Falling Apart – and What Choosing to BE Looks Like

March 29, 2018

Helen Joy Butler - Elemental Space Clearing® - Sensitivities quote

Many years ago I heard my good friend Susan Pearse speak at an event. I have no idea what the event was or where it was held, but one of the messages Susan shared has stayed with me to this day.

The message had such an impact on me at the time that I came home and wrote it on a board in my office – which literally only got cleaned off a month or so ago.

Why did I only just clean it off?

Because I feel I have  finally learnt the message buried deep within it.

At the event Susan was talking about the concept of

Be > Do > Outcome

That in itself might sound a little confusing, so let me explain what it means and how I’ve finally come to connect with the message buried within it.

Last Friday on my Instagram and Facebook pages I shared this post.

Helen Joy Butler - Instagram post - Elemental Space Clearing®

Just in case the words are hard to read, this is what I wrote:

“To say things have been a little challenging in my world this year is a massive understatement. That’s made love – self love – a complex tug of war which is becoming more and more difficult to win. If I don’t honour where I am right now I’m not going to be any good to anyone, let alone myself. So this weekend I am going offline for a full weekend of Sanctuary, to immerse myself in things that light me up. Knowing and trusting that by Monday I will feel so much more connected with my spirit and my soul. I invite you to do the same, even if it is only for an hour or so. Go connect with what’s TRULY important to you and notice the difference in your soul afterward. It will thank you for it. See you next week.” 

I know you’ve seen messages like this before from many people you follow on social media.

So I thought I’d share a little of how my weekend panned out – and what the ultimate outcome was.

Firstly, I think it’s important to know where my head was at when I wrote this post.

I was sitting in my car, waiting for Mr 12 to finish school. I had arrived early and was day dreaming a little and connecting with how I truly felt inside.

If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been in a washing machine’s spin cycle you’ll have a good understanding of where I was at.

I had a headache.

I had a constant buzzing inside of me (that, to be honest, has been there for months).

I was on high alert and aroused beyond all control.

And I felt like the smallest thing was going to tip me over the edge.

To be honest, I’ve known the feelings and sensations of being on high alert and aroused for a long time – my whole life in fact – but had I acted on them recently? To help me shift out of these uncomfortable feelings only highly sensitive people completely understand? Of course not! Like a ‘good’ person I had kept going. And the wheels were starting to fall off big time.

I knew, after connecting with how I truly felt while sitting in my car on Friday afternoon, that if I didn’t do something about it I was going to end up in a place I wasn’t willing to go.


{I know this might sound a little extreme but I know that if you identify as a sensitive person you know exactly what I’m talking about.}

At this stage (ie 3pm on Friday afternoon) I didn’t even have the foresight to look at my calendar and see what my weekend held. All I knew is that I needed to care for me.

So that’s why I wrote and shared that post on social media. Because I just knew that if I didn’t slip into the BEing part of Susan’s equation there was absolutely no chance of me DOing anything at all.

After I wrote and shared that post, Mr 12 and I headed home.

And this is what my BEing weekend looked like.

On Friday afternoon I

  • turned my phone on silent and put my iPad away
  • had an epsom salts bath
  • watched Hotel for Dogs with Mr 12
  • made and ate homemade pizza for dinner
  • went to bed early

On Saturday I

  • woke up around 6.30am
  • had a cup of tea
  • pottered around the house
  • did some washing and ironing
  • read my book
  • had an afternoon nap
  • got Chinese takeaway for dinner
  • watched a movie with Hubby
  • went to bed early

On Sunday I

  • woke up around 6.30am
  • had a cup of tea
  • packed Hubby and Mr 12 off to rugby training
  • pottered around the house
  • went to the garden centre with Hubby
  • went to an Autumn Equinox Healing Session
  • came home to a roast dinner
  • went to bed early

Not the most exciting weekend huh?

But do you notice the theme across the whole weekend?

Instead of DOing I was BEing.

{Sure ironing isn’t that exciting but I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t want to.}

At some stage over the weekend I connected in with myself and discovered something which I had hoped would happen.

That headache I had on Friday afternoon? Mostly gone.

The buzzing that had been there for months? Totally gone by Sunday afternoon, after the Healing Session.

The high alert and hyper arousal? Gone by Sunday night when I sat down to a delicious roast meal with my family.

All of it was gone.

All because on Friday afternoon I decided to put my devices away and focus on ME.

Sure there were times when I focused on other people over the weekend, but in the most part I focused on ME – and most importantly the BEing part of Susan’s equation.

Have I known this all along?

Of course!

For many years I religiously practiced Sanctuary Sunday, where I went offline all day and did whatever I wanted.

I’ve attended meditation retreats for the past five years and have a daily practice that I follow.

I give blessings and gratitude to the sanctuary in my life each and every day.

But by Friday I had let the world affect me to such an extent that I knew I had to do more to balance the scales. To get off the DO > OUTCOME roundabout and just BE.

I know going offline for an hour, a day, a weekend isn’t rocket science. And I know it wasn’t the only reason I felt a lot better by Sunday afternoon. But what I do know is that by making a choice not to DO social media over the weekend I was gifting myself permission to BE present in my life in a way I desperately needed.

So I suppose the question really is – will I stay headache, buzzing, high alert, hyper arousal free?

Of course not.

But by giving myself permission to understand the true depth of my sensitivities is the first step toward change. I’ve known who I am for years – and in the most part I’m happy with it. It’s the world I choose to live in that makes it oh-so-difficult for me at times.

So it’s up to me to take my power back. To BE me. And to allow the DO > OUTCOME part of Susan’s equation to come from a place of deep inner knowing.

It won’t always BE easy, I know that. But if I don’t remind myself of it, who will?

With much love,

Helen xx

PS If you’d like to connect in with the concept of sanctuary – and how it can help you BE – I have a free Five Days to Sanctuary Challenge for you right here.


  • Clare Robinson

    This is so timely Helen! I completely know what you are talking about, I’ve been in that state for most of the last 12 months due to stressful family health crises (elderly parents-in-law) and organising and delivering my father-in-law’s funeral in December. And since then helping my son deal with his grief. He’s also an hsp and he’s very expressive and it’s been quite the ride through his anxiety and grief over the last 3 months (In contrast to my daughter who said ‘yep, I’m sad but he really needs to go’ and that was that. She watched Gilmore Girls on repeat for the summer holidays in her room by herself and she’s been fine. She’s very pragmatic!) I’ve been so invested in the doing part of life this last school term, and the ‘counselling’ role I’ve played in my son’s life (I am an INFJ after all 😉 ) that I’ve struggled with the being part. Lots of staying up late again to sit by myself in the dark and watch instastories, read my book, but it’s not been quite enough yet to counteract the other stresses. I shall keep working on it now I’ve read your experience. I long to feel how you felt at the end of Sunday! Thanks as always Helen xx

    • Helen Joy Butler

      Oh goodness Clare, what a ride you’ve had. In my experience, the ‘bigger’ the event, the long it takes to come back to centre. I know these things are, ultimately, huge learnings for us, but that certainly doesn’t make it easier. I am an INTJ so close enough to an INFJ to know where you’re at. Much love to you, your boy, and everyone close to you dealing with their grief too Clare. <3

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