Nourish yourself, and please VOTE!
"It's a good life, honey, if you don't grow weary." This chorus from an Alexa Woodward song has been running over and over in my mind the last few weeks. Perhaps, my inner coach is encouraging me to keep going during these trying times. We've been living in the pandemic era for over six months now, and so much of the shadow side of our society has come up to the surface. We have been confronted with the opportunity to face the unsustainable, the orphans, the bullies. Doing the work to heal and shift into integrity takes attention and presence. Two things, that as we move through these collective traumas, can take even more effort to access. It is also clear that we need to think of the long game. The coronavirus, and systemic racism are not going to vanish overnight. But how do we keep learning, and doing the work that needs to be done without burning out? Have you been feeling weary? My intent today is to explore ways that we can nourish ourselves so we can continue to do what we need to personally and collectively to move through these times while staying sane and connected to our hearts.
Before we get to our regularly scheduled programming, I feel urged to call out what I saw on Tuesday evening while watching the presidential debates. Speaking of weariness, I know many of us are tired of what we have been experiencing. So perhaps, before reading on, take a few deep breaths, allow yourself to feel what is present within you, and offer yourself some compassion. These are trying times. The behavior of our commander-in-chief, was that of a cornered narcissist lashing out trying to regain ground and control. Coming to identify the behaviors of narcissism is something we explore in my Empowered Empath series, as there is a common tendency for empaths and narcissists to be drawn together, and recognizing what is going on, and how to not get tangled in the dynamics is important for staying healthy and sane. So for those of you who are not already familiar with narcissism, how it shows up, and how to protect yourself here are a few points.
Narcissism is a trait that exists on a spectrum. In those where it is dominant, we see these key characteristics: the desire for power and control over others; a lack of respect for other's autonomy, and who they really are; a fabricated illusion of grandeur to compensate for a sense of hollowness within; a severe lacking of empathy for others. Another term that is used for narcissists and other challenging personality types is "energy vampires," as these people "feed" on the energy of others to sustain themselves. In their woundedness (likely from early life) they have not learned how to maintain their energy on their own, while respecting others' sovereignty, so narcissists rely on others for "narcissistic supply." This can be other's admiration, bolstering of their ego, attention, even "getting another's goat," so to speak, and feeding off of their anger, and fear.
There are many different types of narcissists, but in Trump we see the type that is most often associated with the term, a grandiose or overt narcissist. Narcissists are highly manipulative, and we saw many of those techniques in Tuesday's debate. Expert gaslighting: distorting facts in an attempt to control the narrative and reality of others. The intent of gaslighting is to instill so much doubt in others that they question their reality, and turn to the gaslighter as their new authority on reality. When they are successful, the illusion of grandeur or perfection surrounding the narcissist is so thick that we deny anything we see to the contrary. When that happens we've bitten the hook. We see this in the way Trump tries to control the narrative around his handling of Covid-19, despite our experiences to the contrary. The incessant interrupting was also an overwhelming attempt to dominate and steamroll, not only Biden, but the moderator, as well, to have control. Narcissists go for the low blow. They stockpile information against you, and throw it out as zingers when they think your defenses are down or you're most vulnerable. We saw this in his callous remarks about Biden's sons, and without any regard or compassion for the loss of Biden's son Beau.
We are not dealing with the average human being that we can reason with, have a discussion with an intent to find common ground, and compromise for solutions. Narcissists who are not getting help (the vast majority don't because they are in denial that they need support) cannot meet you in the middle. Their agenda of control will always be on the forefront of their mind. If they feel like they are starting to lose that control or narcissistic supply, they will double down. That is what we are seeing right now.
I could go on... but I will say if you were feeling drained, angry, upset, etc. after watching the debate, that is because what we witnessed was not healthy. As a country we have been in an abusive relationship with this president, and what unfolded on Tuesday was one verbally and energetically violent episode. If you have had narcissists or abuse in your life you may have felt particularly triggered after that event. If this is you, remember to have compassion for yourself, and hopefully there will be something useful for you in the later part of this article. Please seek out support if you are needing it.
A few points that I share with my empath students to safely and sanely navigate these dynamics:
In Wisconsin, there is still time to register to vote absentee, or early. All the information Wisconsinites need is here: MyVoteWisconsin (One of the things I love is that if you vote absentee, they give you the ability to track your ballot to make sure it is received.)In another state and want to vote early, or absentee? Find all the details at Better Know A Ballot.
For registration and all other voter information visit: Vote.gov
Your Voice Matters!
Okay, now onto the good stuff: nourishment and dispelling weariness.
Let's take another moment to pause, close our eyes, and breathe. Allow space for whatever might be coming up in you physically or emotionally. Whatever you are experiencing is just energy and information. As we practice sitting with it as we breathe, and offer compassionate witnessing, healing begins to happen. Stay with this as long as you need to.
Now, reflect upon what has been working well for you over the last several months. (I've created this worksheet for your ease in following this exercise if you like.) What has brought joy, comfort, relief, and constructive outlets for you as we move through these times? Maybe you are going for regular walks, having virtual game nights with friends and family, making tasty meals, writing poetry, meditating, puttering in the garden, napping, or snuggling with your pets or children. What new or old habits have been helping you sustain? Make a list of what has been filling your cup, how often you have been able to participate in those activities, and star the ones that have been particularly impactful. Now considering one activity at a time, with the changing of the seasons, is there anything that can, or needs to be tweaked so you can continue to enjoy it into the cooler months? Allow this to be a time for your creativity to emerge. If you can't find a solution for how to adapt a certain outlet, make note of it, and what needs it has been meeting for you (connection, movement, play, rest, support, learning, hope, inspiration, etc.).
Now, are there any new activities that you could incorporate to replace any that you will no longer be able to do? Focus on the needs that were being met, and brainstorm what other ways you might be able to meet those needs. For instance, if you were gardening and it was helping you feel grounded and inspired by beauty, maybe you could dream and plan for your garden next year, learn about the plants and wildlife in your area, study ways that you can preserve food, do grounding meditations, or paint picturesque landscapes. Perhaps there are some needs you haven't been able to meet at all during this time. What are they, and how could you prioritize them?
There may be things that have been bogging you down that you need to let go of. For example, obligations to relationships that are draining or not reciprocal, guilt about resting or taking care of yourself, or habits that keep you busy or distract that don't actually nourish you. Ask yourself, what don't I have to do? What can I let go of?
Sit with your list. Star your highest priorities to maintain, integrate, or release. Then narrow it down to 1-3 that you can focus on in the next couple months to support your well-being.
What did you come up with? Share with us in the comments .
Take good care of yourselves!
Are You an Empath?
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.
Reiki Master Teacher and Owner of Embrace Your Essence
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