Empaths See Inside

An empath can look into your eyes and see your heart. If “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” (Shakespeare), then I would add that the heart is the soul’s keeper. To us, the soul is the seat of our deepest and truest part and where our emotional self lives. Empaths have this second sight of seeing in through this window. We are let in without even trying. We just know. It is a trait and a blessing that we must handle with care and compassion.

It is an unusual gift to be able to see the feelings of another, and for a long time, I didn’t understand it. To see the walking wounded and not be swallowed up by their feelings was, and still is, difficult. To be compassionate and caring without losing yourself was, and still is, difficult. To realize that you have this great gift of empathy to extend to others has to be balanced with realizing that you have to extend it to yourself too. You have to VALUE and TRUST your own emotions.

Emotions are evident in someone’s face, and empaths often have an uncanny memory for faces (not names). It’s in the eyes, the windows to the soul. Empaths will intuitively think – What are you feeling? And what do you need from me? And are you honest? Empaths will sense this in any encounter with another. We are good seers and good listeners.

So how do you use your power for the greater good of others and be kind to yourself?  You can’t help but get down in the trenches of emotion, but here is some advice.

  1. 1. Be a helper and listener to others, but reflect back rather than absorb ALL their emotions. This will help others learn how to become stronger as they deal with their own issues.
  2. 2. Know your limits to helping. You are not there to be your friend’s psychologist or receptacle.
  3. 3. Acknowledge your bullshit detector. You know when someone is lying; don’t give them an audience.
  4. 4. Acknowledge the drama kings and queens. Yes, the emotional highs will be awesome, but it’s not worth the lows. Emotional yo-yo is not a game for you.
  5. 5. Help those who are open to your gifts. Listen well. Share your empathy with someone who is struggling with an issue or decision.
  6. 6. Be yourself. You accept others, expect the same in return.



Ready as I’ll Ever Be

Sometimes, we may not feel ready for what’s coming our way. But it doesn’t matter. It keeps coming anyway. Life happens. Opportunities come. Heartaches come. Change comes – like it or not – ready or not. Life is an ever evolving story complete with ups and downs and everything in between.

Remember playing hide-n-seek as children? What does the seeker announce after all the kids hide? “Ready or not, here I come….” It is the rare child that is so deeply hidden that does not get found.

Life is like that too. You will get found. You will be called upon. Seekers will come your way. And they wear many different guises. Some will be welcome. (“Yay, a baby!”) Some will be unwelcome. (“Why is this happening to me?”) And some will be simply unexpected. (“Say…what??”)

So what can we do to prepare for the unexpected? The answer is a lot and nothing.

We can show up. We can participate in what is happening (even if we wish it weren’t). We can choose courage over fear (which is much easier said than done). We can remember to breathe, to garner support from our close posse of family and friends, and to get advice from reliable sources. And we can keep moving ahead one step at a time.

Like writer Glennon Doyle, we can say, “I’m not ready, but yes, anyway.” This quote encapsulates what I have felt, and you have likely felt, many times in life. For Doyle, the first “not ready, but yes, anyway” was an unexpected pregnancy. The next “not ready, but yes, anyway” was getting sober. This was followed by a “not ready, but yes, anyway” of writing and being “plunged into things I felt wholly unqualified to do.” But she kept doing them anyway. She kept showing up. Her work got published, and her talks got listened to. And she shares with us, “My mantra is faith and sweat.” (Glennon Doyle in Sept. 2017 issue of O Magazine)

My mantra is “Be Brave,” and I wear it on a bracelet every day. It reminds me to go ahead and put my feet in the water, try new things, and be open to new experiences and people. It also reminds me to have faith in times of despair when attitude and faith are all that I have left.

Because ready or not, here life comes.

Because Your Body Matters

You have one body, and it houses your soul. Treat it with kindness. Not indifference. Treat it with love. Not disdain. Treat it with care. Not obliviousness. I am guilty of all three of the above at different times in my life. But as I did more soul work, I began to do more body work. I realized that the two go hand-in-hand, and it is foolish not to think so. They support each other, and together, they ARE you.

I learned to take care of my body when parts of it started not to work so well. When I couldn’t function full steam ahead. (And nothing will get your attention like blood in the wrong place!) I was able to see that my body was sending me distress signals. My body was stopping me in my tracks and telling me  to pay attention to it and give it the love and care that I so freely gave to others in my orbit.

I needed to make life style changes that would ultimately help both my body and soul. Many changes were put in place – some were drastic and some were gradual. I learned that what I put into my body mattered, so I follow dietary restrictions. I learned that “side effects” is a label warning on medicine that should be taken seriously, so I got off medicine that was hurting more than helping. I learned that a little bit of exercise daily leads to a lot of improved health. I learned a great respect for physical and massage therapists; they are on the front lines of body-soul healing.  I learned to tell my inner posse the truth of what was going on and to lean on them (hard for an empath). I had to learn (and am still learning) to manage stress better (and differently) because it really can make you sick in body and soul.

I also learned to meet my body where it’s at. Which is not perfection. Gotta accept and love all of it. The crooked back along with the lovely eyes. The sensitive stomach along with the strong heart. Your body/soul is what makes you, you. And there is only one you in the whole entire universe. Isn’t that amazing? Aren’t you amazing?





Good at This, Bad at That

We all have natural ability areas and challenging areas, but when we say, “I am good at this and bad at that,” we limit ourselves terribly. We may not even know that we are doing it. We keep doing what we seem to be good at, and we start avoiding what is harder for us to do. We sort ourselves into two boxes. One box (the stuff I’m good at) gets filled to capacity, and the other box (the stuff I’m bad at) gets doomed to emptiness, perhaps forever.

Don’t get me wrong, enjoy your gifts and natural talents, and make the most of them. However, look at the flip side too. Don’t limit yourself. I’m suggesting that no matter your age, you keep your options to grow open.

Unfortunately, the good at – bad at trend starts early. In childhood. In families. In friendships. In schools. Our natural talents are visible, we get praise for them, and we naturally choose to develop them. The “good at” grows rapidly, and we learn self-confidence and self-worth, which is a good thing. But the flip side is that we learn to avoid other things that we COULD become good at. Or that we could become okay at ~ but immensely enjoy.

“Yet” and “sensei” are two words reflecting concepts that can help shift you to become better at something that you think that you are bad at. Pick something that is hard for you and that you wish you were better at. Say your phrase and add the word “yet” at the end. “I am not good at ______________ yet.” You’ve just started your growth mindset. By adding “yet” you recognize that you are a work in progress and willing to grow. (You are shifting from the belief that you are not doomed at ____________ forever!)

Next, find a “sensei” (or more than one) to help you improve. Sensei is the Japanese word for teacher/mentor/expert/wise specialist. Seek someone who can teach, guide, and stretch you in your new direction and support and advise you as needed. Someone who can dedicate the time to you as you learn and practice the skills needed in your growth area.

Me, I’m working on my computer skills. Right here, right now. A work in progress. What’s yours?