Updated: Jan 15
I always wondered why I was so sensitive to situations and events that have happened in my life. I often feel unsettled in certain environments and feel like I have to get away. I have always had friends flock to me for advice, even with situations I myself have never experienced. Why? This has always been a burning question in me.
Through lockdown, I read various books about spirituality, Buddhism and Tao in particular. It captured me like nothing else and opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing the world, and inspired me to make adaptations in my life. I often wondered prior to reading why I react to situations in certain ways such as, when I'm content why do I get these types of emotions? Truth is that it's normal to have these feelings and what is key is using techniques to cope with and transform them.
Spirituality was never on my radar until late 2017. Between July and December, I can only describe it as hell. It was a very low point in my life. I have no history of mental health issues, but that year was an extreme low point in my life. Every aspect of what could go wrong, did! Work at the time was hell, there were issues within my family and I was unhappy and tired from the emotional stress. One day in November, I had an awful chest infection. I had to be signed off work which was a relief, because I worked in a small office with one total cow. She contributed majorly to me feeling so low. She made my life hell psychologically, with no regard to the possibility that I was going through immense emotional turmoil in my personal life.
I went to the GP for my chest and was seen by the kindest doctor. This man was a definite empath, as he sensed that my problem was more than a chest infection. He gently told me, "I'm not just a GP, I'm a psychiatrist too". It wasn't that he intimated that I needed a psychiatrist, it was more like 'you are fooling no-one.' That was it, the floodgates opened and I told him everything that was going on in my life. I cried buckets. He signed me off for two weeks to gain space and rest. He identified I needed rest. I will always think pleasantly about that doctor. He had the kindest face I have ever seen. He has no idea what his kindness did for me that day.
Now on sick leave, my chest infection was quite bad, but in the second week I felt slightly back to normal. I started going back to the gym. Whilst there, I noticed they did yoga classes and thought I would give it a try. At that point, I never thought about yoga but thought 'why not?' It was a large space with other women (when I started) all wanting space away from the day to day responsibilities. My teacher was lovely and extremely flexible, she fast became my body idol. It was amazing and after a few sessions I started to feel this inner calmness and peace. I became quite good at it and this was the turning point. Yoga was the catalyst that encouraged me to pick up a book on spirituality. It made me want to explore these wonderful ancient Indian practices. The meditations and the practice itself made one relax and block out the entire world and I noticed that if I had a break from yoga, I would become agitated and off centre.
The first book I bought was Vex King's book Good Vibes, Good Life and I loved the content. I had never thought about self love in such depth. It taught me about the Law of Attraction, with talk of sending out positive vibes into the universe and changing your mindset. It taught me that if you don't love yourself, then how can you expect others to love you?
It was an amazing read, and I have read many more since. A favourite of mine is Osho. I started reading his books and haven't looked back. For me, all other the components have an impact but with Osho, he had a way of cutting through the small talk and ripped off plasters on old wounds. I see now from yoga and reading, that the ego had to be dropped. The sense of anxiety that I received when around others and their negative vibes were affecting my inner peace and alignment. This explained the stress and anxiety I had been experiencing. It made me want to start my self love journey and look at my reactions.
I am not aggressive yet I have often been called this and resented this depiction of my personality. I'm small in height and size so I'm hardly The Rock. I would rather say I am assertive in my beliefs. I was agitated by others. I found through my life that people have always been comfortable with me being the person who spoke up. I was always the one who spoke up for what I felt was right and with that had this label attached to me of being aggressive. Funny, because now I have grown spiritually and see that I don't have to be involved and be anyone's mouth piece, just my own. Plus, during lockdown I was never so relaxed and saw my true nature. Now I get questions like 'Are you ok?', 'You don't come out and you're quiet?'.
Lockdown taught me to stop and appreciate the present, live in the moment, to show gratitude and let go of things that no longer serve me. I have a spiritual friend, and she was the one to tell me that I was an empath, after a night of deep conversation about our feelings. She listened to me and fed this back to me. She told me I need to cleanse and block negativity, that I have to do this for my own wellbeing. She was right. She told me to sit down and create a list of questions and answer them in my quiet moments. What was a negative response I must address.
Do you worry what others think of you? .....YES
Do friends come to you for advice? .....YES
Do you pick up on good / bad vibes instantly?....YES
Are you highly sensitive? ......YES
Do you find that your emotions affect you physically? .....YES
Can you sense when someone is lying?....YES
Do you overthink? .....YES
Do you tend to absorb others emotions? .....YES
Is the news upsetting for you? ......YES
Do you have an affinity with animals?......YES
Do you feel deeply? .....YES
Do you put your needs and wants last?......YES
Are you a good listener?......YES
Yes to all them, it was like a light bulb had suddenly turned on. She told me I had empathetic traits and so now I know, its time to protect the valuable energy. Ever since, this is what I have been doing. I have centred and become more in tune with my inner self. I found I needed to pull back from particular individuals and locations where my energy could decline. I have learnt not to fight every battle. I do not need to be involved in office politics or gossip. I need to continue on my journey with clarity and knowing. I have reduced phone time with individuals who are one sided or narcissistic. I am taking better care of my health and after my last birthday, I am no longer drinking alcohol. That was a flight home let me tell you.
The goal is to align with your inner self. You find it through meditation, prayer, mantras, self love routines, exercise and many more. You have to befriend yourself and ensure you maintain a positive mindset. Once emotions are under control and you can be within the outside world you will know you have transcended to a higher consciousness. Everything becomes heightened. Your thoughts, creativity, relationships, everything!
I always think 'I wish I had discovered this years ago, but it wasn't the process. I have found that there is less negativity around me and my heart, mind, mood and soul feel lighter. There are aspects of life where I feel trapped, such as work, nevertheless I am at ease and awake. No one can take that from me. That is the beauty of it.
Empaths, be in the world but remember you are important. Work on you spirituality and flower beautifully like a lotus.
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