Be an Escape Artist

Be an escape artist. For a day. Or an hour. Or five minutes. To master the art of the escape, you need only three things: desire, vision, and opportunity. Escape artists are half methodical thinkers and half carpe diem joyriders. You can be both to take regular getaways from the ties that bind you.

Don’t get me wrong – I like my life. In fact, I love much about my life. But we humans carry a lot of stress and a lot of responsibility, and sometimes we need a break from the weight of it. A short break is a mini-vacation. Sometimes a mini mini-vacation. With a little planning and fortitude, your escape retreat time will work.

Empaths especially need escape time from others – even from those whom we love. This is no reflection on them or on us. We just need it. Why?

  1. To think our own thoughts (without interruption).
  2. To feel our own feelings (without intrusion of other’s feelings).
  3. To come and go as we please (literally).

When my children were very young, I had two hours a week to myself due to an overlap in scheduling. Two hours off duty from my job and from parenting. Those two hours were precious, and I made the most of them. They were my mini-escape and my mini-vacation where I could just think and feel and go and be. Now that they are older, I recently attended an overnight conference. I made sure to plan “escape” time and enjoyed some brisk walks and a movie that took me far away from home.

I encourage you to plan an escape and get some time away from all others. You will return brighter and better for your time away. It’s a way to protect and grow your own little inner light so that when you return, you can shine it all the more brightly on others.

Do the Best With What You Got

“I’m doing the best with what I got,” my sister often says. But she doesn’t stop there. She tries to make “what she got” a little bit better. You can too. One way to make “what you got” a little bit better is by doing yoga on a regular basis. It makes “what you got” stronger, more flexible and more stable. Yoga can help bring balance to your body and to your life, and it can literally change the way that you breathe.

You have one body. You were born with it, but it also carries your life history. Your body is a living combination of nature and nurture. Slightly crooked backs run in my family, only mine is more crooked than slightly. Yoga has taught me to accept my back but also to help it. I can’t make my spine straighter, but I can give it more flexibility and stability. And I can learn to breathe more calmly while I do it.

All forms of yoga focus on mind, body, and spirit, but yoga classes and teachers can vary widely. I encourage you to investigate before committing. Many classes teach Hatha yoga, and one form of Hatha yoga is Iyengar. I like this type of yoga because it is gentle. Iyengar yoga focuses on alignment, postures, and breath control. It is for all body types and all ages, and it lends itself as yoga therapy. Instructors will talk you through the breathing and the poses and give you blankets, pillows, or straps to assist you. Once you learn the basics, you can also practice yoga at home via DVD or on line videos.

Yoga also helps ground me – and grounding can be a challenge for empaths. By starting my day with yoga, I feel connected to the earth and to myself. My energy feels balanced, my breathing is low and steady, and my spine has gotten the encouragement it needs to meet the many demands of my day.

The closing words from Rodney Yee (accompanied by soft music and scenic ocean waves) on his AM Yoga DVD summarize why I get up early to start my day with yoga practice.  “Begin each and every day with openness and peace.” I wish the same for you. Namaste.


Oh, You Again

Ready or not, here comes change. Often, not. Change will grab hold of your life and demand your attention. You cannot avoid it. Not even a sidestep. It wants you, and though you may think that you don’t, you need it too.

People say to “embrace change.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t “embrace” it. It is not my dear friend. No kisses for you. Sorry. However, I have learned to recognize change when it comes to greet me. It’s not exactly “Hello Old Friend,” but more of “Oh, it’s You again.” I can shake hands with it as you would a wayward aunt or uncle who kinda knows you. When it draws me close, I can handle it, though reluctantly.

I will give change this – it breeds new experiences. New perspectives. New wisdom. Change makes you think of things that you never had to think about before. Change makes you walk in new shoes and wonder what it has been like for the many others in the many shoes in the same predicament that you are now facing. Change makes you stop in your tracks and examine your life. Sometimes, it literally takes your breath away.

Change can range from the catastrophic to glorious and everything in between. Death, divorce, abuse, accident, illness. Birth, marriage, romance, glory, renewed health. Jobs, moves. And of course, love. Those are some big ones that you may have met. There are more with each and every one personal to you. Personal to the core.

Change touches our hearts first. My heart reacts with “No, no, NO” or Yes, yes, YES.” I am not complacent when it comes to change. I feel it deeply, and it knocks me off my feet. For hours. Or days. Or weeks. What helps me at these times is to gather support from my trusted posse and to gather as much knowledge as I can from whatever sources are available. Often the greatest help is learning about others who have been through the same experiences. How did they survive? How will you?

And then you decide the next steps. Adjust your attitude. Adjust your thinking. Adjust your life. Reflect. Pray. Add or subtract to your daily routine. Stretch toward regaining wholeness. Recognize your own true light again, and know that it still burns.

Generosity of Spirit

Generosity of Spirit. Generosity is the readiness to give more. Spirit rests in the emotional center inside us.   Generous can also mean large – so a generous person is large in spirit. Someone with a generous spirit is someone who lives and breathes openness and compassion. A person with a generous spirit will seek connection with others with an open heart and an open mind. Kindness is their mantra, and this is evident in how they life their life. Do you have a generous spirit? Would you like to?

I think that empaths do manifest generosity of spirit, but we do it in a quiet way. Our initial approach is understanding not judging, and we are often the listeners at work who people turn to again and again. We are the kind friend and the nurturing parent. We will go the extra mile and hold your hand through the difficult times. We are the bridge of understanding in family conflicts. We are the gift givers of time and patience.

Value your generosity of spirit and grow it more. It is likely one of your best qualities and what makes you you. At times, when I feel my spirit waning, I make a conscious choice to nurture it. How? I go out and look around. See the beauty and the gift and the power of nature and realize that you are a part of this beautiful world. See the innocence of children and watch them just being their own untainted selves and remember your own innocence and that you are still growing. See other people and remember that they are usually doing the best that they can on any given day. In essence, observe. Observe it all through the lens of openness and compassion and feel replenished.

Generosity of spirit is a gift, but it is also a responsibility. We are called to accept and embrace others. We are called to walk the world with our hearts in our hands and to build connections with others and among others. Are you up for the challenge? (I believe I hear your heart whispering….yes.)

Relaxing is an Activity

It might sound strange, but sometimes we forget to relax. Really. No kidding. We don’t schedule relaxing time into our days. (Have you ever written “relax” on your to do list? No, I didn’t think so.) And by the way, collapsing at the end of the day is not the same as relaxing.

Relaxing takes intention. We relax with focused intention. We choose to take time just for ourselves that will help replenish our depleted energy.

Empaths especially get depleted because we absorb other people’s energy, and our own emotions are often very intense. By the end of the day, our emotional cup is overflowing. Imagine a cup under a running faucet. You are the cup which can hold water easily. But the tap doesn’t get turned off and the emotional waterfall keeps on coming. Empaths can’t turn it off, but we can step out of the waterfall and dry off in the sun of relaxation.

So what does relaxation look like for you? Relaxing takes many forms, and you need to find which relaxing activities are enjoyable and restorative and doable for you. Here is some simple advice and a list from

How to chill out

There are a lot of different things you can do to relax and chill out. A lot of forms of relaxation, like walking and sitting quietly, are really simple, easy to do, and don’t take much time. Others require more discipline and some training. Everyone will find some strategies for relaxation work better than others. The best thing to do is try out some of the suggestions below and make the ones that best fit your lifestyle a regular habit.

Some relaxation activities include:
Going for a walk
Taking some time out and really focussing on what’s happening around you
Listening to quiet and relaxing music, which impacts your heart rate
Going fishing
Playing your favourite sport
Taking a bath
Going to a movie or watching a DVD
Focussing your attention on a puzzle
Reading a book
Learning yoga or meditation
Practicing meditation”

When you take time to relax, your life will be better – for you and for those around you. Just do it.