Be yourself because everyone else is already taken
Over the last decade, I have been learning how to live well as a highly sensitive man, a journey that I now support others on today. The learning never stops, we just keep getting more of who we are, and of course, we are never the finished article, life has a way of shaping and changing us.
I suppose, explore how we truly are deep down, is an invitation, an invitation to see this fleeting life we are given in all its depth, rather than getting to the end and wondering "where did that all go?"
It is just not possible (nor would I want to) to offer a blanket approach to realigning your life to your authentic self. Each and every one of us has a unique and individual recipe that will work just for you, but I thought it might be interesting to share my own case study, what has changed in my life over the last decade to align myself with my sensitive temperament.
This is a work in progress, there is still some balancing required as there is often a battle between earning enough money to live comfortably and also acknowledging what I need from my working life in order to thrive as a sensitive man. I've made some major changes since 2018 in my working week, a strategic reduction in working hours. This truly has not been easy in a world that at times celebrates being busy and having a huge workload, plus I realised my own inner critic liked me to be busy as there was some self-worth there. Slowly and very gently, I am turning this around, I realise self-employment gives me greater flexibility and control of my hours so although I am not 100% there yet, I know this is something that will support me even more. For now, it is a hard rule, no overtime and lots of breaks. The price I pay for not doing this is far higher than working more hours and earning more money. Not always easy but small changes have made the difference, switching off work when at home, not working any extra hours than I need to and realising that work is only one part of a much bigger picture.
2. Making sleep and relaxation a priority
I get overstimulated quickly as a sensitive person. Noise, long to-do lists, clutter, lots of people and I find myself climbing the walls. So before this happens, it is a cue to take some time out. At least once a week, I take a day to relax, be that a walk in the woods near me here on my own, reading, sleeping in a bit longer than normal, letting the to-do list drop.
Accepting who I have perhaps been the most wonderful thing in itself. Accepting that life just isn't going to be perfect, there is going to be overstimulation, there is going to be stress at times and challenges. However much I try to line things up, life has a wonderful way of throwing a curveball. Accepting this has been transformational for me. Wonderful moments to practice acceptance, to know that this too will be over, a life of impermanence, perfectly, imperfect. Yep, I get caught up at times, lost in the challenges but sooner or later I pop out the other side and see it for what it is.
4. Letting go of a fixed set of rules
I remember growing up thinking that, I had to get married, have children, have a nice house, earn a good wage, save up for a nice comfy retirement. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of these things but I had got caught up in defining this as success and happiness.
Letting go of this expectation has been truly transformational. Accepting that I can embrace and celebrate my own unique preferences and letting go of any fixed definition of what success and happiness are, has been an amazing lifestyle change, one that has allowed my own authenticity to come forward. Not always easy, there will always be outside pressures, but I suppose just constant little reminders to pause, feet on the floor, this is who I am and be proud of that kind of moments, all go to restore a sense of belonging here on this earth. The restlessness settles, it is a relief almost.
Being you is a freedom
I share this because I want you to know there is freedom in being yourself, learning deep down who you are and what makes you tick, and aligning life up where possible. Of course, there is no magic pill, no one size fits all, the journey continues, but that is the beauty, we are all unique.
Your sensitivity is a gift, your authenticity a superpower.
.Anyway, that's my little Monday musing, hope you have enjoyed reading. May you have a super week, From R 🌳
Would you like to discover and uncover your own unique strengths, values, meaning, and purpose?
1-1 life coaching with Roger, rediscovering the joy of living with intention and authenticity
Book a free 30-minute discovery call to learn more
NEW! For September 2021, group life coaching, exploring sensitivity, managing the expectations of life, managing boundaries, and more. First Session 6th September.