The Best Christmas Present Ever

My Christmas has been pretty dull for… decades. It is scary to say decades, because it makes me realise I’m turning 30 in a couple of months. As a sensitive kid I learned early that some families are tricky, or at least mine is. I became aware that people in my family would smile to each other but also dissipate a passive-aggressive comment whenever they could get a chance to. Just like a sponge, I would absorb not only the comment but also the invisible threads of hard feelings.

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Your Heart Knows Who You Are Looking For

I was almost coughing my lungs out when he said he loved me, right in the middle of his kitchen, a few days before my flight. That’s something that probably doesn’t happen often after a certain age, I would say, but it was something I knew he would end up doing.

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I Can Breathe Again, Away From The Queen’s Land

I only noticed how poorly I was breathing until I landed yesterday night in Lisbon. How did things become so heavy? At what point did I stop being positive and turned into a grumpy, annoying, all-the-time stressed, little gnome? When, exactly, did I stop being ‘me’ to become a human black hole?

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The Powerful Healing Effects of Color

In this post you will learn about what color therapy is, what is the therapeutic effect of primary colors, and how I’m using this knowledge to help my clients and myself.

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I guess it all started when ‘color therapy’ started to come to my head almost every day. Then I also started to follow someone on YouTube whose work is partly related to the use of colors as a healing method. Next I bumped into someone in my department who was wearing a beautiful and colorful headband. It was yellow, orange, pink, and a little bit of blue and green here and there – it definitely caught my eye and, more importantly, it made me smile! And while I was telling my colleague how beautiful her headband was, my mind also whirled around with thoughts:

Isn’t that interesting, the power of colors? I should explore that. It’s such a beautiful way to even positively influence other people’s mood. If that headband made me smile and feel playful, I wonder what other effects colors could have.

So I started doing research. There’s a lot of things on about the psychology of colors, which has been used in Marketing to elicit a specific action from you. I was more interested however on how color could influence our mood and psychological states. Here are some of the things I discovered, for instances, about primary colors:

  • yellow – helps with memory, encourages communication, boosts confidence, and stimulates the nervous system. It is associated with happiness, energy, and optimism;
  • red – elevates blood pressure, stimulates the libido, boosts metabolism, and increases your level of enthusiasm, energy, and confidence;
  • blue – helps you relax and deal with stressful situations, boosts open-heart communication, and enhances your intelligence and intuition

From here I began studying other colors and different tones of color, and I decided to apply this knowledge first in myself, because based on my research I realised I had been unconsciously picking clothes whose colors clearly mirrored and reinforced my low mood. For instances, some of the colors I was wearing everyday included black, dark grey, and dark olive green which are associated with less positive feelings and sensations such as depression and fogginess. Hence, my outside window was a clear reflection of what was going on inside. So I thought I should find a way to reverse this by changing the colors I was choosing to put on myself.

Buying new clothes at this point in time, however, was out of question. Instead I decided to recycle some t-shirts, transform them into fashionable scarfs, and color them based on what I studied about colors and their therapeutic effect. I first created a scarf in blue tones, because I needed to relax and reduce my anxiety levels. Guess what, it worked! Then I decided to create another scarf to induce some calmness allied with some playfulness as well. And guess what, it worked just as I intended, and now I can’t stop making experiments!

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Healing mood disturbances such as anxiety, depression, and sadness with colourful scarfs this Winter, hurray!🌈 This one is called “Strawberry-Mint Delight” and it has the healing vibrations of teal and red-orange🧚🏼‍♀️ Teal promotes analytical thinking (great to let go unhelpful thoughts) and reduces anxiety. Red-orange promotes friendliness, boosts your emotional wellbeing, and induces a general feeling of joy and creativity. Using this scarf will then allow to balance both your creative and analytical brain, while also boosting your sense of joy and wellbeing🧚🏼‍♀️ I used mine today and this is exactly how I felt! As a creative, sometimes it is hard to have the right balance between being creative and analytical. I need this balance in order to get work done✨ If you would like to get one for yourself, send me a PM🧡 . . #healing #anxiety #joy #creative #analytical #mind #balance #wellbeing #chromotherapy #mentalhealth #colorpsychology #style #scarfdesign #hygge #mindthecolor #colortherapy #handmade

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I’m super excited about this creative spur because I believe other people might feel empowered too through connecting with the magic properties of color. The next batch of scarfs will be in pink tones. As October is fast approaching I feel impelled to create some pinkish scarfs not only to raise awareness of breast cancer but also to invite women to accept and re-acknowledge their feminine divine energy. In the meantime, and if you are curious, you can have a look on the scarves that are available so far by clicking here.

Moonlight Makeup (4)

 

Stop Denying Yourself: Tips For Highly Sensitive People

In this blog post you will learn about:

  • Highly Sensitive People (HSP)
  • How is it like to be an HSP
  • Why is it so important to express yourself just as you are

The other day I was on the bus and a little magic happened. I have been feeling extremely heavy and “dragged down” over the last couple of years. I’m not going into details now on the reasons behind that feeling, but I just want you to picture me as someone who has a meteor attached to her right foot! Got the picture? So there I was on the bus, carrying that meteor, when suddenly I looked through the window and there was a beautiful sun ready to settle down for another day.

When I fully engaged with feeling the moment instead of perceiving it through my mind’s filters, I suddenly felt light like a feather and as if my body and my mind were now totally merged and floating together in the ether. Of course, tears started streaming down my face, and I honestly let them roll behind my aviator sunglasses.

And then a question came to my mind: when was the first time that I felt this “tight”, as if I was constantly wearing a corset? When did I start denying myself, my emotions, and my feelings? When did I convince myself that it was not ok to be “just me”, this being who embraces the full spectrum of raw emotions?

I’m what researchers now call “highly sensitive person” (HSP) and to explain you what that means nothing better than provide you here with a description I found on Dr Elaine Aron’s website, the author of the book “The Highly Sensitive Person”:

(…) the highly sensitive person has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment. But the key quality is that, compared to the 80% without the trait, they process everything around them much more—reflect on it, elaborate on it, make associations.  When this processing is not fully conscious, it surfaces as intuition.

In a nutshell, HSPs feel “everything in every way”. That makes our lives a bit chaotic but it also explains the richness that more often than not we can only convey by putting our creativity to work. According to research, we represent only 15 to 20% of the population. I guess that’s why for me it is always so hard to find people I can deeply relate to and become friends with. HSPs crave those raw, deep connections from the heart.

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However, the social norm most of us have been raised in does not accept or understand the way HSPs perceive and interact with the world. We are often categorised as “shy” and “introverted” people, when actually we just need to have periods of time in which we can disconnect from the wide range of stimuli we face nowadays. And to be honest again… we don’t really enjoy being stimulated all the time. In fact, overstimulation is basically the death of our sanity.

The hardest part, I think, is to make people understand that we feel intensely not by choice but by nature. I now understand too why so many guys couldn’t simply “handle” me. They were half-right when they said that “I am too much”, because I do feel indeed too much. They were also, however, half-wrong, because HSPs have the same right of being as anyone else and we shouldn’t be forced to shut ourselves down just because we use different strategies in life.

Moreover, trying to fit in as an HSP in a world that is currently led by robots-alike can be very draining and destroying. The more we try to fit in by hiding our intense emotions, the sicker we become. The more we convince ourselves that there is something “wrong” with us, the more we despair and the more wounded our core gets. That’s why we need to stop denying ourselves completely and to come clear about our true nature. We are so few that we do need to be each other’s lighthouse.

Stop denying yOurself

For more information on my own experience as an HSP, please watch the YouTube video above where I share some more personal details and please let me know whether you would like to learn more about HSPs and the way we “function”. If you think you might be one, say ‘Hi’ in the comments and let’s connect.

How To Put Your Life Together

I’m in the aftermath of some terrible months which have essentially been marked by overwhelming feelings and a deep frustration because most things in my life seem to be stuck and unchangeable. And even though this seems very familiar when thinking about the past few years (to the point that it even became the ‘new normal’), it is certainly not the best way to live for me. So last week I sat down with my laptop and I started typing in a blank page under the title:

“Put Your Life Together”

Even though I’m no longer finishing my PhD in September (had a review meeting last week…), I decided that I can’t keep delaying the changes that I need for myself right now. I have been trying to focus on getting things done as much as I humanly can but the pressure has been so much that I found myself sacrificing my wellbeing again. That in turn makes me feel incredibly miserable and unhappy.

If you follow me on instagram, you might know that I that I have a tattoo on my back which says:

Love yourself. Love your day. Love your life.

And being fuelled by several cups of coffee during the day, working non-stop in front of a computer, and having no sort of positive human interactions are totally incompatible with those three sentences whose purpose was in the first place to remind me of how I should actually live! Instead I have been leading such a terrible lifestyle that I am even ashamed of saying out loud my blog’s URL.

I miss my yoga in the morning, my warm water with lemon, my smoothies and juices, my healthy food, and most of all I miss the overall feeling of being fit (I haven’t done any workout besides walking… and I’m now three sizes bigger because I keep eating to numb my feelings and thoughts!). And it’s because I miss all these good things that I decided it is time to stop letting my current situation (being stuck in this PhD process) overdrive my mood and my wellbeing goals. So while listening to one of D. Carnegie’s audiobooks (“How To Stop Worrying and Start Living”), I decided to put a four-step approach to change in practise on my Google Drive’s blank page:

  1. What needs to change?
  2. What can I do about it?
  3. What is my decision?
  4. What is the next action?

It wasn’t long until I a list of 12 items emerged. From finding a new house and applying for a different job in the local area to buying a gym membership and creating a saving account, the list revealed itself to be quite diverse. Under each item I then started to write a couple of actions that could contribute to the achievement of my overarching goals. I’m not going to share my detailed list, but here are my 12 items:

Put Your Life Together: #TheList

  1. Move house
  2. Change job
  3. Complete PhD thesis
  4. Buy a gym membership
  5. Book a massage
  6. Get a proper bike
  7. Invite JJ, W. and wife to have dinner in the new house
  8. Build-up a nice romantic relationship (forget this item!)
  9. Revamp my blog
  10. Work on my social business plan
  11. Create a saving account
  12. Visit family on a weekend asap

I can tell you that I already started to take action on some of these items. I showed interest in a house back in town, I applied for two jobs that I would sincerely love having, I have been writing up a lot in the last few days, and I also decided to only enjoy my friend’s love-life stories and stop thinking about mine. And… I also got a Thai massage taster today from my friend: actually I spent most of the time laughing because I realised that I’m really in a big physical trouble!

Making a Pause in Our Spiritual Life: is That Possible?

Today a friend texted me the following:

I am making a pause in my spiritual life. I need to put my mind in place. I need that.

And I replied back:

Whatever you decide to do for yourself, I support you.

I would not change a word I said but I started to think about the meaning behind her words. She didn’t really mean what she said; she actually just wanted to run away from her anxious thoughts which she clearly identifies with her spiritual life. Moreover, I don’t think we can hit the pause button when we are talking about something that is part of being human.

Here are some of the things I think she was actually trying to say:

I am exhausted of thinking.

I am tired of only seeing problems and no solutions.

I want to get rid of my sensitivity.

I want my suffering to end.

I don’t want to feel, think or do anything.

I want stillness, peace, quietness.

Being spiritual or embracing spirituality has nothing to do with anxiety and turmoil. I would say it’s almost the opposite – you observe your feelings, thoughts and behaviours, but you don’t engage directly with them. You inquire them with curiosity. What are they trying to tell you? What are they trying to teach you? And you do this from a very safe place – from the observer’s point of view, the one who has enough distance to see the bigger picture and the light at the end of the tunnel.

This time I will let my friend figure it out by herself, which gives me a weird sense of self-control as I am choosing not to engage with her drama and not lecturing her on what I think spirituality is about. She knows I support any decision she makes towards the best version of herself and that’s enough.