Hi, I’m
Weston

After providing over 15,000 hours in session and speaking, I recognize that… “You’re much stronger and more empowered than you think you are…”

How to UNDERSTAND your Highly Sensitive Child.

The gift of being a Highly Sensitive Child is for the family that rears them, the teachers that teach them and for the world that can appreciate their depth of awareness and contribution.

Highly Sensitive Kids offer the highest of expressions.

Picture: Was Picasso a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or are those Highly Sensitive Kids?

Many parents may not even know they have a highly sensitive child.  It’s even more challenging if school systems and other professionals think of being a Highly Sensitive Person as a liability or a condition. Get personal insight from two HSP’s who a teacher and a spiritual channel that both teach how to communicate and play with your highly sensitive child.

TAKE THIS QUIZTo What Degree Are You a Highly Sensitive Person

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Thank you for joining us for this podcast

Episode 075 of True Connections with Weston Jolly

Transcription: How To Parent Your Highly Sensitive Child.

[00:00:51.440] – Weston
Thank you for joining us. Today is an opportunity to talk to you about

How to Parent Your Highly Sensitive Child.

(Also check out this podcast How Being a Highly Sensitive Person Is A Gift? Ep72)

And I have these esteemed honor to have a guest speaker today, Lily Gallo.

Lily, we have spoken before, and I’m very grateful to invite you back to the podcast of True Connections with Weston Jolly.

[00:01:11.040] – Lily
Oh, thank you. I’m very happy to be back. Glad to talk to you all again.

[00:01:15.040] – Weston
Thank you. I need to let you know, Lily, since we have you here, we talked about the topic of Weight… in the podcast Discover the Secrets of Removing Weight -Ep69 Did you know that this is one of the most popular episodes that we’ve done? People are still downloading it. So if anyone is interested about learning the real secrets behind loosing weight, check it out.

Lily, based upon your direct contributions, I thought you’d be interested and so would the audience that are joining us today.

[00:01:43.470] – Lily
That’s wonderful. Yeah, I didn’t know that it had become so popular, but I’m very happy with it.

[00:01:48.700] – Weston
Oh, it’s all because of you, so don’t be shy about it,

[00:01:50.180] – Lily
Listen. I don’t know about that, but thank you for saying so.

[00:01:55.520] – Weston
Of course. Lily, can you maybe give us a little bit of background in terms of yourself personally and professionally specific to our topic, How To Parent Your Highly Sensitive Child.

[00:02:05.710] – Lily
Sure. Well, I’ll start off professionally, and then I’ll get personal. So professionally, I have been a teacher for over 20 years. I’ve worked with students primarily who have special needs. So students who have hearing loss is my main focus, but also students with a variety of special needs, including students who are gifted. So, I have experience in intentional populations that differ from the norm. And so I think that’s a lot of what we’ll be talking about today …kids who are just different than what would be expected.

[00:02:44.550] – Lily
What if someone who’s different from the normal range of experience? I really became interested in that for a number of reasons, but also because I myself am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and there was no recognition of that other than I was labeled as gifted in the school system. So, I did have some acknowledgement that I was academically different than the norm, but that did not blossom to the understanding that my whole person or my whole being was in some ways very different than what would be typically understood as normal.

[00:03:25.520] – Lily
So, I think that’s a really important part of the discussion is that someone who is highly sensitive is a whole being, and it is not something that can be categorized as in this circumstance, the person is highly sensitive, or in another circumstance, they’re fine.

[00:03:44.960] – Weston
Right.

[00:03:46.060] – Lily
It’s a whole person who is affected by this reality.

[00:03:51.090] – Weston
Let me kick in here myself. Certainly, I will join you from a personal perspective. This is why I wanted to put us together. Again, I’m very grateful for your being here again, Lily. That I had no clue, that I was highly sensitive. I didn’t discover this until much, much later. And even then, when I did, it was like, okay. I didn’t see necessarily a negative thing or a positive thing. I just didn’t know what to do with it.

[00:04:24.340] – Weston
A lot of the characteristics were like, Oh, wow. And I want to talk about that real quickly, from a physical perspective, if that’s okay with you, to just talk about some of the general characteristics in terms of how this is sometimes categorized. But I really don’t want to be stuck in the physical, I’m looking to do something different in our dialog talking a little bit because we’re coming from a spiritual perspective. I want to definitely offer that insight as well.

[00:04:51.850] – Weston
And we’re going to talk about the physical. I definitely want to talk about the parenting piece. I should say this, How to Parent Your Highly Sensitive Child is It’s a misconception.

[00:05:03.330] – Weston
Maybe we could have entitled this podcast;
How to Teach Your Highly Sensitive Child or
How to Play with Your Highly Sensitive Child or
How to Engage with Your Highly Sensitive Child, or maybe for some people,
How to Understand Your Highly Sensitive Child

[00:05:18.030] – Weston
Because I’m just going to start there. With my own self, I don’t think… No, I’ll just re-state that. My family didn’t have a clue about my sensitivity. Was that true with you?

[00:05:29.910] – Lily
I would say no. I would say they recognize that something was wrong.

[00:05:35.120] – Weston
(Laughing) Sorry for that. Okay.

[00:05:39.500] – Lily
It’s not that it wasn’t noticed. It was noticed. It was labeled as wrong, bad, and get rid of this, whatever it is.

[00:05:46.800] – Weston
I just want to give a quick story. I was sitting in the car with my dad. We were stuck in traffic, and we were behind this diesel truck, and the exhaust was horrific. I just was overwhelmed, overwhelmed with the sensitivity of anything and everything, but especially the smell of exhaust. And I turned to my dad and I said, “Gosh, the smell in the car is horrible.” And he turns to me and said, “We’re stuck in traffic. What do you want me to do about it?”

[00:06:15.110] – Weston
And he was mad at me for being this sensitive. I thought, I guess I should be quiet about what it is that I’m sensing. And I think for a lot of people, we’re talking about being children –once about a time in a world of adults. And there is that connotation that something’s wrong, that we’re tapping into something that’s too much based upon someone else’s perception. And yet we’re just taking in a lot of information. So, tell me about you in terms of some of your experiences.

[00:06:47.150] – Lily
Yeah. So I was going to give a couple of examples that stick out. But in response to your story, my family would have said, “What smell?” They would not have even been aware that there was something in the air that was offensive to my sensibilities. And I think that’s the big part of it is you are noticing things other people are oblivious too and other people will look at you like you are crazy, you have no idea of what reality is.

[00:07:19.120] – Lily
I just don’t smell because there are four people in this car, and you’re the only one who smells it. That means it doesn’t exist, and you are a problem. You complain too much, or you’re making up stories, or whatever it may be.

[00:07:31.610] – Weston
I’m going to share something I didn’t think I was going to share. But one of the physical characteristics from a child’s perspective, is that there can be the feeling of being startled easily. I’m very sensitive to that. Now, that was very true for me. But I’m going to say something. It’s going to sound really quite grievous, but I want to get through it because I want to share this idea that I have always, and still have a very strong sensitivity, to being spooked.

Imagine Being a Highly Sensitive Child and Having Firecrackers Thrown Into the Bathroom …By Your Father

[00:08:05.020] – Weston
So anyway, I’m in the shower. I’m probably four years old. I mean, I’m very, very young. And my dad thought it would be “funny,” and I put that in quotes, to take not one fire cracker, but basically the whole brick, which is like 16 fire crackers, light it and throw it onto the tile of the bathroom, and it goes pop, pop, pop, pop, pop

[00:08:29.320] – Weston
I’m in the shower, I have no idea what’s happening. It sounds like gunfire to me, right? It’s extremely loud because I’m an enclosed in a shower in a small bathroom. It’s not like it’s a large room to dissipate the noise. And I am in there and I’m just literally in shock, crying…

[00:08:47.950] – Weston
Now, that was how I grew up. And then when I finally was able to speak and to express, about my shock and anger, mostly to my mom –my mom’s presented it would be “fun” for it to be my turn to lite firecrackers when my dad took a shower. So I lit the match while mom through the fire crackers in the bathroom while he was showering. And that’s literally what I was coached to do. And of course, I did do that.

[00:09:15.980] – Weston
But my gosh, the point is, there was just no clue that, number one, I have not just a general sensitivity, but a highly developed sensitivity of physical things, let alone spiritual things. And this was the condition that I was exposed to at a very, very, very early age. And of course, I never thought of that as weird or even funny, because why would I? It was just how I grew up in my house, and I’d never even thought to talk about this but it seemed relevant today. I’m laughing because it’s not funny, but it’s not uncommon that a parent doesn’t even smell the exhaust in the car and looking at you like, “What’s wrong with you?” Then we can have that feeling, or even the stigma, of course, that there is something wrong with us.

[00:10:10.030] – Weston
I’m very interested in unpeeling this subject so we can indeed help others, especially parents and perhaps even teachers, and even brothers and sisters, to engage with Highly Sensitive Children in a different way. I’m super interested from a school system’s perspective. You said you specialize in special needs, which I think gives you a tremendous advantage to have an insight in a lot of ways, especially as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), to see perhaps highly sensitive children in your field, your specialty.

[00:10:49.700] – Weston
I’m wondering if being an HSP is understood, by the staff or the teachers of the school or the parents? If someone doesn’t have an ability to hear, I think that becomes pretty easy to acknowledge, if you will. But is the categorization of someone being highly sensitive, is that something that’s… Do we see that? Do most people know about that?

[00:11:12.450] – Lily

I have never heard the term, of a Highly Sensitive Child, used in a school system EVER.

[00:11:17.200] – Weston
I’m sorry, what? How many years did you say you’re doing this?

[00:11:20.560] – Lily
Over 20 years. And that term has never been mentioned, not in any training, in services, informal conversations. That term has just never come up.

Because I think, and unfortunately, school systems, when you work with special needs students in particular, but with regular General Education students as well, If we’re looking for what is wrong clinically or what is diagnostically wrong, or what is it that we can use a test to prove or disapprove. Instead of looking at the child and saying, “What is this child experiencing and what are we observing?” And so because there’s no test to prove or disapprove this, there’s no conversation surrounding it.

[00:12:14.350] – Weston
That’s fascinating. I have to say I’m shocked, but maybe not necessarily… I guess I want to be shocked. I’ll say it that way. Intellectually, I would think that there would be some involvement of the academic system.

[00:12:31.790] – Weston
My uncle was special needs, and so I’ve always had a special sensitivity to that. And yet, I wouldn’t have thought that highly sensitive people would be something that wouldn’t be apparent to a school system. It’s unfortunate, and I have to say this, and this is certainly my opinion, and I want to just offer it as such, that the categorization about being highly sensitive from a clinical perspective of something wrong with you, personally, I take great offense to that because there’s nothing wrong with me. I certainly have highly sensitive attributes, but I don’t consider that to be a liability. I guess it could be. What are your views on that?

[00:13:21.350] – Lily
I absolutely agree. A highly sensitive person in various areas has been attempted to be placed on a spectrum that includes OCD and autism.

[00:13:33.620] – Weston
Yeah, I’ve read that, too.

[00:13:35.450] – Lily
And I don’t believe that it belongs on that scale. I also don’t believe there’s anything at all wrong with having OCD as a diagnosis or autism. However, these are very separate circumstances, separate situations. I think someone who is highly sensitive is probably neurologically different. If you looked at their brain, I’m sure it does react differently, as does someone with OCD or someone who has autism. But I think it’s the question of, is that the brain responding to a spiritual situation as brains will do? And I think that a child who is highly sensitive will have different brain pathways, different neurological reactions, because there is a spiritual connection that is happening.

[00:14:39.110] – Weston
That part is outstandingly cool. And of course, for myself personally, From my earliest memories, I’ve always had a spiritual cognizance, if you will. I didn’t know that, not formally, anyway, but without a doubt, that’s something that’s always been. I didn’t recognize that until much later.

[00:15:03.840] – Weston
Lily, let me ask you some questions about what constitutes the characteristics of being a Highly Sensitive Person. You can offer me Yes or No based as I share some throwing quick statement.

Q -Weston
A -Lily

Q. Are you startled easily?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you enjoy big surprises?
A. No.
Q. Do you feel that there is an ability that you have to read someone’s mind?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you use big words when you were a child?
A. Yes.
Q. Are you sensitive to odors?
A. Yes.
Q. And I’ll even give this one to you. You have one of the wickedest, coolest sense of humor as I’ve ever met, which is an attribute of being sensitive, just circling that.
Q. Would you consider yourself intuitive?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you ask lots of questions?
A. Yes.
Q. Would you consider yourself a perfectionist?
A. Yes.
(I won’t touch that one.)
Q. How about sensitivity towards others who are in distress?
A. Very much so. Yes.
Q. And what about asking deep thought-provoking questions?
A. Yes.
Q. Would you consider yourself very sensitive to pain?
A. Yes.
Q. And what about safety issues?Meaning, do you find yourself having a heightened awareness with regards to dangers or what could be or what if danger is around you?
A. I will answer this. Yes, however, I don’t see them as dangerous because I’ve chosen them not to be.

[00:16:41.080] – Weston
Okay, cool. And lastly, and by the way, this list is something that I put together with some external help (Credit to author Elaine N. Aron).

[00:16:49.040] – Weston
But do you feel things deeply. How would you consider yourself in that department?

[00:16:54.080] – Lily
Absolutely.

[00:16:54.660] – Weston
So these characteristics are interesting. And by the way, you I didn’t miss one! And I didn’t go through all of them, but certainly the great majority. So that people can understand from a physical perspective what it means to be highly sensitive. Now, let’s steer that a little bit differently.

How would you classify spiritual sensitivity?

[00:17:21.240] – Lily

I would say that spiritual sensitivity is overall awareness of connectivity between all things. And I think that manifests importantly, in a highly sensitive person because they have a connection emotionally and physiologically, a reaction that most people do not see as related to the stimulant.

[00:17:50.490] – Weston
God, I want to cry about what you just said, because, and I don’t mean that generally, I mean that literally, because when I watch someone perform music, it can be a child, it can be somebody in eighth grade, it can be somebody in a church or a community, a coffeehouse, some of the thing, and there’s times

[00:18:12.310] – Lily
It doesn’t matter the quality of the music…

[00:18:12.580] – Weston
(Laughing) that’s what I’m saying… And yet I can feel a spiritual note, if you will, a resonance that’s coming from this presence that makes me want to cry. When I say makes me, it doesn’t force me, but it invokes that feeling within me.

[00:18:36.810] – Weston
And again, I grew up in the household that I did. Males weren’t necessarily encouraged to share that emotion. That was considered a feminine emotion for whatever strange reason. But nonetheless, I find myself tearful, but not sad, but very joyful in honor and recognition of this spiritual connection. I can see it, feel it, know it…

[00:18:55.910] – Weston
And I look around and even women, which I would thought, certainly as a child, would have this sensitivity are missing it. Not everybody, of course, but it just highly touched based upon someone’s looking at me wondering, “Well, why are you crying?”

[00:19:13.320] – Weston
What you said perfectly is the stimulant didn’t necessarily match this guy’s expression. And yet, in my mind, they don’t see what’s between the lines. I mean, they’re not able to have that depth of understanding, so to speak.

[00:19:26.180] – Lily
I cry at artistic expression so frequently that I’m no longer surprised or even embarrassed. I look around the room with tears in my eyes, screaming down my face. I’ll look at people who are blank-faced and bored, and I’ll be like, You just have to either accept or not accept my experience because it’s going to happen. And I have the flip side of that is, one of the stories I thought about when you asked me what my experiences were as a highly sensitive child.

I remember my family used to take us to concert at a university that was near where we grew up. And there was one concert that we went to that the music was mostly drums. It was so difficult for me because the music, I enjoyed it, but it made me physically ill because the vibrations were so strong. I was like, “Mom, I’m going to throw up.” I’ve got to get out of here. And they were so upset with me for feeling that, and no one else, nobody else in the audience is feeling that way. But my emotions were very much involved and very much appreciative of the music, and the people who are creating the music, and the message of the music, and the way the world was expressed in this music.

[00:20:56.710] – Lily
But I just had to get out of there. And I I think that’s another part of a highly sensitive person.

[00:21:02.230] – Weston
Oh, for sure. I can totally relate that, especially in… I always loved to dance, and so sometimes the music is quite loud. I remember feeling physically like my body was somehow being attacked by the sound. I wanted to listen to the music, right? And I wanted to dance, but the sound was so… like X-rays, I guess. It was penetrating all the way down into my core.

[00:21:30.290] – Weston
It was like, this is not comfortable. In fact, I want to get away from the very thing that I said that I wanted to do. And that was uncomfortable. Why can’t I be in the midst of where I want to be? But somehow I’m feeling like I shouldn’t. And it’s not toxic or something like that. I’d rather just felt really, really uncomfortable, not quite the right word. It felt like I had to leave. Yes.

[00:21:53.770] – Lily
It feels like an emergency. Like your body is going, “You’re going through an emergency and you must escape.”

[00:22:02.310] – Weston
Yes. It’s interesting because this brings up another thing for me as well. Warren Beatty, the aging actor was in a movie called Bonnie and Clyde. And during the ending or concluding scene of the movie, these bank robbers, who were partners, were being shot very, very dramatically on the movie screen. I’m 11. I thought I was going to throw up.

[00:22:29.420] – Weston
I begged for my dad to take me out to the lobby, which he did, but I got scolded. I got scolded for leaving because we missed the best part of the movie. I was like, “Dad, you’re asking me to watch not just the casual death of a couple of people, but something that’s really, really tough.” Again, maybe other people could handle that, and we could debate whether I was old enough to watch that the age of 11 or not. But the point was, I was exposed to that, and that was my feeling, and then it was, note to self. I put myself in a literal physical position, unconsciously, and actually this is something that’s still true today…I will tend to sit at the outer sides of the seats. So if I need to leave, I can do so.

[00:23:12.340] – Weston
I can just pick up and head to the lobby and take myself out and say, “Okay, I’ll come back after that scene, or take myself completely out of the theater because I’m not comfortable.” And it’s not because I’m trying to avoid something. It’s just that I don’t need to see or feel that degree of impact, if we can call it that. So interesting. Right?

[00:23:34.650] – Lily
So, I have a student in my class who is deaf and who is showing all the signs of being a highly sensitive child. And there was a performance given to our class of very young children, by a visiting high school class, and it was a dance performance. And I’m watching these high school students dance and I’m crying, and I look over at this student, and she is crying with just passion and like, what an amazing expression, not crying in a negative way.

[00:24:08.300] – Lily
I look over at this girl, and she is having the time of her life. She’s lit up full of joy. She’s punching the air. She’s so in thrall that the audience is watching her as she’s enjoying the actual performance performance because she’s so full of excitement and joy for these dancers and the things that they are expressing. And the dancers stayed, after their little field trip to our school, to interact with her.

[00:24:44.620] – Weston
Oh, Wow.

[00:24:45.710] – Lily
Because she had given them so much love just through her enjoyment of what they were sharing. And it was such a beautiful expression of, yes, she’s a highly sensitive child, and there is so much good. So much benefit with that label, that it’s not struggle and anxiety and depression that people seem to associate it with it, but it’s an extreme ability to experience emotion.

[00:25:17.830] – Lily
And she experienced joy and freedom, and she’s in constant motion. She’s always moving. And I think that’s another part that we haven’t talked about yet, is the physical responses in that way. But that was a very clear picture for me of the immense happiness that comes with this highly sensitive situation.

[00:25:42.110] – Weston
Yeah, it’s interesting because back into the watching of music, and again, I remember sitting in church and hearing somebody sing, and it wasn’t a professional singer, but it was just somebody who had a voice. I actually felt, that it was for me, and I’m not trying to be judgmental of the place I was sitting, but I felt more connected with that song through that voice or that person than the rest of the service. And I felt that way for years, not just once. And so that was really quite a thing.

[00:26:12.110] – Weston
And I kept wondering why. Why I was connected to this piece, of special music?, if you will, versus what could be described as the main message. And I wasn’t trying to do that, but I just had a feeling that there was something more in truth, if you will, about the singing.

[00:26:33.760] – Weston
And that’s a very strong characteristic of being a Highly Sensitive Person.

There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for being outside of truth with your own self, and certainly with other parties. And that’s a gift, actually, because there’s places that we count on having truth, and truth comes in many different forms.

[00:26:56.990] – Weston
I’m not talking about just truth from a personal perspective, but rather truth-truth. And that’s something for myself comes very easy because of the sensitivity. So, I did some channeling on being highly sensitive. And of course, one of the attributes of being highly sensitive enables you to have a depth of understanding through the sensitivity. And of course, in channeling from Source, which is the very thing I want to share with everybody here. Including people who have children who are exceedingly sensitive, that the need to for them to have to conform to be like mom and dad, or like the rest of the family, is really unfortunate.

[00:27:41.360] – Weston
Because if we flip this thought of conformity around to asking ourselves permission to say, “Hey, what does this child need?” Or, “What are they tuning into, if you will?” “What is it that they are sensitive too?” Then, we as a family, can make an adaptation? Of course, lots of times that’s why these children spiritually come, to offer, shall we say, this understanding to something much than what the common eye sees. I’m going to go back and share something that you were talking about, where there is an inability to see something that other people don’t see.

[00:28:10.440] – Weston
I remember walking in an art gallery, and I was walking to the gallery, and I happened to stand with my arms crossed looking at this particular piece. It was actually Sedona. I stood across this piece, and I leaned in a little bit. And the owner of the art gallery made a comment to me, and she said, “Are you an artist?”

[00:28:30.640] – Weston
I pulled back, and not often do I get caught, if you will. I’ll use the phrase, being seen. And I stepped back and I had a little bit of a Cheshire grin, and I said, “Well, why do you ask that question?” She continued, “Because of the way you look at the painting.” And I said, Well, I’m sure other people look at the painting like this. I’m trying to keep my camouflage on, if you will. And she said, “No, no, no. You’re looking at the painting like someone who’s an artist.” And of course, at that point, I said, “Well, actually, I am artistic, but I don’t necessarily think of myself as an artist,” but clearly I am. I didn’t come into the art gallery with a T-shirt on that said, “Hey, I’m an art student, or am I a master of art in terms of painting or drawing or whatever?”

[00:29:11.830] – Weston
I didn’t do that. But just my observation of this particular painting was something this person saw. Now, in being sensitive, there are things that we observe that other people don’t observe.

[00:29:24.780] – Weston
I remember as well, someone walked into the office, they had a mustache their entire time when I was working at this company. He came in one day and was standing at the front of the offices, and this persons walked in, he was there for three seconds, and I knew exactly what was out-of-place. But the four other people standing around me said, “Something’s different about you today” I’m looking to the group of them like, “Are they all drunk?” I mean, “Are you all not aware?”

[00:29:44.720] – Weston
I didn’t say anything. I thought, I’ll just let this ride out because I thought they’re janking my chain a little bit. And these individuals continued on, “I can’t tell what it is? Is it his dress? Did he cut his hair?” After three minutes of this, it’s like, Come on, guys, “He shaved his mustache.”

[00:29:58.970] – Weston
Who could miss that? And everyone was like, Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s like, Are you kidding? And that, to me, is like, that’s not being sensitive. That’s like a brick to the head.

[00:30:12.140] – Weston
I mean, that was really, really easy to see. And so when we’re talking about the details in between, whether it’s art, mustaches, of course, to me, something very easy to observe. But when you talk about the spiritual pieces of being able to see things that, as you described earlier, Lily, the unification of how things literally come together, the highly sensitive child offers that kind of connection if we, as it would be parent or person of authority, that includes a teacher, takes the time, we’ll call it quietness, to step back and watch them observe and do what the proprietor of that art store did with me, in that art gallery. She said, “What are you seeing?” If we do this, then we’re really going to have a wonderful dialog, an opportunity to have access to something that perhaps we never would have appreciated or even noticed before.

[00:31:09.210] – Lily
Yeah, absolutely.

[00:31:11.070] – Weston
From a teaching perspective, I’d love to hear more of your thoughts about dealing with or bumping into those who are highly sensitive, and again, how the parents might interact in more positive way.

[00:31:24.810] – Lily
Yeah. I was starting to share an answer to that. This deaf girl that I was referring you earlier, she oftentimes intentionally makes mistakes, looks at you for your reaction, and then signs, Oops, and tells you the right answer. And I found that to be so brilliant because what she’s really doing is she’s saying, I’m going to work on my perfectionism. I’m going to make a mistake. I’m going to then observe you not getting upset because I was wrong, practice not getting upset myself. Then saying, “Yeah, I know I was wrong. And here’s the correct answer.” And so she’s teaching herself these skills while all I’m doing is sitting there and allowing that to happen.

[00:32:20.650] – Lily
And in a circumstance where that could easily go wrong, easily someone could think, why is she lying? Why is she manipulating? What is this girl doing? I understand enough to just hold that space for her to be wrong every time she wants to be wrong, to have that wrongness be accepted accepted and to have that rightness be equally accepted because it doesn’t matter if she’s right or wrong. To answer the question doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she’s learning how to not have this negative trait that is associated with being highly sensitive.

[00:33:04.470] – Lily
She’s learning it’s okay to be wrong.

She learned that perfectionism is not that helpful, and she found a way to teach herself that skill, to observe that if that exists within her and to correct it.

And that is so profound. I think in that, if you have a child who’s highly sensitive and has those perfectionist tendencies, be making constant mistakes and be constantly fine with things going wrong.

[00:33:41.710] – Lily
This same student will get very upset when she spills something, which is common for young people, that she gets very upset. And so she spilled something recently, and she started immediately crying. She was very, very upset. So I walked up to and I picked up something and I spilled it, and I watched it spill, and I just stood there watching it and observing the spill. And she watched me do that and calmed down because there was nothing wrong with it. But neurologically, my goodness, it’s chaotic. To have something that should be one thing, toppled over and it become something else.

[00:34:29.900] – Lily
It’s, I think, similar to why lots of people are afraid of clowns, which this is just my theory. There’s no proof of it. But here’s what I think. Clowns look like normal people enough that when they’re doing something that’s surprising or scary, as you’ve referenced before, it becomes terrifying.

[00:34:51.470] – Lily
So it’s the thing that looks normal, but then sneakily it’s incorrect in some way. The surprise and the sudden experience that something that was expected in a blink of an eye becomes unexpected and there’s no time to plan for it. So understanding that that is a fear-based thing for all people, but especially for highly sensitive people, to give examples of daily surprises that might happen and just practice those things, be calm about them.

[00:35:34.660] – Weston
You had mentioned in a previous discussion that sometimes counterintuitive thoughts can be helpful instead of trying to calm somebody down because… Go back to me being in the car with my dad, stuck in traffic with the diesel truck, that I should be calmed down.

[00:35:52.040] – Weston
What do you mean by being counterintuitive instead of trying to calm somebody down in a given situation? Is that what you meant by pouring the water on the table in your earlier example? Or did you mean something more than that?

[00:36:03.410] – Lily
Yes, I meant that in many things. But yes, I think that people’s tendencies are to want someone who is upset to feel better.

[00:36:13.740] – Weston
Right, sure.

[00:36:14.930] – Lily
And so people come in and try to say, Oh, don’t be upset. But why? Why not be upset? It’s okay to feel upset. And as soon as that permission is given, you allow someone to no longer have to feel upset. So it’s acknowledging a feeling and saying, giving some language to it or just giving nonverbal acceptance to it allows it to run its course.

Instead of trying to say, “Whatever your feeling – Don’t feel that way!”

Then you’ve just added more stress on top of that. Wait a minute. I’m feeling a certain way, and now I’m not supposed to feel that way? Oh, no. Now I’ve made a mistake on top of feeling bad. If that person is feeling upset. Don’t try to change that feeling. Don’t correct something that is not incorrect. If they’re afraid, that’s okay. If they’re sad, that’s fine. And sometimes giving them more of the experience that caused them to be afraid is what is helpful.

[00:37:26.730] – Weston
As a parent, I would absolutely create the opportunity to spill water or do something, maybe even tear up some paper and throw it as an exercise that could be described, as an out-of-bounds, so that they can get that energy out and realize that they’re not doing something bad. I just want to highlight that because that’s something that I thought that you shared was really insightful and quite helpful.

[00:37:55.850] – Lily
I think it can help you to have various materials available for a child so that if they’re feeling some way they’re dis regulated and you don’t know how to help them, they know that they can go to their corner, take some paper, and start tearing it up, if that’s what helps. Or if they want something quiet then there’s a quiet item. If they want something that’s loud, there’s a loud item. Creating a space where they can use whatever materials are there in the way that needs to be used, instead of just assuming they need to just go and sit and be quiet and calm themselves with various tactics.

[00:38:32.440] – Weston
In honor of that, really, really respectfully honoring this with our son we would do this. We would get basically faux fur so that he could touch, because he’s very tactile, something while he was learning. And so be seen as “odd” in a conventional classroom. But as his parents, we noticed and became aware through sensitivity, that he needed to touch something. And he was trying to touch the world. I’m not necessarily just touch this furry blanket or this fake rabbit’s fur.

[00:39:08.470] – Weston

He was literally trying to connect, not necessarily just with his hands, but basically through energy.

And we were encouraging him. And we had the wherewith all to extend that as an invitation for him to do and didn’t think it was weird at all. And sometimes it can be done through sound. As an example, I personally wouldn’t do well in listening to something that would compete for my attention. That would be a problem. But for other people, that may be something that’s truly a compliment to them. So tuning into something like music might really help them study. And yet, I would speculate that most teachers might say, “No listening to music in class.”

[00:39:45.850] – Weston
For the student, that’s going to help. What would we want to take the music away? What would be, again, an augmentation to their growth and to their development?

[00:39:55.790] – Lily
Yeah. Taking away some stimuli is kind of what we tend to do. Make it quieter, make the light less bright. But instead, give an array of options. And if you are wrong, that the light should be brighter instead of dimmer, that’s okay. If you’ve made a bunch of mistakes trying to figure out what will help.

Trust in the fact that that highly sensitive child knows you’re trying to help, and that is significantly important. They are not really as concerned about the light, brightness as they are about that someone is trying.

[00:40:35.750] – Weston
That takes us into the category of someone being heard. Taking the time; as parents, teachers, or brothers or sisters, whomever, to really appreciate something that the other party may not have naturally. I think that’s really important. So, if you’re noticing that someone has a sensitivity and you yourself may not, “get it,” taking a moment to truly be compassionate, and I’m not talking about fake sincerity. This is like reaching out to say, “What is it that you’re seeing?, What you observing? This connection is everything.

[00:41:14.520] – Lily
Yeah. My experience is that, personally, I had a lot of empathy for other people because I realized they did not know the things that I knew. And I remember one time I was in a doctor’s office, and there was a man sitting on the couch across waiting for, I don’t know who, maybe his child? I hope not for the sake of that child. But he was hidden behind a newspaper, and all we saw of him was this newspaper and his legs. And I turned to my mom and I said, “That man doesn’t like kids.”

[00:41:49.480] – Lily
I said it really loud. Everyone heard it. The receptionist heard it. The whole waiting room heard it, and the man slightly wriggled his newspaper. And he had heard it as well. And my mom was like, “Be quiet, be quiet.” And I was like, no, he really doesn’t. He doesn’t like kids at all. And I made a big deal of it. It was just true. He didn’t. And I knew it, and I don’t know how I knew it. And how true that was isn’t really the point. The point is that I had a lot of empathy for him.

[00:42:25.070] – Lily
I was actually feeling sorry for this guy who had to be stuck in this pediatrician’s office not liking children. And I was trying to point that out because I was like, You know, poor guy, he’s in the least happy place for him. But my point to that is I was very young, and I, “should not have known that.” There was no way for me to know that. But I did.

[00:42:50.300] – Lily
And so these very young children really care that you care. That is the most important thing. So if you have done something that was the opposite of helpful, but you say to them, I’m trying, in words or language or action, this is the absolute most important part of this equation, to have someone there who’s just trying to figure out along with you what works.

[00:43:23.230] – Lily
You can be very direct with very young children using some very high-level language and say, “You’re different. And I see that.” Ask them very directly, observe very honestly, and have conversations that are in some places seen as taboo.

“You’re different. How do you think you’re different?” Let them express themselves and then say what they observe.

[00:43:57.380] – Lily
I’ve noticed that, whatever it is, that you cry more than most people, or you really like music more than most people, or you seem to feel in your body uncomfortable when this specific thing happens, or you jump a lot. Why do you think you jump a lot? Ask them questions, help them observe themselves, and listen to their answers because they will be really, really helpful.

[00:44:26.690] – Weston
And really helpful to this interaction, but also this helps them help themselves. There’s a correlation, in my observation from a spiritual perspective, that the becoming quiet, become quieted, become calm, etc. Often it leads us in the idea that we shouldn’t express as a highly sensitive person, that we can go introverted, especially if you have that personality type.

[00:44:49.290] – Weston
My observation from a spiritual perspective outside of one’s personality type is that expressing is key for a highly sensitive person. And so what you’re doing is you’re giving that individual, that child, an opportunity to express. And then ultimately, that expression is something to be understood and appreciated if someone’s really interested in that. And that’s something so important as a part of the dialog. Not healing because there’s nothing wrong with a highly sensitive person. I mean, again, that being a highly sensitive person is a gift. It’s not a liability in any way. I want to share this because this is important.

[00:45:25.640] – Weston

Did you feel the need to be protected as a highly sensitive child?

[00:45:34.010] – Lily
No. I did not, and to a degree, do not understand danger. If that What’s the question that you’re asking?

[00:45:46.700] – Weston
Yeah, kind of… There’s a correlation that I observe that a lot of people that are highly sensitive, that are children, grow into adults and maybe do or don’t know, they will be likened to create an alliance with someone who’s going to protect them. So, let’s make you for the moment non-highly sensitive person, and we become very close friends, of which we are. But let’s say I’m using you to protect me.

[00:46:13.520] – Weston
In essence, I’m going to use you because you’re going to tell everyone what’s what. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to remain quiet and intuitively connected. But I’m going to use you or lean on you, if you will, to make sure that you’re going to protect me in the room or make sure that the lights go down.

[00:46:29.290] – Weston
I want that to be put on our dialog of discussion because I think it’s important that it isn’t something that needs to be done. I’m speaking to teachers and parents. No, it’s merely this connection again, having this understanding, that

We don’t need to protect highly sensitive kids.

[00:46:47.290] – Weston
If someone’s holding their ears, I’m thinking of myself for the moment, because in my household, I cannot stand the blender. Well, every morning that blender goes off, or if it’s not that, then someone’s potentially grinding coffee. And that noise is even worse than the blender. I’m not exaggerating, I am found in the other room holding my ears.

[00:47:06.490] – Weston
Now, that’s my physical sensitivity. And, I don’t need to be protected from that. The only thing I’m looking to do is have someone be courteous enough to say, Hey, we’re about to blend in so I can get out of the space. And I’ll take care of myself.

[00:47:18.610] – Weston
We can teach that to the children that they don’t need to have mom and dad protecting them, or others of authority protecting them, but they can voice what they’re feeling.

And if something is too much, whatever that stimulus might be, that that is something that we can hear, feel, and appreciate. And if they need to be relocated so that they can be more comfortable, I think that’s reasonable. But that’s not necessarily the same thing as, “Oh, they think we shouldn’t be talking so loud because we’re going to be disrupting someone who’s highly sensitive.”

[00:47:48.050] – Weston
That creates a whole different scenario in that we all can’t all be ourselves, and we don’t want to have that in the end. Hopefully, I didn’t destroy what you were trying to share…

[00:47:59.290] – Lily
But I absolutely understand what you’re saying, but my answer is still absolutely not. I’m more emphatically saying, no, I did not want to be protected. That’s insulting. So you know how sometimes you spoke of coming from an alcoholic family?

[00:48:14.700] – Lily
Sometimes When you have an alcoholic parent and two children, one child becomes an alcoholic and the other child never drinks a drop. And I think this is one of those situations where someone who’s a highly sensitive person might, like myself, become highly offended if someone tries to protect me from something, while if I had a sibling who was also highly sensitive, they might be cowering, waiting for a protector.

[00:48:40.830] – Lily
I think it’s one of those things where there is a very clear division and a very strong reaction. I grew up very much alone, even though I had a family. I was very much alone and did not have a protector in any sense of the word I had, predator. But I think maybe because I was never taught to seek out a protector,

[00:49:09.020] – Lily
I did became the protector of others. And I think that’s the teetotaler part of my example, where if I saw someone who was in distress, I protected that person, even if I didn’t know them, even if I’d never met them before, even if the reason I sensed that they needed protection was completely a spiritual reason.

[00:49:36.130] – Lily
It’s an invisible thing. No one even sees it, but I do. I became the protector.

[00:49:42.460] – Weston
Oh, yes. I remember going to Europe during the summer as high school student, and I was out drinking and dancing with a bunch of people who were also on tour, with me… Because we could drink in Europe. A lot of people were over the edge in terms of what was their consumption level. Like I said, I drink, but not necessarily like that. I mean, not to say I haven’t, but I don’t find myself attracted to that for what I would call obvious reasons.

[00:50:08.480] – Weston
And I was with a bunch of people from our group, and I think it was a couple of guys and about four girls, and these girls were about to be carried off by a group groping local males basically trying to take advantage of these girls. And I could see this situation brewing from a hundred miles away. Now, it wasn’t because I was more sober than everybody else. It was just like, Are you kidding me? These girls weren’t my sisters. They weren’t even necessarily friends… But there was no way in heck that these girls were going to be taken away.

[00:50:49.120] – Weston
I got very involved, and it enabled us to get home safely. Again, these people may or may not, to this moment, have an understanding of what took place, and I don’t really care to be acknowledged for that. But from a spiritual perspective, when allowed and when appropriate, I do that a lot. Not to try and circumvent somebody’s would be physical experience, but rather to evoke awareness so that they can realize, “Hey, you’re off in the weeds here, and you may want to get out of that because that could be somewhat uncomfortable for you.” I could use the word dangerous, but I’m going to change the term to uncomfortable or something out of balance for what you’ve actually come to experience.

[00:51:30.770] – Weston
And yes, some people need and want to do that. And when you see that, when you observe that, it’s like, Okay, I’m actually going to be interfering to get in that person’s way to get them out of harm’s way, so to speak. So it becomes a balance of being able to read the room empathetically, and how you can make your contribution. And I think it’s interesting, Lily, from the get-go, that you really didn’t have a need to protect.

[00:51:59.500] – Weston
I didn’t have much protection growing up. I definitely have that for other people where there’s a part of me that wants to evoke that sensitivity on behalf of somebody else, especially if I can see five moves out or ten moves out. Again, not to try and interfere, but rather just to say that baby doesn’t belong there.

[00:52:18.420] – Weston
I mean, if you look six moves out, and you can see that that’s a problem. I’m not trying to be the enforcer of all things safe, although it can be seen like that at times. I’m just trying to say, “Hey, that doesn’t make me logically.” Everyone else doesn’t see the five moves out. They’re looking at me seeing my actions or thoughts as illogical. “Why did you move the baby from this place to this place?”

[00:52:38.530] – Weston
I said, well, because I outlined it for her. I was like, how? That’s not going to happen. And then, of course, when it does. It’s like, I look like some kind of genius, and it’s not that. It’s just that I’m super aware through my super sensitivity. There’s just this sensitivity to that.

[00:52:50.640] – Lily
And you don’t always know why or how to explain it.

[00:52:53.080] – Weston
Yes. Thank you for that. That part’s really tricky because why, Weston, are you making this move? And it’s like, it took me half an hour to explain it to the common person.

[00:53:06.150] – Weston
You Lily, who are a Highly Sensitive Person- you totally get it, and others who are joining us in this space of sensitivity, they will get it as well. But it’s pretty cool.

[00:53:13.940] – Lily
I have to say to people, Please just trust me. I know what I’m saying. I can’t explain it. I could, but I really don’t want to. Please just trust me. And just step to the left a little bit. Just do it. What does it hurt?

[00:53:33.300] – Lily

When I was a very young child, I had this tendency to be a protector.

And I think it’s an important thing to bring in really quickly, the topic of imagination. Because here’s an example of how this works when I was really little, is that there was a girl in my preschool, I was in a preschool classroom who missed her mom and would stand at the window and cry whenever her mom And I told her that I had a magic machine that would make her stop missing her mom.

[00:54:08.200] – Lily
She was interested in what I was sharing. So I made up essentially a course that she could climb over things and go around other obstacles. And I just made an obstacle course for her, essentially. And at the end, magically…She wouldn’t even be missing her mom anymore. And it worked. But it’s because I had brought her through just a supportive experience, and we had used our imagination to create this machine that was magical.

[00:54:39.720] – Lily
And she was not my friend. I didn’t know her before. I don’t think I talked to her ever again, actually. But to be able to recognize that, to create some way in which small little three and four-year-olds, theoretically disempowered people, can create power for themselves is very important as well, using imagination and empathy.

[00:55:03.840] – Weston
I think that is something we should underscore three times because the power… And by the way, let’s come back a moment. What age were you when you did that?

[00:55:13.400] – Lily
I was either three or four. Yeah.

[00:55:16.040] – Weston
I want everyone else to hear that. Of course, I think everyone did, but I think it’s important to sense it very early because you’re not necessarily being the teacher of that class necessarily having that thought, How can we make this person feel better? But somehow you already know that, and of course, this is part of your early gift set that you’re still applying today,

[00:55:34.440] – Weston
Lily, in a very, very beautiful way. Lily, in terms of our time, what would you share in terms of from your perspective? What would be a summary of what we talked about in terms of takeaways.

[00:55:49.080] – Lily

I would say that being a highly sensitive child is a gift, and being the parent of or family member of a highly sensitive child is also a gift.

This person came to you to broaden everyone’s experience and to make it so much more than what it was had they not come.

[00:56:10.920] – Lily

That the most important and really the only important thing is that they know that you are going to work together to make their experience here on Earth as wonderful as it can be…

and that you’re going to accept from them the gift that they are offering, not just that you’re going help them, but that you acknowledge that they are here for you and that you will accept the lessons they have to teach you, that age is insignificant to them, that this is a sharing between you humans who are part of a greater whole, and they just want to share that experience with you.

[00:56:50.020] – Weston
That is very beautifully put. I would just add to that maybe a couple of things we talked about today in terms of being aware what being highly sensitive looks like, because a lot of times when someone isn’t or aren’t aware of that they have a highly sensitive child in the household, there are characteristics that you can observe quite easily, and those are physical, but they go beyond that.

[00:57:12.460] – Weston

Being attentive to a child who is highly sensitive and giving them room to just listen and allow those expressions to be shared

I think this is one of the most beautiful things that you could ever do with your child, to just give their space and allow them to do things, again, in a way that may or may not be done how you It’s hard to it.

[00:57:30.350] – Weston

The highly sensitive person has an ability to see and observe things that they think are normal or easy to them that aren’t seen by anybody else. That’s physically, of course. It’s also true spiritually.

[00:57:42.100] – Weston
When these things are developed, meaning when someone’s highly sensitive and they use that as a tool, the gift that Lily was speaking of. And it opens up doors to more sensitivity.

[00:57:52.640] – Weston

The highly sensitive child, that is uncommon among children, becomes even stronger in their sensitivity when it’s encouraged.

Think of someone who has a musical ear. When that’s further developed, the sensitivity goes down to the tiniest fractions of being into and out of tune. And that happens in all aspects of observation. Again, physical, certainly from a spiritual perspective.

[00:58:15.950] – Weston
There’s really something to be shared in nurturing the highly sensitive because they bring to life things that, again that are quite unifying, that we sometimes don’t see or other people don’t see in terms of how things literally connect.

[00:58:32.560] – Weston
A highly sensitive person tends to see that with such ease that they don’t understand how someone has it separated or categorized, which is done, of course, through the mind or the intellect.

[00:58:42.710] – Weston
Taking the time, the energy to really embrace your child in this way is, I think, something incredible. Certainly, if we’re speaking to you as an adult, having been a highly sensitive child and not having been understood or properly expressed, then please be relieved that there’s anything wrong with you as much as you want to maybe further develop these skill sets.

[00:59:03.730] – Weston
By the way, there’s a quiz called, To What Degree Are You a Highly Sensitive Person that anyone can take.

[00:59:16.370] – Weston
Today, Lily, I just want to thank you very much for being with us again, and very grateful always for the opportunity, and certainly for our audience for joining us today.

[00:59:24.840] – Lily
Thank you. I had a ton of fun, and I always do when I talk with you. For us to make true connections, we have to engage.

 

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