Rains are falling in Texas, the land of my birth and first 18 years. Flood waters rise and submerge the area that I lived in to complete High School near Houston. I am sitting in my living room crying.
I have no family there. No real connections or friends and I haven’t been back in over 20 years.
Is what I am feeling connected with this disaster? Is it because I have a connection to the land or because I am feeling what these people are feeling, their fear and sadness?
Empaths are known for feeling everything.
For most of our lives we are called overly sensitive, emotional or even unbalanced. We often have trouble understanding why when we walk into a room, or sit next to a particular person we start to feel sad or overwhelmed by the situation.
What situation? There doesn’t seem to be a situation. Hm, but it feels like a situation. Must be me.
Until recently it was not acknowledged that there are a certain subset of the population that feel other people’s feelings, often as their own, have a hard time sorting their feelings from others, get overwhelmed easily in social situations and often have a calling to help others. This calling can lead them to feel depleted as they seem to suck up negative emotions leaving the other person feeling amazing and the empath feeling like they have just been run over by a truck.
Many empaths have been or are currently medicated and pathologized by the medical establishment.
There are many natural empaths and it is also something that is trained into the system by being raised in an abusive or unstable environment. Learning to feel and track other’s feeling is a survival strategy.
Take this innate and often cultivated strategy out into the world and you can spend a lot of time crying for no reason or wondering why everyone is pretending to be happy when you know otherwise.
An untrained empath can be in a world of hurt and not even understand why.
A trained empath can be a powerful healer, coach, lover and friend navigating the world in a way that is both of service and is sustainable.
But, in times of community or global crisis empaths can feel more overwhelmed than usual. This can be even more confusing because the overwhelming emotions and energy seem to be coming from nowhere. There are no people around triggering these feelings so it is assumed they are internally derived
We are in a time of profound transformation. Societal conflicts and natural disasters are happening frequently. Celestial occurrences such as solar flares and eclipses seem to be happening one after the other.
We are all connected. We are also all connected to the Earth which is a living being undergoing changes at a rapid pace.
We are feeling not only the shaking of the Earth, the blowing winds and rising waters we are feeling the collective emotions of all those effected by the situations.
During the recent floods many report an overwhelming need to cry buckets of tears. When we search for the reason behind the tears there seems to be none.
Those near the raging forest fires also feel sadness, but are also expressing a sense of anger, frustration and even rage.
We are expressing the imbalances as mirrors of the Earth. She is weeping and so are we. She is raging in consuming fire and so are we. We need to be connected to the mother. She is the source of much of our energy and power. She brings us a grounded, supported feeling, but when she is in turbulence we are often reflecting the same.
We are feeling the feelings of the people in these areas who have lost everything.
That might not make sense to a lot of people. It might be questioned that anyone could feel emotions over thousands of miles. Yet, if you have ever received or given energy work over a distance you realize quickly that energy moves over distance. As one of my favorite Qi Gong teachers says, “Emotions are just energy in motion.”
For the empath and other highly sensitive people, energy is most often translated, felt and expressed as emotion. It is why we might seem a little… unstable at times.
So, what can an empath do during natural disasters and unstable social climates?
- Check in. Stop when you feel the upswell of emotions. Take some deep breaths, calm your body by sitting or laying down and check in if this feels like your emotion or energy of not. You can start a dialog with your body, your higher self or your guides, “Is this mine or coming from outside of me?” Allow yourself to scan your body, bringing as much of your awareness inside as possible. Just notice the sensations without giving them too much meaning. My heart is beating fast does not have to mean, I have anxiety. It can just mean that my heart is beating fast. I feel sadness in my chest does not have to mean, I am sad. Allow yourself to witness the experience without judgement bringing calming breath to any area that draws your attention.
- Ground. We can be knocked off of our center by these events. We might even be choosing to disconnect from the Earth for fear that what we feel will overwhelm us. But, it is still important to be centered and grounded. Walk outside with your shoes off if possible. Find a tree and hold onto it. Breathe into your feet and toes. Send your breath down into the Earth and then watch it come back up and rest in your relaxed belly. Hit your heels on the ground a few times.
- Move. Sometimes the best way to move energy is to… move energy. Go for a run, take a swim, lift some weights or dance it out. Stagnation will only keep the feelings stuck inside building in intensity. One of the best practices you can do is to shake. Shake your whole body adding in some sound and send all of the emotions and energy out of your body and into the Earth.
- Let it out. You are not crazy for needing to bawl like a baby for a while. Allow yourself to turn it up and wail, moan and scream. No one is probably paying any attention to you any way (really). Do it in your car or the shower, or turn the music up if you are concerned that someone will think you mad. For many of us, we are the expressers of the unexpressed. This is not the easiest job to have on the planet but it is important. Let it out. Thank you for your service as this is a way that this overwhelming energy is being processed and it helps everyone.
- Nurture yourself. Take long baths with candles and your favorite calming essential oils. Eat lots of root vegetables and if you eat meat start making a bone broth. Take time to just be quiet, off of your devices and media. It can be exhausting to do this work. Give yourself permission to take a nap, go to bed early or sleep in late.
- Seek help. Meditation, energy practices, going to see an energy healer can all assist greatly at these times. Open up to those you feel really safe with, find a teacher, mentor or healer that you resonate with and let yourself receive some help.
- Love your nature. You are amazing. You are vital. You are a contribution to this planet and you have the power to heal. This is not a curse. Stop using this to let yourself play the victim. This is a super power, but it takes some time and knowledge to learn how to handle it effectively.
I work with healers, coaches, empaths and all those that are here to help with the expansion of consciousness on this planet. I teach practices to support awakening, opening the channel and handling the emotional, spiritual and physical burden of working with clients and living in this world.