Lori Williams of Planet Castleberry On How To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person

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Create a strong belief system that is unshakeable: make a list of who you are, what you know to be true about yourself, and what you won’t compromise on no matter what.

As a part of our series about How To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Williams.

Lori Williams helps clients awaken to their true potential by getting to the core of who they are and what they want to be doing. As an intuitive coach, Reiki Master, and published author, she can sense what is out of balance and get to the core of the blockages to help others get on a new path. She truly believes by remembering who you are, you unlock the pathway to your highest timeline.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally?

Yes, I am honored to be asked to speak on this topic. I was always an energy sensitive kid but didn’t have the framework or verbiage to put around those feelings and understand what was going on. I was just told I was emotional, strong-willed, dramatic, and had a big imagination. But in reality I was experiencing emotions and energy of myself and others at an incredibly heightened level. Vivid dreams, big concepts, emotional overwhelm and more were a part of my daily existence at a young age. Feeling the feelings of all the kids at school and coping with the ever present “stranger-danger” pumped into us children in the 80’s, I often didn’t know how to process my emotions. I am a claircognizant and a clairsentient, which simply means, I’m a “knower” and a “feeler.” So I would be picking up on all of these situations and feelings of those around me and often times taking them on as my own. You can see where the emotional and physical fatigue would begin to take a toll on anyone after awhile. Fast forward to a few years ago when I started truly understanding all of this and learned how to take control of my own life. By opening up to my gifts, setting boundaries, learning how to work with energy rather than letting it take me over, I started seeing the things and ways in my life that were no longer serving me. I healed myself by getting to the root causes of issues, addressing fears head on, applying Reiki, and embodying my own empowerment to become who I truly knew I was at the core. I now am a Reiki Master/Teacher, intuitive coach, channeler, author, and motivating force for people to do the same. I offer reiki healing sessions, one to one exploratory sessions, oracle card readings, and trainings on how to hone your own unique abilities.

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?

The way I define a highly sensitive person is someone who is sensitive to energy. That can be through perceiving it through auditory, visual, sensing, knowing, smelling, tasting, or other senses to assess a situation. So being in large crowds can be overstimulating when you are picking up on other’s energies and emotions. Everything is energy. This does blend with being an empath, where you “over-feel” and take on other’s situations and emotions at an unhealthy level. But when you are energy sensitive, it often has a bleed-over with being an empath. You will either just “know” that something isn’t right, or you may feel another person’s literal emotional or physical pain, you may even visually see their energy and be able to see what is off. It all depends on which of the senses you use predominantly to read and perceive energy. Oftentimes, my clients will know what it is right off, but I can easily identify it upon talking to them. People often label energy sensitive people as being “too much”, but that is simply not the case. Highly sensitive people are a gift to the world. They are more open to their true nature because they are tapped into their higher consciousness. Learning to work with those gifts is something I love teaching people to do. That way you can be in the world, but not “of” it so to speak. You can thrive each day, and loving yourself is the key.

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?

Short answer, yes and yes. When you can pick up on the energies and emotions of others, it’s only natural that you will feel more towards them. The key is not to embody them as your own. That is what causes the problems for you internally. By not being able to differentiate what are yours and what are theirs, is where the physical body can take a toll. By learning to setting boundaries, use different techniques to maintain your own light and not let others pull from you, you can learn to just “see” it and not let it overtake you.

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. I can speak from experience on this in great detail. Watching very violent movies or seeing news stories about cruelty to others or animals would change my whole mood, and sometimes my whole day. I didn’t realize I was taking on the feelings of those that I were seeing and therefore it would alter my energy. Because as energy sensitive people we feel things to our core, it can be jarring for us to see graphic medical procedures, car wrecks, crime, and other low vibrational topics. However, I will add, it can go in the reverse too. If something is highly uplifiting and happy, I will feel that just as extreme. So by learning to balance both sides of the equation, you can level out the energies. Self-care is so important and knowing when to turn off the tv, get up out of the theatre, leave the event, change the topic of conversation etc.. is key.

Can you please share a story about how your highly sensitive nature created problems at work or socially?

I wouldn’t say it created problems, but more just another layer of discovering myself and how to interact with society while picking up on so many emotions of others. Additionally, I have a precognitive ability as well, and so sometimes when I would perceive something was going to happen at an event, you have a decision to make in that moment-do I go and manage, or do I decline this opportunity. This occurred on a recent trip to Colorado where I could sense the energies were going to be strong. Sure enough, the flight was incredibly treacherous, and the pilot even commented on how it was one of the worst storms and flights he’s done. I sensed this was going to occur even before boarding the plane, but I knew I was needed on that flight. Sure enough, I was positioned next to some very anxious passengers, but due to my prior knowledge and sensitivity, I was able to maintain calm and put others at ease. You just learn how to work with these abilities and sensitivities, rather than allowing them to control you.

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 had it, but really understanding it didn’t occur until later in life where I had some incredible mentors and guidance come into my life showing me what these gifts were and how to deal with them.

I’m sure that being Highly Sensitive also gives you certain advantages. Can you tell us a few advantages that Highly Sensitive people have?

I’ve learned to use it as my superpower. Being able to read people’s energies fields gives me a leg up in communication and interactions. I can instantly tell if someone is going through something, their mood and vibe, and how I want to entertain or leave that interaction. Tapping into your 6th sense while having the other 5 heightened is truly an advantage. I’ve learned to set boundaries where and when needed, but keeping the abilities in place so as to keep me engaged, and sometimes just basically entertained. haha

Can you share a story from your own life where your great sensitivity was actually an advantage?

It’s been a game changer for my career. I’ve been able to now pivot into using my healing and knowing abilities to give readings and reiki treatments. So using it to help others has become a huge blessing in my life for finding my own purpose and helping others find theirs.

There seems to be no harm in being overly empathetic. What’s the line drawn between being empathetic and being Highly Sensitive?

It’s all about how you feel at any given time. If you feel drained, overwhelmed, or overly emotional due to reacting and picking up on the emotions of others and situations, that is when you draw the line. Always staying mindful, cognizant, and in touch with your own state of mind and feelings is key. Check in with you…always.

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?

Again, I think it’s all about boundaries. You have to set intentions for yourself and not allow others to have more power over you than you have yourself. Remember that everything is a projection. So if someone is saying something that hurts you, look into the words deeper and understand that projections are real and remember they could just be hurting. Accessing what is real and true is key. If you have a strong belief in yourself, no one or nothing can tear you down, unless you allow it. Remember who you are. Belief systems are key to how we show up and operate in life. Get that in place first and establish a loving one toward yourself. You will receive that which you put out.

How would you respond if something you hear or see bothers or effects you, but others comment that you are being petty or that it is minor?

Everyone has a right to their perception and belief on anything. It goes back to only giving attention to that which you want to allow in your life. You don’t have to justify or validate yourself to anyone.

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?

I honestly don’t worry about how others perceive me. I know who I am. I stay true to me. I stay in my own lane. As long as I am focused on me, my needs, showing up in the best possible way for me, and checking in on myself…that’s how I live my life. Others will see me for me, and if they don’t, it’s not my job to convince them.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a Highly Sensitive Person? Can you explain what you mean?

That we are “too much”…that seems to be a huge one. People often perceive us as being a certain way or putting a label on us rather than engaging us and asking why we view things the way we do. Just opening up and having a dialogue with someone can change so much.

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?

Being kind to others. It’s just that simple. Be kind to others whether you agree or see their point of view. Showing kindness goes a long way in understanding others.

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.

1) Stay true to you: Check in each morning to see how you are doing, then raise the vibration to get where you want to be.

2) Create a strong belief system that is unshakeable: make a list of who you are, what you know to be true about yourself, and what you won’t compromise on no matter what.

3) Intention setting each morning: set the intentions each day before you get out of bed of how you want to show up for yourself and the world that day.

4) Clear your energy often: I recommend three times a day so that you are keeping your field clean and clear

5) Dance it out: movement and breathwork are key in moving energy and emotions, it’s a game changer!

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.

Teaching others about compassionate communication and how to read & perceive energy. These should be regular classes in schools and the work place. Just be understanding these areas, you can change the world I believe.

How can our readers follow you online?

My website is planetcastleberry.com

Instagram: @planetcastleberry

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

Lori Williams of Planet Castleberry On How To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.