“Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” ~Jodi Picoult, Second Glance
In my work with highly sensitive people, I often interact exclusively through secondhand means, such as the telephone, Skype, or Zoom and never have a chance to be in the real presence of the other person. I am able to glean quite a bit from just the voice but there is nothing that can replace feeling the energy field of another person standing in front of you or, better yet, of a group of people in front of you!
I mention this because at the recent November HSP Self-Care Immersion workshop at 1440 Multiversity, we held a breakout session just for highly sensitive men with Dr. Elaine Aron and myself as the leaders. We had about seven HS men at our session and focused on ensuring each man was seen and heard, that his story enjoyed a chance to breathe in like minded company. There was an immediate sense of community that developed as each man was given a chance to say something about his experience of life as a highly sensitive man. Some related the difficulties they have encountered as their sensitivity was accepted or rejected, how their careers have been shaped and formed by sensory processing sensitivity, and how being in the company of other HS men felt supportive, accepting, and welcoming. Others related how much they gained from focusing on how to practice real self care, which too many of us neglect as the world demands so much of us.
Being a highly sensitive man implies many things but, in essence, we are the “ordinary people” of Picoult who have bled, been battered and bruised by life, and still reach out to help others untangle their lives. We are certainly not perfect souls, nor do we have any special powers but, as suggested by Picoult, we may be terrific listeners and have soft, open hearts that invite others in to our experience.
I invite you to join us at the upcoming HS Men’s Weekend at 1440 Multiversity March 13-15 and join our warm, open community of like minded HS men who are gathering together for the first time. This event will not be one where you feel isolated and lost in the crowd; indeed, you will be seen and heard and valued for your experiences and insights.
If I can leave you with any enticing thoughts or feelings from my experience leading a group of HS men it’s that the collection of talent, experience, creativity, and kindness is so palpable as to have left deep impressions on me, even many weeks later. Many of the men already signed up are incredibly impressive individuals and the company and conversation will be poignant, real, and empowering!
It has been suggested that we declare 2020 to be the Year of the Highly Sensitive Man, let’s make this happen!
Please share to all of your social media!!