Toughen Up. Try Harder. You’re Too Sensitive.

You’ve heard those said so many times you want to throw your middle fingers up and yell, “Piss Off,” don’t you? (Except, you know, politely, in a way that doesn’t actually offend anyone, right?)

You’ve heard those words your whole life – they make you feel weak, fragile and melodramatic. Like your feelings are too big for the world, that you are too much. They make you feel like you are doing things all wrong. Chances are, you take these comments personally because they feel personal. So you blame yourself, and you toughen up, and you try harder and you get really good at pretending that you’re not sensitive.

There’s just one tiny little kind of a big problem.

You are sensitive. You might even be highly sensitive (which, by the by, is a genetic trait. Science!).

Here, we think that high sensitivity is awesome and valuable and deserves its own seat at your dinner table. And your happy hour table.

We don’t think there’s anything wrong with you.

And those statements from above?
We don’t say those here. We do things differently.

We ease up and try softer. We try more playfully. Or playfully-er (because that should be a word based on how fun it is to say).

We take joy in being sensitive, because sensitivity is valuable. And not just in how it serves the world – sensitivity has value in and of itself.

Sometimes feeling better is as simple as knowing that sensitivity is okay.

Don’t you wish someone would have told you that sooner, and meant it? So do we.

Meet Anna, the woman inside Sensitivity Uncensored. Or at least those purple high tops.

I have a bachelor of science degree in Resource Conservation, with minors in Women’s studies and Wilderness Studies, as well as a Masters of Science degree in Environmental Science, both from the University of Montana. I’m a trained clairvoyant (clear seeing) intuitive, Medical Intuitive and energy healer with over 1000 hours of training at the Berkeley Psychic Institute and Spirit is Calling schools for intuitive studies. I trained for two years at the California College of Ayurveda to become an Ayurvedic Health Educator, and spent over 500 hours of training with YogaWorks to teach yoga and another 50 hours with Robert Birnberg, studying yoga philosophy and sanskrit. I also spent time working with Rachel Krentzman of Embody Yoga and Physical Therapy to understand more about healing back pain, both physically and emotionally. In 2012, I started reading the works of Elaine Aron on high sensitivity and studying the work of Ane Axford, and basically anything I could get my hands on related to high sensitivity. I realized at this time just how incredibly effective the methods of energy work, Ayurveda and yoga were to sensitive systems.

I opened this practice in 2013, combining all of these skills into a system for working with clients and a teaching courses geared toward the highly sensitive folks of the world.  My method for working one-on-one with people starts with the intuitive reading and energy shifting, creating space in the energy body for changes to occur. While this might sound very woo-woo, my unique lenses of Ayurveda, yoga and science allow me to filter incoming information in a coherent, logical and practical way that guides clients on a grounded pathway toward personal freedom. Since 2013, I’ve spent over 1200 hours working one-on-one and teaching courses and workshops.

Sure, but how did you get here?

Things I mastered at a young age:
Crying silently, without snotting.
Crying loudly, with snotting.
Here’s the thing: one of those makes you feel good, but ugly. The other makes you constipated.

Things I’m still trying to master:
Self-love and acceptance
Quickly letting go of other people’s moods and emotions
Permission to be proud of and value myself.
Cussing for therapeutic purposes.

When I was a child, I was taught to become really good at meeting other people’s expectations of me. I was naturally observant, curious and asked a lot of questions, but was often shushed and given distractions and soon became moldable and obedient as I learned that my desires and needs didn’t matter as much as other people’s. When I was six, my sister got really sick, so it became my job to be good, quiet and strong so no one had to worry about me. When I was a teenager, I felt pressure to be perfect. I learned that perfection meant good grades and skinny thighs, so I graduated with a 4.0 and an eating disorder.

In college, I got two advanced degrees in science with two minors and high honors, because, perfectionism. I also got Prozac, stomach aches, vertigo, back pain and a very nice therapist.

I married a man who liked science and mountain biking, and who liked that I liked science and mountain biking. Then one day I lost my job, and decided I didn’t want to be a scientist anymore. I also got injured, and couldn’t mountain bike anymore. He said, “Why can’t you be like you were when I met you?” and looked at me with disapproving eyes. We divorced.

That’s when it all clicked and I realized how I’d learned to please everyone else besides me.

So I made a decision to become my own teammate and to choose me first.  I started becoming present to what was (which was not always pretty and sometimes really painful). I practiced letting myself be whatever I was and to feel whatever I felt. And I noticed that as long as I stayed present and connected to me, then whatever I choose to do was fine, because I hadn’t changed. I was still me.  (Granted, sometimes my choices had terrible consequences. Like a four-whiskey afternoon? Eesh.)

I cry at movies, and art exhibits, and dog videos, and it’s okay. I crave deep relationships and scare some people away, and it’s okay. I have lots and lots of needs, and diverse and conflicting interests, and it’s okay. All of who I am is okay.

I got to this place of all of who I am is okay, not by trying harder, but by trying softer. By letting go and easing up. I got here by making a decision to choose me and value me. That included all of me, including the highly sensitive parts.

I set down the rigid tools of science for a while and dove into developing my intuition, studying yoga and Ayurveda, and learning about high sensitivity. I was drawn to these healing modalities because they worked so well to heal my injured body and my wounded soul. They worked because they gave me a language and a set of tools for the subtle world.

Being highly sensitive means that you pick up on subtleties like sounds, smells, lights and emotions that others just don’t. Your world is oriented differently. What you notice about life is different, and what matters to you is different.

High sensitivity is biologically important and is a genetic trait of all mammals. It’s just in people that it gets so confusing. If you were a zebra, for example, you’d be the first to alert your herd to danger. You’d be the superhero zebra. Because, as a zebra, you wouldn’t question your sensitivity – you wouldn’t worry about Joe Shmoe zebra telling you you’re too sensitive – you’d just tell the herd to run, because, LION!

But you’re human, and so you’ve learned to question your difference rather than to value it. Also, it’s hard to value something that you don’t understand. And it’s hard to understand sensitivity if you don’t have a language and a structure for understanding it.

That’s what I’ve spent the last seven years developing. So I’ve got you covered. And you get to become that superhero after all. Except with a glitter cape instead of zebra stripes (unless, of course, zebra stripes are your jam).

I guide people like you to that exact spot you’re dreaming about. I help you take the adventure into the center of your life – that place where your superpowers are just waiting for you. Sure, there will be those awkward moments where your powers misfire or you knock yourself on your ass with your super skills, but that’s why I’m here. To catch you, and laugh with you.

Let’s play. I’ll bring the glitter. You just bring you.