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Re-Animating the Sensing Instinct.png
March 23, 2024

"A story must be judged according to whether it makes sense.

And 'making sense' must be here understood in its most direct meaning:

to make sense is to enliven the senses."


―David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

In a culture dominated by mental intellect and normative approaches to development, sensing instincts and intuition – our bottom-up processes – are often ignored. For gifted and autistic people, this means that from a young age they are disconnected from their unique ways of experiencing and making sense of the world and their relationship with self and others. This disconnect also results in other areas of giftedness, such as imaginal, cognitive, and existential intelligences, not fully developing in a cohesive way to support their self-actualization – their own personally meaningful story.


In this experiential workshop, we will be drawing on Donna Williams’ work on autism and the sensing instinct, where the autistic system of sensing and interpretation differs from that of the dominant culture’s process of making sense of the world. (For more on her work, we recommend her book, Autism and Sensing: The Unlost Instinct and/or this video, The System of Sensing). Participants will have the opportunity to both explore re-animating their sensing instinct and gaining deeper clarity on their own gifted autistic story. Together we will explore themes and engage in practices related to:

  • The sensing instinct ~ its unique function and the impediments to it, its fundamental role in gifted autistic development and wholeness of being 

  • Embodied cognition and bottom-up processing ~ naming and restoring these important modalities for gifted autistic development and self-actualization

  • Mindfulness-based practices for enlivening the senses and expanding our imaginal and existential intelligences through connection with the other-than-human world

  • The power of myth and storytelling to guide our process

  • How to protect bottom-up sensitivity in a top-down world


This 2.5 hour workshop is held over Zoom and led by Kelly Pryde, founder of Gifted Mindfulness Collective and Fabienne Wydler, founder of Narrative Apothecary. Both Kelly and Fabienne are gifted and autistic, experienced coaches for gifted and twice-/multi-exceptional adults, and leaders within InterGifted. In addition to facilitating discussion in the workshop, they will be sharing about their own experiences of bottom-up self-discovery. 


Who this workshop is for:


Participants must identify as both gifted and autistic (including self-identification) and be at a place in their development where they are consciously integrating their particular areas of giftedness and exceptionality and are able to engage in generative, values-based ways, i.e. Dabrowski’s Level IV Directed Multilevel Disintegration. It is expected that participants will be fully present with video on and actively engaged for the duration of the workshop.  

Date & Time:


The workshop is 2.5 hours. The next date and time is TBD.


Cost: 155 USD


Payments are made via PayPal. We have a limited number of spaces available for those with current financial limitations. Please email us to make arrangements for a reduced fee.


Space is limited to 12-15 participants. Due to the experiential nature of this workshop, it will not be recorded. 

To be notified of future offerings, please email us via this link:

Next offering TBD

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