Overwhelm and Anxiety

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious has been a recurring concern that we have noticed here at Center for Holistic Healing and Art, Mansfield MA over this past month. The holidays that happen at the end of the calendar year often mean time with- or without- family and friends which can result in anxiousness. The cause of the stress may be different, but the internal reaction can be quite similar: feeling the need to retreat, isolate or create barriers to more outside influence. This is a common problem no matter what age you are, for empaths and non-empaths alike.

For some people, at some times, this works fine- other times it doesn’t work as well. For those of you wishing for a different approach, we’d like to offer this alternative to closing yourself off and pulling away from the world and the physical body you inhabit.

Try this meditation: Focus your attention on one body part at a time and really feel the surfaces that are touching you- clothing, seat, floor. Notice the temperature of the air on your exposed skin, sense the darkness or light with your eyes closed. Now expand your awareness to your energy that is outside the confines of your body- your aura. Feel how large it is and what it passes through or comes to rest against. Now enjoy feeling yourself taking up all of this space, both physically and energetically. Stamp your feet and revel in your own solidity. Take a few deep, slow breaths with your hands on your hips and your feet spread wide as you become accustomed to this expanded way of being.

You are not hiding or retreating, you are taking up ALL of your real estate and you are entitled to it. From this place of confidence and self-awareness you can let love and compassion for others flow effortlessly out of you and towards everyone around you, without judgement or restriction. Practicing self-love and self-care in this way makes you more capable of helping others. It also makes you less likely to feel overwhelmed and more in control of your own emotions. This is not intended to dismiss or minimize the issues of anyone dealing with panic attacks, depression or severe anxiety disorder. It is instead aimed at those who are looking for a new tool to deal with situational anxiety. It is also a terrific way of realizing your power to effect change in the world by sending out love. This is an active endeavor that can decrease your sense of helplessness with all that is going on around the globe.

Here is a fantastic talk on standing in your power by Amy Cuddy

In love and Light,

Kristi, Amy and Andrea

Vulnerability- permission for mistreatment?

We had a wonderful gathering at the Center for Holistic Healing and Art in Mansfield, MA last weekend for Empath Support Group- which we decided should really be called Empath Empowerment since it’s really what we aim to do- help all the sensitive souls embrace the power that comes with being empathic.

The big topic for the evening was vulnerability and how allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is really what is necessary to create the deepest, most meaningful connections.  We agreed that feeling connected is what we are all yearning for- connection to ourselves, to each other and to the Divine. However when we talked about vulnerability we began to hear and feel fear and anxiety enter the conversation. The biggest concern was : does being vulnerable mean allowing and even inviting mistreatment? Does it require tolerance of mistreatment as an unfortunate byproduct of connection and vulnerability?

What we are talking about when we encourage you to be vulnerable is having the courage to show your true self. To stop hiding or trying to be what you think others want you to be. To be authentic and unapologetic for who you are at your core. When you stand fully in your vulnerability, you are the most grounded and powerful you can be- because you are owning who you really are. Being true to yourself is no more license to be mean to others than it is permission to allow others to treat you poorly. It does not mean to remove your boundaries or to tolerate having your voice ignored or dismissed. You have an inherent right to be fully seen, truly heard and to know that you matter entirely. Let your heart shine. Let your true self out to play- you will find others who are doing the same and the connections you make when you are each being fully yourselves will be incredible!

With much love and light for who you really are,

Kristi, Amy and Andrea

PS: If this sounds like a group you’d like to be a part of, the next gathering will be on Aug. 11, 2016 at Uplifting Connections.

Staying Safe As An Empath

Last night we had the privilege of holding an Empath Support Group at Uplifting Connections in Bridgewater at the generous invitation of the owners, Kellie and Jon Hailey.  14 empaths gathered to share concerns and questions as well as stories of challenges and triumphs. Questions were sometimes answered from our experiences but often channeled directly from Spirit. We are fully supported in our quest to live comfortable and meaningful lives!! Those in attendance ranged in age from recent graduates to retirees and were all relieved to see recognition and understanding on the other faces in the group as they spoke of experiences many in their lives had deemed somehow wrong or unacceptable.

Each time we hold one of these groups there is a common theme or thread that runs through the evening. Last night’s theme was personal emotional safety and coping with the extra feelings of those around you. Several important tools were shared including staying grounded and practicing good self-care. Among the specific coping mechanisms that were shared, many talked about spending time outside, being in or near water, using deep breathing, prayer and crystals. One of the more unique practices was to write the unwanted emotions down and then to shred the paper while deliberately releasing the emotions as it shredded. I have a feeling there will be some busy shredders in the upcoming weeks!  A full list of all of these tried and true suggestions was created and it may be found here.

One final thought that is important enough to repeat here- we are all connected- how that shows up in our lives differs but we should always try to react to another with compassion and from a place of love. Whether you know who those “extra” emotions belong to or not, sending out love and light is a powerful and empowering tool that will help keep you safe, aid those you are sensing and help you release those emotions that don’t belong to you.

With Love and Light,

Andrea, Kristi and Amy

from the Center for Holistic Healing and Art, Mansfield MA

 

image of flame

Energy “Protection” for Empaths

Energetic “Protection” for the Empath

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Many people talk about the need for protection against “negative” energies, especially for the Empath. This has never resonated well with me and I could not figure out why. After giving it considerable thought, I have come to the conclusion that it is because the word ‘protection’ seems to come from a place of fear, as does the word ‘negative’. I do not walk through my life in fear- which doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced it, just that it is a fairly uncommon feeling for me. While I agree that emotions range from pleasant to unpleasant and vibrationally high to low, I think they are all valuable and to name them negative or positive may be misleading. As a result, I have not been very successful at attempts to cloak myself in a ‘protective’ bubble- since that would mean to me that first I would have to remember to be fearful, or that I have reason to consider fear, and second that I was unwilling to experience any of the lower vibratory feelings. Regardless of where you stand on those descriptions, there continues to be a need for ways to deal with energies that don’t belong to you- especially if you are an Empath.

I have experienced many times when the overflow of strong emotions from others have left me feeling overwhelmed. I also have had moments when I felt intense anxiety, apprehension, irritation or sadness that I could identify as clearly not belonging to me. Although I would agree that these are emotions on the lower half of the vibration spectrum, as I said I consider them normal and part of being human. They may not feel comfortable, but to me they are not negative. Feeling is what we are here for, isn’t it? Managing those feelings and learning the lessons they bring are part of the deal. I don’t think we can expect to relish the love, joy, exhilaration, excitement, etc. to the same extent if we deny hurt, sadness or loneliness entirely.

flame photoWhen I am feeling emotions that don’t belong to me and don’t feel good (after all, I’m not about to reject an excess of joy, love or excitement!) I take a moment. I take a deep breath and with my exhale I send out love and Light to the source of the emotions (even if I can’t identify the source) and release them to be transformed by Source energy. Then I take another breath and imagine that I am a glowing ball of Light and Love and I send it out in all directions. In this way, it seems to me that the intensity of the energy flowing outward from me prevents anything that doesn’t belong to me from affecting me. I am, in a sense, protected and if that word seems right to you, feel free to use it. To me it just feels like I’m walking around in my own little world feeling only what has meaning and purpose to me. I can still sense when someone needs my attention and healing, and I can offer it, but their need doesn’t attach to me. I can also revel in the beauty and joy of being alive here and now. This helps keep me in balance energetically. Try it. I hope it helps you as well!

In November I will begin a monthly support group for empathic folks that will include opportunities to explore what that means and how to remain balanced while embracing the gift of heightened emotional sensitivity.

Wishing you Light and Love,
Kristi