Sometimes a couch isn’t just a couch

The couch in our house is old, worn out and uncomfortable. Yet, I have been having a very hard time replacing it with a new one. Surprisingly, as I was talking about throwing out the couch my eyes welled up with tears. I know that I need to replace it. But I don’t want to replace it.

This morning I realized why. I have spent countless hours sitting on this couch chatting with my sons after school. This is where we’ve discussed their plans for university, their plans for life. Since both of them are moved out, we don’t spend as much time talking. Getting rid of the couch feels like letting go of my sons.

Keeping it makes me feel connected with my sons, it reminds me of how much I enjoyed our daily conversations. I am aware that change has already happened. I only became aware of all the feelings connected with this old couch today.
As an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) I take so many things into consideration when making a decision. If I don’t do that, I feel uncomfortable about the decision. I know from clients accounts and personal experience how frustrating and totally in-comprehensive this seemingly long process of decision making can be for a partner and how it can affect your relationship.

(Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels)


Is hard work necessary?

Only hard work is valued and appreciated in our society.
Remember the last time you told someone that a project was easy, like child’s play? I bet the first reaction was envy. Then it turned into skepticism. It was implied that you didn’t do a thorough job. That you took shortcuts or plain old,just cheated.
Why is it not acceptable that work is anything but hard, difficult and miserable? Why can’t work be like child’s play? Easy and fun.
The funny thing is, as kids we pretended to be grown ups at work. We imagined ourselves to be teachers, nurses, police officers, cowboys and doctors.
Work was still fun. We did not take anything, anyone or ourselves too serious.
What kind of programming did we receive in order to believe that work is more valuable then play? Did we not learn most of the skills we use as adults through play?
How did play and fun get such a bad reputation? Grow up! Many of us were told when we finished our secondary education. Suddenly we had to take everything very serious. Especially our superiors. We were not allowed to enjoy work, work is something you do, but you never enjoy it. Work is serious business.
You were definitely not allowed to question anyone and the way things were done. What has this seriousness brought us?
Stress, worries and unhappy people. What if we could again approach work, like kids? What if we could have fun, be curious, be open to change, and look forward to playing every day?


Are your feelings lost in translation?

Have you ever tried to explain to someone how you feel and they just couldn’t relate? You use different examples to clarify the depth of your feeling, yet they still can’t get you. It feels like you are talking in a different language. Even though they want to understand, they can’t.

You get louder to get your point across. As if, that ever helps.
When it comes to the feelings of HSPs, ( Highly Sensitive People) speaking louder about feelings through the use of bigger and stronger words, brings the illusion of understanding while being completely counterproductive. This can be exhausting to others.

Have you ever visited a country where you did not speak the language? Remember how exhausting, frustrating, and annoying that is? Remember how helpless you feel when you need to communicate with another person but they don’t understand what you are asking for? This is how HSPs,their family and friends often feel. HSPs forget that others may not be on the same emotional wavelength, something that causes confusion equivalent to speaking another language.

Being able to express your feelings is important and while articulation is vital, don’t fear a lack of immediate understanding. Breathe. Give it time and let your authentic emotional experience be enough.

(Text Karin Goldgruber, Image Vera Arsic- Pexels)


Jealousy is a good thing

What? I can hear your responses. No, jealousy is not a good thing. Jealousy is despicable. We shouldn’t want somebody else’s success or possessions.Wait! Hear me out.
We all grew up with those sentiments. It was really bad to want your sisters doll, it was even worse wanting your best friends boyfriend.

What if it was never about that particular doll or that boy? What if you also wanted a new doll? You just didn’t want to wait until your birthday to get your own. At that age, none of us knew that we wanted our own doll.
The only new doll in the house was your sisters, of course you wanted it. You didn’t know how to ask for one for yourself, nor did you have the patience to wait until your birthday. You wanted it, and you wanted it now.

You probably just took it.Then your sister would cry,tell your Mom, who returned the doll right away. You should be ashamed of yourself, for taking your sisters doll,she said. How many times in your life, were you told to be ashamed for wanting what someone else had? How many times were you told that you can’t just take what you want?

I have learned to look at this differently. Now when I notice feelings of jealousy, I become excited. Yes, excited. I see something that I would like to have for myself. I am aware now, I didn’t really want to be with my girlfriend’s boyfriend, I just wanted to have a boyfriend as well.

Does that sound familiar? When I feel jealous I start to ask myself questions. What do I want? What desire do I feel when I am jealous of someone’s promotion, long client list or success? Then I can figure out what I would like to have for myself.
I can also see if I want to pay the price, do the necessary work or decide that right now is not the right time. At this point I am happy for the person who I was jealous about. I appreciate the work, the commitment they had to put in. I also know for sure that I don’t want their doll. I know exactly what kind of doll I want and I can decide that I can get it for myself.
This is why I believe that jealousy is a good thing. (by Karin Goldgruber)


I didn’t see that coming

One morning this spring I woke up to a text message letting me know that my place of work  had burned down overnight.It felt unreal, surreal. It was real. Imagine my shock, my worry about my future and everyone affected by this. I was sobbing and my hands were shaking. As a HSP (Highly sensitive person) I experience feelings very intense and deeply. Then I remembered to use EFT (Emotional freedom techniques). I started to tap on the meridian points and stated out loud the things that came to my scared mind. After a few rounds I came to a point where I stopped crying and shaking and where I could start to think clearly again. That morning I was reminded that I have no control over external events. However I have control over my reactions and actions. By choosing to tap, I squarely looked all my fears in the eye, they could no longer control me.  I addressed them one by one, I did not push them aside, I made my peace with them.I could have chosen to feel like a victim, poor me, but I did not. I chose to deal with my feelings and then took the next step.



A Tornado of feelings

Yesterday night at 3:05 I woke up and found out that there was a tornado in the city my youngest son had just recently moved to. My heart started racing, and I felt like someone hit me in the stomach and fear just took over.It was too early to call him and check if he was okay. In the past I would have been up all night, overwhelmed with fear and  worries.

I took deep breaths and began to use EFT. I tapped with my fingertips on the meridian points on my face,hands and torso and quietly stated how I was feeling and what I was afraid of. My heart started to slow down, my breathing became deeper with each round. I tapped until I got to a point where I could think rationally, where I was not consumed by fear and worry  any more. I sent a short message asking him if he was okay. After that I fell asleep quite quickly. In the morning there was a message telling me that he was okay. ( by Karin Goldgruber)

(Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels)



A simple way to work through anger

I try to avoid anger as much as possible, yet recently I was very angry. I felt the anger in my whole body.
So, I took a big canvas, my soft pastel crayons and started to draw, big fluid lines. I just picked the colors that jumped at me. I did not even think, I just drew.
As I was drawing I noticed that the anger subsided. The interesting thing about that piece is that it feels very calm and peaceful. Since then I have been expressing a wide variety of feelings through my artwork. This process allows me to reflect on and work through my emotions.
Anger is one of the feelings many people don’t feel comfortable looking at, expressing or even feeling. We avoid it like the plague,yet it is a normal and many times important feeling.
However, due to the nature of anger it may often lead to negative outcomes. Expressing this emotion and others through art is a safe way to start feeling comfortable with anger, and lets you control your anger so it does not control you.


Not everything needs to be perfect

Not everything needs to be perfect.
Not everything must be planned
Just start.
Let yourself be surprised
Let’s just see.
One Step at a time.
Take the next step.
Just start.
Don’t overthink it.
Be spontaneous.
Have fun.
Trust your gut.
Trust your instincts.
Trust your intuition.
Listen to your inner voice.
It’s your life.
You decide.
Just start.


Striving to make mindful choices

Do you ever think about what impact a small action can have? When I do, I become overwhelmed thinking about the changes I would have to make. I feel I have to change everything immediately if I don’t like it.
What would happen if instead I would take a moment, breathe, and then simply observe? No rash decisions,no changes made on impulse.
What would I learn about myself? Maybe I would find the reason why I am doing certain things, again and again. Maybe I could accept that right now this behavior is a habit that is not good for me. A routine that I keep repeating because it is easy in the moment, that somehow fills a need in the present but the long term consequences are not beneficial to me.
I could be more mindful and then consciously choose an action instead of being ruled by desires.


Imagine, Innovate and Disrupt

While I was driving in Toronto I read Imagine, Innovate and Disrupt on a banner.
Those three words jumped out. I quickly jotted them down. Immediately I thought about the word disrupt. It kind of shocked me. Why disrupt? Disruptive feels like a negative word.
How does disrupt fit in with words like imagine and innovate? It doesn’t seem to, at all.
I started to think about those three words. I had expected create to be the third word. I thought about how imagination ushers in something new, a new way of thinking, of doing things. New ideas always shift old ways of doing. They disrupt the flow, change it. When I look at disrupt from that angle it seems to be the logical next step to imagine and innovate.
Our old ways of thinking and believing are disrupted, disturbed when we imagine something bold, different and then innovate, bringing in something new. Our goal should be to disrupt old ways of thinking, believing and working.