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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Aging wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.

Finish what you start; don't quit when the going gets tough. 

Many people in today's world are willing to throw in the towel when they face even the slightest opposition. 
Quitting because you face adversity weakens the soul and plants self-doubt in your mind. Never quit because someone opposes what you are doing or because it is tougher than you first thought it would be.
This doesn't mean that every time you start something, you have to stick with it no matter what. There are times when quitting something is in your best interest. 
If we always had to continue on a path, simply because we decided to explore that path, we would shy away from ever trying anything new.
It is okay to change your mind about something, once you find out that it is not for you, or that it no longer in your best interest. 
That is not the same thing as quitting because you don't have the fortitude or determination to see it through.
So what determines whether you are quitting because things are too tough or because the path you are on no longer furthers your objective? 
You do. 
You know in your heart why you are making the decision to change paths. 

Make sure your decision is based on your overall objectives, not on taking the easiest way out.

Superior Mental Attitude = Superior State of Mind

Your attitude and your thoughts will determine your state of mind. If you constantly maintain a superior mental attitude, 
through continuous thought control, you will find that you will live with a superior state of mind. It all starts with your thoughts, 
which lead to your attitude, and which ultimately control your overall state of mind.

If you don't believe this, there is an easy way to prove it to yourself. 
Think of someone close to you that has died. 
Think about how much you miss that person and how much you would love to just be able to spend one more day with him or her. 
Now, how do you feel? 
My guess is that you feel sadder than you did before you had these thoughts. Your thoughts have just changed your feelings. 
And, if you constantly dwell on these sad thoughts, your state of mind would be greatly affected.

If you can change your mood and your feelings just with a couple of thoughts, think about how you could change your life if you constantly control what thoughts you allow yourself to dwell on daily. 

A superior state of mind starts with your thoughts and your attitude. 

If you want to change your life and start living a life of excellence, start by controlling your thoughts and your attitude. 

Anyone can be in control, say the right things, and seem to have it all together when everything is going perfectly. 
The challenge comes when things are not going your way and everyone seems to be against you. That is when you truly find out what you are made of in this world.
There is an old saying that, anyone can sail the ship when the water is calm; the true test of a sailor is when he is in the midst of the storm. 
The same is true for life in general. It is how you handle yourself during challenging times that reveals who you truly are. 
That is when your fears, faults, and flaws all come to the surface.
Make sure that you are prepared to not only handle the calm waters of everyday life, but that you are prepared, mental, physically, and spiritually, to handle yourself well during the storms of life. 
Prepare during the good times for the bad times. When it comes time for your mettle to be tested, make sure that you are able to measure up!

note to AOH

Victory is not gained through idleness....

Respond; >>>>>>

Oh, the comforts of home!

Today, the majority of people, especially in this country have a pretty comfortable home life. Comfortable beds, nice, plush furniture to sit on, recliners, cable television, computers, stereos, the list could go on and on.
There are so many things that tempt us to sit idly by and entertain our minds instead of making the effort to get up and exercise our bodies.
It takes very little effort to surf the web, where it takes some discipline to get up and work on your what ever you wish.
You can waste hours before you know it surfing the web or sitting in front of a television set, but as this German proverb states, that is not going to help you when you are confronted by a violent thug the next time you are away from home.
It is also not going to make you any younger, healthy, or stronger.

Although there is a time for relaxing in front of the television and a time for surfing the net to increase your knowledge, you have to make sure that you maintain a balance between activity and inactivity.
Balance is the key.

You have to balance your workouts, your sport's training, meditation, stretching, and strength training, with relaxing, reading, and studying.
Too much of anything is not good, whether it is working out or sleeping. 

The lifestyle one needs is balancing every part of your life – spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. 
If any of these areas falls out of balance, all the other areas suffer as well, and complete idleness will throw them all out of balance. 

Employ discipline to achieve balance.


"Sometimes the information is too confrontational and people are afraid the world may be ripped from under their feet and their world may turn upside down. Oftentimes people do not want to know because they cannot handle the truth."

Avoidance is an epidemic on planet.


The inner monsters we distract from are not nearly as dangerous as the monsters we create to avoid them. 
As painful as early life traumas can be to confront, they are seldom as difficult to transform as the behaviors and addictions that we develop to bypass them. 

As children, our defenses and distraction techniques saved us, but, as adults, they become a self-fulfilling prophecy, concretize and locking us in with our early pain, blinding us to the fact that we are now better equipped to work through our memories than we were as children. 

It may have seemed insurmountable back then, but it no longer is. If we can turn around and face them now, if we can resist the tendency to cover them over with layer upon layer of distortion, we can re-claim our trauma and work it through to resolution.

There is no way to run from wound-body memory. 
It is always there, waiting for its moment of integration. 
Better to turn around and embrace it. 
Once a monster, now an opportunity for transformation.

Its a long road back from early madness. 
It just is. 
Unfortunately, the new cage and shadow-jumping movements prey on trauma survivors, somehow convincing them that there are easy solutions, most of them self-avoidance techniques masquerading as something heightened. 
And then, when the truth hits the fan, it becomes very difficult to manage reality, because we have been floating high above it. 

Better we remain down on earth and do the real work to transform our challenges into the gold at their heart. 
Detaching from the pain serves a purpose, but, at some point, we have to come back down into the body temple and work our stuff through one learning at a time.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Breaking someone's trust is like crumpling up a perfect piece of paper. You can smooth it out, but it will never be the same again.

If you have a friend who trust you enough to confide in you, you are honor bound to keep the information that your friend confided in you secret. 
That person has deemed you honorable and trustworthy enough to be trusted with personal information. 
If you break that trust and share your friend's personal information, it is an dishonorable act.
Be honorable. 
Be trustworthy. 
If your friend thinks enough of you to confide in you, be man or woman enough to keep it to yourself. 
Doing otherwise reflects on your character, or rather lack of character. 
Never break someone's trust.
No one respects someone who is not trustworthy. You have to earn respect, and when someone confides in you, it is sort of a test of whether or not you are trustworthy. 
Breaking that trust is failing the test, and most of the time, this is a one-time test - there aren't many second chances. 
And, even if you are given a second chance, that person will never completely trust you again. 
"Words to live by in a perfect world, but people push the envelope when it comes to true friendship." said some but to me.....
"TRUE friends don't do that, acquaintances and false friends do."


"Sorry" works when a mistake is made, but not when trust is broken. So in life, make mistakes, but never break trust. Because forgiving is easy, but forgetting and trusting again is sometimes impossible.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What is illegal, immoral, and improper, are three very different things. They sometimes coexist, but they are not, and will not ever be the same things.

Does legality establish morality? 
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; the Nazi’s Nuremberg Laws were legal; the Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal.
The fact of legality does not justify these crimes.
Legality alone cannot be the guide for moral people.
Laws are made by men, and many of them by men with different agendas than what is best for the population or what is right. 
Just because something is legal, 
that does not mean that it is moral or 
that does not mean that it is immoral or 
not right. 
The vast majority of people around the world have very little respect for politicians, but when these very same politicians make something into a law, people see it as almost sacred.
We have to look at what is right, not always what is legal. 
Legality does not establish morality. 
Laws are simply rules, and as the old saying goes, any fool can make a rule, and any fool will follow it. 
When you continually focus on what is right, you find that laws are not the guide for truly moral people. 
We have our own conscience we need to understand our path, we do not need laws in order for us to do what is right, and immoral laws do not give us license to do wrong. 

Look at things in terms of right and wrong, not legal and illegal. Live by your principles, not the rules of others.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Persistence and patience.

The thing we often forget when thinking about our own changes and other’s changes is that real transformation takes real time. 
No matter how eager we are to see things shift and grow, it will seldom happen rapidly. 

This is particularly true with respect to emotional maturation. It is often a many years long journey to empty these crowded vessels. 
Developmental stages are often like biological structures. To move from one stage of maturation to another, we have to go through a broad range of experiences, integrate their meaning, and try a new way of being on for size. 
It is about becoming a truly different being on many interconnected levels. I spent a lot of years in hurry-up offense with my own transformation and those around me. 
It was a waste of time. 

Sustainable change is built on a foundation of patience. 

It takes strength perseverance --- TIME.
There is no definitive set timeline nor should there be. We all grieve differently and we all filter and process to heal in our own manners and ways. 
That being said, respect that we are all individual and validate whatever " SEASON" you are in and know it's ok and find your inner strength to move on as best as you know how and as healthy as you can. Listen to your own self and thy will be FINE! 

Patience and time


"Sometimes though fast changes can actually happen because one looks back over the past and realizes all those lessons learned are worth keeping. The best changes occur this way. Once you looked within the change was dramatic. Riding the fence was good for a while but sometimes one has to touch the ground."

You never knew you had so much courage....

The courage to wake each morning.
To take each new breath.
To feel each new surge of joy, doubt, frustration, anger, pain, ecstasy, moment by moment, broadcast in real time, on the screen of life.
To walk each new step, cross each unexpected threshold, never knowing where it all will lead.
To cry when you cry, laugh when you laugh, fall as you fall, rise when you rise.
Not necessarily to be unafraid, but to be even unafraid of being afraid.
To begin again, now.
To meet each instant with curiosity, fascination, and a little tenderness.
To never settle for less than life, less than what it's worth, because it's worth everything, everything that's worth giving.
To greet the day as it plays itself out.
To kneel before the dawn.
Prostrate yourself before the afternoon, and the sparrow singing in your garden. Bow before the evening glow.
And then to sink into the embrace of night, and its sleep, and its good death.
And to have the courage to rise again.
And breathe again.
And dress again.
And meet the new day - alive, curious, willing, even though you are raw 
You never knew you had so much courage.
And you are awake now.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anger is a secondary emotion, a sign that there is hurt and pain underneath the anger that needs to be addressed. It can't simply be pushed aside or denied.

In a mad dash to react away from the perils of anger, we went too far and lost a key piece of the emotional integrity and expression cycle. 
This is particularly true in the spiritual community, where peacefulness has been characterized as a symbol of awakening, even if it is inauthentic and a bypass of the unresolved anger still brewing below the surface.
It’s important to remember that anger is a legitimate emotion that signals that a person has been violated. 
It is also a necessary emotion if we are going to do the work of sacred activism and challenge existing paradigms that cause suffering. 

‘The calmness bypass’.
Calmness alone will not make the world a better place at this stage. 

By discouraging and shaming anger, we actually disrupt natural emotional rhythms and encourage inauthentic ways of being. 
In addition, repressing the emotions simply keeps the anger alive. 

The negativity goes underground, manifesting in a myriad of destructive forms, including passive aggressiveness, self-destructive behavior and all manner of disease. 

It is one thing to discourage the inappropriate expression of anger, but let us not throw the whole process out with the bath water. 

The pendulum swing needs to be centered and anger can serve as an indicator of what needs to change in both our inner and outer worlds. 
There is a place for healthy anger in an evolving world. 

I love what Aristotle says about this, Anger, anyone can be angry but to be angry with the right person, at the right time, to the right extent, with the right aim, that is not easy (paraphrased). Allows for anger but anger that is filtered through practical wisdom.

It can be so helpful to express our unsaid words, anger and grief to those who have hurt us. There is no good reason to carry someone else's baggage up the mountain. It weighs us down on a journey that is already challenging enough. 

Better to shed it so that we can move into life with greater freedom. At the same time, we have be sure not to make our healing dependent on how others receive our expression. 
Many of those we share with will be too unconscious, stubborn or defensive to take in our experience, even if we express it in the gentlest of ways. 

It may be too shocking to their ways of organizing reality. It may be too painful to face. Not everyone is ready or able to do the deep work that self-reflection demands. 

This is not to say that we hold back- we must express our truth one way or the other- but it is to say that we are best served by sharing it without expectation. 

The liberation lies in the expression itself.


note to AOH

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I’ve tried pouring love into people that don't have the capacity for empathy and it made zero impact so I’m just curious about that... the majority of people are able to empathize, myself as empathy.

Empathy should be taught and reflected in primary school, a mandatory subject. 

They taught me geography and that doesn't seem to have made much of a difference. But what I have learned about inner geography through empathic process has made all the difference. 

Imagine if we had an empathy hour every week, where we turn to the person nearest to us, whoever they are, and just empathically hold the space for their story for 30 minutes, and then they hold the space for ours for another 30 minutes.

Teach children to be aware and not deny their own feelings and give them the space and guidance to express them appropriately and then they won’t go around denying others feelings because they have learnt not to deny their own.

This would be great, I want to think empathy can be taught, or if it’s an emotional response to others but I wonder, though, if modelling it to children wouldn't have a meaningful impact. 
Perhaps simply having them received with an empathic response may well alter one's brain chemistry.

We certainly responded kindly to each other's kindness and respectful presence. Maybe our neural pathways open and imprint to repeated episodes like the dripping power of water. 
I believe they do.

There is a profound difference between being empathy and being empathetic. They are related, but not identical.
I want to believe it can be taught, just observing people tells me differently. I do believe the brain can change.

Modelling and teaching are also vastly different. Children feel when connections are authentic but our spectrum of responses varies based on past imprints. 
Whether humans can "go there", only they can ever choose. 
As we become emotionally able, cognitively ready or heart opened enough to do so. 

Power and force are also worlds apart as is active learning with prioritise choice and the vast array of questions that begs for an individual. 
Nature/nurture, intrinsic/extrinsic, teaching/learning. 
Paradox everywhere.

I am just very curious about the difference between being born with the ability vs. having it taught to us....I remember being very little and feeling great empathy for those around me and receiving very little, so it wasn't ever taught to me, I am just curious what it would be if I had been also exposed to it. 
It seemed that I possessed a quality inherently and it wasn't a learned behaviour, just a really fascinating thread of discussion.

Maybe like any other living thing, nourish it, show empathy, listen.. I see more people choosing to get in touch with their own spirituality and question the essence of their belief systems, there are so many people spending so much money trying to get in touch with their inner self that so evades their conscious mind, failing... and only to end up wearing it on their sleeves. 

At least it’s a start toward how they show their children/ grandchildren to accept empathy into their concept, 
To observe simple beauty if even if a tiny flower growing out of a dry crevice in cement and walk around it, past that into a deeper interest in other being around them, so much so the comfort zone grows to include acceptance of others so different from ourselves... 

I believe it is growing, I am watching it happen, I think the social climate we live in is having more people search for something more in the midst of a loud selfish uncaring temporary world, innate human nature needs more.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

No forgive, and forget, works too. Focusing on our responsibility to forgive a wrongdoer sidetracks the whole process. If it’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. Just because you don’t choose to forgive doesn’t mean you haven’t let go yet?

Sometimes not forgiving unforgivable acts just keeps us strong and I'm not taking about bitterness. Strength is needed to survive whatever traumas were bestowed upon us and is also necessary for us to learn discernment...

Sometimes you just CAN'T forgive and wish them well. The heart is not an auto gear. But you can put it aside and eventually forget about it.

It’s okay to not forgive in certain situations. 
It doesn’t mean you are not spiritual. 
It doesn’t mean that you are unresolved. 
It doesn’t mean you will come back in the next lifetime having to live it through again. 

The assumption that forgiving the abuser is the benchmark of a completed emotional and karmic process is the mistake. 
It’s another way the new cage movement insensitively vilifies the victim. 
The real benchmark of resolution is whether we have gone through our emotional process authentically and have arrived at a place where the negative charge around the experience has dissipated. 
Perhaps we learned some lesson, or perhaps we just feel liberated from the memories- the important thing is that we feel at peace again.

I like the gentleness implied in letting go of expectation of forgiveness. It allows us to authentically process more fully.
This is a perfect remedy for the layperson's understanding of forgiveness. However, I was under the understanding that true forgiveness is about being at peace within, rather than being about the abuser. 

No need to forget about the abuser's deeds, as they are a lesson in boundaries going forward. 


You can only heal your heart with your heart, and to do that we have to open the heart wide enough for its healing elixir to rain down on our pain. 
Why bury the tears that heal us? 
Why bury the emotions that fertilize our expansion? 
Emotional release is a potent way to regain a genuine experience of the moment. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excused - only results!

Lifestyle is a 24/7 thing, not a "when its convenient" thing. 
In living, you have to constantly keep this in mind. It cannot be something that you are merely interested in; it has to be something that you are completely committed to, even when it is not convenient. 

If it were as easy as living right only when you are in the mood to do so, or only when it is convenient for you, then everyone would do it. 
But, like everything worthwhile, it is not so simple. 
You have to live by your principles all the time, even when you REALLY don't feel like it or it is very inconvenient to do so. 

Decide what principles you will live by, and live by them - period. 

Don't be fickle when it comes to your principles. 
Don't allow people, situations, or moods to dictate how you will live your life. 
Accept no excuses, and you will get only results.

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.

You can't see the future and as such, you have no idea what the future may bring your way. It is a well-known principle that your thoughts do attract things to you. 
When you give thanks for blessings, even before you receive them, you are essentially attracting those blessing into your life.
This is a wonderful way to live your life. When you start living this way, you are, to a greater degree, controlling what comes into your life. 
The more you take control of your thoughts, the more you control your life and what you will experience in your life.
At the very least, living life with an attitude of gratitude will help keep you positive and in good spirits. But, in reality, science has proven that our thoughts are more than we first expected. 
Our thoughts are composed of energy and are powerful. They can change our mood instantly, they are the beginning of every action we take, and they build our lives. 
As you think, so you are. 
Think about this.


Thursday, March 19, 2015


“Don’t ask what the world needs. 
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. 
Because what the world needs 
is people who have come alive.”
- Howard Thurman

Find something that you love to do, and do it every day. Find a way of making a living out of it, of making your life an expression of it. Remember that when you focus on the destination, you miss the journey, which is where all of life is. 
True contentment will not come in the future by waiting for it but by knowing who you truly are today, being that, and living that, and that is how futures are born.

Yes, the fears will come, the doubts, the 'buts', the 'should not' and the 'I cannot'. Yes, fear is to be expected and embraced and integrated. 
The mind will say all kinds of things because it wants only want it knows and what it can predict, and it fears change and ultimately death, but know that you are not the mind, and mind is fully entitled to say whatever it likes, for it is not in control of the vastness of You.
Fear is not a block, resistance cannot stop the unstoppable flow that creates galaxies and makes the birds sing, and the objections of the mind are only objections to change. 

But change is the way of things, not the enemy, and a life fully lived that ends in glorious failure is infinitely preferable to a life half-lived that ends in empty success, and stagnant pools of unloved cash.

What is success anyway?

We have confused profit with prosperity, success with statistics, and many people now live only for profit and status, but it is an empty profit, a profit haunted by fear and loss and ultimately ruin, a profit dependent on uncontrollable outer circumstances.

Do what you love, die into life, and you will know true and dependable prosperity beyond profit, the prosperity that no amount of profit can buy, and no loss of profit can destroy. 
The mind, which operates in the realm of profit and loss, cause and effect, time and space, will fear loss of profit, loss of image, loss of security, and will always long for more profit. 

Acknowledge the fear and the greed, do not make them into the enemy, but let your focus be on your prosperity and the prosperity of those around you, on what you love, on your truth, and do not let anything become an excuse to neglect your deepest calling, that which pulls you effortlessly on wards.

Do what you love without distraction. Aligned with life, and you will be open to opportunity, to unexpected help appearing along the way. You will learn to live not by the schedule of the mind and its stories, but by your own inner schedule, the schedule of the comets and stars, an ancient schedule of deep peace and true contentment.
You will be so in love with what you do that you will lose all fear of absence of money altogether, and trust will replace fear, and out of this fertilizer of absolute trust, enough money will grow, or at least the means to support yourself, or at least the willingness to be supported as you find your footing.

In unexpected ways, support will come, connections will happen somehow, the right people and circumstances will appear, and things will start to flow. The flow is what is important, not the outcome. You will learn patience and trust.

There are no commands here, no 'shoulds'. These are only little invitations from one who has walked this path, loving reminders to open up to your own vastness, 
to set the heart free, 
to dance and sing and create and be what you have always known yourself to be.

Life itself, pregnant with creative potential, 
the potential that exploded as the Big Bang, 
the potential that has forever inscribed tales of tremendous adventures on the walls of your heart, 
the potential that still explodes as every thought, every sensation, every feeling. 

Live the life you love, because you may only have today, and nobody else can live it for you, and you will get tired of waiting.
When we turn towards the present moment, however powerfully the storm rages, with a spirit of curiosity, gentleness and honesty, we may just discover unexpected gifts.

When you focus on the destination,
you end up missing the journey,
which is where all of life is.
True contentment
does not come
through waiting
or striving.
It is not a destination,
a place to reach in the future.
True contentment
means knowing who you truly are -
being it, living it, walking it, today,
and letting go of all your tomorrows.
And that is how futures are born,
from a deep embrace of today,
a love of the ground.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

All you ever have to face, in reality, is a moment....

"This pain/sorrow/fear has been here for years and years! It will never go away! I feel like such a victim..."
Friend, if you drop the story "this has been here for years" because right now, that is just a collection of memories, arising in the moment, you'll notice that in reality, there is only NOW. 
Only this moment, which hasn't been "going on for years and years". NOW is only NOW, it's no bigger or longer or more dramatic than that.
Facing a moment of something, however intense or uncomfortable, is infinitely simpler and kinder and more manageable than facing "years and years" or even "a lifetime" of something; which, in reality, can never actually happen. 
Life is lived moment by moment. Nothing else is possible. The rest is memory and projection.
Come out of the epic story of time; the story of "me and my life". Be here; timeless, grounded, present, open to what is. 
Never a victim, but inseparable from life as it emerges from the vastness.
Flow with life's ancient and relaxed timeline, not the mind's urgent schedule. From the perspective of the Universe, there is no 'by now', there is only now, and no image of how now 'should' be, and now is to be honoured...
Be patient with sadness.
Let it come closer, let it engulf you if it must.
Until there is no division between 'self' and 'sadness'.
Until you cannot call it 'sadness' at all.
Until there is only intimacy.
Sadness keeps you soft and flexible.
It reminds you, when you have forgotten,
of the beautiful fragility underneath all things.
In the softness of the heart lies its capacity to love.
Sadness is not the opposite of joy, but its gateway.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Why would I get frustrated by people who I think I am smarter than?
Wouldn't an expression of that intelligence be having figured that one out?
Is intelligence measured by expression alone? 
How do we calculate intelligence that is unseen?
Perhaps the brains are in the question...
At some point, I was told that I am autistic and had trouble communicating with people; I tend to appear ignorant and aloof when around people especially with those who think highly of themselves.
Is my experiment a way of appearing superior to them?
Changing the game when I feel it doesn't fit my way of understanding...
Intelligence couldn't actually move where only interactions of alphabets are gathering combinations of moves in a game of Solitaire.
Intelligence didn't seem to have much relevance here. It was so abstract and multifaceted that any attempt at determination or measurement seemed ridiculous.
Plus where was the individual intelligence?
Maybe it helped to get to the food quicker.
Creating efficiency seems to be the role of intelligence, ' efficiency' where being ' efficient ' means we have more time to be even more ' efficient' now that's where the real smarts come in handy..


Go where you're relevant. Leave where you're not.

Hang out with folks you resonate with. That's part of it, for me. Resonance gives me a clue sometimes. But sometimes nothing is resonating at the moment but something tells me to stay put - that it's still relevant for me to stay. It's a body-centric kind of knowing.

The main thing for me is, when it's clear I'm not relevant, I need to leave. On a more serious note, though, some of us 'fit in' less than others. 

This is always a challenge for me if I think it means there's something 'wrong' with me. It just means I'm me, uniquely me. 
That you don't often feel yourself truly resonating with others could simply mean that you are profoundly sensitive to energy and vibration and notice as soon as something is off. This is a wonderful and challenging capability. 
Treasure it, even as it sometimes seems like a torment.

Only you know when to leave and when to stay and it sometimes has nothing to do with whether you're feeling seen or heard or understood. 

Be your own source of love, trust, freedom and understanding, and you'll be able to continue to give and serve in love no matter the opposition or condemnation.
Everything can be experienced in a positive manner. 

But sometimes discomfort is not a trustworthy marker for whether to stay or go or whether to open up or shut down. 

Sometimes the best time to stay and open up is when you are most uncomfortable.
he term "highly sensitive person" has become much more familiar to me, as of late...! Sensitivity can indeed be a gift!