Amber Rochelle is an Empath Empowerment Mentor and Emotional Wellness Expert. She works with Highly Sensitive Empaths to help them thrive in an all-to-often insensitive world. Known as “The Sensitive Badass®”, Amber’s mission is to change the narrative in our culture around the word “sensitive” and to lead sensitive souls to a place of empowerment. She believes that sensitivity is a superpower if you choose to treat it as one and that this world desperately needs the healing powers that sensitives have to offer.
Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed for You
Where You Can Find Amber
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/AmberRochelleHuffer
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Ep# 10 - How to Harness your Neuro-divergent High Sensitivity as a Gift with Amber Rochelle
[00:00:00] Rose: Hey, it's Rose and welcome to another episode of the sensitive CEO show. And in today's episode, I have the absolute pleasure of talking with Amber Rochelle. Amber is an empath empowerment mentor and emotional wellness expert. Amber works with highly sensitive empaths to help them thrive in an insensitive world.
Welcome, Amber. It's so lovely to talk with you today.
[00:00:31] Amber: thank you so much. I'm excited to be here
[00:00:33] Rose: rose. Oh, wonderful. Before we dive into your topic, which I love, I love your topic today: how to harness your neurodivergent high sensitivity as a gift. I would love you to share with everyone listening to a bit about your background and how you got to do what you're doing today.
[00:00:57] Amber: Yeah. So I knew from a very young age that I was extremely sensitive and different. I just didn't really know what that meant. And, as I went into adulthood, I sort of followed the career path that I felt I was—supposed to follow and got into corporate. And I was doing, you know, the, I was doing graphic design, so still using art, which I'm also very passionate about.
But as time passed, I realised I didn't fit into the corporate world. It was very difficult for me. And I kept coming back to the fact that what I really always was most passionate about was helping people. And so that's when I started researching. Life coaching and stumbled upon a couple of coaches that I worked with myself, and I was just blown away.
It was a light bulb moment that this is 100% what I want to do and what I meant to do, and where I feel like my gifts are best—amplified in that kind of career and arena. And so I went and got certified as a coach. And then, while I was going through the certification program and practising and working with the other students, I started picking up on the fact that people who were really drawn to me were also highly sensitive.
And it's been such a throughline. In my life, in my journey of really coming into my own and healing my relationship with myself and living life on my own terms. And so, as I saw this pattern of women coming to me that were so similar to me, and thinking back to how much I had grown when I embraced my sensitivity, it all kind of came together, and that's when I was like, this is what I wanna specialize in is helping women to minimize the challenges, maximize the benefits of being sensitive but even more than that, you know, like I said, with my own self healing, your relationship with yourself, trusting yourself.
It is trusting your intuition and being able to create a life that works for you rather than trying to fit yourself into a box. And it's, it's, it's fantastic. It frees people up to step into the truth of who they are. And often, the women I work with have something inside of them that they want to share with the world, whether it's a book or a blog, or they're an artist, or they're a musician and this process of really.
Healing and coming back to the core of who you are, allows them to have the confidence to share their unique gifts with the world. So it's a ripple effect.
[00:03:32] Rose: I love that. I love your background. I'm so interested in how you got into this. I think we've got a similar background, mine isweb design and web development, so it's similar to graphic design.
And I love that you are passionate about helping other sensitive women share their unique gifts. Could you share a little bit about how you do that?
[00:03:59] Amber: Absolutely. Yeah. So it's, it's really kind of, mean, there's a lot of, many steps in it, but the way that I can best explain it is that, you know, I kind of help people to clear all of the cobwebs, mental cobwebs, emotional cobwebs that are blocking who they are. So though, those can be limiting beliefs, self-esteem issues, and lack of confidence. You know, many times we're carrying around this conditioning that we received growing up and these beliefs that, you know, we built growing up, a lot of which were necessitated out of safety. Still, there’s a difference between safety when you're a child and safety when you're an adult.
And so when you can kind of go back and unpack that stuff and look at what are the things I'm telling myself, what are the things that I picked up that no longer serve me, that aren't really from me and kind of rewrite some of those old stories while at the same time, learning to listen to yourself, learning to slow.
Down and really advocate for your own needs. And, especially as sensitive people, as sensitive woman, we have different needs than the rest of the population. And so being able to meet your needs and ask for them to be met without feeling guilty, weird, or like it's. It's awkward or any of those types of things and also setting boundaries.
So it's a lot of pieces that come together. But at the end of the day, and, and I always use this term of healing, your relationship with yourself, because everything that you need is within you. And so my job as a coach is not to tell people what to do. It's not, you know, to tell you who you are.
It's to help you break that stuff down and then build it back up in a way that feels really authentic. And it's a very, very empowering and freeing process.
[00:05:56] Rose: . I love that. It makes so much sense because I think. So many of us look to others for how we should be or how we should act and what we should do.
Whereas, as you pointed out, all of the answers are within ourselves, and we know best who we are.
[00:06:15] Amber: And it's, you know, building that, that internal validation of, you know, your, your feelings, owning your feelings, owning your needs, owning your desires and for it to be okay for you to trust what's in your heart and soul, and not always have to look outside of yourself for that validation.
[00:06:38] Rose: Yeah, I love that. And can you talk a bit about neurodivergent and how it relates to high sensitivity?
[00:06:48] Amber: Yes. So neurodivergent means when you have a mind and a nervous system that processes information from the world around you differently than somebody that is not neurodivergent.
So there's a lot of. Labels in terms that fall underneath that, but, you know, ADHD, ADD, anything on the autism scale or spectrum, and then sensory processing disorder and high sensitivity all are considered neurodivergent. And so we experience things differently. For example, with ADHD, it can be hard to focus, right?
And with high sensitivity, we get overwhelmed by our emotions. It's really about how you feel about the world and how your mind processes that information. And so when you're neurodivergent, you don't fit into the typical quote-unquote group of society. Or, our society is not built for the neurodivergent that's starting to change, which is wonderful, but it typically has not been built for the neurodivergent.
A lot of neurodivergent people feel like there's something wrong with us or, you know, that we don't, we're, we're less than, or, or all these types of things that we tell ourselves, just because we don't do things or feel things the same way that others do. But we can offer so many gifts that come from neuro divergence to the rest of the collective.
And so once we can get past the labels and look at, you know, how can I take care of my neurodivergence? How can I stand up for my neurodivergence? And then, how can I see the gifts in my neurodivergence? It is where a lot of like strength and healing can come from.
[00:08:31] Rose: Yeah. Yeah. And before we hit record, we were having a little chat about this. We both read the wonderful book, the divergent neuro mind by Jan Nirenberg, which I'm gonna pop in the show notes because I don't know about you, Amber, but when I read this book, it just opened my eyes to so much and made me feel, Hey, I'm not that different after all.
There are a lot of people. With these, you know, with these traits and, and it's not, it's not that we're different. It's just that we, I guess, are a smaller part of the population, but there are many of us.
[00:09:09] Amber: Oh, so many. And that's, and that's that realising that is, is healing in and of itself. When I read way back in the day before, I understood what it meant to be highly sensitive.
When I first read the highly sensitive person by Elaine Aaron, I had that similar experience of just, just this, relief of, you know, Explain to me it explains, I was like, she's writing about me. Yeah. And she was, Yeah. And then to know that you're not alone, there's an explanation for why, you know, you're feeling the way that you feel.
And that it's not, it's not, it's neutral. It's not necessarily bad or good. It's just a different way of being. It’s a different way of experiencing the world. And so with the, you know, neurodivergent mind, it's, it's the same thing as looking at like, wow. We've got what, 20%, roughly 20% of the population is highly sensitive, but then think about all of the millions of thousands of people on the autism spectrum who might have ADHD or these other neuro-dependencies.
[00:10:11] Amber: And I think it starts to give you. The bigger picture, again, it's not about good or bad; it’s just that we do things differently. We experience things differently. And that when you realise that, like you, you are not the only one by any, any, any stretch of the means it's I think gives you.
Permission to accept that part of yourself and then, before accepting it, start to see how it can serve you. It can serve you, especially when you take the labels off, right? Yeah. When you take off. Oh, I'm different. That's weird. What’s wrong? No, no. , it's beautiful and unique. And we need all these different perspectives because it's it.
It's what feeds the soul of the collective. I mean, we're not all supposed to be cloned.
[00:11:04] Rose: , absolutely. Now, how boring would that be if we were all the same?
[00:11:10] Amber: right.
[00:11:13] Rose: I know that we have so many gifts, as HSPs and also with other neuro divergencies, what, what are some gifts in particular that you want to shed a light on Amber?
[00:11:28] Amber: For those of us who are highly sensitive. I mean, number one is empathy. And I think that empathy is incredibly underrated by a lot of people. Empathy is, is such a. Powerful healing thing to have, and it comes so naturally to us. And so we can relate with people from all different walks of life.
We can feel into people we can hear beyond their words, which can serve us in so many capacities, but even with the people around you in your life, your family, your friends, your coworkers, you have this beautiful gift. Just by being who you are, people feel seen and heard in your presence.
And that I think alone is so powerful and magical, but we also see things that other people don't, we're very, per, the, what I'm looking for. Observe it. We’re very. Observant, and we're very detail oriented. So we're picking up on little nuances in the world around us that others might rush right by.
And so we can bring awareness to these things. We see the most beautiful parts of the world, but we also deeply feel the really dark parts of the world. And, the gift in that, in the dark dark, is that it helps us see places. Scenarios people that are struggling need our help and to hone in on what we could do or what they might need to, you know, Get that help.
We are passionate about these things because we feel them so deeply. And so, so many sensitive people, not all, but so many sensitive people are artists or healers or therapists or coaches, intuitive visionaries, yoga teachers, all these types of things. And when you start looking at that, you're like, what would the world be without us?
Yes, scary. What, what would the world be? But without that, you know, the poets and writers and, and, I think. We are so tuned in to feel around us. We can feel the earth. I mean, it's just, we're, very much, powerful in that way in our perspectives and observations. And then in our ability to take those things and make something beautiful out of them, which is almost always something that serves the greater collection.
[00:13:56] Rose: Yeah. And as you say, we're so drawn to helping others, aren't we? It just seems to be what we’ve put on this planet.
[00:14:03] Amber: Yes. Yes. And, and that's part of the journey too, because so many of us sensitives when we're younger, we have that desire. And we have that natural knack for connecting with people.
But many times, because we get negative messages about our sensitivity, we become doormats or people pleasers because we're not, we're not giving to ourselves, we're giving to everybody else. And then we become so depleted. Through the work of healing, you know, your relationship with yourself, owning your sensitivity and living in alignment with it. Then, you know how to give to yourself and fill your tank. And so you're even more of a powerhouse of, you know, help and giving for other people. And you can channel it specifically to what you're passionate about rather than just feeling like, you know, you're helping everybody around you and your needs.
Aren't getting that, which is it's, it's the disempowered to empowered empath path. Yeah. As I look at it, really, and it's, you know, I think a lot of us are worried at the beginning of that process that, well, I don't want to be selfish, but self-care is nowhere near selfish. We have to be well taken care of.
We have a lot of needs as sensitive people, and we get depleted very easily. And so when we're caring for our sensitivity and honouring it and our limits and boundaries when we intentionally choose to put our guests out there in the world, they're. That is much more potent.
[00:15:35] Rose: That makes so much sense. Something you said in the a just made me, oh, it just made my heart sing. You said just by being who you are and those words. I don't know. I guess, as a highly sensitive person, if you're listening, you'll probably get this as well, but it's such a powerful phrase just by being yourself. And I love that.
Can you expand a little bit more on that?
[00:16:02] Amber: Yeah, I think that having such a big heart as a sensitive person, deep empathy, and strong intuition, it comes naturally to us to open our hearts to people. It comes naturally to us to tune into how people are feeling. You know, it comes naturally to us too to be there for other people to be powerful.
Support presence in people's lives. It comes naturally to us to, you know, point out the finer details of life; all of these things that just are who we are and how we be in the world are such a gift to everyone that we are around. So even without doing anything except just being who you are. And especially once you start to.
Accept and love who you are and feel that confidence that light inside of you will radiate stronger and stronger and stronger, and people feel it. They feel it in your presence. People feel comfortable around you. I mean, a lot of people listening, I'm sure, have had this same experience. I have strangers always come up to me and start telling me their life stories, or I could do too.
Energetic thing there that people feel, they feel a safety with you. They feel a rapport with you. They feel understood. They feel seen, they feel heard, and that is so. So powerful and so strong and such an important thing. And so that's what I mean when I say just by being who you are, you know, the people you smile at in line at the grocery store, the casual conversations that you strike up with people on the bus or whatever it is, you're spreading that light just by being who you.
[00:17:52] Rose: Yeah. Yeah. That's so beautiful. And you also alluded to being people pleasers and being a doormat. So I guess that is the downside of having this empathy: people can take advantage of us. How do you recommend people? I guess I set the boundaries around that.
[00:18:13] Amber: Yeah. So. Start looking at areas in your life where you're feeling resentment, where you're feeling energy leaks, where you're feeling like you're in a one-sided relationship.
And look at that. And then, you know, and by look at, I mean, do some journaling, do some self-reflection, start taking notes, start directing your awareness towards those things. And then where do you feel completely depleted? Because that's. Point you to needs of yours that aren't getting met, you know, are you feeling too time-crunched?
[00:18:44] Amber: Do you feel like your energy is just sucked out at the end of the day? Are you not getting your physical needs, met sleep, nutrition, bad exercise, all of those things? And when you start to look at those two things together as a holistic picture, it's like, okay, How can I start to make small shifts?
And those shifts can be giving yourself more downtime and working on that without guilt; it can also be setting boundaries with people. And if that thought comes up of this is selfish or, you know, I don't, I don't want to drive people away because I'm setting boundaries. You have to remind yourself that you're really.
It would not be as good to people if you're depleted as you are if you are fully whole and taken care of. So if that can help you get over that, it's selfish because it took me a while with that; like I would; it was like a tug of war. I was trying to meet my own needs, and I was trying to set boundaries, and then it was one step forward and two steps back.
But the more I did it, if you have to practice, the more I did it, the more. Saw the benefits of it. I felt the changes in my body. I felt the changes emotionally. My confidence grew. And are there bumps in the road? Of course, there will be people that, you know, are used to you being a doormat.
And so when you start setting boundaries, you might ruffle some feathers, and that's okay because either of those people will adjust and come along with you. They weren't meant to be in your orbit any longer. And so, again, over time, the more you do this, the more you're like, oh, my God, this is a different way of living.
This is amazing. I feel so much better, and I still feel really good. About, you know, how I am in the world and how, and, you see when you channel your want to help people intentionally rather than just kind of like whatever anybody needs here. And, you know, be stretched all over the place, but when you focus on it, like intentionally.
Then you're like, oh my God, I can make even a bitter difference in the world and feel good while doing it. You know, I feel good in my body. Yeah. Feel good in, you know, my emotional and physical body and feel good in my mind, be taken care of, and still make a big impact in the world.
[00:21:01] Rose: Yeah. Yeah. And it's, I mean, it's so true when you say that we need to, to look after ourselves, otherwise we can't help other people. And that's what we're here to do.
[00:21:14] Amber: Yeah. And it's a, it's a process, but it's like I said, and, and, and, you know, I see this in my clients all the time, and I encourage my clients when they're at the beginning of this process of trust it, trust it, like trust yourself, trust that there's nothing wrong with you.
Trust that it is okay to do things differently than other people. Trust that even though, you know, The bulk of society isn't necessarily set up for us HSPs to thrive. That doesn’t mean you can't still exist in our society and do things in your way. It's a little bit more difficult. Sure. But it's absolutely possible.
And it just opens up all of these doors and so much healing, relief, and being able to like. Be so okay with who you are and as loving, kind, and forgiving to yourself as you are to everybody else.
[00:22:10] Rose: And I love how you talk about rewriting your history and adjusting your lifestyle to empower you as a sensitive woman.
Can you share a little bit about that, Amber, please?
[00:22:22] Amber: Yeah. So when I talk about rewriting your history, I'm talking about looking back, where did you know, look back, take inventory of the beliefs that you have about yourself, that you have about your sensitivity, and then ask yourself, where did these come from?
When did I first start believing this? Is this my belief? Are these my words? Or is this something I picked up from a family member, friend, or teacher when I was young? Or is it the conditioning from the world around me? You know, that's told me I'm too much, and I'm too emotional or whatever it may be, but you're struggling with, and.
Go back and like, look at yourself as a child, as a teenager, you know, whatever area you're looking at through the eyes of who you are now and, and have compassion for how hard that is to have that type of conditioning that, you know, if I cry it's bad, or if I, you am vocal about my feelings, people aren't gonna like me.
I'm going to be too much, all those types of compassion. Self-compassion is a major tool to help us through that process of being like, wow, not only must that be so hard for me, but look at how strong I am. Then I came through all of those things. Yeah. And you know, when you start to see, even if it's a belief system that you picked up from a parent when we're doing this work, it's not about blaming or being a victim or any of that type of stuff.
It's about observation. Right. And saying, wow, that belief does not serve. I don't need this anymore. Do I need to continue to carry this around? Right. What are belief systems will serve my best interests and the vision I have for my life? And start picking those apart. And it puts you in such an empowering place because you're no longer just kind of a victim to your subconscious and all of these background beliefs that are, that are running in the background, whether we're aware of them or not, to be able to look at that stuff and say, I get to make a choice.
Around this, I get to make a choice. I get to forgive wherever that stuff came from. Look at the reality that I was a child and that this was hard and that now I'm an adult and I'm in control of my energy and I'm in control of my boundaries. And I'm also in control of my belief systems. And that's something that not overnight takes time, but that’s something that you can actively change.
And it's just like, the most freeing thing when you go through that process, because we all carry. Everybody has baggage. We all carry things from our childhood. Sometimes we don't realise they're running the show in the background. Yeah. And you know, we're adults now. And it's like, I don't want my inner eight-year-old making my choices for me.
And, and you know, like I said, with the compassion thing, be like, oh my, like I'm a badass. Like I went through all this bullying. I went through all this struggle with who I was, but look at me. You know, look at how far I've come. And, instead of being like, oh, I had all these, I was a victim, and I had these terrible things happen to me.
And this was so hard for me. And yes, and look at your strength that you've come through that. And you're still a kind and beautiful person. And so I think that that is it's truly healing. And it, when you start to clear again, the baggage, the cobwebs, whatever you want to call it, it takes such a weight off of you.
There's a lightness there. When I started doing this work on myself, I had never felt it before. And in that lightness, there is a possibility and space. Power and, and you start to see that like you can create a life that works for you instead of trying to stuff yourself into a box that does it.
[00:26:27] Rose: Yes! And I love those empowering words of strength, and I think that makes the words that you say to yourself and think are so powerful.
[00:26:39] Amber: So, I mean, we're thinking things all day, and so yeah, we can tune our awareness into what am I saying to myself all day, or what am I saying to myself about this certain thing?
And then. Wait a minute. Why am I talking to myself like that? So awareness is, awareness is huge. Awareness is everything. I feel like everything starts with awareness because when you start to pay attention, you're like, oh, wait a minute. I didn't realise that I had that belief system going on.
You know, it puts you back in the driver's seat of your own life. It does, and yeah. And it also helps you to question, you know, just because other people do something one way doesn't mean it's the right way for you. And so, you know, asking yourself powerful questions, getting powerful questioning from a coach, working this stuff out, having that awareness and that self-compassion.
It just starts to move you in a direction where you're more and more and more true to yourself and more authentic and, and free to, to be who you are and to create the kind of life you've always wanted.
[00:27:43] Rose: . . So much goodness, in your interview today, Amber, there's just so much that I, I, yeah, I can't wait to share this with everyone.
This is amazing. I have one final question. Before we wrap up today, what do you do when you feel overwhelmed or unfocused?
[00:28:02] Amber: Ooh, I love this. I feel overwhelmed a lot as I'm sure. The listeners can relate. Depending on the circumstance, I have a couple of different things that I'll do depending on, but one of my honest favorite things to do is just a brain dump.
And when I'm feeling really overwhelmed, whether it's. A to-do list or, if it's just with feelings and things going on, writing stuff out is a really powerful ritual to get it out of your head and onto the paper. And sometimes that's all you need to do is just write it down. It's just a release, but then.
Other times I will do a brain dump, and then I'll be like, okay, if it's around things I have to do, like, okay, what is the priority today? What is the priority right now? And, what are things I can get done in five minutes? I'm just gonna get those off my plate right now. And then, you know, what would I feel best about that I accomplished today because I have a tendency, and I'm sure others will relate, overestimate what I can accomplish in a day.
And, you look at breaking it down into priorities and saying, you know what? The rest can wait for tomorrow. Yeah. I'll look at the rest of it again. That. And or sometimes I'm just like, okay, Amber, hands up, I'm walking away from my desk. I'm walking away from my work. I will just go into my bedroom, shut the door, and lie on my bed.
And I have a gravity blanket. if you guys don't know what those are, look them up. They are wonderful for HSPs. And I'll just lay down with me.
[00:29:33] Rose: Is that like a weighted blanket? Yes, exactly. Yes. Oh, I've got one. I love it. Love it so much.
[00:29:39] Amber: It's so good for calming anxiety. Yeah. And then I'll just lay there and close my eyes and breathe because so many of us spend so little time just stopping and breathing and like being and just like, so I'm like, okay.
Drop everything. I'm going in the room, I'm going to do five minutes of this, and then I'll come back to whatever it is. That's like overwhelming me. So I think both of those things have been great tools for me. Rather than just wallowing in it or letting it kind of compound upon itself, which is what it will do.
If you don't, yeah. Do something to interrupt the overwhelm and, with both of those things, remind yourself that I'm doing the best I can. I've got this. One thing at a time and, you know, stop and breathe, all, and it can sound so simple but effective.
[00:30:33] Rose: Oh, I love both of those. And so you're right. Sometimes the simple things work, and they are the most effective. Love that. Well, thank you so much, Amber. I could talk to you forever. We’ll have to do this again, but thank you and everyone for listening to another episode.