Rebirthing: I want to like myself

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It was during our second session. She said: ‘I have visualised this breathing session over and over again. The thoughts popped up were: I have to do my utmost best and I want to stop breathing. The second part was on repeat. It would be her first breathing session. She was afraid, dead scared. At the same time she was curious and looking forward to the experience.

I instructed her by telling she should share her fear based thoughts with me when these would pop up. Also I wanted to hear about the physical expressions inflicted by the conscious connected breathing.

She started breathing on an air mattress.

Inhaling, exhaling, inhaling and exhaling in circles. She continued and she was motivated. At first she felt a tingling sensation all over her body. Shortly after a headache came up at the left side of her head. She felt an ache on her back and a bump in her throat. She continued breathing and the headache got less while another physical expression appeared: there was a kind of a cramp in her face, she felt her mouth tightening.

A thought appeared as a reaction to her “small mouth”: she picked on it, she found it stupid that her mouth felt tiny. From here on I guided her towards releasing the emotions in relationship to the physical expressions and how she picked on her small mouth. I can’t remember the exact words, but they worked: tears rolled down her cheeks.

After the breathing session we spoke about what she felt. She was sad, but hugely relieved: now I know why I always feel I am not good enough. I don’t like myself.

I want to like myself.

Also read: Rebirthing: standing up for yourself 

When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

I love this phrase. This phrase contains sadness and happiness. It directs the reader to make something fun out of something sad. In some strange way this phrase led me to some of the rebirthing sessions I’ve guided this week via video skype.

While this lady over fifty was crying her heart out over not even feeling she has a choice in different situations, she suddenly burst into laughter. Laughter changed into crying again. I was looking at my screen, a bit in doubt, because I wondered if she was laughing or crying. She cleared my doubt by sharing she was laughing. I commented that laughter heals, she totally agreed. I forgot to ask why she started laughing in the first place.

Another lady in her thirties started and finished the session off with laughter. In between she cried her heart and eyes out. She was able to direct her anger towards her parents in stead of down talking herself over and over again. She let out this destructive energy by stamping her feet, throwing her arms around, screaming the hell out of her and jumping up and down.

And this mixture of laughing and crying showed me these ladies were making lemonade. It shows a huge strength when you’re able to laugh when you’re feeling completely miserable.

The lemons given to the highly sensitive people I guide are diverse:

  • Being brought up by parents who are not able to communicate about emotions,
  • Being fired away as a kid by an angry and dominant parent,
  • Too be sensitive is to be weird, dreamy, a crybaby, shy, fearful, anti-social in the eyes of others,
  • Because of childhood trauma’s still living out of fear, anger, sadness, shame and guilt as an adult,
  • Growing up in an environment in which natural born talents were not seen nor stimulated,
  • Living up to parent’s expectations in stead of discovering your own path in life.

It’s up to you to make lemonade out of these lemons. It’s not easy, but it is sure doable. And you will finally fully enjoy your home-made lemonade!

Choosing to emotionally develop takes you to different surprising tastes of lemonade:

  • Embracing your highly sensitive self; yes, you are spontaneous, yes you are quirky, yes you are dreamy, yes you are a “mind & heart”-reader, yes you are attentive to the needs of others, yes you are creative, yes you are … (fill in the blanks yourself),
  • Attracting jobs, relationship(s) and friends which and who resonate with your soul,
  • Feeling safe, loved and appreciated on a daily basis; from self-love comes greatness,
  • More physical and mental energy to do the things you like,
  • Able to choose easily for the situations in which you will thrive and easily turning down the proposals which will drain your energy level,
  • Living your own path and feeling natural self-confident about the steps you take.

If you’re interested in finding out what life coaching and rebirthing can bring you, I invite you to make an appointment for an introduction session, either in my coaching practice in The Hague or via video skype. Click here to read more about the introduction session. 

Rebirthing: breathing through despair

This quote summarises my work beautifully. This morning I witnessed a highly sensitive man in despair. Even though we have been working together intensively for two months, the last two weeks despair caught him. We started this session with Social Panorama, bringing into focus his current relationship with his father. This exercise brought up many emotions and from here we moved to the rebirthing session on a air mattress. He literally screamed the hell out of him. The hell encompassing anger, despair and sadness. Afterwards he felt relieved, the pressure on his chest and neck was gone, he was able to freely breath again. Tears of gratitude followed. And the belief that he is capable to achieve calmness and happiness in his heart and soul.

Let me fill you in a bit more about this highly sensitive man. He thinks a lot and he feels a lot. By thinking I am referring to his capability to process a lot of information in a short period of time. He is a hard worker, someone who has been working for the past eight years for the same company. He is paid to do one position, but instead he fills in three positions. He is a loving single dad of two kids. Along with the birth of his first child his emotional development got a boost. He was overwhelmed by the love he felt for his child. This is when he decided to talk to a psychologist. He is a man who grew up in a family without the loving attention and care a child deserves. His emotional journey brought him to a diverse range of psychologists, coaches, and professionals skilled in a physical aspect of health such as acupuncture.

All he had undertaken brought him finally to my work as a life coach and rebirther. What I remember from our first session was his question: “Am I right about you being able to handle my sadness, my pain?” Even though he felt he was right, he wanted my confirmation. He needed to check his doubt, because of his disappointment with previous psychological guidance. They weren’t capable of guiding him through the emotional turmoil which arose during sessions. What I noticed about him was that he was mentally and physically ready to undergo rebirthing sessions. From our first session onwards all we did was rebirthing. Today was the first day I decided to lead him through Social Panorama showing him the wrecker inside of him.

Leading up to this session he was conscious of the wrecker inside of him. That part of him who didn’t want to see the light of things, the beauty of things. The wrecker did his job well, he blocked him from moving forwards. The wrecker acted out of fear; fear of change of jobs, fear of feeling the pain. The wrecker also punished him by staying in that lonely spot, he didn’t feel like being social. In short, sitting in front me, was a wrecked intelligent, talented and loving man, in total despair. During these two hours I brought him to his pain. Of course he was willing to feel through the pain, the only thing was, he thought he couldn’t do it by himself. He was afraid of the pain and I fully understand his fear. The pain which left his system was enormous, was killing, was hell. He was furious, desperate and intensely sad.

After having guided him through his pain he mentioned several times “Now I feel calm, now I am able to breath again”. Tears of joy and gratitude flowed out of him. His belief in mental, physical and spiritual recovery had returned. He was relieved and I was super happy. One result was his answer to my question what he could change in the relationship with his father. While answering tears filled his eyes: “I am a giver, I give my attention to everyone except for my father. Soon I will ask him how is doing. I want to know.”

Would you be interested in a coaching session? Click here to read about the introduction session. 

HSP: my sense of taste

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Next to life coaching one of my great passions is food. I adore the colors, textures and flavors of food. I also love all kinds of combinations of flavors, varying from sweet and sour to sweet and savory, spicy and pickled. I have a tendency to strong flavors, but definitely appreciate natural flavors of the different carrots roasted in the oven just like in the photo above.

Being a highly sensitive person my sense of taste is the one of all senses which gives me lots of joy. My cultural background, coming from a Chinese family, had a great influence on my tasting buds. I grew up with natural sugars from sugar cane, dates, a wide range of fruits and dried fruits. My knowledge of candy was very poor! Furthermore I grew up in the restaurant of my grandparents in Amsterdam. The suppliers delivered the best meat, fish, chicken, vegetables and fruits. Every day our dinner consisted of at least six dishes. So I may conclude that I have a well-developed palate. I must say we were spoilt! After a schools day my grandfather always came downstairs to ask what we felt like eating. This was around 3.30pm. Dinner was at 8pm after most of the restaurant guest had gone.

I do believe my upbringing has a lot to do with how I experience food. Strolling around markets with family who exactly know the difference between good and bad food helped me develop my eye and taste for good food. There is another detail which could be described as a highly sensitive trait, but I would rather think it’s because of my cultural background. It’s when I eat I am with my food, it’s like I become one with the food I am eating. I don’t talk, but dive into the smells, flavors and textures of the food. If you would like to converse you need to catch my attention first. During dinner my family spoke only of the food we ate or we were silence. As kids we didn’t converse with the adults around the table. That’s why I naturally don’t speak much during dinner.

I must say I act this way around people I feel most comfortable with. When I am having a business lunch or dinner and the focus of the appointment is sharing information or getting to known each other I don’t take as much time for the food as I like too. Afterwards I regret the fact that I didn’t taste and enjoy my food fully, because I had to focus on the talking! Multi-tasking in relationship with my tasting buds is not one of my strongest skills.

By Chungmei Cheng of Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching

HSP: what are your plans for Christmas and New Year’s eve?

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As a coach for highly sensitive people lots of stories about Christmas and New Year’s eve come my way. Most of the highly sensitive people I speak rather spend their time quietly with a few friends or in some situations only with their spouse, love relationship and kids in stead of packing stuff, organizing big dinners and traveling from one family to another with two days. (Christmas) And as for New Year’s eve, in the Netherlands it is the tradition to set of fireworks up until late, go out until late and the next morning you possibly catch yourself with a hangover and a huge lack of energy. This feeling of being totally wasted could go on for days so the people I speak to ask themselves: 

‘What do I want to do, how shall I organize this and most importantly, how will I communicate this to my spouse or family?’ 

Yesterday I gave a lecture about high sensitivity with professional and personal relationships. This same topic arose and conclusion was that it is most important to listen and finally act upon your own needs. The difficulty lies in the fact that we are so accostumed to do what others want and expect from us. (or read: to do what the group/family wants) In many cultures it is a tradition to spend time with your loved ones during these festive days, but all I hear about is lots of family stress. I understand it is very hard to break with family and cultural traditions just for your own sake. 

How wonderful it would be if we could choose for what we most want to do during these days? Before having this as an option in mind, one needs to tackle lots of emotions. Emotions such as guilt, anger or even family member blaming you for not coming to the gathering. Year in, year out, you feel horrible, and perhaps this comment rings a bell ‘this year I will stay at home’, but to find yourself each year in homes of other family’s or family at your place, because the motivation to choose for what you want somehow disappears. Days after the social activities you feel exhausted of all the conversations, impulses and possibly excessive amounts of food. 

What if, after years of struggling, with the December month turning around the corner, you consider, just slightly consider to do what you want. What ideas would pop up? With whom would you spend these festive days? How will you go about communicating this to your family? Think about it, it could definitely free your mind and body and take you up to a higher level of excepting and acting up to your own needs. The positive effect about this is when you feel well and good about yourself you could mean much more to others. This doesn’t only go up for festive days, it’s a daily positive life attitude. Many highly sensitive people regard doing something for themselves as ‘egoistic’. No way, it is super healthy to put your own needs first and in my view of life this naturally goes with healthy relationships, either professionally or personally. 

As a Chinese born in the Netherlands I never had a relationship with Christmas. These days were focussed on work and serving others Chinese food from out of the restaurant of my parents. And as for New Year’s eve, this meant being with lots of Chinese family living in the Netherlands, most of them had restaurants so lots of good food was served. Whole evening went to spending time with cousins and grown-ups talking and playing games. Chinese tradition of setting of fireworks did go hand in hand with Dutch culture’s fireworks at 0.00am 1st of January with a huge difference, Chinese fireworks was all about banging our ears of whereas most Dutch fireworks were about beautiful colors and figures whirling up into the sky. 

Somehow I feel lucky to not have any traditions in relationship to Christmas, it seemingly makes it easier to choose for what we want to do. But even so there are some family expectations to tackle. Even without a religious link to it family wonders what we will be doing around that time of year. Or perhaps it’s even more so the case that it’s more about me, somehow I feel compelled to share what we will do, in other words, we would like to spend time here at home in stead of visiting you, you and you. And as for New Year’s eve, to be honest, I have never been into fireworks. This year we decided upon spending time somewhere where it is fireworks free. Hmmm..this is quite a challenge, but we will find a place. I am sure of that. Where there is a will, there is a way. 

HSP: learn to deal with negative energy

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Highly sensitive people are more prone to negative energy. Negative energy weakens us in many ways. All of a sudden we feel blurry in the head, weak in the knees or are struck by stomach cramps. In most of the situations we are also overwhelmed by an incapacity to speak up for ourselves. In my coaching practice I have seen men and woman passing by who were willing to work on this, they signaled their inability to handle negative energy and wanted to get to the core of this.

There was this guy in particular who suffered hyperventilation after an outburst of a client. He was sent of to a house to fix the things his colleague failed to do properly. The client showed his disappointment to him even though he knew he wasn’t the one who caused the problem. At the moment he handled it with care, but the energy filled with disappointment and anger fired up his way was whirling around in his system for days, especially in his head!

In his head he would fantasize about future scenarios about conflicts with his employer, colleagues and clients.

And what to do if you’re working with a boss who’s emotional state is unpredictable and confusing? Highly sensitive people feel every change in other people’s emotional state of being. They feel alerted when someone comes in at a meeting, a drink or at the grocery store with an emotional state which can be described as sad, frustrated or downright grumpy. Depending the situation they feel like running away or sit still and wait for the right moment to step in. In this case, when working with a boss who comes in one day super happy and the next day as if the company would collapse in front of his eyes, what would you do as a highly sensitive person?

The answer to this question can be find at the core of the “problem”. I have written problem in between brackets, because I’d rather perceive emotional/ psychological “problems” as chances to work on one’s emotional being. In all of the situations above the negative energy experienced can be traced back to the highly sensitive people’s childhood. When we don’t know how to deal with negative energy in daily adult situations this is a signal that we haven’t learnt to deal with different negative energy’s in the past.

Energy can be read as in “emotions”, basic emotions such as anger and sadness.

We could differentiate these emotions as disappointment, frustration, irritation, mourning, hatred, anguish and envy among many more. These emotions are seen as negative and therefore I will refer as them as such, but in my view of personal development these emotions are the gateway to emotional freedom and a strong belief of self.

In childhood our relationship with our caretakers influence the way we handle emotions of others and of ourselves. When we haven’t healed our emotional wounds we are consciously or unconsciously tortured by our reactions directed by our wounded inner child. The wounded inner child will attract the experiences in life in order to emotionally grow. A highly sensitive person raised by caretakers who were still walking around with their own pain; anger and sadness will automatically absorb these negative emotions. They are not able to experience these emotions separate from themselves. Depending on the character of the child and the relationship to their caretakers the child’s mental and emotional development will be influenced.

What happens in adult life is that people, when open for personal development, start to discover the root of their behavioral patterns. Aha, so the reason I can’t handle disappointment is because I have compensated my insecurities by doing the most sublime work I am able to do in order for my father to notice me. And walking around with an overall feel of insecurity about me taking upon so much responsibility is because my mom did everything possible for me. Whenever I needed help she was there. She wanted to be there, because her parents died on her when she was young. She didn’t even get to know them.

I have spoken many highly sensitive people who are living with the best intentions and doing the best they can for their families, but with one caretaker blowing them away with unexpected anger which had nothing to do with them, they walk around in life feeling afraid of opening their mouth. They are just paralyzed by misplaced anger. And there is this hunger, this innate need for acknowledgment of who they are and this desire to be valued for their actions. In the end, they are the ones who will give all of these positive emotions to themselves. They are worth to feel every single bit of emotion running through their veins.

Are you interested in an introduction session? Click here for more information…

Life Coaching: being honest with yourself

I’ve spoken to a few men who have the wish to have children, but their partners weren’t ready for this. It seems kind of rare, but it happens. These men exists. Men who are fond of children and would like to raise their own. The question in this is if their partners will be ready at some point. Their feeling is they won’t be ready, but meanwhile they stick with their partners. It takes a lot of strength to go one’s own way and leave a relationship in which years were invested. Yes, there are good times shared, but a long-lasting healthy love relationship is based on common family goals. What do you both need and desire in this relationship? Ask yourself and then ask your partner. Start the conversation and after having shared your thoughts, decide in which direction you want to go together or by yourself.