Quiet Time and the need to find something that eliminates outside influences and brings you back to yourself instantly. This can be meditation, breathing exercises, hiking or anything really, but find what works for you and do it now. I practice The Liberated Healer daily meditation every day to set myself up to deal with anything coming my way that day.
As a part of our series about How To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gina Cavalier.
Gina Cavalier is the Founder, CEO, and Teacher at The Liberated Healer. A company dedicated to teaching others how to heal themselves and get on with the business of life. Gina split from a very successful 20-year career in entertainment and technology to dedicate her life to wellness where she and her collaborative partners are building the 1st-ever wellness marketplace using the same technology that the US Air Force is using. This technology has the ability to change the way we experience content and our relationship with practitioners, and advertisers forever.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally?
I am the Founder, CEO, and Teacher at The Liberated Healer, a mind-body wellness brand. We are focusing on teaching others how to heal themselves, find love, and their preferred career path along with building a wellness marketplace that will change the way we discover and consume content and find wellness practitioners. I am also a highly sensitive person (HSP) who in the past has suffered deeply and can now say is thriving through a variety of healing and meditation techniques that I have mastered. I was in a successful entertainment and technology career for 20 years, driven by the excitement of storytelling and bridging technology and working on some of the largest campaigns in the world like Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, and Godzilla vs. Kong. I am taking all that excitement and experience and putting it into this wellness company that we hope will help many people. I also love to write and illustrate and one of my favorite books is titled, “How I Became Santa Claus.” It’s a completely original story about what the character must have left behind to become something so wonderful.
Thank you for your bravery and strength in being so open with us. I understand how hard this is. Can you help define for our readers what is meant by a Highly Sensitive Person? Does it simply mean that feelings are easily hurt or offended?
Honestly, this has been one of the hardest interviews I’ve experienced. These questions have so much “charge” to them because this is something that I have always dealt with on a daily basis. I really appreciate the opportunity to connect with more people on this subject for more awareness, support, and understanding. This is my experience and opinion about being an HSP. However, I must state I am not a doctor, nor diagnosing anyone or giving medical advice.
The word “simply” is what is hanging me up because there are no simple roads with HSP. But, feeling hurt and offended is just a common result that one has to overcome on an almost daily basis. We are constantly navigating our experiences around what is real, where to put it, how to respond and how to process everything that comes our way. This can be exhausting which is why it is vital to find a way for that person to find people and processes that help them live a balanced life. That is our first journey and lesson that we must overcome. Please note, along with HSP people might have other sensitivities such as fears around technology, sounds, smells, light, touch, or a variety of phobias which will make the HSP more intense. It’s almost like our nerves live on the outside of our body and until we learn tools to calm, center and manage them we will suffer, mostly in silence.
Does a Highly Sensitive Person have a higher degree of empathy towards others? Is a Highly Sensitive Person offended by hurtful remarks made about other people?
HSP are at a level 11 (out of 10) in the compassion, empathy, and intuitive skills department. Yes, I get very sad when I see, hear, or read anyone being unkind to others but have learned how to manage this in most cases except when I witness any kind of abuse of animals, children or the elderly. It can trigger me to the core, where I might cry very deeply for a few minutes. Because I’ve learned how to remote heal, what I realized was that I was sending that person healing energy. HSP’s can sense the slightest shifts in energy, emotions, thoughts, and frequencies so this adds to the breadth of where their vulnerabilities lie but this can be turned into a major strength in life when they learn how to manage their level of HSP.
Does a Highly Sensitive Person have greater difficulty with certain parts of popular culture, entertainment or news, that depict emotional or physical pain? Can you explain or give a story?
Absolutely, these images and content are very hard to ingest and transpose. There is a lot out there that is derogatory, sadistic, cruel, and truly horrific. When we experience these things, and we don’t know how to navigate our own energies they can enter into our whole body and we might take on the energy of those things and not sure how to get out of them. I teach and help HSP’s to not internalize these emotions and thoughts. My strongest memory and story is when I was very young seeing parts of the movie The Exorcist. Because I could feel and see many things, but I still did not understand how to navigate them, this film terrified me for many years. I brought that energy into my space, and when you do that you attract that energy towards you. After that film, I would have night terrors and lucid dreaming and sleeping was a chore for me until I reached my 30’s when I started learning about my energy, space, and how to transform that energy.
Can you please share a story about how your highly sensitive nature created problems at work or socially?
For me, it’s been the work environment that has been the hardest to navigate and why I appreciate this opportunity to share and bring more awareness about people with HSP. In jobs there are additional items that are tethering us to the situation such as money, status, and benefits and a lot of us don’t feel like we can express ourselves authentically in fear of being judged or criticized. What this does is close the doors getting on with the business of life. In my own personal story, I can share that I had one particular boss that trained everyone to follow a particular pattern for success and there were no exceptions (example: stay in this position for 5 years, be a follower and don’t make any waves.) People who are HSP tend to be very connected to the universe and if we see something that we can do to help many people or make something more efficient, we will be pushed to create it for all. This creative energy is special and needs to be harnessed and better understood instead of pushed away. If you want someone who never changes and just plugs away as you want, then an HPS is not the right employee for you. If you want your company to grow, evolve and be connected we are fabulous!
When did you suspect that your level of sensitivity was above the societal norm? How did you come to see yourself as “too sensitive”?
My ex-husband was in a punk rock Irish band named Flogging Molly, his name is Dave King and his band started to get really popular and as the band grew in fame, I pulled further back and stayed in the green room because I literally could not handle that many people with that much energy at one time. I would go home and feel ill, overwhelmed, sad, and depressed which is not my natural state. It became apparent that I was more affected during these times. Now, because I know how to protect my energy and create boundaries I can be around that amount of people with no affect unless I want it to be. We are really all just energy so learning how to control that will help all people and mostly HSP.
I’m sure that being Highly Sensitive also gives you certain advantages. Can you tell us a few advantages that Highly Sensitive people have?
There are many advantages to being an HSP, but you first have to recognize it, take action to try and find ways to understand it better, and how to manage it so you can live the life you prefer. It’s typically a little bit of a longer journey for us to get there but when we do, we shine. We are really great in the wellness space because our senses are acute, and we understand how suffering feels so we can relate to people in an authentic way. We are great employees for “in-service” jobs or where you might need someone who is a visionary and can tap into how things are evolving. For example, we make great marketing strategists and we can be great at helping to blending and harmonizing a variety of personalities.
Can you share a story from your own life where your great sensitivity was actually an advantage?
I am now an intuitive healer and teacher and I can read and help people who are stuck very easily. I am a true success story in finding a way to use being an HSP to help myself and others. I feel as though I have no limits and I can pull in and create any reality I wish.
There seems to be no harm in being overly empathetic. What’s the line drawn between being empathetic and being Highly Sensitive?
In being overly empathetic, there is only harm if it stops someone from moving forward in life. Often, they are over-processing the event and/or situation and can’t let it go. If you know or suspect you are an HSP you need to be able to recognize what are the things that you need to process in your life vs. someone else’s. What I am trying to express is that a person with HSP might overly exert a lot of energy to help someone because of their empathy but in doing so is neglecting the things they need to fulfill in their own life. They need to adopt the idea of helping themselves first, and then they can help others.
Social Media can often be casually callous. How does Social Media affect a Highly Sensitive Person? How can a Highly Sensitive Person utilize the benefits of social media without being pulled down by it?
We are usually not the ones starting a big fight over social media because we inherently know that it will cause anguish somewhere within us. I suspect that like myself, most HSP persons will ignore going down a rabbit hole of negative expressions to self-preserve ourselves. If we do jump in, it will be because it’s something we are very passionate about and can’t help ourselves. I would also say that we will also be the ones that will remove a post quickly, if it gets too heated because it will be at the forefront of our brain for a while.
How would you respond if something you hear or see bothers or affects you, but others comment that you are being petty or that it is minor?
I can only answer for myself and where I am now. I have learned, not to let it affect me for the most part because I usually don’t know that person, so I can disassociate myself to strangers. I also know, that as a human each of us are at a different evolution in our own consciousness to have compassion for where they are. If I comment on something online that means I deeply care about that thing and at that point I honestly don’t mind whatever their comment is. If I feel it going in a negative direction, then I stop reading and ignore it. Ignore it and move on — don’t put those things into your space is my best advice.
What strategies do you use to overcome the perception that others may have of you as overly sensitive without changing your caring and empathetic nature?
When I was younger it was all-consuming if someone decided they didn’t like me or wanted to be my friend anymore. I would really beat myself-up for a long time. What I realized is that I process so fast, so deep that it can make other people uncomfortable and usually because they are not moving in the same way. This makes them feel guilty or inefficient when it’s really that they are in a different place. The strategy is this; be authentic with high-integrity and make the best decisions you can and if you make a mistake it is okay. Learn from that mistake, add it to your tool kit of life. If people can’t handle it, let them go with light and love. Neither of you is wrong.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a Highly Sensitive Person? Can you explain what you mean?
I guess that we are not stable and all over the place. People are programmed to tear each other down these days. They like to look at HSP and comment on all kinds of things in an attempt to lower them in society. The truth is, if you comment about that thing or a weakness, it is actually inside of you -not in us. Being all over the place is actually our superpower because life is fluid, and it moves and the first law of anything is…everything changes.
As you know, one of the challenges of being a Highly Sensitive Person is the harmful, and dismissive sentiment of “why can’t you just stop being so sensitive?” What do you think needs to be done to make it apparent that it just doesn’t work that way?
There really is an evolution happening that started in a big way with the “Me Too” movement. People are starting to stand-up for being different themselves or for the people they love. The tables are starting to turn, which is a great thing to see and when these people might say, “why can’t you just stop being so sensitive?” I feel they are starting to become the minority. The pandemic has awakened us to many of things and one thing is that life is short, be kind, or be left behind.
Ok, here is the main question for our discussion. Can you share with us your “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person”? Please give a story or an example for each.
- Quiet Time and the need to find something that eliminates outside influences and brings you back to yourself instantly. This can be meditation, breathing exercises, hiking or anything really, but find what works for you and do it now. I practice The Liberated Healer daily meditation every day to set myself up to deal with anything coming my way that day.
- Boundaries are essential or you will be navigating some hefty waters. I do this through energetic boundaries, I use a protection rose of the outside of my aura and I don’t let anyone cross that boundary. That way I can see what my emotion is or thought vs. theirs and can make better decisions.
- Own your superiority in any situation. This means no matter where you are in life, know who you are and that you as a soul is just as important than anyone else. I call this have your seniority. Stand and walk tall! People know that you are sensitive so they often think they can walk all over you or get you to do things for them. Don’t buy into that energy. All successful people have mastered the idea of “owning your seniority.”
- Don’t be afraid to tell people who you are and what you need. A lot of times people don’t know that you are HSP, and they have to figure it out for themselves and at times now the relationship has been burdened. Just tell them, if they care for you this will let them be gentler with you. Remember, most people are doing the best they can. If they don’t know they can’t help.
- Have forgiveness for yourself and others because this is a gift even though at times it feels like it is not. HSP often forgive others but not themselves. They think about how they could have done more or done better. You are right where you need to be. Smell the roses around you and learn to let it go!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would want for everybody to never feel lonely or unloved ever again! I would like us to go back to a tribal nature where we care for people in a deeper way, teach children in school new ways to handle society of today in a better way, make sure all the elderly people are cared for or persons who have PTSD. I would like people to connect and realize the magic in animals, and the Earth around us in a deeper way.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.