Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive


45 Comments

The Contradictions Of Giftedness

Photo courtesy NASA, Unsplash

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”     

It appears that Walt Whitman knew something about rainforest minds.

You are large. You contain multitudes.

But how do you live with your multitudinous-ness when other humans find you overwhelming. And when you find you overwhelming. How do you manage the contradictions of your youness? The anxieties that often come with the complexities? Your desire to create a better world?

Well, my darlings, pondering those questions is what this whole blog is about.

But today, in this post, I wonder about this:

You are large. You contain multitudes. But does anyone really see you?

Do you ache to be seen? To be known deeply? To connect with another human to feel that glorious sense of Known-ity?

I’m guessing that you do.

Here’s the rub.

If your capacity for learning and being is vast, then other humans may only be able to understand parts of you. Not that they aren’t trying. They may be trying. They just don’t have the capacity. They aren’t as large. They have fewer multitudes.

For example: You may hunger to study contemporary art, post-modern philosophy, celestial navigation, leathercraft, multiple languages, permaculture, world religions, Argentine tango and rock climbing. Today. In your spare time. For fun.

Large.

You may have sensitivities and intuitions that take you to deeper dimensions. You may see and feel mysterious energies that open you to other realities. You may have an empathy that allows you to know and feel others’ emotions and needs. You may connect with a spirituality that doesn’t fit within the expected parameters.

Multitudes.

How does a person like you get seen? Met? Understood?

Two thoughts.

Thought number one: Find people who can grasp a few of your multitudes. Maybe you rock climb with Cynthia. Read Dostoevsky with Joshua. Discuss post-modern philosophy with Latisha. Tango with Alessandro. This is not ideal because I know that you want that one person who can be your everything. But the more multitudes you have, the harder that will be.

Thought number two: Find someone or something larger than yourself. You heard me. This might be a human. But it might be Nature; as in viewing the night sky or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or swimming with dolphins. It might be spiritual guides who speak to you through your writing or in your dreams or via the devas in your garden. It might be energies from an invisible reality or a parallel universe. It might be your very own Higher Self. It might be God.

One more thought.

Stop fighting with your Largess. Relax into your Multiplicity. When you feel like shrinking, don’t. Instead? Expand.

And be sure to contradict yourself. Daily.

Make Walt proud.

_____________________________

To my bloggEEs:  Have you found ways to be seen and understood? Do you have a spiritual practice that helps you navigate your contradictions and complexities? We would love to hear from you. Many thanks to the clients who inspired this post.

This post is part of a blog hop from hoagiesgifted.org. For more lovely posts on this topic click on the image below.

 

Advertisements


8 Comments

Five Brave Books That Soothe And Inspire

photo courtesy of Glen Noble, Unsplash, CC

photo courtesy of Glen Noble, Unsplash, CC

Sensitive, insightful, emotional, book-loving humans like you may need some extra support during these turbulent times.

Here are five fabulous books to guide you. To give you hope and direction. And even a few laughs.

Belonging Here: A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person by Judith Blackstone

Psychologist Blackstone knows giftedness. Through her own hard-earned awakening, she developed a process for finding your authenticity through your body.

“Sensory sensitivity…is a gift that can help us awaken to our spiritual essence. By becoming even more sensitive, we can uncover a subtle, unified dimension of ourselves in which stimuli register without overwhelming us. We can enjoy a world of vivid and subtle sights, sounds, fragrances, tastes, and textures. We can even sense an inner world beyond or beneath the surfaces of the life around us, the movement of thoughts and feelings in other people’s bodies, and the subtle, multi-colored vibrations that emanate from all natural forms…”

Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want by Martha Beck

What I love about Beck is that she doesn’t take herself or her work too seriously. And yet, in this book, she shares both practical and magical ideas on the leading edge of possibilities, realities and imaginings.

“…those who reclaim the true nature of the mender’s Imagination, grounded in presence and shaped by compassion, can find their way in a wild new world. Perhaps they can even renew, re-wild, and restore the world itself.”

Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe by Andrew Boyd

This book has been described as: “A dark, twisted, existential manifesto posing as a book of daily inspiration.” It’s funny and philosophical.

“The Tragedy of Commitment…Sometimes you are paralyzed with indecision. You can’t bring yourself to choose any one future because to choose one is to forsake the promise of all others. Yet not choosing is making you crazy. In such a drastic state, drastic action is necessary. You must choose–and then, one by one, murder all the futures you passed over…”

Soul Collage: An Intuitive Collage Process for Individuals and Groups by Seena Frost

If you’re looking for a deep, artistic, simple and creative way to express yourself and find inner guidance, try this one on. You’ll be creating a “visual journal” that may surprise you with its messages.

“The SoulCollage process is a way to tend soul and explore psyche at the same time.”

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth by Paula Prober

You’ve probably heard about this one! If not, here’s part of a lovely review from Jennifer Harvey Sallin at Intergifted.

“…It is obvious reading Paula’s work why she was made for helping gifted people, why her presence and her work strike such a chord with gifted people of all ages all over the world, and why people eagerly await her contributions. She is a model for us all – helping professionals working with gifted people and gifted people ourselves. Should we all be like her when we are celebrating almost 40 years of work well done, we should all be grateful and proud…”

__________________________

To my bloggEEs: Now it’s your turn! Tell us about the books you love and why you love them. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. All are welcome.


10 Comments

The Gifted Adult’s Guide to Finding Friends

photo courtesy of Brooke Cagle, Unsplash, CC

photo courtesy of Brooke Cagle, Unsplash, CC

You’re sensitive. Empathetic. Funny. Generous. Smart. Adorable. And yet, you have trouble finding friends.

I’m here to help.

I’ve gathered my five favorite posts on relationships here so that you don’t need to go searching for them. I’d suggest that you read them all to get my comprehensive take on this topic. You’ll be able to pick and choose from the many suggestions and you’ll see that the reason you’re lonely is not because you’re a hopeless weirdo slacker ne’er-do-well. But because you’re gifted.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started:

If I’m So Smart, Why Am I So Lonely  (This one has a link at the end to more posts on relationships written by parents of gifted children.)

Gifted? Lonely? Learn The Argentine Tango  (You won’t want to miss the quote from Maria Popova.)

Lonely? Find Your Pips  (This one has a link at the end by a different group of parents of gifted kids, also on this topic.)

Lonely? Find Your Pips–Part Two  (This is where I get all spiritual on you.)

Single? Lonely? Gifted? Listen Up  (I’m not saying here that you shouldn’t be happy if you’re single!! Nooooo. I’m just saying that if you’re single and want a partner, here are some ideas. And this post also includes ideas for finding friends, too, so don’t skip over it.)

One more thing: When you’re clearer about who you are, you’ll be better able to spot other rainforest minds. If you’re doing something you love, at work or at play, and you spot one who has potential, be brave and initiate a conversation. Ask them questions about themselves. They will thank you! If they lead a busy life, don’t let that stop you. You may have to do the work to build the relationship at first. But if your intuition says they’re a good one, keep at it. Eventually the person will reciprocate and the relationship will be more balanced. I know that this works because it’s how I created my lovely circle of dear rainforest-y friends. But you have to be patient and persistent. OK?

One last thing: Don’t forget the online groups. Also, my book has a chapter on loneliness with even more suggestions. And, if you want to hang out with rainforest minds on a daily basis, well, become a counselor/consultant for the gifted. Start a blog. Write a book.

You’ll be so glad you did.

__________________________

To my bloggEEs: How have you found other rainforest minds? How do you deal with loneliness? Thank you for being here and for opening your hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


57 Comments

I Can’t Show How Smart I Am To Anyone, Not Even To Myself

photo by David Evers, Flickr, CC

photo by David Evers, Flickr, CC

You hide. You stay small. You “dumb down.”

Why?

Because– (Pick one or more.)

1. It’s not cool to be too smart.

2. Other people will feel bad about themselves.

3. I’ll be lonely.

4. I’ll be ridiculed.

5. I’ll take up too much space.

6. I’ll overshadow others.

7. I’ll become egocentric, arrogant and self-absorbed.

8. My mother was brilliant and she was also abusive. I can’t be like her.

9. It feels dangerous.

10. I’ll outshine my parents and my teachers and I can’t do that.

11. I don’t want to be like my father who used his intellect to be manipulative.

12. I don’t have the time. I have kids to raise.

13. I won’t be able to sustain it and then I’ll disappoint everyone.

14. It’s way too much pressure.

15. I’ll embarrass myself.

16. If I reveal myself and then I fail, it would be devastating.

17. I’m not the smart one.

18. Change is scary and I’m comfortable in my discomfort.

19. I’m used to my habits and routines. Why rock the boat?

20. Did I mention that I’m not really all that smart?

OK, then.

Here’s the thing.

The world needs you to stop hiding.

I mean it.

Now, I don’t want you to do anything that feels too unsafe. But I do want you to realize that all beings will benefit if you express yourself and show us what you’ve got; if you tap that wellspring of intellect, creativity and sensitivity. Your children and grandchildren (and your neighbors’ children and grandchildren) will reap the benefits.

Really.

I can help.

It’s my job.

I’ll help you with your fears around pressure and expectations and your anxiety around failure. (More in future posts.)

You can come here when you feel lonely.

Now that you know what a rainforest mind looks like, get serious about finding other inquisitive souls. They will support you when you feel misunderstood and hurt.

Psychotherapy provides guidance that can shift and heal patterns and beliefs so that you don’t turn into your mother or your father.

Reading about sensitivity and how to manage it, will give you tools that you’ll need so you aren’t as easily overwhelmed.

What else?

photo by Adam Knight, Flickr, cc

photo by Adam Knight, Flickr, cc

Get yourself out into Nature where you can connect with a spirituality that will support you and guide you. Find your own form of meditation, whether it’s sitting or yoga or writing or painting or poetry or gardening or dancing or running or whatever. Use it to plumb your depths and calm your nervous system.

Then show yourself. To yourself. And to the rest of us.

We’re ready for you.

___________________________

To my blogEEs: Many thanks to the commenter who inspired this post. And to all of you– for reading, for sharing, and for staying sensitive. Tell us your fears and share your plans for coming out of hiding.


30 Comments

The Sacred and the Mundane

Flickr Creative Commons Matt Mudd

Flickr Creative Commons Matt Madd

Maybe you love solving complex problems. Or you adore philosophical discussions. Maybe you gaze longingly at the night sky. Or you get giddy when you see a fractal.

And then.

There’s laundry. Taxes. Legos under the sofa. Paperwork. Piles of styrofoam-that-you’ll-recycle-someday in the garage. Job stress. Homework. Peanut butter on the floor.

The sacred and the mundane.

You avoid. You procrastinate. You despair. All of those dull, repetitive, boring tasks. What you yearn for is the intellectual pursuit, the artistic creation or the ten day backpacking adventure in the forest.

Plus, you experience perfectionism.

And you have lots of sensitivities.

All contributing to your frustrations with the mundane tasks.

Man, oh man. This does not look good.

(Now some of you may have the personality traits that demand order and completion. You may deal better with the mundane. Even though you have the same long list of tasks, along with perfectionism and sensitivities. You have a need to clear the clutter and stay on top of your responsibilities before they start to overwhelm you. The stress of not addressing the mundane is worse than taking care of it. You don’t like it but your need for order overrides your sense of boredom. For this post, I’m not worrying about you. Unless, of course, the mundane has the upper hand. Then, read on.)

I’m guessing that you’ve tried many of the recommended techniques. You’ve met the Flylady. You use the 2-minute rule. You hire a bookkeeper or a housekeeper. You give yourself rewards. You invite the neighbors over. Your mother moves in.

And sometimes the techniques work.

Good.

But what happens when they don’t?

Then, we need to bring in the heavy hitters.

We ask the Dalai Lama. Thich Nhat Hanh. Martha Stewart.

They gaze at you and smile. Maybe they giggle. Oh, wait, Martha probably doesn’t giggle.

And they tell you something like: What if it’s all sacred? What if all of those boring, mundane, awful tasks are really sacred acts in disguise? What then?

(OK. Maybe Martha tells you how to make a cardboard playhouse for your cat.)

But, the more spiritualicious among us, suggest that one way to tackle the mundane is to find the love in it. Find the miracle in it.

Like  this from Thích Nhất Hạnh–

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

______________________________

To my dear blogEEs: I realize that mundane tasks will still be annoying and problematic but I hope that this helps. Please let us know in the comments how you cope with the everyday boring stuff and also how you make the time for intellectual stimulation and creative expression.


21 Comments

Lonely? Find Your Pips–Part Two

It’s hard to find other rainforest minds.

They’re not usually hanging out at the mall. (Well, OK, maybe you hang out at the mall.)

They don’t wear identifying clothing. They don’t carry slide rules. (Well, OK, maybe you wear your Star Trek tee shirt.)

5134034851_aa66cc9e60And people will get suspicious if you spend all day every day at your local library trying to spot one.

How do you find them, then?

In my last post, I gave you a few ideas.

But I’m thinking that I may need to say more about your Pips. (not to be confused with ‘peeps’) It’s kind of a big idea that I threw out there willy nilly. I know you’re smart and everything but you may need more clarification on this one.

OK?

Let’s say that you’ve taken my advice and found a friend at the Sierra Club meeting or at your art class or at the community garden. Let’s say that you’re now taking Argentine tango lessons and have danced with a few rainforest souls who have friend-potential written all over them.

Congratulations!

But what about those inevitable times when sensitive humans are nowhere to be found? What then?

That’s when you call on your Pips. (as in Gladys Knight and the Pips)

Your Pips aren’t actually living people, though.

They’re your spiritual back-up singers. They support you when you need it. They remind you that you’re loved no matter what.

You find them in your imagination. Or in your heart. Or in Nature. Or in your religion.

Maybe you call them guardian angels. Or spiritual guides. Or trees.IMG_20931

Maybe they’re the feeling you get when you’re hiking in the redwoods. Maybe your Pips are in the night sky.

But if you haven’t found your Pips yet. Here’s what you can do:

* Get out into nature. Feel the energies of the Spirits of the earth. Build a relationship with them. If you need help with this, look into participating in a quest like the ones at Animas Institute.

* Write in your journal and begin a dialogue with your Pips. You can find ideas in Christina Baldwin’s book Life’s Companion–Journal Writing as Spiritual Quest.

* Take a class on developing your intuition.

* Start a meditation practice. Over time, your Pips may show up spontaneously.

* Read about guided imagery and use CDs and books by healthjourneys.com that teach you how to use visualization for healing and for finding an inner advisor–your very own spiritual wisdom.

* Get good psychotherapy so you can work through any psychological obstacles to your self-confidence and to your connection with your innate goodness.

And remember, finding other rainforest-minded souls isn’t easy. Be patient. They’re out there.

Listen carefully.

They’re singing your song.

Shoo bop shoo bop, my baby, oooooooh.

____________________________

To my blogEEs: I hope this helps explain what I was trying to say in my last post. Let me know if you have questions or if you need more clarification. And keep listening.

photo 1: CC  www.flickr.com/x/t/0093009/photos/popculturegeek/5134034851/

This post is part of hoagiesgifted.org blog hop. See link below–

 

 

 

 

 


10 Comments

Lonely? Find Your Pips.

Face it.

You weren’t popular.

You still aren’t.

You were too excited by Jane Austen. You were too curious about black holes and sea anemones. You were too emotional when you were teased. You were too incensed when teachers were unfair. You were too disappointed when the world let you down.

You still are.

But maybe you don’t care about being popular now. It no longer matters.

But you do need community. Your tribe. Or a friend. One good friend.

So what do you do?

* Admit that you have a rainforest mind. Then do things you love. Use your intuition to spot other rainforest-minded souls while you’re there. Take the risk and ask one to tea. S/he will be grateful. You’ll have a potential friend.

* Learn the Argentine tango.

* Find or create an online community talking about Jane Austen, black holes and sea anemones.

And finally.

* Find your Pips. (not to be confused with ‘peeps’)

I stole this idea. From an old quirky TV show. I’m embarrassed to admit it. Ally McBeal. In this episode, she was told by her stand-up-comedian therapist that her distress could be soothed if she found her Pips. As in, Gladys Knight and the Pips. Her back-up singers. Everybody needs back-up singers.

So right now. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Imagine your Pips. Your spiritual support network. Singing and dancing right behind you. Melodies. Harmonies. Shoo bop shoo bop. Maybe they look like people. Maybe animals. Maybe shining balls of light.

No matter.

They’re yours. They’ll be there when the humans aren’t.

Don’t take my word for it.

Just say you heard it through the grapevine.

___________________________________

photo:  CC https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0091009/photos/armadilo60/3992318922/

To my blogEEs: Sorry it’s been a while. I hope you missed me. Let me/us know in the comments what you do to soothe your soul and cope with your loneliness. How do you build your spiritual support network? I’ll share more ideas on that in the next post.

And let’s create community right here. Sha na na na. Sha na na na na.

This post is part of the blog hop at hoagiesgifted.org. See the link below to read about gifted kids and friendships.