The Gifted Human’s Guide To Normal

Your Rainforest Mind

photo courtesy of Dan Price, Unsplash

You may think that you’re normal because you’ve always been the way that you are. It feels normal to be you. You may not spend much time comparing yourself to others. At the same time, you may often feel weird, left out, and misunderstood. Different. It’s a paradox. You can feel normal and abnormal at the same time.

Let me clear this up right now. You are not normal.


You’ll never be normal.

You may be OK with this now. You may even celebrate it. But I bet when you were a child, this was hard. I hear it from kids. I just want to be normal. Yeah. You wanted to fit in and be one of the gang. It was painful to be an outcast, to be excluded, to be rejected.

But normal for you?

Not gonna happen.

You’ll need to…

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What Psychotherapists Need to Know About Gifted Clients

Your Rainforest Mind

photo from Anne Allanketner photo from Anne Allanketner

If you are a counselor or other mental health practitioner or if you’re gifted and want to see a psychotherapist, there are some things that you need to know.

The rainforest mind is complicated. Like the jungle, it’s breathtaking in its capacity to create: Thoughts, emotions, questions, sensitivities, worries, beauty, and iPhones. It’s intense and overwhelming.

The rainforest mind, in counseling, needs deep, empathetic, authentic understanding of its fascinating and convoluted intricacies.

Your counselor will need to recognize how you are different. Here are some clues a practitioner can use:

A gifted adult may have any or all of the following:

  • Advanced vocabulary, existential questions and concerns from an early age, multiple in-depth interests
  • A range of deeper than normal emotions and sensitivities (often underground in men), advanced analytical abilities, need for precision in fields of interest, perfectionism, rapid thinking, talking and learning
  • Excessive worry, great empathy for all living things, unusual insight…

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When People Find Your Intellect Intimidating — A Guide For Gifted Women

Your Rainforest Mind

photo courtesy of Sabrina May, Unsplash

You don’t do it on purpose.

Intimidate people.

You’re just being you.

In fact, you’re holding back. Slowing down. Smiling. Being gracious. Stifling your curiosity and your perceptions. Carefully selecting from the scores of effervescent thoughts that continuously swirl around in your brain.

If they only knew how much you’re NOT showing.

Oh, boy.

And yet, you still scare them.

If they only knew that you just love to learn. You just love reading and research. You’re a pacifist, for heaven’s sake. You slept with the dictionary when you were five. (Unless, of course, your dictionary was on your phone. Then, you slept with Charlotte’s Web and Darwin’s Origin of the Species. But I digress.) How is that scary?

You’re not out to humiliate anyone or prove that you’re a superior being.

It’s just your nature to think a lot, to feel a…

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Withdrawing projections, ripping the veils, the gift of broken trust.

Alchemical Garden: the Body of Spirit

The experience of withdrawing projections and rebalancing in the truth can be an immensely painful one. It is essential to the project of becoming more whole that we accomplish this task however, that we allow ourselves to see what is really the truth in our life in all its disappointment and with all its disillusionment. This difficult encounter opens up the world to us as it really is, the face of the true other.

The image here from the alchemical emblem set ‘Splendor Solis’ speaks to this truth. The Splendor Solis is a series of images from the sixteenth century, designed to depict the stages and operations of the alchemical process. They are a fabulous series of allegorical plates, each one yields rich contemplative possibility. Here is a link to the wikipedia page about them in case you are interested. The image on this post  is the last image of…

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NO FEAR OF SLEEP – a poem by Michael J. Whelan

Michael J. Whelan - Writer

Today is Armistice Day 11/11/1918 – 2017 (99 years),

it’s also a Day of Remembrance in many countries resulting from many different conflicts, and also for Peacekeepers!

No Fear of Sleep & artwork by Michael J. Whelan

No Fear of Sleep

An old man wishes

No more to dig

To hide

To fear

To bury the dead

Protect his head

To cry

No more to fight

To kill

To maim

To see the slain

Be coverd in their stain

Rebury the dead

No more to dig

He wants to live

To sing

To go to bed

No fear of sleep

And dreams that creep

Reliving the pain

That trenches frame

(c)Michael J. Whelan

from ‘On Hurting Ground – Poetic Silhouettes On Soldiers, History, Love and Tragedy’ 2009

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Be Like A Tree. Stop Growing Already.

Jamie Catto

For anyone who’s ‘on a path of growing’, I wonder if there may sometimes be a putting off of stopping and just…being…this, now, not going anywhere in your so important one Life as You.

I was watching one of the kids today, nearly 2 years old, and everything, for him, is growing and input. Every crouch-down to pick up a windfall apple is creating pathways of balance and weight-distribution and hand-accuracy. Moment by moment this kid’s life is intellectual and physical and emotional input. The whole organism is downloading and uploading a constant stream of data to arrange it’s motor, survival and human operational systems.

And then I was thinking about some people’s obsession with growing, and how it makes sense that after a childhood of accumulation one might think that that’s what life is supposed to be continuously about.

But a tree knows when to stop.

It keeps…

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REAL is the new SEXY

Jamie Catto

It’s so radical to be authentic these days that it has an enigma all of it’s own.
It’s very powerful to be visible with your vulnerabilities, it shakes people up in the places where they are too scared to be so visible. Listen to their judgements. They give you the map of exactly where those folks are stuck. Feel your reactions in your body, it’s the map of where you believe them.
it’s powerful and disruptive to be generous and to not run your life and business with the usual scarcity-addicted model, but to be inclusive and open handed, that takes courage, cultivates trust and is progressive. Notice how hard some find it to receive your generosity, how uncomfortable receiving can be for them even when the gift is freely given. Notice who warns you to be less giving.
It is powerful to show your neediness some days, to show…

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