Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on Creativity and Being a Highly Sensitive Person

“Self-Care for the Creative Soul” was a retreat March 2nd-6th, 2014, at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona, with Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette.

Cheryl Richardson, Alanis Morissette

Here is a brief excerpt from a conversation they had about the personality trait of high sensitivity and being a creative person:

Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on Creativity

A page on Cheryl Richardson’s site has the full-length audio conversation, and summarizes:

“Cheryl and Alanis Morissette discuss art, creativity, and the evolution of the soul! Listen in as Cheryl talks with special guest, Alanis Morissette, about the joys and challenges of making art, the importance of expressing our creative spirit, and what happens when you make a commitment to walk the path of personal and professional growth.”

At the end of the clip, Alanis Morissette comments on being highly sensitive:

“I have a lot of friends who are a non-sensitive temperament, and they will be in what I consider a wildly over-stimulating environment, and they can stick it out, but I’m imploding…overwhelmed.

“I get maxed-out more quickly than some, so it’s my responsibility that I schedule little mini-breaks throughout the day, and have enough sleep. It’s almost incumbent on me to make sure that I take care, in a very fierce way, in order to be able to continue to write and to be the person I want to be.”

Here is the full interview:


Here is an excerpt from “A Note From Cheryl” on the Miraval Resort site:

I have exciting news! You’re invited to join me, my husband, Michael Gerrish, and my dear friend, Grammy Award-winning artist, Alanis Morissette, for a very special experience – a new retreat called, “Self-Care for the Creative Soul,” on March 2nd-6th, 2014, at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona.

Have you ever felt too sensitive or empathic to live comfortably in a fast-paced, competitive, constantly changing world? Do you dislike the part of yourself that’s too easily affected by what others say and do?

Are you tired of conforming to society’s standards or the expectations of others just to fit in? Are you ready to allow the creative artist in you to emerge fully in the world?

Imagine how it would feel to see your sensitivity as a strength – a precious gift that deserves to be cherished and considered a blessing instead of a curse. Now imagine having the tools and skills to protect and nurture this gift, so you can feel fully equipped to live a fearless and fulfilling life!

I used to hate being so sensitive. This part of me felt burdensome, weak, and difficult to manage or hide.

For most of my formative years I felt like a pincushion in a world full of pins. But all that changed when I started working with my first coach, Thomas Leonard. He challenged me to reconsider the judgments I had about being sensitive and he showed me how to value and protect it.

I learned to set boundaries with those who didn’t respect my way of being in the world and to develop more supportive, soul-nurturing relationships with those who did. I began paying attention to what I required to live comfortably, peacefully, and in harmony with my personal rhythms and needs. And, I finally started giving presence to the creative desires that my soul had been longing to express.

Cheryl RichardsonHonoring my sensitivity dramatically changed my life. My health improved, my relationships deepened and became more balanced, and my work life became a rewarding journey as I gained greater access to the artist and healer within.

Now I’d like to help you do the same. As you learn how to see yourself with a new kind of appreciation, you’ll also learn to embrace and support your sensitive self so your life can change in dramatic ways, too.

Throughout your five-day experience, you’ll engage in meaningful conversations and practices that will allow you to…

    Get to know your creative soul in a whole new way so you can develop the reverence and appreciation for yourself that you need and deserve.

    Uncover the gifts your tender side has to offer by connecting with your own artist and healer within.
    Discover exciting new ways to express your creativity and, in the process, become fully invested in living your best, most authentic life.
    Learn to fiercely and gracefully protect your sensitivity.
    Use “tapping techniques” (like EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques), to calm your mind and body when you feel distressed so you can allow your creative desires to flourish.
    Develop and commit to a way of living that supports your sensitive temperament.
    Establish a time management strategy that reflects your true nature, and helps you honor your daily priorities.
    Discover work options that enable you to utilize your talents to the fullest in an environment where your soul can truly thrive.
    Create intimate, “give and take” relationships with loved ones by communicating in respectful and healing ways.
    Promote and support the sensitive sides of the children in your life.

Richardson is author of the book The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time – Chapter 8 is titled “You’re So Sensitive.”

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Alanis MorissetteIn an interview, Alanis Morissette comments about the ambiguity many artists feel at times about their work:

“I live for having the larger conversations that are spawned by the content of the songs.

“That’s what I’m here to do, whether I like it or not.”

Referring to one of the main themes of her song “Guardian” on one of her albums, she says it concerns “the degree of healing that is available with commitment and intimacy — whether it’s marriage or babies or commitment to friends who I imagine growing old with and dying at 108 together….

“I’m terrified of intimacy, but I’m obsessed with wholeness.”

See more in my article: Alanis Morissette: Channeling rage and finding joy in creativity.

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Alanis MorissetteAlanis Morissette  writes about her own experience as a highly sensitive person and artist:

“I am very sensitive to the interactions I have with people.

“Whether it’s a momentary glance in an elevator, or a deep philosophical conversation over dinner, or a brush-by in a café, I feel (sometimes exhaustingly) attuned and affected by the subtle exchanges that pass seemingly benignly between us as human ships.

“Being a sensitive empath is a beautiful thing as an artist, and it fosters a deep burning curiosity about why we do the things we do.”

From my article: Introverted, Shy or Highly Sensitive in the Arts.

The photo is from a page for the documentary

Sensitive – The Untold Story

See more resources on the page:
Books, Products and Programs for Highly Sensitive People

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In this video Alanis Morissette talks about her creative life. She was interviewed by New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareles.

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paint by numbers! - By originallittlehellraiserRead more and see video about EFT / Tapping, plus Cheryl Richardson’s books and online programs, in the article:

Cheryl Richardson on Protecting Our High Sensitivity.

“The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able you’ll be to fully and joyfully express your blessed creativity.

“That’s when your art becomes more and more successful in the world. It begins with treating yourself with love, respect, kindness, and compassion.”


Related articles (among many more on the Creative Mind family of sites):

How to Relieve Stress and Anxiety When You’re Creative and Highly Sensitive

Why are we more emotional as a highly sensitive person? – Julie Bjelland, LMFT is a psychotherapist specializing in highly sensitive people, and is author of the book and online course, “Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person, Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions.”


Social Emotional Health Program for Creative, Gifted, Highly Sensitive People

* Note – Links to programs and products may be affiliate links, which means a company or publisher provides a small commission to me (paid by them, at no cost to you) if you decide to purchase. This helps support my efforts in creating the free content you read here and on my other sites, plus helps pay for costs such as website hosting. As an Amazon Associate, and an affiliate representing some other companies such as Sounds True, as well as a few coaches and psychologists, I provide links to products and programs that may be helpful to creative people. Thanks for visiting.