A few days ago, I left Bali and arrived in Singapore. The switch from quiet, rural Bali to big and loud city impacted me notably. Two dominant feelings have marked the past few days for me: tiredness, from all the overstimulation that Singapore’s noises, smells, lights and sights have brought upon me; and loneliness, from all the crowds I’ve worked my way through without knowing a single soul.
It's easy to feel alone in big cities. Loneliness becomes enlarged by the sheer amount of people around you, but the lack of connection to any one of them.
TO HOLD SPACE FOR MY EMOTIONS, I DID TWO THINGS:
I applied what I often teach to fellow sensitive souls: I scheduled more rest into my days. This is so essential when dealing with overstimulation and overwhelm (something gifted people experience more quickly than neurotypical people). What this currently looks like for me is that after some hours of exploring Singapore, I go back to my hotel to recover from the sensory overload. I’ll take a shower, perhaps a nap. Or I watch some Netflix. Anything to calm back down and process all the sensory info that Singapore just threw at me. It works wonders. After some hours, I’m recharged to go back out again, and I’m able to enjoy my time a lot more than if I didn’t rest.
I allowed myself to feel lonely. No need to get rid of these emotions, or try to push them away. That will only take up more time and energy than just allowing yourself to sit with your emotions. And so I sat, along the river, looking out at Singapore’s skyline lit up against the dark night, and felt alone. I focused on the tingly sensations in my tummy, indicating that craving for company. I followed the tingles as they spread through my body. I put a hand to my chest and reminded myself that it’s ok to feel lonely. That it’s safe to feel lonely. That it’s a feeling that comes and goes, just like any other. It turned into a weirdly enjoyable experience of its own: my Sad, Solitary Stroll through Singapore. I could write a poem about it (if you hadn't noticed yet, I love alliterations ;)).
Keeping yourself company
Another reflection about loneliness was sparked by a conversation I recently had with a client. We had analysed if there were any people around her that energized her. She initially couldn’t come up with anyone, which concerned her. Her response made total sense because we live in a world that emphasizes the importance of social success as desirable, if not necessary, for a happy life.
But I invited her to think again: was there really no one whose company replenished her energy? I asked her what activities she undertook to recharge, and she spoke about her creative outlets and nature walks on her own.
You see, there was one very significant person whose valuable, replenishing company she had overlooked: herself!
A huge sense of relief followed from this realization: for instead of looking for this in people around her, she could finally stop the search and look within.
We really can fulfill so many of our own needs, especially the introverts amongst us. The ideas that you’re somehow ‘lacking’ something in your life if you don't fit into groups, or that you're being ‘anti-social’ by choosing to spend more time alone, come from the outside world. Most often, these ideas don’t serve us at all. So why not abandon them? Then watch the sense of freedom that follows...
From needing to wanting
This is where things get even more interesting: when I launched The Gifted Go-Getter Mastermind, this client immediately sensed that this was the right program for her. One of the main reasons it clicked for her was the community she’ll soon be a part of.
During our enrollment call, a sense of doubt briefly came over me: wasn't this contradicting what we had discussed during our 1-on-1, about being ok on your own? But quickly thereafter I was reminded of a beautiful insight I've often had about giftedness, in different contexts: for us, seemingly opposite feelings can easefully co-exist.
On the one hand, there is the relief connected to knowing you're whole and complete on your own, and there is freedom from constantly trying to fill what society tells you is a gaping gap in your life. On the other hand, there is the continued desire to feel connected to others, to experience a sense of belonging.
What is beautiful about this is their conflict-free co-existence. They come hand in hand. It’s not an either / or, it’s both. It's the energetic shift here that makes all the difference, from needing to wanting: you can fulfill your own needs, and simultaneously want to connect with others.
You no longer need connection from a place of lack, or deficiency... For now you want connection from a place of wholeness, and suffiency.
The fascinating thing is that, when you start to act from this place of want rather than need, it becomes a lot easier to truly connect with people. Once you let go of this constant pressure to fit in (which often leads to stifled, forced interactions), you can be way more relaxed and authentic. Which will attract people to you who like you for just the way you are.
For those joining the Gifted Go-Getter Mastermind, one of your practices will be to fully give up on trying to fit in. Because once we stop trying, and simply allow ourselves to be as we are... Well... This is when true connection happens.
Five future Go-Getters have already started their enrollment process, and I couldn't be more excited about the group that's starting to take shape. One of the remaining spots could be yours!
If you're someone who wants to be part of a community, in addition to wanting to hit the gas pedal on your dreams, shoot me a message. We'll chat to see if GGG would be a good fit for you.