Are you creative, sensitive—and anxious?
If so, take heart: you aren’t alone. I work with sensitive, creative people who are suffering because their anxiety, depression, and shame are holding them back in significant ways. They’ve developed ways of coping that feel out of control and addictive. Like them (and me) you may feel—
- Raw inside from harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, perfectionism, anxiety, and shame
- Exhausted and overwhelmed by the feeling that life is chaotic or coming at you too fast
- Vulnerable and off-base, prone to repetitive worried thoughts, and paralyzed by decisions (especially ones that might upset someone else)
Hi, I’m Emily Agnew. I’m a teacher, mentor, Focusing guide, Inner Bonding facilitator, professional musician, writer…and a highly sensitive person.
I’m a fellow traveler on the anxiety road: in my long career as a professional oboist I functioned very well on the outside, achieved a high level of skill, and was respected by my colleagues, all while fighting an internal battle with anxiety, worry, and self-criticism. My default coping addictions were/are perfectionism and chronic busy-ness. I wanted so badly the same things I’m sure you want:
—To feel joyful and connected to yourself and to others—instead of feeling like there is something wrong with you
—To feel calm, yet energized, even when things get busy—instead of feeling overwhelmed by life
—To feel peace and the “YES!” of inner rightness about your daily choices and decisions—instead of feeling tormented by self-doubt and second-guessing yourself
I craved this peace, energy, and inner rightness so much that I ended up devoting most of my non-musical time to searching for relief. I started practicing yoga and meditating (and still do daily.) I studied Nonviolent Communication which helped a lot. The real relief came with Inner Bonding and then with Focusing: there is a powerful synergy between these two processes.
During my Inner Bonding and Focusing certification training, it naturally evolved for me to share my discoveries with clients, and I have done that since 2001. I teach and share only skills I’ve used extensively myself on my healing journey.
Here’s what I learned:
There are three key tasks you must complete to overcome your anxiety and feel “right” inside
- Develop a kind, nurturing inner relationship with yourself
- Create a sturdy, flexible personal infrastructure (your health, self-care, diet, sleep, living situation, routines, support system)
- Establish a strong spiritual practice to help you stay connected to your Inner Guidance
The inner relationship will bring you peace and connection with yourself and others.
The infrastructure will allow you to field the constant demands of life with calm and energy and to feel like you are in control of your life.
The connection with your Inner Guidance (God, Source, higher wisdom, higher self, or whatever you are comfortable calling it) creates a sense of unshakeable equanimity and inner rightness.
And one more thing: are you a highly sensitive person (HSP)? (and if you are male, please see my note below before you skip this!)
Whether you know for sure that you are an HSP, or suspect you might be, or don’t know, I strongly urge you to watch this video. Then read the article About Sensitivity which has a link to a quiz you can take.
Why is this so important? Because the raw, exhausted, vulnerable, anxious feelings I described above can be the result of the overstimulation to which highly sensitive people are prone. If you are indeed an HSP, so many things in your life will make sense and be easier to understand and handle once you learn more about the trait.
Note to men: The name “high sensitivity” is a horrible put-off to most guys and I totally don’t blame you if it has that effect on you. My beloved partner, who can be as stoic as anyone I’ve known (he was scouted for pro hockey during college) came to the realization recently that he is built sensitive, and he can’t stand the label either. That word is equated with “weak” in our culture. This leaves sensitive men in a terrible bind, because in fact, one in five men is born highly sensitive (as is one in five women.) It’s not a condition or a syndrome or a diagnosis: it’s a functional genetic adaptation which occurs in a hundred other species. So please, if you suspect you might possibly be highly sensitive, do two things for me, and for yourself: watch the video, and read about the HSP trait. And if you can think of a better name, please, please let me know!
Luminos Listening 1:1 sessions, intensives, and classes are designed to help you complete the three key tasks to transform anxiety…and to and manage your sensitivity if you are an HSP, using two powerful processes in synergy:
- The 6-step Inner Bonding® process provides a framework of understanding that will give you clarity about your inner world
- Focusing develops the keen embodied awareness that will allow you to transform your anxiety, and is particularly well-suited to sensitive people (read more in The 12 Reasons Sensitive People Love Focusing.)
In our work together, you will…
- Learn the surprisingly simple way you can create inner peace for yourself–any time, anywhere
- Learn how to dialogue with your inner parts and your spiritual guidance
- Learn how to tap your embodied wisdom and let it lead you to a sense of well-being and new energy
- Experience the peace of radical self-acceptance
- Get life-transforming information about the trait of sensitivity and how it affects everything you do
- Make changes in your personal infrastructure to support your health, energy, and well-being
- Experience first-hand the energy and inspiration of connection to your vision and purpose
- Take actions that are more effective, efficient, and grounded–yet leave you feeling more light and more free
Intuitively, I saw and felt (in her writings and videos) Emily’s authenticity and her ability to communicate in a clear and precise manner. What Emily has helped me with is the growing capacity to deepen my relationship with my higher power and another human being as friends and allies. In my morning meditation and throughout my day I am happy to say that I can key back into this readily available resource and Source.
∼KC, Psychiatric RN, Vashon, Washington
Interested to learn more? Here are two next steps:
- Download my free report, Master Your Anxiety and Love Yourself As Much As Your Dog Loves You (Even If You Don’t Have A Dog). It goes into depth about the unique reasons you get anxious, and how you can transform that anxiety to creative energy. The dog belongs to my friend Kaitlyn who kindly let me use the photos.
- Read more about who I work with on the page called Is this you?