Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hello 2014!! Beeeeeee-hind on the blogging again!

Hi there friends,

I cannot believe the new year is flying by me instead of me flying by and keeping up! February already and my last post nearly 3 months ago. Well, been busy with life as usual. I have been reading up on a lot of new stuff and decided to do some research. If you follow me on facebook you will notice many new posts on HSP. What, you may ask, is HSP? Well, I am an HSP it seems: Highly Sensitive Personality type. Ok, so I "have" an Highly Sensitive Personality. Have I known this for some time? Yes! But suddenly for the very fist time in my life of 40 years, I have now come to realize that God actually created me with this very sensitive design for a purpose. When you grow up as an HSP, you grow up very different from the rest of the world so people, family, friends, teachers and such tend to let you know that you are "different", "weird", "toooooo sensitive" or "overly sensitive". You then get the negative message early on that you are not "normal" which is absolute rubbish! I say that again: rubbish! It has a big, very big impact on how you function and how you interact with people and the rest of the world. In spite of this, God put a hedge around me, protected me, guided me and helped me...but I didn't understand and neither did the many people in my life. Honestly, I came to a point where I just wanted to move to an island somewhere and stay there and create art all day...not very realistic but when you absorb the pain and chaos of the world around you for such a long time without understanding why, you burn out...and so did I.



Research has shown that 15-20 % of the world's population is born HSP, so scientifically it has been proven that we are actually and absolutely "normal". God created a certain percentage of the total world population this way, so it stands to reason that we must be normal then and part of a very great and higher PLAN...good news for all HSP's all over the world.

We tend to be very intuitive and very creative and for the first time in my life a realize also that my creativity is one of my main gifts and God can and wants to use this in me. How do I know this? Well over the years since school actually I have gradually and continually grown in this department until about 5 years ago when I decided to go it full time. First of all because of the total overload/burn-out my 17 year career in teaching caused me and second of all because something in me just wanted to burst into creativity.

I think God is really directing me into a new way of life and the more I read about other artists and creatives, the more I long for a life of art! Struggling with health issues because of my sensitive HSP neurology has brought me to this place of searching for "a new life", a new way of serving God and a new way of living and loving in this crazy world filled with "NOISE" that my sensitive existence has just come to reject.

For the last 5 years I have systematically tried to rid myself of the craziness of the "rat-race" and of the "trauma" the world has caused me. Not really understanding where God was taking me. I tried many different ways of expressing myself. I did a nail course because you didn't have to deal with great groups of people like in teaching and it was a very creative process. I could still use it as a way of touching lives and blessing others with care and friendship and it fitted it with the calling God placed in me. But it was the wrong economic time, it was frowned upon by those who knew me...some people actually told me it was not "smart enough" career move meaning that it was "beneath" me (as I have a 4 year university degree).  Wow, no support there, right! I was really really excited by the idea of having my own business and still being able to help others and invest in new relationships on a more meaningful and personal level which is my strong suit. Over time I didn't really make any money and didn't have the capital to invest in my own shop where I could start up properly. With little support from the people around me, I really didn't have a chance. So, I gave up on it. An interesting fact about HSP's is they would rather not try something or give up before they fail because failure equals death to them...it's that serious.

During these last 5 years we went overseas twice so my life didn't show a lot of stability which as an HSP I actually need. There has been a lot of stress and a lot of uncertainty. I tried going back to teaching a couple of times and each time it ended in emotional disaster for me. Where I normally would stay minimum a year at a school and longer if I could stand it, I ended up resigning from two posts after 3 and 4 months. I did supply teaching at a primary school for a month and I taught it went well but in the end no doors opened for me there. I felt out of place and overstaying my welcome as I tried to really invest in the kids during that time like I always do. Their teacher suffered a loss and they had had 3 or 4 teachers in one year already...a lot of change for second graders. I tried to really be there for them. I could however not keep up with the very rigid curriculum the school laid out for us to follow. As a senior high-school teacher I felt it ridiculous to push second graders at that pace. I never had to move through content and curriculum that fast even with my senior students. I found that the system pushed kids too fast to quickly and no wonder so many of them have emotional and behavioral problems. But as an HSP I now understand that I have a unique roll to play.

HSP's should not be pushed into crazy deadlines because the stress causes a lot of trouble for us. We then feel like we are failing but instead we are very thorough and would rather take our time to do something well. We also take our time to understand new content but when we have it we have it. We are very detailed oriented and want to really know how things work. So we become experts in what we do. Good thing, right? Not everyone understand this and when you are working in a very high stress career like teaching with constant deadlines a 17 year career can truly take its toll on your emotions, spirit and even your body. I didn't understand for a very long time why I constantly fell ill. From flue to hormone issues and then a year ago I was diagnosed with a neurological condition that nobody could find a reason for. I came home from hospital very very low, not knowing if I would every be able to get over this or be healed. During and before this time, I spontaneously started using my art as a way of escape from the intense emotions I was dealing with.

Another light-bulb moment God brought to me was the idea that "what if all the crazy I am feeling is not even mine". I started reading more and more about HSP's and discovered a Christian lady, Carol Brown who wrote some books on the subject. I discovered that God has a special way of using our HSP sensitive natures to touch and heal and help the world. I am currently sponging in as much info on the subject as I can get. I realized that God is leading me in a specific direction but that I needed a lot of healing first. I need to re-evaluate my life's experiences and filter it through all the new info on who I truly am in Christ and what His purpose was in creating me so "overly sensitive". HSP's function differently and because of our sensitive neurology we are in tune with all the nuances of the world and people around us. We are like sponges and I think mine needs a "detox".

At the moment I am reading Carol's book and really trying to listen to God's voice. I have been asking Him to show me what, how and when questions. Still holding out for answers. In the  meantime I am still being creative. Did a couple of sketches in my art journal, wrote some stuff down, did some planning and advertised for our fist "happy go artsy" workshop. We will take it one step at a time and I am sure God will show His faithfulness in this coming year.

Here is the artwork our first workshop is based on: A friendly little artwork my sister did last year. It is called: 'heartfelt'. I will be creating my take on it hopefully during this week. If I can finish my Love cards for this week. Will post on that and the workshop later. I haven't mentioned that I am also looking in to Art as Therapy not just for HSP's but for anyone who feels overwhelmed by life in general or dealing with trauma or extreme stress as well as those who struggle to express their emotions. My research will be based on a Christian and Biblical approach and alternative to the New Age nonsense and psychology approaches out there.  But more on that next time.

If you live in Pretoria, here is the add on our first workshop: I will be trying to shoot a little video and may just create my first online class with it...been so inspired by all the artists I have been following the last couple of years.  I am learning sooooooo much from them.




And just for fun: A couple of little sketches from my art journal. Just love creating portraits.




Until next time....buzzing off!
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