Several years ago, I learned that I would be classified as a “Highly Sensitive Person” or HSP. (Yes, this is really a thing.)
Learning this about myself felt so validating. I felt seen and understood and hopeful that there were other HSPs in the world who were also navigating feelings of overwhelm or overstimulation in “normal” environments and situations.
I also found myself jokingly brushing off and excusing my quirks with phrases like, “Haha, highly sensitive much?” and “This is how I am”. Indeed, I had found another label for myself, and I climbed inside that box.
I’ve seen it repeatedly: someone is an empath or highly sensitive person and they feel seen and validated… and they climb inside the box at the very same time. It becomes the label they hold on to, and often, it leads to victim consciousness. It did for me, anyway.
This episode reveals how empaths and HSPs are, in fact, neurologically different from non-empaths and non-HSPs. However, this episode also encourages empathic and non-empathic, HSP and non-HSP listeners alike to lean more toward self-responsibility and self-care than labels and boxes.
This Week’s Card:
This Week’s Guest:
Kristen Schwartz, MA, is a writer, entrepreneur, attuned empathic healer, and trauma recovery coach. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. In 2016 fueled by passion and recognizing the need for Empaths and Highly Sensitive People to realize their potential, Kristen became the founder of Realized Empath. Within this wellness community, Empaths unite for support, inspiration, and healing.
- Starseed Oracle Deck
- Work with Kristen
- Follow Kristen on Instagram
- The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
- Highly Sensitive Brain Study
- Follow me on Instagram
- FREE Training: How to Hack Your Nervous System with Cold Plunges
In this episode, author of The Healed Empath, Kristen Schwartz and I…
- explain what it means to be an empath and/or a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
- discuss how empaths can navigate and maintain energetic and emotional boundaries
- discuss the paradox that HSPs and empaths feel feel when they’re in their bodies, yet coming back to the body is the only way to heal
- discuss the marked differences in the brains of HSPs and non-HSPs (mirror neurons, dopamine, brain activation, & more)
- discuss the role of trauma in a person becoming highly sensitive
- discuss the overwhelm HSPs feel that can potentially lead to being more easily traumatized
- talk about the labels of “Highly Sensitive Person” and “Empath” and how those labels can lead to victim consciousness
- explain how HSPs and empaths can widen their windows of tolerance
- discuss the language of victimhood, limitation in choice, and becoming empowered to use choice and live sovereign
- talk about the physical changes in the brains of trauma survivors
- discuss maintaining boundaries so others aren’t changing themselves or their environments to make HSPs comfortable
Hello friends. Welcome back to another episode of the holistic trauma healing podcast. I’m so grateful you’re here. I acknowledged that you could be spending your time doing anything else and you chose to be here with me. So I’m honored. I’m grateful. And I am just completely. In alignment with the fact that I don’t believe that you’re here by chance.
I believe you’re here for a reason. You found this work for a reason. And I hope that this episode, as well as all other episodes are truly supportive of you and your journey. So fun fact, I started this podcast one year ago this week. October the seventh was my first published episode and. From that day until now, there’s only been one week where I didn’t publish a new episode.
So we are one year in and I am loving it. I wish I would have started a podcast like two years ago. I just think having a podcast is so fun and I can’t believe that. It’s literally my job to have cool conversations with people and record them and then put them out there for you to listen to.
I honestly couldn’t dream of something more fun to do for my. So thank you for being here. If you’ve been here from the beginning, I really appreciate it. I would really appreciate it. If you could share this podcast with a friend or a family member, if you’re listening in apple podcasts or Spotify hit that share.
Button and share this to your stories on Instagram, share it with a friend, share it in an email. Just help me get this message out. That holistically healing trauma is how we heal from our past. And we began creating a future that is totally different, that isn’t ruled by that hidden programming, where we aren’t living in victim consciousness.
And we are truly weaving a new web of life for. So hit that share button and share it with your followers, your friends, your family. I would appreciate it so much. And I can guarantee you there’s someone in your life who needs to listen to this podcast. There’s someone in your life who needs to listen to this podcast.
So please take a moment and share it. I would appreciate it so very much. So before I turned on the recorder, I said a prayer for all of you and add your, a card from my star receipt or. The card that I drew for you is called fall into my arms. There will be a picture of this card at the show notes.
Lindsay lockett.com forward slash podcast. So if you want to see what the card looks like go check that out at the show notes. And also I will link to the deck in the show notes below. And if you’re interested in purchasing the deck, it’ll be linked there for you. So here’s the message of today’s card fall into my.
The great mother assured you in when you took your first breath and she’ll be there when you draw your last. She knows how challenging life can be. That being human can be lonely and confusing that the polarity and separation can be excruciating when your soul remembers the oneness of source. But at the same time, it can be incredibly glorious and sweet.
So often we see things as either good or bad when things go well, we make it mean that we’re being reward. And when things are bad, then perhaps we’ve done something wrong. However, we’re all here to expand and grow. And it’s through the extremes of life that we do. Exactly that you’re being invited to welcome the highs and the lows of the human experience to let them initiate you more fully into life, the agony and the ecstasy, the beauty and the.
This life is, but a single breath and the inextinguishable existence of your experience as a soul. The great mother wants you to hand over your loneliness. Worries, hurt sorrows fears, burdens, and doubts to lay them on her alter, to fall fully into her arms. To remember that while these extremes are difficult, they can also be magnificent.
The more wildly the pendulum of your life swings. The more truthfully you can say, I’ve truly been. And then if you would like to whisper the following activation, feel free to do I’m ready to embrace the extremes of life. I lay all that I’m carrying onto the great mother’s alter and fall completely into her arms.
And with that said, now it’s time to dive into today’s episode. I have Kristin Schwartz on the podcast today. She is a writer, entrepreneur, attuned, empathic healer, and a trauma recovery coach. Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling in 2016, fueled by passion and recognizing the need for empaths and highly sensitive people to reach their potential.
Kristen became the founder of realized empath within this wellness community impacts unite for support, inspiration, and healing. And of course, I will have links to Kristen’s website, as well as her book, the healed and path. You will find links for that as well as how to work with Kristin. In the show notes of this episode, show notes are found at Lindsey.
Dot com forward slash podcast. Or if you’re listening in apple podcasts or Spotify, just scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find all of the links there. However, if you want to see the picture of the card that I drew today, you will have to go to my website, Lindsey locket.com. I don’t put those on apple podcast or Spotify.
So in today’s episode, Kristen and I are explaining what it means to be an empath and, or a highly sensitive person. Also known as H S P. We also discuss how impacts can navigate and maintain energetic and emotional boundaries. They often feel others’ feelings and don’t really understand if it’s their own feelings or someone else’s.
We discussed the fear that highly sensitive people and empaths feel by being in their bodies yet coming back to their bodies is the only way to get grounded. So that can be a little bit of. A mind twist there. We discussed the differences between the brains of highly sensitive people and the brains of non highly sensitive people.
And we talk about mirror neurons, dopamine, and brain activation, and highly sensitive people because the brains of highly sensitive people have actually been shown to be different than the brains of non-highly sensitive. We discussed the role of trauma and a person becoming highly sensitive. We discuss the overwhelm of highly sensitive people that can potentially lead to being more easily traumatized.
We talk about the label of highly sensitive person and how it can lead to victim consciousness and explain how highly sensitive people and impacts can. Widen their windows of tolerance. We discussed the language of victim hood limitation and becoming empowered to use choice and sovereignty to live fully.
We talk about the physical changes to the brains of trauma survivors and we discuss maintaining boundaries so that others aren’t changing themselves or they’re inviting. To make a highly sensitive person comfortable. So you’re going to learn a lot about the brain in this one. You’re going to learn a lot about boundaries and you’re gonna learn a lot about empowerment versus victim consciousness, because I am someone who is a highly sensitive person and an empath myself.
And when I first discovered that I was a highly sensitive person, I used it as like my. My badge of honor as to why I shouldn’t be expected to handle certain situations or people, or be around people who are expressing certain emotions because it was just too much. And I realized that. That perspective was really keeping me stuck in that victim consciousness and that label highly sensitive person or impact, or both is just another way that the ego likes to identify itself and ends up putting itself into a box that then you feel like you can’t get out of.
We talk about all of that in this episode. I very much hope you enjoy it. So please sit back, relax and listen. As we talk all about highly sensitive people and paths, boundaries, empowerment, victim consciousness, and more.
Welcome Kristin to the holistic trauma healing podcast. Hi Lindsay. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here. I am too. So you are an expert in impasse and highly sensitive people. Can you. Can you give us your background? Like, how did you get into this work?
What about it is fascinating to you? And also, can you just tell us what the definition of an empath and a highly sensitive person is? Absolutely. Wow. Okay. So let’s unpack that, how I got into it. Let’s see. I think by the eighth grade, I knew I went to be in mental health back in the eighth grade, but okay.
I want to be a psychologist back then. I thought the reason why I wanted to be a psychologist was because I had already endured a lot of my big trauma by then and not understanding back then how to heal or lessen the pain that I felt. I thought if I went into that field, that I could somehow understand how the brain worked.
Understand more why people hurt each other. And then I thought I was a child in the eighth grade that if I understood why people hurt each other, I could somehow sidestep it in the future. So that’s why I decided to go into the field young how, it’s, how I got to where I am today. Navigating trauma for most of my life.
I really didn’t dive into healing until about six years ago when I hit a major wall. And up against that wall, I had a choice and it was like either I ended here or something drastically has to change because I can’t spend the next half of my life, the way that I’ve spent the first half. So I, it was dark period for two years.
And I will say that I prayed for it what the day that it actually started, I went into meditation. I asked God to just bring forward anything and everything that was standing in my way. And that was the day of my spiritual awakening. That’s when it began. So it was a solid one and a half, two years of processing and seeing all of the things that I had shoved down.
My big trauma being at the bottom, and then I had layered on top of it. So I had a lot to work through. And one of the things that came to light during that time was that I was a highly sensitive person, that I was an impasse. And the big trauma that I endured had really nothing to do with me being highly sensitive, but because I was highly sensitive, how I processed it and dealt with it was compounded in terms of how deeply it affected me and and my nervous system and how I dealt with life moving forward.
So that’s how I blended. Like I want to be a psychologist in the eighth grade. To who am I and what is my pain and how do I heal that? And then putting it all together and going, okay, now I want to inspire other people who are highly sensitive and may have trauma to move forward in healing.
I love it. Obviously. I don’t want you to share anything that you don’t feel comfortable with sharing, but you alluded to some of the trauma, a big one that you experienced and then more compounded on top of that. And if you feel comfortable, do you mind sharing just briefly what some of that was?
Because I think it really helps for listeners to hear if they can hear or see themselves in your story and see how you have recovered, how you’ve healed, where you are today. I think it gives people hope that they can do it too. So do you mind sharing some of that. Sure. So the two big ones when I was a child were sexual molestation by my third grade teacher.
And then there was chronic bullying throughout my school, age, years. So to deal with that pain, I’ve had really detached from my body. So I saw my physical form as the enemy. And so moving forward with all of that and not understanding how to heal it or even name it or understand it I then move forward in life, just wanting to feel accepted.
And so I would chronically self, I would betray myself over and over again. I would follow instead of lead, I would quit because, if somebody was jealous over a success, I would quit anytime. Because I was just aching for this safety that I believed was in acceptance of everyone. I thought that if I could attain that somehow I would feel safer within my body.
So it was many years, decades of just chasing this feeling of safety that I could never find. And I would, it would just, I would ruin relationship after relationship. And there’s no shame in that when I say it I understand why I was doing it. I would be in a relationship with a woman. Let’s see. And because I had this hypervigilance around, am I going to be hurt again?
Anytime I saw even a little bit of humanness, like a mistake or, Ooh, she hurt my feelings with that comment. I would run because to me that was a sign that I am not safe here. So there was a lot of isolation, a lot of loneliness because I really felt like that was the only way I was going to survive.
It sounds like you had a pretty hardcore freeze response or, and flooding response, like flight and freeze. Absolutely. Yeah. All the time. Yeah. Usually led to endocrine, shut down and I feel nursing my adrenals just stop working, I would say. Yeah, like it’s years ago is when I was finally diagnosed.
Oh yeah. Thank you for sharing. Thank you so much. And I’m also so sorry for what happened to you was your third grade teacher ever fired or held accountable for his actions? Oh, another part of the traumatic story. There were three of us girls and we were so young. And so obviously no nobody said anything we did eventually, because what ended up happening is he asked for a transfer to be a fifth grade teacher as we were coming up in the fifth grade.
Oh my gosh. Back when the fear took over and then the girl, we started to talk. Yeah. Oh my gosh. But it wasn’t until seventh grade that the police got involved. Oh my gosh. Never fully. The charges were never filed because the girls meeting us in the seventh grade. Weren’t willing to testify here.
Yeah. Whew. I’m so sorry. Wow. Just you’ve come through a lot. I really admire that. What is a highly sensitive person? A highly sensitive person is someone whose brain is made differently. That makes us more highly attuned to all the subtleties, the facial expressions, the emotions of others, the feeling of fabric, the smells we are just more highly attuned.
Do everything in our environment. And that means joy and that means pain. And that means, all the amazing things that happen and all the very devastating things that happen. We feel it more profoundly and you experience it more profoundly. Would you say that an empath and a highly sensitive person are the same thing, or I would say that, yeah, that all impacts are highly sensitive people.
The only difference between an empath and a highly sensitive person is an impact actually feels the emotions of the person in front of them inside their body, where like a highly sensitive person, if I’m standing in front of you, I’m very attuned to what’s going on with you. Like I noticed the tiny, small subtleties that someone who’s not highly sensitive may not notice.
They may not notice that. But as an impact, if you were feeling anxious in a conversation, I’m sensing that in my body, without you saying, Hey, I’m anxious or showing me facial expressions of that anxiety. So for impasse, I am empathic also, and it’s been very difficult for me. I’m I still work on this to create those energetic boundaries for myself, where it’s I don’t want to feel your feelings.
I don’t want to pick up on your feelings. I want that to stay over there and your energetic field. And I want my energetic field to be over here where I am my own like sovereign, autonomous person. How do you navigate that? Beautiful question. And I won’t be honest and say, I am too. Like I am, I have not arrived at some magical place that I know something more than you do or anyone else I’m still doing it, doing the work every day.
So what I can share is like a couple ways, a couple of tools that I use now that I have found that help a lot. So let’s say you and I are neighbors and we’re taking a walk and we run into each other in the neighborhood, and you’re telling me a story about work. And it’s a stressful story and there’s some, anger that you’re processing and I’m holding space and I’m, I’m in for it.
I’m good that you’re telling me the story, but I’m noticing that I’m feeling that anxious anxiety in my body. So what I’ll do is because the only reason why. A lot of impasse like you and I are like, we don’t want to feel this. Like, how do I separate? This is because our focus is on their energy.
So we just need to turn our focus back to ourselves and a lot of us, because we spent most of our lives focusing on other people’s energy. We really don’t know how to bring it back to us once we start feeling it. So one tool I use is if you and I are talking in the neighborhood and I’m noticing, oh, I’m feeling what she’s expressing.
So what I’ll do is I’ll notice subtle differences in differences between you and light. Like I’ll say she’s wearing a black dress, I’m wearing a yellow dress. She has glasses on right now and I’m noticing physical differences between you and I. So that’s stops the mind from hyper-focusing on your energy and what you’re feeling.
And eventually we’re going to bring back the focus to our physical form, our body, and then we’re grounded in our energy. Another way I’ll do it is feeling the energy in the Palm of my hands. Like I’ll have clients start to practice doing that where they’re, most people don’t even know what their energy field feels like.
And once you get good at it, you don’t have to do it with your eyes closed. You could do it anywhere. So if you and I, right now, we’re talking, I can have my palms up on the table. And right now I’m sensing that energy field. That’s just about a half inch above the palms of my hands. And I’m feeling the buzzy while I’m talking to you.
So I’m still engaging with you. I’m still focused and I still, you still have my attention, but I’m also paying attention to my own energy field so I can bring back the focus to more of my energy whenever I need to, when you and I are talking. So there’s just different ways we can practice it and implement bringing our focus back to ourselves.
Yeah. And what I’m hearing you say is that the way that we bring our focus back to ourselves is by being grounded in our physical body, which I talk a lot about in my work, how a lot of us, because of trauma, we are. Living in our heads, we have legs and arms, but we’re not living in our physical body.
We’re living in our heads and we have the perspective of our heads and our thoughts are creating the reality that we have. And so once again, to my listeners, it should come as no surprise that another way to deal with this sensitivity to other people’s emotions and to keep from feeling other people’s feelings is yet again, to come back to your own body, to come back to yourself.
Yes, exactly. And I will be the first to admit when that truth really set in with me years ago, I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. Like you’re telling me the answer to what I’m seeing. Then my enemy, my entire life, like you’re telling me the thing, the body that has felt like. Like the, the thing that stood between my piece, I had to enter that it was a daunting reality of life because most of my life, and we’re not even talking about just trauma, just being a highly sensitive person.
And if you grow up as a highly sensitive person and feeling something or feeling everything’s so intensely, and you are surrounded by other people that don’t experience the world like you do, and they’re questioning your reality. And they’re like, what is wrong with you? It’s not that big of a deal. Why are you so sensitive?
And all of that, we ended up learning that we can’t trust what comes up for us. And we end up thinking our body is where we feel all of these feelings and this energy. So of course I wanted to attach from that because that’s where I feel bad. But yeah, you’re right. That the answer is coming back to our own body, our own energy and how to be present with that.
Yeah. So you mentioned earlier that the brain of a highly sensitive person is different from the brain of a non, highly sensitive person. Can you explain more about that to me? Yeah. So we have more mirror neurons a highly sensitive brain has more mirror neurons. So mirror neurons are the ability to basically mirror or notice what’s going on in someone else.
Like the emotions, the body language, we’re all those subtleties we were talking about earlier. So not insensitive person can still sit in front of someone and tap into what they’re feeling and actually mirror those emotions back. A highly sensitive person has more of those. So again, we’re going to feel everything they’re feeling on a grander scale.
Another way that our brain is different is how we receive our dopamine. So our dopamine basically is that reward center in our brain. And this is to a difference between introverts and extroverts also. So a highly sensitive person gets those dopamine hits when we are in calmer, more like one-on-one environments where it’s quieter.
Where like an extrovert or someone who’s not sensitive gets those dopamine hits when they’re in maybe a more crowded environment or they’re around a big group of friends. So that’s a big difference in our brains is the dopamine where we get our dopamine hits from you know what we’re doing? What’s another way.
Oh, and another thing now there’s still research out and it’s funny cause I printed out this research study and I do want to mention this. If anyone is likes to look at the science and actually see studies but there’s a study. It’s the highly sensitive brain F MRI study of sensory processing sensitivity and responses to others’ emotions.
So you’re talking about, here we go. Let me just read this. So the evidence that awareness and responsiveness of fundamental features of the highly sensitive person show that the brain actually has a stronger activation of regions involved with awareness, empathy, and self and other processing. So this study is really cool and it goes into more detail.
If you guys want to look that up and actually have a study to reference, but
that would be great. Could you send that to me so I can link to it in the show notes? For sure. Cool. So what I’m hearing you say is that there are actual biological brain differences in a person who is highly sensitive versus a person who is not a highly sensitive brain, has more mirror neurons. The way that a highly sensitive person receives dopamine hits is different.
And also The brain activation, it activates the brain in different areas, more strongly and highly sensitive person versus a not highly sensitive person. And I know, this too, like the brain differences of a trauma survivor and how the amygdala can be in large. So our more emotional center is enlarge and then our thinking center is, can shrink.
So that’s okay. So for highly sensitive brain, the amygdala is larger and the thinking center is smaller. I don’t know if it’s true for every highly sensitive person, but if you have trauma, then that can be a difference in your brain. That actually makes you highly sensitive. So you can be highly sensitive at birth, but I also believe you can become highly sensitive from trauma.
Okay. Okay. So that was, that’s a great lead into my next question. So I have Sat in the gray area of discomfort because it’s so it’s easy for us to be like, oh, okay. I’m highly sensitive. That means that I feel other people’s feelings and I can pick up on all these subtle changes and in facial expression and body language and tone and the fabric of my clothes and noises.
That’s another thing I’m so overstimulated by noises. Like I’m so sensitive to noises. So we have all of this going on and when I first read the book and remind me, cause it’s been several years, it’s called the highly sensitive person. Who wrote that book? Dr. Erin writes. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll have to link to that book in the show notes as well, but that is literally like my only.
Knowledge of what a highly sensitive person is. And like I said, it’s been several years since I’ve read the book. So I feel like I’m coming into today’s conversation. Like just a very curious listener with a lot of questions, because there’s a lot, I don’t remember. But after I read that book, I felt very validated and I felt seen, and I felt like somebody finally had an explanation for all these quirks and things about me that I had always found to be very different.
And other people had found to be annoying sometimes. And but the more research I’ve done and the more trauma healing I’ve done and learned about the brain injury caused by trauma and the way that activates. Or primes the microglia and our brain. So those microglia go from being these very soothing anti-inflammatory white blood cells to experiencing trauma.
They become primed, which means they’re no longer anti-inflammatory, they’re, pro-inflammatory, they’re creating all of this havoc in the brain. And that happens through trauma and it can be physical trauma, like a head injury, or it can be emotional trauma, like the loss of a loved one or the death of a pet or a divorce or something like that.
And yeah, when I learned about that though, I was like maybe. What made me a highly sensitive person wasn’t that I was born this way. Maybe it was that I just gone through all of this complex trauma that has permanently altered my brain in a way that I am more sensitive. It’s just that I remember always being more sensitive.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t really sensitive. And then as I got older, it progressively became more sensitive. I just remember always being more sensitive. So can you maybe take me through is it, we were born this way or is it caused by trauma? Is it a mix of both? Am I trying to put this back into a binary here?
No, I think that’s no, I think it’s great. And I think it’s still an open conversation. I don’t think there’s like really anyone has it figured out. I believe that we can be born highly sensitive and we can also be forged through trauma. And I do also believe that being highly sensitive can actually create an environment for ourselves that where we are more easily traumatized because we’re overwhelmed so easily.
So I think it’s just a mixture of so much. And here’s what I found over the years of having the community that I have and working with clients is there are quite a few people, right? So they read my posts and they’re like, oh, I’m an impact. Really? And I think a lot of them are probably not impasse.
They’re traumatized. And and I’ve had so many people reach out to me, they’ll leave mean comments and calling people out and saying, you’re just trying to call yourself this because you want to feel special, but it’s I don’t see it that way. I see it as every step of, even if you’re peeling back a layer and going, oh, maybe I’m this, it that’s just one step of another layer, maybe be peel back and go, oh, now I’m aware of, oh, I have this trauma. It’s just this it’s, everyone’s on the same journey of self discovery and figuring themselves out. And so that’s why I felt like it was so important to bring in the trauma piece around working with highly sensitive people in impasse is because I see the crossover in, I probably want to say 90% of the people that I work with there’s trauma within them that does affect their perception and how they experience the world.
So I think it’s all, and I’m sure there’s much more involved that we haven’t even discovered yet. Yeah. And do you think that it’s necessary? Do we need to know that we’re a highly sensitive person? I don’t think so. Like it does it make things easier in some way? Oh my God. And that’s what I say.
One of the things I say at the end of my course is knowing this doesn’t change, anything what’s going to change is action. And what you, and how you live your life. That’s really the difference you’re looking for. But we all know what it feels like you were saying, when you read that book and you have those aha moments of feeling seen and heard for the first time for like pieces of you that you’ve rejected for so long, you’re like, oh my gosh, I may not be, a freak like that moment of feeling that, that it’s validating and and I would never take that away from anyone, but yeah.
Knowing that it is not going to change your life. Labeling yourself is not going to change. Yeah, that’s what I was hoping you were going to get to that point because we are our culture nowadays. We love our labels, we love all those little identity markers that we can have for ourselves. And so I definitely used to do that with when I was back years ago when I was in what I now call toxic wellness culture.
Like I very much like to identify with the foods that I couldn’t eat and the diet that I was on. And I’m paleo or I’m I’m gluten sensitive or whatever. Like I liked those identity labels because I felt like it made me. It validated and justified why I felt like I needed to be the way that I was.
But now on the other side of that, I see how that put me in a box because I didn’t allow myself to get outside of that box and experience, life, not living my life so rigidly. And so I, I did the same thing, like when I was diagnosed with like generalized anxiety disorder and complex PTSD and panic disorder, like I, for a minute I did the same thing.
And then. This doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t align with who I am like, and I see people and like in their bio on Instagram, they have all of these diagnosis diagnoses that they have, and it’s this is an identity for them. And I see that as them, desperately trying to feel validated and feel like there is a reason for why they are the way they are.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, for sure. But I also see that more often than not, that can lead to victim consciousness and this is just how I am, and this is how I’m always going to be. And it’s unfair to expect me to be different. So do you find that with people who discover that they’re a highly sensitive person, does it have a tendency to become an identity that they latch onto?
Absolutely. Absolutely. And why that I’ve said numerous times on Instagram and even in my book is impact. That’s just a label. So really, if you remove the label, we’re just talking about how we experience the world, how we each experience the world and we’re going to have similarities in that. And so that’s what we’re seeing ourselves and other people as those similarities.
But what I have found is that you’ll, we’ll have people reach out usually in comments, I’m usually when I get nasty comments, I just delete them. I don’t even reply anymore. Yeah. I’m just crazy reply. And I’m like, yeah, I’m just praising Kristin for using the block button and the delete button, like a lot.
I just, I really have a lot of respect for that. But yeah, what I’ll find is that like I had one a few days ago and it was this long comment about. How, if you’re calling yourself, you guys aren’t even impacts like they have in their head. And then she ended up going on and saying that everyone in my community are narcissists.
Because anyways, so I just, I actually replied to that one and I said, I wish you all the healing that your common to screaming for and that’s all I said. But yeah, there’s, I get more people that are saying, no, you all aren’t in past, this is what an empath is. So it’s almost like they had some people have a club, like there’s this club and we’re not allowed in because we’re talking about things that maybe they, again, there’s this list of criteria and not everyone’s meeting it, therefore you don’t fit into my club.
I’m like this isn’t a club. This is just about everyone sharing how they perceive the world and how they experienced the world. Then we’re going to be very different, which is why I don’t usually post things about. I’ll have people DME all the time. How do I know? How do I know if I’m one of these things?
And I’ll say there’s no answer that I could give you. This is about how do you experience the world? How is the world to you? Like, how does it feel within you? That’s your truth? There’s not a quiz that you can take that can tell you who you are. I know there are plenty out there that say you should take it and they’ll tell you who you are.
But this is just really. How does the world feel when you walk around, how does it feel to interact with other people? How does your body respond to this person or that person, or? Yeah but yeah, I get that a lot and I’m trying to peacefully and kindly, because I am, my pages, the realized impact, like that is my business, but I don’t want people to think that this is who you are and you need to stay in this little box and anything differently, so anyways, yeah, along that lines, like how if a person knows that they’re an empath or a highly sensitive person, and maybe that label feels really important to them. But they also don’t want to box themselves in and they don’t want to be confined to this thing that feels like they can’t break out of it.
So what are some maybe practical ways that a person can take. The realization. Okay. I’m an empath. I’m a highly sensitive person, but I don’t want to live in the rigid box of. Empath or highly sensitive person. I want to be able to widen my window of tolerance and stretch myself out and not be so confined to that box.
What are some practical things they can do? Yeah. So when people email me and they say, how do I know if I’m an empath? I just say, start caring for yourself. Like you’re a highly sensitive person. Start caring for your nervous system, caring for your body. And eventually once you start caring for yourself, it’ll be clear.
Oh, I’m not as sensitive as I thought I was. I just wasn’t really caring for myself or taking care of myself or setting boundaries where I needed to or maybe through care and like nurturing themselves. They’re going to realize that oh yeah, I’m not an empath. I’m just a trauma. I’m a trauma survivor.
And this is how it affected me. So that’s what I always say is it’s not about the label and who you think you are. And that’s somehow, if I can label myself this thing, I’m going to awaken to, a better life. It’s okay, start taking action now to care for yourself. And the truth eventually will bubble up for you, cause a lot of people when they’re searching for what am I, and I always go back to my older sister who has passed away. But she suffered from trauma and And when I think back now, I know what I know wa going back and realizing everything. She went through, it just breaks my heart, but she was in that space of searching for, and wanting so bad to, for someone to tell her there was something wrong with her.
So she was diagnosed with bipolar. She was an alcoholic. She but every time she got a new diagnosis, she would call us and be so proud. Oh, I just got this diagnosis because she thought if she could give the people, she loved an excuse for why she was behaving the way she was behaving, that somehow she would earn our love or forgiveness.
So it’s if I could just be labeled this thing, then maybe I’ll fit here. And it’s similar to that. It’s yeah. I definitely like here, I did that for a long time. Like I and I did it with my physical health, just like having these mysterious symptoms. That, my lab work would always come back fine.
On paper, I was completely healthy, but I didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like myself. And so I went down, this 10 year long rabbit hole of trying to find. The label for myself too, that would finally give me an explanation for why I was the way I was and the problems that I had and why it could justify the limitations that I felt like I needed to put on myself.
So that definitely resonates for me. And again now, I know myself so much better now and I can look back and have a lot of compassion and love for that, that Lindsey who she didn’t know what she didn’t know about trauma. Like she didn’t know how trauma had changed her brain. She didn’t know any of those things, she was just trying to find answers.
So I definitely hold space for people who feel that way. And I validate it. And yet I also know that was Lindsey living in victim consciousness as well. So have you been able to, through your work, have you been able to actually help people out of that? That’s what I feel like that I lead with is empowerment.
I watched for quite a long time before I actually switched my Instagram over to work with just solely, highly sensitive people and impasse. And I noticed the messaging of oh, highly sensitive people or impasse attract narcissists or it was really this victim hood, like you’re destined to suffer.
And I was like, yeah, no I don’t believe any of that. And so from day one, my page and the work that I do is more about. We don’t attract anyone. We really get to choose who we allow in our life and who we keep in our life. It’s called boundaries. And also understanding the patterns. Maybe there’s some codependency or or some attachment things going on with why you would keep someone that it was more like had narcissistic tendencies in your life, but you’re not attracting them because you’re a certain like label, like your label doesn’t attract bad relationships.
So I knew from the very beginning that it was going to be about empowerment. And so all the clients I work with are ready for that. They’re ready. They see themselves as I have a choice, I am powerful in this. And we work to, hone in on the limited beliefs, still around their sensitivities and where they may still hold themselves back.
And we, we move forward through empowerment instead of victimhood. I love it. Ooh. I love it. That sounds it’s. So in alignment with me, with who I am with my work, I absolutely love anything that empowers people to step out of that victim role and to realize that they actually do have the ability to consciously.
A reality for themselves that is better than the reality that they were creating in their past. So that definitely aligns. I’m curious if you maybe could share, if you have a real life example, I know I’m putting you on the spot to try to think of something, but do you have a real life example of someone who came into your program or an, or found you and was in a place of victimhood and feeling like they were boxed into that identity and had limited their lives and all kinds of ways to cope with that.
And now they have come out of that and they’re living full rich lives. They are aware that they can consciously create a reality. That’s different. Do you have a story like that? Here’s what I, maybe you can relate and I’m sure everyone can. And I don’t know if it’s like imposter syndrome or whatever.
Imposter syndrome. But every time I teach my course, which is I’m in the middle of it right now. And I’m teaching the fourth class this Saturday of, four weeks four classes. And I always go into it going, I wonder if it’s going to resonate, I wonder if people are going to be like, this was beneficial and I’ve taught it so many times.
And at the end of every class, the feedback I get is always you’ve changed my life. This is, and I’m always like, really, like I was so like, wow. So I want to say I, the reason why I keep doing what I’m doing is because like constantly get that feedback. And I think maybe the impostor syndrome is when we have something or maybe like our strengths, that just feel so natural to us when other people acknowledge that you’re like, oh I didn’t realize, I don’t know.
It’s, I’m always shocked. But also so grateful that’s is, that is my experience with my clients because they resonate so deeply with the content that I teach. And I will say this too, is when I said that I know that when I work with clients, they have to be ready and in a space where they are willing to step into empowerment.
And so I don’t work with ju with everyone. They really, like I said, have to be ready. So there’s almost like vetting or pre-work and I make sure because if you push someone in that direction and they’re not ready, that can be traumatizing in itself. Cause we all have to be ready to move out.
That space of victimhood. We can’t drag someone over there. So yeah. Okay. I want to ask can I ask a personal question for myself? Okay. I’ve known that I’m pretty sensitive for quite some time and I’m actually working with a coach myself because there are some overlaps between the control issues that I’m trying to heal and the things that I’m sensitive to.
So I’ll give you an example. Yeah, I do not like to travel. I don’t like I can’t sleep in bed in a bed. That’s not my own. I need a very an environment to sleep in that is controlled. That is just because it’s so hard for me to sleep otherwise. So the temperature of the room has to be. A certain, it can’t be too warm.
The, there has to be white noise and it has to be a certain kind of white noise. Like I can’t even listen to white noise. That’s on a white noise machine because I can hear whenever the sound loops, I can hear it. And it. It like, I can be almost about to fall asleep and then I’ll hear that loop and it’ll wake me right back up again, even though you’re not supposed to be able to hear it on a sound machine.
I can’t my husband and I don’t actually sleep together in the same bed anymore, and I sleep so much better by myself now. And it’s, I think it’s because I’m not. Having to, I’m not picking up on his energy all night long, and I’m also not hearing the sounds and the movements and stuff that he makes.
And it’s working really well for us. He enjoys sleeping alone also. But it makes traveling really difficult because if we go stay with family or something and you’re like, yeah, we don’t want to sleep in the same bed. They’re what are you really, we’re just going to give your family two bedrooms, one for you and your husband and one for the kids.
And now you’re telling me that you need to have your own room. So it’s it’s weird and sometimes you don’t want to ask. And then I I have to have the air conditioner and the white noise. So I travel with my air purifier because that’s my favorite white noise. So like I even flew to Utah back in may and I could have gotten away with, just to carry on, but I actually checked luggage just so I could pack my big air purifier.
Like for me, I have to have all this control over my environment because I’m so sensitive to the noises, the light I could have to have blackout curtains, so sensitive to the light, the noises, the sounds, the energy and the room, the temperature, all of that. And it does lead to me being a control freak about where I go and where else stay.
Do you have any words of advice for me? The first question I would ask is this and I know that you have called it control. So just to put it in perspective, If you didn’t have those things, let’s talk about the real world repercussions of how you would then be living that next day. If you didn’t have all those things in place.
So how would that next day go for you? How would you feel physically? How would you feel mentally? Would you be able to enjoy yourself? And I’m not, if we can just set the control part and let’s just talk about real life. Like how would it be physical? For you, if you aren’t getting that quality sleep that you need.
Oh, I already know, because one of my biggest struggles and one of the things that I’m the most proud of healing is chronic insomnia. And so I know what it’s like to go without sleep. I know what it’s like to have that dragging feeling throughout the day and looking forward to the next night so that you can try and get some sleep.
Like I know what that feels like, and you’re right. That is why I’ve taken the steps that I’ve taken, because I know what it feels like not to sleep. I know how exhausting that is. And I know what it feels like to get a good night’s sleep. And so for me, I’ll do whatever it takes to get a good night’s sleep.
But that also means that or are you afraid? What other people think about you packing all of that stuff? That’s a good question. I think it’s a combination of both. I definitely think that. That there is this fear that people are going to think that I’m picky or really sensitive or weird or high maintenance.
That’s another one that I feel like people are going to label me with. But then at the same time, I also have this curiosity of what if what if I wasn’t so sensitive? What if I could learn to sleep in a room that isn’t, climate controlled noise, controlled, light control?
Like what if what freedom would that open up for me? Like where would I be able to travel? What would I be able to do if I didn’t have that? So I think it’s both for me. Yeah. Yeah. What would that look like? I mean that, the answering that question is really cluing in on a, like what you believe that you’re missing because of it, I would just love to be one of those people that can sleep anywhere.
I get really jealous of people who are like, oh, I can sleep anywhere. It doesn’t matter. Like I can’t sleep in a car, I can’t sleep on a plane. Like I can’t sleep in a hotel. There’s all these places that I have limited myself to where I can go. And I guess it was my coach that was really challenging me on like how much of this is related to control.
And what would it be like if your window of tolerance was wider around your sleeping environment and you could tolerate more. Yeah, I dream of maybe there is a day in my future where the reality I’ve created for myself. Isn’t so limiting as for where I can go. But also, I have to honestly say, I don’t mind any of the things that I do.
It doesn’t bother me. And now that my husband and I don’t sleep in the same room, I don’t have to bother him, so no, I get it. I, so in where I’m relating is I feel like once I got to a point of where I had healed enough and my window of tolerance around things had grown, I became very protective over that space.
Wow. I’m happier now or I’m more joyful or this feels better. And then I felt more protective over wait, I don’t want to go back over there because I like where I’m at. So then I became like very protective and it was at least in fear of but if I let this go a little bit, I may go back there.
And that, that sucked over there. Yeah. So that’s where role comes in is no. Like we put our arms around and we’re like, we’re protecting this thing that we believe is saving us from ever having to experience that thing that we did in the past. And is there a room? That’s the beautiful thing about boundaries or things that we set up there’s, I’m sure there’s room for your window of tolerance to grow.
And so it’s just like being very gentle with yourself where it doesn’t turn into judgment of shaming yourself that you’re not over there yet. Like it’s a problem. It’s wow, look how far you’ve come. And now you’re here and you have this hope, which is fantastic, that you could even maybe experience some more growth over here.
And not pushing yourself too soon to be there yet, but just have that hope of this is possible. I know what’s possible because I know I went from there to here. So I know if I once knew I can go to there. And what does that look like? And how does that happen? Yeah, honestly, if I didn’t have a coach, like challenging me on it, I probably wouldn’t change anything.
No, of course, because we just developed a new comfort zones or it feels good and cozy. I don’t, yeah. What’s ironic is my listeners. Like I, this is my life motto is like I’m comfortable being uncomfortable and that having that mantra. Really helped me get myself. It helped me widen my window of tolerance to a lot of things.
But one area where I haven’t really widened my window tolerance is my sleeping environment. It has to be just and and I’m I really resonate with what you said about when you get to that place where you figured out what works, you get protective of it. And you’re like, yeah, this is actually working for me.
I don’t really see the need to change anything and it’s not hurting anybody and it’s not even really hurting me. I can deal with this. I’m not asking anyone else to, but I can deal with this, so it’s there’s a lot of complexity and nuance there.
Yeah. And I think it makes me or what I’ve noticed about myself. And I think I am less so now, but there’s a hypervigilance involved with. For example, at the end of July, my family and I rented an Airbnb on a lake for four days. And it was our first time to go away together as a family in two years.
And before normally people like in my head, this is what I picture people who go to Airbnb. Like they drop their stuff in the door and they immediately get their phone out. And they like do a tour on Instagram of the Airbnb. Yeah. When I get to an Airbnb, I dropped my stuff down and I immediately start walking around the place, like figuring out, how do I block the light from the curtains?
Is this door a solid wood door? Because I don’t want to hear things through it. Where am I going to put my air purifier? Is there an air conditioning? And how low can I turn it? Yeah. And like I said it feels like I don’t even really get to enjoy where I’m at because I have to be vigilant to make sure that everything is just so before I can have the experience with the vacation or whatever.
And I’m wondering, and I know that’s a silly example of kind of hypervigilance, cause I know that there’s a spectrum and but I find myself hypervigilant in other ways less so now, still really sensitive to like noises and like wanting to keep the noise in my house on a daily basis, like at a low level, things like that.
Can we talk about hyper-vigilance and being highly sensitive and, or being an impact. We can talk about it all awesome. Hypervigilant my entire life. So it just feels like normal to me, this is normal state of being yeah. Yeah. So would you say that people who experienced this hyper vigilance? Again, is that because they’re an empath, is it because they’re a highly sensitive person?
Is it because of trauma? Is it maybe a combination of all of it? Like where does that hyper vigilance come from and how do we, overcome that or mediate that, or what. Sure. So hypervigilance really we’re hypervigilance because our brain is scanning our environment, looking for clues that we may experience a similar trauma that we’ve already experienced.
And it’s not something we’re choosing to do, if we have those brain changes, like we talked about earlier, like the enlarged amygdala and like the thinking center, the hyper hippocampus, or, those are shrunk down a bit. It’s just not a natural state for our brain to do that. And it’s doing it to keep us safe.
And that’s another thing I think when I found out, like you said, when we, when you first find out the actual physical changes to your brain, when you’re a trauma survivor, there’s this aha moment of oh, like shame. It leaves space for shame to exit the back door. And you’re like, okay, now I get it.
My brain changed that way to keep me safe because this thing that I. Brilliant scene. This trauma that I was experiencing felt so damaging and hurtful to me that my brain is now scanning all the time. To get me out of the room if it’s about to happen again. So being a highly sensitive person, I believe so, or as an impasse, if we live most of our lives, not knowing we’re highly sensitive and like we are heavily affected by all the little subtleties then.
And we don’t have people around us who understand we’re highly sensitive either. Let’s say our parents didn’t know what it was and we’re highly sensitive children. Then we’re going to be scanning or looking around and scanning the environment. And I talk about this in my book where, when I was a kid, I’d be noticing things and it would be like, I’m going, are you guys seeing this?
Are you guys seeing this, anybody else? And I’m looking around going, nobody’s seeing this nobody’s experiencing this notice. Nobody’s noticing this. So eventually as a child, what I came to the conclusion was there’s something wrong with it. And eventually too, if your emotions are heightened or what you feel and you want to express those feelings more most people don’t have the space, cause we’re all fellow strugglers.
Most of us don’t have the space and parents don’t have the space to be managing the big feelings all the time. So then there’s that shame of you’re too sensitive, you’re too much. And all of that can lead to trauma. Like eventually coming to the conclusion that you are fundamentally flawed, there is something wrong with me, therefore, and then you live the rest of your life going around and thinking that you’re broken.
And you end up suppressing the one thing that is like fantastic about you, which is. And that put people on this amazing deeper level, and you can see how they’re feeling and empathize and connect more deeply. And you end up suppressing that behind this, like WinDoor of shame, you just shut it off.
And so we’re all just walking around, not being who we are not being authentic, trying to like duck and hide from pain. So it’s crazy. Yeah. It is all to trauma, but yeah. No kidding. Everything is, I think trauma is the root of all evil and all bad things that have happened in the world. So okay.
This brings up another question for me. If you’re highly sensitive and you know that you are detecting the little subtleties and the energies and your environment all the time, how, like, how do you maintain proper boundaries? Other people aren’t having to adjust themselves to help you cope with the overwhelm that you feel in your environment or the way that you pick up on their emotions.
And so how does a highly sensitive person or an empath who feels these very real things. And we know they have more mirror neurons in their brain and they experienced dopamine hits differently and all of that. So how does a person who has that issue going on? Not become enmeshed with the people around them, where there’s this sort of expectation that the people around them are supposed to adjust and modify themselves or the environment to make the highly sensitive person more conscious.
Yes, beautiful point. And I go back to the posts that you see, not so much anymore, but it used to be a lot like high vibes. Only that thing of everyone else’s energy is responsible for how I feel. And so that’s pointing outward. It’s their energy is the problem, their energies, the problem, they’re the problem, which again, is that victim mentality of I’m just sitting here on, you’re all making me feel this way.
So I say if someone comes to me and boundaries, weren’t something that were modeled to them growing up and it’s not something especially if they’re, let’s say, in their mid twenties to older and boundaries, aren’t something that actually they have in the relationships now where I like for them to start is.
Getting comfortable and again, putting it back into their body and understanding, okay, what boundaries do I need with myself first? What boundaries do I need around my energy? First start with yourself before you start pointing out to others and saying, you need to do this or that. Because boundaries are about loving ourselves, not about judging someone else and putting limits on them.
It’s like a boundary is a place where I can love you and you can love me fully without crossing over and demanding anything from anybody else. So a lot of people that come to me and for me two years ago is as a highly sensitive person. I wasn’t even aware I was so having so focused on how everyone else felt all the time that I didn’t even know what I felt or needed at any moment.
Like I remember years ago I’d be like what do you like to do? I don’t know. I’m like, I don’t know. I had no idea anymore. I was so disconnected from who I was. So I say, let’s get really clear on what are your boundaries around your energy? Do you know if you go visit your in-laws, how long you can stay before you actually notice a big dip in your energy, do you know how long you can actually let your self care routine go to the wayside before you really notice a difference?
Do you know how much sleep you actually do need to actually feel good the next day? Do you know how your body feels after you eat an onion? Do you know the small things about yourself? So then you can start living with boundaries around your own behavior and how it affects you. So we start there how does your energy feel when you go to a mall in December?
Because I don’t go to malls in December. I don’t go to house. I don’t go to malls ever if I can help it. Exactly. Including myself. Do you know how many people, especially if we grew up thinking there was something fundamentally wrong with us, push ourselves. And because we have that vision that we have that belief of, I should be able to do this.
What is wrong with me? Or I remember years ago we went to a wedding and Malibu and we, my husband and I flew in from Atlanta. And again, it’s like east coast, west coast time zone, big difference. I know that I need a certain amount of sleep, all the stuff that you were saying I know I need sleep.
So I was already late when we arrived at the hotel and I knew myself enough that when I walk into a room and there’s a lot of people, especially a lot of people that I have never met before I go into a room very slowly and I have to scan the room and I have to be present with my body and my nervous system to feel safe, to then eventually walk in amongst the people and then start to talk.
I need some time to adjust. And I remember my brother-in-law who, at this point, it’s no contact, but I remember my brother-in-law came up to me during that time in that hotel room. And he said, when you walk into a room, you need to say, hello immediately. It’s very rude when you come in. But back then, I was still in that space of yeah, what’s wrong with me?
Why can’t I be more social? There’s something I must be socially, an apps like, but it had nothing to do with that. It was, I need time to adjust because when I walk into a new environment, I am sensing and feeling all the energy in the room. And when I first walk in, it’s like this wash of, and so it takes me a while to go, all right.
Not mine. How am I feeling? All right centered. Now I can go in and say, Hey, what’s up? But it’s those little comments. Kept me held apart from feeling safe and what do I need first? What do I need first? What are those boundaries around what I need to do for myself? And that would be one.
When Y when I walk into a room full of a lot of people, I don’t judge myself. I give myself the space. I need to adjust to the energy, or if I’m going out with girlfriends, I tried separately because I need to have that. If it gets too heavy, I need to have that out where years ago, I might’ve been like, no, I’m not going to drive separately because everyone’s takes, turns driving.
And it’s rude of me not to, take my turn driving. Like, where are the boundaries that need to be for me first and then get solid on that. And then we start working on boundaries with other people. Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe your brother-in-law said that to you. You said no contact. And the first thing I thought was I have a Dick head brother-in-law that we don’t have contact with either for the very same reasons.
He just oversteps the boundaries all the time. Wow. Thank you for sharing that, that that actually honestly feels really validating for me. And I feel a lot better that there’s not, it’s not that there’s something wrong with me. It’s that I just process energy and emotions and sensations differently than other people do.
And I feel really seen in this conversation. So thank you. So what’s new with you tell my listeners what you do at the realized and path about your book, what programs you have going on right now which is what’s up so much. It’s so exciting. Like I really am. Fulfilled. It’s I built this life around my temperament and around my needs and I have amazing clients and an amazing business, an amazing community, but then I have so much downtime and Time to take care of myself.
So it’s just, I’m in a really beautiful place in my life. And I see clients one-on-one, I do my realize path course used to be once a quarter, but I’m pretty much doing it once every six weeks now, I just launched a podcast like four weeks ago. And my book is in pre-order right now, which is amazing.
And it hits the stores January 11th. And then I also have in the works, I’m getting ready to launch a couple like membership type digital programs are going to be delivered through texts. That’s in the works too. And just navigating these crazy times and trying to say grounded and limit the news and look at the trees and yes.
I will say any highly sensitive listeners out there. Please turn off the news, just please turn it off like that. We’ll send your nervous system into a tailspin. So just turn it off and maybe designate a person in your life who likes to watch the news and who it doesn’t affect as much. And just be like, Hey, if the world is on fire, just please let me know.
But otherwise I just need to exist in a world where I don’t have that information coming in all the time. And that’s, that’s literally, we canceled cable in 2006. So 15 years now with no cable, which means no mainstream news. I don’t know. If I want the news, I have to go seek it out myself.
Like I have to actually, use duck go. Or sometimes it comes up in my Instagram feed and I don’t really have control over that. But even that I do have some control over because I can just keep scrolling or whatever, but yeah, no, no news for me it’s bad news if I watch the news. That, I feel like the constant 24 7 inundation of fear just keeps us disconnected from our inner wisdom.
Like we all know, we all have access to that inner wisdom of, and we can know what’s best for us and this being inundated by fear all the time keeps us disconnected from that. And yeah. Yeah. And also I think people, I actually talked about this on somebody else’s podcast, that I was a guest on the other day that when we’re in a fear state, We don’t have access to our prefrontal cortex that goes offline.
The prefrontal cortex is where we’re making logical analytical decisions, right? We need to be in our prefrontal cortex when we’re making big decisions, really any decisions, but especially big decisions. When we are watching the news and listening to the government and keeping up with all that and keeping up with it all on Instagram and watching people’s stories and people’s lives.
And we see all of the fighting and the polarization and the clips that come from places like Australia and places like that, where it’s like really crazy right now that puts you in a fear state, a stressful state, which means your prefrontal cortex goes offline. You’re back in your like limbic brain, your reptilian brain that has not evolved to adapt.
Or to be able to handle watching the news and not feeling activated. So that’s why just watching the news or having a conversation can actually feel like a life and death situation. So if you’ve been watching the news for the last year and a half, you’ve been in your limbic brain. Your survival brain for the last year and a half.
And yet now you’re being expected to be able to make a medical decision for yourself that would require you to be able to use the logic and reason of your prefrontal cortex. But because you’ve been in this fear state for a year and a half, that’s not accessible to you. And so it’s so unfair what people are being expected to be able to do after being fed fear for the past year and a half.
What a beautiful environment for certain people to step in and tell you it’s better if they make the decisions for you. Because you’re more likely in that fear state to say yes, please. Yeah. Yeah. Because you’re, because that fear state makes you tired. It makes you exhausted. So everybody’s worn out, they’ve got adrenaline coursing through their veins.
They’re afraid to speak because if they say the wrong thing, like they’re going to be attacked. Internet mobs are going to come after them. And so we just were playing small we’re censoring ourselves. And and at the same time, we’re being expected to make like major analytical decisions from a fear state.
And it just doesn’t work that way. Do you think, I know this isn’t really related, but maybe it is. Do you think that the last year and a half with COVID has increased people’s sensitivity to stress or other people’s feelings or their own feelings? Do you think that this has played a role in increasing people’s sensitivity?
Here’s what I think. I think that five to 10 years from now, when we look back and we see, I think this is going to be extremely traumatizing for a lot of people. I think we are living in a time where we’re watching people be traumatized. So yeah. There’s going to be a lot more hypersensitivity and hypervigilance.
Do you feel like you’ve been traumatized by the last 18 months? Oh yeah. Yeah. And I feel like it just keeps going like around the corner. I’m like, you got to be kidding me. Yeah. Another thing. I was taking a walk with my husband just the other day and I was like, you know what? I’m at the place now where there’s always going to be new information that comes out to try to.
Up level the fear, right? So at this point, I believe the fear is just being used as a way to control. And so once I made the decision for myself and whatever that decision is, once I make the decision for myself and I am solid in that decision, it’s I don’t need to convince anyone else, but it’s my decision.
Then there is no point to listen to any more of the stuff, because they’re not going to change my mind. And so that’s when I realized I was like, okay, like there really is no point moving forward, especially. It’s just, it’s too much. Yeah. It’s true. As Resmah, Mexichem says it’s too much too fast, too soon for our nervous systems.
Yeah, absolutely. And you’re on Instagram as well, right? Yes, realized path. Perfect. We’re going to link to your book, your website, your Instagram, all the things in the show notes of the episode. I would love for my listeners to connect with you. Check out what you’re offering. I think that I love your perspective because I love that you’re like, Hey, these labels exist.
Like they definitely exist. And also you get to decide like how empowered you want to feel to either push the limits of those labels, remove the label from yourself entirely. Like I love that you’re placing all the responsibility and the choice back on the person themselves. And that’s definitely what my message is all about is returned to self sovereignty.
Like you do you. And when enough individuals are healing, It pushes the collective to heal as well, but it starts with every individual making these choices for themselves. So I love your message. And I’m so glad that you came on the show today. I’m so glad I did to keep doing the work that you’re doing, because it is a breath of fresh air every day when I see your posts.
So love your work. Thank you, Kristin. That means a lot. Yeah, absolutely. 📍 did you enjoy the show? I’d really appreciate it. If you took a few moments to rate the podcast,
Into the world.
community Cast episodes monthly zoom calls a community forum and most importantly you’ll find your people go to lindsay lockett.com forward slash circle to join