Empaths and the holiday season can sometimes feel like a stressful overload, people-pleasing, boundary porous, recipe for disaster. This year, has seen an expansion of intuitive gifts with our empathic side expanding as well. More people are stepping into and exploring their intuitive empath natures.
Empaths are those folks who have extra sensitive antenna for sensing the feelings and emotions of those around them. Sometimes empaths feel an emotion such as sadness and they recognize that someone around them is sad. Other times, empaths may feel sadness in themselves and wonder why they are sad. Empaths often need to learn to sort out whether what they are feeling is theirs, someone else’s, or from a collective or community.
The holiday season can be a time of overwhelm and it is not uncommon for tensions to run high and for some people to be anxious, upset, or frustrated.
When empaths walk into the room, they feel the anxiety, upset, or frustration that is swirling in the space. They may even become anxious, upset, or frustrated themselves.
The natural response is to want to make these feelings go away.
To change the energy in the space, empaths often try to fix things - at least on a superficial, keep the peace sort of way. In this process, empaths may silence their voice, minimize their needs, and ignore things that are inappropriate.
So, what’s an empath to do?
First off, there are some situations empaths might consider avoiding. If you know it is going to be a high tension event with volatile emotions running amuck, perhaps it is best to decline the invitation. Yes, others may be disappointed. But for an empath, events like these can have physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual impact that require significant recovery time.
If you decide to attend, are there things you can do to help moderate a potentially charged situation? Can you arrive ‘just in time’ and plan to leave in a timely manner? Is there a space within the event that is more conducive for you - a table or grouping off to the side or in another room, a task that allows you to move around a bit, or participating in a game or puzzle?
Some breathing patterns can help shift us out of a sympathetic nervous system response. These include deeper belly breaths or letting our exhales be a little longer than our inhales.
Focused sensory stimulation can help. Some people carry a fidget stim or wear bracelets or rings that can be used for similar purposes. Drinking a glass of water or fizzy (non-alcoholic) drink or intentionally munching on crunchy and/or spicy foods are other examples of sensory stims.
Jewelry and accessories made from natural materials such as crystals, wood, or fiber can also modulate our energy frequency.
We’re all wired differently. Listen to your body to identify what would work best for you.
And remember, be gentle with yourself.
In the area of the world I live, now is the time for planting bulbs that will emerge and bloom in the spring.
Energetically, we’re in the same sort of season.
What are you planting, fertilizing, and nurturing in your life for the spring?
Perhaps your brain just froze thinking about that. There’s the holidays and work and school and events and … and … and …
In our rapid paced lives, where EVERYTHING is happening ALL THE TIME, it is a radical act to take time to think and plan ahead. But, just like we need to plant spring bulbs now so they can overwinter in the soil, we need to plant some of our future into the soil of our soul now.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated.
I bought a 2023 calendar (that inspires and makes me smile) where I’m going to track some things and see what I learn about myself.
Someone I know got one of those exercise goal images for next year where you color in a small piece for distance/time biking, running, hiking, or walking.
Someone else I know is planning a spring vacation.
Someone else is signing up for class they’ve been wanting to take.
Someone else is creating a small ritual to start their morning differently.
What do you want in your life next spring? What is asking to be planted, fertilized, and nurtured now to prepare for that?
And yeah, I’m putting in some more actual bulbs because, hey, spring flowers are awesome!
You’ve changed. You can feel it in how you show up with others and how you show up for yourself. Deep in the marrow of your being, you have been on a path of transformation.
And now, heading into the holidays, some are beginning to feel the same old dread. How do you navigate interactions with family and friends who know the ‘old you’? How do you avoid feeling like you need to go back into the box of old patterns that used to serve you so well? You worry that being yourself, the new you, will cause tension and strife. Should you just ‘suck it up’ and pretend to be someone you’re not for the few hours or days of these interactions?
Actually, pretending usually isn’t so helpful.*
When we’re changing, or have changed, those around us probably already know.
Our energy precedes us into a space and we are constantly merging with and flowing in and out of the energies around us. We ‘sample’ what’s in the ocean of energy around us. It’s how we walk into a room and ‘read the room’ to see if it is comfortable, tense, or playful.
If others are paying attention at all, they sense that something has changed. Our words and actions simply provide confirmation to what they are sensing. Sometimes, they may not like the changes in us which can amplify the tension we feel.
And we’re afraid of the tension.
But we have no control of how others feel about us. Whether we hide ourselves away or live our lives out loud, they may like or dislike us. Accept or reject us.
But we can influence how we feel about ourselves.
And actually, how we feel about ourselves can be very helpful in changing situations. Here’s how it works.
When I’m not comfortable about who I am, I carry all sorts of questions and fears with me in my energy. You know the voices: Am I good enough? Do I fit in? Am I too weird?
Those fears and questions are what others feel. And so they become fearful and questioning around me. When I talk about myself awkwardly or with shame, they may sense there may be something awkward or shameful about me.
There will always be those who do not care for us and or our life path. In some cases, these will be toxic and we will need to separate the relationship or put additional distance between us.* But in many cases, a lot of what we feel is actually our own discomfort with our own growing pains.
As we allow ourselves to change, we will begin to seek and connect with those who are changed self resonates with. The more we find those with whom have shared voices (including books, shows, and movies) and spaces where we can encourage each other, the more we become comfortable in our skin and our own life.
In most cases, being comfortable in our own life allows others to be more comfortable with us.
Additionally, the more comfortable we are, the more we are able to give others permission to be on their own journey.
*If you, or others you know, are in a space where they are threatened, harassed, or encountering abuse of any sort, pretending or fitting in while making plans to escape from the situation may be necessary. Please seek support from those you can trust who can help you.
Let a new life happen to you.
Through the end of the year, and even into the beginning of 2023, we are in a time frame where there’s incredible tension between the old and the new, the ending and the beginnings.
The old you is holding onto remnants of the past. Layers and layers of remnants that want to drag you back to your comfortable routine and dampen your ability to connect with your future.
You need to let go.
Let go of the stories and beliefs that limit you, the world around you, and your connection to everything. Stories and beliefs that would like to keep you in a box, under control, and focused on anything other than why you came here.
The stories about how you need to show up in the world: what you do, how you look, where you live, who are your friends, what church you go to, who you vote for.
The ‘not enough’ stories: you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not creative enough, not caring enough. You’re house isn’t clean enough, the neighbor’s yard looks better, your kids are different, your sibling makes more than you do, your friends have better vacations that you do.
The stories about how you need to earn your worthiness or earn the permission to rest. The stories that affirm that you are only valued for what you do.
These stories and beliefs are a hamster wheel of the approval of others that you need to meet.
Like invasive plants, sometimes it is enough to cut these at the base and not water them any more. Other times you need to ruthlessly go after the roots. If it keeps coming up, it is time to go deeper and peel out the roots.
Because a new garden wants to emerge. A new life wants to emerge.
You’re ready to change. A new life is pulling on your heart. Let go of the old so you can step into the new.
In November, we will be continuing the chaotic, abruptly changing, somewhat volatile energy that we’ve been experiencing. Staying in our lane, being gentle with ourselves and others, and sorting through the subterfuge of what is coming up are familiar themes.
This month, however, it feels important to pay attention to the energy around us in a different way. The energy coming in is not just helping things surface, it is bringing in energies that are supporting and shifting us in our personal and collective timelines.
Intuition is expanding.
Here’s what I keep hearing from folks: My dreams are weird. I was thinking of someone I haven’t connected with in a while and they texted me out of the blue. The same number (song, quote, etc) keeps popping up everywhere. I keep feeling I need to trust my gut.
Intuition is knowing something that we didn’t sit down and think about or study. It’s connected to our right brain and our third eye chakra and uses our senses such as sight, hearing, and touch in the energetic as well as the physical realm.
We all do intuition differently.
Whether you’re one who ‘sees’ something or hears a message or are someone who just knows or feels something in your body, we all have certain intuitive paths that are stronger or easier for us to tap into.
We are experiencing energy waves that are part of shifts in consciousness. Whether we are aware of it or not, some of us are quite sensitive to certain energies and it can be easy to hunker down and protect against things that feel uncomfortable. And yet, if we’re willing to ride the waves, the energy can also help us transform and shift.
If you’re already a strong intuitive, the veil might feel thinner and you might feel less grounded or off your center. If trusting your intuition is new to you, it might feel a bit unnerving. You might wonder if you’re losing your grip on reality - when actually you’re gaining more of the reality of this world as is being researched by studies in quantum physics.
Know that you’re not alone. We’re all on this playground together, exploring and learning.
It can be helpful to find those who are also exploring and learning. Having others to talk with who understand and are wiling to also share their experiences can go a long way in helping us build confidence in riding those waves.
This opening and expanding is a call from our heart to become more fully ourselves. Hello heart!
I heard this word the other day in a way that got me to feel into the energy flow around ‘obsolete’.
There are many things around us, such as systems, beliefs, organizations, and ‘stuff’ that are obsolete. But we keep using them because they are there.
Sometimes they are broken; sometimes there is something better. But what is interesting is how we hang onto them because they are familiar. A routine. Available.
Our desire for comfort and our fear of change keep us stuck.
Until we’re willing to be uncomfortable, we’ll remain stuck. Until we’re willing to change the things that we do, we’ll remain stuck.
Change usually doesn’t happen with the big, jump out of airplane type events. Change usually happens with the boring, daily routines.
Until you look back a year later and see that you’re a different person.
Less obsolete stuff. More authentic stuff.
Things may be feeling pretty volatile for you, around you, and within you.
There’s quite a bit that has been hidden or ignored that is coming up from the depths. When this happens within a community or group, it may feel like betrayal over what is being revealed. The systems in our world can appear shaky and, while we know things need to change, we have come to depend on these systems. So change, even change we might be looking to see, can leave us off balance, ungrounded, and not centered.
At a personal level, these things that we have hidden or ignored are often our shadow work. We hid it or ignored it for a reason. Unless we’re ready to do the inner work, our shadows popping up can feel like unwanted guests.
This is coupled with the energy of a new moon and a partial solar eclipse this week. New moons are all about new beginnings but are also times where we may need additional rest, nurture, and time for contemplation. The energy of a solar eclipse can help remove obstacles that are getting in the way of us following the purpose of our heart.
So we feel unsettled, our shadows are popping up, we need some down time, and yet we feel like we should be moving forward in some way. No wonder things might feel volatile.
But all of this, which feels like things are breaking down, is actually the gateway to breakthrough.
We are shifting and changing. Our world is shift and changing. And we are all here to help create a new future.
In the midst of this breakdown and volatility, we may find increased tension in us and with others. There are a couple of things we can do to that might help:
Stay in our own lane.
Work on our personal transformation.
Be non-judgmental of others on their own journey.
Be gentle with ourselves and others.
how’s your heart this week?
For some, it has been a week of amazing joy and surprises. Play and adventure.
For others, it has been a week of loss, grief, and crumbling dreams.
In addition to how your external week has been, internally many people are also feeling ‘it’ without really knowing what ‘it’ is.
We can sense that there’s a cycle ending. We can feel the momentum of where we’ve been but we’re not sure where we’re headed. It’s like when the plane begins to make the final turn for descent and landing. Something feels different.
If we look around, we recognize the tension between the old systems which are breaking down (or being broken down) and the new, which aren’t quite here yet. The old ideas, which some are holding onto quite tightly, and the new, which feel a bit chaotic at times.
However, the biggest tension is going on inside of each of us.
This is the tension between the old self and the new self.
Who we’ve been. Who are we becoming.
And here’s the thing. We can’t become the new while holding onto the old.
To step into new ways of being, we can’t do the same old thing. Or, as Einstein is reported to have said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If we want things to be different, we have to make different choices.
Change is simple, but it is not always easy.
However, change can start today. Simply by stopping something, starting something, or doing one thing differently.
Pick something small. Pick something doable. And then do it.
Whatcha gonna do?
In a season of healing, we long for peace and harmony. And yet, what we often find is conflict and drama – from others and in ourselves.
That emotional trauma that has been buried deeply, from whatever happened and whenever it happened, wants to come out. Sometimes we know to seek out someone who can hold space for us to process, body work, journaling time, or other ways of healing to let this work its way out of our body. However, even the most zen amongst us can still find themselves being snide, snarky, crying, or lashing out when these unsettled emotions bubble up.
Layer onto this that many people have not seen someone model healthy ways of processing. They’ve never been taught basic ways of handling their own emotions and inner chaos. So, they are also out there being snide, snarky, crying, or lashing out.
Two very important things to note:
What we end up with is a lot of conflict energy.
The conflict energy is almost never about what is happening in the moment.
We’re looking for a fight because we have this fight within us. Whatever is happening around us is just the bridge we use to get it out.
No, it is not the other person’s fault. Nor are we at fault when they unleash around us. We like to have scapegoats for our blow ups because we haven’t yet recognized that it is the chaos within us driving the situation.
So, what to do with conflict energy in and around us?
If it comes up from another, the first step is to recognize that the level 8 responses to a level 2 situation is a great clue that it is them, not us. If this is someone we know well, we may wish to hold space to help them process. But other times, we may need to put distance between us because they have a pattern of responding this way, the situation doesn’t feel safe, or we don’t have the capacity to in ourself to hold this kind of space for another at this time.
If we find ourself in conflict energy, it can be really helpful to burn up some of the physical energy that often accompanies conflict. A run, dancing around the house, a deep cry, or shaking (trauma releasing) are the types of things that can help move this energy in our body.
Once our physical body has calmed, we are more ready for talking, journaling, drawing, or other reflective and contemplative practices that help us go within.
Finally, don’t forget to breathe. A couple of breaths, letting the exhale be a little longer than the inhale, and allowing the shoulder blades to relax and drop, can help us do a mini reset until we have longer to process.
This is a transitional period where many are experiencing endings, shedding (or maybe shredding), and releasing. But it is also a period of openings, beginnings, and going through new doors.
After so long of our patterns and routines, of holding it together, and of letting go, the transition to doing something different can be a really odd ask on our body. Even if we really want something new. Even if we’ve been searching for and seeking something new. The action of ‘doing something new’ can bring up fear and resistance.
I remember a season of extreme loneliness in my life. I was going through some internal shifts and had seen friend after friend pull away or disconnect. Looking back, I now know I was going through one of these transitional periods but in the moment, I wondered what was going on, what was wrong with me, and would I ever have deep friendships again. Finding my people, whatever that meant, had become my mantra.
Walking out at the end of an evening class, I was invited to join some folks for pizza and beer but I had something significant due the next morning so I regretfully declined. Besides, the introvert side of me was looking for quiet coffee conversations rather that busy bar scenes. But as I was walking across the parking lot, a thought intersected my busy mind: ‘you’ve been looking for this’. I hustled back and joined the group. Today, I can see the friendships that were began that evening.
The reality is, that if we keep doing the same stuff, we’re likely gonna end up with the same results.
So, how do we begin to move in a new direction?
We quite literally have to do something.
But what if we do the wrong thing?
Well, we stop doing that thing and do something else.
Energetically, it is easier to change the direction an object is moving in than it is to move an object from rest. This has to do with inertia and overcoming static friction … and the same is true of us! So, if we make a change and don’t like it, we’ll find it easier to change directions to something we do like than starting from square one.
So, how small can this small thing be? Well, back to the friendship example. I could:
Have some fun exploring what might be your ‘something/anything’.
And, if you’re in that place of healing or releasing right now, know that it is also ok to simply ‘be’. If this is you, perhaps your ‘something/anything’ might be to rest or to listen to what your body needs.