling for me than turning off the phone, pulling the shades, closing the door, and knowing that my time is my own. It’s in these moments that I feel like I can exhale – like I am home.

As a child, I spent hours and hours alone in my bedroom. I was so sensitive to energy and wanted so much to be alone that closing my bedroom door wasn’t always enough. I loved going into the closet and closing that door as well. I would bring in a blanket, some candy, a book, and my journal and spend hours at a time in my cocoon. It was pure heaven.

As I got older though, I started to feel that this need for solitude wasn’t normal. I started to sense that this wasn’t something that I should share with others if I wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to appear to be antisocial. So I kept this secret of needing to recharge to myself, and I subconsciously came up with “appropriate” ways to find time to be alone – by getting sick. No one questions that. When you’re sick, you get plenty of time to rest and recharge. So that’s pretty much how I spent my 20s. When I got to my 30s, however, I no longer wanted to use this excuse. I wanted to honor my introversion and my sensitivity. I wanted to claim them as the gifts that they are.

So I began to take steps to consciously and unapologetically share my true self with others. I made a decision that I would no longer hide who I was from the world. I knew that this need to be alone wasn’t something to feel ashamed of. It didn’t mean that anything was wrong with me. It just meant that I needed extra time to connect with my soul in order to recharge. That’s all.

Not everyone has understood this need for quiet – especially as the amount of time that I need grows. But my true friends have learned that it’s who I am –  they honor this part of me and want me to be happy. They know that if they want to have a relationship with me, this is part of the deal.

For so long, I carried so much guilt for moving away from others in order to honor this need for silence and stillness. I now see that it’s not so much that I’m moving away from them – it’s more than I’m moving toward myself. I’m moving toward my connection with my soul, with the divine, and with all that is.

I’m realizing that the more I support others and give to others and offer love to others, the more I need to support myself and give to myself and love myself. I spend so much of my time connecting on a deep level with beautiful souls, and I’m much better able to support them if I’m all recharged and ready to go! And while I’m setting these boundaries for myself, it does help to know that others will benefit as well. It somehow makes it easier to do and to stick with.

I’ve also found that as I raise my vibration, my sensitivity heightens. As I move into the world of the soul, my awareness increases and my spirit vibrates on a higher frequency. It’s amazing and magical to experience, but I also am learning that in order to ground myself in my human body, I need to make space for much more alone time than I previously may have needed.

It’s all part of the journey. And, based on the feedback that I’ve already received to my Facebook post, I see that I’m not alone in this. So many of us are sensitive and introverted and are consciously raising our vibration. I love knowing that we can relate to each other and can support each other as we honor our bodies and our souls and give ourselves what we need in order to function at our highest, most loving level.

Our sensitivity is a gift that is meant to be nurtured and cherished. And giving ourselves time alone to honor our needs is such a beautiful way to walk through life.  

If you aren’t already giving yourself this gift, please do. Your body and soul will thank you in such loving ways. We’re all so deserving and so worthy of this conscious kind of self love and self acceptance.

Hugs,
jodi
250 membership includes earlybird copyP.S. - Just a few days left to join the Soulful Life Sanctuary and receive the discount and bonus gifts! These specials go away at the end of the month!Many have asked about extended payment plans, which I’m definitely open to! I also have an Angel Fund that you can receive from. Please email me (support@soulfullifesanctuary.com) if you would like to chat about it.

This is such a loving community of over 100 beautiful souls so far, and I would love for you to be part of it, too!

Also, we’re starting the Coming Back to Life Ecourse group session together on August 1st! (The course is included in your sanctuary membership.)

Click here to learn more and join us: http://www.soulfullifesanctuary.com/ 

I Deserve To Be Happy (And So Do You)

download (1)Several years ago, I read a book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap. In it, I was introduced to what he called our “Upper Limit Problem.”

He explains how each of us has an inner thermostat that determines how much goodness we will allow ourselves (such as love, happiness, positive feelings, etc.).

So what happens is when we go over our limit, we subconsciously bring ourselves back down in order to get back to our comfort zone. He goes on to say how our upper limit is usually set in childhood – well before we are even aware that it is happening.

As a child, I learned that too much happiness was bad.

My mom was always tired and worried and stressed, and I was constantly yelled at by my step-dad for laughing and for having fun. I was allowed to be happy to a point, but beyond that I was chastised.

If I had friends over, we would normally talk in whispers so as not to upset him. Unless we forgot (because we were kids), in which case he would scream at us to be quiet. (I eventually learned to go to their houses instead.)

He even had a rule that there was to be no laughing at the dinner table. If my sister and I did laugh, we would be sent to the laundry room. (This is where the cats ate, and he said that if we were going to behave like animals, we would eat with the animals.)

So I learned at a very young age that feeling joy wasn’t something I should want to have in my life – it was what got you in trouble.

After reading Gay’s book, I began to go through my life and notice the patterns throughout when I exceeded my happiness upper limit and needed to somehow bring myself back down to the known.

For example, when I was in college, I received a scholarship to study in France. I was so excited about this and couldn’t wait to go. But the month before I was scheduled to leave, I got so sick that I needed to be hospitalized and didn’t end up going.

When I was 19, I moved to New Mexico to attend college. For the first time in my life, I was living alone in my own apartment. I was so happy and felt like an adult. Just three months into this round of happiness, I got really sick and ended up having to move in with my mom.

When Dan and I first started dating, I was happier than I had ever been. I was in the clouds and my heart was full for the first time in my life. And just a few months into our relationship, I was in a horrible car accident – the impact of which I still feel 13 years later.

Throughout my life, I have subconsciously used illness in one form or another to bring me down into the known when I have felt “too happy.” It’s a pattern that has been with me since I was a child, and I just realized that it is still continuing.

I have been so, so happy about the Soulful Life Sanctuary. It’s my home away from home. It’s my heart, my soul, my life. It’s a culmination of everything that I have wanted to share, and it’s such a beautifully loving space. I feel such a sense of inner contentment and joy and elation and groundedness each time I’m there (which is quite often).

I have been flying so far off the ground in a loving state of bliss for the last few weeks, which has been amazing. Yesterday, however, I received some medical news that brought me right back down to the ground – that completely took the wind out of my sails. I had some moles biopsied that came back as precancerous, which means I have to have them removed and go in every three months from now on. Upon first hearing this, I was shocked and scared and felt utterly defeated.

And then I remembered (with Dan’s help) this whole upper-limit concept, which made so much sense.

I saw that this was a pattern that I’ve repeated throughout my life. And I realized that I get to decide when it stops. I get to decide if I’m going to raise my upper limit and allow myself to feel happiness. I get to decide if I’m ready to release this conditioning that I learned as a child and take back my life as an adult.

And I’m ready, so ready, to do that right now.

Because I am no longer okay with allowing someone else’s beliefs to have any bearing on how I live my life. I am no longer okay with giving away my power to someone else. And I am no longer okay with bringing myself back to the floor anytime I feel happy and full of joy.

I want my upper limit to have no upper limit. I want it to reach higher than the sky – to be completely limitless. 

Because I know how powerful our thoughts and beliefs are, I know that this is something that I can change. I know it.

And I’m so grateful for this wake-up call. It has helped me see that my upper limit was much, much lower than I realized or than I want. And now that I am aware, I can do something about it – I can raise it.

And that feels pretty great.

If you haven’t read Gay’s book, I highly recommend that you do. Whether you have read it or not though, I would love to hear how you’re planning on raising your own upper limits in the comments below.

We are all so powerful. The first step for changing any part of our lives is being aware. And recognizing where our upper limits are is a great way to break through them.

We all deserve to be happy. Really. And I’m definitely ready to claim this birthright. I hope you are, too. 

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – Less than 2 weeks left to receive the $50 discount + over $800 in bonus gifts when you join the Soulful Life Sanctuary! You can read all about it here (including some loving testimonials that brought tears to my eyes): http://www.soulfullifesanctuary.com (Remember the Angel Fund is here if you would like to receive from it in order to join.)

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Taking My Own Medicine

body-and-soulOh, this soul of mine is something else. It just doesn’t give up. No matter how much I ignore it or try to silence it or stuff its voice deep down, it always comes back – always with loving persistence.

Several years ago, I started down this path of listening to my soul and helping others do the same. I had many conversations with someone on the other side who said this was my life’s calling. Those conversations were followed by a dream where I saw myself being filled with love so that I could be a conduit for others – where I knew that it was my calling to share this loving energy with others.

And after a year or so of fighting this calling (“It’s too big, too much responsibility. I’m too afraid, too private, too sensitive, too _______ to do this. Choose someone else, please.”), I took a leap and decided to embrace it wholeheartedly. I decided to give absolutely everything, everything, everything I had to it. I was impassioned by it, engrossed by it, and completely immersed in it. I took it very, very seriously.

So seriously that I didn’t have time to sleep – there were too many who needed to receive this love. Too many who needed to know that they weren’t alone. Too many who were ready to see the light and just needed a loving nudge saying that it was okay to look for it.

So seriously that I didn’t have time to listen to my body – it just needed to cooperate and hang in there and give me what I needed because I was doing soul work and this was important and it was just going to have to deal with it.

So seriously that I didn’t have time to realize that my own needs mattered – that being of service to others wouldn’t work if I wasn’t first being of service to myself.

I just knew that I needed to take this message and RUN – fast and far.

I thought that this whole life thing/sharing-our-message thing/living-our-calling thing was a sprint – quicker, quicker, faster, faster, go, go, more, more!!!

And what I now am feeling at such a deep level is that it’s actually a marathon. It’s about pacing ourselves so that we’re here for the long haul – so we don’t tire out too quickly and lose steam and putter out and collapse before we reach the finish line.

Oh yeah.

This makes perfect sense, but I was too busy running and wanting to be the best messenger ever that I completely forgot about this.

Until yesterday.

I was planning on spending the day working (spreading love, hanging out in the sanctuary, inspiring, connecting, and seeing – really seeing – other beautiful souls). When I woke up, though, my soul and my body let me know that this wouldn’t be happening. I was so tired that all I could imagine doing was staying in bed. I was completely exhausted.

As much as I wanted to support others, I first needed to take some time to support myself. I had spent years being so consumed with sharing this message with others that I had forgotten to take my own medicine: 

Slow down. Connect with your soul. Honor your own needs. Show up authentically in the world. Let love flow into you and out of you. Balance Heaven and Earth. Sleep when you’re tired. Have faith in yourself, in others, and in the universe. Embrace each moment. Focus on what is working rather than what isn’t. Give yourself permission to feel joy. Rest. Listen to your body. Love, love, and love some more (others and also yourself). 

So yesterday I did this. I turned off the computer, and I rested. I took two naps. I laid on the couch and watched two movies. I read two books. I spent hours talking with Dan – about how I was feeling and how I want my life to be moving forward and how I’m no longer okay with putting my own needs on hold in order to make sure everyone else’s are taken care of.

I realized that I had been trying to offer this message in the way that I thought it should be offered rather than trusting in myself enough to know that I’ll offer it perfectly just by being me: whole, loving, well-rested me. 

Oh yeah.

Such a great reminder, right?

And that goes for all of us. Because I believe that we each have a unique calling. I believe that we are each offering love in our own way.

We have to honor our uniqueness and our sensitivities and our bodies and our energy levels and our needs in the process.

And trust, trust, trust in ourselves and in the universe and in our angels to know that we wouldn’t have been given this message to share if we weren’t the absolute perfect ones to share it in our own perfect way. 

Oh yeah.

So refreshing to remember. I’m not meant to push so hard. None of us are. I’m meant to step back and have complete faith that it’s all happening exactly how it should. The love is flowing to those who are meant to receive it.

It’s like magic. And all we have to do is show up from a rested, whole, all-loved-up space in order for this to happen.

Oh yeah.

Thank you to my soul for helping me receive this message.

Thank you to me for listening to it and letting it seep into my entire being.

And thank you to you for hearing it and hopefully taking it into your own heart.

It’s time we take all of the love that we are offering to others and give some of it to ourselves. It’s time for us to take a dose of our own loving medicine.

Oh yeah. :)

We’re SO worth it!

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – Just 2 weeks left to receive the $50 discount + over $800 in bonus gifts when you join the Soulful Life Sanctuary! You can read all about it here (including some loving testimonials that brought tears to my eyes): http://www.soulfullifesanctuary.com

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Letting Go and Saying No

ep514-own-sss-john-mackey-1-949x534I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday a month or so ago, which is one of my favorite TV shows. In it, she was interviewing John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods. While I take away little nuggets of truth each time I watch an episode, I had no idea that this particular interview would profoundly change my life.

While the entire interview was wonderful, one particular part stuck with me. He shared that while he was in college, he was taking a class where one of the assignments was to read a very long, boring book. He decided that he didn’t want to read it, so he didn’t. He then decided that he didn’t want to take the class at all, so he dropped out. He then took this one step further and decided that he wasn’t going to do anything that he didn’t want to do. So he took classes that fed his soul, received hundreds of hours in credits, and left college without a degree (since he didn’t take the classes needed to receive one). He’s stayed aware of this life motto throughout his life and still embodies it today.

I walked away from the interview feeling inspired. I knew that while I was so grateful for many aspects of my life, there were still quite a few things I was doing that didn’t feed my soul. I was still (for one reason or another) doing things that I didn’t want to do. And I set out to see if there was anything that I could let go of and say no to.

I began to look at how I felt while going through my days – who I interacted with, how I spent my time, and what was coming up on the horizon. I started to notice how my gut felt when I participated in each activity or when I thought about doing a particular task. This awareness gave me a barometer – I could tell that when I was doing something simply because I thought I had to do it, I was tight and resentful and tired. And the contrast was that when I was doing something that I truly wanted to do, I felt open and energetic and excited.

I took a look at my calendar and my tasks and my day-to-day activities and began to go through them one by one with a discerning eye. I asked myself these questions:

“Why am I doing this? (Is it coming from my head – because I think I should or because I don’t want to upset or hurt someone or because I’m afraid to let it go? Or is it coming from my heart – because I truly want to do it – because it feeds my soul?”

“How would I feel if I were no longer doing it – if it were no longer a part of my life? Relieved? Sad? Happy?”

“What would I be able to bring into my life if I let go of this particular task/activity/person?”

One by one, I began to take a clear look at my life and put each task through this filter. And this practice has been so liberating and life changing! I started to find so many things that I could say no to and let go of – from doing radio interviews and telesummits that didn’t feel quite right (but I was considering saying yes to because I thought I should or because I didn’t want to hurt anyone) to promoting things for others that didn’t sit well in my soul (that I normally would have considered simply because I didn’t want to hurt anyone or have them mad at me) to not going on a trip where the timing would create extra stress (that I was going to go on because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone) to putting off having difficult conversations (that I didn’t want to have because I was afraid of what they might think of me) to letting go of anything work-wise that kept me from the Soulful Life Sanctuary and connecting with others (which is where I want to devote all of my attention).

The list went on and on.  So once I got clear about the things that I was doing that I didn’t want to do, I started to take action. I postponed the trip. I said no to the promotions and the interviews. I had the difficult conversations. I let go of extra work commitments.

And I started to notice something: an inner strength began to emerge. While my worry was that I was going to feel horrible for saying no and for letting go, the opposite happened. I felt empowered and liberated. I felt free.

I realized that all of the things that I had been saying yes to (but didn’t really want to say yes to) were draining my energy. They were taking quality time from my connection to my soul and my connection with others. And so giving myself permission to let them go freed up circuits for things that I could say yes to (that I wanted to say yes to).

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Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s been easy to let go and to say no. There have been times in doing it where I’ve questioned everything, to be honest. I never want to hurt anyone, and throughout my life I have gone out of my way to keep the peace. But, I realized that doing this has been hurting me, which is something I’m no longer okay with. I also found that when saying no is offered with love and honesty, it usually ends up being okay. There hasn’t been as much friction as I thought there would be. And in some cases, my saying no has brought me closer to the person I was saying no to because it gave us a chance to have a deep, meaningful conversation.

But even if this weren’t the case, I would still stay on this path of arranging my life so that I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do. And while this is still in process, it’s very freeing to be making steps towards a life where I get to spend all of my time doing exactly what I want.

I do believe that it’s possible. I really do.

And not just for me, but for all of us.

We are the conscious creators of our lives, and we are such powerful beings. If something isn’t working, we can change it. If we don’t like something, we can do something about it.

We really can. We’re that powerful.

I would love for all of us to remember this. And to follow in John Mackey’s lead by taking a good look at our lives and start to say no to anything that doesn’t feed our soul. 

It’s such an empowering exercise!

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – Just 3 weeks left to receive the $50 discount + over $800 in bonus gifts when you join the Soulful Life Sanctuary! You can read all about it here (including some loving testimonials): http://www.soulfullifesanctuary.com

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Love Will Conquer All

loveThe night before the Soulful Life Sanctuary opened, I was feeling extremely stressed. I was trying to make everything perfect – trying to get it all just right. I was worrying about not having enough time – wondering if I needed more time before it opened. I was afraid that it somehow wasn’t going to be enough – if only I could have a few more weeks to add even more and perfect it even more and make it that much better…

I was quickly spiraling downward to the point where my stomach was in complete knots and I couldn’t think straight.

Late that night, a song came into my head. The same lines kept repeating:

“Here we are – out here, me and you. Reaching out to each other is all that we can do.

Here we stand – trying not to fall. There’s no need to worry. Love will conquer all.”

I hadn’t heard or thought of this song in almost 30 years, but its lyrics were coming back to me loud and clear. I “heard”my spirit guides tell me to go listen to it right then.  (I put quotes there because I didn’t really hear it – more of a feeling/hearing/knowing sense.)

I’ve learned over the years to pay attention when my guides speak to me, so I opened up YouTube and watched the video. It’s a song from Lionel Richie called Love Will Conquer All.

The video is ridiculously awesome, and the plot didn’t have anything to do with what I was going through. But the energy behind it helped bring me back to why I was creating the sanctuary. It helped me remember that all of the details that I was worrying about weren’t important. What mattered was that we would all have a space to go to that focused on connection and love. That we would all be seen and heard. It wasn’t about the technical issues, and it certainly wasn’t about perfection. It was about love.

Just love.

Only love.

After listening to it, my stomachache went away, and I could breathe again.

And ever since, I have been walking around in a state of love – of awe – and of gratitude. Love truly does conquer all. Lionel and my spirit guides were right on.

Just before the doors to the sanctuary opened, I watched the video again and then said a prayer. I asked that each of the members be surrounded in loving white light. I asked that I remain grounded and remember why I was asked to create this. I asked that I remain open to guidance from my spirit guides, angels, God/the universe and continue to bring forward their messages. I asked that each and every member continues to show up from their most authentic self – to feel seen and loved and heard and cherished.

I have to say that in the 24 hours since it’s been open, I have been absolutely engulfed in a constant flow of love. I have received such beautiful feedback that others are also feeling that love and taking it into their hearts. The sanctuary was created with all of the love that I had to give it, and now that love is just multiplying with all of the beautiful souls continually adding to it.

Gone were my worries and my fears and my trepidation and my need to have it all perfect.

They were replaced by love. Only love.

I am in awe.

I am in love.

Love truly does conquer all.

And that’s something that we can all take into our hearts and hold onto.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you who is on this journey with me.

I’m forever grateful.

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – Here is the super cheesy video, if you would like to watch it. It makes me so happy to see it again and again! :)

(Here is the direct link: http://youtu.be/1i45qDsId1E)

P.P.S. – If you haven’t joined us yet, the Soulful Life Sanctuary is $50 off through the end of the month + you’ll receive over $800 in bonus gifts when you join! I would love for you to be enveloped by love, too! You can learn more here: http://www.soulfullifesanctuary.com

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