Overwhelm with the coursework: (An interview with Sky)

Dorota: How would you articulate what motivated you to contact me?

Sky: I was struggling with my acupuncture coursework, experiencing a lot of overwhelm. My mum, who knew of you, gently suggested I might benefit from your support.

My ability to deal with multiple stresses was very low.

I was feeling pretty incapacitated, like I couldn’t handle my course work, part – time job and personal journey as well.

Dorota: What did we do together that made a difference for you?

Sky: Strengthened my awareness of how sensitivity is not a weakness – only when not considered, or honoured, it can seem to be a burden.

Learned to appreciate the finer details, value the qualities and strengths in sensitivity and explore ways of working with it – rather than trying to deny it!

Through the process I came to understand that this level of sensitivity was recognized and shared by others and let go of some feelings of shame.

The approach was very similar to that in Chinese medicine – about bringing you into alignment, into acceptance with your nature. Bringing about easier expression of the true self. The link is in enabling the essential nature to flow naturally and finding whatever way through the challenges that you meet in life that feels kind – finding the path of least resistance.

I think healing is a lot about that generally. Recognising that everything has its place, in a worldwide community of inter-being.

Dorota: So how have things changed for you for the better?

Sky: The picture is definitely of rest… moments of rest. More gentleness to balance the voice of self-doubt and its pushing.

On getting quieter, there was more acceptance of how I was in the moment, rather than fighting it. Therefore more ability to respond to it.

So that the moments gave me… more presence. More nourishment!

Dorota: So more presence meant that you could take care of your needs better? That somehow you could allow it?

Sky: Yeah, respect it more.

Dorota: What was the quest you chose to focus on in our session?

Sky: To believe that I can work in the world in a way that represents my values.

Dorota: And has the quest been successful?

Sky: Definitely. I feel I’m bringing more of my strengths into all I do. Giving myself that permission.

Without allowing myself that I had often felt like a cog in a machine… and after a break from the hospitably work I’d always done, was afraid of feeling that again. I guess my approach to it has become more inside-out. More loving.

It’s been about coming to believe in my strengths more.
And in the months since, I have encountered the feeling that maybe they are sufficient.

I’ve started seeing acupuncture clients and also work part time in a related role where I’m learning skills that I feel will help in self-employement.

Dorota: So when you didn’t have access to seeing the value of your qualities and you were looking into the future, all you could see was being unhappy? And being stuck with it?

Sky: Yeah! I wasn’t able to imagine a place for who I am. And so feeling distress in not being able to bring that out.

Dorota: Has anything become possible for you since our work together that you see as connected to it?

Sky: I feel like it began a deep shift in how I experience the world. When my consciousness opened, somehow my world went with that.

Trusting in my sensitivity as a strength is still very fragile, yet since making a more conscious choice to do so I am finding reflections of its value in my life.

My tutors at college, particularly my main tutor, seemed genuinely in admiration of it. In a way that was completely unexpected.

Sensitivity can be perceived, and experienced as vulnerability. This still has truth for me. I guess now I‘m feeling more respect and compassion for that vulnerability in myself as much as in others.

Dorota: What did your tutor say, I’m curious? What did she appreciate about your sensitivity?

Sky: Practically, in the clinic, my treatment planning and reflections.

The big thing throughout the course had been feeling judged by grades. I found it quite a blunt instrument, and altogether quite challenging. Research based projects were particularly overwhelming.

But with reflective work, it was so easy. Even energising. I seemed to always get a 1st.

There is an area that matures with sensitivity, even if it can come across a bit child-like. Being very aware has value!

Dorota: I want to chime with that tutor, to really celebrate the exquisiteness of what your sensitivity enables you to do and be!

Sky: I’m really touched. It feels useful to articulate for myself, as well as for you, how things have changed for me.

Dorota: So would you recommend me and if yes, who would you recommend me to?

Sky: I already have. So yes, I would! The person is really heart-centred and acutely aware of the energies around and within her… to the point that it hurts quite a lot of the time.

She is also open and appreciative of support. Her main challenge seems to be overwhelm, social anxiety and a struggle in being wholly authentic, because of her care.

Sky, Acupuncturist, UK