Exempt and excuse yourself from negativity — Being consumed with fear, worry and negativity will undoubtedly take a physical and mental/emotional toll on an individual and can even create illness or disease within the physical body. Being sensitive, you will feel this energy from others. You have the power to choose where and with whom you invest your energy, so invest wisely!
As a part of our series about How to Survive and Thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shelly Wilson.
Shelly is an author, intuitive medium and conscious creator who is passionate about helping people wake up to their greatness. She supports others as they navigate their own journey into consciousness to experience aliveness. She is the author of 28 Days to a New YOU, Connect to the YOU Within, Journey into Consciousness and Embracing the Magic Within as well as the creator of Journey into Consciousness: Cards of Empowerment and Embracing the Magic Within: Clarity Cards.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a conscious conversation with you! As with many other people, I know that I was born during this period of time for a purpose. I’ve always wanted to help people in whatever way that I could. Sometimes that involves simply being present with someone and offering the gift of my presence while allowing them to be seen and heard.
I’ve always been sensitive to energies and have known things that I wasn’t sure how I knew. As an Intuitive Medium, I have quickly realized that my purpose extends further than offering immediate answers as I believe I am supposed to assist others with their transformation by providing tools for people to access the information for themselves. When I embarked on this path and began providing guidance to others in 2010, I stated from the beginning that I am not a fortune teller and will not predict your future. In every moment with every choice we are making, our life is continuously changing. Simply put, I choose to empower you as an individual rather than dis-empower you. I am passionate about helping people wake up to their greatness and desire to support others as they navigate their own journey into consciousness to experience aliveness.
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?
An empath is a person with the clairsentient ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual. An empath is also known as someone who feels or a “feeler.” A sensitive is someone who is in tune to the energies around them and is able to feel other people’s energies and emotions. At times, they may be unable to distinguish other people’s energies from their own. A highly sensitive person, often referred to as HSP, is someone who feels energies to the extreme, which may then affect them physically.
Understandably, unless someone is a highly sensitive person, they may not be able to understand what this entails fully. People can be sensitive to criticism, sometimes known as being thin-skinned, or take things personally. This is a different connotation of being sensitive.
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?
First, let’s take a moment to explore more about energy. According to Science, everything is made up of energy; it is the building block of all matter. Everything in this universe is made up of the same stuff. It´s just present in different forms and shapes. We learned in school about protons, neutrons, electrons, particles, atoms, molecules and so on. We also learned that energy can be changed, manipulated, moved and altered, but it cannot be created or destroyed, and it may be in the form of a solid, liquid or gas.
Our physical bodies are also made up of energy. This includes our thoughts, words, actions and emotions. This energetic emission is similar to a radio transmission. Our physical body walks in the world of matter, but a subtler aspect of ourselves, which is woven within and throughout our physical body, moves and interacts on a level of pure energy.
In other words, everything is energy. This energy vibrates in frequencies. We are essentially walking vibrations. Like a radio station, the frequency we vibrate at is what we broadcast out to the world around us. Our emotions affect our physical bodies. If we are vibrating with fear, stress or lack of trust, the energy is being focused in a lower vibrational way and resisting flow. As empaths, we will feel the energy being emitted from others.
Yes, I do feel that a highly sensitive person typically does have a higher degree of empathy towards others because we have the ability to feel what they are feeling. We can be offended by hurtful remarks because we are human. However, we all have the ability to choose how we wish to respond and if we want to accept the remarks as truth for ourselves.
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?
As a highly sensitive person myself, I can speak firsthand and offer my perspective. It is extremely challenging to be in a busy space, such as a shopping mall, especially during the holidays. Concerts can be overwhelming due to the large amounts of people, lighting and loudness. Even restaurants that have televisions blaring are something that I tend to avoid altogether or at least at peak meal times In addition to feeling the energy in each of these spaces, I am also feeling the energy and emotions of those present. Lastly, I am extremely selective of any news that I watch or even read and the length of time I am exposed to it. Graphic images and videos will literally make me feel nauseous and dizzy.
Can you please share a story about how your highly sensitive nature created problems at work or socially?
First of all, as I mentioned before, most individuals don’t understand nor can they comprehend unless they are sensitive themselves. Excusing myself from the situation or stepping outside for a breath of fresh air is a temporary solution, but maintaining good energetic hygiene is necessary. I tend to be very selective of the energy I am immersed in whether it be personally or professionally.
When did you suspect that your level of sensitivity was above the societal norm? How did you come to see yourself as “too sensitive”?
I’ve always been sensitive to energies even as a young child. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of how to see the sensitivity as a blessing rather than a problem. I work as an Intuitive Medium, so I am able to connect to my client’s energy and also connect to those that have transitioned to the Spirit realm. It wasn’t until my late 30’s that I realized fully what I was experiencing and that there are varying degrees of sensitivity. Initially, it felt more like a hindrance, but now being sensitive is a beautiful gift.
I’m sure that being Highly Sensitive also gives you certain advantages. Can you tell us a few advantages that Highly Sensitive people have?
We feel everything even when we really don’t want to. Learning to understand what is our stuff and what isn’t and then adapting accordingly is necessary. As I previously stated, everything is energy and involves frequency and vibration. The lower vibrations may feel especially overwhelming to those of us who are sensitive to energies and empathic. An advantage to being highly sensitive is that we can tune in to our surroundings, including people, to create a positive ripple.
All of us, whether we deem ourselves sensitive or not, have the power to transmute and shift energy based on our perspective and how we choose to respond. As necessary, we can transmute the lower, heavier vibrations to a vibration that feels better, or we may need to excuse ourselves from the situation altogether. We can easily shift our energy by simply breathing consciously and intentionally, while attaining the peace within, so we can respond rather than react to external circumstances.
Can you share a story from your own life where your great sensitivity was actually an advantage?
As I previously stated, I am an Intuitive Medium, so I offer clarity and guidance to others. I also am able to connect with those individuals that have transitioned to Spirit. I am able to intentionally tune in energetically to my clients and offer what I literally feel on my physical body and correlate that to the energy centers, also known as chakras. I can identify potential health concerns and also indicate how people have transitioned.
There seems to be no harm in being overly empathetic. What’s the line drawn between being empathetic and being Highly Sensitive?
Empathy involves having compassion and understanding. I often think of the Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you — also translated as treat others how you want to be treated. As humans, we need to be compassionate, considerate and do what we can to create a positive ripple. Being highly sensitive also involves having an understanding of energy, which includes becoming aware of our energetic emission and practicing good energetic hygiene. In my opinion, we need to understand who and what affects us in a positive way and in a not-so-positive way.
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?
Great question! Social media can, at times, pull us into a negative or lower vibration vortex. Sometimes, people are unable to be an observer and instead take some of the posts personally, or they are passionate about their beliefs and feel others should oblige. We see the divide especially with politics and religion. Choosing to disconnect or at least limiting our technology time is essential. The benefits are connecting with others that have the same interests and also using the social media platform to share a positive message, which we can all benefit from collectively. I strive to regularly share positivity and focus on unity, while choosing not to broach the sensitive subject matters that can potentially cause divide.
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?
Personally speaking, I tend to observe and very seldom express my personal opinion unless it is absolutely warranted since everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. If someone were to comment negatively on one of the pages I manage, I would probably delete the comment rather than reply. Before doing so, I will ask myself the question — is this worth my time and energy funding?
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?
The main strategy is to stand in my own power. It means being my authentic self — allowing myself to be who I really am with all people all of the time. This simply means feeling confident and empowered with who I am and what I do. This also involves owning what I believe to be true and then speaking my truth in a loving and compassionate way. If someone chooses to feel triggered by that, I don’t have to own their reaction. I may feel their anger and frustration, but I don’t have to allow those emotional energies to affect me.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a Highly Sensitive Person? Can you explain what you mean?
The main notion or myth coming in to my awareness is the idea of attachments. Many times, this is viewed in the paranormal realm and can be portrayed as dark or even evil. I prefer to think in terms of vibration — lower and higher — as I shared previously. A highly sensitive person can be affected physically by lower vibration energies. I encourage everyone to practice discernment, explore credible resources and ask questions. You also have the ability to clear your chakras and auric field as well as cut energetic cords yourself. You don’t need someone else to do it for you.
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?
Education and understanding is essential. Being sensitive, we need to choose to not take things personally. Then, we can also assist with educating those around us to what being highly sensitive actually means. Subsequently, as I mentioned before, there are varying degrees of sensitivity, and many people don’t even realize that they are sensitive until it is defined for them.
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.
Taking responsibility for our own well-being is essential on this spiritual journey, especially for those that are Empaths and sensitive to energies. We often overlook our own physical health and mental/emotional well-being in order to assist others. The following self-care tips are intended to remind you of the importance of self-care and self-love, so that you can survive and thrive as a highly sensitive person.
1. Cocoon as needed — In essence, cocooning involves pulling your energy in as you become more aware of energy drains, whether it be people, places or things. Gather your energy and intentionally bring it back to you. Cocooning may also involve resting/sleeping and establishing boundaries.
2. Don’t take things personally — What other people say and do is a reflection or projection of their own personal reality. The same is true for you. Communicate clearly to the best of your ability and don’t take things personally.
3. Invest in you and Practice self-care — Take time for you and honor your emotions. Self-love and self-care is definitely not selfish. Your physical health and mental/emotional well-being are extremely important. Intentionally investing time and energy in your well-being will benefit you and those around you.
4. Relax and restore your spirit — You are a human be-ing and not a human do-ing. Each one of us must become aware of how we’re investing our emotional, mental, financial and physical energy, and then choose to recognize whether these activities bring us joy, connection, nurturing, rest and creativity to our lives. Choose to relax, restore, recover and re-energize, so that your spirit can be restored.
5. Exempt and excuse yourself from negativity — Being consumed with fear, worry and negativity will undoubtedly take a physical and mental/emotional toll on an individual and can even create illness or disease within the physical body. Being sensitive, you will feel this energy from others. You have the power to choose where and with whom you invest your energy, so invest wisely!
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.
Firstly, I believe we are all students and teachers on this journey into consciousness. Every encounter with another individual offers us the opportunity to learn and grow. The main advice I would like to impart on others is to let your heart guide you. We get so caught up in being human that we tend to focus on our Earth-plane existence in the material world. We exert a lot of energy by focusing on the linear aspect of time. We do need the time element; however, allowing yourself to be present in the now, to listen to the guidance you are receiving and to be in the flow of allowance will assist you tremendously on many levels.
I have been using the hashtag #letlovelead in many of my social media posts as a reminder to let the energy of love be the guiding force for us in our thoughts, words and actions. We can simply choose to let love lead the way. Each one of us is creating a ripple by letting our love flow and embracing the magic within. We are planting the seeds of intention with loving kindness and watching them bloom and grow.
How can our readers follow you online?
I am active on Facebook with four separate pages, including @IntuitiveMediumShelly, @JourneyintoConsciousness, @CardsofEmpowerment and @EmbracingTheMagicWithin as well as on Instagram @IntuitiveMediumShelly.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.
I appreciate the opportunity to share a conscious conversation with you!