HSP: I no longer am scared of myself

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Coaching & rebirthing experience of one of my clients…

Through my sessions with Chungmei and the guidance she’s offered me, a lot of aspects of myself and my past unfolded, somethings I didn’t know that I was capable of and I was still holding on to. 

It’s hard to describe the feeling you go through when you undergo the ‘rebirthing’ sessions. My experience is that lots of tension surfaced in my body. Sometimes I found a release in letting my voice be heard and other times a tear rolled down my face.

What in my experience made Chungmei different from other therapists is that I felt like she is so comfortable with showing her emotions too, as she is a highly sensitive person as well. This made me feel more understood in an unspoken kind of way. The entire process felt more natural, instead of a ‘by the book’ type of approach. In my mind that is also the way to go about it. Since every person is different, every experience, every trauma, and coping mechanism. 

I used to think that something was wrong with me, my way of handeling life and feelings. Since other people didn’t think something was quite a problem or that I was way more easily emotionally triggered. I thought I just had to toughen up, but was scared that that would mean that I couldn’t stay true to myself. I was afraid I had to change my way of treat people. 

But I can now say that I am still true to what I used to aspire to be. But more living from my own energy and more in control of my emotions. In a way that I accept all I’m feeling and undergoing it. instead of over analysing it mentally with how I am supposed to feel or think. 

I was scared that for the rest of my life thinking of my mother and remembering her would be linked with the immense feeling of not being able to breathe and pain. Chungmei asked me ‘ what if you could remember her in only but pure love’. I didn’t think that was possible. But now from time to time I’m capable of doing so. Not all the time yet, since im not completely there yet, but now I have experienced what she meant by that. 

Chungmei has been such a great attribute to my healing process and self acceptance. Her guidance ignited my inner wisdom and unconditional love on how to balance my emotions. I no longer am scared of myself, nor do I believe I’m too weak because of being more sensitive to stimulus around me. I now see it as a great aspect of myself and can use it better to my own advantage. 

I would recommend this to everyone to at least try it once. Might be the kind of therapy you didn’t know you needed. I hope to continue on this path of self-discovery, with the occasional knock on your door, Chungmei. 😉

Thank you so much for all you have done for me so far.

You are most welcome!

Would you like to experience coaching & rebirthing in my practice in The Hague or via video calling? Visit my website: Orchid of Life HSP Coaching & Rebirthing 
Or book your introduction session, click here for more information.

HSC: unwinding highly sensitive children. 12 Tips!

In this blog I would like to share 12 tips to unwind your highly sensitive child (HSC) when he or she is overaroused.

Overarousal occurs when your HSC:

  • Has spent too much time in one space with many people
  • Was to be found in that space without parental guidance or someone who is familiar to the child
  • Has too much activities after one another
  • Has not eaten on time or enough
  • Has been exposed to new surroundings and/or activities
  • Has experienced or witnessed injustifiable behaviour

I have gathered the tips below based on my own experience raising two highly sensitive children. My daughter has turned zeven this summer and my son is nearly 21 months.

  1. Let them play outside

Playing outside frees the mind, body and soul. It relaxes. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like; feel the wind, the rain and the sunbeams on your skin. Children are still so close to nature. Let them experience nature whenever they need it. The moments they need it, is after school or another social activity. Especially schools where children need to sit tightly behind their desk to do their chores make a good reason to release your children in nature. I’ve seen to many parents taking their HSC directly from school to another activity. They need time to unwind before taking up another activity. Even running around at the school’s playground will suffice to release some of the school’s impulses they took in.

2. Have an after-school-routine

After having runned around with friends we go home and my daughter gets something to drink and a snack. Whenever I have the time and energy I prepare a homemade snack. She truly appreciates that kind of gesture. Especially the taste. Help them organize their school stuff and perhaps get them to dress differently in order to change the school-energy into being-home-energy.

3. Make them feel loved

When highly sensitive children are overaroused they can get really nasty. They don’t want to eat what you serve, they don’t want to listen, they are grumpy, silent or they only want to sit behind a screen to watch cartoons. They can get into each other’s hair. Make them feel loved. Put extra care in the food you offer. You could put different colourful and healthy snacks on one plate. Make it a feast. Hug them or keep your distance depending the childs wish, but stay close so they can come to you. In case of the one bothering the other: take them apart, but don’t scold them. They were only expressing their needs in a negative way. Instead give them what they need: drink, snack, hugs, reading to both of them, sing, dance.

4. Giving space to anger

When your highly sensitive child is angry; starts screaming or throwing things, the best thing to do is stay calm and have an open attitude. Acknowledge their anger. Make the anger feel welcome, but be clear about your physical and emotional bounderies. They are not allowed to throw things at you nor verbally hurt you. Tell them they are allowed to feel angry, but not to project the anger onto you. Bring it back to the core emotion instead of punishing them for having hurt you.

5. Accept their pace in sharing

Highly sensitive children need time to digest the experiences that have hurt them or made a huge impression. Many times my daughter told a full story on how she felt the same evening, the following day or even two days after. It was difficult for me to accept her pace. Especially when I noticed she felt really bad about something. But from experience I’ve learnt to not ask about it further when she doesn’t respond the first few times.

6. Shower or bathe

This is a very important tool to unwind overaroused highly sensitive children. Most children have a positive reaction towards water. My children drop everything they are doing when I mention the word “bath”. For a while, when my daughter came home exhausted from school we explained to her that showering and bathing would be part of the after-school-routine. It helped her to wash away negative energy of children teasing other children, when injustice happened in her point-of-view, when friends didn’t listen to her or get rid of the warmth she had experienced in classrooms.

7. Do something creative

We, parents, are always busy and we want the best for our children. I believe we could definitely opt more and plan quality time with our children. Perhaps you could have your dinner already prepared so you can spend half an our colouring and crafting. Children thrive when they feel you are fully present.

8. Prepare dinner together

Get your highly sensitive child participate in preparing dinner. It’s a healthy way to disconnect from digital life and get your body and senses moving. Reconnecting in this way also boosts your HSC’s selfesteem. Be sure to give your HSC physically and verbally space and room to express her/his creative cooking eye. On the verbal aspect; stimulate their initiatives and avoid critisizing their actions. Make it a time to remember. Put your HSC’s favourite music on. Dress up: cooking hats and skirts.

9. Give a massage

Giving massages is next to showering and bathing a relaxing way to get back into your skin. Our children imitate everything we do. My daughter also likes to give massages so one of us (parents) is the lucky one to receive or her little brother. Our son has picked up this practice too. Another great way to get your HSC connecting to their body is holding their feet, hands or cover their ears with the palms of your hands. When I hold my daughter’s feet she instantly starts to yawn.

10. Alone-time

Actually we didn’t have to stimulate alone-time with our daughter because she initiated this for herself. She loves to read. Reading helps her to unwind. She also likes to dress up in her room and comes out to show her different outfits. But sometimes when she is whirled up too much we stimulate her to do something else. Something which helps her to release energy instead of taking in more information.

11. Balance social activities

Two birthday’s in a row is not done in our highly sensitive household. In addition, when we attend a birthday party we stay a maximum of an hour and a half. That’s quite enough celebratory impulses to unwind afterwards. One children’s birthday and an afternoon-family visit is too much. Receiving friends during the week around dinner time is also not done. Only if friend(s) and family blend in our household it’s doable. By that I mean that they take up a chore or give attention to one of the children.

Recently my daughter did a classical ballet try-out and after class she was fuelled up with adrenaline, grumpy and she couldn’t come up with normal phrases to indicate what she wanted. Based on all these signs I had to give back to her that she wasn’t ready to take up an after-school activity. She agreed. To acknowledge her need to play we agreed that we would plan play-dates when she feels energetic enough to enjoy playtime with her friends.

12. Plan recharching time

Continuing on the previous tip: yes, we try to plan as much as one after-school social activity during the week for my daughter. This means at least four after-school days are spend recharging for the next school day. My son gets his daily social boost with his dad in libraries, supermarkets and wherever day go and play. During the weekend it also comes down to mostly one social activity (spending time with family and friends) for the kids so we have one day left to recharge and do what we feel like doing on the spot. Sometimes we (parents) have more than one social activity, but one of us stays with the children and spend time in a slow way.

Hopefully a couple of these tips will help you unwind your highly sensitive children. Now let’s hear it from you. Please leave a comment below to share what your HSC parenting challenges are and what works for you to unwind your HSC.

Let’s continue to cherish our sensitivity!

HSP Coaching and rebirthing via videoskype

It’s amazing to experience how my work as a life coach for highly sensitive people develops. The past week I had more videoskype sessions than one-on-one sessions in my coaching practice in The Hague. You might think it would be with people living in another country than The Netherlands, but less is true.

These highly sensitive men and woman were living in The Netherlands, except they didn’t live in The Hague. What made these videoskype sessions extra special was the fact that I was guiding rebirthing sessions. After five till 10 minutes of speaking to each other we started the breath-therapy session. Because most of them were recovering from a burnout they’re were happy to be able to stay at home.

Before suggesting to do rebirthing via videoskype I had them over at my practice. With some I have been working for more than half a year and some I received only once or twice. This new form of guidance all started by guiding a lady from Belgium. She travelled to my coaching practice in The Hague and booked two rebirthing sessions spread over two days. She stayed overnight. From the moment we started she opened up emotionally. That’s exactly what I need people to do so I can help them process sadness, anger, fear, disappointment, guilt and many more heavy weighing emotions.

During these rebirthing sessions she released lots of negative energy. Because of the distance I suggested to proceed via videoskype. My gut-feeling told me it would work well guiding rebirthing sessions in this way with this particular lady. Our experience proved right. I am still working with her and on a bi-weekly basis she benefits from releasing lots of heavy weighing emotions, clearing the mind, body and soul.

Based on my positive experience with her I suggested this way of guiding rebirthing sessions to others I am currently working with. If we are able to do the breath work via videoskype depends on the following:

  • We both know that I am the one you should be seeing for your mental and physical pains,
  • We both know how you physically react to the conscious connected breathing,
  • We both know and have experienced that you are able to express emotions; translating physical pain into tears, screaming and so on.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to start working on your life goals through videoskype or FaceTime. Click here for more information on the introduction session of 1.5 hour. 

Please visit my website Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching to get to know my work as a Life Coach for Highly Sensitive People.

Life Coaching: looking back on 2015

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In this blog I will answer some questions to reflect on my work and development as a life coach in 2015.

How have you lived and worked in alignment with your values and vision?

Keyword I had chosen for 2015 was simply to “be”. It sounds simple, but I believe for many people it’s life biggest personal challenge to just be who you are, including for myself. As a life coach this year has been a year full of amazing emotional growth for myself, my partner and all the people I have coached. In alignment of my vision I have started giving lectures on high sensitivity. I kicked the first one of in May in The Hague and received 22 participants.

My vision is that the world will be a gentler, nicer and more fun place to live in when more and more people come to appreciate their sensitivity in stead of surpressing or neglecting it. High sensitive people have many talents, but feel quite overruled by a dominant society with high expectations. With these lectures I have shared the challenges highly sensitive people face on the workfloor and in personal relationships. Only by sharing stories of the highly sensitive people I have coached I got feedbacked that people feel supported and understood. They even experienced the lecture as uplifting, yes, of course there are ways to feel empowered to do just that what you most desire in life.

I have been working as a life coach for 12 years and I have always worked in alignment of my values. People hire me to guide them with their emotional development and in the Netherlands it’s quite unusual to invest in hiring a life coach. First option would be a psychologist. This has much to do with the costs and how my guidance isn’t covered by insurance. However I have seen my coachingpractice growing, especially people who have had sessions with a psychologist or psychotherapist found my practice and have undergone many positive changes.

One of my core values as a coach and human being is to give my best, every second that the people are in my coachingpractice. I coach with genuine interest and empathy putting their matters of the heart on the front line. My open and genuine attitide feeds the coaching relationship in which the coachee is able to blossom and let go of limiting thoughts and emotions. I have noticed that I attract more people who turn to my guidance even before turning to a psychologist. I find this positive in many ways. One of them is that people take the lead in health care; they choose their type of guidance in stead of being controlled by society and insurance policy.

What were your most valuable learnings or take-aways? My most valuable learnings were the following:

When you process anger and sadness one is able to feel loving and compassionate again by forgiving the person who angered you, but also to forgive yourself for being too hard on yourself or for not having done the right thing. This doesn’t mean the wrecked relationship will be renewded again; it means that you won’t have to go through life with resentment towards this relationship. But it is also possible to put loving energy in the relationship to see it change for the better. It all depends on how you feel.

I’ve started to use rebirthing in my coaching practice. Through this breathing technique I’ve learned a lot about how body, mind and energy works. It’s a simple technique which leads to magnificent results. People are able to free themselves from negative emotions and physical pains. People will start to feel clear-minded, strong and flexible in the body and emotional more stable.

Another valuable learning was the power of sharing my vision and mission. It empowered me to think about the high sensitivity knowledge I’ve gained throughout the years. Many people who follow my work feel supported and empowered to accept themselves fully as high sensitive people.

Where did you show self-compassion, courage, and commitment (especially in the face of challenge)?

The most challenging work I’ve done which showed self-compassion, courage and commitment was to let myself be healed by rebirthing and to be of support and guidance for my husband who has been suffering a headache for six years. It takes a lot of patience and resilience to keep out heads up. On the other hand we don’t have a choice; it’s either doing nothing which won’t change anything or putting all of our energy in getting healthy.

How did you surprise yourself?

While I was pregnant I’ve worked all the way. I had much more energy compared to my first pregnancy. I’ve only felt off-beat the first three months, afterwards hormones regulated and I could eat whatever I wanted and felt lots of energy and motivation to work.

What impact (big or small) have you made through your work?

I’ve made people express their anger, sadness, hatred, disappointment, powerlessness and helplessness to process their trauma’s such as sexual abuse, dominanting relationships with parents, divorce, being surpressed my negative emotions of family and break-ups of love relationships. After having expressed these emotions they felt empowered again, they felt empty at first, but slowly it gave them the energy to take better care for themselves, acknowledge their talents and live the life they want.

For more information on my work, I invite you to visit my website Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching. 

Rebirthing: break through limiting patterns by breathwork

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Nowadays I am a big fan of rebirthing. This doesn’t mean that I am not using the coaching techniques anymore which I have been practising for more than ten years. I am referring to counselling, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Social Panorama and provocative coaching. These coaching techniques come in handy in combination with rebirthing. These techniques are especially helpful in my experience, because I use them to create a bridge towards a mind and body open for everything which might surface while doing the conscious connected breathing.

This week a thirthy something woman came in for her second session and she was dead-scared to be laying down on a yoga mat to do rebirthing. I had a feeling she was coping with several emotions towards the guidance, because of her e-mail. In her e-mail she only shared that she was reluctant to come to the session. Nevertheless she would come, because she wanted to break through her limiting thinking and behavioral patterns. Even though her motivation to undergo the emotional process was intrinsic I needed her trust.

In order to gain her trust I let her speak about her fears. Because she experiences several physical pains in neck, shoulder and hip area, she was afraid to be feeling lots of commotion in those areas. Apart from being dead-scared to be facing other heavy emotions. I reassured her that her body and mind would only allow her to feel and think exactly what she would be able to handle in her state of condition. That’s a part of the magic of the conscious connected breathing. The body smarter than one would think it is.

I started out with the technique called Social Panorama. While undergoing this exercise she was able to feel a set of limiting emotions regarding a beloved one. Emotions such as sadness and fear. A fear which is quite common and lots of people suffer from is the fear of rejection. This fear of rejection once created in contact with a beloved one can be a real threat to one’s mental and physical health. This is because the fear will lead it’s own life if not tackled before by expressing the underlying sadness and pain. The life it will lead can be mirrored to the person suffering from it in professional and personal relationships such as relationships with colleagues, family, friends and partners.

From the moment you realize that you have fallen into a negative circle of life occurrences and that you don’t want a repeat of this, than you are ready for life coaching. I am not saying it’s easy, but it all starts with the decision that you want it different, better and positive. In the end that’s what you deserve, that’s what we all deserve; to lead a happy, joyful and creative life in which we are able to share our happiness and talents.

If you’re interested in a life coaching session, first option would be an introduction session in my coaching practice in The Hague. Here you can read more about the introduction session…

Letting go of tears and fears

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Let’s start of this blog with a deep sigh. I feel blessed to be able to bring light to people’s lives. That’s one thing for sure. And now it’s time to write about it. I haven’t done so for a long time, because I was pretty occupied with family life, main life events and work. As of this summer we live in a really nice neighborhood in The Hague.

We enjoy being surrounded by lots of green, all facilities and our daughter’s school close to our house. After almost elf years of working as a coach in living rooms (one-on-one coaching) and on locations in several cities in the Netherlands (workshops & training) I may proudly announce my first separate working and coaching space at home. Let me share with you some of the life stories that has come my way.

When a thirtysomething year old guy told me that he felt ashamed to share certain thoughts and feelings while he was seeing a psychologist I was struck. I exclaimed that it is necessary for his development to start sharing all of his thoughts and feelings. What one gets out of psychological guidance is the amount of ‘you’ one puts in. You need to be willing to work with what you have.

It’s not the psychologist, therapist or other type of mental guidance who will pull out all of your pain and fears. But on another note, it could be helpful to talk to someone who does get you talking about all the things that you are ashamed of. During this session I felt I needed to share some of my experiences guiding highly sensitive man. Sensitive man could go through a phase of doubting their sexuality. Bingo. He had struggled with this topic as well.

But what if you just don’t know what to tell me? Than I could put myself on a repeat spreading the message ‘You need to be willing to work with what you have’, but it won’t bring the client nor me any further during the session. This young lady was sitting on the couch and told me with a big smile that everything was going well. She started her studies, moved to a student apartment and works in catering to maintain herself.

Looking back on the previous session there could still be some emotions blocking her from living freely, but at this point she was smiling. After having asked a few questions about her life the pain came out: carrying a huge load of responsibility for her divorced parents and little sister. Because she cared for all emotions and thoughts of her loved ones she was left out in the whole process. She needed to give herself some loving attention and one way to do this was to start sharing more of her life with her loved ones.

Before people start life coaching with me they haven’t got a clue of how far they can come in terms of feeling secure, confident, happy and cheerful from within. Another life story which moved me deeply was the story of a woman in her late fifties who was still mourning her husband who passed away six yours ago. Up until this point of no return she had taken care of him for years and years after he had a severe accident.

For almost fifteen years she hadn’t felt those little butterflies starting of in the belly and flying up to the head bringing feelings of ‘being in love’. This confused her to the max and brought her to a devastating phase of mourning again, of finally and definitely starting to let go of the man who showed her to love.

More and more stories are coming my way and I embrace them. All these stories turn me into a channel from which I intuitively coach; reflect, react, summarize, feedback, intervene with coaching techniques and share life stories with the intention to reframe thoughts and feelings which are limiting the person to live fully. Again, I feel blessed to work as a life coach helping people to embrace life from their core strength and desire to live.

You cannot heal a lifetime of pain overnight, be patient with yourself, it takes as long as it takes to rebuild yourself.