“May you live in interesting times” is reputed to be an ancient Chinese proverb and curse. We are certainly in an amazing period of history, with wonderful changes and opportunities for social and personal growth – but also with much cause for overwhelm, especially if you are highly sensitive, or dealing with challenging emotions like anxiety or depression.
Eric Maisel, PhD [author of The Van Gogh Blues] notes we need to be able to use our emotional sensitivity to help realize our creative talents.
“You want your full measure of emotion, as emotion is the life blood of art… But that doesn’t mean you should be a slave to your emotions.”
Listen here to his podcast Episode 6: Minding Your Emotions –
Hear other podasts on the page: Archive for creative obstacles.
On her site, Jenna Avery writes, “We must learn not only to ‘get by’ in this less-than-sensitive world, but to function masterfully, and get out there doing our Authentic Work. We can’t wait any longer — the world needs us Right Now. This means no more holding back, no more playing it safe, no more hiding your light and wisdom.”
See her site JennaAvery.com for multiple programs and resources.
Also see “Overcoming Overwhelm” and more articles by Jenna Avery.
Jenna’s inspiring post reminds me of the famous quote by Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”
Allowing ourselves to be more brilliant
But being sensitive can be frightening, emotionally destabilizing and constricting. To allow ourselves to be brilliant, we may have to take steps, such as dealing with negative emotions from within or from others.
A psychiatrist and empath, Judith Orloff, MD is author of the book Emotional Freedom, in which she emphasizes “the importance of learning how to stay centered in a stressful, highly emotionally charged world.
“Since emotions such as fear, anger, and frustration are energies, you can potentially ‘catch’ them from people without realizing it. If you tend to be an emotional sponge, it’s vital to know how to avoid taking on an individual’s negative emotions or the free-floating kind in crowds.
“Another twist is that chronic anxiety, depression, or stress can turn you into an emotional sponge by wearing down your defenses.”
[Image from my article Multiple Talents, Multiple Passions, Burnout – Many multitalented people feel inspired and energized to pursue multiple creative projects, often at the same time. One potential downside is physical and emotional burnout.]