Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive


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My Book is Getting a New Look — Coming Soon!

design by Claire Flint Last, Luminare Press

My book cover is getting an upgrade. The content will be the same but my book will now have a fabulous cover, too. (designed by Claire Flint Last of Luminare Press here in Eugene, Oregon) When it’s available for purchase, I’ll announce it on Facebook and Twitter. And here.

If you haven’t decided if you want to read it, here’s one person’s insightful opinion:

“Why read Your Rainforest Mind?

– Because the countless examples of what it’s like to be an RFM will make you laugh and cry and feel validated for the amazing being that you are
– Because the book is filled with practical strategies to help with the everyday challenges RFMs face
– Because of the dozens of links to books, articles and websites for further research
– Because after reading it you’ll be a hundred steps closer to knowing your place in this world
– If you’re bringing up a young RFM, you’ll worry less and enjoy your child more

When you grow up believing there’s something wrong with you because you’re so different from other people, you get used to camouflaging yourself to be accepted. Buried deep within, your authentic self yearns to be heard – and yet you don’t even realise the extent to which you’re denying it. Then you read stories like the ones that fill this book, and you nod and you cry as you realise you’re not the only one who feels this way. And gradually that hidden self begins to feel safe to come out and be seen.

I loved the book’s exploration of perfectionism – both intrinsic and extrinsic – and its link to procrastination. I loved the discussion about how choices, possibilities and multipotentiality can be overwhelming. I loved the practical strategies for dealing with the big and small challenges gifted individuals face. I resonated with the chapter on loneliness, and resolved to take action to connect with other RFMs. And I adored the chapter on ‘Authenticity, Creativity and Spirituality’ which finally made me realise that my lifelong search for spiritual meaning isn’t an aberration from my intelligence, but a part of it.

I whole-heartedly agree with the reviewer who says this book rises to the top of the giftedness literature for its holistic approach to understanding gifted people.”

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To my bloggEEs: Have you read my book yet? What did you learn about yourself? If you’ve read it already but want the one with the spiffy new cover, give the old one to a friend or to your therapist and treat yourself to the pretty book. And thank you, my darlings, for your courage, curiosity, intensity, and sensitivity! (and an extra thank you if you write a review on Amazon) And if you haven’t read my book yet, well, stop procrastinating, sweetie pie.

With appreciation to LL, for this wonderful review. Gratitude to Celi Trepanier and the new GHF Press for their willingness to make this change.


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It’s Never Too Late To Be Your Gifted Self

I turn 65 this year. I started blogging at 62. My first book on giftedness in adults and youth will be released next month (June 2016). You see? It’s never too late.

Granted, I’m not as cute as I used to be. This is particularly noticeable if you look closely at my skin. Who knew skin could sag like that? And I never thought I’d be dependent upon the pharmaceutical industry for the maintenance and functioning of certain body parts. Luckily, I still have excessive amounts of hair. Even though it’s no longer happily auburn in the sun. It’s still there. Curly as ever. Which, in my older years, I’m finally able to appreciate.

It’s never too late to appreciate your gifted self.

I started dancing the Argentine tango when I turned 49. I’m still at it. Not only is dancing good for coordination, balance and neuroplasticity, it’s also a way to be seen, held and admired — at any age.

Me at a tango lesson when my hair was still auburn. Age 49.

Me at a tango lesson in 2002.

It’s never too late to dance your gifted self.

My friend and colleague just got her MA in clinical psychology at age 71. She already had a PhD in educational psychology but she wanted to start a counseling practice. And she just joined the blogosphere.

It’s never too late to deepen your gifted self.

An innovative after-school enrichment program opened recently in Eugene and Portland (Oregon). It was started by two creative, insightful women in their 50’s.

It’s never too late to expand your gifted self.

Two girlfriends of mine who’ve raised kids are grieving. Their children are grown and out in the world. Not necessarily remembering to call. Or to mention that they happened to get married on that trip to Mexico. These fabulous moms are no longer the center of their children’s universe. They’re anxiously wondering, what’s next.

Quite a lot is next.

Quite. A. Lot.

This world needs you to be your gifted self. More than ever. So, write your blog. Publish your book. Start your nonprofit. Get your PhD. Start your practice. Open your micro-school. Get therapy. Start your business. Dance your tango. Bring more creativity, sensitivity, empathy, humor, intelligence, intuition, joy and love to the planet.

It’s never too late.

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To my bloggEEs: Did you notice the part about my book being released in June? Next month? So exciting! I will let you know when it’s available for purchase. (Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and YouthGHF Press.) And please, let us know how you feel about being your gifted self. Do you worry that it’s too late?


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When You Want to Send the Gift(edness) Back

photo courtesy of pixabay CC

photo courtesy of pixabay CC

I’m not complaining. You. A super-smart person. Have a lot going for you. A lot. You were born with a brain that is wired for extra-intelligence. It was a gift. You didn’t earn it. But there it is. I’m grateful. You’re grateful.

And you’re not complaining when you explain that there are times when you want to send the gift back. You’re probably seriously overwhelmed, exhausted and enthralled by what you see, what you feel, what you hear, what you intuit, what you smell, what you know, what you don’t know, what you worry about, and what you don’t worry about. And if you’re a parent of a child whose brain is wired for extra-intelligence, then, be sure to keep your receipt. Because you may want to send that gift back, too.

As a parent, you’re also probably seriously overwhelmed, exhausted and enthralled. Every day. All day. If you have more than one child, or if there are complicating factors, oh boy. Your sense of responsibility and ability to catastrophize may reach monumental proportions.

So, what do you do? What. do. you. do.

You get help.

Wha???,” you gulp.

I can hear you now. “I’m not supposed to ask for help. I mean, I’m the gifted person. I’m the one others go to for help. And hey. I’ve tried asking and it doesn’t work. No one gets it. Their ideas are lame or cliche or dismissive. Argh!! And what will they think? I can’t risk my reputation. And I can’t complain because, well, what do I have to complain about?” 

Take a breath.

I’m here to tell you that you, too, will need help. When the gift is just too much and your anxiety or your depression or your loneliness or your body chemistry or your thinking rage out of control or you are on the verge of returning your children to Walmart, permanently, you need to ask for help. (well, OK, your children didn’t come from Walmart…maybe they came from Macy’s)

The trick is: Give yourself permission to be persnickety. Take your time. Be selective. Help might come from unexpected places. If you try a practitioner who turns out to be inadequate, leave. If you join a book group that wants to read about vampires, quit. If you can’t find a Facebook group that is sensitive enough, start your own. If you’re dealing with trauma from childhood, meet with a few psychotherapists before deciding. Read blogs written by gifted individuals and go to websites that support gifted families.

You might need help from a team, especially if you have complicated physical conditions. Acupuncturists, naturopaths, massage therapists, energy healers, friends and pets can be great supplements to traditional medical practitioners. images

Tap into your spiritual support network. It may be your religious community or your mindfulness practice. Remember that you have a finely tuned inner wisdom — insight that can be accessed through meditation, shamanic journeying, hypnotherapy, guided visualization, journaling or various art forms.

And, if all else fails, if your gift(edness) came from Costco, I think that they have a lifetime guaranteed return policy.

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To my blogEEs: First, I need to mention that after writing this post, I realized that my oh-so-clever idea of sending the gift back has been used before. Probably multiple times. But at least one time that I can credit. Jen Torbeck Merrill has a wonderful blog and has written a book published by GHF Press entitled: If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional. If you are a parent of a gifted and twice-exceptional child, you’ll want to connect with her work.

Second, it looks like the webinar I mentioned in my last post is on. The date is October 6, 2015, 4:30-6 PST. You can register through SENG. Or try this link. Contact their office if you need help. If you’ve been following my blog and are wanting to hear my sultry voice, now’s your chance. The webinar is about gifted adults, of course.

And, finally, this post is part of a blog hop. Click on the link to read more from parents and professionals about how and when to reach out for help.

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