125: Follow Your Own Flow with Kari Betton

Today’s guest has an amazing story to tell about her experience as a highly, exceptionally to profoundly gifted (HEPG) person. She and I met in gifted adult groups, and I knew I had to have her on the show.

Kari Betton is a coach and mentor for sensitive, gifted, and highly creative individuals and has much knowledge about how we can visualize the brain. Starting the Chicago Neurodiversity and Acceptance Community, as well as her work around kink openness and sex positivity, encouraged Kari to write her blog, Follow Your Own Flow. The blog focuses on her life as a multi-exceptional and gifted adult, analyzes the essential elements of creativity and presence, and challenges extrinsic paradigms.

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Show Highlights:

  • Kari’s intense passion for taking the extrinsic and integrating it with the essential

  • “Extrinsic”--anything that is not the essential nature (“the fluff”) of a person

  • Gifted people, perfectionism, and nature vs. nurture

  • How Kari’s intensity forces her to “call people out on stuff”---and they don’t always like it

  • How Kari knew she was different, even before she was found to be HEPG (highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted)

  • Why Kari felt like “an alien” when she was radically accelerated to 5th grade as a 3-year-old, and then put back into first grade a couple of years later

  • How Kari was recognized as a prodigy

  • How being black and her positive disintegration affected how Kari expressed herself

  • The revelation about structure that changed her life

  • How Kari had to tone down and tune out her intensity all the time, as she struggled to connect to the totality of her inner self

  • Why creativity is the essential element of her multi-potentialism

  • How Kari felt that her intensity was out of control with positive disintegration, “going to the underworld every day”

  • How Kari lets out her fire by running and doing yoga

  • Meta-thinking, spiral thinking, and parallel processing of anxiety

  • How sleep helps Kari harness the power of her intensity, but she had to work hard to figure it out

  • How and why she resisted all routine for awhile

  • How she uses personal habits to be in the moment wherever she is

  • The best advice Kari’s received has often been from herself because she’s found it difficult to find good mentors

  • How she learned to integrate her body and mind, realizing that her mind is multidimensional, but the body only exists in this dimension

  • How “one-upmanship” plays into the gifted culture

  • How Kari creates space for the intellectual intensity

  • How Kari helps others through her coaching business and her neurodiversity group

  • Kari’s parting words: “We need to understand that the more that we holistically assess everyone, we’ll start to understand what we need for our gifted communities.”

Resources:

Square Space

Belonging Here: A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person by Judith Blackstone

Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential by Marylou Kelly Streznewski

Visit Embracing Intensity for more information about our community and our upcoming May 11 Group Call with Kate Arms on Thriving with Intensity.

The best thing for me was when I learned that my body needed structure, but my mind does not. ~ Kari Betton
Follow Your Own Flow with Kari Betton
Accepting myself as an empath was a huge part of embracing my intensity. ~ Kari Betton