This guide to meditation, visualization, affirmation, and mantra is designed for “loving, sensitive, open, gentle souls who absorb external vibrations as a sponge absorbs water.” Psycholgist Elaine Aron coined the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) for people with this increased sensitivity. Symptoms they experience include feeling physical weariness or pain when exposed to other people’s negative emotions; anxiety and overwhelm in crowds; trouble sleeping when any stimuli are present; a feeling of energy drain.

Shumsky identifies as such a person and advises against medication as a primary solution. Instead, she points her fellow Highly Sensitive Persons toward what she calls “earth energies,” explaining, “It is time to get grounded in our true nature as a child of Mother Earth, before it is too late.” She does this by beginning with our own energy field: chakras, those energy centers in our bodies that give life to our physical actions. Most important of all is what Shumsky points to as the “root chakra” — the one at the base of your spine, which she explains, “links you to the earth.”

To ignore the root chakra is to be closed and potentially unhealthy, resulting possibly in emotions of fear and worry and frustration, and manifesting perhaps in behaviors of addiction, aggression, and other negativities. So she offers physical, visual, and spiritual exercises to connect you with your root chakra, including chants, mantas, meditations, spiritual exorcisms, and affirmations such as this one:

“James Dillet Freeman, a Unity Church minister, composed this affirmation during World War II to give comfort to soldiers in the trenches. Speak this affirmation audibly, with conviction, whenever you feel the need for divine comfort, safety, and security.

“ 'The light of God surrounds me.
The love of God enfolds me.
The power of God protects me.
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I AM, God is, and all is well.' ”

There are also chants, physical exercises, and breathing techniques such as this one:

“A simple, effective breathing exercise that can relax you deeply is known as Hang Sah breathing. This exercise is performed with mouth slightly open. Here is how:

“As you inhale, whisper the mantra, 'Haaaaaaaang,' and as you exhale, whisper, 'Saaaaaaaaah.' Continue this practice for five to ten minutes.”