The HSP World Podcast Ep. 44: Spiritual Self-Care Strategies for Highly Sensitives

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Rayne: Hi and welcome to The HSP World Podcast, a place and space for Highly Sensitives.

With each episode, we have a conversation about an interesting HSP-related topic.

We’re holding space with you because HSPs only make up 15 to 20% of the population. So most of the time HSPs are surrounded by non-HSPs, and HSP-only convos are a bit different than non-HSP convos. We feel it’s important for HSPs to hear this difference.

We’re not coaches or therapists. We’re HSPs holding space with you.

I’m one of your co-hosts Rayne and our other wonderful co-hosts are Tonya and Britta.

Hey Tonya.

Tonya: Hello.

Rayne: And hey Britta.

Britta: Hi there.

Rayne: So we started a mini-series on self-care for Highly Sensitives, and it included six topics on aspects of self-care we wanted to explore with you.

So we’re on the last aspect of self-care in our series, which is Spiritual Self-Care for Highly Sensitives.

So first, let’s, let’s chat about what is spiritual self-care. So it’s defined as activities that nurtures your spirit and allows you to think bigger than yourself.

Spiritual self-care does not have to be religious, although for some it is. So some examples are meditation, yoga, going to a place of worship, being in nature, dedicating time for self-reflection, et cetera. So those are just some examples. So that’s what it is and a couple of of examples.

So Britta, did you wanna help us kick it off on how, how do you practice spiritual self-care?

Britta: Well, I think I can use a little bit of more spiritual self-care, if I have to be really honest. Um, I do like to enjoy nature, for example. Um, I feel nature can really have this calming effect and can, can really calm your mind or opens up a space to be alone with your thoughts and have even a creative process going on in your mind.

Um, so it’s not necessarily to not think anything and just enjoy that’s, that’s a possibility of course, but it, it might also give you a distraction-free space to just sit with something or process something, um, or just to think about nothing and just enjoy and take everything in, what’s going on around you.

I feel like nature and, and the connection with nature is, is by far my most preferred way to, um, to do like the spiritual, um, self-care. I’m not really into any religious activities per se. I do like to, um, meditate sometimes, but it’s not really a habit that I’ve, no, it’s not really a habit that I have created over the years, so it’s not something that comes naturally. Um, but I know you ladies do, so I’m here to learn today.

Rayne: Oh geez.

Tonya: No pressure, Rayne no pressure.

Britta: Just sayin’.

Rayne: On that note, over to you, Tonya. No, no, thank you Britta, I appreciate that.

Tonya: No, I, I agree. I agree Britta. I think for me, one of the biggest things also is being in nature, getting outside, right? Especially where I live in the, in the colder wetter months, um, getting outside is really important to just, um, get some fresh air.

Uh, I might take it a little bit further than, um, a lot of people because I am literally a tree hugger, um, and, um, just the, you know, I mean everything and everyone in the universe has a vibration and an energy, right? And this energy really, it flows through us. It flows, it flows through all living things, including plants and trees and, um, trees really have a, uh, a vibrational pattern that there’s been research on this, that trees really have a healing and revitalizing effect that can really help us to feel more grounded.

Um, and there’s also been studies that say hugging a tree, um, increases levels of, uh, the hormone that we have, oxytocin. So that’s responsible for us feeling calm, and it’s also a form of like emotional bonding. And yeah, so for me, just making that that physical connection with a tree.

So, you know, just putting my hand on a tree, um, it really kind of starts to get those hormones going. That serotonin and dopamine that really just grounds me and makes me feel, um, a little bit happier, lifts my emotions up.

Rayne: Yeah, I totally, I, I, I can relate with that 100%.

Tonya: My husband used to always joke with me that I was a tree hugger, but I’m actually literally a tree hugger.

Britta: And that’s okay. You know? That’s okay.

Tonya: It is. We’re sensitive, right? As, as as Highly Sensitive people we’re sensitive to nature, our environment around us and, and making that, making that connection physically, emotionally, it really can be, I think, a spiritual experience and, and that goes really well with what we’re talking about today as part of connecting that energy, that spirituality with our, with our everyday self-care.

Rayne: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I agree.

Tonya: How about you Rayne?

Rayne: Well, okay, well as usual, uh, mine’s a weird story, but anyway. Um, so I think for me, um, spiritual self-care, spiritual has very much been tied to my experiences, um, with I guess what would be considered spiritual, um, side of life, right? Um, so I, I don’t know if I brought it up here with you guys, but I had a near death experience when I drowned when I was about three.

And, um, and it was, it was amazing. It was, it was awesome. It was wonderful. And, and you don’t know what’s going on when you’re three really. You know? So that’s how it seemed. Um, and so what I experienced was, um, a very bright, uh, white light and the energy of that light, um, and the energy of that light was so amazing.

I mean, I… There’s really no words, there’s, there’s, it would take so many words to describe what it, and I don’t even think that would, that the words would be sufficient. Um, but it, it, it had a, a big impact, um, on me and it sort of, and, and it, so I guess I always felt that, you know, that, that spiritually, I always, I always knew there was a reason, you know, and, you know, there was a reason for, for things and there was… that this, you know, I guess what we call life, this experience, it was, um, for me, um, more, um, I guess more grounded in, in spirituality.

I was always trying to see the bigger picture. I was always trying to see what the bigger thing I was supposed to be learning here, you know, was right? And you know, that’s not to say sometimes I wasn’t, you know, quite annoyed with, you know, this Light, you know? Because You know things can be pretty frustrating here sometimes, you know?

And, um, but I guess it, it gave me a really good basis for like a personal relationship with that energy because, you know, there’s like, there’s it, it’s not religious. There’s no face, there’s no dogma, there’s no rituals attached to it. All I, all I stick with is what I experienced, that energy I experienced, you know, and that energy was totally okay with me if I needed to vent to it about it, you know, or you know, or whatever it was, right?

But it was also, but it was also the, the energy of, um, understanding and compassion for, you know, um, for anything that, that I was going through that I was struggling with, that I was trying to understand that just kept seeming like, I’m just not learning this. What is it I’m supposed to learn? What are you, what am I supposed to be getting here? You know?

And, and I think that’s, you know, um, one aspect of, of  um, having this trait and being connected, you know, in a spiritual way. Um, and, and sort of kind of carving my own way because, you know, religions just, they just didn’t jive for me. You know, they just, I don’t know, you know. And I, and I, and I read and I researched all the different ones and I found a lot of really interesting, cool, um, stories and lessons and, you know, all that kind of stuff.

Cuz I, I like exploring different things and learning what I can, you know, and, um, but I just, it just, nothing sort of reached down to that base surface, you know, that base, um, deep level sort of understanding and relationship I have with, and I just call it The Light cuz I don’t know what else to call it, right?

It’s what it was. It was a big, bright light, right? So and, um, so, um, and I suppose for me, that that’s, that’s why, for me, I guess it was, it, I, I view it as a blessing that I drowned because it, I always sort of had, you know, I always took it for granted. You know, I always sort of took that relationship for granted, and I just sort of…

But you know, it, it, it’s interesting, you know, like throughout my life and then after, you know, when the pandemic happened and everything and, um, I just noticed that I didn’t, I just seemed to be, I don’t know, um, more calm about it. It, it felt to me like I just, I felt more spiritually kind of grounded, like it was okay. You know? Um, and, um, yeah, and, and I think that’s, um… that’s just I, and I think that’s more like just because for me it’s like a feeling.

You know, when, when, when I drowned and I experienced The Light, it was all about feelings.

Like there wasn’t much, there wasn’t much thought stuff going on, you know, the in your brain stuff. Um, it was, it really was just about feelings, you know, and the feelings I was feeling. Um, you know, and it was just all these beautiful, like compassion and love and acceptance and, you know, all these things that for me, it’s like we, you know, in the physical form, we feel like we need these things from other people.

When really if these are the things that are accessible to us already, you know, from, from that energy and, and as well, the, the, having that relationship with The Light also helps me understand these are things that I can give myself.

These are the things that The Light wants me to give myself, right? The Light wants me to be, have self-compassion and self-forgiveness and um, you know, um, The Light wants me to reflect on, on different things. The Light wants me to keep learning, um, and applying the different things that I’ve learned on an ongoing basis, you know, as I move forward.

And so, yeah, you know, it’s kind of weird. It’s just the way it is for me. I don’t know.

Tonya: Yeah, I think it’s really important what you said, that we don’t need to look outside of ourselves, right? For this, for spirituality, just in general, how, in whatever way we find it for ourselves, without judgment. So if it’s, you know, hugging a tree, or if it’s reading poetry or you know, whatever it is…

Rayne: or creating poetry or, yeah…

Tonya: Yeah, exactly. Whatever helps you to make that connection with, um, that energy, that kind of higher purpose, higher whatever, you know, assign whatever word makes you feel comfortable, right? To me, I think that’s where spirituality really begins, is looking inward, right? And not looking out.

Rayne: Yeah. I think for, for me, that’s a, it’s a big one because if, you know, I don’t know, for me it just feels like a lot of spirituality is a, is a, is a singular path, you know? It’s like no two people’s paths are the same, again, so they can’t be compared. Right? Um, but also like, no, no two, like what I, what I’m here to learn is not what somebody else is here to learn.

And maybe nobody else is here… Maybe I’m the only one that’s gotta learn it, you know, or whatever. It’s, you know, and, and that’s okay. You know, that, that, that’s totally 100% alright. You know? Um, and that’s not to say either that, um, I don’t accept, you know, like if, if somebody, you know, and then they’re, they go to church every Sunday and they, you know, I don’t know, whatever it is, whatever their rituals and their beliefs and everything are, um, if it, if it works for them, I think that’s 100% awesome. I think it’s 100% awesome.

Um, it’s just, for me it’s, it’s uh, you know, it’s like a very personal, um, thing. You know, it’s just, and, and I, I get direction and guidance and sometimes I have no idea why. It’ll be like, mmmmm, okay, I’m, the feeling is that I’m supposed to do this, you know? And then it’d be like, and then, you know, I don’t know why I’m supposed to do it.

I just know I’m supposed to do it, and that the lesson is gonna come, or the learning is gonna come, right? And, and sure enough that’s what happens, you know? Um, so, you know, it, it sounds kind of crazy, you know, really, but…

Britta: Well, no, I don’t think so. It’s, it’s very, it’s very personal how you experience spirituality, I guess.

Rayne: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It really, it really is, and it’s, and I feel like it, it, it’s okay. Whatever, whatever way, you know, if rituals or what helps you or meditation or praying or what, you know, whatever the, whatever it is. Um, you know, but that also, that our spirituality is, is it’s, it’s a very important part, um, a very important aspect of our being.

And I guess, I guess I would encourage any HSPs, um, to, to, you know, who, who haven’t explored spirituality or their own spirituality, um, to, to explore it. Um, because it’s, it’s, it, it’s an amazing font of, uh, um, for me it’s been an amazing font of, uh, inspiration and, um, just, you know, drive and playfulness.

And like I said, you know, the personal relationship I have, you know, sometimes I get mad, you know, and I’m totally okay with saying, you know, like, that sucked, you know, to The Light kind of thing. You know what I mean? But, but I get why you, why it was necess, why, you know, that was necessary for me to, to understand that and to learn that.

I get that’s why, you know, and so thank you, you know, I, I needed to learn that, that was something I needed to learn, right?

Um, because you know it, because then it, it, it sort of, uh, the self-reflection and all of that type of thing comes into play. And then it’s like, you know, afterwards, after I’ve learned whatever it is and it’s like, ‘Oh, I see why you know? Now you brought that to me in that way and why that that played out the way it did, because this is what you wanted me to learn.’ Right? And because I think a lot of the time they go, ‘why is this happening to me?’ You know, instead of, why is this happening for me? You know?

Because it’s for my benefit to understand this, to learn this. It’s for my benefit. It’s, it’s not to, to punish me or, you know, whatever it is or whatever. Right? Although it can feel like that at the time, but, you know…

Britta: Yeah, yeah. No, that, I think that’s, that’s, that’s a big thing, um, for sure how you perceive things, what kind of perspective you have, and if you’re here to see everything as an experience to learn from, rather than something else. I dunno. I like to see everything as an experience to learn from.

That I’m here to experience as, as much as I can and to have as many lessons that I can take away from all of these experiences. Um, yeah, I, I like to, to believe that way, that, that, that is what’s, why we’re here and, and what’s driving us is to learn.

Rayne: Absolutely. And, and for me, it just feels like from, you know, different conversations and things I’ve had that it, it’s like some people feel like, um, it just feels like because they, they haven’t explored or, or, or sort of built on that, a relationship with whatever, you know, their spiritual, uh, side of themselves.

Um, they’re more prone to thinking that they’re, they’re flawed. There’s something wrong with them, you know?  You know, and they deserve punishment or, you know, whatever it is. Right? And, and I get it. You know, and, and, uh, like I said, that’s, that’s why I feel so blessed that you know, that, that I drowned, you know, because it, it, at a very young age, I, I was given that gift, you know? Of having that, that… the beginning of that relationship.

It was very odd, very odd experience. And, you know…?

Britta: Yeah, I can, I can, I can, I can hardly imagine. But yeah, I, I’m sure it was.

Rayne: Yeah. Yeah. But it, but it was also, um, you know, very beautiful. You know, it was very, very beautiful and it sort of, it reassured me that, you know, that, you know, this physical form, yes, you know, I, I’m to appreciate it and, and, you know, um, do what I can, you know, to look after my physical form.

Um, but also that, you know, the physical is not the end all be all, you know? And, and also, that doing these self, doing this self-reflection and having this strong relationship with the spiritual parts of ourselves, where we’re connected to something bigger than ourselves, um, for me than myself, it, it, it allows me to, to become stronger spiritually.

You know, like, um, something that might have, you know, seemed like the end of the world or whatever, you know, when it happened. Now I see that as, that was not the end of the world. And I, you know, that was not the end of the world at all. And I, you know, it’s funny because we think, oh, if there’s an injury, then that’s it.

You know, where in a lot of ways, like emotionally and spiritually and psychically, you know, we’re like octopuses, right? We can get injured, but we, that thing can grow back and it can grow back even stronger, you know? Like, it’s, it’s kind of a, you know, a weird metaphor, but metaphor. Yeah, I that’s, but that’s really how it is.

You know, if you choose to look at it like that. If you choose to go, ‘Okay, what do I need to learn from this?’ What, you know, and sometimes it’s, you know, persevere. You know, persevere, just keep persevering and, you know, not, not the toxic positivity or anything. If something’s crappy and you’re going through it, then it’s crappy, you know?

It’s, you know, but, but also, you know, that there’s hope. There’s always, always hope, and that, you know, you can get through it, you know, and there there’ll, there’ll be more to come, you know? And um… I don’t, I don’t know.

Tonya: I think it has a lot to do also for me, um, with trust. Like learning how to, how to trust, and I’m not gonna say trust yourself because I feel like, you know, spirituality, it goes much higher and deeper than, you know, when we’re talking about what we think of as, as the everyday self.

But really just finding ways to get quiet and listen, right? Instead of talking like, our brains are always talking to us. Um, and finding ways, whatever that is, whether it’s, you know, practicing meditation a little bit every day or taking that walk in nature, just really getting quiet.

And then that’s when I find that I can really start to hear and whatever, you know, whatever I call it that we, sometimes we call it the little voice. Or, you know, the, um, our intuition, that intuitive feeling, right? Like we know in our gut when something is right for us or something is wrong, we don’t always listen to it right?

But we know, if we get really quiet and listen, we know that this is gonna be right, or this is gonna pos, you know, probably be a, a mistake or a misstep. Um, and to me that’s also part of spirituality. It’s, it’s something bigger than us really guiding us and, and looking out for us and, and trying to point us, you know, gently in the right direction where we are going to learn something or become a better person or, you know, whatever it is that, like you said, Rayne, we need to learn.

And I really think getting quiet in whatever way that means for you, which is hard to do, um, especially in our modern world and all the stuff we have going on, and as sensitive people, we have so much noise anyway. Um, but, you know, just practicing a little bit every day to kind of get quiet and just listen.

And I think, you know, most of us are, are really surprised at some of the, some of the things that, that we notice and learn when we can really listen.

Britta: Yeah. And when you’re being perspective, and I, I, I actually really like that you brought up the, the theme of intuition, because that was something that I was thinking about when I was listening to you guys talking, that my, my spiritual self-care has a lot to do with my intuition too. That was something that I wanted to add. It’s almost like your connection to something higher.

And if you, like you said Tonya, when you listen to it… And what I found is I’m, I’m actually in, in the process of really focusing more on what is my intuition saying?

What is my intuition telling me in this situation about this decision? And really, really honing in on, on that gut feeling that tells you yes or no. And what I found is also that it’s often my very first reflex.

Tonya: Yes.

Britta: Without actually getting into your head and thinking everything through rationally.

Just really going like, is it a yes or a no? And most of the time that’s where the intuition comes in. That’s where you immediately feel like, uh, yes or mm-hmm, nope, this is not for me. And that’s really…

Tonya: And you can start to talk yourself out it, and that’s when you get in trouble. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Britta: Yeah, that can happen too.

Rayne: But for me too, also, it’s not, it’s not about, uh, it, it’s definitely hasn’t been about avoiding anything that’s gonna make me feel uncomfortable be, if anything, if anything, the stuff The Light has asked me has been very, very uncomfortable, you know?

You know, so, um, you know, my, my feeling, my intuition is, you know, my intuition and, and where I’m being guided is, you know, I know it’s the right, you know, I know that’s what I’m supposed to do, but, you know, my brain is like, ‘No, no, that’s not…’, you know, kind of thing.

So I, I guess it’s a, it’s, um, it’s a bit of a, hmm… It’s not so simple sometimes, you know?

Tonya: And it definitely doesn’t have anything to do with comfort.

Rayne: No, no.

Tonya: No, it doesn’t. I mean, when I left California, I left California for, um, for Boston, and it was my little voice who was whispering to me and then was screaming at me to move.

And it was the most, um, uh, inconvenient, unpractical thing I could have possibly done, but it was also the best decision I ever made in my life, right?

So on paper everything was saying, ‘No, don’t do this.’ It was only that, that voice, that, that gut instinct, whatever we’re gonna call it, that spiritual guidance um, that I listened to and it changed my life in so many in, in countless positive ways. And so, you know, it definitely wasn’t comfortable and it definitely wasn’t easy. But listening right. To that voice who just would not shut up.

Rayne: Yeah. And you’re like “No!”

Britta: Exactly, and in hindsight, it it was, it was to help and to make you better.

Tonya: Exactly. Telling me this is what you need to do.

Britta: Yeah, exactly.

Rayne: So on that note, I figure it’s a good time to kind of add this in. Um, so I, and I, and, uh, I’ve chatted with, um, Tonya and Britta about this, um, because it’s, it’s, uh, I’ve… I’m really enjoying, I’m really enjoying podcasting with you guys. And, um, but, um, I’m being guided, I guess is the way to kind of put it, um, to, to focus on, um, one or two other things for now.

And, um, which means, uh, you know, then I have to set a boundary with myself, because then it’s like, okay, what, you know, what do I have time for? What do I have the bandwidth for? While I love, and while I enjoy doing, um, doing the podcast there’s… I, I won’t, I won’t have time for it. So that’s just, just for, um, our Highly Sensitive listeners, and thank you so much for being with us.

Um, this, this, uh, this will be the last podcast for awhile. I don’t wanna say, um, because we don’t know what the future holds, so we’re just gonna say for awhile and, um, and so, so that I can go ahead and, and do this, kind of keep following what I’m supposed to be doing. So.

Britta: Yep.

Rayne: Um, but, so on that note, thank you Tonya and Britta. Thank you so much you guys, um, for sharing your experiences.

Britta: Thank you Rayne.

Rayne: Yeah. And, uh, thank you to our Highly Sensitive listeners for sharing your time and space today. Feel free to join us on Instagram or Facebook and yeah… Love you guys. Bye, Tonya, bye Britta.

Tonya: Bye.

Britta: Bye.

Music credit: Journey Starts From One Step – Musik av Gvidon

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