Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive


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Smart, Sensitive, Intense And In Love

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photo courtesy Wilson Sanchez, Unsplash

Do you occasionally overwhelm your partner with your intensity? Does the depth of emotion that comes so naturally to you, scare your sweetie? Is your enthusiasm over your fascinating study of ant behavior not matched by your spouse? Do you find that the love of your life just can’t keep up?

Or is it the reverse? You’re the one who is overwhelmed, can’t keep up, not enticed by the study of ant behavior and frightened by your darling’s emotional intensity?

Or is it this? You’re both super-smart, highly sensitive and terribly intense. It’s thrilling and exhausting to be living in your jungle. Together.

Here’s what not to do: Do not panic. Do not start binge-watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island.*

Instead, here are some things to think about:

~ What do you need from your relationship? Make a list. Verbal intimacy? Shared values? Humor? Love of Reality TV? How many of those needs are met by your partner? How many of them can be met in other ways? How do you take time to celebrate your connection?

~ Is there a balance in what you give and what you receive? How might you create a better balance? Look at careers, child raising, household chores, emotional support, financial support, friendships, extended family, holiday celebrations, spiritual well-being, and other elements of family life. If you have children, how do you make time to nourish your couple-ness?

~ How important is intellectual equality? Where might you and your partner get your intellectual needs met outside of your relationship? Can you feel nourished and supported by your partner without being intellectually similar? Or is intellectual compatibility necessary for you to feel fed by the relationship?

~ If you often communicate like a fire hose and your partner gets overwhelmed, set up a signal so that you can change to a garden-hose-communicator (GHC) when needed. Decide how often you’re being asked to be a GHC and if you’re OK with that.

~ Have your partner read some of my blog posts. Talk about them. What parts fit? What parts don’t fit? If you wrote your own post for this blog, what would it say?

~ Remember what first brought you together. Share those early stories with each other. If you’ve lost your sense of humor, go find it.

~ Share books on relationships by John Gottman, Sue Johnson and John Welwood. Learn more about what draws particular people to each other. Find strategies in the books that will improve your communication skills and deepen your intimacy.

~ If you or your partner have experienced trauma, your relationship will be that much more complicated. Working through past traumatic experiences with a professional will soothe your soul and allow you to open more deeply to love.

~ If you have some differences that are particularly challenging, look for a good couples counselor, preferably one who understands rainforest minds.

Note: Thanks to Anne Allanketner, poet and couples counselor in Portland, Oregon, USA, for her help with this post.

(*For those of you too young or from outside the USA, this was a really ridiculous North American TV show.)

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To my blogEEs: If you’re in a partnership, tell us how you navigate your differences and your similarities. How do you manage your intensities, sensitivities and intellectual curiosity? What are the benefits of rainforest-minded partners and what are the downsides? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They add so much to my blog!


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Loneliness — Guest Post — by Anne Allanketner

courtesy of Judith Manning, Eugene OR

courtesy of Judith Manning, Eugene OR

Because your rainforest mind is vast and deep and because it moves quickly through its awarenesses and insights, it can be hard to find humans who “get you.” My dear colleague, Anne Allanketner, describes that loneliness here, as only she can.

 

The Lost Circle

Loneliness, full of dry sticks and howling dogs
can be felt by anyone; the shrunken, the beautiful, the shamed.

Remember- our tribe is dispersed,
wandering, gathering pieces of faded silk
and unraveled thread and lost buttons
mending ourselves with music, with hidden pools of color
hoping, not yet believing, that the others
look for us, also, few as they are,
few as we are.

Each one full of cold lake water from the distant mountains
Each one distracted by the catcalls and accusations
of strangeness, each one alone, lost in the dry ache
of separation.

Only a wild trust can help us find ourselves now
from the burst star of our beginnings.
Make your odd sounds, your curative movements.
Call up the light into your eyes.

Sorting and sorting our bright collections and treasures will not help.
Go out into the foreign city, among the shuffling millions.

One precious stone awaits you, caught in the hands
of the Other who is brave enough to truly sing
her own name.

We are coming towards you
one by one, a tribe dispersed
like a seed pod, each of us carrying
a little flame, a little bell
and looking for the heart
of a shared music.

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To my bloggEEs: To read more poems by the wonderful Anne Allanketner,

Anne Allanketner

Anne Allanketner

go to her website. To buy her books of poetry, go here. Let us know if you’ve experienced this loneliness and what your “wild trust” might look like.

 


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Guest Post on Sensitivity– by poet and therapist Anne Allanketner

Anne Allanketner

Anne Allanketner

 

Anne Allanketner is a poet and psychotherapist from Portland, Oregon. Her books of poems, Spells of Mending and Three Springs, are beautiful, magical and healing. This poem, from Spells, is her tribute to your rainforest mind.

 

Crystalline Structures

You are made of crystalline structures,
that vibrate like tuning forks.
Their delicate iridescent wings
unfurl and lift them high on the soft breeze
of night to gather subtle informations
which few can understand.

You inhabit these in formations.
Gathering them in tenderly and transposing them
when needed to harmonize the infinite tangled
song strands of earth.

Perhaps you ought to wear a helmet
and goggles at the shopping mall or
wrap your selves in blankets hung with spells and crystals.
Just to navigate the realm of ambient noise at work.

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photo by Anne Allanketner

When the luminous wings of your soul flap,
you lift up out of ordinary time and immerse
yourself in beauty, or sorrow, or fierce love.
Whatever is before you, you enter and allow
the exquisite dilemma of life to welcome you
toward the Divine.

This is hard to accomplish at gas stations, bars or gaming arcades. Also, hospital waiting rooms, school cafeterias, truck stops, cocktail parties or among the very rich.

Naturally, you seek moving water, wetlands full of waterfowl, and the cascade of crimson leaves. Some cathedrals and Japanese garden shrines and
the company   of your own   strange   sort.

None of this is easy. You must be an ardent scientist
of replenishment. You must be
the crafty, shape shifting magician, just to whisk yourself
into psychic obscurity     at the right moment.

Certain sounds are helpful; The plunk and fall of water.
The early morning bird calls, the crackle of fire
against star light.
A gentle heart-felt chanting can lower the curtain
of protection    around    your ears.

No one loves to cloak them selves more:
The soft fall of the cloth that makes you separate.
The eye lids of the soul, allowed to close.
The petals holding the bud.
The silk lantern wrapped around    the lilting light.

Do not listen to the harsh instructions of the world
Which might delude you into using
what is odd and fragile and capable of magic
as an inadequate tool for bludgeoning.
Or spend what you have, for endurance.
Or mire that intricate knowing
into covert arguments about power.

Allow yourself to float the billowy cape
of rose petals and golden leaves around you.
Turn away from those unhelpful influences.

Come towards the light, the beautiful night sky
Milky Way spiral of your soul.

You have lost so much, to buy this sensitivity.

Protect it like the multifaceted jewel that she is.
Wrap that tuning fork in velvet and rock it to sleep at night.
Sing love songs and lullabies to those wispy neurons, those
singed nerve endings, those antennae
you attempted to hide    under your hair.

You are made for healing.

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photo by Anne Allanketner

So many lifetimes    you must have prayed for this.
So many languages to mend the fabric
of the world
come from your deepest heart.

Oh, sing the melody of the spheres that you were meant to hold.
Sing the songs that weave the balance.
This color strand light weaving dance that you can do.

And let go.

Of needing to be rich or strong enough
to endure shopping malls or television

Let the joy of who you are rise up,
a flowering light from the inside.
And only laugh and turn away when anyone
would measure you in money or endurance.

For what is endurance when you have fractured
and re-joined 1000 lifetimes?
Carried on your own laughter…
And the musical sounds of beauty and luminous
Hope!

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To my bloggEEs: Let us know if this poem speaks to your gifted soul. How does it describe your sensitivity? As always, I appreciate hearing from you. Or click on one of the links above to find Anne and her books.