We want to live in a world where highly sensitive people are seen, heard, and respected. Where sensitives believe in their value and worth and where they can access the tools they need to step into their sensitivity with confidence and calm. We believe that high sensitivity is expansive and NOT limiting and that our trait is essential to making our world a more compassionate and caring home for all living beings. Sensitivity Rising Podcast for Highly Sensitive People How to create sacred space as a Highly Sensitive Person - Sensitivity Rising

Episode 4

Creating Sacred Space as HSPs

Sacred space is the setting aside of a time and place in a way that creates a container for us to go inward and focus on ourselves- something we need especially as Highly Sensitive People.

In this episode Amber and Tonya chat about how we can create sacred spaces in our homes, holding sacred space for others, how our minds can become sacred spaces with practice, and doing our best to set ourselves up for success with what we have.

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Transcript

Tonya 0:03

Welcome to the sensitivity rising podcast where sensitive people learn how to turn down the noise, and tune into their inner guidance systems.

Hello, friends, and welcome to the sensitivity rising podcast, I am one of your hosts, Tonya.

Amber 0:26

And I'm Amber and today we are talking about sacred spaces. I love this

Tonya 0:31

topic, I'm super. So to get into this. But first, if you're a fan of the show, please click the Listen link in the show notes to subscribe for free on your platform of choice. So you don't miss any of our great episodes. So Amer let's talk about sacred spaces. Yeah, you know, when we decided to talk about this, I started thinking about kind of the history and so I did a little bit of just kind of a very general history search on them. And you know, all cultures have had temples, churches, right? shrine rooms, places that are set aside by communities, for ritual activities for coming together for communal practices. We can think of right the the fire circle, right in tribes. Maybe the shamans cave, I came across one story that said the ancient Greeks had a had a structure that they called the terminos, which was a four walled enclosure without a roof. So when the Greek warriors would come back from battle, they would remove their armor, and they'd come into this space, and they would just lie down there lay down on their backs and, and open their eyes and their hearts and their minds to the sky. And I thought that was something really interesting, I really love history. But kind of the common thread of the sacred physical spaces is really about setting aside time, a time and a place in a way that creates, right, that container for us a container for us, as an individual or as a community, to really go into quiet spaces, a space of contemplation, sometimes celebration, learning, healing, right, and personal growth. And I think it's important to point out that really, this has less to do with less to do with cultural belief systems and methodologies and religion as it as it is more about a personal journey. And sacred spaces don't need to be a physical place, or a space away from home that we traveled to write it can also all those, this can be a beautiful thing, if we're called to it, but it doesn't always have to

Amber 3:14

be that what do you think, Amber? Yeah, I love what you were sharing some of the cultural stuff and the historic stuff. Thank you for that. It was such a powerful image to me when you were talking about them laying down their armor, right, that's so symbolic to take to remove the armor and getting back to we always kind of hit Brene Brown in our talks. But yeah, she talks about that, right, like, you know, dropping the armor. And so to go, when you drop the armor, you're vulnerable. And so for me, you know, another way, because I know sometimes people have a hard time with the term sacred, if it's not a word that they're comfortable with yet, it's really safe. That's another word for it. Like you're creating a space that's safe for you, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, for whatever it is, it's there's safety in that for you to go into that type of contemplation, or expression, or whatever it is that's going on. So I really liked kind of that perspective of the historic piece. And yeah, when it comes to sacred spaces, you know, sometimes they are these places that we might journey to. Some people have that for their religions that they might journey to. Other people might just have had, maybe a spiritual experience somewhere. So for me, I did a solo hike years ago now and had this incredibly profound experience at a waterfall in the middle of nowhere in Maine. And it I literally felt my brain shift and it's what brought me to the work that I do now. When I had that experience. I decided wow, like this was so transformative. Have in such a short period of time, so powerful other people need this experience to. And so that's kind of what brought me here. But that place is very remote and half of the year, I can't even access it because of the weather. And then if I do want to access it at this point, I think it's like five hours one way for me. So it's quite a commitment. And that's not always possible. So, you know, I have found ways that you know, I have the sacred space of accessing it for myself from home now. Where I can just kind of drop into that space, and I can feel like I'm there.

Tonya 5:32

And we can create sacred spaces in our homes, we can hold sacred space for others, and we can even turn our minds into sacred spaces with practice, a lot of practice. And really, for me, I think it's just simply a place where we set ourselves up for inner work. And that's really all it is, it's, it's a time, a place that an ideal world will have set up that we know we can go to. For us to go inward. So inner work can mean different things right to us at different times. And we can get into that in another episode later on. Today, we're just talking about really doing our best to set ourselves up for success with what we have right with where we are today. And so if we talk about sacred spaces at home, depending on where you live, I mean, it could be a room in your house or apartment. It could be a closet. You know, I've spent some time in my closet. It's one of the quietest rooms in the house. It's kind of like a little cocoon. You know.

Amber 7:00

I think a lot of HSPs do that. Yeah. I remember Alanna smallsat talking about that in the documentary sensitive. If you've seen that one. Oh, I have something about how she would use her closet too. So

Tonya 7:13

yeah, it's just it's like, yeah, it's like a little cocoon, I think. Um, you know, if you have a corner or favorite chair, if you meditate, maybe it's an altar where you keep things that you find peaceful or calming. In the video, if you're, if you're listening to us, just listening to us on the podcast, you can go to the YouTube video, and you can see that I'm sitting in one of my sacred spaces right now I have my, my altar here behind me. And I have things like seashells that I have brought home from important, you know, travels that I've had seaglass I'm so drawn to the ocean and to the water. So having these things around me, it really fills me with a sense of calm and a sense of a sense of love. Yeah, so these are kind of some of the things that I bring in from the outside to surround myself with. Maybe you just have a favorite corner of the sofa that you'd like to sit on and, and read. It can be a bath or a shower, just somewhere that you can kind of be alone and focus. I'm sure many of us have probably had that experience where we've been, you know, in the shower, and then all of a sudden, we get that great idea. Or we remember something right that we'd forgotten because we're in a space where we've just given our thinking minds a break, without even really realizing it. Yeah, so maybe you have a space outside. If you'd like to spend time outside. Yeah, some of those are some of the great ones. I think a car is also another great place, especially if you commute.

Amber 9:10

I love it. I love that you said this one time. Yeah, I don't know if you do this, but I know. Especially if I don't have my child with me. When I pull into my parking spot at home, especially if there's a song that I want to hear the end of. But sometimes I just sit in my car, I there's nobody even inside my house. They live alone other than my son, right? So, um, but there's something about that. Why there's nothing I have to do, right? When I come in the house. I've got, you know, chores and responsibilities and stuff. And so just that moment of staying in the car and I hadn't thought of my cars as sacred space. But when you said that it made me laugh because I always think my neighbors must think I'm like crazy because sometimes it'll be longer than it should be like my car has not moved or been on for 40 minutes and I'm getting up out of the car. My neighbor's ever called me just like, What is she doing? If they even notice, but

Tonya:

it's decompressing, it's decompressing.

Amber:

Yes, yes. But now I have a new spot that I will add to my list of sacred space.

Tonya:

See, sometimes it's things that we don't even really think of. Right? So it doesn't have to be, you know, a certain place that's been designated by someone else as sacred. Right? It's, it's what we define sacred as for ourself, and it's that 40 minutes where you're kind of in limbo, right? Where you don't, you don't feel obligated for doing something, you know, obligated to do something else, right? It's just your time in that space.

Amber:

Yes, yeah, one of the words that I like to use for Sacred also, it's just intentional. Mm hmm. So, um, because that's really what it is, is it's intentional, purposeful time, however you want to use that. And so similar to the things you were saying, in my mind spaces that I have. So being a solo parent, I have a few spaces that I've set up in my home as what I consider sacred spaces, because I'm, I can't always use the one that I may want to depending on what the little human has planned for me for that day. And so what I've done is I've brought a lot of nature indoors to help with that to kind of help all spaces feel a little bit more grounded and sacred, and then very intentionally, have placed them around the house. So it could be plants, it could be rocks from a special place, like I have a rock that I use from that waterfall, to really connect me back there, when I hold it. It could be I have a turkey feather that I found on a wanderer to see different objects that either reminds me of a sacred place that I might want to, in my mind, go back to or help ground me or bring me peace in some way. And then my bathroom is a space that I, you know, redesigned a little bit when I moved in here to create a space that was really calm and soothing. Baths are a huge part of my self care and my sanity. But also water is very protective, energetically. So I find myself when I'm really overwhelmed taking a lot of Bath, because the water is so energetically protective. So for me, it was important to make that space, a very sacred space for me to really go inward and just not be bombarded by the energy of the world. And then you mentioned your altar. So I don't currently have an altar setup. I used to have something on a shelf, but I have this little cupboard cabinet closet type space. That's really awkward. It's right at the beginning of the hallway in my home. And I don't I didn't know what to do with it for quite a while. And I recently decided I'm going to paint in there and put on a shelf or something. But I'm going to create an altar in there. And so for me, yeah, yeah, so I can see like you have, like some Buddha, I think Buddha statues, I can see them very, like really clearly. But for me, where a lot of my spirituality is nature based, I'm bringing in more of the force shields direction. So I have, you know, rocks for each color of each direction that I will lay in there aligned with the like the white rock will be on the north side of it. And then I'll have other little things in there to create that space that's very intentional, and sometimes do work with it. So that those are a few things that I do here. Yeah, yeah.

Tonya:

And I love that it's going to be at the entrance, right. So you'll see it as soon as you get home and you'll see it as you're leaving.

Amber:

Yeah, and it's funny that you say that it's actually I'm looking at it from here. It's actually the very center of my home. I've worked I didn't really like said that. So when you come in the door, it's pretty much right there when you come in the door, but I'm in my living room right now. And I can see it from here. And then the other like dining room, kitchen stuffs off that way. And then our the hallway goes to our bedrooms and our living spaces. So it really is truly central to all four guys. So I hadn't consciously thought of that. But that's, that's awesome. So that when things work out that way.

Tonya:

It was meant to be there.

Amber:

It was and that's one of those things do you find right? Like once you realize, oh, I'm going to do this here. Sometimes like you just start to notice the bigger picture exam intuitively it just felt right.

Tonya:

I think that's a perfect example of you know, making your sacred space personal to you right. Choose what feels good to you. What gives you comfort, inspiration and what you can draw energy from Yeah,

Amber:

That's exactly

Tonya:

another thing that I like to think of for sacred space is our mind as a sacred space. This is obviously a little bit trickier. Um, you know, we have a constant commentary running in our minds always thinking, planning, processing, guessing, trying to control things, labeling things as good or bad that we've talked about in another episode. Likes and dislikes, it's just a lot, right? It's a lot going on. And those are just the things that we are conscious of. Right? There's so many things going on in our subconscious as well. So quieting our minds is one of the hardest things for us to do. It's just in our nature to keep these stories going. And one of the big reasons I found in my teaching is, this is one of the reasons that people either don't like meditation, or they feel like they're doing it like, quote wrong, because they can't empty their mind. And so that's one of the things that I like to focus on is, how can we, how can we create a sacred space in our minds when it's so crowded? And then,

Amber:

right? Yeah, yeah, that's hard. When our minds are really busy, what are the things that I use? And, and I could probably apply this to more thoughts than I do. But especially when I know I'm in kind of a spiral, or I'm really stuck in something is just to remember, kind of ask myself, just thinking this, or do these thoughts serve me? Because a lot of times, they don't, right. So if somebody I don't know, something happens, and I'm really frustrated by a situation, or a person, and I get into that spiral of, you know, analyzing it from all the different angles and why I'm right, and they're wrong, or, or it should be this way, or that way, whatever it is, right? That does nothing for me, except make me feel all that negative stuff even more, right. And it gets me just more wound up and more in my head, and more disconnected from myself and others. So that's something that's been really helpful for, for me is like, does this serve me? Is this is this serving? Where I want to go in life? And what my intentions and my values are? Is this going to bring anything? Usually it doesn't, when I asked myself this, there's usually nothing positive coming out of what's going on in there. Right. So that's just a good way that I check in, in with myself.

Tonya:

Yeah, and I think that that kind of has a lot, that's a really good connection to, to my experience with meditation is that, you know, for the longest time, I really, really struggle with it. And it's not to say that I don't excuse me struggle with it, still. But, you know, I used to think that I needed to clear all my thoughts. And, you know, just enter meditation with this. totally clear mind, right? And, you know, just gonna sit there and be calm. And now I've realized that it actually has nothing to do with that, right? It's just practicing becoming an observer of my thoughts. So I think that's a lot to do with what you were saying about having thoughts. Do these thoughts serve me? Kind of from that, from that observing perspective, right? Yes, and not. And not putting ourselves in the story. But seeing it as a story that's being told, as opposed to acting in that story, if that makes sense. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And we don't need to believe all the stories that our minds tell us.

Amber:

Yes. And so I'm gonna actually I'm gonna take that another step further. Because you're spot on with what you just said. And, you know, that being an observing state, and one of the things that's hard is when we're too far down that road, if we're too consumed by an extreme emotion, or story or something, we don't have access yet to that observer. And so basically, if we're at a very dysregulated state or a very, if we've been triggered, and we're really really deep in it, yeah. And so something that I do for myself to share and I do this with clients too. In order to get to that observer place, we we there is a level of calm that we already have to have ahead of time. So if I'm really elevated, I will find and I've done this with several people. And this is I've seen it across the board that it really brings people down pretty quickly from that elevated state and I'll find a plant or something pleasing in my space, I usually try, I find that it's more effective for me and those I've worked with to use, like a plant something that's nature based, because it's living. And just taking that and kind of just focusing on that, because that's going to bring us to the present moment. And then describing everything we can about it size, shape, texture, colors, really anything looking at the little intricate details of it, especially if it's, if it's something I'm doing for myself, I might not be saying it out loud, I might be just focusing on it. And so what I noticed that that really brings my system down. And sometimes if I haven't done it long enough, I'll be like, Oh, I'm good. And I'll shift my focus, and it'll come right back up. So I'll do it again, until it stays down. But once you get it down to that manageable, more grounded level, then you can bring on that observer. But if you're trying to bring on the observer, when you're in the elevated space, pretty hard. So that and I, I kind of chuckled when you said, the practice, you know, that takes a lot of practice for this mind piece, because it's really true. And it takes being able to have that awareness, which is hard, when were elevated are going through some really tough things.

Tonya:

And that's why I've at least, um, you know, in my, in my experience and my journey so far, and it's taken me a really long time to get to here. But that's why for me in meditation, daily practice is so important, right? Because the more time I spend in my practice, daily consistently, then when those things do come up, I'm it's easier for me to to get into that calmer state, as opposed to whether I'm just wait until I'm triggered, right? And then I and then I'm reaching for something and I'm grasping for something, the more time I spend regulating my nervous system in that way. And that's the way that works for me. Then, yeah, then it's easier for me to be in a calm state overall. And so when something does come up for me, it's easier for me to access that. Observer versus participant. Does that make sense?

Amber:

Yeah, I'm curious, as you're saying that. Do you feel like from doing that practice, when something comes up, do you feel it's almost like your body craves to go to that space to do it?

Tonya:

Okay. it craves to go to the calmer state in that practice?

Amber:

Like, do you feel like pulled to go do that versus making yourself go do that?

Tonya:

Yeah, I mean, I don't I don't know if I would call it a craving or a poll. I would say it's more of for me, it's more of a pause. Right? It's like I'm, I'm noticing. Like I can say to myself, Tanya, you're starting to spiral. Right? Instead of just spiraling uncontrollably, right? I'm, I start to spiral. Don't get me wrong. I Spire start to spiral. And we all do. Yeah. And then it's like, okay, wait a minute. It's almost like, I can't, I can't really describe it. I'll just say it's a voice. Maybe it's my inner self. That's trying to get through to me, my true self to say, Wait a minute. Just pump the brakes for a second. You know, and really think this thing through and all of that. So I would say it's more of a I'm called to pause. Yeah. Oh, yeah, I'm calling.

Amber:

But I was. I think it's what I was asking for my own experiences, because I have found so I'm always interested in how your experience and my experience with our practices are so similar, because yours is more traditional meditation or yoga practices and minds, the nature kind of whatever's, whatever I feel intuitively pulled to out there. But what I've noticed is as I've deepened into my nature based practices, just like you're saying, with your meditation and mindfulness practices, I have found that I I feel that port. And I think it's a calling, I said it was like a craving, I don't think that is actually quite the right word, I think it is calling like you were saying, because lately, I noticed that when I really start to spiral, I'm gonna use that too. Because same thing, it's kind of like, I get just kind of, I feel everything kind of elevating, and the spiral starts to happen, right. And then I feel very strongly this calling lately to go. And this is, it's still feels silly still for me to say, because I was never this person. But I literally feel called to go hug a tree, or go sit and like lean against a tree. And for me right now, it's red pine trees, we have these incredible red pines where I live, and it's just the most grounding brings me back to that place so quickly. And I was curious if that was your experience to have feeling that call to? Because of the practice, right? Because it takes so much practice, but eventually, it's almost like, an energetic muscle memory. Maybe,

Tonya:

exactly. That's what I was gonna say. It's like, it happens Now without me. Even really trying? Yeah, without me rolling, trying. I mean, it has to be, it has to be something pretty extreme. And I've had, over the past year, I've had some pretty extreme things happen to me, I've had some really big losses in my life, you know, with with people that were close to me who have passed away. And even in those moments, when I was like, in the depths of of grief and processing, I was still able to observe it from a place of grace, I don't really know how to describe it is really, you know, and all of this is very personal. It's not. Not everyone's going to have this experience. But yeah, I just think the point is that over time, like you said, a muscle memory, it just starts to, you just kind of automatically gravitate towards it without even realizing and it's not like a flip, you know, a switch flips. And all of a sudden, one day you realize it, it's it starts happening before you even realize it's happening.

Amber:

Yes, I'm with you, I'm with you. And it is it is that with practice type thing. And one of the things I just want to mention, because I know you said for you, it's really important for you to do it daily. For me, obviously, daily is is ideal, but you know, as a neurodivergent person, for me, I'm not good at every single day. And as soon as I tell myself, I have to do something every single day, my brain is like, Hey, we're not doing that. And it becomes something that I resist instead of something that I'm doing out of self compassion and self care. So I just wanted to mention that for anybody who's joining us right now that, you know, don't, don't put the pressure on yourself to do it every day. But this is something that over time, you know, the more you can do it, the better. But, you know, over time that will build if it's not something that you already have. For practice. Yeah,

Tonya:

for sure. For sure. Even if it's you know, you just pick a certain time every week that you're going to, you know, sit and in your sacred space. Um, and just kind of give yourself that time for sure. For sure. And just because I say every day, it doesn't mean I'm sitting and meditating for two hours a day, sometimes it's only for 10 minutes.

Amber:

Right? Right. Yeah, yeah, making it your own and what works for you. And, and because it's also not, the purpose of this, you know, is is more self compassion, self compare, self care based. So yeah, if we're forcing ourselves to do these things for a long time, periods of time that, you know, maybe isn't serving us, and I think we all know, you know, if we really tune in, if it's something that we're avoiding, because, you know, maybe we don't want to do it, even though we need to do it versus this isn't serving me. So I think going back to that place, kind of like the thoughts, you know, the actions as well as it serving me and it's, it's something that's beneficial to me.

Tonya:

And even taking a walk outside is meditative. Exactly. Right. So there's all kinds of meditation, there's all kinds of occasions. Yeah, the last thing I would say about that is that one of my really big go twos is turning to my breath. And I really like that because it's something that everyone can do. And it's something we carry with us, no matter where we go. Right? We always have our breath with us. So even if you just, you know, practice taking a few moments every day or once a day where you just, you know, set an alarm on your phone or something and you just stop to take 10 You know, long slow, deep breaths, and you start to do that once a day every day. You're really start to notice the shift in your energy and your mindset. And I feel like the more you start to notice that shift, then the more you're called to do it, right, because we're not really going to want to keep going back to something if we're not feeling the results.

Amber:

Yes, yes. And it's hard with stuff like this, that takes like this, these practices take time for it to really get to the place of feeling that, that calling to do it when we need it most. And so it is hard, I think that's a great point that you made about, you know, to see the little results, so that way, we want to do it more. Because if we don't have any results in a short period of time, it's human nature. Yes.

Tonya:

To write our society is very, like, instant gratification. Yes. So we're all kind of conditioned to that now. So that's another kind of barrier that we need to break through. Mm hmm. Um, one other thing that I wanted to bring up is something that one of my teachers taught me, is, don't invite other people into your sacred space. And what she meant was, so if your speaker, your sacred space is the car, right, or the bathtub, that or your mind, right, you don't allow anyone else in there with you. So what I mean by that is, you know, you're not inviting, if you're having a fight with your partner, or you're upset with your boss or something like that, you're not inviting them, and that experience into this space with you. Right, so carrying that problem at work or carrying that problem with your partner. You know, if you're worried about world conflict, or you know, from the smallest thing to the most overwhelming thing, that you're doing your best not to carry those thoughts and emotions into your space, because this is your space, right? It's your time to focus on you and no one else. So do your best not to invite them in and they'll barge in, right? They might barge in 20 times in five minutes. And every time they barge in, you just ask them to leave. Yeah,

Amber:

that's good advice. Because, you know, as you're saying that I was thinking about, I have that waterfall that I like to go to. And I have brought people there, but I'm very specific about who goes there with me. And if they do come, there's like a little talk before we go about why this is a special place. And when we're there, this is probably what I'm going to do and probably not even going to know you exist for a little bit, you know, like, so that way they know what this is, to me. And that way that's honored when we're there. But it's also in my home too, right? I'm very careful about who I invite into my home. And so to take that into the space of our minds as well, is such good advice. You know, if you wouldn't bring them, you know, with you to a sacred location or say into your space in your into your home. You know, don't let them into your the space of your mind, either that sacred space that's really

Tonya:

powerful and beautiful. Yeah, I mean, if you're not gonna, you know, invite your coworker home to fight with her in your living room. You know, why would you write right? I'm not saying it's easy, it's hard. But that's why I said, you know, even if they come in 20 times when you notice that they're, sometimes it takes us a while to notice that they're actually there. And when we notice what they're saying, no, no, you're not No, no, thank you. You're not You're disinvited.

Amber:

Yeah, I love that.

Tonya:

And then also, we wanted to talk about holding sacred space for others. And I think this is something especially as sensitive people, highly sensitive people, it really just comes naturally to us. Do you agree with that? Amber, do you think it comes natural? For sure.

Amber:

I think this is one of the things that are is a profound gift that we have. Because our brains are wired differently. And, and you know, I love I love neuroscience, though, you know, I do think it's something that with our brain wiring, we just have a unique gift for showing up for people in that way.

Tonya:

Yeah, and you know, even though it does come naturally to us, I'm sure that I mean, we all know this in theory, but sometimes it's a lot harder in practice to make sure that we have healthy boundaries around it. You know, for me, a lot of this holding space for people I have learned to do it very intentionally. And to you know, I If I do my very best to hold space for others with an open heart and an open mind and without judgment, but we do need to be careful, you know, energy vampires, right, we've all had experience with energy vampires. So and I definitely wasn't always this way, you know, with an open heart and open mind, I protected myself from a lot of that stuff for a long time. And, you know, it's something I just had to discover on my own in my own time. And I also think that it's important when we talk about boundaries, to know that our boundaries are always changing. Right, they change when they change as we change. Right, so something that we found maybe acceptable, you know, last week, now, it is not acceptable for you to share this with me. So it's a lot of fluidity. I think that changes as we change,

Amber:

yeah, for sure. boundaries with holding space is huge. And, you know, I know a lot of highly sensitive people will say, you know, people, just strangers will open up, I have this experience to strangers will tell me their whole life story, or whatever's going on whether I have the body language of, I want to talk to you or I don't want to talk to anybody, they still find a way to want to share they feel pulled to us. And, and the big thing I want people to remember is that nobody is entitled to our time, or our energy. And we can be such compassionate people. And we want to help, that that can be really hard for us to set those boundaries. I struggled with this. And I still have moments when it's hard for me to get away in these situations. And just finding ways to exit or just say, you know, you know that I'm sorry, I, I wish I had the capacity or the space to help you with that right now. But I don't, you know, just, it's so important. Because the very easy, it can be very easy to pull up into this constant, almost therapist type role. Yeah, with everybody, right? Because of how we're wired and how we mirror people, and then they feel seen and heard. And they feel like they've had that space. And, and it's beautiful. When we're doing it on our terms. That's okay with us. But it's very toxic when we allow people to overstep that.

Tonya:

And it's so easy to do. At least it has been for me in the past. Yeah. Well,

Amber:

it's so subtle between the moment of I'm okay with this, and I'm not okay with this. Yeah. And then sometimes you're kind of in it. And it's like, how do I get myself out now? Because I was okay with it to here. I don't know this person. And now I need to, I need to I need an exit. Yeah. So that's, that's tricky. And every time I hit one of those situations, I kind of take a step back afterwards. And think about it. So okay, if this happens again, next time, what can I say? And I can have a sentence or something in my back pocket. Yeah. One that I like to use is, I'm so sorry, I really have to use the restroom. I'll just excuse myself, because nobody's gonna You mean, they're not gonna follow you into the bathroom, right? That's one that like, in really dire circumstances, and I can't get out that's, that's my go to.

Tonya:

No, I like that one, I like that one, I'm going to I'm going to put that one in my back pocket as well.

Amber:

And then to just kind of bring in more of that neuroscience stuff that I geek out on so much with holding space. So we are wired, as HSPs we actually have more mirror neurons, that kind of wiring than non HSPs. And so what that means is we tend to mirror others more emotionally, or even physically, I've caught myself sometimes doing the same like can like sitting the same way as somebody that's completely subconscious. But it's because we have very social brains. And everybody has this has mirror neurons, and everybody has these social brains and these circuits but with HSPs, it's just naturally stronger. Which is, which is a strength, but it's also a vulnerability if we're not careful in how we use it. And so the term that correlates to this and I'll put the in the show notes we'll have the study that goes along with this because I can't remember their names off the top of my head but basically It's called emotional resonance. And so the our emotions are contagious. And so when we're holding space for somebody, it's the, and we see this in relationships and stuff, when people start to, you know, might be like, Well, what happened in your day? Why are you so cranky in the past, like, I'm not cranky, you're the one who's crying. Those situations are emotional resonance. So empathy is pre verbal. And it's how we unconsciously mirror other people. And we just do this a lot. And so one of the things that happens is when we see somebody else having an emotional experience, it triggers the neural circuits in our brains, that are the same as if we were having those emotional experiences. And so that's why if you've ever heard people talk about the, the capacity that somebody has to empathetically resonate with somebody else, or to hold space for somebody through something hard, is directly related to their ability to be with their own emotions. So we can't be with other people's emotions, any more than we can be with our own emotions that are the same. And what's going on there is because of this, the way the circuitry forms, when we're children are immediate caregivers, they respond to our emotions and our feelings in a certain way. That way, is what becomes how we respond to our own emotions, right. But then how we respond to our own emotions is how we're going to respond to other people, when they're having those emotions. Because when they have those emotions, it triggers those circuits in our brain. So if we can be with it with ourselves, we can be with it with the other person, if we can't be with if we are some, if I'm somebody who shuts down those emotions, I don't want to feel them, I shut them down, and I stuffed them, then when somebody comes to me with those and presents those emotions, I'm going to shut them down, right. And so you can also see the danger here of that cyclical effect, because then when you become the parent, now, the way you you have now have a reaction that's based on how your parents responded to your emotions. That's how you're responding to your children's emotions, the children or the child's going to take that that's going to become their process and the cycle repeats itself. So if we have an unhealthy family dynamic, we can often have an unhealthy way that we respond to others when they have certain emotions. And so that can be overwritten. So that's if we don't do any, you know, therapy, healing work or growth, unlearning. But once we do that we can, we can change our neurocircuitry that the neuroplasticity our brains are really fascinating that way. And so that's something we can change. So not everybody has the capacity right now to maybe show up for us the way we show up for other people. And that can be I know a lot of HSPs talk about that. That's why I wanted to bring us in here. But so we might not have the capacity right now. But everybody has the ability to do that healing work, and to be able to write. So I just find that really fascinating on on holding space. And so if you're somebody who stops your motions, you have a hard time holding space for people, you know, dealing with your own stuff, and reprocessing that will help you show up for yourself better and help you show up for other people better. That's well.

Tonya:

Yeah, I mean, it all starts with us. Yeah, right. It all starts with us. It's, you know, everything that we typically get frustrated with with other people or, you know, what's that saying? Where it's like, if somebody's irritating you, then there's something about someone who's irritating you, then it's probably something you don't like about yourself?

Amber:

Yeah, it's another mirroring. Yeah.

Tonya:

I mean, I don't know if I would go quite that far. I think there's a lot of things with that statement. You know, that can go into triggering as well. But I think there's a lot of there's a lot of truth to it. It's it's all about introspection, I think. And it's also really hard for us to hold space for others if we're not holding space for ourselves. Yes. And so then why?

Amber:

And just because I know so many HSPs have struggled with this because I have to where we can often find ourselves in friendships that are maybe one sided, where we're holding space for others, others holding space for us. And then we we often take that personally and feel so hurt by it that maybe we're not worthy or we come up with some ridiculous story.

Tonya:

You're not getting back as much as true like we're giving

Amber:

Yeah, well, yeah, but we come on with maybe some story about what that means about us, when really I know for me, it's been really helpful to start looking at, and not pathologizing other people, but looking at their if they aren't holding space for me, I can usually tell from the space that I've held for them, where their emotional struggles lie. And often it's being with their own emotions. And so they're not going to be able to do that for me when I need it. As much as I want them to as much as they might want to, for me, they're not there. And so being able to recognize that has really helped me not feel so isolated and alone, when it's hard to find somebody to hold the space that I'm needing, right, because we all need it at some point. Yeah. Does that make sense? No.

Tonya:

It totally does. It's about for me, I for me, I would describe it as meeting people where they are.

Amber:

Yes, exactly. And I love this, this concept of emotional resonance and how those circuits evolve in our brains, because it's something that even though we can't see it, science has described, and it's a thing and so we all have felt it. But to have the context of science behind it, for me is sometimes really helpful. Just to ground myself and realize like, oh, it's not me, it's it's the other person's where they're at.

Tonya:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I think it's really important to, like you said, not take it personally, which can be a really a really hard thing to deal with, especially if it's somebody that you really love and care about, and to come to that come to terms, letting go of those expectations, right, that that person is going to be able to hold that space for you in the way that you feel you need or the way that you want.

Amber:

Yes, it's so hard, the way you the way

Tonya:

that we want and we can't always get what we want, unfortunately, you know, we have to we have to accept people for what they're capable of, and what they're what they're capable of giving us just as we want them to accept us.

Amber:

Right, right. And just like I was saying about, you know, people aren't entitled to our time and energy. Same goes, you know, people aren't entitled to mine, and I'm not entitled to other people's. And so it's also helped me navigate, who do I talk to? Right? When I need that, that space? You know, I've certain friends that I know, will show up and hold space for me. And if they can't, they'll tell me, I can't right now, versus people who might not be at that place yet. And they might not be able to tell me that they can't. Yeah. And then when I tried to get that from them, it's not going to feel good for either one of us. So starting to identify who, who can do that, and who can't. And what those roles are in those relationships is really helpful.

Tonya:

Yeah, it's a lot of navigating but but with patience, right, with patience, compassion for other people and compassion for ourselves. And a lot of good communication. Yes, about that stuff. I think it can, it can be done. Yes, it can be done,

Amber:

can. And then the other thing that I wanted to add to our conversation today, you know, we've talked now about sacred space in the home, in the mind, and then with others, is sacred space in our lives, like so basically creating a sacred life in, you know, and so, for me, I started this journey with one little corner with one chair, where that was my sacred spot. And it just slowly evolved into more. And now, for me, I try to approach all the things that I do with intentionality. And so it could be, you know, tending the fire in the winter in our fireplace, or it could be intentional presence of some kind or smudging a space to kind of clear it and bring intentionality to what I'm doing lighting a candle. There's just a lot of different things that I now bring into the little everyday things that I do to really create a sacredness about that. which just adds as an HSP I think adds so much richness to life.

Tonya:

Yeah, and making it your own right, like we were saying and letting it spread into all areas of your life. So and if you if it's starting with something tangible, if that's what feels good to you than that or if it's just sitting in a in a corner quietly listening to some music, you know, I'm not the T V Got that, you know, extending your extending your bath or shower by five minutes, you know, to just have that, that sensory experience, so many things that you that you can do, especially as a highly sensitive person. Yeah. To just really make that space for yourself, I think yeah, that's really the really the main takeaway that I wanted to bring is that I think we just really need to be really conscious that, you know, we need to hold space for ourselves first, right, that in that old cliche that we always say about putting our masks on first, right before we put our mask on the other person in the airplane. And that we're putting, you know, our time in our sacred space first. Because we can't hold space for others if we're not holding space for ourselves. Yeah, care for other people. We can't love them. You know, the way that that we want to if we're not taking care of ourselves first.

Amber:

Exactly.

Tonya:

Amber, I love this topic.

Amber:

I like I could go on about it for a while, but

Tonya:

well, we want to thank you so much for listening, for watching on YouTube, wherever you're joining us. As always, we're so filled with gratitude that you've chosen to spend your time with us. We know your time is precious. If you're enjoying the podcast, please leave a review on iTunes, Spotify, wherever you listen. Please share it with friends. If you feel like these conversations will resonate with them. If you find value in them, you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, all of our information is on the website. And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any of the good stuff. And we will see you next time. Bye everybody.

Amber:

Thank you. Bye.

Tonya:

Thank you for spending time with us on the sensitivity rising podcast. Please reach out to us with any questions or topic ideas you'd like to learn more about. New episodes are released Wednesdays and if you're enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to leave a review and share it with others. You can click the Listen link in the show notes to subscribe for free on your platform of choice. And we'll see you next time.

About the Podcast

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Sensitivity Rising
Where Highly Sensitive People learn to turn down the noise and tune into their inner guidance systems.

About your hosts

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Tonya Rothe

Tonya is a Certified Professional Holistic Wellness Guide, trauma survivor, depression thriver & Highly Sensitive joy seeker living in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in Sensitivity Focused Yoga & Nutrition for Body Mind Spirit.
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Daphnie Leigh

Daphnie is a Clinical Health Coach, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coach, and an advanced yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher who specializes in helping highly sensitive people break free from anxiety while cultivating a peaceful mind and healthy body.