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Embracing High Sensitivity: Transforming Personal Insight into Collective Empowerment

I've been driven to empower and guide HSPs whose depth of processing, empathy, and sensitivity to subtleties has revolved around a life-long quest to seek truth and a connection to the divine; those who've been claimed by a soul calling to transform their personal suffering so as to become guides and healers for others.

I've been researching, writing, and exploring the trait of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) for almost a decade now. It began as a personal exploration and, at first, I kept my 'discovery' of the trait close to my heart as I was in the depths of my self-healing and exploration. I'd always been resistant to labels and becoming too identified with a particular one, but the framework of high sensitivity gave me such a strong reference point, a doorway into my inner world, and a connection to a like-minded tribe of others. It opened a whole world of possibilities in terms of understanding myself and realising I wasn't alone in my experience of sensitivity.


HSPs on a Quest for Truth


As I've continued my work with highly sensitive people, I've been driven to empower and guide HSPs whose depth of processing, empathy, and sensitivity to subtleties has revolved around a life-long quest to seek truth and a connection to the divine; those who've been claimed by a soul calling to transform their personal suffering so as to become guides and healers for others. It is the highly sensitive person who is not only driven by personal development or wellbeing but questions how we can create lasting transformation for the collective and wonders about the trajectory of our conscious evolution for future generations.



When we fall outside of that norm, we're told there is something wrong with us; we are often pathologised with an illness or a disorder.

Since childhood, I have always found superficial conversations about the material and mundane challenging. I have also struggled with how we stay fixed in particular roles, the ones which perpetuate self-limiting patterns and behavior rather than empowering us to live more authentically aligned with who we really are. I have traveled and lived in many different countries, and no matter the culture - we are still expected to fit into a particular norm. When we fall outside of that norm, we're told there is something wrong with us; we are often pathologised with an illness or a disorder. Many of us are told we are too anxious, too depressed, too sensitive, too emotional, or too much. Or, we're not strong, resilient, or adapted enough; the underlying message is we're not enough.


It's not about Reducing our Sensitivity


What this tells many of us who are highly sensitive is that we need to fix or reduce our level of sensitivity. It also tells us we need to be more resilient to our individual and collective suffering - that we shouldn't feel our emotions so strongly. There's a sort of dumbing down and numbing out that is indirectly communicated to us. We are expected to conform to societal expectations of more productivity - working faster, sleeping less, consuming and doing more, and being less sensitive. This means repressing or denying the messages that our nervous systems are communicating with us.


This is where I aim to reframe our understanding of sensitivity - those of us who are more sensitive and have more sensitive nervous systems might be tapping into energies or emotions in the collective before others; for example, we might sense heavy energy when we walk into a room, or that something doesn't quite feel right. We often feel what other human and non-human sentient beings are feeling. Those who are HSP and committed to a spiritual path have also been able to deepen their access to other ways of knowing; it is common to experience precognitive or numinous dreams, to have psychic experiences, and to channel information from the collective; many of us are healers.


Sensitivity to the Grief and Suffering


Unfortunately, the natural inclination of many HSPs is to switch off our 'sensing' capacities. This is often out of fear of becoming overwhelmed or that it's too much. As young children, we might have been told that it isn't 'normal'. When our caregivers or peers do not receive our capacities openly, we're often shamed into shutting down. It's also not all love, light, and mystical divine experiences that we become accustomed to - a lot of the information we tap into as HSPs is the grief and suffering of the collective and many of us make the mistake of trying to absorb or carry this alone - our empathy can cause us to be consumed by the collective anxiety and suffering.


Healing for the Collective


I encourage HSPs who are struggling with this to differentiate between what is theirs and the collective, but also to stay attuned and connected to these energies and emotions in the collective field whilst recognising this doesn't mean we need to hold onto them; it's not our job to carry them alone or absorb them. We have the capacity and resources to ground, hold space, and be vessels for these types of energies that need to be transformed - this means actively engaging in our personal inner work and healing, not only for ourselves, but for the collective. Tara Brach speaks of the necessity of coming into a relationship with our experiences to foster deeper healing.


If you're an HSP struggling with the energies, emotions, and information present in the collective field, and find it difficult to know how to manage this, remember you are not alone and this is not yours to carry alone. Coming together in community and sharing what we're carrying with others provides a space to transform and heal. It is also important to remember your sensitivity to subtleties doesn't need to be overwhelming; when we find the tools to regulate and process, we can stay in a relationship with what's there from a more resourceful and grounded aspect of ourselves. Some of these tools that I've found helpful include breathwork, meditation, grounding in nature, journaling, and simple embodied movement exercises, which help to shift and move energy through the body.


About the Author




Jules De Vitto has a BSc in Psychology, MA in Education and MSc in Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness and Spirituality and is an accredited transpersonal coach, trainer and experienced educator. She is the founder of the Highly Sensitive Human Academy - a central hub that offers courses, coaching, articles and a podcast for Highly Sensitive People. She helps those who identify with the traits of high sensitivity to navigate emotional overwhelm, step into their authentic power and align with their true purpose in life.


She is a published author and wrote one of a series of books on Resilience, Navigating Loss in a time of Crisis. Her research has also been published in the Transpersonal Coaching Psychology Journal and Journal of Consciousness, Spirituality, and Transpersonal Psychology.


In addition to her academic and coaching pursuits, Jules has spent years engaging in deep transformative healing work. She is a Reiki Master and Teacher and has completed Michael Harner’s Shamanic Practitioner Training through the Foundation of Shamanic Studies and a Grief Ritual Leadership Training with Francis Weller.


Jules is passionate about creating community for Highly Sensitive People and embracing the full spectrum of our emotional and sensory capacities rather than trying to ‘fix’ ourselves. Deepening the connection to our sensitivity enables us to open our hearts and form better relationships with ourselves, others and the world.


As an expert in the field of high sensitivity, her writing has been featured in SAND and Highly Sensitive Refuge and she has been invited to speak on the Sensitive SEO Podcast, Quiet and Strong Podcast and the Healthy Sensitive Podcast.

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