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Personal Growth

Personal Growth

Proud to be an HSP

the little girl that is me with no voice

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” – Rumi

Do you consider yourself an extravert* or introvert? How about an HSP (highly sensitive person)?

After a lifetime of extraversion, I began drawing inward as I underwent extensive trauma recovery therapy. Having previously found energy in the company of others, I now sought solitude for safety and protection, renewal and replenishment.

Had I become an introvert? I lightheartedly referred to myself as an inextrovert, unsure of and curious about just what I really was. It’s not that I needed a label. I just wanted to understand myself better.

Exploring this further found me participating in a brief study held by Jacquelyn Strickland, LPC, HSP, titled Myers Briggs – HSP Overlay. By filling out the assessment and participating in two in-depth interviews via conference call, I had my answer… as a guideline, not a rule book. Most importantly, the exercise helped me make sense of my character traits, which allowed me to more fully understand and embrace my growing authentic wholeness.

Turns out I am an ESFJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment), with HSP overlay. Translated in a nutshell, I belong to a rare breed: the highly sensitive extrovert. With my own unique blend of strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:

  • Strong Practical Skills – check!
  • Strong Sense of Duty – check!
  • Very Loyal – check!
  • Sensitive and Warm – check!
  • Good at Connecting with Others – check!

Weaknesses:

  • Worried about Their Social Status – I may have in the past. Not an issue for me now.
  • Inflexible – I used to be. Nothing like over six years of trauma recovery to loosen me up!
  • Reluctant to Innovate or Improvise – I used to hate change, then I came to embrace it.
  • Vulnerable to Criticism – I used to be, and it can still niggle. In his book The Four Agreements, author Don Miguel Ruiz instructs the reader to not take anything personally, that whatever anyone says is a reflection of their own reality. He goes on to note that this one agreement can be life changing. It was. And is.
  • Often Too Needy – Yep, I saw myself there, though I’d rather remove the word “Too” as I never saw myself as a nagger or stalker(!). Now, I know to ask for support when I need it.
  • Too Selfless – Definitely. This was all connected with my trauma. Praise God, with the help of therapy and the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud, I SO got over that.

HSP Overlay

Until this experience, I was what’s called a socialized HSP, meaning that I had adapted throughout  my childhood, adolescence and adulthood to survive and often excel in the dynamics in which I was surrounded. The thing is, I often felt different, like I somehow didn’t quite fit. A round peg in a square hole. The little girl that is me didn’t have an authentic voice. She had a survival voice.

Allowing myself to transform into an authentic HSP, I learned the value and importance of giving myself the space and time to refresh and renew in solitude so that I could enjoy being in the company of others. My strong startle reflex and sensitivity to my environment, especially to loud or competing sounds and harsh light made sense.

Understanding myself has helped me prepare for and frame my experiences in such a way as to fully support myself. With great love and compassion.

For example, on choosing a restaurant, I consider the acoustics, steering away from loud places, opting for quieter venues. Finding myself in a loud crowded space, I chose to refrain from trying to talk/shout above the noise. On internet conference calls, when background noises distract me silly, I kindly ask others to mute themselves. I pace myself in my commitments, saying “no” much more readily than in the past. I pay attention to how I feel, both emotionally and physically, and I give myself extra time between tasks, errands, appointments, etc. I go slow. Slowly. I go slow.

go slow, acrylic on paper, 2012

When I find myself in overwhelm, I take action to reduce it instead of ignoring and pushing through it. That might mean clearing my schedule of commitments, opting for what truly nourishes me.

Most significantly, I work with a business coach who, being a successful HSP Entrepreneur, caters specifically to the HSP. Spending time with her and other HSPs via a “Mastermind” group brings a sense of belonging, of peace. The peace of self-love, of total acceptance of and support for the whole of me. I’m home in my heart and soul. Which helps me grow in my business.

I’m so thankful for the strength and fortitude with which I’ve been blessed through my healing journey. For the courage, patience and perseverance to trust, even when things go awry. Owning my sensitivity is a beautiful way of owning my own power as well, which in turn allows me to shift my thinking from fear-based to love-based.

And that, in turn, opens my heart and soul and my life, creating space for more blessings, more abundance. It brings me into alignment with my highest self, what God intends for me. Something we’re all meant to know and experience.

 

Who or what are you? Are you on a path to your truest highest self?

 

*I always thought this word was spelled extrovert. As I was writing my book From Fear to Love How Creativity Saved My Life and Will Change Yours for the Better, I googled to determine the correct version. This result takes the cake: “Folklore has it that when Carl Jung was once asked which was the correct spelling—ExtrAvert or ExtrOvert—Jung’s secretary wrote back something like, ‘Dr. Jung says it’s ExtrAverted, because ExtrOverted is just bad Latin.'”

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Personal Growth

What would it be ‘If You were given 15 seconds to say or do something that will make a difference to you’?

15sec

So, RIGHT NOW, you are given 15 seconds to say or do something that will make a difference to you..WHAT WILL IT BE?

I have asked this question often to those around me, the most common response is ‘make more money’ – SURPRISE! 

No, really, it is not a surprise as the majority of humans want financial freedom for diverse reasons. 

The most common is related to financial comfort- ie: supply for families, paying bills, debts, holidays and for health expenses.

Why am I addressing this question?

               There is so much going on around us on a daily basis and although, we are generally, charitable beings – personal needs in material and assets are important.

Should you feel guilty for addressing this 15 seconds with ‘ I would like more money’?

                Heck NO! We live in a consumer based society and realistically, money is ‘what makes the world go round’. Without it how do we feed our families and provide the simple things yet necessary things that keep us from being cold, hungry and clothed without money?

  • This was taken from conversations with those around me and names will not be mentioned.~ Rosa Carrafa.

For further details on my writings please contact me at:

https://www.facebook.com/RosaCarrafaAuthorArtist/

 

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Personal Growth

Looking for something?

LG smal
Everyone seems to be ‘looking for something’, and yet when you ask what it is, the answer is vague and hopeful.
It is a ‘looking for something’ different, better, bigger, greater than what we have in the moment?
To define the ‘something’ seems to be a challenge, an evasive feeling linked to an actualisation of a ‘hoped for’.
Why is it so difficult to define what the ‘something ‘ is? Is the ‘something’ beyond words, an unknown that is intuitive and not found in the knowledge held?
I think so. Perhaps the ‘something’ is the connection to what is beyond all that we are.
We see so often the word abundance. I have to ask, what does that mean? Where is this abundance? Is it part of the ‘something’ hoped and wished for? Does it have substance, is it tangible?
Big questions I know, but ones I think we ask in the quiet moments, when we still our mind, and consider all that we are and have.
Could it be that we intuitively know that we lack, that there is a disconnect to self and to the abundance that we seek? Could it be that we hold an innate knowing that we are to be greater than we are?
I believe so. It is in the still quiet place, when we hear the inner cry that stems from all that we are, that we begin to have a glimpse of what we desire. It is a desire, a yearning, a quiet soft plea, that holds the hopes and dreams that feed us.
To step into the place, to begin to find the words is difficult. We are held in the urgent of what we do. Held in the decisions that we have made, that push us to do, rather than be. It is in the being of who we are, and the accepting of all that we are, that we can begin to define the ‘something’ that we look for.
Perhaps it is healing, the body needs to be free of pain and sickness. Or there is a lack emotionally, or confusion around what is truth for you. Or fear that holds everything you do bound in a ‘less than’ action or outcome, or a desire to create or to make change.
Acceptance is the key. Acceptance of the totality of self, an empathetic response to all that you are, where you are, what you have, what you lack, and what you desire to have or become. In that moment of acceptance, you unlock a part of self that begins to pull the abundance that is held for you.
What is it you’re looking for?
Rochelle – Flip180life
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Personal Growth

Determine Your Destiny Direction Quiz

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I am sure you know that Law of Attraction says that what you focus on expands. Right? So what you are thinking and feeling, in other words what you are experiencing in your life and business at the moment will expand.

As things expand and become more then it intensifies and it becomes who you are, it becomes your being, your personality, your energy and vibration.

I have an easy quiz for you to determine where your life and business is heading based on your current experience.

Rate yourself from 1 to 10 according to what extent these statements are true for you, where 1 is absolutely untrue and 10 is absolutely true.

  1. You accept, appreciate and love yourself
  2. You feel gratitude and appreciation for your life & business
  3. You have a compelling vision to live your purpose and satisfy your passion
  4. You have success and abundance in your life
  5. You have healthy and fulfilling relationships
  6. You are the master of your emotions
  7. You feel connected to Source/God/Universe/Creator
  8. You do what you love and support your ideal lifestyle doing it

Add your scores together and divide it by 8 to get the average.

Imagine a continuum from 1 to 10 where 1 represents a Disaster Destiny and 10 represents an Ideal Destiny as described above. Imagine your average score on this continuum. In which direction is your destiny heading?

Let’s take a closer look at your average score.

If your average score is 4 or less
You probably experience life and business as a burden, have bouts of depression and anxiety and often feel hopeless helpless.

You are probably taking some form of anti-depressants and may even have addictions like alcohol or other drugs.

The fact that you have done this quiz shows that you long for a better life and hopefully have enough energy to do whatever it takes to do that.

If your average score is from 5 to 7
You probably feel frustrated with your life and business, because you try to succeed but you seem to find yourself repeating the same patterns. You attempt to control everybody and everything in your life.

You experience self-doubt and fear on a daily basis, in fact you are driven by fear of failure and losing control.

If your average score is 8 and above
You feel aligned, at peace, on purpose and successful in most or all areas of your life. So congratulations, you are one of a few people in the world.

You are in the process of moving closer and closer to your true Self and growing your connection with God / Higher Power / Universe / Source or what it is to you.

Conclusion

If your average score is less than 8, then there is room for improvement. You have the choice to decide whether you want to continue towards a Disaster Destiny or embark on a journey towards your Ideal Destiny.

 

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Personal Growth

Cozy up to conflict

My ideal weekend is spent with a cup of coffee and a good book.

I was listening to Hay House Radio the other day and people were calling in asking for advice on what’s triggering them – by trigger, I mean anything that happens in your life that kicks off a negative emotion within you.

One lady was explaining how lazy her husband is and how much this triggers her. He doesn’t work, and doesn’t want to work. She resents being the breadwinner while he sits at home watching TV.

Often we are triggered by something we see in someone or their behaviour because it reflects a part of us that we are denying. This can lead to a lot of conflict especially in our closest relationships.

For example, this woman couldn’t stand her husband’s laziness because she feared being labelled as lazy herself. When she was younger, she remembered how her mother called her lazy, and how she saw this as something that was bad about her. She then launched into a life where she was constantly multi-tasking and overworking herself (often leading to burnout) to prove that she wasn’t lazy. Sometimes we deny these parts of ourselves due to seeing these traits in our parents and other role models too.

It would be useful in this situation for her to consider “where in my life have I been lazy?” Often those parts of us that we are trying to deny are showing up somewhere. It could well be that with a chronic overachiever they are being lazy with self love and self care, neglecting themselves as they see much needed downtime as time spent being lazy.

She could also reflect on where being lazy has been a good thing and created a positive. For example, going on holiday could be seen as spending time lazing around – but this would be much needed downtime spent away from too much “doing.”

What’s showing up in your life as a trigger for you right now?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is triggering you
  • What is it about them/what they’re doing that’s triggering you and how does it make you feel?
  • Where have you shown up with this same trait/behaviour in your life?
  • How could that trait/behaviour been a positive thing at the time?

By accepting those parts of ourselves that we are currently denying, we start to see that person who is triggering us with much more compassion. We are all human, we all have good parts and shadow parts, and we all make mistakes. When you accept those shadow parts of yourself with compassion you’ll find yourself less and less triggered, and more and more accepting of the way others are.

Spend some time reflecting on this today – I’d love to hear your “a-ha” moments in the comments below 🙂

Much love

Carly xx

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Personal Growth

Radical candour – how giving honest feedback means we actually care more

Radical candour

Every so often in life we are presented with the opportunity to tell it how it is that we see it – or – to dilute/avoid/evade.

Kim Scott (ex Google) calls it radical candour – and says – we can be in one of four quadrants  – with one axis being challenging directly and the other care personally:

  1. Ruinous empathy – you care – but don’t give feedback that actually helps
  2. Manipulative insincerity – you don’t care enough to give any feedback.
  3. Obnoxious aggression – you give feedback but in a destructive rather than constructive way
  4. Radical candour – you care – and care enough to give feedback that will make a difference

The temptation when giving feedback is always to make the other person feel better. To dilute it – to make it about yourself rather than them – to avoid the actual issue. Or – to go in so strong that the person can’t hear the feedback for the aggression.

There is a real art in being clear, in being direct and caring enough to say what the issue is.

The reality is – if we really care that the person gets an opportunity to change and develop and improve – we will go the step on from diluting the feedback to the step that says – this is what I observe, and this is what will happen if you keep doing it. Or – this is what I observe and this is the impact of it.

Hard yes. But why go the step of giving the feedback and then not go all the way and provide the full context?

Usually – it’s because the person giving the feedback is stuck in their own head, and is worried about how the other person will take the feedback or take what is being said. So they dilute it enough to be palatable to give and (they perceive), to be received.

But the reality is – always – when someone comes unstuck because of a recurring pattern of behaviour – the first thing they always say is “why didn’t anyone tell me?”

So, the next time you are tempted to dilute or diminish what you’re trying to say   – ask yourself  – is this really in service of the person? Or is there something I am not saying.

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Personal Growth

The Secret Shame So Many Women Hide

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How do I know this? Because I’ve been there. Full of shame and doing everything in my power to control myself, my situation and everyone else around me, slowly destroying every relationship I had.

When you hear the words, ‘I don’t love you’ from your mother’s lips the pain and hurt are excruciating but more than that is the shame that surrounds it all, making it totally unbearable. Many women today, like me hide this ‘secret’. The fact that they don’t have a relationship with their mother they so desire, they don’t admit this in public because of the shame that surrounds this ‘taboo’ subject. If your own mother doesn’t love you, you must be unlovable.

So we keep the secret to ourselves, pretending it’s not real, surrounding the whole thing in shame. Until we see the effects on our marriages, our children and our friends – the mother-daughter relationships moulds everything. Do not underestimate the power and intensity of this relationship.

So why did I feel such shame that drove me to control everything?

Simply because it made me feel that there was something wrong with me; I really believed I was totally worthless. I believed there had to be something very wrong with me if my own mother didn’t love me and I became addicted to this shame feeling. It allowed me to feel in control of other people’s feelings – that somehow if it was my fault then I could change it. If I let them have their power it left me feeling helpless over their behaviour.

This continued throughout my childhood unknowingly. I learnt how to blame everyone and everything else never accepting any responsibility – it was always their fault; I controlled how they felt.

As long as I kept the feelings of shame I masked other feelings of loneliness, fear, resentment and sadness, which I couldn’t bear to feel. I would rather feel this pain I was causing myself than the feelings of what was happening in my life; in this way, I felt in control.

As long as I had control I would not let go of my belief of total worthlessness.

I would love to share with you some tips on how I healed my shame so you don’t spend your life like I did fighting an internal battle with yourself –

  • Start nurturing and putting yourself first – acknowledge your feelings, learn to feel and be aware of what is happening to you right now so you don’t cover them up with shame and anger. Start being compassionate towards yourself and you will notice the feelings of control fade, as you no longer need to protect yourself. You are being authentic at last.

 

  • Let go of controlling others – accept that other people’s feelings, thoughts and words have nothing to do with you. You have no control over whether they are happy or sad, that is only in their control. This is immensely freeing and a great burden off your shoulders. In this way, you will let go of the false beliefs you hold about yourself – that total worthlessness.

 

  • Be honest – write all of your feelings down and face them, write down what you are scared of, what you’ve been deciding yourself with, everything, don’t stop writing until every emotion is on paper then take the papers and burnt them. You will release yourself of these feelings.

 

  • Find the positive – there is always another ay of seeing something. I managed to turn the entire relationship around with my mother to a loving supportive one and I began to see the strength and courage from my situation. I saw my entire life through ‘new glasses’ once I decide I would look at it in a different way. I felt no shame or regret because these experiences had made me who I am today – and I am proud to be me.

 

If you’re at this place right now that you know there is something better for you, you know you are not living the life you want to live think about getting some support through this. It’s a sign of courage to reach out and ask for help. Why? Because it’s not easy. It will be the step in life you’ll never regret.

I wish you all of the very best; moving from shame and heartache to joy and love is the most incredulous experience and no one should have to do this alone.

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Personal Growth

How to Bring the Divine into the Mundane

photo_WarriorBirds

How many of you would like to live and express your highest potential, right now?

We all do!  But here’s the thing, most people don’t know how to.  So here’s a secret. In order for you to live your highest potential, alignment with the divine and your higher self is the key. When we align with the Divine and our Higher selves, we align with our greater vision and our greater purpose.  From this place of alignment, we then can take the inspired steps to make our desires manifest and materialize in the here and now.

In the video below, you will learn a simple technique on how to connect and align to the divine everyday.

Enjoy!

Cosmic Radiance coming at you!

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Personal Growth

The Small Things have the Biggest Impact: Gratitude, Appreciation and Happiness Realised

lifegrid article photo
Recently my husband and I bought our first house. A goal I wondered if we would ever achieve – but achieve it we finally did!  Seems pretty standard, right? Well, let me add the rest of the story. Our new house was 250 miles north, in a town we had only visited once and for less than an hour. Now, it’s sounding a little crazy right? You wouldn’t be the only one to think we were mad, brave, and/or stupid. But move we did, and dragging our two small children with us. Truth be told, we were doing it all for them in the long term anyway – but there were some fantastic benefits for us along the way too!
But today’s article isn’t about being brave and making huge leaps of faith – but feel free to take away this: if you believe in your heart doing it is the right decision and it feels right even when others question it, then just do it! No matter how big the leap. You’ll regret it forever if you don’t!
Today’s article is actually about the small things. The small things that make a big difference or bring massive amounts of joy, happiness, or love. It’s these little things that can help you get through the big things – like say, a big move! 😃
Let me share with you. I made a potato and asparagus gratin for dinner the other night, with extra leftover for Hubby to take to work the next day. Instead of leaving the cooking dish on the side in the morning, he put the dish into soak. now, I bet you are thinking, so what? But that small gesture really melted my heart when I found the soapy warm water soaking off the baked on gratin remnants because he hadn’t just left it on the side to really weld on to the dish, he had (whether consciously or unconsciously) considered me as chief dishwasher. He had taken less than a minute of his day to make mine a little easier – without me asking. It meant so much to me, especially when most completed chores are never rewarded or even noticed.
And that got me thinking about all the other little things that have made our move easier, or made me feel welcome in a new town, or simply made me smile. Here are a few that came to mind:
  1. All the mums and dads who smiled, laughed, and spoke to me when I took the kids to soft play. No one does that where I came from, instead they sat in their own little groups ignoring everyone else. Not here. Not in the North. I appreciated the shared support.
  2. My son stood aside to let an old lady and her dogs come past on a narrow path, and you could see the look of shock ripple across her features, and she thanked him greatly. He replied cooly, ‘that’s ok’ and continued Minecrafting his way along. I was proud of my son and the good manners he showed to his elders, and I appreciated the old lady for acknowledging the kind gesture.
  3. To everyone who has seen me with the Juggernaut (read: massive pushchair) and has opened doors for me, stood aside, or picked up a toy tossed out by a grumpy 1 year old. You helped me, made my day a little easier, and put-paid to a mad hunt for a lost teddy and the tears that would have ensued.
When you look around you will see kindness, love, joy and happiness all around you, bestowed upon you by people you know and strangers alike. It is these little moments that can turn a bad day into a good one, or reassure you that you’ve made the right decision. The small things have great power, don’t let them slip by unnoticed and unappreciated.
What 3 small things have made you feel appreciated, happy, or loved today? Take 5 minutes to give them the recognition they deserve for the positive impact they have had on you and your day.
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Personal Growth

2 Hidden Symptoms of Self-Doubt

self-doubt

Self-Love and Self-Worth are the flip sides of a coin, do you agree? The one fuels the other. Personal Power is the result according to the quality of self-love and self-worth.

Personal Power for me is synonymous with the personal freedom to be truly you giving you permission to show up bigger in the world and making a bigger impact in your life, business, relationships, etc.

For most people life doesn’t look that way and we often wonder – I did anyway – what is the secret? What am I doing or not doing? I found it is not so much of doing or not doing, as being. Our doing happens from our being.

There are a number of hidden symptoms of self-doubt that result in you either being the victim or the victor of your life determining your personal power and personal freedom.

Self-worth is made up of complex layers of frames of mind and parts that make up the whole and it is to work through these different layers and parts and heal them. As they are healed the whole becomes solid, aligned and congruent.

Self-doubt is an obvious symptom and it is the consequences of self-doubt that activate other hidden symptoms. Let’s take a closer look.

The first one that comes up is perfectionism and I bet you say, “Of course, I know that!” Sure, but you probably didn’t know that it is linked to the fear of failure, of making a mistake. Perfectionism is a set of vague or unspecified criteria that is unknown and can’t be measured and because of that it stops you from moving forward. If you had specific measurable criteria, then you could compare your output and make adjustments. Now that you don’t have anything to compare to, you don’t have clear evidence and you assume it is not right.

The irony is that it is only in putting something out there and learning from mistakes that we can achieve perfection. So perfection is not a destination, it is an ongoing process of continuous increments of improvements.

Perfectionism lets you wait until everything is in place before you take action. However whatever you are waiting for is weighing you down and slowing you down.

As you are reading this, memories of past projects are probably coming up for you. How much time and energy have you wasted in waiting and only to realise that it was totally unnecessary?

The thing is, there is no failure, there is only feedback. What if you could not fail?

What would that open up for you?

Procrastination goes hand in hand with perfectionism. Actually procrastination is a consequence of perfectionism. And again fear is the underlying factor. The fear of failure, but also the fear of success. More than failure or success, it is the consequence of failure that we fear.

However the consequences that we fear are assumptions. If you struggle with self-worth then this is your watertight exit plan. They feel legitimate and real in your body and you believe it as such. No wonder fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real!

When you flip your assumptions into empowering beliefs you give fear the boot and change your life forever!

 

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