Change

Does change come to you or do you go to change? Do you seek it out or does it seek you out? Do you take a step toward change or does it take a step towards you?

Change = “to make or become different.” But how different do I want to be? How different do I want my life to be?

The expression the winds of change implies that they will blow your way at some point. They are coming for us. Ready or not. (Like it or not.) Often we think not – but we usually are more ready than we know. Or at least as ready as we’ll ever be. (We likely are way past ready.)

Sometimes, we hope and pray for change. Sometimes, we dread it. Either way, change is difficult for us. Because it is the unknown. And the unknown can be scary. So we hope that the winds of change are gentle. We hope that the winds of change don’t approach us as a damn hurricane.

If we embrace them as they approach, the winds won’t flatten us. But the more we resist, the stronger they get. And they are coming. And they are necessary. Because they can make you look at the stormy issue that you have been ignoring. They can make you deal with the unhealthy situation that has gotten out of control. They can force you to take a good look at your darkening sky. They can blow away the emotional debris of your life to clean house. The winds of change will force catharsis. They will make us become different, and become better.

Weather the storm when the winds of change blow in. Seek help from some and refuge from others. Live one day at a time. Take one step at a time. Those who don’t want you to change (for the better!) will eventually be driven off by the storm. Good. This makes room for new people and new opportunities. And changes will lead to growth.

Change may be hard, and it may or may not be welcome. But either way, it will arrive on your doorstep or blow in through your windows. It will make you pay attention to it because change usually comes to you when you need it most. And once you are different, YOU are changed, the winds will simply blow away.

“No” is a Complete Sentence.

No. Nope. Uh-uh. No way. No thanks. I can’t…. There are so many ways to say “no,” so why is it so hard for some of us?

Sensitive people don’t like to disappoint others. We want to help. Empaths know what you are feeling, what you want. Also, we have trouble with boundaries. A lot of trouble. And people who don’t respect boundaries are often drawn to us. Saying “no” is a challenge for us.

Two thoughts to keep in mind:

You can still be a good person and say no.

“No” is a complete sentence. ~ Annie Lamott

Highly sensitive people often say “yes” because they want to be kind. But is it really kind to say “yes” when you mean “no?” It is dishonest at best and underhanded at worst. Because when you say “yes” to a commitment but don’t mean it, you have planted the seeds of resentment.

” A great way to tell when you feel ‘no’ is to watch for resentfulness. Resentment is the red flag that lets you know you are in a situation with an energy imbalance, where you are giving more to a situation than you are getting back.” ~ Lisa Campion

It is normal and healthy to say “no” when you don’t want to do something. You are being true to yourself, you are being honest, and maybe there is someone else who actually wants to do the thing that you don’t want to do. (It’s also not a bad thing for someone to have to figure out something by themselves.)

Some advice:

~ Be direct. Use the “no” word.

~ Don’t apologize for saying no.

~ Giving a reason is optional.

~ Trust your feelings/gut.

~ Provide an alternative, if you wish.

~ Avoid serial askers.

Be prepared – people do not like hearing “no.” (Do you?) So there will be some uncomfortable feelings. We just gotta ride that wave til it passes. Not passing, make an exit til the tide clears.

People say “no” all the time. You can too. When you say “no” to others, it is often saying “yes” to yourself – to your beliefs, to your time, to your own needs. Say “yes” to you.

 

So You Were Born an Empath

 

So you were born an empath.

Where do you go from here?

Do you rise to the occasion, yield to the path that you were given,

let it shape you, and allow Life to use you as a vessel,

Or do you hide, shrink, and leave?

Do you choose the path of psychic retreat or that of emotional warriorship?

Ultimately, you root to rise

not because it is moral, or even particularly honourable,

But because it is the only way to go.

~ Imi

(from Eggshell Therapy and Coaching)

 

Creating a Peaceful Home in a Turbulent World

May all grow strong in this place of healing, our sanctuary from the loudness of the world.                 Marianne Williamson

My dream home is a cottage on the beach. My real home is not a cottage on the beach. However, I can still create a dreamy peaceful haven in the home that I inhabit. So can you.

In these uncertain and turbulent times, it is more important than ever to have a home sanctuary, a safe harbor, a port in a storm. Google defines haven and sanctuary the same as “a place of safety and refuge.” Shelter is “a place giving protection from bad weather or danger.” Home is more than just a place to live. Or it can be.

Serene. Calm. Welcoming. Peaceful. Cozy. Do these words conjure up your home? If yes, great! Think about how you did it, and do more of it. If no, no worries. We can always modify our homes to get the good vibes that we want them to give. We can create homes that are restorative, relaxing, harmonious, and rejuvenating.

Think sensory and decorate with intention. Colors, pictures, objects, and photos create a mood. Only keep objects that give off good vibes and provide good memories.  Bring natural beauty like wood, plants, and shells into your home.  Be aware of the sounds and the smells of your home. We can adjust with music, candles, foods, etc.

All rooms matter, so get rid of clutter and bad mojo. Clutter is the opposite of calm, so put away or give away excess stuff. Bad mojo can come from an object or a person. Either way, you don’t want it/them in your home. Throw away or give away an object from anyone who upsets you. Open the windows for air or light some candles with prayers to get rid of lingering negative energy when certain people have been in your home.

We can carve a little private personal sanctuary space in our homes. Like me, you may not have the luxury of a room, so it may be a corner or a desk or something as small as a shelf. Fill it with objects just for you. Objects and pictures that make you feel better and make you feel whole. Spend time there every day.

Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. ~ Cecelia Ahern …. Let’s make it both.

 

 

 

 

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water

People tell me things. Important things. Personal things. Things I did not ask to know. They tell me stories from their lives. Stories that matter. Stories of struggles and stories of heartaches. Often they tell me half finished stories with unknown endings. Often they are people who I barely know. It just spills out.

Empathic and highly sensitive people embody kindness. We respond with empathy. Which is the response someone will always be looking for. No one wants to be judged; they want to be listened to. It’s not the same thing. So when we engage with others, and they sense our warmth and compassion, we are often confided in.

When someone tells you their story, they are giving you a gift (although it may not feel like it initially). They are trusting us with their feelings, their experiences, their memories. It’s a way of saying – look what happened to me, look what I did, look how it is effecting me, look what may come next ….and I want to tell you. I trust you. We take it in and we mirror it back with compassion. That is an empath and sensitive’s gift. I heard you, I see you, I feel with you – and hopefully, you’re gonna be okay.

It’s a “Bridge Over Troubled Water” moment – when someone needs to unburden themselves, and you offer to be their bridge over troubled water to help them get through this. It’s bittersweet, and it comes quite naturally to empaths and sensitives. So why not acknowledge and embrace it as the gift it is? To be a bridge is a powerful thing.

Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all (all)
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

 

The Best Presents Are Experiences, Not Things

I love presents as much as the next person. But the BEST gifts are experiences, not things. Think about it.

In your whole life, how many presents can your recall? Now how many of them do you recall because they were wonderful or meaningful in some way? (Not because they were ugly, weird, etc.?) I’ll bet less than 20. Maybe 12.  In your whole life.

Now think about some meaningful experiences that you have had with others. Experiences that were someone else’s original plan, not yours. Experiences that were offered to you to participate in. As gifts. I would bet that you could remember over 75% of them, which would take you well over 12.

The gift of shared experience offers us so much more. This gift is by nature more giving. It is by nature more thoughtful. And it is by nature more enduring. Who doesn’t want to give and receive a gift that is thoughtful and enduring?

And don’t forget fun. Usually these gifts are pretty fun. Instead of the gift opening with the one second exclamation of “wow, thank so much,” you’re going on a ride together. Buckle up.

Still unsure about what I’m talking about? Here are some real life examples. Your friend invites you to pick out your own pet for your birthday. Friend will purchase whatever pet you want. S/he will take you to as many places as you want and help you get your choice including supplies. Example two – you have a very demanding life, but you love it. Once a year, however, you and your sibling go away for a few days together to unwind. You pick the place together, your sibling plans the itinerary. The whole thing. You are thrilled to go without having to be the organizer. Example three – your spouse invites you out to lunch and a walk in the country just because it’s Saturday, and the sun is shining, and s/he wants to hold your hand for a while.

Be open to giving and accepting the precious gift of shared experience. The more open we are, the more we will have, and the richer our lives will be.

 

 

Help, Thanks, Wow

There are 3 basic prayers: Help. Thanks. Wow.

So says Anne Lamott in her book HELP THANKS WOW – The Three Essential Prayers. Below is the gist of her book. All quotes are hers.

Keep it simple – “God can handle honesty, and prayer begins in honest conversation. My belief is that when you are telling the truth, you are close to God.”

Help – “Help us walk through this. Help us come through.  It is the first great prayer.”  “Praying ‘Help’ means that we ask the Something give us the courage to stop in our tracks….”    

Thanks – “You say, Thank you for lifting this corner of the curtain so I can see the truth, maybe for just a moment, but in a way that might change my life forever.”  “To have been so lost that you felt abducted, to feeling found returned, and set back onto you feet:  Oh my God, thank you – thankyouthankyou. Thank you. Thanks.” 

Wow – “‘Wow’ means we are not dulled to wonder. We click into being fully present where we’re stunned into that gasp…’Wow’ is having ones mind blown by the mesmerizing or the miraculous: the veins in a leaf, birdsong, volcanoes.”

Why pray? – C.S. Lewis wrote: “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.”

“Those are the basic instructions, to which I can add only:  Amen. Let it happen!”

Flow

 

I can match you. Without even trying. It’s pure instinct for an empath. My emotions will rise up to meet and mix with yours. It’s crazy scary but exciting for a young empath. As you get older, you can learn to recognize the green lights and the red flags and where each encounter is likely headed.  We can choose to lean in or get away. Because when your emotions become ours, it changes us. Simpatico cool and good. OR simpatico creepy and scary. That’s why we need to be careful who we spend time with. If your emotions bleed into us, does it make us feel energized or exhausted? Depends on the emotion.

People like to be around empaths because we are good listeners. We are intense listeners. We are in the moment with you. We will meet you where you are. We become linked in. But do we want to link into the emotion you are serving up?

See the attached image. Emotional flow. Emotions can flow or be static. When I feel wary of the inner emotions coming my way from someone in close proximity to me, I try to picture their inside vibrations. If there is flow – like flowing lines – it’s okay. Emotions are flowing normally. If there are a lot of jagged and static lines, I disengage as quickly as possible because the chaotic feelings are overwhelming. I can’t quiet their emotions, and I have learned that it does an empath great harm to absorb toxic emotions for someone else’s relief.

So what are some examples of great flow moments and big static moments? Flow moments occur when combining with someone else’s emotions to achieve a higher (sometimes euphoric) level. They happen in romance, at concerts, during sporting events, while hiking. Worst static moments occur near someone out to do you emotional or physical harm. They happen in assault, browbeating, instability, shaming. Of course there are other examples of both, but you get the idea of the fun or the danger that empaths face when commingling emotions.

Tuning in to flow helps empaths know when to go for the ride and when to jump off the train.

Think about it cuz you know you’re gonna feel it.

 

Be Radiant

The most irresistible beauty is the radiant glow from a kind and gentle heart. ~ Richelle C. Goodrich

How to combat the darkness of the world? Be radiant. Seriously. Be radiant.

“Radiant” means sending out light; shining brightly. How can we shine our lights in a world that is increasingly consumed with bitterness and hatred? We can shine in spite of it. We can actively turn away from the tide of negativity and destruction, and we can actively turn toward optimism, growth, and rebirth.

From the ashes I rise. I am blooming into something radiant. ~ Melody Lee

We are born radiant. The light shines freely from a baby’s eyes. So what happens to us? People and experiences. Some people will try to douse your light on purpose; sometimes it’s by accident. Same with experiences. I’ve had people literally and knowingly try to snuff out my light, my spark, my hopes and dreams in the world. I’ve been told “You can’t be for real,” and “Now, you are damaged just like me.” It hurt, but I crawled toward help, and I never really believed the light squashers – because I learned that misery loves company and so I fled them.

They can change their minds but they can’t change me. I got a dream, I got a dream. ~ Jim Croce 

Keep moving. When our light is flickering and we need to stoke it, we can move toward things that fill us up. We can go out in the natural world and move through its beauty. We can move away from people and experiences that harm us and do not have our best interests at heart.  We can nurture our light with prayer, with kindness, with music, with travel, with love, with friendship, with breath, with whatever keeps us balanced in this unbalanced world.

Escape from the black cloud that surrounds you. Then you will see your own light as radiant as the moon. ~ Rumi

What is the point of radiance? To shine light and to send it out into the world. And that is how we can combat the discord that has the world bleeding. We can be in direct opposition to it by how we live, how we  heal, and how we interact with others. So be a lighthouse to yourself and others by keeping your own glow bright and strong. Defy the times. Be radiant.

 

 

Google “An Empath Is”

When I googled “an empath is” – this is what came up (in order):

  •  being an empath is killing me
  •  being an empath is exhausting 
  •  being an empath is hard
  •  when an empath is angry
  •  when an empath is hurt
  •  being an empath is ruining my life
  •  being an empath is draining
  •  being an empath is painful
  • when an empath gets depressed 

What? Is that it? Pain & Misery make the top ten on the Empath List? No, I don’t think so. No, I know not. I Googled “an empath is” on multiple days and even at different times of the day. Same list. Again and again. I’m not a computer tech at Google, so I don’t know how the drop down menu from a Google search is selected. I am an empath, and I do know that there are many articles and posts on the web addressing many empath characteristics, issues, and concerns. And they are not all negative.

There is a downside and an upside to almost everything. That includes being an empath. Feeling deeply can be really hard (pain, grief, etc.) Feeling deeply can be really wonderful (love, joy, etc.)  Feeling others feelings can be energizing (excitement, happiness, etc) or it can be exhausting (anger, sadness, etc.) The key is to see the big picture and to recognize yourself in it. In any given situation – Where is your balance? What is your role? How can you join in? How can you step away?

An empath is an empath. There is no changing who you are. But like everyone else, empaths are on a life journey where there are better and worse ways to navigate. Self- awareness and self-understanding will help guide your compass. Don’t let others define you or determine your happiness level. You decide how to finish the sentence.