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My two favorite ways to manage my highly sensitive nature

My Two Favorite Ways to Manage My Highly Sensitive Nature

Does your highly sensitive nature stop you from expressing your soul’s desire to create or serve?

Many highly sensitive people, as well as those who’ve weathered the storms of difficult childhoods or past traumas, possess an extraordinary capacity for empathy and acceptance. This profound connection to the world around them alongside a deep understanding of the pain and suffering that can happen here often sparks a soulful yearning to serve, to heal, and to create spaces of refuge and understanding for others. It’s not just a fleeting wish; it’s a foundational part of who they are. They come out of their experiences, both beautiful and challenging, wanting to light the way for others.

Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Big Hearts in Sensitive Bodies

I’m no exception. My soul longs to create and serve but my highly sensitive nature makes it challenging to do just that.

I don’t navigate the world like most people do and I suspect if you’re reading this, neither do you.

It’s not just because I’m a witch and an artist and I talk to my guardian angel Cassandra like she’s my best friend. It’s also because I’m a highly sensitive person with a history of trauma and a health condition that causes unpredictable and sometimes life-threatening flare ups.

I used to get so frustrated with my sensitivities. I still do sometimes. I hate not being able to eat and drink what everyone else is eating or drinking. It’s not fun leaving a summer campfire because the smoke causes a flare-up. It’s not simple having to plan days of recovery after a vacation because travel causes my body to overreact. It’s not light and easy entering a room and absorbing all the emotional information (people carry a lot of emotional baggage around with them and they’re usually not even aware of it but I am).

There are wonderful gifts that come along with my sensitivities.

I feel things deeply. I can savor moments with complexity and nuance. I can empathize and connect with others on a deep emotional level. I can tune into frequencies that other people aren’t aware of. I don’t need psychedelics to enter altered states of mind quickly and easily. My emotional capacity is vast and a constant source of inspiration. My emotions give me a rich understanding of life. I talk to my angels and ancestors and I can sense and feel how real their presence is. The spirit world is close and tangible. And my intuition is like a guiding compass, providing direction and insight in my life.

But there are also some frustrating challenges. I live with limitations that other people don’t have to worry about. I get overwhelmed easily. I have to constantly be mindful about stress and anxiety. I can’t bypass emotional blockages. If I have an emotional block, it will prevent me from moving forward. Guaranteed. Every single time! I can’t just get over it. My system doesn’t work like that. I have to process and deal with my emotions in order to move forward. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring or dismissing them. I have a higher risk of burnout and compassion fatigue. I’m more deeply affected by criticism or conflict. It takes me longer to develop and maintain emotional resilience.

Just like the Moon

As you can see my highly sensitive nature is just like the moon – brilliant and bright and full of shadows and darkness at the same time.

I think we all have our unique way of moving through life but when you’re highly sensitive, I’ve learned it’s important to acknowledge the gifts and the burdens that come with your sensitive nature.

One of the reasons it’s difficult for highly sensitive people to validate their own emotional experience and their own highly sensitive nature is because the people around them who are not as sensitive just don’t get it. In subtle, and sometimes not so subtle ways, we’re told, “You’re too much.” or “You’re too intense.” People think we’re overreacting, and they just want you to get over it. The world doesn’t like to stop and tend to emotional needs and over time we learn to ignore and dismiss our emotional needs as well.

But like it or not, I have a lot of emotional and physical needs and ignoring or dismissing them is not an option. My world has to stop more often than I want it to so I can tend to my needs – emotional or otherwise.

It’s worth it though. Living in a way that honors and respects my sensitive nature seems at first like it forces me to move at a slower pace and deal with more obstacles but in the end, my body is happier and I’m able to create and serve like my soul longs to do.

Living Aligned with Lunar Cycles and Seasonal Rhythms

The two most significant changes I made in my life that enable me to manage my sensitivities are neutralizing memories with the MAP Method and living aligned with lunar cycles and seasonal rhythms. There are a lot of ways to tend to your highly sensitive needs but these are the ones that work best for me.

Living aligned with lunar cycles and seasonal rhythms allows me to co-regulate with nature and as someone who struggles to co-regulate with people, the moon and the seasons are far more accessible to me. Co-regulation, in the context of trauma-informed care, refers to the process wherein our nervous system aligns with another system to find balance. Typically, this is thought of in relation to another person. For instance, a parent’s emotional state can directly impact a child’s emotional state. When a baby is distressed, a calm parent can soothe the baby not only through their actions (like rocking) but also through their calm presence, voice, and facial expressions. The baby’s mirror neurons pick up on this calm demeanor and their nervous system responds by moving towards a state of calm as well. Over time, with consistent co-regulation experiences, the child will learn self-regulation skills, understanding and managing their emotions with greater autonomy. Because I had untended to trauma responses from such a young age and intense emotions were an everyday occurrence in my environments, I find it more enticing to co-regulate with nature than with people.

It’s entirely possible—and deeply healing—to co-regulate with elements of nature.

The consistent waxing and waning of the moon, the predictability of the tides, and the ebb and flow of seasons offer a gentle, rhythmic pattern that your nervous system can synchronize with. Just as a distressed child might find solace in the steady heartbeat of a parent, your own system can find peace and calm in the natural rhythms that surround you.

Aligning with lunar cycles or seasonal rhythms provides a reliable external pattern for your body to attune to. This external stability can be especially valuable for those who’ve experienced trauma, as our internal rhythms might feel chaotic or unpredictable. When you align with the steadiness found in nature, it offers a grounding anchor, a point of return, and a gentle reminder that there’s a broader, consistent, and nurturing system at play. By consciously engaging with these lunar and seasonal patterns—like setting intentions with the new moon or recognizing the need for rest in winter—you not only honor your intrinsic bond with nature but also foster a sense of stability, predictability, and safety within yourself. In this alignment, your nervous system finds its rhythm, and healing is fostered in the most organic and profound way.

When I art journal with the moon and time my deep inner work and spiritual growth with the seasons and lunar cycles, I don’t just tend to my soul, practice magic and process my emotions, I also help root a deep sense of safety and stability into my nervous system.

Neutralizing Memories with the MAP Method

The second most effective thing I’ve done to manage my sensitivities is learning to neutralize memories with the MAP Method.

Neutralizing memories refers to a transformative process wherein the emotional charge or impact of past events is reduced or completely removed. Neutralizing a memory means adjusting the emotional charge it carries so its impact on the present is diminished or rendered neutral.

The MAP (Make Anything Possible) Method is one of the techniques that make this neutralization possible. Using this method, you can access a particular memory and work with your subconscious mind to alter the emotional associations linked to it. Without delving too much into technicalities, the MAP Method essentially involves inviting higher intelligence or subconscious wisdom to help reconfigure these memories, removing the sting or intensity they might have. It doesn’t delete or alter the memory itself; instead, it changes how you feel and react to that memory.

Let me give you an example, let’s imagine you have a childhood memory from when you are about seven years old. You excitedly showed your drawing to your father, expecting praise. Instead, he dismissively commented on how the drawing wasn’t good and that you should focus on your studies rather than wasting time on art. The emotional trigger from this memory was far more intense than it would be now that you’re an adult but as a child his comments crushed you. Now imagine every time you thought about this moment or faced situations where you had to showcase your skills or achievements, you felt an overwhelming sense of inadequacy and fear of rejection. This led to you avoiding many opportunities in life, fearing criticism and belittlement.

Now imagine that with the MAP Method, you revisited this memory and neutralized its emotional charge. You didn’t have to talk about the memory, process the emotions around it or view it in a different way. All you had to do was listen to a command and your subconscious mind replaced the emotions you felt with more helpful, positive emotions and empowering beliefs.

Now, when you recall the memory, you no longer feel the intense sting of rejection and pain. You see a young child eager to showcase their art and a father who, maybe because of his own upbringing or stresses, couldn’t provide the support you needed at that moment. Instead of feeling hurt, you feel compassion for her younger self and maybe even for your father as well. The memory still exists, but its emotional charge — the pain, the rejection, the humiliation — has been neutralized. You now feel free to share your achievements and talents with the world with confidence, unburdened by that haunting feeling of inadequacy. You have reclaimed your narrative!

When you work with the MAP Method, you don’t even have to know which memory is causing the pain or emotional blockages in your life.

For example, I’ve been experiencing recurring pain and discomfort in my right hip for quite some time – like decades. Traditional explanations for this kind of pain have pointed to physical activities, poor posture, or even the aging process. But, like many, I believe that my body can sometimes store emotional memories, and these memories can manifest as physical discomfort or pain which I suspected was happening in my right hip.

I decided to explore this hypothesis further using the MAP Method. Unlike conventional therapeutic approaches, which might require diving deep into the root cause of such discomfort by discussing and processing painful memories, the MAP Method offers a unique perspective. I didn’t need to know or understand the exact memory causing the discomfort. Instead, I focused on my hip’s physical sensations – the tension, the discomfort, the strain.

I created then listened to the specially curated episode from the Moon Mapping Year focused on neutralizing memories stored in the hips. The commands in the episode, designed to communicate directly with the subconscious mind, got to work. As I listened to the recording, something profound happened. My subconscious started processing and neutralizing the emotional baggage tied to my hip pain. I didn’t need to actively engage with or even be aware of the specific memories or traumas my body might has been holding onto.

By the end of the 30-minute recording, I felt a noticeable difference. The discomfort and pain in my hip had diminished, almost as if my body had let go of the emotional weight it had been bearing. It was as if the MAP Method, through its commands, told my subconscious mind: “It’s okay to release this. You can let go.” And my body responded by easing the pain.

The beauty of this approach is its simplicity and non-invasiveness. There’s no dredging up of painful memories, no exhaustive emotional processing—just targeted commands allowing the subconscious to heal in the way it knows best.

This is especially beneficial for highly sensitive healers and creators because HSPs, by their very nature, experience emotions more intensely and deeply. Our heightened senses mean we don’t just remember an event; we re-experience the sounds, sights, and emotions associated with it. When these memories carry pain, trauma, or negative emotions, they can be particularly overwhelming for HSPs and our nervous systems, affecting our present moment, mood, or even physical well-being. By neutralizing these memories, we can liberate ourselves from the shackles of the past. We can find more peace in the present and approach life with a clarity unperturbed by the echoes of past pain and the truck loads of emotional and energetic baggage we absorb and pick up can finally be released.

As you can see, neutralizing memories and living aligned with the seasons and lunar cycles allows you to experience a life with less emotional ups and downs, less pain and less stress which gives you more motivation, confidence and energy to focus on serving and creating the way your soul longs to serve and create.

The world needs what your soul longs to give.

Finding Balance and Freedom

This is why I do the work I do. Because the world needs what your soul longs to give but I know, like me, you can’t give it when you’re bogged down by your sensitivities.

As we enjoy Virgo season, a time deeply connected to health and well-being, I’d like to share something I’ve crafted specifically for souls like ours: The Moon Mapping Virgo Collection.

Virgo season, with its intrinsic link to health, especially the stomach and digestive system, acts as a cosmic nudge. It beckons us to question: Am I truly nourishing myself? What emotional baggage am I carrying in my abdomen? This season, I invite you to journey with me. Let’s realign, release, and rejuvenate.

This special private podcast series is exclusively curated for highly sensitive healers and creators who want to lighten their emotional and energetic load – especially the memories that are intertwined with your relationship with food and eating and the memories you’ve stored in your digestive system. Within this collection lie eight audio journeys, each harnessing the power of the MAP Method to neutralize memories. Imagine releasing long-held emotional anchors, telling your body it’s safe and allowing it to function with newfound freedom and efficiency.

Like most highly sensitive people do, I put my heart and soul in the things I create. If you’re ready to sign up and receive access to the Moon Mapping Virgo Collection, do it now because for a limited time, until Friday, September 8, 2023, you receive $50 off the regular price. Learn more or sign up here.

with love,

Dana da Ponte

 

 

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This is a space where art and spirit come together. On the blog, I share art rituals for working with the magic of the moon. I also work with the subconscious mind to lighten your emotional load and follow your creative dreams.

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