HJ: As a card carrying indigo child, and ironically, no longer a child in terms of age, I feel qualified to comment on this subject. The first thing is that the term indigo child needs to evolve a bit — how about just indigos, as many of us are no longer children. The second thing I would say is that this excerpt is incredibly accurate. It very accurately describes many of my personal traits and the traits of many other indigos I know to such a ‘T’ that it is almost unsettling someone could have you so well pinned down. Suffice it to say if you or someone you know is exhibiting many of these traits, they are probably an indigo.
While some may think that labels such as these pigeonhole you into some kind of stereotype, I think for most card carrying indigos, especially those who have not yet identified as such, it can be quite liberating and help you understand why you are like you are. Quite frankly the world we live in does not share many of the values indigos hold to so strongly and one can easily feel alienated and alone, especially if you have not yet understood your true nature. Therefore, identifying the traits below in yourself or someone you know can truly bring quite a bit of relief and solidarity to one’s perception of themselves and their often times radical views on events and life. After all, indigos tend to be operating from a higher perspective grounded in many lifetimes of knowledge and experience. This is in direct contrast to a largely unquestioning, conditioned society/populace that often cannot see beyond the limits of their own perceptions, which are heavily distorted and skewed.
The following is excerpted from The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids,available from New Page Books.
“Indigos are all already aware they are different." —Nancy Tappe
Indigos are “highly sensitive with a warrior personality," explained Doreen Virtue, author of The Care and Feeding of Indigo Children, in the documentary The Indigo Evolution. I wholeheartedly agree. Indigo kids are unique in the fact that they hold two opposing qualities simultaneously: high sensitivity and fierceness. So they are extremely sensitive like the “highly sensitive children," defined by Elaine Aron in her book, The Highly Sensitive Child, but what differentiates them is their personality. I prefer to use the concept of “the indigo personality" to capture their shared characteristics, such as:
• Are highly creative.
• Are extremely energetic.
• Are gifted in certain areas (for example, mathematical genius, poor reading skills).
• Have a need for fairness.
• Prize honesty (almost above all else).
• Feel equal to authority.
• Hate rules.
• Refuse to do certain things.
• Want special treatment.
• Are strong-willed.
• Waver between grandiosity and low self-esteem.
• May be prone to depression.
• Have high sensitivity (sounds, smells, touch, sights).
• Have sharpened intuition.
• Don’t respond to authoritative parenting.
• Have built-in BS detector (immediately know dishonesty).
• Tend to leave things incomplete.
• Cannot be rushed.
• May have fetish (for example, only wants to wear princess dresses).
• Like playing alone (unless with other indigos).
• Get “hooked" on things and can’t let go.
• Are independent at times, clingy at other times.
• Seek meaningful friendships.
Understanding the core characteristics of the indigo personality is very empowering. You no longer feel alone. Having worked with thousands of indigos, I can say that these attributes animate themselves differently in children but the indigo short summary is this:
• High sensitivity.
• Giftedness (in one area).
• Incredible creativity.
• Strong energy of defiance.
• Inner motivation.
• Intuitive intelligence (very high!).
When I was told early on that I beat to my own drummer I took it in stride. Now, I realize that I was merely beating to an indigo drum—which is unique, unusual to the mainstream, and deeply powerful as a force for change. Indigos see, feel, and experience life differently than their more mainstream counterparts. They tend to have an unusually high level of creativity, sensitivity, giftedness, and angry energy to channel.
This angry or warrior energy that defines many indigos isn’t a bad thing. It is the energy that breaks down broken systems (think: public school systems) and creates better ways of doing things. Of course, the challenge is to raise indigo kids to use their incredibly sensitive, highly responsive, and fierce energy as force for good.
Parenting indigos, especially if you aren’t “indigo-like," can be a real challenge. Over the years, I have had countless clients come to me because one parent was indigo-ish and the other thought his or her child was just given to them by Martians. They just didn’t get it. Usually it started out like: “What is going on with my child? She’s as sweet as pie one moment, and then next it’s a full-blown tantrum."
So I usually had parents detail the itty-bitty things of their parent-child interaction, and I served as the bridge to translate from indigo to adult. Then, they’d have an “a-ha" and say, “Oh my—that’s what was going on." As soon as you know the energetic triggers of indigos you can stop bumping into them unknowingly and experiencing such upset all around.
One of my first Los Angeles child clients was a 5-year-old named Jamal. His mom, Lisa, contacted me because she discovered Jamal was actually highly sensitive. One instance stood out for her.
Jamal was attending a private kindergarten in Los Angeles, and he was the only African American in his grade. One school project was to bring in a baby photo and post it on the wall, where all the kids got to guess “who’s who." Jamal knew this wasn’t going to work out for him. Jamal is very observant and aware of life, including his ethnicity, and that this was an unfair game. He told his teachers. Mrs. Smith, his main teacher, said she would work on making it fair. So she printed out famous baby photos of African Americans and decided to add them to the game. On the day of this game, all Jamal’s peers picked him out first and he got really upset. Jamal began crying and left the classroom, refusing to return. He said, “Mom, tell everyone it’s not fair and that’s why I am so upset."
Jamal was clear from the beginning he disliked this game, felt unheard, and had a sense that it wasn’t going to work for him. His teacher, from her “older perspective," couldn’t really understand how to create an effective solution. Ultimately, Jamal got triggered by the unfairness of this situation and couldn’t contain his emotions. Indigos as a whole cannot ignore their emotions but must learn effective outlets for them. Jamal fits the indigo profile to a “T," with his high sensitivity, strong emotions, and warrior energy standing up for what he saw as an injustice. He refused to go back into that classroom and Lisa picked him up.
Unique to Indigos
Unique to indigos are their mindset and nuanced way of being in the world. Some of these characteristics are minor, and, well, others—they are big ones. I am going to share some of them here, and we’ll continue to unwrap them throughout the chapters. I begin with the one that impacted Jamal: Indigos cannot ignore their emotions.
Indigos cannot suppress their feelings. Other generations and types of children can easily ignore someone’s comments, push down their hurt feelings, and learn how to move throughout the world without feeling a thing. This isn’t possible for an indigo (exception: if they are medicated). Indigo kids are divinely designed to feel their feelings and let them out.
This is where most parents struggle the most. They are unsure of what emotionally is occurring with their children and especially in the early years when crying seems to be an everyday occurrence.
Indigos will always let you know how they feel. They may cry, scream, and talk back to you until they learn better ways of channeling their energy—but one thing is for sure: Your indigo child isn’t burying his or her emotions.
One other thing that Jamal highlights for me is this: Indigos’ primary intelligence is intuitive.
Indigos trust themselves. They know when something is right and will stand up for what they believe in time and time again. It’s this indigo energy that will change many of our broken systems of government, education, and healthcare, for example, into something better. It’s not to say that indigos aren’t highly intelligent in the traditional sense, but they do follow their intuitive urges primarily.
Intuitive intelligence is information gained through insight. It is that “feeling" to turn right and then you bump into your best friend. Indigos have a sharpened sense of intuition and reliance upon it. Actually, everyone is intuitive when they are born, but indigos aren’t able to easily “shut it off" the way many other people can. It is their primary mode of information gathering and what they trust the most.
Jamal was governed by his intuitive intelligence when he walked out of his classroom. He trusted his inner knowingness. It was this inner wisdom coupled with his need for honesty that upset him so much. Said simply: Indigos need integrity.
Indigo kids have a built in dishonesty detector. They know if someone isn’t honest and cannot bear it. It doesn’t matter if the “dishonest party" is their principal or parents; it just simply goes against the grain of who they are. So they stand their ground and “call out" whoever is being dishonest—like what Jamal did regarding that game.
Collectively indigos have come to shift the consciousness on the planet from dishonesty to honesty. They are Truth teachers. Sometimes this means challenging authorities and doing things differently. Jamal just couldn’t pretend the game was okay and “fit in" with the other children he needed to stand up for Truth.
One sunny afternoon in December, I got a call from a distressed dad. Glenn said to me, “I just realized my son, Sam, is a highly sensitive boy. I read your article on Psychology Today, and he fits the profile to a T. He also has been bullied in school and is hurt beyond words. Sam’s upset not only by his bully, but all his supposed ‘friends’ that stood by and did nothing. He refuses to return to school and has made the scariest statement to us. Sam said, ‘I will kill myself if you take me back to that school,’ and that’s why I am calling you. What do I do?"
Sam’s story isn’t a unique one. Over the years, I have gotten countless calls from parents whose children have mentioned suicide. I take every call seriously. With that said, I calmed Glenn down to realize his son was safe and we needed to keep him safe. That was priority number one, as well as getting him proper assistance with his incredibly deep emotions and learning new skills for how to handle them.
Glenn was quiet and realized that his son was safe. I supported his and his wife, Meg’s, decision to take Sam out of school. He never fit into his new school and had been struggling socially from the very start. Academically, Sam is actually quite gifted, scoring at a 12th-grade reading level in fifth grade and slightly below grade level in mathematics. This giftedness in one area and deficiency in another is also common among indigos; they are patterned for a unique purpose that isn’t represented by traditional schooling systems.
It was fortunate that Glenn and Meg could take Sam out of his school and provide him a personalized educational program. Obviously, this isn’t what every family could do, but there are always answers; sometimes we just need to get really creative to surface them. Then I also helped Sam personally as Meg and Sam came to visit me for a three-day intensive program where I taught Sam to:
Manage his emotions.
Connect healthfully with others.
Make “smart" choices.
One more complaint that Glenn and Meg had was that Sam sassed them. Indigos have no problem standing up for themselves, speaking their Truth, and letting their emotions out. As I mentioned earlier:Indigos must express their emotions. One of our big roles as parents and guides to indigos is to help them express their emotions (energy in motion) in ways that are skillful versus damaging.
Over the following few months, I continued to provide support to Sam on Skype as he learned how to manage his high sensitivity better. I also helped Meg and Glenn see Sam’s perspective on a number of common indigo challenges, such as:
Why does my son play alone most of the time? Do we force him to play baseball? Is a gifted program good for him; he already walks around like royalty? Do we just let him refuse to do certain things? Are we enabling him? Punishment doesn’t seem to work; what is going on?