Gifted In Serbia

“I can hear and feel with such an intensity. I can understand what people are feeling just by their look or presence. I can very often predict what they are going to say. Bad styling and bad architecture are literally killing me. I am looking for details in stuff that are meaningless for others. I am passionate about learning and thinking. And yes, my worth definitely depends on my achievements and I do feel like a failure…I would looove to find someone with who I could really talk about depth of everything and be able to say what I really mean knowing that the person is going to understand it without calling me crazy…”

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I am writing about some of the beautiful rainforest-minded souls (RFMs) who contact me from around the world. I have wondered what giftedness looks like in various cultures. What are the similarities? What are the differences? Some of the profiles have been from RFMs in Finland, Spain, Brazil, Malaysia, Belgium, Chile, Lebanon, Netherlands, Canada (via Cameroon), Portugal, Germany, Austria, and India. I would love to hear from those of you in countries not yet on this list, although, of course, anyone is welcome to contact me for a consultation!

(photo by Christopher Campbell, Unsplash)

Today, meet Sara, a 30 year old female, born during the tumultuous years of the break up of Yugoslavia. She contacted me for a consultation after reading my books so she might find her “true voice” and live her “real life.” Like so many of the RFMs I meet, she is struggling to manage her extraordinarily active mind and her many varied interests and abilities. She grapples with the conflict between being practical and realistic, everyday choices of career paths, lifestyles, relationships, and laundry, versus expanding into her “higher vibration” of intuition and spirituality.

Like every multipotentialite I know, Sara’s interests and abilities are vast and varied. When she was in high school, she was skilled in math, physics, chemistry, writing, languages, orchestra, choir, history, poetry, theatre, and volleyball. Because she did not know this was normal for an RFM, she doubted herself and said, “I did everything but I wasn’t great in anything.” And this: “…if they only knew how manipulative, lucky, and unknowing I am. I just calculate what is important, memorize it quickly, and somehow get through…I never went deep enough.” In fact, Sara can not help but dive deep into whatever she does. Her capacity is both wide and deep. Rainforest-y for sure.

There is more. Sara is driven to learn and experience life to the fullest and then some. Presently, she is trying to sort out how to choose among all of her interests and insights. How does she deal with her job at the pharmacy when she has visions of dramatically changing the health care system? When does she find time to learn ten languages, create a clothing line, build sustainable affordable homes, enter a song contest, publish her poems, make movies, and become a mother? How does she explain to others the powerful loneliness and grief she feels trying to shrink herself into a more typical way of being and living?

Sara has a strong spirituality that sustains her. She said, “I do believe we are all one and connected to the source energy. I believe in energy and vibration, parallel realities and that we are all creating our own personal world. Everything out there–it’s me. The term starseed also resonated with me. It helped me understand myself better. I see it as a spiritual equivalent to your term rainforest mind. My soul has probably a lot of different experiences all across the universe right now because there is only this moment in time…

As you can imagine, it has been difficult for Sara to find others who can keep up with her, who love her depth and sensitivity, her intellect and spirituality. Like many RFMs, she wondered, if she was so smart, why was she not “successful.” She was not sure how to organize her day to accomplish basic tasks. She expressed fears of stepping into her true self and leaving everyone she loves behind.

I reassured her that these are indeed the struggles of the rainforest-minded. We agreed, it was time to grasp a more accurate view of herself.

Then we spoke about how she might find a regular time to tune into her spirituality and intuition. She knew her answers were all within if she could just trust herself.

Sara shared another of her spiritual insights, “I believe we are living in a beautiful time of a great awakening and the collapse that we are seeing is just the step before creating a new, wonderful world.”

So, Sara, you are not crazy. You very clearly have a magnificent rainforest mind. And, as you step into your vision of a new, wonderful world, we will be right with you, traveling the vast starry universe. Together.


To my bloggEEs: Do you have similar experiences? Please let us know about them. Your comments make such a difference. And thank you, Sara, for sharing your story and your heart with us.

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Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

9 responses to “Gifted In Serbia”

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  1. renovatio06 Avatar

    I love everything and every word in this blog post and in Sarah’s testimony. Beautiful, sending her loving greets and a hug, if she can tolerate it 🙂

  2. Agnes Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful article. As life is very busy and we all seem to be concentrated primarily on our daily routine I have never imagined that there are people that might experience life in a similar manner to myself. I can literally relate to Sara in everything she has said including the circumstances of her cultural background. Yes, life is not easy for the gifted especially in regards to still present gender inequalities and stereotypes in vast majority of the societies. Would it be possible to contact you, Ms Paula, for a short consultation please? Thank you.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Agnes. If you email me directly, I can give you the details about how consultations work. You can use the About page form or email:

  3. Reb Avatar

    So relatable. After spending time in a few careers I’m about to complete my Masters in Primary Teaching and teach young people. Some of the biggest positives this career change brings for me is the opportunity to teach every subject area as I couldn’t possibly choose only one! I hope to be able to help the little rainforest minded people I come across throughout the next chapter of my career. A fruitful topic for (more) research right there.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Yes, teaching can be a career that gives you a lot of variety and a sense of making a difference. Those little RFMs will be lucky to have you!

  4. S Avatar

    Boy, do her thoughts, feelings and words resonate with me! Wishing her luck and lots of grace to herself as she carves a path!!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Glad they resonate, S. We are not alone! Thank you.

  5. Nina Avatar

    I’m from Serbia, and Sara is the same age as myself. She is quite successful and accomplished compared to my life. My circumstances made me traumatized in school so much I couldn’t be interested in anything, and I was put on psych drugs, left school, and now still recovering after a decade, still in quite difficult state, looking to reclaim my life. I hope I’ll manage one day to find support for people like myself somewhere, or build it perhaps, though it seems quite hard.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Sending you love, Nina, as you take the courageous steps of reclaiming your life. As you understand who you are with a rainforest mind, you will know what to look for in others and you will find them. Thank you for sharing.

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