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Chronically Ill and Highly Sensitive: Transforming Our Sensitivities into Gifts

I have found that it is often within our greatest struggles that we find seeds of priceless wisdom. The agony of my physical embodiment shaped me for a singular and special purpose.

My journey to Boulder, Colorado, and contemplative education served as a training ground for my own self-awareness and discovery. I attracted the specific experiences and individuals that would perfectly crack and mold me in all the right places, so that I could actualize the deepest expression of my soul’s purpose.

I learned to relinquish my mask and facade in favor of vulnerability and authenticity. I learned that my presence and embodiment were a gateway towards the confidence, pleasure and freedom that had long since eluded me in my younger years. I discovered that my pain was my body’s way of letting me know that something wasn’t in balance; and that my body had a wealth of inner wisdom that could clearly show me exactly how to care for it if I just created the time and space to listen. I began to recognize that I had made my body my most hated enemy. And, that the only way to heal was to begin to unconditionally love, nurture, and care for myself in the ways I never had before. I learned that pain wasn’t something that I could escape or evade, but that my freedom existed within my capacity to sit with my pain and discomfort.

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Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want you to think that this is some kind of enlightenment story. This is a story of warriorship and great resilience. This story weaves a tale of devastating pain, sorrow, and triumph in the face of undeniable grief. This is a story of finally coming home to one’s self after years of feeling lost and estranged.

Life’s journey is not for the faint of heart. There are still days that I wake up with a pounding headache and stomach distress from something I ate. Although, these occurrences are becoming fewer and fewer as my body moves towards it’s natural health and balance. There are moments where I feel the violent bite of my inner critic, and I become vulnerable to old stories of shame and unworthiness. At times, when I look in the mirror I find myself trying to wish away the swell of my belly and chin, and the scars and stretch marks decorating the planes of my skin. Before a big deadline, presentation, or career launch I have still seemed to retain the habit of focusing on everything else besides the task at hand.

Over time, I have learned to have great compassion for these parts who feel young, afraid, or just want protection. I have learned to listen with my heart and breath, and allow emotion and thought to flow like water, be fully experienced and released. I have learned to trust that in my most painful moments, I am growing beyond my comfort zone into a more honest version of myself.

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It is through deep commitment to my own healing journey, that I now know the true joy of helping others. I have discovered that the most powerful healing happens when we are most deeply connected to ourselves.

When we live our life as an act of devotion surrendering to all but our highest truth, the majesty of life unfolds before us. We may still find ourselves in the midst of incredible suffering and struggle, but our capacity to meet our experience with presence, compassion, and love, grows with electrifying precision and finesse.  As Rumi said, “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” 

Our human experience is not meant to be one of insignificance and mediocrity. We are meant to fill up the space when we enter a room. Our presence and words are meant to be drunk in and tasted by those who love us most dearly. We each have a unique story; a treasure trove of wisdom woven seamlessly within the depths of our personal history. It is our duty to share ourselves fully, to become perfectly cracked and honed as the living sculpture of our greatest suffering and most profound joy, and inspire the unfolding of every human’s unique masterpiece.

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