- Photo Credit: Della McGee
I am back in Ashland after spending the last 10 days in the Cities where I was teaching a workshop on being an empath and seeing private clients. Today I am resting up after all those days of work and the many long hours of driving. I learn so much on these trips but this one, especially so.
I had never taught on the topic of being an empath before so had a lot of research and writing to do beforehand. What I learned brought me to a better understanding of my own nature and with that understanding came compassion for myself.
Some Traits of an Empath:
- people point out you are highly sensitive
- you feel other people’s feelings
- negativity overwhelms you
- being in a crowd overwhelms you
- you are very intuitive
- highly sensitive to pain in yourself or seeing/sensing pain in others or animals
- you are affected by negative media images, ie, social media, newspapers, television news, movies, etc.
- you are more sensitive to stimulants, medications, smells, etc. than other people seem to be
- you often end up with the same symptoms as those around you. For example, you go to work feeling fine and the next thing you know you feel yourself coming down with what ever your co-worker has
- you frequently have lower back or digestive problems
- you are the dumping ground for the problems of others
- you often feel fatigue
- you have a very vibrant inner life
- you are sensitive to sounds and sensory feelings. Too loud noises or certain lighting can affect you
- you don’t like too many things coming at once, i.e. easily overwhelmed or feeling bombarded
- you manage your environment
- can be prone to anxiety – that’s why I manage my environment
- there may be a number of narcissists in your life – narcissists are drawn to empaths like a moth to a flame (future blog on this one alone)
- you are a great listener
- you get bored easily
The empathic traits that I embody have, in the past, made me feel weak and some how less than what I perceive as normal compared to other people. Feeling the emotions of those around me can often waylay me for days. Yet, at the same time, it is one of my greatest super powers. It makes me good at my job as a teacher and healer.
Sharing this information with other empaths feels important and timely. We (empaths) need to begin to see ourselves as unique and not flawed. We have a gift and if we can learn to understand that gift we can become strong.
It is imperative we begin to see ourselves as empowered instead of as victims of our empath nature. For instance, feeling the emotions of those around us can offer us the opportunity to be in compassion. Our natural intuitiveness can prepare us for what ever comes our way beforehand. Being sensitive to negativity in the media, movies, and news can light a fire in us for social change.
When we stop asking ourselves why we are this way and accept this is who we are we can show up in the world in a way that empowers ourself and others.
If you would like to learn more about being an empath you can contact Della here.
In a previous blog post on being an empath, I talked about how an empath picks up on the feelings of the people around them. This can become very confusing for the person who is just trying to live their life. For example, one morning while practicing yoga I began to feel anxiety in my chest. I didn’t know what the fear was about until I was journaling about it later. As I was writing, I asked my body if this anxiety was mine? The stress immediately left me. I was able to pinpoint who I was picking up on and recognize that, once again, I was unconsciously tuning into someone else’s feelings and experiencing them as my own.
The interesting thing about this is the person I was picking up on was hundreds of miles away. The closer you are to people in your life the more “connected energetically” an empath is to the people around them regardless of how close or far away. As I said, this can become confusing. It took me many years to remember to ask if what I was feeling was mine. This kind of inquiry has worked every time for me in navigating what is mine and what is other people’s stuff. I have found that if the energy I am feeling is my own, it stays with me when I ask the question, “Is this mine?” If it is NOT my stuff, it leaves immediately.
Della is an intuitive healer and a yoga teacher. You can find out more about her services here.
First off, let’s talk about what an empath is. An empath is a highly sensitive individual who picks up on the energies of those around them. If you see someone in pain you can feel it. Being in a crowd overwhelms you. You may be sensitive to smells, foods, people, situations, and even things. It may feel like you never want to leave the house even on a good day.
Not all empaths are created equal either. Being an empath myself I have met people who are more sensitive and less sensitive than I am. What bothers me may not bother you. As a child, you may have been easily emotional and liked to spend lots of time alone.
We empaths used to be called overly emotional or “too” sensitive and it was considered a negative thing. Now, we are being recognized for the highly intuitive beings that we are. We are the healers of the world. We tend to be nurturers and environmentally conscious. We are highly creative and are often the person that is turned to when you need a shoulder to cry on.
For years, I have been reading and hearing that we as a human race will some day evolve to a place where we can communicate with one another telepathically. Being an empath is the start of that evolution. It’s not that an empath can read your mind but they do sense the emotions that you are emitting. Because this is not mainstream thinking it is easy for the empath to wonder if there is something wrong with them. We often feel like we are crazy. We may have been medicated as children or we drank and used drugs as we got older to shut it off, never knowing what it was. If this is you, you are not alone.
I have been one of the lucky ones. I used drink and drugs when I was younger but that didn’t work for me. I didn’t start to feel a measure of peace around this gift, and yes, it is a gift, until I started practicing Kundalini Yoga over 12 years ago. Since then I have learned many ways to bring myself back into balance. I want to share them with you. Check out my workshop The Care & Feeding of an Empath.
Being an empath, I easily pick up the energy in my environment and then process it in my body. I live down town Saint Paul so have a lot of environment to process. I was recently reading a wonderful book by Echo Bodine called Hands That Heal. In her book she gives a simple clearing technique that I am finding very effective. Simply state:
Clear my body.
Clear my mind.
Clear my soul.
I’ve used this tool for a couple of weeks now, several times a day, and find it works great.
Della is a healer, psychic, writer, artist and recipe creator. Find more about her services here.