If you are a sensitive person, one of the ways that you can take care of yourself is through the creation of regular rituals. Here are thirteen reasons why sensitive souls need rituals to stay healthy, happy, and balanced.
If you are a sensitive soul that identifies as a healer and are looking for support to find the gifts within your sensitivities, you may benefit from my Integrative Healing Apprenticeship. Find out more here: Integrative Healing Apprenticeship
I was about twenty years old when I first realized that I was empathic. I didn’t know that word at the time, but I recognized the empathic qualities that I possessed.
One day, I walked into a building and was instantaneously hit with this wave of negative feelings. At first, I thought that it was me. At the time, I believed that I had social anxiety and that I was nervous about entering a space where there were lots of other people. But in this moment, I had an insight. I recognized that the feelings I was feeling were not mine; instead, they were the feelings of the people in the space that I was entering. This was a revelation—the type of revelation that empaths have when they realize that they are empaths.
This is the type of experience that empaths have all the time. They’ll be going about their regular everyday life when they are suddenly hit with waves of emotion that are not theirs but someone else’s. They may have these feelings when they are relating to someone close to them or even with random people they encounter. In fact, it does not even always need to be people—it can also be things in their environment.
While this is very useful information—and for people like me, it is incredibly supportive of what I do professionally—it is not always easy to deal with. It can at times pose great challenges. Some people who have such experiences might say, “Well, I didn’t choose this for myself. I wish I was not like this; I wish I could turn it off.”
Most empaths at least wonder, “How do I work with this way of being? How can I make this an easier experience?” To be healthy as an empath requires a lot of self-care and also strengthening yourself energetically so that you can build a beneficial relationship with the things that you come into contact with.
If you identify with this idea of being an empath but you’re struggling with some of aspects of it, the best place to start is with self-care. Being healthy as an empath requires diligent attention to your self-care. You need to learn how to keep yourself clear, know how much downtime you need versus contact with different people or types of energy, and know what you need so far as sleep, food, and healthy environments are concerned. It is essential to take care of these areas of your life if you want to truly feel good in yourself and happy in your life.
The next step is to actually strengthen your own energy so that you are better able to consistently maintain a clear state of being. In part, this requires clearing negative energies and patterns from your life. The more that you clear any kind of negativity or problems that you are personally carrying inside, the easier it becomes to relate to what is going on around you without taking it on.
So working on yourself is of crucial importance. Working on yourself goes hand in hand with understanding how to strengthen yourself energetically, and as you do, it becomes easier and easier to discern what is yours versus what is another’s.
Being empathic is a gift. Although it might be hard to see it like that when you are faced with some of its challenges, as we attend to our self-care, clear our own disturbances, and strengthen ourselves, we begin to experience the benefits more and more.
Join me and a community of emergent healers for my Integrative Healing Apprenticeship, starting this year. If you are coming into your gifts as an empath and healer, let’s walk together on this one. Read more here: Integrative Healing Apprenticeship
About a year after stepping more intensively into my spiritual journey, a series of events happened that pushed me into an entirely different understanding of what it means to be on a spiritual path. I learned that integrity is the most important companion to have on this journey. I also learned that vulnerability is the foundation on which integrity stands.
To be vulnerable means to offer your unprotected heart and truth to others without expectation that they will offer you the same in return. When we are being vulnerable, we offer forward our flaws and limitations, we are the first to acknowledge our contribution to any disharmony, and we are willing to be wrong. We show ourselves in our imperfection as well as our strength.
Walking this path with our weaknesses front and center, leading by offering our humanity, ensures that we are doing the necessary work to be a worthy vessel for all of the blessings that we receive. It ensures that the power that is put in our hands is put into hands that can truly use it for good.
It opens us to a level of spiritual teaching that is otherwise inaccessible.
It takes an exceptionally strong, psychologically and spiritually mature person to show up vulnerably. When we do, people will sometimes project their ignorance and their own weaknesses on to us. They can blame us for their oversights and expect us to right their wrongs. Sometimes, to the untrained eyes, our vulnerability defines us as less than. To stay the course, we must know ourselves well and our connection to the spirit deeply so that we can allow for this misunderstanding, keep our heart open, and continue to offer ourselves fully
Our expression of vulnerability is an opportunity for others to open up and be vulnerable themselves. When the invitation of vulnerability is received, it is possible for another person to meet us there in that vulnerable space and create a depth of healing that would otherwise be unrealizable. This potentiates the growth of both parties.
As we are entrusted with profound spiritual insights that come from our spiritual seeking, it is exceptionally easy to trick ourselves into believing that our intentions are pure and altruistic when in fact they are actually highly sophisticated expressions of our ego. Vulnerability is the key to unlocking our spiritual development rather than developing a spiritualized ego—where we only see our self in a positive light, identify our self with the spiritual gifts we have received, and place our shadow aspects onto others.
Being vulnerable ensures that we look at ourselves first before offering corrections, feedback, and opinions to others. It asks us to own our mistakes and approach with an attitude of learning. And, when we forget to do this, it reminds us to make amends as soon as possible. This prevents us from becoming righteous and, because of this, doing more harm than good.
For me, the most profound teacher of vulnerability, both its challenges and its power, is Jesus. Jesus said, “Let he among you who is innocent cast the first stone.” He said this to a group of people who had come to believe that they were morally superior and so their cruelty was justified. The teaching from this story is that when we lose sight of our own limitations, even if we are acting based on supposed spiritual principles, we are misguided in our actions.
Each day, we are presented with many opportunities where we can either be vulnerable or cast the first stone. Our choices release us from our burdens or add to them. The more weight we let go of, the more light we can let in.
I know that, at my current level of development, it often takes me time to remember to put my vulnerability forward immediately and without qualification. It is so much easier to make myself vulnerable after I have created security through being validated or a establishing a feeling of control. Slowly, I am learning to trust the spirit more and surrender more quickly without needing these compensations. As I do, my burdens become lighter and my spiritual insights more profound.
In the end, all we have is the truth of our heart. It will not matter how many times we were right, if we were truly understood, or whether we had the respect and acknowledgement of those around us. It will matter that we have made amends where we have hurt others, owned our limitations, and—as much as possible—done no harm. To do this, we need to learn the lessons of vulnerability.
Join me for my Integrative Healing Apprenticeship to step deeper into your vulnerability and find the spiritual gold within it.
When someone close to us is acting in a way that is difficult for us, our response is often defensive—we react to their behavior. We feel like we need to do something about it—for example, we might believe we need to draw a line to make it clear that other person has done wrong in some way, or make a correction to their behavior.
This comes in part from our need to protect ourselves or from our desire to make sure that whatever we don’t like doesn’t keep happening. While putting boundaries in place and communicating with other people in this way is an important skill—particularly when dealing with certain people—there’s also another way of approaching disagreements that can be very helpful.
This other way is to ask the person to join into the experience that you want to have with them. This requires us to be aware of what we would like to have happen in the moment when it is not happening as well as to be emotionally clear enough to act on this knowledge.
There is often an assumption that, when someone does something that we don’t like, they did it intentionally, they were not able to see something, or they just disregarded our needs. But most often, other people are simply not aware of what it is that we want or need. And many people have not become skilled at saying what it is that they do want and need.
When you are in a situation where someone in your life is not acting the way you would like, try inviting this person into the type of experience that you want rather than challenging, defending, or putting a boundary in place, and just see how it goes.
If, for example, I want to work on communication with someone and they’re not giving me the type of communication I want, I could respond by saying something such as, “Well, you’re not communicating with me, and that is a problem for me.” It is clear in my response that I do not like the behavior and also that I am feeling defensive. Because of my response, the other person might become a bit defensive themselves, and we will likely bounce our hurt and defenses off of each other.
Or, I can come into the situation and say something like, “What would really feel good to me is more communication, and this is what it would look like to have that.” With this example, I have gotten rid of the layers of defensiveness and simply invited the person into the way of being in our relationship that I would like most.
While not everyone will be able to rise to the occasion, when it does work, you will see just how powerful this method can be. It might actually become an essential new aspect of your repertoire—a new way of relating to others, a tool that helps you get back on track and create more of what you want in your life.
For more tips and tricks on how to create your life in an empowered way, check out my youtube videos here.
What does it mean to be empowered? A wonderful teacher of mine, Alisa Starkweather, taught me that to be empowered means to know that you have a choice. I think that this is a fabulous starting point. Having a choice means that we are able to choose how we act and react in any situation. Outside circumstances will no longer dictate our responses! Feeling this sense of choice is the root of empowerment.
Being empowered means overcoming victimhood, which has become an epidemic. Victimhood is the opposite of having a choice. It is the experience of believing that someone or something else is doing something to us and that we have no control over the situation.
Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to feel that we have a choice. However, as we grow and develop, we learn how to find the choices that are there. This is what it is to be empowered: to know that we have the ability to choose what we want in any given situation.
Victim mindset represents the pervasive believe that we do not have power in our lives. Once in the victim mindset, we look outside and say “You are doing this to me, therefore I have no control.” This belief ensures that we remain a victim.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t situations in which people are actually victimized and, because of circumstance, have only bad options to choose from. Those situations are not the issue at hand. Rather, this level of victimhood is a foundational way of orienting to the events of your life. When we interact with the world as a victim, we look to the world to treat us differently rather than realizing that it is within our capacity make changes and determine how we want to move forward in our life.
Like many things in life, it is important that we allow a lot of compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance for this part of ourselves. We can’t move past our victim mentality without giving it the attention it needs. You can’t beat the victim up and tell them to get over it. That’s not that’s not the way that it works. Our first steps are to learn to see, appreciate, and love this part of ourselves. Every single aspect of ourselves has a teaching. Every aspect informs us about ourselves, about life, and about others.
By accepting our inner victim and relating to it as a teacher, we take our first steps toward leaving this way of life behind. We start by asking the important questions: “How does being in the victim mentality inform me about myself? How does it help me become the person I want to be?” We will always have this part of ourselves but we do not need to be acting from it all the time.
To take even more steps in the direction of empowerment, recognize that you have choices. If you find yourself in a situation that you don’t like, see what you want out of the situation instead. Tuning into an alternative vision of the situation is the first part of being able to choose something different. There isn’t one way that you need to do this. It is a process of learning. But here is a starting point:
Step 1 – Ask yourself “What else could happen here?”
Step 2 – Choose to move in the direction of the action or experience that is desired.
We grow out of the victim mentality by first recognizing that we have the power to choose to move in an affirming direction and then making that choice. The beauty of this is that whether or not we succeed in creating an entirely different circumstance, we have already begun to reclaim our power.
Are you interested in exploring the ways that victimhood is affecting your life? Dive deep in my free workshop titled “The Power of You: How to Overcome Despair and Thrive”, or click here to read about my Breakthrough Intensive.
It’s a part of our human experience to have defenses—though quite frequently, these defenses create problems for us. They change what we are able to get out of our relationships or what we are able to receive and develop in our lives, leaving us to wonder how we can work with them to be most productive in the way that is best for us.
Being defensive is a totally normal human response. However, often, if someone says you’re being defensive, the immediate reaction is to feel like you have done something wrong and should not be acting that way. In truth, that response is often the other person’s defense. If they call you out, then they have the upper hand.
The first step is just accepting the fact that it’s OK to be defensive. When you are, it is an opportunity to learn. Our defenses show us how we have been hurt or what needs of ours have not been met in the past, usually in our childhood and then even more throughout our lives afterward.
How and when we get defensive shows us how and why our defenses developed. They show us what it is that we need in order to better care for ourselves: underneath every defense is a lot of information about how we can actually grow and develop.
If you find yourself getting defensive in a situation, you can ask yourself, “What is it that I am afraid of?” (The “Biggest Fear” quiz on my website can help you get clarity about your greatest fears. See the end of this article for the link) In truth, we have an assortment of fears that lead to our being defensive, but as the quiz will show you, there are certain fears that are more intense than others. When we recognize what they are, we can do something about them.
For example, when we recognize that we have a need for safety or a fear of losing contact, being controlled or betrayed, we have gathered important information. We know that this has happened repeatedly in our life and is something that needs our attention.
If we have a need for safety, for example, the way to decrease our defense against this is to learn how to create safety for ourselves. That’s the healing step forward.
After we have cared for ourselves in this way, we ultimately transcend the problem and can truly be free. That’s is how you heal from learning about and taking care of your defenses.
But to start the process, we must give ourselves what we need, regularly and consistently. If we engage in this deep level of self-care, we’ll be able to really heal from what has happened in the past. There are a number of different ways that we can attend to these wounds. We can learn to provide what we need for ourselves and we can learn how to receive it through the support of the people around us.
Once we are clear that we are being defensive, why we are being defensive, and then provide for that need, we’ll see ourselves getting softer, more open, and more flexible. Our strength will return to each situation that would have previously been challenging so that we’re able to respond in a way that is less defensive and more connective.
And, in the end, when we do this, it gives us more of what we want.
If you’re curious to discover what is hidden behind your defenses, take my quiz!
Our personal power is the key to our wellbeing and personal effectiveness. Personal power is the empowerment of the true self that exists in all of us. It provides us with strength, courage, and compassion throughout all life’s ups and downs. By learning how to improve personal power, we facilitate this life long pursuit of empowerment that encompasses every area of our life.
As you learn how to improve personal power, it is important to differentiate between true power and ego inflation. If I did a good job, and it makes my ego feel good, I might feel powerful. If I am praised, and if makes my ego feel good, I might feel powerful. While these things might help us feel powerful, real personal power comes from internal, not external, motivations. True personal power makes our ego’s grasps at power look like what they are –feeble. Below are 8 steps you can take to improve your personal power. The kind you really want — the real kind.
1. Learn what is in your heart: We are bold in our actions when we are connected with the trough of our heart. The word courage –a form of personal power — is formed from the Latin word cor or heart. When we are aware of the contents of our heart and we know its truth, we are more powerful than we previously might have imagined. Think of the powerful rebellion of Ghandi. When we use our heart as our guide, we become clearer and more resolute. Our confidence is no longer the confidence of superiority but the confidence of devotion.
2. Love and Acceptance of who you are at your core: You are completely perfect and infinitely flawed. Learning to truly love and accept yourself, while still holding yourself accountable for your actions, is a powerful skill that helps you maintain perspective, even as you are being tested and stretched by life’s circumstances. When you find a part of yourself that you are having a difficult time accepting, try asking yourself how this part of you is productive or helpful. Learn to see that there is always a flip side and that, often, negativity or positivity is just a matter of use of that part of yourself, rather than an inherent goodness or badness.
3. The recognition that you have the power to change: A lot of people believe that they have the power to change over the course of their lives, but don’t give themselves the power to change in the moment. You do not need to hold onto something that does not serve you any longer than you want to. Let yourself be at choice in each moment as much as you possibly can. When we truly recognize our choice in each moment is when we truly feel our personal power. Click here to read more on embracing your power of choice and how to change your life when you feel stuck.
4. Take action: When we take actions to create positive outcomes in our lives, we feel more powerful. When you see an opportunity to move things forward, seize the moment. This can be as simple as picking up some trash off the ground or saying something kind to a stranger. It is also important to take action to put boundaries in place for yourself and to give clear feedback to others when things are not going well.
5. You are instrumental in shaping events: Your love, kindness, care, and compassion can sculpt any moment. You have the ability to shift the tide when you see things moving in an unpleasant direction, or add more to things moving in a positive direction. Begin to recognize your contributions to the unfolding of all the events that you experience and you will unlock a giant piece of your personal power.
6. Work with the pain: As much as we want life to be pain free, it is not. The teaching is in the pain. This does not mean you should become obsessed with focusing on the pain of life, but pain does serves as a cue that we are going in the wrong direction or that we are not quite on track. Next time you are feeling this challenge let it remind you to refocus on what it is that you are trying to create.
7. Be with discomfort: Another teaching that helps us step into our personal power is discomfort. Trying to push away all the hard and uncomfortable things in life does not work. When things are hard, it is sometimes necessary to be willing to just let it be hard. Have your anger. Have your sadness. And THEN, move on. Difficult emotions will pass on their own, if we do not hold onto them.
8. Celebrate: Celebrate yourself. Celebrate others. Celebrate your life. Gratitude for all that we have is critical to feeling empowered. When we look at our life or ourselves and see that our efforts have yielded more love, more happiness, more abundance, and we take time to acknowledge these successes, we naturally feel more powerful and more right in our own skin. Find ways to acknowledge you for all of your efforts and gain even more personal power.
This week I want to talk about personal power and empowerment. What does it mean be in your power? What gets you there, what holds you there, and what gets you off track? When you know more about these dynamics you are able to harness really deep forces for creation and transformation.
What does it mean? The term empowerment was popularized in the 80’s. It was based on the idea of “giving to, or increasing, the strengths of other groups of people whether those are educational, spiritual or otherwise.” Personal empowerment then became a buzz phrase for when we “give” ourselves back our own power or when we feel our own sense of power without the need to hold it over another.
Like many expressions of the personal development field, the phrase personal empowerment states something in a way that helps us understand how to shift our perspective. We have the ability to do or say things that will give us more power. We have the ability to hold our power in a way that is more about our deep respect for our self than it is about holding it over or using it on another. Personal power and our own empowerment is the result of our knowing we have the ability to choose and in influence the many aspects of our life.
What gets you there? If we have the ability to empower ourselves then how do we do this? What are the practical everyday types of things that you can do to feel confident and able to move forward with whatever you want to create in your life.
From an energetic perspective, being in our power overlaps with other experiences such as being centered, grounded, connected to our self, or clear (other expressions that help us understand HOW to be more powerful.) When we cultivate these states, we cultivate a stronger sense of personal power.
What holds you there? Once we have discovered our own power, we soon find that we can just as quickly lose sight of it. To stay connected with our power, we need to put ourselves in environments that support us and learn how to support ourselves. We need to need to take care of ourselves in the deepest way possible. And, be more and more aware of the situation in which we lose touch with our personal power.
What gets you off track? Standardly, what gets people off track are the core patterns that disempowered them in the first place. Somewhere along the line, you were hurt while being in your fullness and this had you take a dramatic action to try and protect yourself. Once we have reclaimed our power we are most likely to let it go when we face replicas of these past events. You can easily find out what gets you off track by figuring out what you are afraid of or afraid of having happen.
Why is this really important? Staying connected to your personal power is foundational to being able to create the life and business that you want. Without it, we do not know how to see each situation as an opportunity and each moment as a choice. This limits what we can create and often leaves us playing the role of the victim rather than the role of the victor.
What is personal power and how can you connect to it and use it to propel your life? This week on Real Answers Radio, Dr. Kate discusses how personal power is linked to being able to create and manifest what you want in your life. From this perspective, tools for cultivating personal power are one of the most important things we can learn. Tune in to explore what being empowered really means and what you can do to step for fully into it.
While many of us subconsciously believe that we use language to objectively represent reality, the research says otherwise. The research supports the idea that language creates reality. In other words, it is not only true that we are what we eat, but it is also true that we live what we believe.
Language has tremendous power of suggestion the more we “suggest” something, the more likely we are to take action that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let’s look at some statements I have heard over the past few weeks:
The feelings behind these words are very powerful, but what reality do they invite when repeated again and again? The truth is, it doesn’t take long to convince ourselves (and others) that we really can’t …., don’t know how to ….., will never be able to ….., aren’t as smart as ….., and so on. The more we state it, the more we believe it, the quicker it becomes reality.
But what if the opposite were also possible? What if language could also create a more positive, hopeful and empowered reality than the one we are currently experiencing?
In a 2010 TED Talk, Caroline Casey shares a truly extraordinary experience confirming the absolute power of suggestion in the mind – the way in which language creates reality. (Because I do not want to ruin the impact of this talk, no synopsis, just a “must watch” link.)
The scientific research community supports this claim as well. In a 2013, Scientific American article, Your Thoughts Can Release Abilities Beyond Your Normal Limits, you can read about research studies in which outcomes of control groups vs. experimental groups are altered solely based upon the power of suggestion.
So, as you are going about your day, navigating what life places in front of you, here are some suggestions for leveraging the power of suggestion to point you in a more positive, empowered and hopeful direction:
Adopt the word “yet.”
Whenever someone tells me they do not know the answer to a question or don’t know how to do something, I teach them to include the simple word “yet” at the end of the statement. “I don’t know how to look for a job – yet.” ‘Yet’ definitively suggests that the knowledge or understanding is on its way, rather than completely unavailable.
Focus on “what went right”
Virtually every moment of very day gives us the opportunity to choose how to focus our thoughts and attention. Are you upset because it is raining or feeling grateful because you remembered to bring an umbrella? Do you beat yourself up because you burned the dinner or pat yourself on the back because you have a great back up plan – ice cream for dinner at the end of a hot summer day is one of my favorites! Do you panic all the way to work because you spilled coffee on your suit, or walk into your meeting and recognize this as an opportunity to give your stressed-out staff permission to be human and imperfect. Our mind is wired to notice the negative, and we can train it to see the positive.
Replace “must,” “have to,” and “need to” with WANT
How many times per day do we walk around saying things like, I have to…., I need to…., I must….. These phrases lock us into narrow places. I accomplish them and I avert disaster or a negative outcome; I do not fully achieve them and I am a failure. Either way, my reality is a narrow place of bordered on one side by temporary and fleeting moments of safety and bordered on the other by failure and demise. When I “want” to do something, it refocuses our thoughts and attention on what there is to gain, opportunities that are available, and what makes us happy.
As in Caroline’s story, language alone is not sufficient to create reality, but language coupled with belief is what points the needle of life’s compass in a particular direction. Once the needle is pointing where you want to go, then it is about taking action in that direction.
So if you have been standing on the fence about a decision, beating yourself up for failures or falling short, or notice that your mind spends most of its time consumed with the negative, try intentionally shifting a few of those 15,000+ utterances per day in a new direction. And when you are clear about wanting to point the needle in a new direction and take the actions to get there, contact me. I am eager to journey with you to a new reality.
Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.
1. Be kind and generous: In every moment of every day it is possible to change someone’s life. Sometimes, it is as simple as just being kind.
2. Be clear about what does and does not work for you: People cannot work with you if they do not know what you are all about. If you are always compromising yourself, you will not be as effective.
3. Be your full self: Holding back because you think that is what others want is not helpful to anyone. You would not be who you are if it was not needed.
4. Let others be their full selves: The same goes for anyone else. If you think others need to be different, you are wrong. Let people be who they really are. If you don’t like it, figure out how to work with it.
5. Say thank you: People love to be appreciated. Let them know when you are grateful.
6. Look for ways to give back: Don’t lose track of making a contribution. No matter where you find yourself in your life, you can give back in a way that helps others.
7. Tip well and tip often: If you have money — and some might argue that this is true even if you don’t have money — make sure to support the people who are making minimum wage. They are working hard.
8. Support the things you believe in: Purchase what you want to support. Spend your time doing what you want to support. Talk about the things you want to support. You get the picture?
9. Really listen: Most people are not listened to enough. Pay attention to them and let them know they are important.
10. Focus: Know what you want to create and how you can help others. Then do it. Most everything else is a waste of time.