Today, in Episode 22, we are back from a short hiatus and peeling back the layers of what can make a mother a highly sensitive person with Shawn Fink of abundantmama.com.
Shawn has been called the "Yoda of Mamas" and is her 5th year of the Abundant Mama, her blog which has evolved into a 4 week program. She has placed over 1500 mamas onto a path of building an abundant life practice using "soul"-care (her definition of self-care), learning to trust and let go, and making time for play. She is also the mother of twin girl "tweenagers" who will be entering middle school in the fall.
Shawn explains how she did not discover she was a highly sensitive person until after becoming a mother. She found she needed to become her own best friend in a world where the typical information geared toward new moms did not appeal to her. She did not enjoy leaving the house and was turned off by many things in the public realm. Triggers such as noise from the kids could bring on an overwhelming feeling of depletion and unideal reactions.
Shawn further dissects high sensitivity as typically being introverted, creative, and needing time to recharge alone. There can be a sensory aspect to it as well, as she states highly sensitive people can have adverse reactions to certain sounds or light. In turn, highly sensitive people tend to be softer, more compassionate and empathetic, and very connected to their intuition. And most highly sensitive kids will go on to become highly sensitive adults.
When Shawn began staying up late at night several years ago writing her novel, she began to feel empowered. She really tapped into how vital alone time was for her, and from there her blog was born and writing became an everyday thing.
She now teaches moms how to tap into "the thing that makes you feel most like yourself," and encourages them to make time for that thing in the morning before the rest of the family is up.
Although she says, "becoming a mother truly amplified my sensitivities," it also helped her to find what she was good at and when she felt most like herself.