From a young age, my life’s journey was marked by extreme challenges. Faced with both physical and emotional trauma, I found anger to be my only shield, a way to protect myself if you will. Although this seemed effective, it inadvertently provided a spectacle for those causing me pain. The entertainment my tormentors gained from my emotional eruptions only prompted them to increase the attacks.
Like countless others, I too found solace in retreat, seeking havens where the unkindness of those who wished me harm couldn’t reach me. In these sanctuaries, away from the harshness of the world, I began to understand my fear, not just as a source of pain, but also as a protective barrier. This journey of turning fear into a form of self-defence is something I deeply explore in my first book, “Facing Fear through Adventure”. It’s a story of transforming vulnerability into strength, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Deep within me, I discovered a profound affinity for adventure, a hidden treasure that brought both fulfilment and enlightenment. This journey into the unknown not only provided a much-needed outlet for my emotional turbulence but also nurtured my soul’s craving for exhilarating experiences. It became a gentle teacher, guiding me through the complexities of my emotions, and helping me find a delicate balance between seeking thrill and inner peace.
As time unfolded, I encountered a deep personal crisis: the dissolution of my marriage and a strained relationship with my children. This period of my life was both confusing and painful, igniting a quest for self-understanding that would span 15 years and over 50 countries. My journey focused on understanding beliefs, particularly how they shaped my emotional responses. I believed that by deciphering the root of my emotional framework, I could find peace and control over my intense feelings.
This pursuit of knowledge was a double-edged sword. While it led to significant self-discovery, it also exposed me to further emotional challenges. Within these challenges, were valuable lessons that I would eventually learn. Some, needing others to complete the understanding they would hold. Over time I would begin to see the vail of emotional turmoil being lifted, and with it, my abilities to think clearer and respond far more appropriately.
In November 2020, life brought me to the United States to support my mother after my father’s passing. Despite the insights gained from my travels, I found myself grappling with an overwhelming despair, a feeling alien to me. To cope, I turned to drinking, an attempt to silence the relentless, confusing thoughts plaguing my mind. It was if an unexplainable frequency was being broadcast altering my mental state. I even developed a high-pitched ringing in my ears, that I had never encountered before. A visit to the doctor revealed that I was experiencing anxiety, a diagnosis that initially baffled me, given my history of facing and overcoming numerous challenges.
With a thoughtful and introspective approach, I delved deep into my experiences from abroad, utilizing the skills I had honed to thoughtfully examine my own psyche. This introspection led me to a profound realization: it is the people in our lives, more than the events, that profoundly shape our emotional well-being. Reflecting on my surroundings, particularly my 30-year career in industrial construction, I came to see its often harsh and uncaring nature. This environment not only adversely affects the emotional health of its workers but also extends its impact to their families. Recognizing the need to safeguard my mental health, I made the decision to step away from that environment and continue a journey I started into self-discovery, now focusing on a personal trait I learned to be identified as High Sensitivity.
It was during a moment of profound exhaustion and vulnerability; I first encountered the concept of high sensitivity. It was after an intense 24-hour shift, as I was driving my company pick-up truck to my hotel, that I stumbled upon a podcast that would change my perspective. The guest was a man named William Allen, and as he spoke about High Sensitivity, a resonating truth struck me. The realization dawned on me with a physical shiver: William wasn’t just discussing a trait; he was describing my experiences, my reality. The next day, I reached out to William, and over time, we grew from mere acquaintances to colleagues and, eventually, friends. I am deeply grateful to him for illuminating a part of myself I had never acknowledged, for he opened a door to self-understanding that I had never imagined possible.
I carefully planned a remarkable adventure of riding my Honda Africa Twin solo through the wilds of Central and South America and back, seeking out and interviewing other High Sensing people (HSPs), along the way. I planned to write about them and post the blogs in my newly created website, “The Living Adventurer.” During this time, I was approached by remarkable lady, who invited me to speak on her podcast, “Sensitive and Strong.” With cautiousness, I agreed, and our initial interaction blossomed into a deep connection. Annet’s empathy, intelligence, and compassion were unlike anything I had experienced. Together, we realized that by combining our experiences and knowledge, we could help others navigate their emotional landscapes.
Our future, like many, is uncertain, yet I am confident that our hard work, dedication, and commitment will allow us to share our combined wisdom and assist others in their journey of personal growth through both the High Responsiveness Training program, and by inviting others to become, “Living Adventurers.”