Sensory Processing Disorder – The Prayer of The Highly Sensitive Child

Dear Mr God:  About My Heart

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My heart feels a bit empty sometimes. I can feel disappointed with myself. Life feels difficult and I seem to make other people’s lives difficult too. I am worried sometimes that I am not good enough and although I try my best I am scared that what I do – things like writing and drawing – may not be okay. I compare myself to other people a lot and often think that they are better than me. Please help me realise that I am good enough. Help me to receive praise and to let it into my heart. I think  that love is enough and that you just love me for who I am. I really like to give too. Giving makes me feel really good in my heart. Please give me ideas about how I can open up my big heart and give the love that is inside of me to my family, community and the wider world. 

Dear Mr God: About My Arms and Hands 

armsSometimes when I don’t have enough cuddles or spend enough time with special people my arms feel empty. Please teach me about intimacy and how closeness is so important. As I get older  I may not want so many cuddles but I know I will still like touch. Please help my Mum/Dad to remember to play wrestling with me and give me high fives. Hold me when I am sad and I don’t have anyone else to cuddle me. I want to be able to sleep by myself but please help Mum/Dad to understand that sometimes I need to feel  close to them to be able to relax enough to sleep. Show them how much I need to feel my connection with them as I feel my connection with you. 

Please help me to be ‘hands on’ with things. I know I am a bit cautious and sometimes hold back from playing with sand or paint or water but really I know that I need it and that it is one important way that I connect with the world. I don’t like touching all things but some things feel so good to me – the smooth bark on a tree, Mum’s furry coat, making dough, laying down in a grassy field. Help me work out what I like and what I don’t like and then me and Mum/Dad can really enjoy the things I like together. 

Dear Mr God: About My Shoulders

upper backMy shoulders feel a bit tight sometimes especially when I have been told off. Please help Mum/Dad to be gentle with me even when I have done something to displease them. When I get upset I feel so bad in my body and don’t feel I can breathe properly. It would help if they could use a gentle voice and not look scary even when they are not pleased with something I have done. Please teach me that I need a lot of support and help and that this is okay. 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Throat

throatSometimes my voice feels blocked. I know I have a big voice but I can’t seem to find it. I don’t like listening to other people that much. It just feels too much and that I can’t hear myself think and I can’t hear my own voice. I like it when I am the teacher and when I am the leader. Then I suddenly feel better and my voice gets bigger and I feel happier. I know I am a child so I can’t always teach and lead but if I can do it sometimes it helps. Please help Mum/Dad to have ideas for how I can teach and lead sometimes.

Please help me see that it is okay to ask for what I need. When we are out please help my Mum/Dad to be my advocate and tell other people that I am sensitive and sometimes need special things or to be treated in a particular way. Please also teach me to speak up for myself so I can become an advocate for other highly sensitive people.

Dear Mr God: About My Head and Neck 

headI don’t know yet really who I am like other children don’t know but sometimes I think I see clues about who I am. Please help Mum/Dad to listen when I try to tell them who I think I am and please help me find who I am and then equip me to be fully myself. 

 

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Feet

feetMy feet feel stuck sometimes and like they don’t know what to do. They have no life in them. And then at other times I feel like I am not really on the ground – like my feet aren’t really contacting the ground at all. I want to feel like I am here on the earth and that I am safe. Please help Mum/Dad teach me about love because surely that is the biggest thing that we can experience. Help them teach me that my feet are rooted in love and about joy and peace too because these are my heart song. I live to feel love and joy and peace and so want other people to experience that too. I like mindfulness, and meditating is okay but really I want to know that I am always okay to be in the world. When I am meditating sometimes I feel I am in a blank space and I don’t like that. And then when I finish meditating I have to come back to the world which is funny as well – a shock somehow – like landing on earth with a bump. Really I would like to feel that I am okay all the time – safe all the time. Please help Mum/Dad show me that your love is enough to keep me safe. 

Dear Mr God: About my Upper Legs 

legsI sometimes don’t feel like I belong. I just feel too different. Please help me find my place. Show me that people are everywhere. They are in my family and then they come to the door with packages and we see them at the supermarket. There are people in the parks and in my group activities. Show me that people are all ages and all different and that it is good to just be part of the community. Help me find my confidence to talk to people, to say ‘Hi’ to the window cleaner or to ask the children at the park if I can play football with them. Please keep showing me that I will find my place if I just keep being part of community.

 

Dear Mr God: About My Lower Legs

legsI sometimes feel stuck in my life like other people are moving forward and I am not. Please help me see that moving forward isn’t about achievement and acquiring lots of things but that is about being open to the journey of my life. Help me see that we never really stand still and that just by getting up and getting involved in life I am moving forwards and growing up. 

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Lower Back 

lower-backI sometimes feel a bit weak in what I believe. I am not sure about saying what I think and having an opinion. Being highly sensitive, life feels difficult and I feel things differently to other people. This means I probably think differently and I am scared sometimes to say what I think I know. Please help me to be strong in myself. Teach me that we are all unique and it is okay to be my own person with my own thoughts, beliefs and opinions. 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Middle Back 

middle backI don’t feel as strong as some other children. I seem to be more easily upset, bothered and frightened of things. Please teach me about vulnerability. I think vulnerability can be my strength. Although other people look tough I think it can be a mask and that really everyone has needs and feels weak sometimes. Please tell me that I have a very special gift because I have the desire to be authentic and fully myself.

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Lower Abdomen  

lower-abdomenSometimes I just don’t know what to do to make myself feel okay. Please help me be creative. I don’t know how to do this because if I try to make something from a book or write someone else’s story or play someone else’s music I don’t feel too good. Please show my Mum/Dad that my creativity needs to come from deep within myself. Help them teach me how to look for inspiration in my life and the world around me on a daily basis. Help them show me the importance of my story.

Help me to try working with lots of different materials when I am being creative.  I really like the computer because it responds to me – a bit like another person really. Also the computer doesn’t mind me making mistakes. It just deletes them for me. I really need help to write my letters and draw something and use paint because I am frightened I don’t know the exact way to use these things and that I will make a mistake. Please show me that using my hands to make things and touching materials is a special experience that I need to feel good even though the materials may not be as responsive as a computer.

Dear Mr God: About My Upper Abdomen

upper-abdomenI sometimes don’t feel very powerful, when I feel unsure about myself and the situations I am in. Please help Mum/Dad show me that power isn’t about strength or control but it is really just about being myself. Please help me recognise the times when I am really being myself like when I am climbing trees with my friend or building a rocket on my special computer programme or helping Mum to make tea. 

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Stomach:  

stomachSometimes I feel a bit empty as if I am continuously hungry for something. Please teach be about being content with what I have but always leaving a little bit of room for more. Help Mum/Dad teach me that the most important things are relationship, love, being creative and being true to myself because that is what I think you are showing me.

 

 

 

Highly Sensitives, Are We Frightened of Our Own Intensity?

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I usually sleep with the curtains a little open and the glow of a pink night light in the corner of our room. Lately though, I have been feeling that this might not be right for me. The light feels too intense. I don’t like to be in total darkness so I have been hanging a sheet up at the window to cover the gap between the curtains. I have also turned off the night light. Then I lay there and think ‘Surely there is nothing to disturb me now! No-one is snoring, there is no buzz of a helicopter – nothing – just me in a pleasantly dark room.’ True – I have felt more calm but not completely calm because there is one intense thing I can’t turn off or block out and that is myself!

I am intense in my relationships

I am intense in the way I parent

I am intense about my work

I am intense in my blogging!

I AM INTENSE! Not everyone is going to like it but I don’t see why I should turn myself off – in fact I CAN’T. I can’t even turn myself down!

Creative Intuitives and The Energy of The Arts

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Creative intuitives  have a need to express themselves from their hearts. However it is not as easy as it might seem. We can’t just decide we would like to play some music today or paint or dance. Even if we are inspired, it might not work for us because it all depends on how our energy feels today, the energy of the space we are in, the dynamics of the people that we are with and the energy of the season. I know . . by the time you have felt into this lot you are too tired to be expressive anyway! 

I run sessions for children and adults who are creative and intuitive. As you might imagine, they are unpredictable! On one occasion I was working with my son and his friend.  I planned to do some movement with some techno music but when I started the activity I could see that the boys were finding something ‘too much’ about it – the movement, the music, each other’s energy . . . and I quickly realised it wasn’t working.  So I offered painting instead and after a little encouragement the boys accepted this as a good alternative. They decided they wanted to paint a peacock and after a little google research for images, they were away.  The energy in the room became calm and focused and we all felt we could breathe again! 

Now I am not saying that art is always the answer. It isn’t. Sometimes you can make the art fit your energy – you can paint big and wild or small and contained – but sometimes you can’t paint at all. 

 

 

 

Budding Visionaries and Music – They Don’t Need You to Be Musical

I come from a musical family and am musical myself. We have lots of instruments around in our home. However I go through long periods of times when I might not pick an instrument up. And when I do I don’t do anything by the book. I will likely fiddle around with my guitar and try to write a song or play my violin to a backing track that inspires me. So Luca grew up with music around him but not really immersed in it.  

When he was 4 we decided to buy Luca a violin as this is one of the instruments I play.  It is not an easy instrument to hold  let alone play! And if you don’t hold it reasonably correctly you find you can’t play it at all! This was a sticking point for Luca. He didn’t see why he should have to try so hard just to make a sound on a wooden box with some hair on a stick! So the violin went back into its box and stayed there!

All the other instruments that Luca plays on his videos (please see below,) he picks up himself with no prompting from us.  We had a ukelele on the wall, an old harmonica in a cupboard, a set of chime bars that we hardly ever played, and bought him a toy accordian one Christmas. He made his own drum set from a set of packaging boxes he found in our hall one day.  He also found his own backing tracks – music on his toy radio and on his toy laptop.  The words – well, they just come straight out of his heart – whatever he is feeling or thinking in the moment. 

You don’t need to be musical to inspire your child to play music. As long as they have a few instruments around them and listen to music they can find their way by themselves. In fact this is exactly what our sensitive intuitive children like doing. They like leading the way, finding their own inspiration and dancing to the beat of their own drum.

Below is a playlist including some of Luca’s creative musical antics. His first concert includes songs he knows but after that he lets loose.  On his journey we discover the magic and challenges of Luca’s extreme sound sensitivity.  His  journey also takes him through chronic fatigue and out the other side. I hope you find these videos inspiring. We look forward to your comments.

 

Creative Intuitive Children, Mules and Mountains!

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I sometimes feel like one of those Mums who thinks they know best for their child and pushes them into a particular direction.

Or . . .  do I know best for my child and just won’t give up working away in their best interests?

I think the latter. 

We have a 9 year old who is sensitive, empathic, intuitive and creative. 

When he was big enough to hold a pencil Luca started to draw.  He drew spirals round and round pushing hard into the paper. They had so much energy I could hardly look at them! I don’t think too much into these things – just that he had a lot of expressive energy.

When he could hold a paint brush Luca started to paint. His pictures evolved – first a snail, then a snake, then a train, then a washing machine – all in one picture with a running commentary! Everything was abstract – a friend was a vertical line of a particular colour and and an animal was a horizontal line. I thought this phase was amazing. Luca only painted what he felt – not what he saw.

When he was nearly 5, Luca started school. He was told to colour between the lines and that he shouldn’t have painted his man blue because men aren’t blue This was a sad time for my little expressive.

When he was 7, Luca couldn’t manage the restrictions of school any more so we bought him home. I gave him a paint brush but he didn’t want to paint. But he made little symbolic pictures to show how life had affected him in the last few years. These were his healing pictures.

When he was 8, Luca said it was babyish to paint and it was hard to encourage him to pick up a paint brush. When he did, though, he came alive and went back to his ‘feeling’ way of painting.

When he was 9, Luca decided it was really childish to paint from your feelings. He would only paint what he saw.  His last painting was a table with his first attempt at perspective. He got the idea watching ‘The Big Painting Challenge’ on TV.  On the table was an MP3 player. The background he left white.

When he was nearly 10, Luca refused to say or hear the words – Art, Music or Dance. I actually had to reverse the words and call them Tra, Cisum and Ecnad! He said these things were just not him and that he preferred animation and programming. I couldn’t encourage him to express his deeper self any more and so I stopped doing so.

Over the next months, Luca became fatigued and said he felt weak and ungrounded. I knew some of this was related to a visual processing condition called Irlens Syndrome but had a hunch that some of it could be that Luca was giving a lot to his projects but not really tanking himself up.

Then one day Luca asked me to do something we used to do together a lot – create a story to music with him. He said he wanted help with his energy and anxieties.  We created a story about his toy sheep Tres. She was a garden designer who ended up getting very tired because she gave all she had to design beautiful gardens for other people. It turned out she had never designed a beautiful garden for herself! Luca spoke, rapped and danced to some funky music and told the story. He had a big smile on his face and his heart just seemed to open.

When we had finished though, Luca said that he was never doing that again! When I said it was the way to tank him up and fill his heart, he said “I don’t deserve to be tanked up. I guess I will always be low hearted!” 

And so the journey with my mule up the mountain continues . . . !

Why have I told you this story?

It is so easy for children to start to feel that what comes from inside of them isn’t good enough. They think it isn’t as as good as what is already in the world.  It is our role as parents to keep helping them to go back to who they are – their personality, their passion, their heart, their voice.  

I know it is hard to keep encouraging children to paint and sing and speak and dance. You can feel like you’re trying to lead a mule up a mountain! But we do encourage our children to eat vegetables and get enough sleep and exercise.  If we don’t help our children to express themselves it prevents the flow of their life force. Yes, it is good to take in but also we need to pour out.

No matter the climate, the weather or the terrain, nothing is going to stop me leading my mule up the mountain! How about you?

 

What Type of Flower Are You?

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The Celandine

Ah, spring – just as all the leaves are about to burst forth – I always feel my energy is explosive at this time of year. But my energy is for something specific.  I can’t seem to cook or play board games or do anything where my energy is focused.  I just have to let go!

So today I painted big and painted expressive! I painted what I felt. I saw the flower – a small celandine – but I felt the flower – huge vibrant energy exploding in every direction and blending with all the energy around it.

How many of us feel like the small celandine?  It is what we see when we look in the mirror so we must be small. And yet within us all is this huge explosive energy. We know it. We feel it but can we tap into it? Can we release it?

In order to let go of our huge explosive energy we need to feed it. My celandine was growing in good, well watered soil and had been drenched in any sun that came its way.  This is why when the time came to open its petals it found it so easy and so natural to show its vibrant beauty. 

Our Body, Our Intention, Our Dance!

Today I tried to teach my son something about movement and energy. He seems to burn up a lot of energy making a whole lot of movements he doesn’t really do with control or intention. He does this all day long! This is quite normal child behaviour but when you are creative and intuitive you only thrive when you feel deep connection with yourself, others and your environment so self awareness is a must.  I taught my son that we may not be in control of our energy to the point that we can turn it down or off but we are in control or our intention to use our energy. When we line up our intention with our energy that is when we feel good!

Might your Sound Sensitive Child be Highly Musical?

This is what can happen when you give your sound sensitive child a keyboard, help them choose the sounds they like and teach them 3 chords. You don’t need to be musical yourself – just find a simple music theory book and teach yourself the basics about scales, chords and keys. Or even better  . . give the book to your child and let them teach you! 

Know Your Purpose For it Will Unlock Your Voice!

There is so much noise in today’s world that maybe children are not able to hear themselves any more – their own feelings, tastes, thoughts and opinions. Some are happy to  take on other’s thoughts and opinions and have become followers of other people – like celebrities. But others are rebelling and saying “Please be quiet. I want to hear what’s in my own head.”