Dear Sensitive Soul,

How are you? All is well here in Berkeley. July was a quiet month for me. After my adventures of previous months it has been deeply nourishing to explore new frontiers at home. We were gifted with new furniture from my grandmother's estate, which spurred an extensive house purging that I was longing to do since May. I'm proud to say that my "crafts and creativity studio" is fully organized and ready for business. My first creative act in the new space will be sewing a pair of Alice + Olivia designer pants made from beautiful upholstery fabric. I can hardly wait! Last week I focused on mocking them up in muslin to check the fit.

In honor of the Mercury Retrograde, I'm catching up on unfinished business -- things I've been meaning to share with you for a while. This includes a framework for high sensitivity, something I've been presenting in recent talks. It's called, "Sensitive Souls Have the SPICE of Life." I've also written about meditation as a tool to add to your self-care repertoire in "Tips for Sensitive Souls."

And last but not least, I'm happy to share with you a review of "The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook" by Dr. Elaine Aron.



Feature Article
Sensitive Souls Have the SPICE of Life

As a highly sensitive person, you are highly likely to be spiritual, perceptive, intuitive, creative, and empathic. In other words, you have what I call the SPICE of life. These qualities make life easier, more joyful, and richer for sensitive souls.

*Spiritual -- If you're highly sensitive, you're likely to experience a profound spiritual connection with the divine or natural realms. You see a lot in what appears commonplace to the less-sensitive observer. I call this being "tapped in." This quality helps you find meaning and depth in your experiences.

*Perceptive -- Another defining characteristic of a sensitive soul is the ability to perceive subtleties, including energy, light, noise, smell, texture, temperature, and emotions. Because you receive and process so much, consciously or not, you'll become overstimulated sooner than less-sensitive types. You're also privy to a finer level of information and detail.

*Intuitive -- Your perceptive ability operates at such a subtle level that you are extremely intuitive - even psychic. This means that you are able to see past the obvious and discern things beyond what is explicable through intellect. I find that many sensitives have not learned to fully utilize this gift. But those who have feel that their lives are divinely guided and inspired.

*Creative -- Sensitives tend to be very creative in some form -- whether through direct creative efforts or through a passion for beauty, art, or aesthetics. We are often highly imaginative, which can also get us into trouble with worst-case scenario or worry-focused thinking. Your creativity and imagination allow you to have a rich and complex inner live.

*Empathic -- Sensitive souls easily empathize with others, which makes you compassionate and considerate (as long as you aren't overstimulated). Your natural empathy means you literally experience other people’s emotions as if they are your own, particularly if you haven’t learned to strengthen your boundaries. Your empathic connection opens you to deep, rich, and emotional experiences.

Coping with the Shadow of Sensitivity

All of these traits together produce a moving and glorious life, enlivened by insight, beauty, depth, and meaning.

Oddly enough, however, sensitives have a tendency to repress these qualities, because society doesn't generally value them or our sensitivity. This means that our experience is focused on the negative aspects of these characteristics. For instance, imagination run amok casts us into anxiety and worry, unskilled empathy lets us be swallowed up by other people's desires, or our perceptiveness simply overwhelms us with information we are unable to process.

The antidote is to follow your inner guidance and develop your gifts, bringing them into the light where they belong, and remembering to redirect your energy when the shadow sides of these traits start to take over.

*Are you embracing your gifts?*

On My Nightstand
The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook

I thought it was time to share my thoughts about The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook, by Dr. Elaine Aron. What I love about the workbook is the rich connection I feel with Dr. Aron when I read it. (The same reaction doesn't emerge for me in quite the same way in her other works.) I find the profound, thoughtful exercises touching and insightful. As always, the interesting parallels between the intuitive/esoteric and psychological realms strike me: Both utilize similar techniques, though they are explained in different contexts.

What I don't like as much is the recommend structure for groups, although I support its use for leaderless groups, which was her intention for it. The workbook itself is about expansion and exploration, and the carefully controlled safety guidelines feel like a limitation of that openness. I believe groups would be better served working with a trained facilitator. I sense that the experience of the excellent material would be much richer in such an environment, made safe by experience rather than limitation.

I give the book four stars.
Book available from

Other Recent Reads

Divine Guidance, by Doreen Virtue
Shamanic Journeying, by Sandra Ingerman
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling
Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
Mending the Past & Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval, by Alberto Villoldo
Animals in Translation, by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson

Next Reads

Healing Through the Dark Emotions
, by Miriam Greenspan
Acupressure for Emotional Healing, by Michael Reed Gach

On the Blog

The Power of Discernment
Top 10 Career Deal-Breakers for Sensitive Souls
Joe Versus the Volcano: A Hero's Journey
A Great Reply to "You're Too Sensitive"

Tips for Sensitive Souls
Exploring Meditation

We hear about the power of meditation all the time. There are classes, retreats, and methods -- it can start to feel overwhelming. There's also a strong sense that it has to be done "right," a sure nail-biting trigger for a sensitive perfectionist. It wasn't until recently that I began to understand that meditation is not an end result -- it's a process. Bill Harris of Centerpointe, who produces a sound-activated meditation program, points out that what may seem like a "bad" meditation experience is actually quite deep. In other words, even when we aren't able to quiet our minds perfectly (or at all!) we are still getting the benefit of the practice. What a relief! This notion inspired me to lighten up and begin to experiment.

A wonderful aspect of meditation is that there are so many ways to do it. Sonia Choquette recommends sitting up in bed upon awakening, closing your eyes, and repeating the mantra "I am" on the inhale and "calm" on the exhale. Lisa Hartnett, an animal communicator and network chiropractor, recommends a "Love Frequency" meditation that she has on her website. There are walking meditations, silent meditations, mindfulness Millie demonstrates the proper spirit for meditationmeditations, yoga mudras, guided visualizations, and CD programs like Holosync to try. There is also great value in simply taking quiet time or listening to centering music. Sonia recommends listening to "new age" music or Baroque music. The key is finding something that you enjoy, and then doing it. I also encourage you to let go of the rules about having to do it at a certain time, in a certain place, etc. Yes, those guidelines are valuable, but if they stop you from doing it at all, they're not worth it.

Recommended resources:->
Centerpointe's Holosync program
Dr. Emmet Miller's Letting Go of Stress Visualization
Love Frequency Meditation
Baroque music


The Art of
Sensitive Living
August 2005 Contents

feature article

on my nightstand

on the blog

tips for
sensitive souls

upcoming events

web site resources

other events

embrace your essential self through coaching



Upcoming Events

Monday, Aug. 1 & 15,
5 p.m.
Berkeley Sensitive Souls Walking Group

Thursday, Aug. 18,
4 p.m. PDT
TeleGathering for Highly Sensitive Souls
A free gathering with like-minded souls. Third Thursdays of the month. Sign up for details and announcements.

Monday, Aug. 29,
2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
"Discover Your Essential Self" workshop led by Jenna at the Pacific Northwest HSP Gathering Retreat, August 27 to 31 Whidbey Institute in Clinton, Washington

Thursday, Sept. 15,
11 a.m. PDT

TeleGathering for Highly Sensitive Souls

Monday, Sept. 26,
2 p.m. PDT
"Energy Skills for Sensitive Souls"
Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, California
Sensitives are often unknowingly affected by the energy, emotions, and desires of others. This can be both confusing and overstimulating because we are unable to distinguish whether we are operating from our own center or someone else's. In this talk you'll learn about energetic techniques and valuable resources to help you protect yourself and clear away the energy and emotions of other people. Free.



Web Site Resources

The Embrace Your Essential Self Program

Other Services


Five-Star Products for Sensitive Souls


Recommended Reads


Calendar of Events

Centering for
Sensitive Souls



Other Events

Dr. Elaine Aron
in New York
"The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive in a Not-So-Sensitive World"
Sept. 23 to 25, Omega Institute in New York



A Call for Assistance

What would you LOVE to see written about in this e-zine? What are your burning questions and curiosities? Your feedback is welcome and desired. Please e-mail me your thoughts or ideas for future issues. Please be advised that I will be unable to answer your questions directly, though you may request an e-mail consultation if you're interested.

E-mail Jenna: ->
E-mail consultations: ->



Embrace Your Essential Self Through Coaching

Are you ready to develop the gifts of your sensitivity? Call me at 510.528.1696 to schedule a complimentary half-hour phone consultation. We'll talk about whether my Embrace Your Essential Self coaching program would be right for you.

Here's what a recent client said about my program:

"You provided just the right amount of guidance and support, and I have the great joy of newfound clarity and confidence as a result of our work. Your carefully crafted assignments, intuitive guidance, and especially the visualizations gave me the structure I needed at what was a lost point in my life on many levels. I especially appreciated the ongoing checks to ensure I was honoring, not sacrificing, my sensitivity."

-- M.R., Seattle,


Thanks for reading!

From time to time, I provide links or make recommendations about books and services I find useful. In some cases I earn commissions on these recommendations, such as from and Centerpointe; more often I do not.

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