Do you consider yourself a sensitive person? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by emotions that feel difficult to understand? Is it sometimes challenging for you to be around a lot of people? Have your friends ever told you that they feel really safe confiding in you?
These are some signs that you may be an empath. Feeling the feels of those around us can be a challenge if we don’t RSVP to the invitation it’s presenting. After all, it’s an ability just like any other—a skill to be cultivated and fine tuned. Without the proper tools and practices, it can be overwhelming and even debilitating to be constantly feeling the feelings of those around us.
Rest assured, as an empath, you have many options! You can cultivate clear boundaries (both energetic and expressed), amplify your abilities to process these emotions (for yourself, and in service of others), and practice discernment around what’s yours and what’s not yours to feel.
Keys for Empaths
- Don’t take things personally. Empaths can tend to take on the weight of others. As sensitive beings, some things can cut straight to the heart (which we sometimes tend to wear on our sleeves). This key is a useful tool that’s highlighted in Don Miguel Ruiz’s widely celebrated work that synthesizes Toltec wisdom into The Four Agreements; stay open, and the teachings in this quick read may find a way to apply themselves into your day to day life with ease.
- Practice discernment. Emotions oftentimes have subtle ways of showing up in our bodies; it can be incredibly useful to start identifying these emotions as they start to arise. Identifying the origin of the emotion can help us to know whether we’re picking up on someone else’s energy, or whether there’s an emotion within us that is wanting to move through us and be released.
- Take an energetic inventory before going to sleep & clear your field. This is an essential practice for any empath. Whether it’s consistent in scope or form isn’t so important when beginning this practice. What’s important is that we can acknowledge that we’ve swept up some energy throughout our day, and that it’s time to clear that energy out of our auric field. A simple scan of ‘what’s mine and what’s not mine’ to release any emotions or thought forms that we’ve absorbed throughout the day can be the difference between a happy ending and a crash landing.
Walk in Your Shoes
We’ve all heard the phrase “put yourself in their shoes”. This is a form of empathy; to invite oneself to see a circumstance from another perspective. This shift of perspective and widening of one’s views can be beneficial in many ways. The thing about being an empath, though, is that you can look down and suddenly find that you’re wearing eleven different pairs of shoes. This can be cumbersome.
At the end of the day, we can only walk our walk comfortably with one pair of shoes on at a time. Ideally, these are shoes that fit; they’re not too small or too tight, and they’re not too big or too loose. Once you’re feeling real bold, you can take those shoes off and walk barefoot on the Earth, sole to soil and sharing your soul.