Intensity is something I am intimately familiar with, in so many different respects.
In music, it’s something I struggle to get my students to do. It’s hard to explain but you know if it’s there or not. Music is all about struggle, about push-pull, about increasing and decreasing intensity. I remember one time in high school band, we had a guest clinician who so intense about intensity that it lost all meaning and we ended up laughing about it for months.
But it’s as a parent of a twice-exceptional son (oh hell, two 2e sons, who am I kidding?) that I’ve become intimately familiar with intensity. There is no intense like an intense gifted/2e kid; god help anyone who dares to come between them and their focus. And because the tree is right above that fallen apple, I’ve had to make my peace with the fact that I’m pretty damned intense myself…and don’t even get me started on my spouse. I don’t call it The House Of Chaos for nothing, my friends.
I’ve been accused of being addicted to stomach acid.
It’s been suggested (in a public forum) that I get drunk and go practice.
Others have suggested that maybe I’m overreacting juuuust a touch.
Over the years I’ve been told, through words and looks, that I’m sometimes a bit too much…yet I feel I’m just not enough.
This is something I’ve struggled with for years upon years. I’ve learned an awful lot about Dabrowski and over-excitabilities and positive disintegration since first diving into the G2e deep end, and I’d just like to shout to the world that I’m kinda over the whole disintegration thing already and would love to rise from the ashes like a phoenix now. Please.
I’m intense, but I’m sure as hell not thriving.
My friend and partner-in-crime, Kate Arms, is starting a multi-month program for gifted and intense adults in November. I’ve worked with Kate many times over the past several years, as a participant in classes she’s offered, as a life-coach client, as a co-facilitator of self-care classes for parents of complex kids. She has four G2e kids, three of which are triplets. Her experience is drawn from study in biology, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, theories and practices of constitutional democracy, coaching, systems theory, leadership, and anthropology.
In a phrase, Kate knows her shit.
Her Thriving With Intensity class is for us, the gifted adults who still hear we’re too much but feel like we’re not enough. Because of my experience with Kate as a coaching client, class participant, and co-facilitator, I know this class can be and will be life-changing.
(Full disclosure: I received no compensation for this post; I offered to write this).
Please do consider signing up for Kate’s class. Intensity is not a bad thing, it just is, and if we can make it work for us there will be no stopping us.