Gain perspective, even as chaos swirls around, by connecting with the Earth
Check out all of that new life emerging from the upended roots of a fallen tree! Even when things fall apart, they transform and become anew. Harbingers of life. Hold on to hope and patience, dear ones. One day, this whole situation will evolve into something as beautiful and blossom laden as this old tree.
How are you hanging in there today?
I know a lot has been happening each day, and there is much to process. Many of us are working from home now, some of you might not be able to work at all, and some of you may be feeling extra stress if you are in key positions, or in the health field. The kiddos are now at home (at least here in Wisconsin), and rebellious teens may be giving you a run for your money as they struggle with social distancing and staying in. Gosh, this is a lot!
Can you offer yourself some compassion for what you are going through? We are all doing the best we can with this, adjusting as much as possible, so we can navigate through this time. Please be kind and forgiving of yourself, and those you may be sharing space with.
No matter how this pandemic is affecting you, dear one, my heart goes out to you. We'll get through this one day at a time. One breath at a time.
Did you know that today is technically the first day of Spring?
Even as the chaos of the virus disrupts so much of our modern lives, the world is still spinning on it's axis, the sunrises and sets, the birds are chirping, and building their nests, the bulbs are peaking out from the ground. Life is still moving, and abundant here on this planet. Have you taken a moment to pause, turn off the news, and your devices to listen? Have you opened your window to breath in the fresh air, to look at the sky, or listen to the rain?
If you are not under strict lock-down in your community, have you taken a moment to step outside, or go for a short walk? We are fortunate, here in Wisconsin, that we can still enjoy the great outdoors, at least for now. The bonus is that it is even easier to honor the recommendation for social distancing of 6 feet when you are outside. If you are feeling cooped up, and needing to move your body, I encourage you to get out in nature for a spell.
I recorded another short video for you all with a guided meditation to release stress, ground. This will be especially helpful if you find yourself taking on the fear and anxiety of others, and if you can't get outside yourself. I recorded it at the beach near our home, so you can take in the sounds of the waves, birds, and a little thunder at the end. I finished recording just in time! Eek! The video is just under 17 minutes, with the meditation beginning at 3:10.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the meditation. What do you notice when you tune into the Earth at this critical time? Share with us in the comments or send me an email.
If you are enjoying these meditations, and want to support my efforts, would you consider making a small donation? You can do so here. Thanks so much!
Much love to each of you,
P.S. I am still seeing clients remotely at this time. I am conducting these appointments over the phone, Zoom/Skype, or email. If you are wanting support, email, call 608-335-1934, or book online to schedule.
The Empowered Empath begins Oct 1st, 2019. Join us for this life changing series!
Are You an Empath?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions you may be an empath. Being empathic is the intuitive ability of feeling the energy around you.
Most empaths I know are highly compassionate and loving people. They want the people they love (and, frankly, let's face it, everyone on Earth) to be happy and healthy. Many of them want to serve others in some way. But if they haven't learned how to navigate life with their empathic gifts, they can feel too overwhelmed, exhausted, or confused to show up in life the way they want to. Some struggle with maintaining healthy boundaries and even knowing what that looks like. Others can go from feeling heavy and down around the Eeyores in their lives, to walking on air when around people radiating joy. If they haven't learned how to work with their sensitivity, they can feel like a human yo-yo.
As an empath myself working in a service/caring profession, I know how important it is to have the skills to work with this ability. After years of honing it, and ongoing practice, I know that it is not only possible to live empowered as an empath, it can feel really good (even when the tough stuff comes up). You can show up even more fully for yourself and others in really profound ways. I have pulled together all my tried and true tools and wisdom in a way to help you, or the empath in your life, find relief, tap into that inner strength, and keep your heart open. I offered this series before in May of 2018. This time, I've incorporated an additional class: "Immune to Energy Vampires" to support us in navigating interactions with narcissists, as unfortunately, this is an all too common relationship trend for empaths.
The Empowered Empath
Essential wisdom and practices to move freely, and compassionately with your gifts
What is an Empath?
Tues Oct 1st
Know & Love Thyself
Tues Oct 8th
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
Tues Oct 15th
Immune to Energy Vampires
Tues Oct 22nd
Being an Empowered Empath
Tues Oct 29th
Each class will include time to share and practice with other attendees, gain insights about how you operate as a unique empath, and resources to maintain these skills and practices at home.
Class is open to eight participants.
Cost: $125 for all classes. Must be paid in advance. Your space is held once payment is received.
Call 608-335-1934, or email to register.
The Empowered Empath Refresher
Open to anyone who has attended the one of Embrace Your Essence's empath classes (The Empowered Empath, or "I Know How You Feel") or explored this topic with Sarah individually.
Revisit the essentials for feeling free, loving, and centered as an empath. Just in time for the holiday season!
Purify your energy, solidify your boundaries, and nourish yourself. We will return to the practices that support us the most.
Limited to eight attendees.
Tues December 3, 2019, from 5:00-7:00pm
Call 608-335-1934, email, or book online to register.
Have questions? Please don't hesitate to reach out!
If you feel inspired to jump in, I look forward to working with you!
P.S. There is still time to sign up for the group Reiki II class that begins on Sat Sept 14! Two spots are left. Register by Sept 6th to attend.
Celebrating my Reiki beginnings.
The summer of 2009 was a turning point in my life. I was teaching at a child care center as I prepared to enter my last year of college studying education. Over the couple years leading up to that time, I had become disillusioned by the education system. More and more, it felt like the path I was following was squelching my soul. I still loved kids, and teaching, but something wasn't right. It wasn't until one really rough day at the center that summer, that I hit my breaking point. I finally garnered the courage to throw in the towel on pursuing becoming a public school teacher. I was ready to find a new path.
As I had always I wanted to be a teacher, letting the idea of that go, left the field wide open for me. I had no idea what else to explore, so it felt like I was starting from scratch. Fortunately, this felt liberating and exciting, rather than terrifying, as my soul was feeling relieved at being free. As I dove into self-exploration, personality tests, and career matching quizzes, I found myself drawn to holistic medicine, and ecopsychology, two areas of study I knew little to nothing about. I checked out every book I could from the library about different healing modalities and perspectives to help me determine my path. As I did my research, synchronicity was unfolding.
I continued to teach at the child care center while I sifted through my options. Two days that summer, I worked with a substitute teacher who did Reiki for horses. I felt so connected with her, and her stories about Reiki fascinated me. Reiki was something I had only heard about weeks before while scouring my library books. After one of our conversations, she encouraged me to take a class with her teacher Mary Preuss. Huh, I thought. The idea hadn't crossed my mind, but maybe it's worth taking a look. When I found Mary's class schedule, there was a Reiki I class offered a couple weeks before I would head back to school in the fall. It was good timing. Why not? I figured. I might as well try it out. I had nothing to lose.
So, it was ten years ago today, on Saturday August 15, 2019, I attended my first Reiki class. Little did I know, the profound experiences I would have that day would change my life forever.
Class began for our small group of three with an introduction and history of Reiki, before we prepared to be attuned to the Reiki energy. (For those of you unfamiliar, an attunement is a sacred ritual which helps harmonize your personal energy with the Reiki energy, so you can access it more readily.) Mary started leading us through a guided meditation. I had very little experience with these at the time, and felt a bit like I was making things up. She instructed us to imagine the three Grand Masters of Reiki forming a triangle around us. If we were ready to take this next step of being attuned, would we please say so.
In my mind, I said, "I am ready." Instantaneously after—I felt a huge surge of energy flow through my entire body! It was as if someone had dumped an enormous barrel of water over the back of my head which then filled every nook and cranny of my body! It felt amazing!
Again, I said, "I am ready." Not a second later—again—another full body surge just like the last! It blew my mind! "This shit is real!!" I thought. I had felt small currents of energy in different areas of my body when doing yoga before, but it was nothing compared to this. The call and response nature to this experience, blew my analytical mind out of the water. I could not understand how it happened, but I had no doubt in my mind it was real.
Shortly thereafter, we each received our attunements. I remember sitting there afterwards in awe, because my hands felt like they were air conditioners. It felt as if there was cool energy flowing out my palms.
In the afternoon, we began practicing Reiki on each other. Being in a small group, one person received while the rest of us worked on her. During the first session, I was working on my classmate's leg, and I felt this deep heaviness in my heart. I didn't have any idea how to offer Reiki at the time, so I was imagining breathing in her energy and out mine. (Please, do NOT do this at home, folks!) As I was doing so, I quietly asked my teacher if it was normal to feel things in your body while giving Reiki. She sort of nodded, and shrugged, suggesting that it was possible. I continued as described, while the heaviness in my heart persisted.
Then, all of a sudden, I was out of my body, watching myself from behind, as I started to pass out on top of my classmate! My teacher quickly pulled me aside, and I came back into my body. She sat me down, and guided me in grounding my energy. I sat on the couch for several minutes as I tuned into my feet and tried to collect myself.
Eventually, I was ready to bring myself back to the session. It was getting towards the end, and our teacher said we could return to any area we thought might need it. I went to her heart. A few minutes later, we finished the session, and shared our experiences with each other.
My classmate began, "Well, first of all, someone fell on top of me..."
I sheepishly laughed, and raised my hand, "Yeah, that was me."
She went on sharing her experiences, and ended with, "Whoever came back to my heart at the end, thank you. You have no idea what is going on in my personal life, but I really needed it."
Her words struck me profoundly. That feeling in my chest... was a glimpse of what she was experiencing. I couldn't believe that there was legitimacy to what I had perceived. It was eye opening.
After that day, I decided to move forward and complete the full Reiki training over the next several months. My life began to make a 180. As things aligned, I made plans to graduate early with my degree, while I came back for Reiki training on the weekends. It was over this time, with other experiences like the one with the heaviness in my chest, that I realized I was an empath. I had been all my life, picking up on people's feelings, and other subtleties. But it took the Reiki attunement to bring this truth out for me to realize it. What followed was a crash course in learning how to take care of myself as an empath while I did this work, so a) I wouldn't take people's stuff home, and b) I wouldn't pass out on top of anyone else. ;) My record has been clean since!
That was only the beginning, ten years ago. What has followed has been such a beautiful unfolding of healing, connecting more deeply with the Reiki energy, experiencing life's mysteries, and coming to know you all. I feel, without a doubt, that finding Reiki is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
As I celebrate this milestone of a decade with Reiki, I want to thank each of you for joining me on this journey. Whether we have known each other for sometime, or just recently connected. Whether it's been a deep dive, or light, sweet check-ins. Knowing and working with you all has enriched my life so much, and has made me a better person, practitioner, and teacher. It has allowed me to live out a dream, and I wouldn't be here without you. For this, I sincerely thank you.
Anyway, I could keep gushing! As many of you know! ;)
May the next decade bring even more fun, beauty, excitement, and rich, deep, soul connection, for each and every one of us!
Are you ready for a new beginning?
For those drawn to the Reiki path, another round of group Reiki I training will begin in early 2020. For those of you ready to jump into Reiki II, there are three spots still available for the class starting on September 14th, 2019. Let me know if you are interested! For more details, visit our Reiki Training page.
Empaths, I will be offering the Empowered Empath Series on Tuesday evenings this October. I will be sending out an announcement with the full details within the next couple weeks. Stay tuned!
Have a beautiful rest of your summer!
The conundrum that vexes many heart-centered people
I was speaking with a client recently, and through our conversation it was clear that she had been aware of things that others around her didn't seem to notice. She could tell when something was up with her loved ones even when they tried to hide it, and she seemed to have a sense of what these people needed. She could see them, or really, she could feel them. She was well aware of the pain around her, and also of the beauty and love that others sometimes could not see. It became clear: she has always been an empath.
"Now that I know I'm an empath, does this mean that it is my job to save people if I know they are suffering?" she wondered.
No, it does not. We do not have to whoosh in and rescue loved ones and strangers, because of this intuitive awareness we feel in our bodies. We also do not have to completely block ourselves off from the world, and disassociate to protect ourselves. There is a middle way. A path that we can traverse where we remain connected in our hearts and conscious of what is unfolding around us, but we remained grounded in what is our true responsibility: ourselves. We remember that also applies to everyone else. It isn't always easy to practice this when have been living the majority of our lives enmeshed or detached. But with a fair dose of self-compassion, and patience, we can connect with the strength and kindness we need to navigate life fully present. We will be exploring this life-long practice, and supportive wisdom to soak in during the Empowered Empath series which begins a week from today.
If you are curious, you can learn more here.
Feel the pull to step in with us? Three spots remain available as of today. Book & pay online, email, or call 608-335-1934.
No matter whether you find yourself with empathic abilities or not, I invite you to notice if you have any tendencies to take responsibility for other people's problems, or to distance yourself from discomfort. Explore for yourself ways that you can maintain autonomy for your experience, and surrender any burdens outside of that. I'd love to hear what you notice. Share your comments below, or send me an email.
Hope you are well,
It's hard to have healthy boundaries when you step into someone else's bubble.
I was working with a friend recently who had an important (possibly emotional) conversation that she needed to have, and she asked about ways that she could set a boundary while still keeping her heart open. She had realized that she had put up such a thick wall that, while it somewhat protected her from feeling pain, it prevented her love from flowing, and really seeing her situation and those close to her with compassion. Developing this balance of honoring yourself and your needs without blocking connection can be a delicate dance, especially if you are an empath (feel other people's emotions or pain in your body).
As we began practicing ways for her to maintain a healthy boundary in different scenarios with each other, she began feeling guilty for how she was making me feel. The thing was, I actually felt just fine. Through more exploration, we realized that she was unconsciously stepping into my energy field. Because we all interpret the world through our own filter, she was sensing something that I wasn't feeling. That is how she would have felt (past experience and wounding had clogged her filter). This had been the way she was operating in other relationships, and as a result she would often be overwhelmed by what "the other person was feeling." This tendency was also making having a healthy boundary near impossible, because you cannot have a boundary when you are the one stepping in and sharing someone else's bubble. While this realization was humbling, it also made it clear what she needed to do: step or breathe herself back into her own space. Here she could be observe what was happening around her (if she chooses to), while being connected with what was occurring within her. This posture gives greater awareness of our filter (our sore spots, joys, triggers, and areas of patience), and allows us to take full responsibility for ourselves and the lives we create.
If you ever find yourself overwhelmed by what another is feeling, or becoming highly invested in how they live their life and the choices they make, I would invite you to tune in and see if you are centered within yourself or if you have stepped outside of your energy. If you need to, simply call yourself home, like you would to a loving friend.
Reiki Master Teacher and Owner of Embrace Your Essence