What is an empath? Well, an empath is someone who feels and absorbs the energy around them. These are the people sometimes deemed as sensitive, anxious, depressed, or socially awkward but also as healers, problem solvers and intuitive. Because empaths not only deeply experience their own emotions, energy and environment, but that of others as well, it is common for many empaths to internalize what they experience, which can lead to physical pain and illness and all sorts of fun mental and emotional defense mechanisms. With an innate and highly sensitive intuition, empaths are sometimes drawn to heal, fix and problem solve, yet can also be withdrawn and don't often ask for help. As children, empaths learn very young that they have to protect themselves from the energies that they are experiencing. This self defense develops differently for everyone but many find ways to create distance between themselves and others (emotionally, physically and mentally). Some turn to drugs or alcohol, some isolate or retreat, some create mental habits that fly under the radar of their own consciousness such as creating themselves as separate and alone/misunderstood, the fear of being alone and yet creating it that way. There's a plethora of ways in which empaths unconsciously and consciously "protect" themselves from experiencing the energies around them. This gift can often feel like a burden and very lonely, but it does not have to.
After searching for some good info on empaths, I have found that much of it has an underlying current of fear. Protection, protection, protection. Which automatically creates us as victims. It is very important for empaths to learn how to ground in their own energy, notice the energy of others and create practices for themselves to clear their energy fields and channel their light, but rather than being at effect of the energy of the world around us, we have the opportunity to harness this incredible gift. The first and most powerful step in owning this beautiful gift is choosing to own it. That means creating yourself as the designer of your life, body and energy and not creating yourself as a victim. You choose not to be a victim to the crowd that is overwhelming you, to not be a victim to the negative person sitting next to you, to not be a victim to stressful family situations (family can be especially challenging for empaths because of the close bonds). Thoughts become things. You're choice has the power to create your reality. It shifts your energy. Instead of choosing fear, self defense or self sabotage, you are choosing your power.
Here are some tips and tricks to being a healthy, powerful empath:
Grounding: consciously centering into your own body, connecting yourself into the earth and sending all that is not yours down to be recycled into more prana or life force.
- go barefoot preferably outside in the dirt, sand, grass etc but also on a wood floor. Consciously connect yourself to the earth.
- Clench In and up your lower chakras or Mula Bandha (sex organs and anus) creating a root lock (a lot like kegeling)
Noticing the energy of others: begin to consciously observe how it feels when you are around other people. What can you pick up on? What do you feel? Honing this skill can be incredibly helpful in discerning what energies are yours and which ones are others, as well as seeing how certain energies effect you. Awareness opens the door for power. You can not change what you can't see. Get curious and start noticing!
Clearing practices: everyone is different and I suggest trying a few and seeing which ones resonate with you the most.
- smudging: using the smoke of sage, incense, Copal, Palo Santo wood, or even breath to clear stagnant or negative energy.
- brushing your entire body down with your hands
- shake it out. Shake and move your entire body, moving the energy out of your system
- jump into the ocean
- take a bath with Epsom salts
- Angel Wings (take a deep breath in, lifting your arms out like wings. Blow out all that is not yours, using your arms/wings scoop it all up, bending all the way down to the ground and as you come up, toss it into the air and turn it into fairy dust.)
How to sense/scan your own energy body: every empath holds or stores energy in different places in the body but the two most common areas are the chest and abdomen. First identify where in your body you store most often. Do you get stomach aches, bloat or gassiness? Or maybe you get tension or pain in your chest or feel a heaviness on it sometimes. At any given moment you can take a deep breath, close your eyes and notice what is going on in your body. Where are you holding tension, bloat, pain, heaviness? From there, you can practice any of the clearing exercises above or channel your light as described below.
Channelling your light: your light is your inner power, your inner life force. It is love. It is your best friend and your super power, not just as an empath but as a human and a being of light. You can channel this light by consciously focusing on your energy. Your breath is the easiest way to tune you into your energy so begin with slow, deep breaths. Then focusing on the movement of the blood in your veins, the beat of your heart, envision your whole body emanating a warm, white light. This white light is love, it is your power, it is your guide and your protector. It is not a shield or shell but an energy that transmutes and transforms. When I am in a situation where I need to ground myself and turn on my light (I call it my light wetsuit) I take a deep breath, focus on my energy and most importantly on the love residing in my heart just waiting to be accessed. As my dear friend and resident cacao goddess, Nola Ganem teaches, find the smile in your heart and let it shine outward.
To the many, many, many sweet, lovely, powerful empaths out there, this is a calling. For you to step into your light, own your power and radiate your love. Stop choosing to be a victim to other people, places and the universe. The universe only has your best interest and highest good at heart, so chose to trust that and your own ability to harness this beautiful gift. It is not a burden but a super power. Whether conscious or unconscious, everything is a choice. So bring it to consciousness and choose your power. As you do, life becomes easier, brighter, and so much more magical. Your intuition begins to expand, your heart begins to expand and your capacity to be with ALL of it begins to expand. So, get to know your gift, love it, own it and shine bright beautiful being, shine bright.
Please, please share your own experiences, resources and questions below. We all learn the most from one another.