archives, wisdom

A Love Letter to You and Your Rainforest Mind.


You. Yes, you. You, with the rainforest mind.

I know you.

You are highly sensitive, colorful, lively, intense, intelligent, creative, intuitive, and prolific. You care about justice and social responsibility. You have the capacity to make a difference on the planet. You are misunderstood. There are times when the chainsaws cut you down.

How, then, does someone like you, someone with a rainforest mind, manage in this world, especially now, when the chainsaws appear to be winning?

Take a breath. Take a moment. Let me tell you who you are. It will help you manage. It will help you thrive.


Dear One,

Yes, you. With that dazzlingly intense rainforest mind. 

You have so much courage. 

To be here, and stay here, on this planet, during such tumultuous times. To keep your sensitivity, empathy, and compassion intact. To perceive and feel the human layers of suffering, despair, rage, fear, and sorrow. To stay open to your deepest emotions. To speak out against injustice. To develop your intuitive abilities even when not knowing might make your life easier. 

You have so much strength. 

To be willing to face your own demons. To persistently uncover the painful patterns of shame, depression, and anxiety handed down to you from your parents and their parents before them. To unravel the legacy of abuse within your ancestral line so that the generations after you experience greater self-acceptance and inner peace. To understand and process your own fear and rage. To choose the extraordinarily long hard road of introspection and analysis, so that you might live authentically and compassionately and so that all children might have better lives.

 You have so much intellect. 

To allow your curiosity to run free through the multiple pathways of your effervescent layers. To gobble up as much learning as you can manage. To know that when someone says “You think too much,” that translates into “You breathe too much,” and no, there can never be too much air thinking. To use your capacity to problem-solve for healing yourself, your family, and your community while maintaining healthy boundaries and limits and time for the 17 books piled next to your bed. 

You have so much sensitivity. 

To appreciate and trust the intricate beauty and power of the natural world. To maintain your idealism and optimism in spite of the evidence. To let your awareness enhance your creativity. To persist in finding your particular art form as a way to express and soothe your sweet soul and the soul of the world. 

You have so much spirit. 

To keep looking for love in spite of the bullies, in spite of your difficulty communicating with the multitudes of slower, simpler thinkers. In spite of your lonely heart. To expand your awareness into the invisible world. To receive the powerful love and guidance from the Universe. To build your particularly rainforest-y spiritual practice. To allow yourself to become all that you can be, more than you ever thought possible.

More than you ever thought possible. 

Dear One. Yes, you. With that dazzlingly intense rainforest mind.

You are loved.


Paula Prober is a licensed counselor, consultant, author, blogger, and tango dancer in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. She’s spent over 30 years working with gifted youth and adults in her practice and in schools, universities, at conferences and webinars. Paula invented the expression ‘rainforest mind’ to describe humans who are highly sensitive, intense, curious, smart, and misunderstood. She consults internationally with rainforest-minded adults and parents of gifted children. Her book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016. She blogs at Your Rainforest Mind, a blog in support of the excessively curious, creative, smart and sensitive.


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