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September 17, 2022

Tools of an Empath: What I’m doing to Avoid a Calloused Heart.


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As a recently self-diagnosed empath, I am learning new tools to help me survive life on the planet, at this moment.

Learning to ground, connect to my inner source, and just breathe allows me to surf the waves of panic that regularly crest the shore of my days and nights. The more I understand how empaths’ brains are wired differently, the more I can forgive myself for the countless judgments I’ve heaped upon myself from before I knew language.

To feel so deeply, to be so sensitive, definitely feels like a burden. Yet I’m told that this ability is also a gift. We are born leaders whose wisdom is more accurate, and whose intuition is embodied truth. I wake up and go to sleep with the mantra, “does this feel true?”

I’ve had to relearn how not to submit to my mental body. Being sensitive is like having the body of a canary. If you pick me up, you will feel my heart beat extremely fast, as though it could stop at any moment. Life is so tenuous, so fragile, so precious.

But instead of developing a calloused heart, I am learning to breathe through the collective trauma that has pressed down on my neck and shoulders for most of my life. It is not my job to hold it, and letting it go frees up the collective and frees up my energy body to evolve.

Even with my family members, when I learn to let go of what is not mine, to keep what is mine, and return their grief, anger, and fear, I feel lighter, move easier, and have more space and energy for my own life’s calling.

I am a beginner, but I’m taking to it like a shark in a tank of blood. It is an odd analogy, but it is accurate because I’m literally starved for the tools of self-empowerment within a framework I can understand and integrate into my body and my mind.

At some point, my intuition kicks in as an old friend, reminding me how life is actually joyous, light, and fun. The quality of light cannot be overestimated. Eat light, live light, and travel light, because you can’t take any material thing with you when it’s time; not your body and maybe not even your mind.

As a practitioner of Kundalini yoga, I’ve learned to strengthen myself as a vehicle for change. The quality of inner awareness introduces the reality of impermanence. Nothing stays the same, everything changes, and to accept this is to have a valuable tool in this life.

Mindfulness meditation is another tool that helps me understand the temporary nature of reality, in my body and breath, and emotions. I can create and control my physical body within the slim veins of the breath. I can pump my navel with a space of compassion and understanding. There are small things we can practice every day that give us tiny keys of experience so we know what door to open when the sh*t hits the fan.

And for me, at least, that fan is blowing hard. I resist the news. When I dip back in, I’m overwhelmed. We don’t really have the luxury of ignorance anymore. The digital universe shoves us into a virtual ocean of misery and distraction, and I suppose occasional benefit. I’m unconvinced by the strides of AI to solve human-made disasters. Computers cannot replace human understanding.

Read that again.

I wish everyone well. I miss my dog. I walk by the sea as much as possible. I breathe peace into the land. I breathe in the sky. I breathe out the earth.

Happy Jewish New Year. May your name be written in the book of life for another year, and may you make the year count as something worthy of your life.

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Gillian Reingold  |  Contribution: 10,015

author: Gillian Reingold

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