3 Ways to Stay Balanced as an Empath

Empaths

To have true authority and empowerment in our lives, it’s crucial to balance our masculine and feminine energies. Many empaths and highly sensitive people allow their energies to get extremely out of balance, being controlled by emotions and not allowing our more masculine energies to provide boundaries/structure.

Masculine energy is crucial to balance – especially for empaths and highly sensitive people, (or anyone who comes from an abusive background).

Here are 3 Tips to help balance these energies:

  1. Choose to take authority: A lot of us forget we have authority over our lives/actions/decisions. When we allow our yoda badassemotions or sensitivities to control us, we often feel at the mercy of external forces, but being highly sensitive is not an excuse to be lazy about our energy. Once we realize our thoughts/feelings/and emotions are creating and influencing the way we experience this reality, the more crucial it becomes to own our power. Direct and conscious force of will comes from our masculine energy, and it’s important to use our masculine energy to provide balance, structure, and boundaries for our creative, powerful feminine energy. We have authority to choose what we allow ourselves to feel and focus on. We have authority to choose how we will respond to the world around us. Claim that authority.
  1. Will peace and good things to flow into your life (don’t wait to FEEL them): So many of us (especially if we’ve been abused or are highly sensitive/empathic) grew up feeling as if we were at the mercy of everyone else’s will – like we had no will of our own. This alone is the root of most of our issues: our problem with co-dependency, our tendency to be led like sheep, allowing others to overpower us, and not seeing/allowing or acknowledging our strength to come forth. We have to choose to WILL things in our life, and not wait to feel like doing something – or wait to feel like we’re powerful. This is crucial if we are to truly be empowered. We can choose peace. We can will ourselves to be free from every whim of emotion. We can use our strength to WILL positive energies into our lives. When we make a firm decision to choose good things for us, our emotions/feelings will catch-up. Once we trust our will (or masculine energy) to choose what’s in our best interest, our more sensitive/creative side will learn to trust us and will be free to flow toward joy.
  1. Use your words wisely and with intention: How we speak and feel about ourselves determines (to an I AMastronomical proportion) whether we feel empowered and confident, or disempowered and weak. A lot of highly sensitive people (and empaths) refer to themselves in incredibly disempowering terms. Again, this typically stems from abuse, and we’ve learned to use our sensitivities/weakness as a way to get others to love us. Often, being “in need” or helpless, is the only way we experience the intimacy we so crave. We’ve had to learn this in order survive. But there comes a time when it no longer works. Eventually others tire of always having to rescue us, and we tire of being the weakest link. It’s time to take responsibility for our lives in every manor, and this includes how we speak about ourselves. Notice your self talk. Notice what you say after “I am” and how you describe yourself to others. If we continue to use words like “too sensitive” or “scared” or “overwhelmed” – we will never have freedom. Don’t use your sensitivities as an excuse to a victim.

Stepping into our power is stepping out of a victim vibration and into responsibility. We must do it with love and compassion, but do it, nonetheless. If we use our will and our authority over ourselves to demean, put down, and demonize our sensitivities, we will never be able to fully trust and ground into our strength – and our strength will never trust our emotional power. As long as we are at war with ourselves, our lives and relationships will continue to reflect the conflict.

Make peace with your masculine and feminine energy. See their mutual power and remember that one is always less without the other. Once we begin to trust our strength and our sensitivities, we will truly step into empowerment.

If you want to go deeper into learning about how to stay balanced/empowered/and healthy as an empath, check out the How to Heal and Thrive as an Empath online class.

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Empaths and Highly Sensitive People: Not the Same Thing (pt 2)

Empaths

Last week I posted an article on some of the differences between empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP) which went viral in our little community.

Many people responded with comments like “It’s about time someone talked about this!” While others were a bit confused: “Wait. I was told I’m empathic, but now after reading this, I’m not so sure.”

In this audio I wanted to clear up any confusion, and expand again on some of the points I was attempting to make in the article.

Feel free to comment, like, question, or offer any feedback you have. Let’s keep the conversation going!

To dive deeper into your empathic abilities, check-out my “How to Heal and Thrive as an Empath” online class!

Happy Monday!

Empaths vs. HSP (They’re Not the Same Thing)

Empaths

NOTE: This article was written a few years ago when I was still in the process of dealing with my own anger and out of balance relationships with HSP. Much of my views have softened, expanded, and changed since then, but I leave it up because I know how many empaths go through this phase in their journey to get free, and every perspective along the way is valid.

 

The term empath and “highly sensitive person” often get lumped together, but they are not the same thing..

Most experts agree all empaths are highly sensitive, but not all highly sensitive people are empaths. Here’s the distinction:

A HSP is sensitive and primarily reactive to the energy around them. Dr. Elaine Aron, the originator of the term, defines it this way:

“A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is tearsmore easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.”

While all empaths are highly sensitive to energy, the difference is in their ability to feel and perceive another person’s actual feelings. Empaths, therefore, are more extrasensory and possess at least one significant gift for directly experiencing what it is like to be in the emotional/mental/or physical body of another– literally feeling what the other is experiencing.

This is not to be confused with basic empathy. All humans have the ability to empathize (minus sociopaths, which is an inability to comprehend another’s emotions). Example: If a friend looses their child, most humans have the ability to empathize with the tragedy, even if they themselves have never experienced a significant loss. An empath, on the other hand, might literally feel what the friend is going through in their body – the anxiety, sadness, and emotional pain mimicking in the empaths system as if they themselves were directly experiencing the loss. If the friend has a headache from crying, the empath may develop a headache as well.

See the difference?

A highly sensitive person, on the other hand, may cry and feel overwhelmed by the idea of losing a child – but due to their sensitive nervous systems, a HSP (especially if they have unhealed emotional wounds from childhood) may go into a downward spiral, taking the friend’s tragedy and making it about them “I don’t want to live in this world anymore, it’s too hard.” At this point they are not in the friend’s emotional experience, but simply using the friend’s loss as an excuse to feel their own pain.

I’m not suggesting that all HSP misappropriate emotions, but MANY do. A HSP may be triggered by the energy around telepathy-672x372them, but from that point they remain in their own emotional body/nervous system, experiencing the world through the lens of their intensely emotional and reactive world. Because of this, HSP are often lost in how they feel, unable to have a direct experience of another person’s literal experience.

Both empaths and HSP often have a difficult time dealing with emotions, and having a highly sensitive nature does not automatically make us a saint (I’m going to talk about the dark side of empathic abilities in another article but for now, I want to focus on the dark side of HSP).

Because HSP are highly reactive to energy, they often project their extreme sensitivity onto others, assuming others feel what they themselves are merely projecting. Meanwhile, as they remain consumed by their emotionally reactive state, they often entirely miss what the other is feeling. They won’t even realize they’ve changed the focus to themselves and will often think they are simply validating the other person, when in reality, they are lost in their own reaction – incapable of even noticing they have changed the subject.

In my experience, HSP actually have a difficult time reading other people’s emotions accurately. While they are highly Harry Potter You dont understandattuned to subtle energy (maybe picking up from body movement that a person is uncomfortable or upset) they will often piece together a story in their head about WHY the person is acting the way they are, usually based on their own emotional state in the moment. Because they are highly sensitive/reactive, HSP often make huge assumptions about what other people feel, when in actuality, they’re merely projecting their own fears and insecurities.

Where empaths typically have a difficult time accessing how they themselves feel (due to being lost in other people’s energy/emotions), an unhealed/unskilled HSP is nearly incapable of separating their own emotions/sensitivities from others, especially if they are in an emotional trigger.

It is especially difficult for a HSP person to realize the extreme level to which they project if they THINK they are empathic. In fact, one of the worst combinations (in my experience) is when an unhealed/unskilled HSP believes they are empathic. Now their projection/misapplication of emotions is fueled with a belief that they are, in fact, accurate in their assumptions and even possess some special, extra sensory gift.

Aye, yi, yi.

I’m not suggesting empaths don’t project. We all project to an extent, especially when we’re triggered or insecure. But for HSP, projecting often becomes the main modality for protecting themselves from the world. If they can place the cause of their highly reactive natures “out there” somewhere, they feel less overwhelmed (it also keeps them from having to take responsibility for their own emotions/projections).

For the sake of our mental and emotional health, it is crucial we not only understand the difference between HSP and empaths, but properly identify where we are on the spectrum. As noted above, all empaths are highly sensitive in nature, so they may slip into reactive tendencies like projecting. But usually an empath has the opposite problem – rather than projecting their emotions out, they draw other people’s emotions in (and get lost in the process).

For an empath, an unhealed/unskilled HSP is often the most draining type of person to be around. The strong emotional projection and reactive nature of the HSP triggers an empath’s negative tendency to feel they must take care of the other person’s emotions. In fact, relationships between HSP and empaths can be the most co-dependent (if both parties are not skilled in dealing with their sensitivities), with the HSP constantly needing the empath to validate their intensely sensitive natures, and the empath feeling responsible for HSP feelings.

When an empath does take time away from the HSP (or begins to have boundaries), the unskilled HSP will take the action Fire and waterextremely personal, interpreting the act to be directly against them and often behaving in passive aggressive ways toward the empath. Because HSP reactions are so emotionally intense, the empath often feels the energetic aggression as psychic attack.

An empath, when feeling the energy of another, literally feels what the other feels (rather than simply noticing social dynamics, energy, or subtle body movements), so shaking off the negative projection of a HSP can be especially difficult for an empath.

While an HSP can be kind and compassionate, their emotional stance and energy is typically on the defense (self-protective mode), so if the person they are attempting to “help” says or does something that triggers them, they are unable to stay (empathically) with the other, and instead launch into their own emotional body/wounds/and triggers. In my experience, this is the KEY difference between empaths and HSP.

If you constantly feel hurt and offended by other people and take make their energy/decisions/words personal (to the point where it affects your mental/emotional peace) chances are you are a HSP.

The trick for a HSP is not to put a personal story to every movement in the world around you. It’s important to learn not only to deescalate reactions and validate how you feel, but also release the storyline/meaning you give the experience. It’s the interpretation we give the energy that is painful, not the energy itself.

For empaths, the challenge is separating ourselves from other people’s emotions long enough to recognize our own. This is especially important when dealing with HSP. Sometimes the boundary line between empaths and HSP need to be even stronger than other relationships, simply because of the tendency to trigger each other’s negative traits.

It’s important to clarify: ALL EMPATHS ARE HIGHLY SENSITIVE (HSE), but not all HSP are empaths. The difference is in the primary way of processing energy. An empath has the ability to literally feel what another person is feeling (sometimes it’s emotionally, or it shows up physically — you get a headache when someone walks in the room who a head ache — that sort of thing).

Empathic abilities are extrasensory in nature. While an HSP has a sensitive central nervous system, it ‘s not necessarily extrasensory perception. Someone who is HSP (not HSE), is extremely sensitive to the energy around them, but typically is not able to completely connect to what another is literally/actually feeling because their own reactive/sensitive nature is what they primarily experience. An HSP may be able to feel and recognize when another person is upset, but they can’t literally feel what the other is feeling. It’s not that specific. In other words, their own sensitives are what they are feeling, NOT ANOTHER PERSONS.

Before you assume you’re an empath, access your emotional reaction to the world around you, first. I personally feel some of the healing/thriving techniques for empaths are not only inappropriate for HSP, but will actually exacerbate their tendency to project.

Learn what you’re dealing with, then gather the information that will best help you move forward from there.

Peace out.

5 Health Tips for Empaths and HSP

Empaths

Because my emotions/sensitivities affect everything about how I live, the decisions I make, what I will and won’t do, and chakras perfectionhow well I do my work, I’ve learned (the hard way) that if I don’t take care of my energy moment-moment-, day-by-day, I create a sort of etheric straight jacket around myself that renders me pretty useless.

When I first started learning/researching things that could help me as an empath, I noticed a common theme: hide and “protect” — defensive strategies galore. But with my job, I HAD to be around people, so I needed to learn not just how to put a bubble of protection around me, but how to line-up with the best energetic version of myself and those people as possible.

Many empaths think “shielding” and boundaries are their only forms of power, but that “solution “carries within it the very vibration of “the problem” (“I pick up negative energy that I need protection from” – is implied). But when we do this, we forget the most important part of the equation of this vibrational reality: YOU CAN’T PICK UP WHAT YOU’RE NOT A MATCH TO! So shouldn’t the solution for ANY empath involve raising your own energy so as not to be a match to low vibrations?!

energy vampires

If you stay in a disempowered, fearful vibration, you will be a match to people taking advantage of you and wanting to suck your energy. But if you do the work to keep your own energy clean (in the form of shadow work, emotional healing, physical exercise, healthy food) you can use your powerful sensitivities to attract incredible experiences into your life. Truly stepping into your power an empath is learning to open your sensitivities wide– to their most subtle perception, to breathe in the world around you – to experience what it’s like to live as a sensitive/empathic being that is deeply engaged and in love with the world – empowered and in energetic mastery. You get to come out of hiding and LIVE.

If you believe your sensitivities make you vulnerable and weak, you will emit that energy signal out to others. Therefore, one of the first health tips for ANY empath is to start seeing (and believing) how your sensitivity is a strength, how it can benefit you and make your life more enjoyable, how your sensitivities can help you enjoy life more, and when you tune-in and use them, how it can help you consciously manifest the energy you want to play with.

We are NOT powerless and there is SO MUCH MORE IN OUR CONTROL than most empaths ever allow themselves to realize.

Here are my tips for daily energetic hygiene, to keep empathic sensitivities keen, sharp, and working FOR you (rather than against you):

1. Tune-in to your energy regularly: Anyone who has taken my classes or read any past articles know I harp on this yinyangmore than anything else. If you don’t know HOW you are feeling, you can’t move in a direction that is balanced/healthy/soothing. Many empaths have trained themselves to tune their feelings out (so as not to be overwhelmed by them) but this actually works against us in more than one way. Remaining ignorant of our own emotions causes us to overcommit and burn-out, ending-up in situations that drains our energy further (from lack of attention to what our energy bodies are actually capable of), or, on the flip side – causes agoraphobic tendencies, further weakening and suppression of our stronger, more masculine energy (which is what guards and protects our feminine, receptive sensitivities – I’m not talking about gender here folks – just energy we ALL have). Ask yourself every morning when you wake-up (and throughout the day whenever you think of it) “What do I feel? What do I need? AND “What would somebody who loves themselves do?”

These three questions can change your life.

2. Drink lots of water: When we are highly sensitive to energy, our physical bodies are the first to take the brunt of energetic excess and auric clutter. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to TAKE CARE OF OUR BODIES, and drinking water is the simplest place to start. I like to prepare a jar of water infused with organic cucumbers, basil, and berries, and drink a full glass every hour. If you have to, set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget. When you do this, you ensure that your body is not only hydrated, but constantly flushing unwanted toxins/energy. It also forces you to draw attention to yourself/your body, which gives you another great opportunity to check-in “what do I need?”

3. Do regular energy cleanses: I like to imagine a white vortex of energy spinning around me, clearing and cleansing my pranayamaaura. Visualization is power, and it helps to focus regularly on having our auric fields cleared, strengthened, and sparkly. Also, when you tune-in to your auric field, pay attention to how it feels. Being empathic means you are sensitive to subtle energy, and this can be used to your benefit when it comes to energetic health and attracting experiences. Pay close attention to how your auric field feels, and use the power of meditation/visualization to strengthen your magnetism, expand your energy outward (so you’re not contracting and drawing others energy in) and keeps your energy clean so you attract clean energy in return.

4. Strengthen your vibrational boarders by balancing alone time with socializing: A lot empaths feel they need to hide from the world, but if we spend too much time alone, this can cause emotional and energetic imbalances. It also fueles a powerful resistance of “outside” energies. What we resist, persists, as they say, and the solutions for being empowered as an empath is not to resist, but to overcome.

Use your alone time to really tune into your energy, feel what you need, and meet those needs (on the most subtle, energetic level). Then, before you go out, set intentions to expand and allow your positive energy to attract the same energy back to you. Imagine your energy field as powerful and expansive. As soon as you shrink within your “protection” bubble, you put out the “I’m weak” vibe – which is a perfect match for vampiric energy.

Exposing yourself to other people’s energy regularly (and intentionally) helps you practice expanding your energy out into the world, and learning what it feels like to attract powerful, uplifting experiences. If you are a constant match to energy vampires, remember that YOU are the one fueling that connection by not strengthening your vibrational boarders through RAISING your energy. Raising your energy provides an energetic barrier – like energy matches like energy: period.  If your vibe is high, it is simply not a match to low energy. You don’t need a “bubble” of protection – you need STRONG POSITIVE, LOVING, EMPOWERED vibes. This can only come through EXPANDING OUT, not shrinking IN.

Obviously, pay attention to how you are feeling. If your energy is low and weak, build it up before you go out through connecting with nature, music, a salt bath and essential oils. Don’t pretend to feel strong when you don’t, but don’t use your empathic abilities as an excuse to hide from the world, either.

Make sense?

5. Use your words wisely: Begin saying affirmations out loud that uplift and empower you. Words are powerful, and I words have powerrecommend using phrases that draw attention to your strength (not your weakness). So many empaths talk about themselves in incredibly disempowering terms (“I’m too sensitive. I can’t handle people’s energy. I can’t go out in groups. I feel everyone’s pain, etc.”). Feel what kind of an energetic signature those words put around you. Constantly voicing what you can’t handle fuels a strong victim vibration, which makes you, once again, a PERFECT match to energy vampires and predators. Sadly, the word ‘empath’ itself has nearly become synonymous with “victim.”

Does it feel empowering to talk about yourself like that? Start changing your vocabulary about your gift, Here are some examples:

*I am an energy Jedi Master

*I can sense the deeper, more subtle energetic vibrations of love, peace, and joy, making those emotions all the more easy to flow into my life

*I deeply feel and engage with all life forms

*I have emotional mastery

*I am a powerful magnet for love and loving people

*I attract positive people into my life

*I thrive in groups because I can tune-into and feel people’s joy and happiness, which further fuels my joy

*I am a powerful feeler, and this is a strength

Feel the difference?

I hope these tips remind you of the badass, peaceful warrior you are!

If you want to learn more about empowering your empathic abilities, check-out these online classes!

Happy Wednesday!

13 Awesome Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People

Empaths

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a guest blog, but since so many empaths (myself included) often forget the amazing, deeply present and FULL OF LIFE experience they get to have as highly sensitive people, I thought I’d share these reminders (from an incredibly inspiring blog called “The Rebelle Society“).

Here are 13 awesome characteristics of of highly sensitive people (and I’ve added my notes/thoughts about each one):

#1 Intuitive — highly sensitive people tend to be aware of what is happening below the surface, in between the lines and selflovewithout an articulated reasoning.

My note: (this gives us a multi-dimensional/multi-colorful experience in any situation, and if we allow ourselves to use our intuition to learn, we often have rapid personal growth, too!)

#2 An ability to read the vibe — when entering a room, a conversation, a situation or when coming into contact with another person or group of people. Perhaps you can feel what type of mood or conversation was taking place just before you arrived, even if the people who were there are no longer present.

My note: (this allows us to be preemptive when we need to be, which can be a super power in-and-of itself)

#3 Picking up on the subtle perhaps you’re able to respond to someone’s needs or questions before they even ask. Perhaps you can even tell when someone is lying to you o hiding something.

My note: (another useful superpower — this one can save you a lot unnecessary BS)

#4 Empathy for what others are feeling — and this goes beyond just the cordial sentiments, but getting as close to being able to walk a mile in a person’s shoes without ever putting their boots on.

My note: (which gives you the benefit of being able to speed up your own evolution process)

#5 Experiencing the extraordinary — perhaps you’re able to experience, feel and see what is beyond the ordinary…a sound, a sense, a color not yet coined — dare I say magic?

My note: (makes life WAY more enchanting — especially when you allow yourself to engage with your entire, sensitive, soulful being)

#6 Mental telepathy — this one is interesting and I’m still working this out, but it seems that highly sensitive people may have the ability to sense when someone is going to call them, send them a text message, stop over for a visit, or can even pick up on personal messages offered from others while engaging in other conversations.

My note: (this is DEFINITELY true. Once we stop believing the BS that our sensitivities make us weak, we can truly begin telepathy-672x372to open ourselves up to their full potential. In order to do this, however, you have to INCREASE your ability to feel. Most empaths spend their time trying to turn it off. Why would you do that when there is so much AWESOMENESS that can be experienced from it?!)

#7 Storytelling — because of your highly sensitive nature, perhaps you are able to elegantly and graciously use descriptive words to narrate and create the most divine of stories — played, written, painted or through movement.

My note: (again, engaging in life. When empaths come out of hiding and allow themselves to be fully present in their vulnerability and extra-keen senses, magic happens!)

#8 Going solo with confidence — you’re able to be alone without feeling lonely. Sometimes your own company is all you need and want and that’s okay and sometimes even preferred.

My note: (to take this one step further, people who are able to be by themselves are often more intelligent, self-reflective, and creative, because they allow themselves time to be an observer — to consider nuance, subtleties, symbolism, and metaphor. This gives them the advantage of self-actualization, which, is the ultimate goal of life, right? Aren’t we all trying to understand who we are and why we’re here? Empaths, if allowed out of their “protection bubble” have the ability to make their life a stunning work of poetic art).

#9 Above average mindfulness — you’re able to move to the other side of the sidewalk so someone can pass. You’re more than willing to make room for a group of people coming onto the bus or you find yourself making eye contact with a by-passer…all in the name of making it easier for everyone — them and you. Often this trait is default and isn’t something you need to ‘activate’.

My note: (and let’s face it, the world needs more of this!)

#10 Easy to cry — showing our emotions in the form of crying can come easier for us sensitive souls, but it’s also a healthy release of constrictive emotions and thought-patterns — a cleansing of our windows to the soul and our lenses out into the world.

My note: (I could go on-and-on about the benefit of tears, but for now I will just say, WORD. Tears are healing, cleansing, tearsand a powerful way to be fully present in the MOMENT. People who spend years in caves meditating could probably reach enlightenment much quicker if they would allow emotions to be as present as the breath, and let tears lead them into the ultimate purity of nirvana).

#11 Work excellent in a team setting — due to our ability to pick-up on how people are feeling, we’re able to respond to the team’s needs to help them work in the most optimal way.

My note: (people just like you more — ha ha)

#12 Hard working — you tend to be a deep thinker and perhaps a little bit of a perfectionist. Highly sensitive people tend to put everything and a little more into tasks at hands especially projects that others will witness and be involved in.

My note: (feeling deeply in-and-of-itself is hard work. Never let yourself feel lazy if you’re a deep feeler — you’re doing the work, honey — believe me!)

 #13 Easily moved by artistic expression — and if there’s anything that keeps the world’s artists inspired and creativity in full rebellion is having those who are moved by it — and show it.

My note: (nothing worth creating would be possible without those who can respond, emotionally. When it comes to truly engaging with and enjoying life, logic is incredibly overrated).

I hope this list helped you remember how amazingly badass, powerful, expressive, artistic, wise, and special you are.

Thank you for being on the planet. This world would be a robotic nightmare without you!