I just returned from a 16-day trip to India.
That I went at all is a minor miracle: my partner Duke had been asking me for years to go with him, but until now I had always said “no.” I had not been able to get my highly sensitive (HSP) brain around the 30 hours of travel required to get there, the 10-hour time change, the dirt, the pollution, the heat, the noise, the poverty, the massive cultural differences, and the recovery from jet lag upon my return. (Yes, I know I was focusing on all the challenging aspects of India, not the extraordinary ones…but I’m being honest.)
On top of all this, I had been convinced it was both irresponsible and untenable to leave my clients and my business for that long.
But this summer, when a lovely Keralan friend of Duke’s invited us to come visit the southern coastal state of Kerala, I checked in with myself and was surprised to feel a big “yes” in my body. I recognized it as the distinctive “yes” of spiritual intuition, that most valuable of HSP resources.
Over the years, I have experienced the good things that happen when I trust my spiritual intuition. And I have endured the painful consequences that inevitably follow when I don’t trust it. I knew that trusting it had always turned out better, but this still felt like an unprecedented stretch. You could even call it crazy, given all I had coming up in the fall. But I took a deep breath. I stretched. And a few weeks later I got on a plane with Duke and my daughter, bound for Kochi via Dubai and Bangalore.
The startling upside of time off
We had a wonderful, challenging, memorable trip. It was hard to choose one photo to share with you of the 800 I took: the image above is one of the great halls of the magnificent Mysore Palace. Seeing how it all unfolded, I’m reminded yet again why it’s so important to trust our sensitive spiritual intuition.
During our time in India there were two occasions when I did I plunge into fear, questioning what the hell I was doing taking time off work, let alone in the middle of a major project (more on that in a minute). But each time the fear came up, I managed to remember and remind myself that this trip was supported by my spiritual intuition. It was inspired, not irresponsible. And I’d calm right down and return to a state of wonder, absorbed in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of India.
And, miraculously, this absorption provided me with a break from work that was as complete as it was unprecedented. At home, my office is never more than a flight of stairs away, and unless I’m doing something really absorbing, my mind will drag out a work issue and start chewing on it, like a dog with a bone. So even though I am disciplined about taking evenings and weekends off, I struggle to get a true mental break from work.
Imagine my amazement, then, to return home and find that while I was busy traipsing through temples and devouring dosas, my mind, with no help from me, had cleared out rafts of unnecessary mental baggage, limiting beliefs, and self-created worries. Inside, I was extraordinarily quiet, calm, and clear. I had a fresh new perspective, and I could see exactly what I needed to do next to move my big project forward.
Exciting changes are coming at Luminos Listening
I hinted above at a big project in the works, and here it is: I will be launching a new website in December. (Now you know why it felt like a leap of faith to leave town for nearly three weeks.)
The idea of a new site emerged with apparent suddenness this July: it was Tuesday July 23rd, to be precise, and I was in a meeting with my writing coach, Daphne Gray-Grant. Out of the blue, Daphne said, “Have you thought about changing the name of your business?”
I blanched. Then I spluttered, “Oh, no, I couldn’t do that!” Changing my business name would be a massive undertaking, beginning with the creation of a whole new website. How could I possibly start down that demanding path now, especially with a trip to India coming up? The idea seemed insane.
However, I know myself. Like many HSPs, I initially balk at changes, but I know that ideas that seem overwhelming at first may turn out, upon reflection, to be perfectly manageable. So I laughed and said to Daphne, “Give me half an hour and ask me again!”
We went back to the project we’d been working on. But unbeknownst to me, my deep-processing HSP mind had taken up the new-name challenge. To my surprise— and in less than 30 minutes— a new name popped into my mind. “What about Sustainably Sensitive?” I asked Daphne. “Oh! That’s a great name! I love it!” she exclaimed. Her enthusiastically positive response was echoed in the coming days as I ran the name by friends, family, colleagues, and clients.
Stretching to allow new possibilities
Once again I was feeling that body “yes” I had felt about the India trip, and once again, I took a deep breath. I stretched. And I chose to see this website idea as inspiration, not insanity.
I saw that ideas had been piling up in my projects folder for new programs and updates to my current website, Luminos Listening. I had been increasingly perplexed and exasperated with myself for not having made these changes. Now I understood something had been missing, and that “something” was the new Sustainably Sensitive name, logo, and website.
Within two weeks I had a wonderful team in place to help me create the site: a new web designer, a graphic designer, a search engine optimization consultant to help me grow my presence online, and of course Daphne. And I was reminded once again of the powerful things that happen when you trust your spiritual intuition.
Image credits (Mysore palace and marigold): 2018 Emily Agnew
In the next issue of The Listening Post: more about new programs coming at Sustainably Sensitive…
And I’ll remind you to keep an eye out for the first issue of the new
Sustainably Sensitive e-zine, which will arrive in your inbox on Tuesday December 18.*
*This transition will happen automatically: you will continue to receive two articles a month, on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The only thing that will change is the name—Sustainably Sensitive— and design of the newsletter.
Questions about the change? Email me at email@example.com.