Image by Leonardo Valente
Have you noticed an increase in your level of agitation, anxiety, or distress? Are you more volatile, all over the map, emotional, or depressed? Are you carrying around emotions and fears that you know are not yours or that are expressing themselves at an amplified, more-than-just-you level?
As empaths or highly sensitive persons, we are already predisposed to absorbing the emotions, problems and feelings of others. More than just empathy for what is going on around us, we take on the energies of others as though they were our own, consequently causing great overwhelm and wreaking havoc on our well-being, clarity, balance, and ability to stay grounded in our own center. Particularly when we are unaware of our special sensitive make-up, we may not realize that the waves of overstimulation and intense build-up of emotions we are experiencing aren’t even ours.
It is crucial during this global pandemic and time of upheaval that everyone – and especially empaths – engage in daily energetic hygiene to manage and clear their emotional body and personal energy field. Fear, confusion, grief, and chaos are sharply heightened in the world right now.
Here are some simple practices you can perform daily:
- Three deep cleansing breaths, visualizing harmful energies leaving down through your body to be transmuted by Mother Earth
- Smudging your energy field with sage, sweet grass, or Palo Santo
- Epsom Salt baths
- Wearing, holding, or setting up a grid with crystals and stones
- Using high frequency essential oils to diffuse, wear, or put in your bath
- Journaling to give voice to what might be building up in your energy field
If you are looking for a deeper dive in clearing out the backlog of emotional build-up, watch the 14-minute video I created on clearing your nervous system and emotions (see the end of this article for this video). I also created a three-part video series entitled "Navigating Global Shamanic Death" if you’d like a shamanic perspective on world events. (See the end of this article for Part 1, 2, and 3 of the series.)
Whether you’ve known you were an empath for decades, or are just learning about this aspect of yourself, tending daily to your energy field will help you stay more steady, calm, focused, and centered as the world moves through this major transition.
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The following is excerpted from the author's book, The Evolutionary Empath:
It Begins—and Ends—with Awareness
Your energy field is a complicated and complex living organism. It is intelligent and communicative. It is constantly in flux, adjusting to your mood, your physical state, the environment, your inner dialogue, and people you interact with. The most important and fundamental tool in working with your energy field is awareness, which comes from simple repetitive practice.
Being aware of how you are feeling and how something is affecting you is the first step. Change cannot happen without conscious recognition of what is occurring in the moment. From there, you can make a choice about how to rebalance or clear your field and how to respond to any external factors. It is most certainly a daily—if not hourly—practice. With this practice, you will be able to catch yourself sooner and more frequently when something is affecting your energy field. The power is always in the awareness.
This can be a tricky subject, as there are many different points of view on how to protect yourself and why you need to protect yourself, and even more methods of deploying protection. Some people feel that they are personally prone to psychic attacks or attract dark energies. Some believe that your intention is the most critical factor. Some conduct their lives as if there is always something out to get them. There is an entire spectrum of beliefs and subsequent practices regarding the need for protection, what we’re protecting ourselves from, and the best way to do it.
I must be clear that I have no one special technique to offer you that works in every situation. I am not a “there is only one way” kind of person. It depends. My style is to offer you a variety of tools and then have you trust the wisdom inside you to decide which is the most useful or valuable tool to employ in any given situation. And my philosophy always includes an assessment of your belief system and the lens you see the world through.
So while I won’t go into great detail, it is important to address this topic because the subject of protection is just another forum to help us recognize that we are responsible for our own energy. While we cannot control what’s going on outside of us, we can control how we respond to it, which includes both offensive (preparatory) and defensive (employed in the moment) measures.
How we react to the concept of protection is fed by several factors, including our beliefs, the type of person/people we are interacting with, the energies present in our environment, and the tools we have at our disposal to manage our own energy field.
It may not be obvious at first how our belief system is related to protecting our energy field, but to me, one clearly feeds the other. Our perceptions color our reality, and we cannot ignore the influence of our beliefs when we consider how we view the world and, subsequently, how dangerous we believe that world to be.
One of the most important aspects to consider is what was instilled in you from childhood. Here’s an example: Some people were raised in an environment of chaos, unpredictability, and boundary violations. This could be a product of alcoholism, sexual or physical abuse, or parents who just had no concept of privacy, respect, or personal space. This would then become the template for the child’s life, and as an adult, these people would continue to attract chaos, drama, disrespect, and people who violate their boundaries.
It is the lens they see the world through and the types of experiences they continue to attract. Though unhealthy, it is familiar and known. And it certainly breeds a belief system that is preoccupied with the need for protection. This is how we tend to construct our world before we “awaken.” We repeat old patterns and habits, not realizing that they aren’t giving us the intended results. We can feel as if the events of the world are “being done unto us,” and it throws us into a victim space.
If you are programmed to believe that everyone is out to get you, then there’s a good chance you will look at everything in your life with suspicion and distrust, wondering exactly how and when you are going to get screwed. It’s the cause-and-effect wiring that gets laid down in our brains as we develop. We see the world through the lens we were handed until we recognize that the lens might be defective, and we begin to do the work of creating a new lens. This is part of the awakening process.
Yet shifting beliefs is not simply a matter of rattling off a set of affirmations every morning or just changing a few habits. Belief systems are insidious and multilayered and take work to transform. Nonetheless, embracing a new belief can be one of the most powerful choices a person can make. I have seen many people who, through doing their inner work, no longer relate to their need for protection in the same way as before. They begin to show up in their lives less defensively.
This type of inner work almost always restores people’s personal power, releases the victim mentality, and helps them understand that they have a choice in every moment. All of these shifts create a greater sense of wholeness in people, vastly changing how they relate to the world and transforming how they view and deploy their need for protection.
Tools of Protection
You must do your daily practice of checking in, maintaining your awareness, clearing your energy field, and setting your boundaries because if you aren’t aware that someone or something is affecting you, then it doesn’t matter how many tools you have to protect yourself. Developing a practice of awareness is key. Once you become aware, then you can make a decision about how you want to handle the situation. I divide the options into two categories: offensive and defensive.
An offensive strategy simply means anticipating what you might need and preparing in advance. You can think of it as preplanning. My husband and I joke whenever we get ready to go into certain big-box stores, “Shields up.”
If I take a moment to prepare myself, clean my field, check the integrity of it, firm up the edges, stay in my center, and go in with a smile (instead of preparing for a fight), it always goes better than if I walk in without taking a moment to pause and prepare my field first.
Preplanning can also involve more long-term protective measures, such as placing crystals around your home or office, setting up an energetic or physical grid, drawing symbols, wearing certain pieces of jewelry, or performing your daily spiritual practice. Offensive protection includes anything you do ahead of time, whether it’s for a single use or for a long-standing need. And don’t underestimate the importance of clearing your field several times a day.
Defensive options include what you do in the moment to respond to a “threat.” The offending energy could be in the form of a person, loud noise, electromagnetic frequency, large crowd, or any number of external circumstances. Don’t forget, too, that things happening inside of us can also affect our container and require us to fortify our field. Events such as a drop in your blood sugar, or being overwhelmed can cause us to call on additional support to stay in our center and maintain our faculties.
In-the-moment responses include things like walking away, clearing your field, taking a deep breath, saying no, eating or drinking something nutritious, taking a few moments by yourself, or going outside to connect with nature.
If there are long-term offenders, such as certain coworkers, unhealthy relationships, or dysfunctional belief systems, then you might consider reaching out to a therapist, shaman, energy healer, or trusted teacher to help you work through a strategy and do the inner work that is related to your trigger.
©2019 by Stephanie Red Feather. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission from The Evolutionary Empath.
Publisher: Bear and Co, a divn of Inner Traditions Intl
BearandCompanyBooks.com and InnerTraditions.com.
The Evolutionary Empath: A Practical Guide for Heart-Centered Consciousness
by Rev. Stephanie Red Feather
With this hands-on guide, Stephanie Red Feather provides empaths the tools they need to empower themselves and embrace their essential role in the next step of humanity’s evolution and ascension into the frequency of heart-centered consciousness.
For more info and/or to order this book, click here. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)
About the Author
Rev. Stephanie Red Feather, Ph.D., is the founder and director of Blue Star Temple. An ordained shamanic minister, she holds a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and master’s and doctorate degrees in shamanic studies from Venus Rising University. She is also a mesa carrier in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition of Peru, having studied with Don Oscar Miro-Quesada and his lineage since 2005. Find out more about Stephanie at www.bluestartemple.org.